Saturday, May 31, 2008

KL's Future Skyscraper

I am sure most of us had seen the amazing skyscrapers they are going to build in Dubai from those forwarded e-mails. But many are not aware of the skyscrapers being built at our own backyard here. Here is a preview of a few of the magnificent structures that will transform Kuala Lumpur's skyline once completed.

This is the Menara Commerce located at Jalan Raja Laut. I think it is nearing completion as seen from the recently taken picture below

If you took a stroll through KLCC park today, you will be able to see the hectic construction work around it. Most of them are for the construction of residences & the most stunning would be the Troika below. Imagine living within walking distance of KLCC park & also Suria KLCC ^~^

Also at the vicinity of KLCC is Platinum Park project. They are planning to build 7 towers in all. Very ambitious. Looking forward to seeing the two twisting towers.

Just beside the iconic Petronas Twin Towers itself will be the site for the Petronas Carigali Tower, & it would be taller than Menara Maxis located on the right. I wonder why they pick such a bland design though.

But my favorite would be the Four Seasons Centre which is a mixed development of hotel, service apartment units & retail space. This is one skyscraper that's almost as tall as the Twin Towers & it's GORGEOUS!

At present, our skyline look something like this, dominated by the Twin Towers & KL Tower

With the addition of the brand new skyscrapers, the Kuala Lumpur skyline at night will probably look like this.

For more pics & info, go to this forum here, Nang me here

Friday, May 30, 2008

Of Propaganda & Buletin Utama

I knew I should have switch off the television after watching the 7pm TVB drama. Instead I went on & watch Buletin Utama on TV3. It's 8pm, it's supposed to be the news but I am not sure I am watching news anymore.

Firstly, they did some reporting of the Bandar Mahkota Cheras (BMC) issue, about residents destroying the barricade. But there isn't any mentioned of the the incident of police beating up an innocent youth who was merely driving through that area. It is as if nothing happen! If not for Malaysiakini, nobody would knew about the incident.

That's police brutality & blatant abuse of power by the authorities!
Aren't such an incident news worthy enough? I felt disgusted. Why are they trying to cover up the incident? So that the police can just beat up any innocent victim & get away with it?

And then they report about the Selangor government free water plan. OK can you tell me is there anything wrong with providing 20 cubic meters of free water every month to the residents of Selangor to help with the increasing cost of living? Because I can't think of any.

Instead of giving them credit, they tried to criticize the plan by getting the views of so called 'experts'. One 'expert' yesterday said that there will be increased water wastage because of it. What utter rubbish! Are you saying that we should increased the water tariffs to curb wastage then? Stupid!

Why don't they go interview the poor people of Selangor who will benefit positively under the plan huh?

Those were not news, those were all PROPAGANDA!! It's so frustrating seeing how low they will go to discredit their opponents. That's why I am relying on blogs & online news portal for the real news.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Toy Museum

When my gf first suggest we go check out this place in Penang, I seriously thought it was a bad idea. A toy museum? Sounds like a poorly run tourist rip off to me.

Like many great Malaysian tourist attraction, this place charged different admission rates for locals & foreigners.
Is the government subsidising my entrance fee as well? haha

My skepticism quickly fade away
upon entering & seeing the size of the collection. The place was lined with rows upon rows of shelfs crammed full of toys. The collection is so huge, they can divide it into different sections.

There is large section dedicated to Star Wars & LOTR action figures. So many in fact the owner probably had trouble fitting them inside the display shelfs. I think those figures alone would cost him a fortune.

Standing room only, okay

Love this scene

The museum even had life size version of the characters. The owner really had an unhealthy obsession with his toys here. I mean, who in their right mind would want a life size Jar Jar Binks? As if the movie version is not irritating enough!

I met the King

This guy here doesn't look too happy at being photographed

Can I borrow your rod to kill Jar Jar?

Look, I found the cutest dustbin ever!!!

Not to mentioned, Mr. Potato Head version of Darth Vader, Storm Trooper & R2D2

I forgot to bring my angry eyes again

Dead celebrities & pro wrestlers had their own toys too. The whole Smackdown thing really brought back memories of the days when I used to rush back from tuition classes to catch the show. We discussed about the plot lines the next day in school, sometimes even trying a few wrestling moves on unsuspecting friends.....Ahh, those were the days.

Bruce Lee immortalised in toy form

Layeth The Smackdown

Aside from all the big boys toys, there are some cute cartoon characters to make the kids & um, adults happy

I like the singing Giant

So cute can die

Can I bring this home?

Three monsters to terrorize you

Lots of Transfor, I mean Gandum, sorry erm...Gundam

But the coolest toys were all reserved for the Chamber of Horror section

Aliens vs Predator

Willie Wonka looks a lot like Michael Jackson. Creepy

Warning : Keep away from water

The psychopath from Saw who loves S & M *shudder*

Hi, I am Chucky. Wanna play?

Very impressive collection I must say. It's the world's largest toy collection according to the brochure so definitely worth a visit. The owner surely need all the money he can get to sustain his hobby hehe

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Penang Day 2

We went temple hopping on the 2nd day of our Penang trip. Our 1st stop is the Chinese temple of Kek Lok Si, a famous landmark of the island. We went there by taking the Rapid Penang bus, which is a more reliable than their KL counterpart. On the way, it passed through the Rifle Range flats, one of the major political hot spots prior to the general election.

We reach there just in time for lunch, but the famous asam laksa stall outside the wet market was closed so we had to settled for the one inside the food court instead. Still, it's way better than what we had back here. After our meal, we had a long climb up towards the temple using the stuffy covered walkway.

