* written by SweetEe *
Bernard Chandran recently launched an exhibition showcasing his most outstanding pieces in Museum Sultan Abu Bakar, Pekan – a small town in Pahang, roughly 4 hours from KL.
The collections featured in this exhibition will be some of the proudest pieces Bernard Chandran has ever designed. What’s more exciting about this exhibition is that most of these Malay wedding gowns are specially made for Brunei’s royalty and some of our local celebrities.
Each of these gowns takes weeks to months of being carefully designed and hand made by the Bernard Chandran team.
Museum Sultan Abu Bakar has just undergone a 4-year long renovation from being a Sultan’s palace into this contemporary museum we now see in front of our eyes.
During the interview, some attendees questioned what motivated Dato Chandran to partake in this project, what more held in a small town and not the capital of Kuala Lumpur, which would attract a bigger crowd.
According to Bernard; during his studies in Paris, one of his inspirations came from the museums there. As we all know, Parisian museums are well-known globally for its meticulous detail and amazing collection of art pieces. However, after his return to Malaysia, he was quite disappointed that his homeland doesn’t have museums of equal quality to aspire young artists just like himself.
Despite being approached by many a museum curator and owner, none of them could appease his desire to provide a different environment and atmosphere. Until, of course, he met the man in charge of Museum Sultan Abu Bakar, who spent many years convincing Bernard to join in for the project.
When asked why Pekan and not KL, Bernard said that although it is quite a distance from all major cities in Malaysia, if the public could take the effort to visit this museum, then not only it will it influence the whole town’s economy, but also inspire other museums in Malaysia to make a change.
CLICK TO READ MORE
I had a weekend getaway to Ipoh with the Formerfree girls and their respective boyfriends/husband. Clem didn’t want to go cos he wanted ‘Clem Time’, meaning:
1) PS3 time without me taking over the TV
2) drinking with the boys
3) sleeping in without me jumping on the bed exclaiming i’m hungry
4) reading his book without me reading his pages aloud in various accents
Who went: me + Sarch + Fufu + Meesh + Clouds + Kevin + Myra + Fahmi + Jiawers (our local tour guide). Fahmi came later. Oh and Wallis. This be Wallis:
Everyone else was taking the train but Fuad and Sarah were gonna drive so i hopped into their car, along with Kevin and Wallis in the backseat. She was supposed to be sent to a pet home for the night, but… that didn’t happen. She’s a very good dog tho! Didn’t bark at all nor run around like crazy puppy. She’s like a cat dog to me.
After a two-hour drive with a bit of traffic on the highway, we went straight to Sekeping Kong Heng where we were staying the night. It’s designed by Seksan and related to other retreat guesthouses we know of like Sekeping Serendah and Sekeping Tenggiri.
The Kong Heng building is famous for its coffee shop downstairs, with many claiming it to serve some of the best hawker food in Ipoh in one place. Behind the coffee shop, the former theatre hostel has been rebuilt to be the charming guesthouse it is today.
I was so excited as i walked on the path into the guesthouse.
Peeling paint! I LOVE PEELING PAINT.
LOTS OF TREES PLANTS AND LEAVES.
Exposed brick walls, raw wooden floorboards, steel staircases.
It’s the sort of architecture that appeals to many of us cos it combines clean lines with different surface textures.
(Tho i just had a thought that my grandma might say how come they don’t paint the walls and that they don’t have money issit.)
Six of us took up the family room on the 1st floor for RM800. Fufu and Sarch got the air con room for a couple, whilst the rest of us had the four beds outside.
The mattress was springy and comfortable tho the pillow was kinda hard (i like mine big and soft. Ok fine i like goose down pillows.) Luckily, i brought my own pillow from home for the car ride… XD
We went downstairs to have lunch at the coffee shop crowded with locals, and i had a marvelous chee cheong fun, and beef noodles with all the spare parts. The next day i had laksa.
