Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Day 182-186-Malaysia With The Rollas

Dim sum bike at Ipoh's famous dim sum tea house "Fu Shan Cha Lo" 

And so it was that we set off from Singapore for Malaysia on Thursday afternoon to FaiZ's sister's home in Johore Bahru. She had generously agreed  to loan us her car for our use. It was about 3pm when we set off from Johore Bahru towards Kuala Selangor hoping to reach there at about 7pm for the treat of a lifetime. 

The Firefly Park In Kuala Selangor (Pic from a brochure)

I was told that the Selangor River is one of the very few places in the world where you can find the gathering of millions of fireflies. I knew the watching of the fireflies or kirip-kirip in Malay,  would be magical and indeed it was. Bobbing along the river of the night with matching skylight on a slow sampan, we sat and watched the belambang trees being lit up by these shining and glowing masses. Silent except for the soft crickets and quiet splish sploshing of the river. It was as if Mother Nature was singing Silent Night with special effects.  When the boatman drew close to put one of these bugs on Rosanna's hand, she looked like she was wearing the most amazing diamond ring!  A field trip for me because I had wanted to build a miniature firefly park for the longest time.

Our next destination, Ipoh, a state that was named after a tree. In the picture is an Ipoh tree and the only one left in Ipoh because all the others have been destroyed due to the poisonous sap. Ipoh is also  FaiZ's hometown and the place where he grew up. 

We reached Ipoh at about 11pm and met FaiZ's parents at "Old Wong's"  for some chicken noodle and the promise of durians for dessert at their home in Meru Valley.  The Rollas have by now heard too much about durians which explained why they were not particularly enthusiastic. By the time we reached home, we were all so tired, no one wanted desserts. 

The next morning, we woke up to the  glorious expanse of green  and limestone mountains.  This is the view from the balcony of FaiZ's Meru Valley home. Many from afar have come and settled here for this view. We teased the Rollas about getting a house here which was really very affordable.  And so after a sumptuous dim sum breakfast, we drove round the Meru Valley Estate to look for the perfect Rolla house.

Rosanna, MarG and I were squealing in amazement when we saw this house and insisted we should stop for pictures. As if the architecture was not fantastical enough, the owners decided they have to match everything according to the theme. No prizes for guessing what the theme was but I bet you it was "doll's house".

 There is the "candy" umbrella over a table that is still under wraps. 

And an artist's impression of the house on a painted signboard placed above the coded keypad.

A matching letterbox of course with its own lawn. I can hear exclamations of "Oh my, the grass look so real and" Is that an egg shell path?" 

Last but not least, the topper or a renaissance cherub angel  fountain? 1 inch scale , albeit not as detailed, available here.

The Rollas trying the house for size. Nahhhh, we all decided. We were all very curious who built this house. My guess was a giant miniaturist building her dollhouse. Now do you really want to shrink yourself to live in a house like this? It was so huge my digital camera could not take everything in. 

On the other hand, we found this house later that afternoon on Cameron Highlands. This is the Ye Olde Smoke House. We had tea and scones here while Walter and Rosanna were on the golf course. They joined us later. Everything here felt more authentic. Even Rosanna remarked that it was as though she was in Scotland again.

 We have the pretty but less ostentatious  fountain.

A Tudor birdhouse where birds really dwell. 

And a perfect nook for secret lovers. Or maybe just tea for two?

At Cameron Highlands, arrangements were made for us to stay at Uncle Sai Pan's (FaiZ's dad) friends' apartments. Of course, it overlooked the Cameron Highlands Golf Course where Walter played a round of 9 holes.    

We had steamboat dinner that evening. Rosanna and Walter were overwhelmed by the amount of food which was deceivingly over the top. They agreed afterwards the look was worse than the bites.  We went back to the apartment after dinner  with Uncle Sai Pan insisting that the Rollas stay for desserts. It was to be the most hilarious moment of our trip.

Here is Walter bracing himself.

"I am ready! Hit me!"

"Awwwww hell! What was that????!" Should have warned him that one could never be ready enough!

Trying their darnest to please Uncle Sai Pan. It was almost like watching celebrities eat because there were about 3 -4 cameras clicking all the time. We all went to bed with big smiles, except maybe Walter. 

