Things To Do in Sungai Pelek & Tanjung Sepat, Selangor

Located far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the small town of Sungai Pelek, some 20 kilometres from the Sepang International Circuit, seems like an unlikely place for tourists. The town, which grew from a Chinese new village (the Chinese-majority settlements set up by the British during the Malayan Emergency, to combat the spread of communism), is often overlooked in favour of the more popular Tanjung Sepat and Bagan Lalang beach nearby – but it’s sleepy backwater vibe, with vintage shop houses and quaint kopitiams – has its own charm. Not to mention a few gems. Here are a few things you can do in the area:

Tuck Into Scrumptious Seafood

20180930_133809

For its size, Sungai Pelek boasts a good selection of seafood restaurants, thanks to its close proximity to the river and sea. It is also more reasonably priced compared to restaurants in Tanjung Sepat, which have jacked up prices because of tourists.

A good place for seafood in town is Cheng Kee Seafood : review here.

Visit A Dragonfruit Farm

20180930_142554

Sg Pelek is home to a number of dragonfruit farms. Not all are open to the public, but a short distance from town is Multi Rich Pitaya, which has a shop within the farm where you can purchase the fruits and their by-products.

20180930_143550

The shop is divided into an indoor / outdoor area. The setup is simple and laid back, and you might be greeted by the owners’ two pet chihuahuas as you walk in. The indoor part carries a selection of juices, distilled essences and enzymes – primarily from dragonfruit, but also other stuff like passion fruit, herbs + honey, and more.

We bought a bottle of dragonfruit enzyme to try. Because of the fermentation process, it has an alcoholic aftertaste  – kind of like wine, minus the bitterness. The owner recommends to drink a small cup each day, mixed with water, which is supposed to promote better health.

20180930_142950

Outside is where they sell the actual fruits, which come in varying sizes and ‘grades’. This section overlooks the vast dragonfruit farm.

20180930_142804

For those of you who have never seen a dragonfruit tree, here’s what they look like!

20180930_143035

Can’t remember the exact figures, but the fruits were pretty cheap.

Trivia: Did you know? If you drink a lot of dragonfruit juice, your pee becomes pink for a period of time! This is because of its rich content of betalains, a type of pigment that has antioxidant properties.

Buy Fresh Longan

20180930_150300

Also within town is Wan Tee Longan farm, which sells longan. Unfortunately during our visit it was not in season, and the owner doesn’t sell dried ones. Don’t let that deter you though – the shop has lots of other things for sale, such as fruits/vegetables, homemade pastes and cookies, and even some souvenirs.

20180930_145924

Gourd-shaped souvenirs + traditional Chinese remedies for cough

Visit A Mushroom Farm

20180930_153325

Drive 15 to 20 minutes away from Sungai Pelek, and you’ll come to Tanjung Sepat, a predominantly Chinese town famed for its fishing industry. There is a mushroom farm close to the coast, complete with mini museum where you can learn more about mushroom cultivation, as well as a spacious shop selling various fungi-related products.

20180930_153426

20180930_153710

Buy Birds Nest 

20200712_102540

In Chinese culture, birds nests created by swiftlets (using solidified saliva) are considered a delicacy, and they are eaten for their purported health and beauty benefits. You can buy quality bird’s nest at Kuan Wellness Eco Park, a swiftlet farm-cum-eco tourism attraction. While you can’t enter the buildings where the birds nest, there is a small but informative visitors centre which details how the birds nest industry works, harvesting techniques, types of birds nest, etc. Next to the visitor’s centre is a mini zoo which charges a RM5 entrance fee. It is quite sad though as the facilities aren’t well maintained and the animals are unkempt (during my visit, at least). There is also a collection of vintage automobiles at the park’s entrance. Read a more detailed review here. 

Take A Walk Down Lover’s Bridge

20180930_161210

One of Tanjung Sepat’s most popular attractions is the “Lover’s Bridge”, which stretches around 100 metres out to sea. Parts of the previous bridge were made from wooden planks and had a quaint, rustic charm to it, but it collapsed several years ago. The new one is made entirely from concrete.

Buy Local Produce

20180930_162735

Right in front of the bridge is the Qingren Qiao (Lover’s Bridge in Mandarin Chinese) Local Produce Store, which sells everything from local and imported snacks to dried seafood goods. A section of the store is plastered with photos of famous local/Hong Kong/Chinese celebrities (Simon Yam included) who have paid a visit. Apparently fish maw (above) is a best seller here.

