Sunday, July 20, 2008

Colourful Sentul Market

Interesting architecture. The building is very simple in design, with small coloured glass windows to allow light to stream in. This is the main Sentul Market building.

This is one section of town that you probably won't see in your tour itinerary of Kuala Lumpur simply because it is way out the promoted tourist belt.

But sometimes, this is where the excitement lies. When travelling, if you are slightly more adventurous, a more meaningful tour would be places that are out of the beaten track.

Quaint sundry shops in the market where you can get anything from rice to horsegram and chickpeas.

The Sentul Market, which was established somewhere in the late 70s, started off as a morning market even much earlier, catering to the needs of the Sentul community which in the 70s comprised of mostly Indians and Chinese. Here the green grocers operate in the mornings, starting as early as 5am, bringing supply from town to be sold to village folk then.

Take a walk into colourful Malaysian daily life.

In the late 70s, the market was rebuilt with a main concrete structure to house the traders but as development moved in, demand exceeded supply and the market simply outgrew its intended size.

Today, there are several sections to the market, with the original main building housing traders selling greens, poultry and fish. Meat stall lie beside this.

The extended area which was built later.

Adjacent to the main building, which is an extended area built much later, is the main vegetable section. Surrounding the vegetable stalls are small sundry shops and coconut merchants.

Sandwiched between the main building and the greens section is the eating area selling Chinese food mainly. The other eating area lies about 30 metres away, where you can find Malay and Indian stalls. There are two Indian stalls selling traditional working-class fare and several Malay stalls selling Indian prata, known locally as roti canai, noodles and the likes.

One Indian stall - known simply as Breakfast Corner - which is highly popular lies at the entrance, selling traditional putu mayam. Here you can choose to have traditional Indian fare such as thosai, putu, vadei, and the likes - including fresh cow milk wrapped in plastic bags.

One of the few left operating this dying trade. The putu mayam corner and the apparatus he uses to steam the coconut-flour cakes (below).

The putu mayam maker is among those very few left in the city, or possible the whole country, selling these steamed delicacy as can be seen from the pictures. As far as we know, not many in the city ply such a trade using tiny steamers as shown.

If you are in Kuala Lumpur and staying near the northwestern side of town, reserve a morning and drop by the Sentul Market. Best day to visit is on a Sunday, when activity starts as early as 6:45am. Drop by for breakfast or grab some of the delicacies and fruits and what have yous. Experience life reflective of what a man-in-the-street in Kuala Lumpur go through daily.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Flora Fest Malaysia 2008

Likened to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade in USA, the floral event, which started in the days of Malaysia Fest, will be a feast to the senses, especially if you are a flower lover.

It celebrates the diversity of Malaysian flora each year, with parades and flower shows.

Themed Colours of Harmony, the event will be held from July 18 to Aug 3 at several venues around the Klang Valley, participated by private and governmental organisations in Malaysia. International participants are also invited.

For more information, please contact its organisers at 03 2696 3171

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Kuala Pilah - Sleepy Hollow Left By British

You can't miss this welcome sign on top of a hill if you are coming in from the highway into Kuala Pilah.

KUALA PILAH is one of the many sleepy hollows in Negri Sembilan. Basically it is a valley town, with the main streets dotted with predominantly pre-war buildings.

Ulu Bendul Forest Reserve on the way to Kuala Pilah

One of the many attractions within Ulu Bendul recreational forest.

There is a main street fed by several feeder streets with angled car parking bays. The early settlers of this township were Chinese miners and loggers. This is evident in the Chinese-architecture styled arch dedicated to the first Resident of Negri Sembilan, Martin Lister.

The sleeping hollow caught in its slumber on a Saturday afternoon. Plenty of parking space.

Life in the town is quite slow moving. Except for the quaint architecture, there is not much to see in this transit stop-over town.

However, if you are into exotic food, there is a food square which houses several Chinese eateries serving freshwater turtle soup. At RM8 a bowl, it is quite a steal. The soup, cooked in herbs, and of course turtle meat, is believed to be good for ashmatics.

One of the many turtle soup stalls in town.

But if you are not game for turtle soups, there are also other fare like this run-of-the-mill 'kon lou meen' is also available.

I was told that you can get quite good Minangkabau food at the few Malay restaurants in the town. And they are quite cheap too.

