The 5-course specialty dinner was complimented by prestigious award-winning Australian wines from Kooyong Estate and Braided River.
The Festival is organized by event management company Tango Team with sponsorship from Digi and has the full support from Perak Tourism. The Countdown starts on the evening of December 31 and promises a host of fun performances for the whole family.
State Exco for Tourism Dato’ Hamidah Osman commended the Management of Lost World of Tambun for promoting the VPY 2012 event and called upon more corporations “to emulate the effort of Lost World of Tambun by coming forward to participate and promote VPY 2012.”
Lost World of Tambun Senior Operations Manager Mr Ramiah Singaram lamented that in other states when he enquired from acquaintances if they had been to the Lost World Tambun they answered positively, but this was not so in Perak where the common answer was “not yet”.
Ramiah added that the resort was targeting for 10,000 visitors on that night and to promote the event it would be “handing out 2,000 free tickets for Year 5 students from five schools around Ipoh.” The performances on that night will see appearances by Hong Kong Artiste, Ms Chu Mi Mi of Rejoicing & Jolly Talk Show, Singer Mr Mohan and Irene Hong, champion of Astro Classic song Contest 2008. Additional activities will feature a 124 Chinese Drum Performance, a Luminous Dragon Dance in the Mid of Smoggy Pool, clowns and many more. Also, the Resorts’ popular attractions will be open to the public such as wave pool, hot springs and game stalls.
For more information on the event, contact Tango Team at 05-5467722, Sunway Lost World of Tambun Ipoh at 05-542 8888 or Taiping Sentral Mall Management at 05-8099333 or 012-588 0405.
A hundred couples, from in and around Ipoh, tied the knot on this auspicious day – 11/11/11 (November 11, 2011). They picked the date for a reason – good luck. “It’s indeed a momentous occasion for these newly weds, as the date holds a special meaning for them all,” said Dato’ Ooi Foh Sing, President of the Chinwoo Sports Association, to Ipoh Echo.
Due to the size of the crowd the ceremony was held over two sessions, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon at the Chinwoo Hall, Ipoh. Forty-three couples were registered in the morning session while the remaining, in the afternoon session. The newly-weds paraded on stage in their wedding attire for a photo shoot and to interact with one another.
The competition was launched recently and attended by Senior Exco for Tourism Dato’ Hamidah Osman and officials from Perak Tourism and FIP Society.
The competition is open to all photographers and focuses on the 10 icons of Perak.
In her message Dato’ Hamidah hoped that a lot of keen photographers would participate in order to enable a “photo bank of quality photographs which will be used to promote the beautiful attractions in the state which can also include heritage and culture”. The photographs submitted will subsequently be used for billboards and brochures to promote tourism in the state.
A grand prize of RM10,000 awaits the winner of the competition while the first prize winner will take away RM5,000, runner up RM3,000 and third prize RM2,000. There will also be 10 merit prizes with a value of RM500 each.
The closing date of the competition is December 17 and the presentation of prizes is scheduled for New Year’s Day which is also the launch of Visit Perak Year.
Entry forms for the competition can be downloaded from FIP Society’s website at www.fip.org.my.
The one lament I have as I find myself adding yet another year to my age, is a constant reminder of the admonition from my beloved grandmother of “wide eyes, narrow stomach”. This is happening with increasing frequency, especially as many friends keep inviting me to try this and try that. I wish I had the appetite of yore, when eating at three different stalls or ordering from five in one go was never an issue and there were always ravenous mouths around on youthful friends.
Now, when I mention grazing to my foodie friends, they will groan and tell me to take it one eatery at a time. And so it is that while the title of this column is on grazing in Bercham I have to confess that I went there on a few separate occasions to sample the various items which I am recommending here today.
As readers will be familiar, I have reviewed quite a few places in Bercham, but they are mainly what I would refer to as ‘big meal’ locations. Today I am going to cover more snack food, a bowl of noodles here, a congee there and a plate of soya chicken over yonder.
