Felda Residence Hot Springs, Sungkai, Perak

If you plan to go to Penang from Kuala Lumpur or the other way round, you can consider this place as part of your journey, especially if you just want to relax and recuperate from stress.

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Photo source: www.feldaresidencehotsprings-perak.com

 

About 90 minutes drive from Kuala Lumpur, a place in the middle of a forest of palm trees. A decently maintain place suitable for individuals, couples or family to enjoy. If it’s your first trip, I recommend that you arrive before night falls because the road heading to the place does not have street lamps.

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There are deluxe rooms and 1 to 3 bedroom villas. We enjoyed the spacious air-conditioned deluxe room with cable tv. However, the size of the tv is rather small for the size of the room where your bed is rather far from the tv. Well, if you’re not going to spend most of your time watching tv, it doesn’t matter, right?

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The hot springs, being the main attraction, covers a rather big area with different temperatures and usage. Only the main pool has cold water for you to cool down your body temperature and close up your pores. From the main pool, you will need to walk a small distance to other pools such as therapeutic pool, family pool, and mountain springs pool. All pools are warm or hot, except for mountain springs pool which is about slightly cooler than body temperature. Here are pictures of some of the pools.

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Some of the fun stuffs that you can do around the hot springs are…

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Egg boiling

You can purchase 6 eggs for RM5 or 30 eggs for RM20 to boil them yourself at the specific egg boiling hot spring. There is a board that indicates how long you should boil them for the type of boil you want. I accidentally touched the stone surrounding the egg boiling hot spring and yes! It’s hot!

Walk on therapeutic stones

The stone path at the therapeutic pool is somewhat different from those you see at the park. Other than feeling pain from the pointy stones, you will also feel hot from the hot water on the stone path. After few minutes, your feet will adapt.

Water slides

Even if you are not a child, *whisper* if there are no kids at the Mountain Springs pool, have fun with the slide! There are 2 different slide, where one is short and low and the other is higher and curved. The higher slide will rush you down faster, it is rather fun!

Cycling

There are bicycles that you can rent at the reception. You can only cycle around the residence compound which is not that big but if you have no idea what else to do, you can go for it.

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For food, there are some cafe’s around the hot spring area for some snacks during lunch and for dinner, you can only head to Meranti Coffee House, if you are lazy to drive out. The average price for 1 individual dish is about RM15-20.

Location:
Felda Sungai KlahSungkaiPerak35600Malaysia

Tel: +605 4388 801

Hot springs operating hours: 8.00am – 7.00pm

Website: www.feldaresidencehotsprings-perak.com

(Closed) The Friend’s Park Cafe, Bandar Mahkota Cheras

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First try at the Friend’s Park Cafe. Initial impression of this place from the shopfront wasn’t great but thought to try. Its decoration and settings aren’t all fanciful but comfortable enough for me. They have quite a range of food from western to local cuisine. To choose without thinking much, we tried their lunch set for RM9.90.

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Stir-fry noodle mix and fried rice

Their big portion surprised me and the taste, it’s quite nice for my taste. If you’re looking for the “wok fire” taste, it’s not there yet but it is quite well served with many ingredients. For the price, I’m not complaining. I will come back for more!

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The set comes with a cup of iced drink (with few choices such as iced lemon tea, iced green tea) and a scoop of ice cream (either strawberry or yam).

Overall rating: 6/10

 

Location:
3, Jalan Temenggung 23/9, Bandar Mahkota Cheras, 43200 Cheras, Selangor

Tel: +603 8933 9411

Operating hours: 10.00am – 12.00am daily

Red Velvet Cupcake Baking Class @ Big Fun Kitchen, New Bridge Road

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A random search for baking class through Groupon deals caught my eye on Red Velvet Cupcake Baking class. I was initially attracted to the reasonable price then to what will be taught. ^_^  It was my first time attending a baking class at Big Fun Kitchen. From the many classes I attended, no expectation whatsoever.

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The location is convenient with easy to follow maps on their website. Either that or you can google map it yourself. The classroom is bright and clean, making anyone there feeling comfortable especially with the 2 friendly chefs, Ricky and Rick, and Cindy, the administrator (I think).