The next morning, we had breakfast at Uncle Chow's and then we bade farewell to FaiZ's parents before heading off to the Boh Tea Plantation. Retail! Yay for me.  I bought enough tea to last us a few years only because the packaging was pretty. I suspect Rosanna did the same. 

View from restaurant at Kenyir Resort and Spa

Heading towards Cherating after that, we stopped at the Kenyir Dam Resort for lunch.  We were all feeling a little car sick by then but knew the ultimate destination would be worth it.

Here e are! At last! Cherating also means crab in Malay. It is also one of my favourite places in the world. And when the tide is low, the sea at its clearest and warmest , I can lie down in the water for hours, dreaming of impossible things or nothing at all. And  this was what we did. 

From left to right, FaiZ, MarG, me, Rosanna, Walter. 

Thanks to the generosity of FaiZ and his family, I think I can speak for everyone when I say this has been  an incredibly memorable trip. 



Ascension said...

Enhorabuena por ese maravilloso viaje.
Ha sido un placer hacerlo contigo y con esas imagenes.
La foto de las luciernagas es un espectaculo.
El buzon de la casa, una preciosa miniatura jejejeje.
Me alegro que lo hayais disfrutado.
besitos ascension

GB said...

Wow, woman, you really had fun didn't you. Lovely to have you back!!!

Loved everything in this post (the pictures had me questioning whether these locales were real or part of your creations!!--now you've loaded up on inspiration, I'm waiting to see what you'll create next!)

That bike is adorable...I need to get my wheels fixed and soon before the snow sets in! :)

The Old Maid said...

Seems like it was a great great trip! It is so nice to read you still have a good time together!:)

Eva said...

Oh my GOD!!!! The firefly park!!!! Awesome!!! I had to go!!! Now! remember that I am biologist....I want to go to Borneo too and to all the places taht you show in your pictures...It is a dreamt trip...Lucky Rosanna and Walter and you for living close to this magical landscape.

I am still thinking on your tree....

Liberty Biberty said...

WoW!! Those houses are something else!
LOVE that candy umbrella!
What an awesome time you're all having!!

Glenda said...

Thankyou for the tour!! I would love to see those fireflies . . .

As for the houses - meh!! Tudor birdhouse?? Sorry, they just can't compete with the beautiful countryside!!

dale said...

What a wonderful trip! :) The scenery looks divine, love that yellow house! :) And, the fireflies!!! Wild, we have them here, but not millions, but enough to light up the sky and trees.

Did they survive the durian? (giggles) Welcome back home dear! :)

Pubdoll said...

Gorgeous pictures from your trip Sans, this post is like a huge advert for going there!

I agree with Glenda that the houses couldn't compete with the beautiful landscape (and beautiful Gof Courses), but I loved them all the same, especially the "Scottish" house with it's beautiful nooks and spots in the garden and tudor birdhouse. But perhaps the first house takes the prize after all with it's fantastic candy umbrella! It really made my day :-)

And those fireflies! Wow! First I thought it was a Christmas tree with lights, so it was very fitting that you mentioned Silent Night.

So nice you all had such a great time, even though I felt a bit sorry for Walter there, being punched on his nose like that!

Sans! said...

Jejejejeje, la Ascensión. Hemos votado en la casa amarilla la más fea en la finca pero estamos seguros de que tiene que ser uno de los más caros uno:).

Sans! said...

Gagan, I love Malaysia but it is GOOOOOD to be back although work has piled up and I need to be EXTRA hardworking the next 2 days if I am to spend a good Friday the 13th with my mini friends at our next mini meet :).

If you have a chance to visit Malaysia, it is a great place to hang and not do much. The kampongs or villages have charming little wooden houses just screaming to be miniaturise :).

Sans! said...

Ewa :):). we did and now I am going to tour your blog! And see what you are up to when I was away with some weird stuff from Singapore :). I read your email and am thrilled that you are happy with the package. Ok, Sunny Hours, here I come!

Daydreamer said...

Thank you Sans! for sharing your trip with us! The fireflies must have been truly a sight to remember. I will never forget one year at my old home when the meadow behind our house was just a sea of glowing fireflies - only for a brief spell and never again quite so many..... but a sight I will never forget!

And your trip to the sea! And the ..... well EVERYTHING sounds wonderful! I'm so glad you were able to have that trip with the Rollas .... and that you shared it with us! :)Sometimes the minis just have to wait!