CLICK TO READ MORE
We decided months ago to spend New Year’s Eve at Awanmulan and there are urm a lot of pictures i flooded Instagram with when we returned to the city. For the benefit of those who don’t know where Awanmulan is (cos so many asked me on IG), it’s in Jelebu in Seremban and only an hour’s drive away from KL. Hence so convenient for us to get to when we wanna get AWAY.
We didn’t want to go somewhere too far cos Cammy’s almost 7 months pregnant, and we didn’t want to be in the city so Awanmulan was our best option. Days before the trip, Clem kept saying, “I cannot WAIT to go to Awanmulan.” And Cammy told me that Kenny would walk around the house going, “Awanmulannnn awanmulannnn” Hahaha.
This time we just had a small group of us that took up Teratak Bonda for two nights.
Clem and i stayed at Evensong, a new room for couples next to the new pool Uncle Teng and Anne have built. The pool even has a shallow portion for children to swim in, while adults can be in the deeper area.
Cassie met a new friend in Evensong!!! Match made in Flat Pet heaven.
The bed in Evensong faces a large terrace which is spacious enough for me to roll around and play in
CLICK TO READ MORE
Sometimes i try to make an effort to travel more in my own country, which is something i’ve been doing since college days anyway (cos we had minimal money to travel any further :p). I’ve climbed Mt. Kinabalu; taken numerous road trips to Kuantan, Johor, Penang, Malacca and Seremban; visited random orang asli villages in the peninsular; frolicked on as many islands as i could; explored Kuching; and more i probably forget… but STILL.
There are so many things i haven’t done in Malaysia yet!!!
Clem is always the one who reminds me that i haven’t explored as much as i think i have. As a local, i take it for granted that there’s always time to research and go to places in my own country because… it’s MY country? And i’m HERE. So… why the rush?
Nevertheless, i’m proud i’ve taken the effort to journey to certain places in Malaysia. I think it’s vital experience especially when i speak about where i come from to others when i travel. I love Malaysia and i WANT people to visit it… i think it’s beautiful in so many ways, every time i go somewhere new in Malaysia i still marvel at how gorgeous and somewhat deprived i was not to have gone before, and consequentially glad i ended up there.
I was surfing this app on Facebook and found two new places i NEVER EVEN KNEW about before… i may be a bit embarrassed to admit it but whatevs. Maybe you don’t know about it too so i’m just gonna share it!
“The Rajang Adventure. Poling a makeshift bamboo raft on the Rajang river, starting from Sarikei and ending in Sibu on a 9-day adventurous journey. Making stops at indigenous villages along the way to hand out stationery to the poor kids and to overnight.”
What…. i never even heard about this… it sounds so cool and something i KNOW Clem and i would love to do! Feel lame now. (DO click on the pic source links cos they lead to more info about the Rajang Adventure!)
The Star even wrote an article about it two years back. *Click Here For Article*
This is what i get for not reading the newspapers… :p
The second one that really intrigued me is because Clem LOVES waterfalls. So we’ve made it one of our ‘missions’ to visit waterfalls wherever we visit – be it Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bali, etc. We’ve hiked to so many waterfalls… we even hiked to the SAME one twice before -_- In fact, I hope to have us in Zimbabwe one day to visit the spectacular Victoria Falls. But that will be for that day when we have a LOT more money. For now, i just discovered one closer to home, the Lata Tembakah Waterfall:
“Located in the Forest Reserve of Simpan Pelagat in Besut, Hutan Lipur Lata Tembakah is the home of famous Lata Tembakah Waterfall. This 50m high waterfall formed seven beautiful cascading level of waterfall. Be adventurous to duck inside the cool water pool on each of the seven-tiered waterfall.”
I know where our future road trips are going to head to. Terrible how i didn’t even know this waterfall existed here!