Getting There: Travel South via the Sungai Besi exit till you see the Senawang-Kuala Pilah exit (route 51). Just follow the main traffic and the signs and you won't be lost. Thirty minutes from the toll, the road winds upwards ascending a small mountain known as the Mount Angsi (825m high). You will see the sign KUALA PILAH emblazoned by the hillside. Fifteen minutes away is the Ulu Bendul Recreational Forest and among attractions here, besides the Nature, is a Python Park. Kuala Pilah town is about 20 minutes from here.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Map: From Kuala Lumpur City To Port Dickson

This is a map from Kuala Lumpur city to Port Dickson, using the North South Highway, via the Sungai Besi Toll.

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Map: Kuala Lumpur City - Tourist Attractions

This map features the attractions in Kuala Lumpur city, together with prominent transport hubs.

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Click on the placeholders for the places of interest.

Map: KL to North Port, Port Kelang

This is the map leading from Kuala Lumpur City to North Port of Port Kelang. It lists the seaside esplanade where you can get good seafood and if you are an angler, good fishing ground. At one end is a private fishing farm where you get to fish at hourly rates.

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July Happenings in Kuala Lumpur

Portraits of Paradox - Massgathering by Yau Bee Ling

Muslim women have occupied positions of power for as long as Islam has existed. This ranges from the trading might of the Prophet Muhammad’s first wife, Khatija, to the more formal position of the 12th century Yemeni ruler, Malika Arwa. The Qur’an alludes to women of power from as long ago as the Queen of Sheba. In more recent times, the political leadership of Islamic states such as Pakistan and Bangladesh has drawn heavily on the female half of the population. The exhibition Faith & Power: Women in Islam explores a rich history that has often been overlooked. Examining the lives of these women, and attitudes to them, the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is also able to provide a physical dimension with artefacts from distant times and places. Jewellery, clothing and the accoutrements of power bring new vigour to the lives of forgotten queens, consorts and wielders of influence from behind the throne.
Venue: Islamic Arts Museum, Jalan Lembah Perdana (next to National Mosque)
Time: Mondays to Sundays and Public Holidays: 10am - 6pm
Entrance: By tickets, purchasable at the museum entrance/
Details: Call 03-22742020

First solo exhibition of Filipino painter Elaine Roberto-Navas in Kuala Lumpur. Elaine's skillful use of colour and texture gives a powerful and sensual life to still objects. Through her signature thick impasto layers of paint, her work, acquire a nervous energy, leading viewers to consider painting beyond the subject matter but also its physical aspect, or 'materiality'.
Venue: Valentine Willie Fine Art, 1st Floor, 17 Jalan Telawi 3, Bangsar Baru
Time: 12 - 8pm Monday to Friday, and 12 - 6 pm Saturday. Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Details: Call03-2284 2348

Twist’ by Multhalib Musa, features new pieces which are an extension of a series he created in response to a suite of paintings by Yusof Ghani entitled, ‘Biring’. Just as Yusof Ghani has drawn reference to the swirl of energy, drama and dynamism present during a cockfight, Multhalib’s ‘Twist’ works similarly echo this mood.
Venue: Wei Ling Gallery, No. 8 Jalan Scott, Brickfields
Time: Mon-Fri 12pm-7pm; Sat:10am-5pm (Sun : By Appointment)
Details: Call 03-2260 1106/7
KL celbrates the arts! City wide celebration of the arts with cultural offerings at various venues, featuring a wide range of genres.
Venue: City Wide
Details: Call 03-2615-8188/2052-3600

Time: 10am ~ 12pm, 2nd Session: 2pm ~ 4pm
Venue: Hotel Nikko Kuala Lumpur, Bentley’s Pub (1st Floor)
Details: Call 03-2161 2104

Venue: The Japan Foundation, Kuala Lumpur
Participation Fee: RM15
Details: Call 03-2161 2104

Yau Bee Ling holds her first solo exhibition ‘Portraits of Paradox’ after an illustrious career spanning nearly thirteen years. Born in Klang in 1972, she studied painting at the Malaysian Institute of Art(MIA),graduating in 1995. Since then she has exhibited her works extensively both locally and abroad, and is a well-known artist on the Malaysian art scene.
Venue: Wei Ling Gallery, No. 8 Jalan Scott, Brickfields
Time: Mon-Fri 12pm-7pm; Sat:10am-5pm (Sun : By Appointment)
Details: Call 03-2260 1106/7

JULY 20, 24TH JAPANESE SPEECH CONTEST (Kuala Lumpur rounds)
Time: From 1pm
Venue: The Japan Club of Kuala Lumpur Hall
Details: Call 03-2161 2104