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All ingredients are pre-prepared and provided to us for mixing. Some ingredients are to mix from raw, some are pre-mixed for adding. Well, although everything was prepared, a recipe is given to us for reference or note taking. I like how the recipe lays out where all ingredients are in weighing measurement. This is because I feel that the difference you get from using measuring cups or spoons is more than weighing the materials.

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All we need to do is mix the ingredient from butter to batter. Step-by-step instructions will be given by Ricky. While you are busy exercising your arms, the whole team of 2RC (Both Ricky and Rick, and Cindy) will go around the class to help you out. They will confirm if your batter is ok or more work.

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The baking process is done by Rick. While the cupcakes are being baked, Ricky is all up for Q&A sessions. I find myself learning a lot from them but would also provided that you do ask your questions, whether stupid or not.

The recipe provided also comes with vanilla cupcake with salted caramel frosting. As for the vanilla cupcake, is already baked for you. What we need to do is decorate them.

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You can decorate with either salted caramel frosting or cream cheese frosting and some sprinkles. You don’t get to see or do the frosting but it was fun decorating. It would be nice if I could see how the frosting are mixed or prepared. Now, that would be up to your own experiment or maybe you can search on youtube.

The salted caramel frosting can shape better than the cream cheese frosting because the cream cheese melts rather fast. So, it is very important that before you use the frosting, you have to chill it for 15-30 minutes.

I had fun! Have you?

 

Location:
277, New Bridge Road, #02-01
Singapore 088751

Tel: +65 6536 6759

Email: info@bigfunkitchen.com

Website: http://www.bigfunkitchen.com

Wawel Castle and Cathedral, Krakow, Poland

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 Wawel Castle

The Wawel hill was a shelter for people as long as 100,000 BC ago. It became the residence of the kings of Poland in mid-11th century. The Episcopal See of Cracow was established in A.D. 1000 and the first cathedral on the site was built shortly thereafter. Wawel’s importance changed when Sigismund III Vasa moved the court to Warsaw in 1609-1611 but it remained as official royal residence and the site of coronations and funerals of Polish kings. The castle became a residential museum since 1930. (Source: Wawel Royal Castle brochure)

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The castle today has 5 permanent exhibitions and 3 seasonal routes opens from April to October. There are available information at the visitor information centre or the ticket counter to read on what each exhibition displays.

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Each exhibitions has different admission fee and timing. One thing to note is the admission time is controlled in batches. So, you may not be allocated the time you wanted. So, it will be best that you allocate a full day to visit the castle and cathedral.

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You will need to be sure which exhibition you would like to visit. At the ticket counter, there are number of tickets available shown for each exhibition. The State Room has the most visitors. This exhibition displays appearance of royal residence in 16th and early 17th centuries. Some of the interesting things that you could see are many reowned tapestry, leather wall decorations, and coffered ceiling with wood carvings of human heads.

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Here’s how the ticket looks like with admission time. They will still allow you to enter even if you missed the admission time especially if you are not in a big group. Big bags or luggages must be deposited at the luggage room available.

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Wawel Cathedral

Admission ticket to the cathedral is different from the castle. You can visit the ticket counter in front of the cathedral. It is a recommended place to visit. I enjoyed the cathedral more than the castle, especially when I don’t have a guide with me to explain more of the history of the castle.

Operating hours: Weekdays during April to September 9.00am – 5.00pm ; October to March 9.00am – 4.oopm; Sundays and holidays 12.30 – 5.00pm

Ticket prices: Adult 12 Zloty, Reduced 7 Zloty

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Behind your ticket is this map, you can follow the map to see the whole cathedral.

Enjoy!

Historical city centre walking tour, Krakow, Poland

Reaching Krakow caught me by surprise because I expected it to have many of very old and worn buildings but instead it is all interesting and clean. It is the second largest city and one of the oldest place in Poland. The look of old buildings does not match up to its real age. You can see how well they are restored and kept making you feel very welcome.

I had very little time to visit the many attractions available. So I had to start with the some of the most famous locations. I got this very informative book from the hotel which provides an easy-to-follow walking trail.

