Thursday, May 25, 2017

KTMB Locomotive Class 22 at Gemas

Use only with permission
Loco Class No. 22, Gemas

May 2017. Gemas was the pulse of Peninsula Malaysia's railroad networks, and the train station was a popular stopover for many travellers from Kuala Lumpur and Seremban planning a trip to the East Coast and vice versa. 

One of the reliable iron-horses which served these two railway lines then was Locomotive Class 22. 

Today, visitors to this quaint railway town can find the trusted diesel powered machine on static display next to the old train station.  Interestingly, it is parked on the same iron roads which once linked Tanjung Pagar in Singapore to Bangkok but now sadly, they are left for scraps. 

Use only with permission
Short stretches of the old iron road are preserved.

Use only with permission
Loco No. 22 is the main draw at Gemas station.

Use only with permission
Next to Loco No. 22 is an old Gemas Signboard.

Use only with permission
A refreshing look at the narrow gauge line.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Railroad Crane at Gemas Train Station

Use only with permission
A pleasant railway gem in Gemas.

Use only with permission
Precious train artifacts.

May 17, 2017 Gemas. A short walk from the old train station is a railroad crane from the British era. A quick check shows that the crane is self-propelled made and the accompanying wagon next to it could be the main power source to move the crane.

Gemas in its hey days was an important railway hub in Peninsula Malaysia, and this special role vehicle could have played vital roles in the nearby train yard, or when there were breakdowns or emergencies along the lines.

Use only with permission
A view overlooking the old wooden train station and the
new structure which now serves ETS and the regular KTM services. 

It's a pleasant surprise that efforts are taken to preserve the old wood built Gemas station and to put a few preserved rolling stocks on the rusted tracks. Together they go a long way to create a refreshing perspective for visitors to appreciate train heritage in Malaysia.

 On the down side however, more could've been done to ensure they are getting the necessary protection from hostile Malaysian elements, and to elevate this historically rich train hub to its rightful status for the benefits of generations to come.

Use only with permission
The Malaysian authority should step in to preserve these railway relics
 before they are destroyed by the elements.

Use only with Permission
The Old Sign which has seen better days.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Kinta Tin Mining Museum - A Tin Treasure Trove of Kampar

Kampar Tin Museum - A treasure trove.
July 2013. Kampar was once a thriving tin mining town in Perak but the slump in tin price in the world market in the 80s quickly put a dramatic end to its illustrious past. Over two centuries, the town was synonymous with this precious mineral and all walks of life in this quaint Malaysian town revolved around tin and tin mining.

The Kinta Tin Mining (Gravel Pump) Museum is an excellent location to retrace and have a glimpse of the scale of tin mining industry and to know better the people who once worked in the open-cast mines.

It's currently Malaysia's foremost and dedicated museum featuring the rich tin legacy in this country.
The elephant which first discovered the rich tin deposit of Kinta Valley

A Model of Palong - The Heartbeat of Tin Mines

Another attribute of this museum located in Bandar Baru Kampar (next to the Petronas Station and within the vicinity of the Grand Kampar Hotel) is its humble origin.  The museum was a brainchild of a tin tycoon who was keen to showcase the gravel pump mining method which was widely applied in the Kinta Valley during its hey days.

The museum which consists of two main galleries also serves as a tribute to local tin miners who took up the backbreaking work to earn a decent living and I believe also for those who made the ultimate sacrifices when they became victims when the gravel walls collapsed or the water retention pool burst.

Women work in palong to retrieve loose tin particles

Women play vital roles in mine camps.  They cook meals even after a hard day in the mines.
Your journey to this private museum starts when you are greeted by an elephant sculpture to mark the early chapters of this country's love and hate affairs with tin.

Many of the exhibits and information in the two galleries(each the size of a basketball court) are appropriately spaced and provide a conducive environment to know the subjects intimately.