Snowfern said...

prepare the tea, imma comin' over!!! (oh wait, what day is it today?)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY FAIZ! and welcome back Sans ^ ^

May said...

Que maravilla de viaje y cuanto me alegro que disfrutarais tanto.
Los paisajes son increibles, el árbol de las luciernagas es algo impresionante y como bien dices magico. Desde luego la naturaleza encierra unos misterios inexplicables. La sombrilla hace que ese rincon quede alegre y simpatico.
Las casa son todas preciosas.
Curiosa la foto de los agujeros que dejan los cangrejos en la arena.
Me alegro mucho que hayas disfrutado de unos dias de descanso.
gracias por compartirlo con todos nosotros.
Besitos, MAy

Sans! said...

Dear Eva :), I think you are the only one who knew I wanted to make a firefly park before this. It was about the tree :). I hope you take a looooooooooooooong time with this tree because I don't know when I will make the park! Haha.

You will ABSOLUTELY , POSITIVELY , MOST DEFINITELY love the tropical rainforest of Malaysia. I have never been to the Taman Negara National Park of Malaysia, said to be the oldest rainforest in the world.If you ever come here and want to do a trip there, I want to tag along!!!!! We mustn't wait too long, my friend :), before we are too old to walk the jungle. :). And maybe there will be a suitable tree there for inspiration :):).

Flora said...

I can not tell what sounds quaint this trip, seen through your eyes and your words ...
The fireflies are really vocative of a distant world and magic ...
I'll think about whenever I see one :-)

Katie said...

Thanks for sharing your trip with us! Love seeing what it looks like in different parts of the world!

Love the baskets on the bike...I've seen those in a magazine lately, and thought they'd be cute in mini! The firefly tree is dreamy:) The gingerbread house would be perfect in mini! All those details!! And what a posh mailbox!! Loved the tutor house! Walter is cracking me up with his 'nose plugs'....makes on wonder what in the world he was about to eat?! Glad you had fun! And thanks again for sharing this!!

rosanna said...

Dear friends, I looked at this post much later than you did but I laughed so much remembering the durian and I sighed a bit at the sights which we shall never forget.
W and I are very grateful to these gorgeous friends who have given us the great chance of a wonderful experience, it's not just a holiday but a real dive into another world for us. Everything is beautiful, different and yet so homey. The fod is delicious and now we can even use chopsticks properly and we are very proud of it ;o) When I'll be at home it will be my turn to post a few pics but they will not be as fun as these ones.
BTW the durian REALLY stinks !!! but the taste is not that bad. Hopefully I shall never, ever to try it again!
Big hugs from Singapore

Sans! said...

Mercedes, if you feel a funny tingling sensation on your ear, you know it's cos me and Rosanna were talking about you! :). Darling, are you SURE you like that umbrella ???? You are madder than I thought!!! hahaha

Sans! said...

Glenda, I knew the fireflies were going to be great but I still wasn't prepared for the magic. Apart from the friendships and laughter, this fireflies sighting was the highlight of this trip.

I am "mehing" right along with you, friend. I told Rosanna I had to be more polite here about the house (especially the yellow dollhouse) in case the owner should chance upon this post. Malaysia and Singapore's not that far apart:).

Shuck, 1.30am already! How time flies. I must go and sleep now . Chat tomorrow :).

Sans! said...

Hey Dale!! How was your own trip to the beach? In fact, are you home yet?

It seems like only yesterday when you were the guest of honour at our 1st monthly mini meet :). Time really flies and tomorrow will be our 3rd monthly meet with Rosanna as the guest of honour :).

I must admit that I was a little jealous when you 1st told me that you have fireflies in the backyard. I also thought at some point that maybe the trip to Kuala Selangor may be too hyped up since fireflies are not that uncommon. I am glad I was wrong :).

Rosanna told me just last night that she would never grow to like durians. haha She doesn't like stinky food in the 1st place, not even cheese :). Both of them are experts now though and can smell durians a mile away :).

Let me know what you will be doing tomorrow if you read this reply in time :).

Sans! said...

Darling Helene, I am tickled pink that you like the 1st house ? I have to ask again, are you sure? Because, my dear, it was unanimous here that none of us could live in it. It is like being in a cartoon! hehe. I keep wanting to say how I really feel about the house but worry that the owner will send an assassin to kill me for being rude about their darling home. I must say though that the attention to details show that the lady (I presume) of the house must really love it.

