Archive for February, 2011

Ok, it’s back to where we left off- before the postings were ‘disrupted’ by Chinese New Year dinners and outings. It’s back to Phuket, guys.

We  had a short stop at  the Sea Gypsy Village / Rawai Beach. There were a few stalls by the road side selling wind chimes made from seashells, I don’t know la..i have this thing about wind chimes…a moderate wind chime fetish.  There were also stalls selling fresh catch of the day- fish, lobsters, sotong, crabs etcThe stop at Rawai Beach was brief and rushed , as we have to make it in time to the next destination to view the sunset  – Laem Phromthep. This is the southern most tip of Phuket and one can get a beautiful view of the Andaman Sea. This seemed to be a popular tourist spot and is included as one of the ‘must-do’ sight when one visit Phuket There is a lighthouse (still functioning) that one can climb up to get a better view of the Andaman Sea.Phromthep is one of the more reasonably priced place to do some souvenir shopping . If you would like to buy those touristy T-shirts and stuff, suggest you buy them here- there is  a larger variety and the prices are cheaper that what you can find near the city.All this sunset thingy..kinda made me  hungry lah..hiew khau ( = hungry for rice )

That night we had dinner al fresco , at  Kan Eang @ Pier restaurant, Kan Eang means feel at ease. The setting was lovely, we have a good view of the pier- lighted with colourful lights, warm breeze, the occasional leaves ( from the branches over us) dropping on our heads, the clatter of wine glasses and happy laughters…

Som Tam ( raw papaya salad) – sweet-sour-spicy..Oh Ah…like a wake up call. I was very careful with this dish, careful to remove the chili padi bits before every bite. This was nice Sotong salad – not sure is this the correct name or not lah, just that- there were sotong and the dish came with vegetables- maybe more accurately black fungus and vermicelli . Sotong was fresh and springy. Another hit !Fish cakes – the fish cakes weren’t that thick, so at the sides they were rather crispy, which was nice. There were some light dosage of chili padi in these but not too spicy to overwhelm and make the tears come, aloy ! ( delicious)Vegetable with egg- kinda a weird thing to order . but due to the fact that as we had some muslims dining with us, we tried to limit the amount of meat that we order. This was not bad.Steamed fish – I think this was done the ‘kheng som’ style. Fish was fresh and the gravy was very good and it was a bit too late to find out that the gravy can be rather spicy especially when one accidentally scooped bits of chili padi into one’s mouth. Ouchhh but Nice.Green chicken curry- the gravy wasn’t rich enough and it just didn’t hit the scales..a bit like flat coke- if you get what I mean. This missed the mark.And last but not least…the highlight of the day We let out an applause when the lobsters arrived…we had 2 lobster and those lobsters alone cost RM1,000. The meat was fresh,  thick , aromatic  and succulent. This was truly enjoyable. We later found out how the lobsters were cooked- grilled over coconut husks ( as opposed to charcoal) Who did you think lost at the game of ‘who blinked first’ ?

The total bill ( for 16 pax – we had 4 sets of all the dishes) ) plus rice, and drinks ( beer, wine and juices) came to Thai Baht 21,000 , which is ~ RM2,100 with the lobster making up 50% of the total bill.

Overall , an aloy ching ching ( very delicious ) meal

 Ken Eang @ Pier is located by the pier of Chalong bay , East Coast of Phuket



After feeding the monkeys of Bukit Melawati, it was our turn to be fed. We headed back to the location where we took the boat to view the eagle feeding and as the sky was not yet dark enough to view the fireflies, we decided to have our dinner first. Restaurant  Kuan Hwa was just a few steps away from the jetty

The restaurant was packed but we were lucky to be seated where we could get a good view of the river.First up… deep fried sotong rings. Sometimes  deep fried sotong rings can be a bit dry and a bit too chewy, happy to report that  the ones at Kuan Hwa were juicy , plump and springy, the batter was thin and didn’t interfere with the sotong. This was nice Fried rice – this was similar to yong chow fried rice or maybe it was indeed yong chow fried rice. The fried rice had the usual ingredients : peas, carrots, corn, egg and quite a large number of prawn too. This was good We had wanted some noodles to go with the dishes and rather than go for plain noodles, we decided to try noodles with crab ( and was told by the waitress that this was RM60/plate) , and that price, we expected the noodles to be saturated with chunks of crab meat- and what arrived was whole crabs with noodles. The noodles had soaked up the sweetness of the crab juice, hmm…niceDeep fried pomfret – apologies,  bad  picture of this dish. This was pretty good, the fine texture of pomphret worked out well after been deep fried. Only complain is that it was slightly over salty .Prawns- these were plainly steamed. Sometimes the simplest thing are the best, no adulteration, no fuss – just good old steamed prawns, so fresh, so succulent, so sweet … A dip was served with the prawn –onion, chili padi and maybe a bit of lime juice – this compliment the prawns rather well, enhancing the sweetness of the prawns. It can be a bit spicy thoughThe new year crowdStir fried yau mak ( vege) with dried prawns- a dish to balance the cholesterol tally /clear the conscience and it did more than that. This was good.Or-chein (oysters omelet ) , more egg and batter than oyster, the batter was kinda too thick too. The ( limited) oysters are imbedded far and in between the thick and tasteless omelet . Nope, we didn’t enjoy this.Crab in salted egg- The crabs were fresh but kinds small and therefore not too meaty . The best thing was –  Oh la la..the gravy, the gravy …. finger licking good… the slightly grainy texture of the gravy,  the aroma of salted egg,– ahh..wonderfulllll

Overall – a good meal , service was quick , food was good and price was reasonable- we paid ~ RM360 for the meal including drinks.