Take A Trip Down Memory Lane

20180930_162141

Just next to the store is a street-cum-outdoor museum, filled with nostalgic paraphernalia. Expect to find everything from old scooters to traditional Chinese wine jars, a sedan chair, flour grinding tools, rubber tapping equipment, shoulder baskets, and more.

The parents, who grew up in small towns, were more than happy to explain most of the items to this city kid lol.

 

20180930_162345

A mural fashioned after the famous Penang original by Ernest Zacharevic.

20180930_162518

20180930_162515

Rubber tapping equipment, which the Dad was familiar with because my paternal grandparents used to work on a rubber estate. They’d leave early in the morning, while it was still dark – and it was dangerous because rubber estates were often close to jungles and there would be wild animals like boars, snakes and even tigers. It was a hard time and looking at these items, I feel thankful for their sacrifices to give the next generation a better life.

20180930_162539

Before plumbing, people used potties for their waste, and a waste collector would come by to pick up and dispose of your pee and poop.

Probably unimaginable to most of us urban folk today, but that was how people in my parents’ time lived, and the sad reality is that many poor people in other parts of the world today don’t enjoy the sanitation and hygiene we tend to take for granted.

Feast Your Way Through Lorong 4, Tanjung Sepat’s ‘Wai Sek Gai’ 

20200712_134704

Wai Sek Gai is a Cantonese term that translates to ‘glutton street’. Lorong 4, located within the Tanjung Sepat new village, certainly fits the bill, as the entire stretch (plus a few adjacent streets) features restaurants, eateries and food kiosks. You will find the Tanjung Sepat Pau (Hai Yew Heng) shop here, which is famous for its fluffy buns with various fillings. The mui choy bao (pork bun with preserved vegetables) is a bestseller and runs out fast. Also on this street is Kwo Zha B, which sells local coffee. A more detailed post on what to eat here

Getting To Sungai Pelek / Tanjung Sepat

Public transport is poor, and its remote location far from major cities means that taxis and Grab will be impossible to find. A useful guide on how to get there here. 

Alternatively, Waze to any of the above locations as they are available as destinations on the app.

Happy travels!

If you find this info useful, please support this website by buying me a cup of coffee! 

One-Time
Monthly
Yearly

Make a one-time donation

Make a monthly donation

Make a yearly donation

Choose an amount

$1.00
$5.00
$10.00
$1.00
$5.00
$10.00
$12.00
$60.00
$100.00

Or enter a custom amount

$

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

Your contribution is appreciated.

DonateDonate monthlyDonate yearly

2D1N Itinerary @ Genting Highlands, Malaysia

Hey guys! 

SO I took a 10-day break a couple of weeks ago to accompany the Boy who was visiting Malaysia – and one of the places we went to was Genting Highlands. For those who have never been here before, it’s basically a huge mountain resort with the only (legal) casino in the country. Works are ongoing for a new Fox Studios Theme Park, but the opening date keeps getting pushed back, and it doesn’t look like it will be up and running anytime soon.

Even so, there are lots of fun things to do in Genting, so here’s our 2D1N itinerary (for reference)!

Note: This is not a ‘budget’ itinerary; I actually blew quite a lot of money there lol. not from gambling but from FOOD LOL 

Getting There 

There are several ways to get up to Genting. Driving takes about an hour from KL, but there might not always be parking spots (especially during the holiday season or weekends) and the roads are fairly steep, so some cars might not have enough power to go up (cough mine cough)

You can also take a cab from KL, although this will set you back more than RM100. Something to consider if you are going with a group so you can split the cost.

The third option is to take a Resorts World Genting bus from KL Sentral, where they depart hourly. It’s super cheap and you can opt to purchase a package that includes the cable car (the bus does not go all the way up to the resort). You can catch the bus at the basement of KL Sentral – just follow the signs. The entrance is to the left of the escalator going up to Nu Sentral mall.

20180913_143755

Bus ride takes an hour and stops at the Awana Sentral Cable Car Station, which is also where you will find the Genting Highlands Premium Outlets. Not really a fan of shopping because I’d rather spend on food lol but if you like branded goods at discount prices, GHPO is a good place to shop for brands like Sacoor Brothers, Adidas, Furla, Calvin Klein, etc.

20180913_144442

The cable car ride takes another 15-20 minutes. The weather was super foggy during our visit; we could barely see the gondola in front!

