Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Durian Festival of 2008

Vibrant batik colours and local fruits add to the beauty of Perak
The Durian Festival held at Bukit Gantang,Perak in 2008 was more than a festival.  

It was a Tourism Malaysia event and Azalina Othman was its Tourism Minister while Tajol Rosli the Chief Minister of Perak then. 

Over 20,000 fruits were brought in
The durian was the attraction with over 20,000 durians brought in but it showcased more of the culture of Perak and possibly of the wonderful community spirit at Bukit Gantang then.

A relaxing morning at Bukit Gantang
On Call....the durian opener

It was the culture of Perak with vibrant colours of the dancers and the accompanying performance, so energetic with smiles of total enjoyment.  

Colorful dancers .....
..... frolicking in fun ....

and totally captivating....

The silat display with accompanying music, the durian by-product delicacies and the lunch following the event all added to a delightful weekend.

.... martial arts and accompanying cultural music .....

...a community that work as one .......

The lunch..local fruit, roti jala, rendang tok .....gastronomic

It was a gastronomic delight and then more because it showcased Perak’s rich and wonderful culture.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Cold Beer at Big Johns Music Shack

 John Lomax (right.I’m English) and Chris Hughes (at left he’s Welsh).
If you ever fancy a cold sundown amidst a garden setting head on down to Big Johns Music Shack over at Green Town.

It’s run by two senior guys, John Lomax (I’m English) and Chris Hughes (he’s Welsh).

Cold Sundown for the evening heat
Big John’s is spacious and its nice place on a bright evening to greet the night and have a cold sundown or three before heading back for a meal.

Nice garden setting in the heart of the city
Great place to unwind at the end of the day. Hazme Blues Band comes on Friday and Saturday.

Big Johns Music Shack, the great English pub atmosphere is at 3 Lebuh Satu, Greentown 30450, behind the Paradigm Club.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Beautiful Lubok Timah

The signage of "Lubok Timah' against a backdrop of a scarred landscape belie a different picture.
Set amidst the scarred landscape of the quarries that is characteristic of Simpang Pulai is the tranquil oasis cum picnic ground that is Lubuk Timah. 

The signboard of Lubuk Timah against the backdrop of a hill that is being slowly leveled belies the beauty of this picnic ground in which a clear river runs through and which has a natural hot-spring together.

A bridge connects both sides of the river. 
When I visited this place in 2012 its attraction was just the river and hot-springs.

Earlier in 2012 the location was very basic.......

....the natural hot-spring was built around a cement enclosure next to the river.
The natural hot-spring was built around a cemented enclosure at the side of the river segregating it from the refreshing river water.

...the same hot-spring but upgraded.
The cemented hot-spring has been tiled making the experience more pleasant.

A 1Km distance away is a dam across the river. The access to the dam which used to be accessible by foot now has a tarred road that goes round the park.

The 'Dam' set in a tranquil setting
 Lubok Timah is a far cry from before. Now it has camping facilities, toilets, ample parking, picnic tables and even ponies for riding. 

It certainly is a far cry from when I last visited it and is very pleasant indeed.

Lubok Timah is an ideal getaway on a hot afternoon.
 Ipoh has so many scenic spots like these it’s a pity it is not promoted for one and all to enjoy.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Quarried Landscapes

The hills of Simpang Pulai, awaiting a time when it all gone.

The hills of Simpang Pulai, Ipoh as seen from the North South highway

Simpang Pulai just outside Ipoh is a beautiful place even with is karst landscapes of carved out mountains and lime ponds saturated that it turned green.

The dominant  industry here for the last 50 years has been quarrying the vast amount of limestone hills here extracted initially for roads, cement  and the construction industry.

Now it is quarried more for its calcium carbonate powder or CCP used in a wide variety of industries.

The Kinta Valley limestone consists largely of calcite which is white in colour. Even though it is tinged with a touch of grey it has no effect on demand.

White limestone is used in a wide range of industries such as to whiten paper, in plastics as a filler and a multitude of other uses which include latex gloves, skin whitening and toothpaste.

The whole of the Kinta Valley is underlain with limestone present in the form of hills above ground and under the ground stretching from Kampar to Tanjung Tualang in the south, Chemor and Kanthan to the north and Simpang Pulai to the east.

The early limestone quarry owners 30 years ago applied for a portion of a hill. Sometimes a hill would be owned by three quarries.

The owners would carry out blasting on their side of the hill. When they had exhausted the lease they would leave a boundary between them scarring the landscape leaving the ‘scars’ behind.

Multi-national now practice top-down quarry operations until a time there is no hill left.
In recent years the interest of multi-national companies in Simpang Pulai saw the introduction of top down quarry operations. This was possible by their purchase of the entire hill but which will see the loss of the entire HILL…eventually.

A scarred hill left behind.
Then we shall witness a new landscape …..BARRENESS….. Time will tell.