You crack me up when you said W looked like he was punched in the me , when we 1st opened the box , he really reeled over backwards at the pungent smell like he was punched! But I really love Rosanna's expression in the last picture. The both of them are real sports which endeared them to everyone. Even FaiZ's parents. I won't be surprised if they should pop over to Genoa to visit and then W promise to take revenge with smelly cheese. Uncle Wan HATES cheese with a vengence..haha!

O boy, I am itching real bad from the sun tan :):).

Sans! said...

Betsy, I remembered watching fireflies when I was very young. I am so glad that interest in the bugs is growing because the numbers are diminishing very quickly. Special conservation efforts must be made to ensure their survival and hopefully tourists money will help sustain them.

I am real glad that they can still be seen in places like Dale's home :).

I love this trip so much, I am already planning with my sisters to drive down there again, this time with the kiddies ). I am sure they will be thrilled with the fireflies.

Sans! said...

Cindy, no tea for you! But there will be a nice lunch and save your stomach for Genoese chocolates .

So much to show you guys tomorrow. My turn at show and tell, ok?

Sans! said...

May, so good to see you here again :). It was a wonderful trip. If you ask me just three years ago whether I will do this, the answer will be "absolutely not"! Meeting a blog friend and then going on holidays together is almost like fantasy!

And now to be able to share this fantasy with my other blog friends. This is too wonderful for words.

May,así que bueno verte aquí de nuevo:). Fue un viaje maravilloso. Si usted me pregunta hace apenas tres años si voy a hacer esto, la respuesta será "absolutamente no"! Reunión un amigo blog y luego ir de vacaciones juntos es casi como la fantasía!

Y ahora para poder compartir esa fantasía con mis amigos otro blog. Esto es demasiado maravilloso para las palabras.

christine said...

thank you so much for sharing with us... i'm glad you had a lovely time, and sure you got lots of inspiration. :-)

Snowfern said...

i'm so slow!!! i haven't finished packing up the stuff AHhhhhh!!!!

Tallulah Belle said...

OMG what a wonderful post...I feel like I was there...I can even spell the durians lol

I love every bit of it but that firefly park...what I'd give to see that in person..I cannot imagine how awesome that would be...amazing.

You have really given Rosanna and Walter a unforgettable vacation.

Clara said...

Maravilloso viaje. Gracias por compartir tus fotos. Besos Clara

Sans! said...

Flora,I can no longer eat any shell fish without thinking of you . :) Last night, we were Rosanna and Walter's guests and they bought us a fancy Chinese dinner at this restaurant called "No Signboard Seafood Restaurant" We had this shellfish called the bamboo clams and they have the most amazing shell that looks like a bamboo tree. I am going to try and send one to you. :) I will take a pic and show you in case it is stopped at the customs .haha!

The Visionary Butterfly said...

Great trip, ah fireflies and that Tudor dollhouse oops I mean birdhouse :D

dale said...

(((Sans!))) I'm home, been home for a week now and still trying to get back in order!

In some ways, it seems like just the other day I was in Singapore and other days, it seems like eons ago.

Sounds like you all had the most marvelous time, I'm so happy for all of you. :)

Don't be jealous of our lightening bugs (that's what we call them, or some call them June bugs as that's about when they are around.) Was there really as many as those in the picture? It is very cool to see them rise out of the grass as night time falls. This year, they were floating out of the huge Maple tree in our backyard. I don't think I've ever seen them come out of the trees before. They are quite magical. Kids get jars with holes poked in the lid and collect them. Did you know that the various species are noted by how quick their flicker is?

If you come here in June to visit, I'll share my fireflies with you. :)

Durians are evidently an acquired taste. ;) I knew I had smelled that smell before and I'm convinced that it was at the chinese food market. Did you know that smell is one of the longest retained memories? The Rollas will never forget that smell. Kinda like when we were in France with smelly cheese, you could tell when someone opened the fridge. ;)

I realised that when y'all meet, it's in the wee hours of the morning for me. :( It's that twelve hours ahead thing.

Missing you dear! Still catching up, ketchup will probably be on my tombstone. lol!

Sans! said...

Katie :) Glad you came over to do the tour with us like I did with yours.