Bus + Cable Car Ride: RM14 per pax

20180913_163539

The cable car takes you directly to Sky Avenue, one of the resort’s newer shopping malls. The older sections are being refurbished to make way for new outlets and attractions, so there isn’t too much to explore atm, but there’s a nice selection of retail outlets, mostly clothing and food. The SkyCasino is located on the ground floor. Wanted to go in but they didn’t allow backpacks and we were too lazy to go put it back at our hotel room so we skipped it lol.

20180913_162832

Decorations for the Mid-Autumn festival.

Speaking of hotel room, there are several hotels within the resort to choose from, each with different price points. The most luxurious one is Crocksford, which I recently had the pleasure of staying at for work (blog post up soon!), but without the media badge I’m sadly relegated to commoner status lol so I could only afford the budget First World Hotel.

Other options include Maxims (also pricey, 5 stars), Genting Grand Hotel (4 stars), Theme Park Hotel (suitable for sharing coz they have quad beds), Resort Hotel and First World Hotel (3 stars).

First World holds the Guinness Book Of Records for Largest Hotel in the World, with over 7,300 rooms! We had a standard room with a Queen Bed, costing RM100.

20180913_164640

Exploring more of SkyAvenue!

One thing I don’t like about the mall is that there. are. no. chairs. I think they want you to walk around and explore as much as possible but when I came with my mom, who is quite elderly now, we couldn’t find any place to rest at all… unless we bought a drink at a cafe. MAYBE THATS WHY LOL 

20180913_165035

More pretty Mid Autumn deco

20180913_173506

View of Genting Grand from the outside. The sun and blue sky came out for awhile

20180913_175227

The yet to be completed Fox Studios Theme Park. It still seems like there’s a long way to go.

20180913_182103

Dinner was at Burger & Lobster, the beloved London franchise that serves… well, burgers and lobsters. The outlet has been going strong since it opened in Malaysia two years ago, and even though it was a Thursday, the queue was pretty long – a good thing we got there early!

20180913_183329

Boy had the Original Lobster, steamed and served with their signature Lemon & Garlic Butter sauce.

Fun fact: Live lobsters are flown in from Nova Scotia in Canada and kept in RWG’s facilities to ensure freshness.

20180913_183314

I had Chilli Lobster – a special dish made exclusively for B&L Malaysia. It’s similar to Singapore’s famous chilli crab, but with lobster instead – and it’s served with thick and fluffy brioche slices. It was good, albeit a tad salty, but the brioche was excellent to sop up the gravy.

**For some reason, I was less impressed on this particular visit. The lobsters were good but they weren’t like WHOA, as compared to when I ate here when they first opened. Anyway the only reason we went for lobster was because the Boy hadn’t tried it before and I really wanted to get his opinion on it so now that we’ve had it, this’ll be a one off thing. UNLESS OF COURSE THERE ARE MORE MEDIA REVIEWS HEHEHE 

RM153 + RM173 + taxes = RM350++ and a bleeding wallet

20180914_111142

Breakfast: It was cold in the morning and I wanted siew loong bao lol. If you have never had these dainty soup-filled dumplings you are missing out on life. I was happy that they had opened a Paradise Dynasty in Genting – it’s one of my favourite places to get good siew loong bao. Boy had the colourful 8-flavour basket which includes flavours like Szechuan, Garlic, Truffle, Crab Roe, Original and Cheese.

20180914_112617

My favourite is the cheese so I ordered a basket all for myself hahaha. I could probably eat 20+ of these but wallet lol.

TOTAL  RM100 (probably the most expensive I’ve ever had for a breakfast).

20180914_120347

After checking out, we took the cable car down, stopping mid-way at the Chin Swee Cave Temple Station. You can stop here to explore the temple at no extra cost. It was raining a little and extra foggy – this scene looks like it could have been out of a Silent Hill film!

20180914_122546

The temple sits on forested land donated by the founder of Resorts World Genting, Lim Goh Tong, and was officially opened in 1994. Combining Chinese Buddhist and Taoist beliefs, the temple is dedicated to Qingshui (Chin Swee in Hokkien), a deity in China’s Fujian province, Lim’s hometown.

Despite being 24 years old, the buildings, statues and shrines are kept in pristine condition – almost as if it was opened just yesterday. Personally, Chin Swee Temple is one of my favourite temples out of the many I have visited, simply because of its scenic location which overlooks the valley below. On cloudy days (like this one!) it really seems as if the entire temple is floating above the clouds.

