Category Archives: Malaysia

After being away to study then work in Peninsular Malaysia for a decade, I have found myself starting to appreciate those little things we have in Sarawak.

Shaving Bald for 2013 Thaipusam

Well, not really, but I was ALMOST going for it.

Thaipusam-Batu-Cave-2013-(18)

Head shaving is one of the important Thaipusam rituals and a symbol of purification.

Seriously, if it wasn’t because Chinese New Year is soon approaching, I would have gladly done it without much hesitation. It won’t be a nice feeling having to explain to uninformed family members.

(Serious/Religious matters ahead: If you are not interested in reading serious or religious stuff, you can skip through this long text to see the pictures below.)

If I had shaven my head bald for Thaipusam, I’m almost certain the majority in my Chinese circle would be looking at me like I’m pretentious or some kind of freak, for doing something I feel is spiritual and sacred.

Not that I would be bothered very much by that though, but I told myself and Magen that next year would most likely be a better time for that.

The truth is that the society can be super judgemental at times. Sometimes one just has to put up with unnecessary judgements and criticisms coming from society members for what they think is right or wrong.

When you talk about spiritual and intellectual happiness, most people would preach money and material wealth. When you talk religion, they preach science is the new god.

Shave your head bald on Thaipusam day and they will probably call you crazy, superstitious, or whatever non-constructive words they could think of in order to bring down your morale. Just because they probably think you’re not a Hindu and therefore shouldn’t be doing that.

For me I see a lot of similarities in various religions, especially between Hinduism and Buddhism – the latter of which I’m practising.

Paying a visit to Hindu temples and following certain rituals are just a form of respect to their Gods. It is also a good way of understanding their religion better.

I’m not often preachy about religious matters and I respect individuals who distance themselves from religions because I think ultimately it is a personal choice, but I just cannot at those who come up to you to play down something you appreciate or believe in.

People like that are super horribly ignorant, disrespectful, and self-righteous.

OK, I shall stop delving too much into this since this isn’t the main focus in this entry.

– – –

Back to Thaipusam 2013.

So all this while I have always wanted to pay a visit to Batu Caves during Thaipusam. But for the past few years it was either that there was no holiday on Thaipusam for me, or that I couldn’t find the right people to go with.

This year, since it happened that Thaipusam fell on a weekend, I was super delighted when Magen invited me to join him and his family for the celebration at the Batu Caves.

There are going to be mostly photos and less words below. I’m going to start with a photo of a devotee carrying a “kavadi” who made his way from a river to the 272-step staircase leading up to the Batu Caves in order to worship Lord Murugan:

Thaipusam Batu Cave 2013 (2)

We started making our journey up the Caves around midnight with a million others, and below was the view from halfway up the Batu Caves. It was simply phenomenal.

Thaipusam Batu Cave 2013 (3)

Me looking down at the sea of crowds from halfway up the 272-step staircase at the Batu Caves:

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I took off my slippers because there are shrines in the Caves and it isn’t respectful to wear them around the shrines.

From inside one of the highest caves:

Thaipusam Batu Cave 2013 (4)

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We went down the Caves at around 3 in the morning feeling drop dead tired, and headed to sleep over at Magen’s relative’s place. After we woke up it was already close to noon. We then went back to Batu Caves again in the afternoon.

Below are photos from our second visit to Batu Caves in the afternoon:

Thaipusam Batu Cave 2013 (15)

Thaipusam Batu Cave 2013 (14)

Thaipusam Batu Cave 2013 (10)

Thaipusam Batu Cave 2013 (9)

Thaipusam Batu Cave 2013 (8)

Thaipusam Batu Cave 2013 (13)

Thaipusam Batu Cave 2013 (12)

Thaipusam Batu Cave 2013 (11)

Thaipusam Batu Cave 2013 (6)

Thaipusam Batu Cave 2013 (7)

Well, that’s all!

I had an exceptionally wonderful experience celebrating Thaipusam at Batu Caves for the first time. Given the chance I would definitely love to visit the Arulmigu Sri Balathandayuthapani Temple in Penang next Thaipusam.

Famous Auntie Koh Cendol in Malacca, Malaysia

Malacca is one of the states in Malaysia I don’t mind going over and over and over again.

I don’t even mind moving there, for good, or retiring there! Really.

The last time I visited Malacca, it was two Christmases ago and thinking back, it feels like just yesterday! Time is passing really OMFG fast!

(Had wanted to go again with Catea last Christmas but plan was crashed due to me busy moving house. Goddamnit.)

Anyway.