Those baskets are bamboo steamer baskets used for dim sum. Re-ment has them in minis and I have seen very well made ones in Bangkok as well. You can see some examples here:

I love these baskets. My microwave oven is broken now and I really don't feel like buying new ones. I may just junk the oven and just buy steamer baskets to warm my food from now on :).

Sans! said...

Hello Christine, a big warm welcome to blogland and it is my deepest wish for you that you should find really wonderful friends here like I did :).

And having read your posts and reply comments, I am sure you will.:):):)

Sans! said...

Rosanna, good to hear that you are finally home safe, with no delays :).

I have so many things to remember from this trip :). It will start with the day I was late at the airport to pick you up :):) and maybe end with 2 big things you left me with (apart from all the wonderful presents of course).

One, the revival of my interest in stitching because of your encouragements . I will never forget that. Seriously, I was going to give up already. That night after you saw my earlier pieces, I sat in my room and spent almost 2 hours unpicking all the mistakes I made. It was very difficult because the stitches were so small. As you know, I haven't stopped stitching since :).

Two, your reassurance that my clumsy fingers can be trained. And how I should try not to gloss over the boring, tedious but necessary parts. I was beginning to wonder if maybe I am never to be good enough for fine details. At the end of the day, it all boiled down , as Cindy had pointed out, to PATIENCE. If not for how you had explained it in the car on the way to the airport, I would be still trying to figure out why in the world you all felt I wasn't patient enough .

I now know that it was because I was not patient enough to make sure all the steps are followed properly. If the foundation is weak, the end result is not ideal. Because I could not get it right, I became frustrated and dejected and started thinking I could not do it. It was such a vicious cycle !

So thank you, my friend :). I have learnt so much from you ! :)

Sans! said...

And the last comment I made was also meant for you , Cindy :).

Both Rosanna and I were sharing our views on how necessary it is to try and have mini meets with fellow enthusiasts /artisans/ collectors. We do a lot less in these meets but boy, do we learn a lot more. I feel sorry sometimes that you may be the one who learnt the least, Cindy :) since you are always the one to impart the knowledge :).

But we are lucky, aren't we that we often have special guests in our meetings. Friends who have travelled thousands of mile and could join us in these meets. I always come away from our monthly meet feeling like I know much more now.

Thank you!

Sans! said...

Jayne, when it is your turn, the trip will not be any less memorable especially if we plan to do India as well :).

I wonder who amongst you will be the 1st to love durians.

About the fireflies, if you pop by Philadelphia, maybe Dale will show you :). But it is a view to behold. All the trees lighting up .

Rosanna, if you are reading this, I found out in Cherating that if you use a torch to shine on them, the fireflies, will start to transmit the message to all the others and even more fireflies will light up with the ones already burning, burning even brighter!! :)

christine said...

thank you Sans, i enjoy your blog so much! its because of friendly, talented people like you and so many others that i have been inspired to share some of my interests. i'm loving it already!!!
ps. i think the sound of the waves is calming and the thunder was so intense... :-)

Sans! said...

Clara, gracias por tu visita a mi blog. Estoy tan feliz de ver a otro amigo español se ha unido a mi blog.I también se han unido el tuyo, yo espero verte a menudo real:).

Besos y abrazos

Sans! said...

Chadina :) good to see you here! :) Have you made your "dream man" yet? I mean, the "most perfect dream male doll" that you had a dream about :).

Sans! said...

((((Dale))))) So good to see you back and commenting like how you did (full of energy and cheer :)!)

You know, I think I only really caught up with the posts I missed when you were here, just the week before Rosanna came back to Singapore from Bali ..hahah! Now I am playing catchup again! hehe.

So many posts I have missed and a whole backlog of posts to make !


Now that I am back stitching again, it is even worse because it is so addictive!

Now I remembered you saying that in Summer, blogland is quiet but when you are playing catchup, sure seems like they are all here, posting ..LOL!

I must have missed at least 100+ posts :)

Sans! said...

Hehe Christine, I swear I took off the thunderstorm track. :) It does not belong here.

I will now if it is still here :).

Piikko said...

Sans! Thank you for sharing your exciting trip with us!
The fireflies are really magical and the *dollshouse' too.
You are so lucky to had holiday like this!
hugs, piikko

Sans! said...

Piiko, thank you for visiting! I see you have been showing some summer pictures as well. You too are having a spectacular time, I can see :).

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