Foo Kwai Curry Mee
To begin my grazing spree I was invited by Dr Anoop Kumar, one of my foodie friends, to sample the Curry Mee next to his clinic in Bercham. Rushing there at 10.30 a.m., I found the place packed to the gills and my group were seated on the pavement.
Restoran Foo Kwai is a corner coffee shop on Taman Bercham Jaya. Turn right on the third traffic light where Glamour Square is and immediately left onto Taman Bercham Jaya which runs parallel to the main road of Bercham.
Here the curry mee comes in a choice of wet or dry noodles and a plate of chicken curry can be ordered separately. The curry soup for the wet noodles was nicely ‘lemak’ (coconut-ty) without being cloying and there was a generous helping of bean sprouts and char siew (roast pork) that came with it. Similarly for the dry noodles which came with a soya based sauce but one can add either just the plain curry sauce or share an order of their chicken curry.
The chicken curry served here reminds me of the Hainanese curry that I used to eat in my youth; mild, the gravy thick with well-blended spices, the chicken tender and cooked with potatoes. This is a different curry from the one that is served as the curry noodle soup. The addition of this curry to the dry noodles makes for a lovely combination. The addition of their Yeong Liu makes for an even more interesting feast, especially if one is having the wet noodles. The dunking in of the various morsels and allowing them to soak up the curry soup is a taste sensation not to be missed.
Noteworthy here is the fact that all their ingredients are homemade, from the ‘Yeong Liu’ to their char siew, the latter being moist and luscious. While there, check out the velvety Soya Sauce Chicken from another stall operating from the same coffee shop. Curry noodles wet – RM3.70; Dry – RM3.30; plate of chicken curry – RM4-5.00; Yeong Liu – 70 cents each.
There is nothing more comforting than a bowl of hot Congee early in the morning or late at night for that matter and it was with that in mind that I went in search with my foodie friend Ginla Foo. Imagine our disappointment when we arrived around 10.00 p.m. to find the Fee Kee Porridge in Bercham closed.
Not to be deterred, I went back again the next day at lunchtime, having this hankering for a rare treat: the pig’s offal porridge. Its hard to locate a stall that sells this, let alone a good one and so armed with tiffin carriers, I descended on this outlet and brought home a variety of congees to taste.
I was not disappointed. The congee was the Cantonese style, smooth, not too viscous (although I would have preferred it more liquid) and very tasty. My suspicion of MSG was somewhat alleviated a few hours later with a verdict of ‘not too much’; bearable under the circumstances. There is a choice of chicken – RM3.30; pork offal – RM3.30; fish – RM4.00; pork and century eggs – RM4.50; and a YiMeen (fried egg noodles) mixed with your choice of ingredients – RM5.50. I also ordered an extra helping of the fried pig’s intestines which came mixed with fried Chinese crullers.
Fee Kee Porridge is easy to find, located on Bercham’s main road on the left just after the famous claypot rice shop, which is only open at night.
Foo Kwai Curry Noodles
243 Jalan Bercham, Desa Kenchana
Finishes just after lunch. Closed Tuesdays.
Fee Kee Porridge
552A (Lorong Bercham 5), Jalan Bercham
1.00 p.m.-8.00 p.m.
The launch of the Perak Tourism Newsletter by Dato’ Hamidah Osman on July 26 at Heritage Hotel, Ipoh is most timely in view of Visit Perak Year (VPY) 2012. Hamidah’s message in the inaugural issue of the newsletter reinforces the state government’s commitment in making the event a reality despite the predictions of the many “doomsayers”.
Tourism is a major money spinner and this is a fact. For the tourism industry to flourish, the assistance of ordinary Perakeans and non-governmental organisations must be sought and galvanised. Organisations such as Rotary International, Lions Club International, Kiwanis International, Y’s Men’s Club and other leading NGOs, whose membership runs into the millions worldwide, is the icing on the cake. Circulars can be sent to all these organisations inviting them to come to Perak next year.