The mannequins both indoor and outdoor are also perfect to illustrate the life of tin miners working in the dangerous mines. However, I find that the miners lookalikes could benefit more from a bit of imagination from the part of the curators.

Bearing in mind that entrance to this private museum is free (donations are welcome), I must add that the quality of the exhibits and information inside stand on par if not better than most other well-funded museums in this country.

Tin Ingots 

A Gravel Pump

Powerful Water Hose to break down the earth wall in tin mines
Young visitors to the tin museum are likely to be fascinated more by the life-size dioramas featuring real heavy mining equipment from now defunct mines.  They are found around the main exhibition halls, unfortunately, some are rusting away under Malaysia's hostile elements.

The captivating dioramas depict well the gruesome tasks both men and women of Kampar must face when they are out clearing new lands to find the precious mineral.   Look further and you could still heard the loud roars from the iron beasts and shouts from the mining crews cutting and digging every inch of the earth to look for tin.

The Tin Mining Museum despite its size and its lack of sophisticated exhibits, is in my opinion, has attained remarkable success in shouldering and safeguarding the tin mining legacy for the generations to come.  

If you're looking a museum to know Malaysia's proud history, this is the place. It  will get your thumbs up too as a place for your family to have both fun and educational outing and to discover the Kampar's rich Tin Legacy.

Entrance to Museum 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Scorpene - Malaysia Silent Killer

A sneak peek at Malaysia's silent killer and its answer to the growing threat in the South China Seas.  When the Malaysian King went for a ride on the sub, the Chinese wasn't very happy about it.

Pulau Layang-Layang - Gem or Curse?

This little Malaysian Isle has more birds than humans calling it home, but at any moment now, it would turn into a potential flashpoint in a regional power grab.  According to the navy guys we spoke to, this remote outpost -located 175 nautical miles from Labuan in the waters of Malaysian shores - has many 'visitors' but they come mostly in their submarines. (Chinese & the US Navy were the regulars).

Thus it comes as no surprise that some of the daily routines for Malaysian sailors stationed in Pulau Layang-Layang involve training their cannons out to the sea.  Frame this picturesque island in your mind now before it disappears in a big ball of fire.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Khoo Boo Chia Embarks on a New Museum project in Thailand

Khoo Boo Chia, the former curator of Penang Museum is currently embarking on a new museum project in Hadyai in Thailand.

We are told that he is spearheading a dedicated team to establish a new Peranakan Museum in Thailand's southern province. This project is his second after his success at creating the mini museum in Penang's Khoo Kongsi.

Khoo has also informed Malaysiaheritage that the Hadyai Peranakan Museum will to open its door to visitors in December 2010.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Acropolis Museum

A fascinating write-up on Acropolis Museum written by Kenneth Baker (San Franscisco Chronicle).
Athens - — Designing a museum figures nowadays as a rite of passage in the careers of many celebrity architects. New York's Bernard Tschumi faced an unusually stern test in this vein after winning a competition in 2001 to build the New Acropolis Museum.

For starters, he and Athens architect Michael Photiadis had to contend with house ruins - dating from the fourth to seventh centuries A.D. - unearthed on the museum site, about 1,000 feet southeast of the Acropolis and its crowning fifth century B.C. relic, the Parthenon.

Tschumi's solution, intricately worked out in cooperation with archaeologists and preservationists, was to suspend the entire building on 43 carefully positioned columns, leaving the ruins beneath exposed to view and, eventually, to visitors.

Second, and more daunting, Tschumi had to establish an appropriate architectural connection with the Parthenon, a structure justly regarded as a lodestar of Western culture.

He did this by setting the glass-clad gallery of Parthenon sculptural fragments on top of the New Acropolis Museum, in plain view of the temple's remains on the adjacent "sacred rock." The gallery duplicates the footprint and orientation of the Parthenon, so visitors encounter the sculptural fragments on view in the relationship they would have had when the Parthenon was intact.
Museumgoers can step closer to these nuggets of classicism than their original position, elevated on the building's frieze and pediments, would ever have permitted.