Interestingly the bathroom at Kuan Hwa was way cleaner and smelled better than a particular restaurant that served Buddha Jump over the wall 😉


Restaurant Kuan Hwa

No 1A, Jalan Bagan Sungai Yu, Pasir Penambang

45000 Kuala Selangor

Tel : 32896719

 After the meal, we walked back to the jetty where we were earlier in the day. We dutifully  put on the bright orange life jackets before boarding the boat

 On the boat at night was a different kind of feeling, , speeding thought the water – kinda sinister, kinda dangerous, kinda fast …kinda exciting…

 After about 20 minutes or so, we slow dow , shut down the engine and watch in awe as we saw tiny lights dancing on the mangrove along the riverbanks. ( We were told that these were Berembang trees). The boatman lured the flies to the boat by shining a special torch and it seemed to work as soon there were shrieks and screams as some fire flies came close to the boat, flying above out heads, in front of our face, into our cupped palms…

This was my third trip to Kuala Selangor to watch the kelip-kelip ( fireflies) and there are so much less fireflies now compared to what it was 10 years ago. Back then there will be a large number of trees all glittering and lighted up with the fireflies , now – there are not that many of these living blinking lights . Sad …but it still felt rather magical … drifting on the boat, the blinking lights, the warm air, the aftertaste of salted egg crabs..hmmm… …

For the last few years we spent  new year by being a bit more outdoorsy  instead of sitting pretty in new attires, getting drunk on F&N cordial and overheating the tv with nonsensical variety programs : we visited the Elephant Sanctuary and Deer Park  , went cave exploring  at Gua Tempurung and for 2011 it’s eagles, monkeys and kelip-kelip !

We left KL at about 4-ish, it was a long drive from KL to Kuala Selangor and traffic was pretty good all the way until we got to the town area of Kuala Selangor where we experienced a bit of a traffic jam.

After on the road for more than 1 hour , we arrived at Kuala Penambang.  We paid RM40 per pax which covered  2 tours   :  eagle feeding and fireflies . ( I think this is the new year’s rate, on regular day, the fees are expected to be cheaper). Life jackets were been handed out and after putting that on –  we look rather like a group of walking mandarin oranges  . After making sure that the jackets were secured, we headed  towards the jetty nice to feel the sun in your eyes and the wind in your hair After about  20 minutes or so, we reached the spot …

Where eagles soared …The engine was stopped and Mr Boatman took out a pail which held chicken skins and threw some of them into the river, then we watched in awe as the eagles did a bit of a dive, dipped their claws into the water ( although it hardly looked like they touched the water ), put food into mouth and ascend. Repeat  action a few more times..Some of the eagles tend to be a bit of a showoff and did  a bit of acrobatic /exhibitionist  flying. Sorry, I do not have any close up pictures of the eagles ( blame it on low camera skill).The journey/ tour last about 45 minutes.Before heading back to the jetty, we detoured to see the eagle nests perched on the tree tops, we also saw some white graceful storks standing pretty on the tree  branches.

Most of us felt a bit wobbly after the boat ride but there was no time to waste ! We got into the car and headed towards Bukit Melawati.

We arrived just in time to catch the tram ( train) service. It cost RM2 per pax and the expression on my little nephew’s face ( he being a fan of Thomas and Percy)  as he stepped onto the tram was priceless. On weekdays , cars are allowed to go up the hill but on weekends the road is closed to private cars and you could either walk up the hill or get on the tram The tram stops at the peak of the hill and one could get off or get on the tram.

At the peak, you will see the Altingsburg light house, this was built in 1907 and continues  to guide ships sailing through the Straits of Melaka today.  And then we saw them….the silver leafed monkeysThere are peddlers  selling long beans, Menglembu peanuts , shelled peanuts and bananas for feeding to the monkeys. 

It must have been a tourist packed day and the monkeys had undergone many rounds of feeding. Some of the monkeys didn’t seem  interested at the food being offered resulting in tourist chasing after monkey to offer food rather than the other way around. After many minutes of observation, my conclusion on the primates preferences in terms of food , in decreasing order  : banana , shelled peanut , unshelled peanuts and long beans. ( i am a bit confused, shelled peanuts mean peanuts without shell or with ?)

A baby silver leafed monkey with it’s bright golden fur gave a huge contrast against the adult with its ashen grey coat. Confession : I snitched some of the Menglembu peanuts, they were nice and crunchy . My preference of food available at Bukit Melawati in decreasing order : Menglembu peanut, shelled peanut, bananas and long beans

 Part II- fireflies and seafood.