20180914_122922

Statue of Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong.

20180914_123048

The central courtyard which features a traditional wooden building that houses several deities, and a large statue of Gwan Yin, the goddess of mercy.

20180914_124311

20180914_123208

Another prominent statue at the temple is that of Buddha, which towers at least three storeys-high. Look at how misty it is! Gave the place a mysterious, ethereal feel.

20180914_123442

The valley all but disappeared. Shrouded in mist, the dragon statues looked like they’d come alive at any second.

20180914_132559

20180914_130045

View of the mountains from the temple’s balcony. It looked exactly like an ancient Chinese painting! Why travel to China when you can get breathtaking views like this here ?

20180914_131056

20180914_131349

The temple has a section called Journey To Enlightenment, which details one’s ordeal after death, and subsequent rebirth. Pretty scary stuff, as the statues show in graphic detail what evil-doers will have to suffer through when in hell.

20180914_131851

Ye probably not something you want the kids to see lol

20180914_131944

20180914_132645

The bus and cable car ride back costs about RM14.

So there you have it! Our 2D1N itinerary to Genting. Course, you can save more if you don’t eat as pricey as us bahaha.

Happy travels!

Perlis Travels: Al Hussain Mosque + Hai Thien Seafood, Kuala Perlis

It ‘s easy to see why Masjid Al Hussain in Kuala Perlis is often called the most beautiful mosque in Malaysia. Like the state of Perlis itself, the mosque may be small in size but is stunning in its beauty and unique architecture.

20180530_190035

The mosque combines traditional Islamic design such as geometric patterns and floral motifs with modern touches. Perched on stilts looking out to sea, it is also called the ‘Floating Mosque’ because during high tide, it looks as it the building is floating on the water’s surface. Unfortunately during our visit, it was low tide – but the sight of it in the sunset was already lovely enough as it is.

20180530_190215

What I found special about the mosque was its colourful stained glass windows, which I’ve only seen in churches before but not a mosque. Instead of painted walls, the walls are embedded with corals, granite, marble, pebbles and quartz. The minarets are lit up at night with different colours to signal a different prayer time and can be seen from miles around.

20180530_190627

After donning robes, we ventured inside. There was a beautiful blue, white and gold dome surrounded by a star pattern; each corner engraved with the five precepts of Islam in different languages. The carpeted floor had a similar colour scheme of blue and gold.

20180530_190724

Stained glass windows with geometric patterns.

20180530_191636

View from the other side of the mosque.

20180530_192446

After our short visit, we made our way to Hai Thien Seafood just down the road. This is one of the most popular spots in Perlis to have fresh, tasty Chinese-style seafood. Since the establishment is halal, you’ll find people of all races dining here! 🙂

20180530_192556

Our hosts did all the ordering. My favourite was the soft shell crab – lightly battered, crispy on the outside, sweet and flavourful on the inside.

20180530_193201

Other dishes that we had: fried rice with chicken, steamed fish, salad shrimp and stir fried mihun (vermicilli noodle). Loved the salad shrimp which was served with fruit and a sweet creamy sauce, only qualm was that there wasn’t enough to go around.

HAI THIEN SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

02000 Kuala Perlis, Perlis

The jetty at Kuala Perlis is a good place to enjoy the sunset, take in some beautiful sights and wrap the night up with a scrumptious seafood meal. Definitely a must visit if you’re in Perlis! 🙂

 

7 Things To Do In Perlis, Malaysia’s Smallest State

When you think of tourist spots in Malaysia, most people would think of places like Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, but never Perlis. Which is a pity, as Malaysia’s smallest state is big on things to explore. As Malaysia’s tiniest state, it often gets the butt end of jokes about how Perlis is so small, (insert joke about small things)

via MGAG 

via Wikimedia Commons

Located on the far northern reaches of Peninsular Malaysia bordering Thailand, Perlis covers 810 square kilometres and has a population of about 190,000 people aka lesser than the population of my city, which is 51.71 kmsq – 400,000 people. But that also means they have a lot more space.

Once under the kingdom of Siam (you can still see a lot of Thai influences in everything, like food, language, etc.), they were ceded to Kedah in the mid-19th century, but have a ruler of their own, known as the House of Jamalullail. The special thing about Perlis is that while other states have a Sultan, Perlis is the only one that calls its ruler Raja (king).

