I traveled¬†up north early this year a day after coming back to Kuala Lumpur… it is still on the long holidays. I tried to get out early in the morning to avoid¬†an unpredictable traffic¬†on the way back home later in the afternoon. The destination is Bandar Seri Iskandar in ‘Silver’.
To get there, I have been advised to use Gopeng exit, take a right turn, drives straight through Gopeng town, then¬†follow the signboard all the way to Seri Iskandar. But,¬†I found out later in the afternoon that driving through Ipoh City is a better choice.
I manage to capture¬†this Mount Kinabalu resemblance… if you happened to be in Kundasang or driving from Kota Kinabalu¬†to Ranau… and still remember¬†one of the breathtaking background of a scene in Azura (Ogy and Jamal acted in this movie -¬†incomplete film¬†but still manage¬†to achieve a box office status)… you might said so.
Driving through Gopeng, Batu Gajah and finally arrived¬†at the new town remind me of the Treasure Hunt once I joined and won. The scenic views, clues¬†and tricky questions is just part of the game. You have to try it at least once to experience its great moments.
This castle taught me the meaning¬†of ‘obnoxious’… Dictionary is Hunters best friend during the game.¬†Treasure Hunt is not a race, it is more like¬†sightseeing,¬†but the car sometimes reach 130 to 140 km per hour.
Here it is… the town that is still under development… with its two universities, UiTM and UTP.
¬†Bandar Seri Iskandar
At least there is something to be proud of by local folks.
My experience when traveling abroad other than by air includes a journey by train. The most anticipated one is the chance for the first time boarding the Shinkansen - Japanese word for bullet train. One thing for sure is that Japanese is good at promoting their culture and value, traditional or modern, while we were there. In one of the journey, I got the opportunity to travel by JAL, ANA, monorail, subway, tour bus, walking through an underground tunnel and finally shinkansen - visiting ‘window’ shopping area, ‘climbing’ the Tokyo Tower (replica of Eiffel Tower, same height), tea ceremony etc.
The Shinkansen routed us from Tokyo to Osaka for approximately 4 hours. We also visited the old city of Kyoto and were introduced to Bonzai, old emperor’s castle, shrines, Shinto and even a colourful Japanese carp. Due to the weather conditions, we haven’t had a¬†chance to have a closer look at Fuji Yama - Yama, another Japanese word for Mount.
I did taking a Nihon-go (japanese language) lesson twice… On both occasion, learning the very basic of the language - just enough for the survival in Japan (The use of a local language is one of the basic requirement to become a develop country. Otherwise, we will be just another USA, Australia, New Zealand or even Singapore and maybe, bilingual Canada)…
Looking back at my (not so) vast experiences in traveling oversea by train, I did have a taste of Singapore MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) similar to Star LRT, an Express train from Frankfurt to Stuttgart in Germany (learned that Munchen is actually Munich, achtung is dangerous, kaput is broken), a double-decker train in Eislinger, mountainous view from Stutgart to Zurich, The Zurich Tram before finally got to see the reality of Dato’ Lat joke in the 80s on KL going to have some kind of monorail in the future. So, Dato, the future is now - KL do have a Monorail, Star LRT, Putra LRT, KTM Komuter, KLIA Express and an underground tunnel and stations.
Below are some facts on Japanese Bullet Train that was freely extracted from Internet:
“…The Japanese bullet train system is credited with being the world’s first purpose-built high-speed railway, and the model and inspiration for all other similar type systems running today. The reputation it has earned for safety, speed and punctuality is unsurpassed.
Safety - There has never been a death on the bullet train system since it’s inception in 1964, other than that caused by deliberate passenger misadventure.
Speed - Holds the current world records for the fastest average speed between two station stops - 261.8 km/h between Hiroshima and Kokura (192.0 km in 44 min), and the fastest average speed between starting and terminating stations - 242.5 km/h between Shin-Osaka and Hakata (553.7 km in 2 hrs 17 min). These records are from the 500 series “Nozomi” trains running at a maximum speed of 300km/h between Shin-Osaka and Hakata, which commenced in March 1997. A magnetic levitation test vehicle has also clocked the fastest manned run at 531 km/h.
Punctuality - Most trains arrive at their destination (after several hours) to within the second! In one year, the total time that ALL bullets trains were late by was 12 seconds!”
Notes: Except for Australia, I have been in all of the countries mentioned. Next trip will hopefully be China, Turkey, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Australia or South Africa. Got any sponsor out there?
For the last one week it is like a magic of Harry Porter, so fast…¬†At a blink of an eye, now i am on another weekend…
For the first 2 days,¬†i travelled¬†to the north, to one of the state capital… followed by another 3 days in another state capital in Borneo Island (East Malaysia)…
In the North, i stayed at the supposedly top hotel for the first time¬†(even though, it is very¬†clear to me the lack of number of ’star’ given to the hotel), but face with the worst hotel living¬†experience of my life… with no in house phone and no iron and unfulfilled services and promisses by the hotel waitress… Can memorised your room number but never delivered… Imagine¬†contacting the hotel¬†front desk by the general line using your mobile phone… Maybe that is why they know my room number during checkout!
In East Malaysia, where some people still call us ‘Orang Malaya’, i stayed at one of the internationally renowned hotel, also for the first time, where the first choice hotel normally is one on the ‘riverside’…
Considering the facts that i have been here for so many times, spending the time resting while¬†watching tv¬†in the hotel room is the best option within the tight schedule…
Having seafood for the dinner and some other local dishes is really killing my diet… We did having some ‘midin’ and ‘umai’ (forgot another locally available seafood)..¬†
Considering that umai is a traditional working lunch for the Melanau fishermen, the notion isn’t that far fetched. It is made mainly of thin slivers of raw fish, thinly sliced onions, chilli, salt and the juice of sour fruits like lime or assam. It is usually accompanied by a bowl of toasted sago pearls instead of rice. Its simplicity makes it a cinch for fishermen to prepare it aboard their boats. Even local landlubbers, hankering for a taste of it, head for this cafe. Umai is uniquely associated with the Melanau people, for whom Mukah is the heart of their traditional lands.
Above description is an extract from another article found in the local website…
On the way back, due to a frequently delayed and retimed¬†local airlines, we have to change flight… Luckily there is enough seat on a Sydney-KL bound transit Airbus to accomodate our retimed B737… Not a bad flight delayed experience after all… Dont forget about the 5 millions discounted MAS offering tickets…
Now i left with Twin Otter and 1st Class¬†after experiencing B747, B777, Airbus, B737 and Fokker, economy and business class… Have ‘flight’ will travel…
Next: Have ‘train’ will travel… Shinkansen