I found out about these locations by surfing Nestle’s Home of Adventure app on Facebook. They’re encouraging people to reveal their favourite attractions and features of Malaysia because… we all know different things! What makes it MORE encouraging is their giving away a total of RM35,000
As long as you contribute to the listings, you’re in the running to be one of the 10 winners selected every week to win RM500 each (till 23rd Dec). There are 7 weeks in total, hence RM35,000 is being given away. So basically, the best 70 submissions get prize money! Pretty fair if you ask me.
To surf some travel ideas OR submit YOUR entries, you first select which area of Malaysia you’re focusing on…
Then click on the existing ice cream cones on the map to see what others have submitted.
To submit my own, i first thought of what i wanted to share… tried to think of somewhere i LOVE, so i wrote about Awanmulan heh.
Navigated myself on the map for Kampung Pantai Baharu in Negeri Sembilan.
I selected nature.
This was easy. Since there’s hiking to waterfalls, visiting orang asli villages nearby, and the unbeatable view of virgin forest when you wake up.
Had so many pictures so this was easy too, even tho it’s optional.
I just had to key in my IC number and phone number into the form. And that was it.
RM500 if i win? Why not. Even if i don’t win, at least SOMEONE else will read my thoughts on Awanmulan… and visit it too! Spread the love.
You can submit as many recommendations as you want! And the contest runs till 23rd December so we’ve all got lots of time for initial ideas, and then some more.
We did this crazy short trip last weekend, where we arrived in Cameron Highlands at 3pm Sat, and left around the same time on Sunday. Clem and i agreed it was too long a drive (3 and a half hours) for a one night stay. Still, we had heaps of fun with the others and are just more semangat to look for other places to visit on the weekends now!
Stretching my legs like a boss. Leggings from Topshop London.
One of the others found Moonriver Lodge, a basic guesthouse filled with pretty flowers. They’re planning to build a park next to a stream in the coming year, so if you wanna visit, do it then. The staff are super duper nice (thanks Misha!), helpful, and didn’t mind us making noise when we partied – big plus!
Clem and i waited around for the others cos their car broke down in Cameron’s… So we started making cocktails. Well-deserved ones after the long drive and getting lost!
Hydrangeas through my kaleidoscope
CLICK TO READ MORE
This is a REALLY long post with almost 100 pictures cos there are SO many things to see in LEGOLAND®! The first LEGOLAND® in Asia has finally opened, and in Malaysia no less! It’s the 6th LEGOLAND® in the world (the first five situated in Denmark, UK, Germany, California and Florida), and what makes the Malaysian one special is that it’s tailored to the local environment from food to landscaping.
Seeing the launch was taking place on Saturday 15th Sept 2012, Tianna and i took a bus down on Friday, the day before. We were advised to pack sunblock and brollies cos it can get really hot in the park. Look at the massive umbrella Tianna brought -_-
It looks like a magical umbrella what with the sparkly effect filter my Olympus camera has.
In the bus, each couple was given a box of LEGO® so that we could participate in some challenges and hype ourselves up for LEGOLAND®. At first Ti and i were like, yeah sure, we’ll make some things cos we’re not unsporting. But after winning the first challenge of making a bee, we got really into making stuff and included a walrus and tree to our portfolio.
COME ON. You have to admit that’s a great-looking walrus! He even has a tiny tail.
Our tree. We even made a bird to sit on it. Talk about dedication.
The next morning i woke up really early to catch the LEGOLAND® launch.
With the very talented Sue Anna Joe, whose work i used to follow since my college days!
Special opening activities went on for an hour before doors were open to public; so there were clowns, dancers, stilt-walkers, Legoman, some dinosaur and other characters running, dancing, waving, and jumping all over the place.
The Billund Marching Band, which performs at the LEGOLAND® Park in Denmark, were specially flown down for the launch.
That’s Sigfried Boerst, the General Manager for LEGOLAND® Malaysia. He was part of the pioneer team that opened the first LEGOLAND® in Denmark!
CLICK TO READ MORE