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I have selected the Historical City Centre tour which brings you to the Old Town, or also called the Main Market / Main Square, where some of most famous historical places are and also the city centre is. This tour roughly will take you 1 day but I only had half a day, visiting only some main attractions while still passing by the recommended locations on the map. I started my tour from the North to South, that is from Grunwald Battle Monument (near the train station) to Wawel Castle.

Here’s a little information of the few places I visited. Information extracted from The Visitor book.

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Grunwald Battle Monument

This is a monument to the battle of 500 years ago when Polish and Lithuanian forces defeated the Teutonic Knights. This monument is replaced by a copy in 1976 because the original monument was destroyed at the beginning of World War II. On the top of the monument is an equestrian sculpture of King Wladyslaw Jagiello. On the front dais is the Lithuanian Prince Witold and at his feet, defeated in battle, the Teutonic Grand Master, Ulrich von Jungingen.

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The Barbican

Facing the monument is The Barican. Built between 1498-1499 as the most important element in the defense wall system around the city. In some places, the walls are 3 meters thick and surrounded by a 6 meter deep and sometimes 26 meters wide moat.

Visiting hours: April to October, everyday 10.30am – 6.00pm

Ticket price: Adult 8 Zloty; Reduced 6 Zloty

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The Florianska Gate

Walking towards the city from The Baarbican is the main city gate which was built at the end of XIII century to protect the northern entrance to the city. Inside the gate is the altar to the Holy Mother of Piaski. The roof was built in Baroque style with chapel on the first floor. The elevation shows the Polish eagle, symbol of Poland’s first rulers, by Jan Matejko.

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The Basilica of the Holy Virgin Mary

An easily spotted attraction in the Main square. It was built in 1287-1320. It was built originally in Gothic style, with Baroque chapels and altars. Today, it contains frescoes and stained glass windows. Both towers of the church are not in equal height or style. The higher is 88m and lower one at 69m. The taller tower was originally a city guard tower for lookouts. A horn was blown to signal to shut the gates against approaching enemies. Today, it is heard every hour from the tower. The horn stops suddenly in mid call in remembrance of the guard struck by an arrow when warning the people of Krakow of the approaching enemy.

 

I recommend that you enter the Basilica. I’m sorry that I’m not posting the inside photo here as my photo will not bring out how beautiful it looks. You can view from afar by entering from the front or get closer to the altar with a fee by entering from the right.

Visiting hours: Weekdays 11.30am – 5.45pm, Sundays and church holidays 2.00pm – 5.45pm (Altar opens at 11.50am on weekdays)

Ticket price: Adult 10 Zloty; Children, students, seniors 5 Zloty; Children under 8 free

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The Cloth Hall

Located in the middle of the Main square, The Cloth Hall which was originally a street crossing with shops on both side and was then roofed with many shops selling local souvenirs. It was reconstructed many times with different styles and decorations and was opened in September 2010 after a total renovation. The 1000 square meters long hall today also has exhibition galleries displaying pictures and sculptures from XIX century, and cafeteria with viewing terrace of the square and the Basilica. If you need more information, you can also find a visitor centre there.

Gallery visiting hours: Tuesday – Thursday and Sunday 10.00am-6.00pm; Friday and Saturday 10.00am – 8.00pm

Gallery ticket price: Adult 12 Zloty; Reduced 6 Zloty; Family up to 5 person 24 Zloty (with free entrance to viewing terrace)

Viewing terrace only ticket price: Adult 2 Zloty; Reduced 1 Zloty; Family 4 Zloty

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Adam Mickiewicz Monument

A place in front of the Cloth Hall with many people crowding around to rest, a monument to the celebrated Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz, where his remains were brought from Paris and buried in the Wawel.

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St. Wojciech Church

Still at the Main square, St. Wojciech Church is one of the oldest churches in Krakow. It was reconstructed in Baroque style between 1611-1618.

There is more than what I managed to see. So, if you have more time, you can understand more of the city. You can either have a guide to give you more stories of the city or read from information you can obtain from the visitor centre or internet to appreciate the history of each location and building.

Enjoy!