Now, if it hadn’t been for a work trip, I think I wouldn’t have gone to Perlis anytime soon. I went with the impression that Perlis was going to be this boring little place with nothing but paddy fields…but guess what? I thoroughly enjoyed it there. It was a good escape from the city, and I can see coming back here just to chill and enjoy the sights.

Here’s what you can do:

1 ) Visit the Galeri Diraja @ Arau 

20180530_163711

(Above) Istana Arau

15 minutes away from Kangar is the royal city of Perlis, Arau – home to Istana Arau. The palace dates back over 100 years and is a beautiful showcase of the region’s Malay architecture. The building is off limits, but visitors can stop by at the adjacent Galeri Diraja, a museum which houses precious collections belonging to the Perlis royal family.

On special occasions, such as Hari Raya or 2017’s Malam Kilauan Cahaya (Light Illumination Night), the palace grounds are opened to the public.

2) Admire the view from Tuanku Syed Putra Bridge

20180530_184501

Located at the mouth of the Kuala Perlis river, evening is the best time to come, as you’ll be able to see stunning views of the sunset, fishing boats returning for the night, and the distant shapes of Langkawi and Thailand looming against a pink/blue tapestry.

Best way to get here is to Google this location: Pasaraya Seri Utama Kuala Perlis , then ask the locals.

3) Take a stroll by the beach / snap pictures of the ‘most beautiful mosque in Malaysia’

20180530_190215

Take a stroll and enjoy the sea breeze along Kuala Perlis Jetty, which has a nice paved boulevard. You will also find what many people dub the ‘most beautiful mosque in Malaysia’ – Masjid Al-Hussain. It’s not very large, but the design is definitely unique, as it features stained glass windows like those you find in churches. The mosque looks like it’s ‘floating’ on water during high tide, but even during low tide, it is a lovely sight.

4) Tuck into scrumptious seafood

20180530_193201

Not too far from the mosque are numerous seafood restaurants, located within a large foodcourt. Vendors put out displays of fresh fish and seafood to entice customers, and you can have it in different styles – tepung goreng, steamed, assam pedas –  you name it, they have it! A very famous place here is Hai Thien, a Chinese-style restaurant that is so popular even the royals come here to dine! The spot is halal, so you will see people of all races dining together.

5) Hangout at a chic cafe-cum-art gallery

20180530_202927

Part cafe, part cosy mishmash of knickknacks and art gallery, Blackwood Coffee and Chocolate Kangar is owned by the Perlis royal family and has several outlets in Perlis, Kedah and one in Penang. The Kangar branch is an Instagrammers dream, with loads of paraphernalia from around the world the likes of dreamcatchers and a giant kangaroo doll. There is a small shop selling souvenirs and T-Shirts, and a large collection of Coca-Cola items (the Crown Prince is apparently a big fan of Coke souvenirs).

6) Shop like crazy at Padang Besar

20180531_155731

Padang Besar is a border town that is very close to Thailand. There’s a running joke about how they had to name it Padang Besar (large field) because Perlis is so small lol. This is a shopping haven for cheap items. There’s a large complex with many vendors selling makeup, beauty products, clothing, toys, cookware, bags, shoes, fake jewellery, and more.

7) Buy produce

20180531_145530

Because of the relatively smaller population, Perlis has plenty of land for agriculture. Like Kedah, it is a rice producer, and it’s common to see vast swathes of paddy fields. Other popular produce include the mempelam harum manis and rock melon. Pay a visit to the farms to buy them fresh. The harum manis is really, really sweet and fragrant, I kid you not. Better than the Philippine mango. My Filipino boyfriend will kill me for saying this.

BONUS

There are actually other things you can do in Perlis; but these were just the ones I went to because we were only there for 2D1N (and most of it was spent working).

  • Bukit Keteri – limestone hills with lots of crags and nooks for rock climbing. Only for the adventurous!
  • Gua Kelam – literally ‘dark cave’, once home to stone age men, according to archaeological finds.
  • Muzium Kota Kayang – museum with interesting exhibits of the state’s history
  • Snake and Reptile Farm – One of only a handful of snake farms in Malaysia, home to some 200 snakes from 30+ species.
  • Wang Kelian Market – A border town with weekend market selling cheap goods. On Sundays, the border guards open the Thai side so you can go over to buy stuff without having to present your passport.
  • Tasik Melati Recreational Park – Park with a small but beautiful lake.