Y’s Men’s Club of Ipoh has taken the initiative to do the needful by writing to our headquarters in Geneva alerting them of VPY 2012. A couple, who are members of the Bjert chapter in Denmark, Beat Junker Hansen and Ruth Elizabeth paid a visit to the Silver state in early November. They were taken to all the published touristic landmarks in the state. The sights that impressed them most were the many heritage buildings in Kuala Kangsar. This was made possible by the availability of Perak Tourism Newsletter Volume 4 which highlighted the royal town of Kuala Kangsar.
My take on VPY 2012: let’s join hands and make it a roaring success.
“It’s an accepted fact that spousal abuse is on the rise today,” Dr Sharifah Halimah told reporters after speaking at a forum on domestic violence and child abuse in Jelapang recently. The one-day forum was organised by the Perak State Health Department and assisted by government agencies and non-governmental organisations.
The President of the Perak Women for Women Society alluded to statistics to substantiate her claim. “Over 70 per cent of working women are being abused, mentally and physically, daily,” she lamented. The reality on the ground is most disturbing as such abuses are not confined to women alone but to children, as well. The negativity it will cause is far-reaching as they will have a profound effect on the mental and physical well being of the victims.
“Women must be resolute in countering these abuses. They should not adopt a passive attitude fearing the loss of dignity and face should they act irrationally,” she reasoned. “Don’t treat women as objects to vent men’s frustration, as punching bags, so to speak. Women’s reluctance to react is not a sign of their weakness. To them, maintaining the family’s integrity is paramount.”
The open forum was targeted at the men folks but, unfortunately, only the oldies were present. Nonetheless, the objective of the discussion was achieved. Beside talks by speakers, well versed on the issue of domestic violence, the audience got to see pictures of abused women and children and posters abhorring violence of all kinds on display in the council-owned Jelapang hall.
Ayob Mohd Hassan, 65, from Slim River commended the organisers for a splendid show. “The forum is very informative,” he said. He, however, blamed technology and modern lifestyles for all the ills that are affecting mankind. “We’ve to fall back to religion to overcome these woes.”
Norashikin Mokthar, 40, from Taman Jati, Ipoh was pleased with what she saw and heard. “It’s an excellent way to showcase the effects of domestic violence,” she said. She felt that the ones who needed such exposures are the newly-weds. “They should be made to attend this forum.”
Approximately RM1 million was disbursed by Executive Councillor for Health and Local Government, Dato’ Dr Mah Hang Soon, on behalf of the Perak State Government, to 18 mission and 17 national-type secondary schools in the state.
This was part of the state’s allocation to pay for the schools’ utility bills and miscellaneous expenses for the third and fourth quarters of 2011. A similar disbursement was made in August for the first and second quarters of 2011.
Dhanabalan Segaran, an assistant director with the Perak Education Department, was present at the presentation ceremony held at Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan, Ipoh recently.
The total amount disbursed for 2011 is almost RM2 million. Perak is the only state in the country to make such payments. Mah hopes other states will follow its example.
By Mariam Mokhtar
A visit to the Kinta valley would not be complete without a trip to Taiping’s night safari. Far from its image as a retirement town and a sleepy hollow, Taiping and its environs, seem to be packed with activities for every age-group, from jungle trekking to coastal fishing.
On the Taiping night safari, children will be delighted that they can watch nocturnal animals under the soft moonlight. The Taiping zoo houses 180 species of animals in a beautiful natural setting of lakes and lush vegetation. It is spread over 34 acres and is one of a handful in the world offering a night safari. The others are Singapore, Chiang Mai (Thailand), and Guangzhou (China).
On the day we visited the zoo, the weather was uppermost in our minds. Taiping is known to be one of the wettest places in West Malaysia. If it rained when we got there, it would have been a wasted trip and a disappointing drive back to Ipoh.
Public Transport Impossible
Going to the Taiping night safari by public-transport is impossible. Perhaps, those in charge of VPY 2012 could bear this in mind. Not everyone has their own transport and Perakians have yet to benefit from a reliable, cheap and efficient public-transport network.
As we drove to Taiping, the darkness of the highway gave way to the lights of the exit at the Kamunting Toll Plaza. One could feel the excitement building up but our spirits were dampened when the signs petered out on the way to the Zoo.
