Archive for November, 2012

Medan, Indonesia- Day 1

Posted: November 26, 2012 in Sights
Tags: ,

Short working trip to Medan, flight time from KL > Medan was about 1 hour, I left KL at 8:55am and arrive in Medan at 8:55 am….. it felt like I have saved 1 full hour ( tipu sendiri) . The best part about Medan is that the airport is close to the town centre, although in some instances, this seemed to restrict the growth of the town . My host relate to me that when JW Marriot was completed, the 30 storey hotel was asked to removed a few  floors due to the proximity of the airport to the town centre, but after proving that the hotel was not in the flight path, the hotel is still standing in it’s full glory…oh, coming back to the airport, by next year ( 2013) Medan airport will no longer be in Polonia but will be moving to a new location which will be about 1.5 hours away with the  current roads , but will be ~ 1 hour with the new highways, and train services will be available..

After a lengthy and fruitful discussion at the office, it was time for lunch and Hurahh…Nasi Padang…my favourite..The fried chicken was with a crispy exterior and tender firm meat of the ayam kampong. I also sampled the beef rendang ( yumyum), one green chili dish which wasn’t too spicy, some dry blanched (tasteless) leafy vegetable- I think this was tapioca leaves or something, I was really keen to try the Pergedel, but didn’t want to appear too greedy..and I followed my host and ate using my hands…I know Mum might not have approved…

The price list of the various dishes shown below. You need to multiply with 0.000375 to get the price in RM.

After lunch, we went on the road. The streets of Medan are not just busy with traffic, there are congested with signboards too There were huge signboards everywhere campaigning for the position of the Governor of Medan, elections will be in March 2013. The Governor stand office for 5 years.  Five candidates are fighting for the position and the signboards you see below  is one of the candidates . I better put a disclaimer that I am not in favour of any candidates and there were no monetary or any gain from posting this particular picture on this blog. This was just a randomly taken picture.

Yeah, celebrating 40 years of Indomie, my favourite Indomie : Mee Goreng

These congratulatory signs  are common in Medan, these were made up of plastic flowers. Rather colourful, I wonder why this never caught up in KL ? maybe i can be the pioneer..

We went into a Toll Gate

Our toll ticket or maybe calling this a toll card is more appropriate …Looks like it’s going to be a long way from the next meal…..

Today, let’s talk about the reclining Buddha in Kelantan- which , at one time, used to be largest  in South East Asia.

And I am proud to say that this 40 meter long and 11 meter high sculpture is in Tumpat, Kelantan, my loverrly hometown. We locals addressed this temple as Wat Jambu ( well, the temple is located in Kampung Jambu) rather than the official name of Wat Phothivihan.  So, if you ask for directions, please mention Wat Jambu. Kampong Jambu used to be known as Kampung Beruk ( beruk = monkey), I am not sure were the people in the village happy with the name change, would you prefer to be from a fruity village or a monkey village ? hehehe.

The sculpture was constructed in 1973 and completed in 1979. I remember that the sculpture wasn’t painted until sometime later, and it took a bit of getting used to, seeing a coloured version of the sculpture rather than have it in the colour of nude cement. ( although I have to say that I find the grey version to be more impressive) , and in the earlier days, the statue was in the open and not under a roof.

This gigantic Alms Bowl, located not too far from the entrance gate,  was also something relatively new to the temple

The Isolation Area-  the building exudes a certain kind of calmness

Close up of the statue in front of the Isolation Area ( Bot)

A statue of the ‘future’ Buddha – Maitreiya , in front of the reclining Buddha statue

Buddha statues in various poses. These statues are all housed under the same roof as the sculpture of the reclining Buddha

Extract from http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/dharmadata/fdd35.htm  :  It is often said that Buddhists worship statues, in the sense that they believe that Buddha statues actually are the Buddha or that they have some inherent power. But such ideas are quite incorrect. Buddhists do not ‘worship’ Buddha statues , the Buddha statue is seen as a symbol that can be seen as helpful in creating devotion, uplifting the mind and focusing attention.

Statue of the four faced Buddha

The turtle pond- I wonder are the 19 terrapins that used to be our pets still here..hellooooo ?

At the main hall

Tok Guru is held in greatest respect regardless of the community or religion

Interestingly, this area below was marked as ‘Tibet’ in the directory

This was also one of the newer addition to the temple. Frankly, not my favourite part of the temple..  a bit too garish for my taste

As usual, you will find religious books / booklets for free distribution on the shelves…

And this caught my attention..huh ? growth fund worr..a new religion ?