Detailed posts of places visited coming soon!

***Eris Achievement Unlocked – 12/13 states in Malaysia visited ! 

Weekend Wanders: Revisiting SkyAvenue @ Genting Highlands

Even though Genting Highlands is a short one hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, part of the reason why I don’t go up often is because the roads are windy and I get terrible headaches, especially with my dad driving LOL. But it sure doesn’t stop the millions of visitors who throng the mountain top entertainment hub each year to enjoy the cooling weather.

While the name Genting used to be associated with casinos and gambling, they’ve done a pretty good job at branding themselves in recent years as a more family-centric destination, with shopping, exclusive F&B brands and the upcoming FOX theme park (scheduled to open in 2018).

20180107_141448

It’s already been a year since I last visited Sky Avenue, GH’s lifestyle mall, when I went up for a media review of their restaurants, Burger & Lobster, Motorino and Cafes Richard. It was pretty empty back then; the concourse area wasn’t even open.

Since then, the mall has welcomed a over 70+ tenants, from F&B outlets to clothing and luxury goods, as well as entertainment outlets, gaming centres, members club, casino, and more.

20180107_135706

20180107_152603

The concourse area is where the mall stages an impressive light show every hour, featuring balls of light that bob up and down in rhythmic patterns, accompanied by music. It’s called the Sky Symphony. Video below:

Bubble lights

A post shared by erisgoesto (@erisgoesto) on

20180107_150138

20180107_140906

Wandered around the mall and came across a family entertainment centre. There was a playground for the kids complete with animatronic dinos, train rides, vending machines, and a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum.

20180107_140912

20180107_141020

The parents can probably enjoy a nice relaxing massage / fish spa while the kids have fun.

20180107_142607

Then Pops and the Bro went to play slot machines, while the Moomikins and I went shopping at Padini. My worries about the place having higher prices was unfounded; prices are standard, and they have a nice selection of clothes too.

20180107_144657

Cute outfit. Too bad I’m broke af atm.

Tbh, there wasn’t much to do apart from shopping since I don’t gamble and the theme park isn’t open yet. It didn’t feel much different from a mall down in KL, since you only get to feel the fog and cold weather when you step outside. We thought lunch at the food court-esque Malaysian Food Street would be cheaper, but the Roti Canai costs RM14!?????? Probably targeted at the foreign tourists, but come on… seven times the price is too much. I’d rather pay that amount for a meal at a nice Japanese restaurant.

There also seems to be a lack of seats. They probably want you to walk around or pop into a cafe so that you’ll spend more money.. Moomikins and I ended up sitting on the floor (we weren’t the only ones) while waiting for my dad and bro to finish their casino session. (they won seven bucks. still not enough to buy that roti canai).

Welp. Just a quick update on a weekend trip up to Genting! I’m actually looking forward to the theme park opening. Til then.

 

 

 

 

Travel Blog: Attractions in Jenjarom, Selangor – Fo Guang Shan Dong Zhen Temple, Jenjarom

Hey guys! Sorry I haven’t been updating much – been trying to finish up work before I go off for the long weekend. 🙂

Speaking of weekends, what do you usually do? Most days I just want to lie in and sleep/read a book at a cafe, but the parents are always raring to go on day trips so occasionally,  I join them for sightseeing (and for blog material lol).

Last Sunday was one of those days. Our destination: Jenjarom, a small town located in the Kuala Langat district, on the fringes of Selangor. From where I live, it takes just 40 minutes by highway.

Sorry didn’t manage to take pic of the town gateway 😦 but here’s one from (Image credit): Buddha’s Light International Association @myblia.wordpress.com

Jenjarom started as a Chinese New Village (the British wanted to prevent the Malayan-Chinese populace from helping the communists, so they lumped everyone into these settlements and imposed curfews to monitor their movements)  in the 1950s,  so it’s not surprising that the town has a large Chinese-Buddhist population. In recent years, the place has become known for its tourism, mostly to the Fo Guang Shan Dong Zhen Buddhist Temple. Built in 1994 and spread over 16 acres of land, the Taiwan-style temple has several prayer halls and nicely landscaped gardens. It is especially popular during festival days, such as Wesak and Chinese New Year.

Ahem. So here’s a video that I put together for your viewing pleasure ! It was a good chance for me to test out my new phone (a Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro, also recorded the voiceover on it). 