Poor Signage to Zoo
At night, the signs to the Zoo were difficult to find. The roads were poorly lit and many signs were obscured by trees and billboards.
We had no problems parking at the Zoo and as we went mid-week, during the term-time and did not find the place crowded; however, the queues can be lengthy during the school holidays.
There was a student discount for those with an International Student Card.
When our mini-train arrived, we set off on a guided tour of the Zoo. The train driver gave us a commentary of the animals as we passed their enclosures. It would have been nice if he had explained a little more about the habitat of the animals and any other interesting information which would have enthralled visitors to the Zoo.
We were grateful that he drove slowly so that we could appreciate the animals, read the information tablets outside the cages and try and locate the animals.
The open concept of the Zoo ensures visitors are given a good view of the animals from a relatively close range. The large animals like elephants, tigers, lions and bears, were separated from us by moats. The smaller animals with glass barriers or wire fences.
It was thrilling to observe the animals in a good approximation of their natural habitats, seeing them forage for food, mate and sleep.
Good Foot Paths
The best bit of the evening came after the 25-minute mini-train ride, when we were able to explore the Zoo on foot along good paths, which were well sign-posted, and return to the animals which had interested us most.
We went back to see the crocodiles which were only a few feet behind a wire fence, and if we wanted to, could reach out to the hippopotamus which was staring at us.
A few giant fish, measuring around five feet in length living in the brackish water were fascinating but the tigers were disappointing as they seemed lethargic.
The lions were a joy to watch for they were chasing each other. They gave us a nasty fright when they roared loudly and ran towards us.
We wondered if the primates were fast asleep, and were saddened that the snakes section was closed.
It all ended too soon, and we thought it was a trip that was well worth the journey from Ipoh.
Room for Improvement but Well Worth a Visit
The night safari is not without faults. The lights outside the animal enclosures faced us and blinded us so that we were unable to view the animals properly.
The engine of the mini-train was noisy and belched smoke which spoiled our enjoyment. We did not have the same experience in Singapore which used quiet, clean engines and animals like the Malayan Tapir, would occasionally wander across our path.
Some of the information plaques outside the animal enclosures were missing or incomplete and we wondered if some of the unmarked cages were empty, or the animals were hiding.
We also saw that many pieces of broken equipment had been dumped beside the paths.
We laughed when we overheard a woman tell her friend that she was not returning because “the place smells of animals” and she could not see anything. But the joke was on us when we took another hour trying to find the signs to get us back onto the highway to head back to Ipoh. We kept ending up at the main entrance to the Kamunting Hilton.
Despite some shortcomings, the Taiping Zoo night safari is well worth a visit.
Join us as we explore Gua Tempurung in the next instalment of the Ipoh Echo.
Danny Ng, an Ipoh boy was a student of St. Michael’s Institution, Ipoh in the nineties. He is currently the senior sales manager at the Four Seasons Resort in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. Danny lives with his wife, Julie, two sons and a daughter in Squamish, B.C. He is my family friend.
I first heard about Danny’s Ironman Triathlon activities and training when I was in Vancouver last year. By then he had already participated in a few international triathlons including the Ironman 70.3 Hawaii. Danny was modest about his achievements. However, what had started for Danny as a mere sport to keep his heart pumping now takes on a new dimension in meaning and purpose, as he will be competing for the affairs of the heart. His race is to raise funds for paediatric cardio purpose i.e. children who have heart complications from birth in Canada and the United States. Still very much a Malaysian at heart, I had an easy task convincing Danny to angle this event to raise funds for children with similar problems in Malaysia too.
Thus, on August 11, 2012 Danny will swim 3.8 km in the Hudson River, cycle 180 km and run a 42.2-km marathon, a sum total of 226 km in and around New York, all within a time frame of 17 hours.
Funds raised from sponsors in Malaysia for this event will be donated to the IJN (Institute Jantung Negara) for a worthy purpose. We shall be hearing more from this gutsy Ipoh lad in the issues to come.