CK and friends came to visit me last weekend and spontaneously declared that WE ALL HAD TO GO TO MALACCA! #joy1

In the morning before heading to Malacca, we dropped by Seremban to try its legendary Hakka mee (a traditional noodle dish generously topped with minced pork, spring onions and a pork gravy). #doublejoy

The way the Hakka noodles is being served reminds me of the signature Kolo mee of Kuching, which I have not eaten for too long.

Kolo mee in the Peninsular all fail anyway.

Okay, back to Hakka mee. The one we went to was Tow Kee in Pasar Besar Seremban. There is another of its adik branch at Jalan Kapitan Tam Yeong (behind Maybank).

I personally find the Jalan Kapitan one much more fantabulous though. But it is only opened from 12pm onwards.

I shall provide its GPS coordinates on my blog since it is worth the little promotion here hehehe!

GPS Coordinates: 2.729633, 101.93679

Too bad the below is the only old, awful photo of the Hakka noodles I have because sadly I was too caught up in its deliciousness that I had forgotten to snap a photo.

Now Malacca.

Now if I don’t blog this, I don’t think you will ever know how a good cendol tastes like! LOL.

Before Duddull (a friend whom I have to agree 100% with her nick – inside joke) introduced me to Auntie Koh’s cendol, I had actually tried Malaccan cendol in the town area on a few occasions.

Don’t know if I was unlucky to have visited mediocre stalls or what, but all failed wei! I have also tried cendol in KL and PJ and Kampar and Ipoh and they all flopped harder than Rebecca Black.

I was therefore convinced that Kuching had the best cendol – until Duddull proved me wrong with Aunty Koh’s.

(And therefore the title choice.)

For close to two freaking years after visiting Auntie Koh’s, I remember having harassed Duddull so many times to ask her to bring me back because I seriously missed the cendol!

I even asked her to tapau lor and she was like -_-.

At Aunty Koh’s place. Antie Koh operated her stall right in the front yard of her house and she had a damn lot of customers!

Auntie Koh Cendol Malacca

Must snap a picture with Auntie Koh’s stall because once I hopped down I immediately told her I wanted a BIG bowl of cendol (with kuazhang hand gesture somemore) because I had been craving it for almost two years already.

In the end not only did she give me a big bowl of Auntie Koh Cendol, but extra!

By the way she’s the one in the light brown shirt in the photo above and I heard she’s a Nyonya.

Renu, Aik Jin, Ay Ching, Laurence (not in photo below), and myself were all happy customers after the cendol session.

Auntie Koh Cendol Malacca

The cendol came with a generous amount of thick coconut milk and that was probably what made it so tasty and famous! Renu believed coconut water was also added.

Auntie Koh Cendol Malacca

The compound of Auntie Koh’s house, super spacious, clean, and comfortable:

Auntie Koh Cendol Malacca

Besides cendol, of course it is customary to try Malacca’s other delicacies once there.

We had duck noodles. Those ding dongs kept hyping up the duck noodles but I felt they were just okay.

Then we headed for Nadeje, a famous cafe chain specialised in all sorts of layered cakes.

Environment-wise, the one located at Dataran Pahlawan has its good and bad. Good because it was comfortable and a place for socialising. Bad because seats were limited and we had to wait like siao to secure a seat.

Just look at the queue:

Can’t they expand it or move elsewhere with bigger space?

By the way this was Nadeje’s interior design:

Laurence and Duddull insisted to take a photo inside:

This was dunno after how many takes. The first take had them reversed in position and that resulted in a bigger face for Duddull, so she demanded switching place.

Yes, ma’am!

Duddull and I shared a small cup of cappuccino due to me being full:

And the layered cakes we ordered:

Kuching is famous for its layered cakes too and when I told Duddull that years ago, she said Malacca also got (she was referring to Nadeje). But layered cakes in Nadeje are totally different.

The difference is that Nadeje’s layered cakes are more atas (high class) and Western-style. Kuching ones being more traditional and Malay-style.

Laurence disgustedly trying to lick our shared layered cake. Yucks.

Before we even left (Laurence was paying the bill), the waitress had already placed the mini chalkboard below on our table. So rude.

We proceeded to San Shu Kong before we left for home because Renu wanted to buy some local products.

Duddull asked Laurence, “Got any San Shu Kong” in PJ?”

And you know what that ding dong Laurence replied?

“San Shu Gong passed away already.”

 

 

 

ZOMG!!!

(For those who don’t know, San Shu Gong means “uncle” in Chinese but it is also the name of a retail outlet chain).