There is a makan shop in the vicinity of the temple ..you can get Thai style food ( the somtam is fiery mannnn) or soupy noodles etc etc , soft drinks and of course, coconuts..

Uncle tirelessly preparing the coconut for serving..

Please come visit Wat Phothivihan !! The temple is about 7km from either Tumpat town center or from Kota Baru.

There are other fabulous temples in Tumpat including Wat Pikulthong , Wat Mai Suwankiri and Wat Machimmaram . And the chinese Tien Hou Temple

Wat Phothiviharn
Chief Abbot: Ven. Phrakhru Prasart Prachakorn
Address: Kampung Jambu, 16200 Tumpat, Kelantan
Telephone: 09-7193019, 019-9586322

This is another trend that has been ongoing for sometime –  dessert houses -usually ala Taiwan with the shaved iced and stuff . It was amazing to see that ( most) of these places are so popular regardless of the time of the day, and the cost of a sweet craving outing may easily surpass the cost of a decent meal..anyway, guess no one is counting…

The posting below is from two separate trips with two different group of people..

The first trip to Pick Me Up(PMU) was with Chunny, we just finished dinner – a light dinner ( the lightness of the dinner is up to interpretation, to our standards, it was light- so you should take our word for it), and Chunny suggested dessert, as I was waiting to be coaxed to let my digestive system work harder, it didn’t take any persuasion to navigate our way to Kuchai Lama for some dessert. I have noticed PMU for a few weeks but hadn’t had the excuse opportunity for a visit..

At PMU, before you settle down , you place your order at the counter (as well as pay for the meal) and the food will be brought to your table..

Chunny ordered the Hot grass jelly (RM6.50)  with lotus seed and yam. Hot grass jelly equates to liquid cincau. This looks ( and taste healthy). It was interesting to see that when the dessert starts to cool, they do solidify into the familiar cincau..

I had Frozen yogurt ( froyo) priced at RM6.50 and I get to select three toppings. The choice of toppings include : barley, cornflakes, crushed peanuts, lotus seed, malt, mango, nata de coco, Oreo cookies, Pearl, red beans, toasted oats, taro balls. I chose to have lotus seeds, taro balls and red beans. The froyo was delicious, it was smooth , light and not too sweet and well, you know la..yogurt is healthy, so the guilt feeling was not present, which made this even more enjoyable. The toppings were not too bad too, the taro balls were err..not exactly in the shaped of balls but if they insist to termed this as balls, I might say it was in the shaped of elongated balls. This was chewy and went well with the yogurt..

The second trip to PMU was a result of a disastrous lunch and I need to redeem myself…

I decided to try out the ice tower : Mango ice with soft ice cream (RM7.50) and you get to choose 3 toppings to go with this. The toppings include : barley, cornflakes, crushed peanuts, lotus seed, malt, mango, Nata De cCoco, Oreo cookies, Pearl, red beans, toasted oats, taro balls. Mango Ice with froyo ( frozen yogurt) was priced at RM8.50. Other flavours include blueberry and strawberry with the similar available options of  having the fruity ice sandwiched with either soft ice cream or froyo.

What you get is mango flavoured ice shavings packed into a glass ( with ice cream) in between , and then the glass is inverted and voila- you have a mango ice tower. Taste wise, this taste like mango ice shavings with ice cream- which was pretty straight forward, I think I prefer to just have the ice cream or froyo on their own,  as the ice shavings diluted the essence of the ice cream / froyo . I guess this thingy would be good for a group where there is a taller tower 19cm height : Fruity Tower Ice or Taiwanese Tower Ice , available at RM13.50, and you try to meet the challenge of consuming but not toppling the tower – kinda like playing Jengka ( the block game).

Fen ordered soft ice cream (RM 5.50) with oreo cookies + taro balls + toasted oats – which was not a bad  combination. Frankly, i don’t think i can differentiate the soft ice cream or froyo..how ha ? Carmen ordered soft ice cream with blueberry sauce + pearl and toasted oatsThe place was cozy and pleasant, the washroom was clean and  I think I will come back again – with or without excuses..

Website : http://www.pickmeup.com.my/
Location :
http://www.pickmeup.com.my/#!location
35, Jalan Kuchai Maju 8,
Kuchai Enterprenuer Park,
58200 Kuala Lumpur