Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The Oriental Pavilion Restaurant located at first floor of Jaya 33 Building along Jalan Semangat, Petaling Jaya is our family's favourite dim sum restaurant.

The Chinese character name of the restaurant beckons all visitors.

The Oriental Group of Restaurants recently won the following accolades:-
1. The Best Chinese Cuisine Chef. 2. Top 10 Restaurant of the Year. 3. Top 10 Best Chinese Cuisine Restaurant.

The reception lobby is tastefully decorated. It certainly help to whet one's appetite.

One have to often wait for a while for a table even with a reservation on week-ends or public holidays. The owners of the Oriental Group must be happy & so are the patrons in securing a table without a long wait & tuck in their favourite goodies.

These are some of the dim sum we ordered. We prefer steam ones rather than fried ones for health reasons.

We prefer "sang mein" which is uncooked wheat noodles steamed with minced chicken meat & crab meat.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


The lush outdoor garden surrounds the hotel. It's the greenest hotel in the country.

A pool rich in bubbly active Chinese carps lent an air of good vibes. Reminds me of that song "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys a number one hit all over the music world released in 1966. I still remember: "I'm picking up good vibrations"

The bright & airy open-style hotel lobby. The subdued sunlight bathes the entire lobby giving it an elegant & soft look & graceful ambiance.

Many lovely coconut palms fringed the swimming pool. I reminiscent my many dips in this pool as my then bank employer held many meetings, workshops & managers' conference in this hotel. I too stayed in this hotel during my many business trips to Penang.

The alcove within the open lobby is used for exhibits & display.

The neat rows of plants growing downwards from the highest level tastefully adorns the atrium.

It pays to look up at the sky-roof which is a unique piece of architecture. It was built in accordance to the sound principles of Chinese geomancy or fung shui with the octagon-shaped roof. It is certainly about 8 a pun on the Cantonese word "fatt" which means prosperity. How apt in this particular case as the prosperity seems to come from the Heavens above.

The glass bubble lift provides a majestic view of the central atrium & the open lobby.

A view from outside Hotel Equatorial, Penang at the highest point of Bukit Jambul.
There is also a view of the recently completed twin Hillcrest Residences.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


The Sungai Gombak-Sungai Batu promontory is an ideal spot for anglers to cast their lines as the rivers along that stretch are rich in patin a type of fresh water silver cat-fish well known for its juicy taste.

The Putra World Trade complex comprising the hotel block, the convention centre & the Office tower block lies at the bend of Sungai Gombak at its confluence with Sungai Batu.

This sign-board erected by JPS (Jabatan Parit Selangor)or Department of Drainage, Selangor displays the name of Sungai Gombak. A telephone number is provided in case of complaints.

The confluence of Gombak River & Batu River. The buildings in the background is part of the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) complex. The rocks had been placed at the confluence spot to help prevent erosion.

Sungai Batu. Rapids created by impounding of rocks across the entire width of Sungai Batu. This source of the river is the forested highlands near the Pahang-Selangor border. The river flows past Batu Caves & it gives the Caves its name.

The rocks are placed in strategic locations along the river bank to take the impact of the water currents.

More rocks & boulders have been placed on both banks of Sungai Gombak to help arrest erosion by the force of the water.

An egret on the rock. A family of egrets live in the vicinity of the confluence of the two rivers as they provide a rich supply of fishes for their sustenance.

Yet another water-bird. I have difficulty identifying the specie. Could be a heron based on my reference to A Field Guide to the Birds of West Malaysia & Singapore by Allen Jeyarajasingam & Alan Pearson. These birds again live off the rich fish life in the waters of the two rivers close to their confluence.

The rocks lie on dry ground on the promontory formed by the confluence of the two rivers. Even the rocks know how to take shelter under the shade of the trees.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Bangkok Lane off Burmah Road in the vicinity of the Thai & Burmese Buddhist temples is flanked by two rows of elegant link houses built in 1928 by Penang businessman Cheah Leong Kah for his family. The architect is Chew Eng Eam one of the earliest Western-trained Penang local. The houses owned by the Cheah family trust are carefully maintained according to a uniform colour scheme. No modifications to either the external or internal design are allowed although some of the houses are rented out to tenants for commercial businesses with signboards placed discreetly but judiciously regulated by the trustees. The rest are occupied by descendants of Mr Cheah.

The Church of Immaculate Conception is a church & parish located in Pulau Tikus, Burmah Road. It was founded in 1811 & is the second oldest church in Penang diocese after the Church of Assumption in the city of Georgetown. It was founded by Father John Baptist Pasqual who came from Phuket, Thailand in 1811.

Under this shrine within the church is the statue of Father Jacques-Honore Chastan (1803-1839) who served as the fourth parish priest of the Church of Immaculate Conception from 1830 to 1833. He left in 1833 to do missionary work in Korea. In 1839 he surrendered himself to the Korean authorities to protect the faith & was beheaded with another priest. He was the only parish priest in Malaysia to be declared as a saint. This was canonised on May 6 1984 by Pope John Paul II.
Another old landmark is the Convent primary & secondary school which was for many years a mission school run by the Catholic nuns. The two convents are set close to one another with the primary school on Lorong Leandros (Leandros Lane) & the secondary on Maktab (College) Lane (Lorong).