There are a lot of new additions to the original temple that I visited many many years ago. One of them was the inclined lift that we took to go to see the bronze Kuan Yin statue. They are currently building a giant umbrella to shield it from the elements hence all the scaffoldings.

Definitely not as scary as it look

The statue behind 'bars'

Later on we visited the Burmese temple at Jalan Burma. I make a small contribution to the victims of the cyclone there. Although not much, I hope it can help the victims & won't end up fattening the pockets of the military generals.

Tiger? Lion? Dragon?


And situated directly opposite the Burmese temple is the Thai Buddhist temple with a huge reclining Buddha. Once inside, you can get your fortune read using this machine. No need to do it manually anymore ^~^

Once dinner approaches, it is makan time again, this time we went to the popular Gurney Drive which is within walking distance from our hotel. With so much good food surrounding us, we easily succumb to the 'dark' side.

We went berserk & ordered ikan bakar, char koay teow, oyster omelet, wantan mee, fried chicken skin, ais kacang & fried lala. Suffice to say, our table drew more than a few stares from the locals hehe

We had a light dinner

The very sinful fried chicken skin

Will post about our visit to the toy museum next.....*wipes drool*

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Kings of Europe!!

Unbelievable! We finally did it! Manchester United won the European Champions League and what a way to win it!

It's a final full of dramatic moments with both sides having chances to win the trophy in regulation time. Manchester United drew first blood when Ronaldo head the ball unchallenged to to take the lead. And for next couple of minutes, Man Utd were playing some very nice attacking football. An early goal & constantly on the attack - definitely a dream start.

Heck, Man Utd should have been 3-0 in front! Carrick shot straight at Cech with the goal at his mercy & Tevez just one touch away from scoring. I was cursing our luck.

To make matters worse, Chelsea equalised just before halftime with a freak goal. Essien shot took two deflections & land beautifully for Lampard to score. Instead of comfortably leading, we went into halftime level on score!

The 2nd half is a complete reversal of the 1st, Chelsea keep on attacking. I could barely watch as they seem likely to score every time they venture forward. We were helpless, one Drogba shot even hit the post, & my heart skipped a beat. Alas, Man Utd survived through normal regulation time...

In extra time, another Chelsea shot hit the woodwork! Very unlucky of them. I was emotionally drained, it is as if Chelsea's winning goal would be inevitable. The players were obviously tiring as well. The pitch was like a skating rink, everybody was slipping & it's raining heavily too.

Minutes before the end of extra time, suddenly a scuffle broke out. I am not really sure what happened, it has got something to do with Tevez but Drogba was just plain stupid to slap Vidic. Definitely deserved his red card!

And then came the penalties, promising even more heart stopping moments. Ronaldo's shot, of all people was saved by Cech. With everybody else converting their kicks, Terry just need to convert his for them to win. By that time, I almost gave up all hope....

But but but.....miraculously he slipped, just like Beckham & hit the woodwork! My friends & I were all jumping up & down, we were still in it!

Then, it was van der sar's turn to be hero, he saved Anelka's shot & against all odds, Manchester United became Kings of Europe!!

Champions of England & Kings of Europe! You will definitely hear us fans bragging about it for many years to come.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Exploring Penang

I am back blogging, after 3 days of vacation exploring Penang with my gf armed with a trusty tourist map & a smattering of Hokkien. Prior to that, we did pretty much everything online, you know things like looking up bus routes, attractions, hotel bookings etc etc...

We took Plusliner for the journey from KL to Penang & had a surprisingly pleasant trip. The best thing about Plusliner is their buses depart from KL's KTM main terminal, meaning you won't need to jostle with the crowd at the carbon monoxide filled dungeon of Puduraya. Not to mention clean interior and cockroach-free seats.

I think our driver even set a new Malaysian record when the bus departed one minute before the stated time. We were impressed ^~^

5 butt-numbing hours later, we reached Penang or what I like to call it, the DAP state. The taxi ride from Sg.Nibong bus terminal to Berjaya Hotel cost us RM22! Bloody expensive for a 20 minutes journey. Note to self : if mechanical engineering doesn't work out, try taxi driving in Penang.

The view from our hotel room

Penang is a curious mix of old & new with many structures dating back to the colonial era. The island is littered with Western style bungalows, churches, missionary schools and clan houses, especially so in Georgetown.

Speaking of clan houses, we visited three : the Yap, Cheah & Khoo Kongsi
at one shot since all of them were situated close to each other. All of them are still beautifully preserved with the most impressive being Khoo Kongsi due to their immense wealth.

But finding these grand buildings can be tricky as all of them are hidden from view & can only be access from small entrances. The purpose was to protect the buildings from being destroyed during clone clan wars in the olden days.

Entrance to Cheah Kongsi

Gigantic lanterns adorned all three of them. Really reminds me of the movie 'Raise The Red Lantern'.

One particular room at Khoo Kongsi were hung full of 'signboards' of Khoos who manage to complete university. If you thought such things were ancient practices, some of the them obtained their degrees as recent as 2006.

The Khoo clan must have been very concern with security, not content with just building small hidden entrances, they even build stone pak guards to scare away troublemakers.

Walking around in search of Sun Yat Sen's Penang base, we saw this Habib Jewels outlet. Must have been the first outlet before they expand into every major shopping complexes in Malaysia.

We failed to find the building though but still saw a statue of the great man at the Penang Philomathic Union.

From the compound, you have a nice view of the Umno building & Komtar. One houses the office of the Chief Minister while another is the headquarters of the opposition party ^~^

Completed Day 1 with a meal at Lorong Selamat. Will post about my second day as soon as I finish adapting myself back to bland KL food hehe
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