I’m aware that it isn’t professional, but I tried my best (my best being four hours T-T) . Would be great if anyone has tips on what I could improve on + software to use for easy editing (currently using Adobe Premiere Pro CC). 

Entrance to the temple. There is a helpful map on the right, displaying the different sections within the temple grounds.

Well maintained front garden, featuring stone statues of Arahats and their respective descriptions.

On the right from the entrance is Lumbini Garden, a tranquil green space with more statues and decorations, flowers, small streams and ponds full of fish.

The centrepiece of the area are two Buddha statues – one of Buddha sitting cross legged on a lotus under a shady Bodhi tree, the other with his warms spread open in a welcoming gesture.

It was under a Bodhi tree that the Buddha achieved enlightenment. The tree has beautiful heart-shaped leaves.

  

Gazebos sat next to small ponds stocked full of fish, while weeping willows bowed their branches over the water and swayed gently in the wind. A picturesque mix of Buddhist Zen and Chinese architecture and landscaping.

A bit of history: Fo Guang Shan is a large Buddhist monastic order and new movement based in Taiwan; one of the country’s four major Buddhist institutions. Founded in 1967 by Hsing Yun, it promotes Humanistic Buddhism and a modern approach to religion. The branch in Jenjarom, for example, has many youth-centric activities such as Sunday dharma classes and charity events in order to attract more young devotees. In Taiwan, they have over 300 branches all over the country, as well as centres around the world.

The garden not only has religious fixtures but also cultural stuff like this kampung style hut.

Next to the main prayer hall is a three storey building which houses the Buddhist Cultural Centre and art gallery. During our visit, there was an art and photography exhibition.

We paid respects to 9 pieces of Buddha’s relics on the top floor (no photos allowed), before moving back down to the second floor, which had a huge classroom like setting. All the windows were open and it was bright and airy, with neatly arranged wooden tables and stools facing a Buddha statuette. Visitors can stop by for sutra writing, which helps to calm the mind whilst spreading the teachings of Buddha.

The pops in action

My piece of sutra, which essentially tells me to be humble. Sorry for the bad calligraphy, family of bananas.

Moo was on about it being so relevant to me because I have a problem with taking a step back/saying sorry when I think I am in the right. Heh. Gotta work on that I guess.

Spacious and opulent main prayer hall.

The sides of the hall were decorated with scenes of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death, expertly done by hammering and shaping sheets of metal. (Above) Buddha and his disciples in the forest, surrounded by various animals.

Buddha achieving enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.

A brief stop to the souvenir shop which sells prayer beads, sutras, dharma books, deity statues and other items.

GETTING TO FO GUANG SHAN TEMPLE JENJAROM

Address: PT 2297, Jalan Sungai Buaya, Kampung Jenjarom, 42600 Kuala Langat, Selangor, Malaysia

For those driving, it’s pretty easy to get there as the location is on Waze. Just head straight from the arch at the town entrance and you will see the temple on your right.

Opening hours: 10AM – 6PM

Phone: +60 3-3191 1533 

Admission: Free

 

 

 

Travelogue: Owl Museum, Penang Hill

While up at Penang Hill, we came across this attraction called the ‘Owl Museum’. Feeling really excited because I loved owls, E and I bought tickets (RM10 each) to enter… only to discover that the title was misleading and that they didn’t have real owls D:

It’s basically a collection of artwork, figurines and other art items featuring owls. To their credit, they try to make it interactive by handing visitors a ‘quiz form’, whereby you have to locate certain owls in the museum and answer questions. Some of the visitors were so gung-ho, going back and forth so that they could redeem a prize (you get one if you get all correct).

Penang 2014

Altho there are no real owls, the place does have lots of educational info on them. Like how owls can rotate their heads 270 degrees.

Penang 2014

Oh hai Hedwig

Penang 2014

Staring into your soul

Penang 2014

I tilted my head to look at these

Penang 2014

Penang 2014

Penang 2014

Penang 2014

Overall, it was an interesting place, but the exhibition space is quite small and the corridors were narrow. At some points, we had to walk in single file and could only pass by when people had moved on from the hallway: which means that if it were crowded, it would be very uncomfortable. Although there were no owls (I guess it’s kind of cruel to keep real owls in a museum), the items on display were cute and I wanted to take many home with me :3 Is RM10 worth it? If you’re already up in Penang Hill, I think you should give it a visit.

 

Til next post!