The Penang Adventist Hospital opposite Midlands Park Mall-cum-Berjaya Penang Hotel & Office Tower lies towards the end of Burmah Road close to its intersection with Bagan Jermal Road. This hospital is 79 years old & was founded by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. It is popular with Indonesians not only from nearby Medan but also from faraway Jakarta which is connected by daily direct flights thanks to budget airline Air Asia which touts itself as a "low cost carrier".

This is a new row of commercial buildings known as Bellisa Row. Its most famous landmark is Bella Italia Pizza Restaurant which serves good Italian cuisine. There is also a Coffee Bean outlet as well as a Haagen-Dasz ice-cream parlour in addition to the CIMB Bank & AmBank with offices on the higher levels.

This is Ung Cheng Guan. He is not only a familiar figure in Pulau Tikus but also a popular character as he has a large following for his apong a Chinese-style sweet foldover pan-cake made from flour & eggs. He has been plying his trade from a tricycle cart for many years in the vicinity of Burmah Road.

This is another itinerant street hawker who sells roti canai which is Indian pancake made from flour & eggs. The gravy known as dhall is made from beans, lentils, onions & potatoes. He is also another familiar sight in Pulau Tikus.

This is New Cathay Coffee Shop. Not to be missed are their fish meat beehoon (rice vermicelli) wok-fried or in soup from the front stall & wanton noodles with sambal belacan (prawn paste chilli). The strong aroma of freshly fried banana pan-cake assaulted my nostrils as I was crossing Burmah Road from Bellisa Row deftly holding dearly onto my precious cup of Haagen Dazs ice-cream with much undivided concentration.

The photo shows Restoran (Restaurant) Bee Hooi. You must try their fried oyster (oi chien in Hokkien/Fujian), their popiah (turnip roll),loh mee or kway teow theng (soup). They are heavenly. A whiff of chilli paste from the char (fried) kway teow stall mixed with the smell of charcoal smoke invaded the atmosphere

Further north still along Burmah Road in the vicinity of banks are three coffee shops which have a variety of food stalls. The picture depicts Hup Kee Restaurant. Many in Penang swear by it that Hup Kee's curry mee & fried kway teow are the best on the Island.

Close to the two Buddhist temples & along Burmah Road opposite the Pulau Tikus police station are two coffee shops which offer a variety of hawker food. The photo depicts Swee Kong Coffee Shop whose assam laksa noodles & roast pork (char siew) rice are popular with patrons.

Next to Swee Kong Coffee Shop but separated by Solok Moulmein Lane is Kedai Kopi (Coffee Shop) Kwai Lock. The stalls which draw many customers are those offering herbal duck soup & duck mee sua (fine rice noodle) as well as chee cheong fun (rice noodle roll)
The Reclining Thai Buddhist Temple is located along Burma Lane, off Burmah Road. Opposite this temple is the Burmese Buddhist Temple. The reclining Buddha is reported to be the 14th largest reclining Buddha in the world. Lord Buddha looks so serene & unperturbed as he lies on his right with his head resting on his right palm. Outside the hall the sandalwood scent from the joss sticks tantalise both the supplicants & tourists alike.
There is inside the Burmese Buddhist temple a giant- standing Buddha in a beautifully carved wooden hall with different images of Buddha from different Asian countries. Sitting along the breezy windowless corridor is so peaceful as the sound of silence is pervasive & unobtrusive despite the occasional pealing of prayer bells.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


The external view of the newest & largest shopping mall on Penang island, the Queensbay Mall.

The Queensbay Mall at Bayan Lepas is Penang island's newest & largest shopping mall. It was built over land which was reclaimed from the sea not too long ago. It is close to the Bukit Jambul & Bayan Baru residential areas as well to the Bayan Lepas airport & Bayan Lepas industrial zone as well as to the Penang Bridge.

An evening view of the iconic Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak (KOMTAR) Penang's first high-rise with an office tower block & a podium on lower levels comprising retail & other commercial & business establishments.

The Gama Shopping centre located at No. 1 Jalan Dato' Keramat just across the road from the KOMTAR complex.

The 1st Avenue Mall adjacent to the KOMTAR complex. It is spic & span. Perhaps the newest shopping mall in Georgetown.

Photo taken from the linkway between the 1st Avenue Mall & the Prangin Mall. In the background is the linkway between KOMTAR & the Prangin Mall.

A view of the KOMTAR office tower from the 1st Avenue Mall-Prangin Mall linkway.

Komtar Complex comprising an office tower block & retail & commercial establishments was the first high-rise development at the heart of Georgetown.

Perhaps the newest shopping mall in Georgetwon, the 1st Avenue Mall which is linked via internal bridges to the KOMTAR complex & the Prangin Mall.

Prangin Mall which is connected to KOMTAR Complex & 1st Avenue Mall by enclosed link bridges. The Prangin Mall is reputed to be the largest shopping mall in Georgetown.

Gurney Plaza the latest icon along the hawker-fare famed Gurney Drive a seaside promenade.

Midlands Park Shopping Centre adjoins Berjaya Penang Hotel. The shopping centre is a bit jaded in view of recent additions to the Penang shopping mall scene.