With its survey (on a lower floor) of archaic sculptures excavated on the Acropolis, and its dramatic mirroring of the Parthenon, the New Acropolis Museum makes a standing argument for repatriation of the so-called Elgin Marbles, the largest and finest remnants of Parthenon sculpture, prize treasures of the British Museum since the early 19th century.

Thomas Bruce, the seventh Earl of Elgin, served as British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, which by then had ruled Athens for more than three centuries. His diplomatic standing enabled him to purchase and export to Britain about half of the surviving fragments of Parthenon sculpture.

In entrepreneurial terms, Elgin's venture proved disastrous to him, but arguably it did keep the classical treasures safe during some of Athens' most tumultuous modern decades.

In the early 20th century, in compensation for what looks like plunder in post-colonial perspective, the British sent to Athens plaster casts of metopes from the Parthenon frieze that Elgin had removed. These now form part of the New Acropolis Museum's Parthenon gallery display, their plaster whiteness contrasting - reproachfully, to those aware of the controversy - with the marble warmth of the surviving originals.

However the ongoing controversy shakes out, Tschumi succeeded wonderfully in his stated aim of making a museum of "concrete, marble, glass and light."

Monday, July 19, 2010


70 km west of Bangkok lies the Maeklong Train Market, a favorite spot with train spotters. Here the traders will go about doing their business next to a railway line. The market is popular with locals who want fresh produce at an affordable price.

However five times in a day, the seemingly organized situation in the market will abruptly change whenever a train from Bangkok arrives.

Traders have learnt to adapt to the trains and they have adapted some clever improvisation to their make-shift stalls. Wheels are attached to the table and canopies are fixed with removable bamboo poles to allow a quick escape from disaster when the train chugs alongside within inches from their stalls.

The Thai Railway Authority makes a decent profit from this arrangement and charges each of the stall owner 30 Baht or US$1 rental to trade along the railway track.

Locals will tell you that they have no qualms doing business next to the train track but every now and then, there will be casualty namely involving mainly those over enthusiasts foreign visitors with their cameras.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Melaka TLDM museum

Last Feb (2010) we went to a museum so called TLDM .Althougt we had to pay entrance fee the money was quiet worth it .(RM 3 FOR ADULT RM 1 FOR CHILDREN) SO I hope you'll enjoy your trip and you will think what I say is true.(This museum is just for display please do not try to steal anything.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sokcho Squid Sushi Paradise.

Situated on the north eastern coast of South Korea, many visitors often give this coastal city a miss when they come to this part of the country. Many have only one aim - to head to the nearby hill resort -Seoraksan.

We were pleasantly surprised with what Sokcho has to offer when we decided to leave Seorak-dong and spent a couple of days there on September 22, 09.

We desperately wanted a change from the regular, and pricer kimchi based stuff they offered at Seorak-dong, thus Sokcho easily become the obvious choice when it comes to looking for a more delightful choices of Korean food and value for money.

We found the harbor to be a seafood paradise.

If raw squid sushi catches your fancy, then head to the Marine Police base across from the City Hall. There, twenty something squid stalls are operated by mostly women. They will sell you 4 giant squids from W10,000, but you need to bargain hard.

Apparently September is the peak harvest season for squids. The locals too come in full force to fish for squids and you can watch them engage in their favorite past time not far from these makeshift stalls.

When you have agreed on the price, they will net the squids fresh from special water tanks and slice them into pieces using knifes and special squid shredder. All these are over in just a few minutes.

The dish come with tiny onion cuts and green chilles on top of the servings and a packet of spicy red sauce which is extra W1000, and there you'll have your fresh squid sushi. You eat Sokcho sushi by taking the cut squid in a paper cup and mixing it with the hot sauce.

There are also unforgetable seafood delights at the edge of the port near the lighthouse and the Sokcho pavillion. The building housing the sushi foodstalls are located opposite the pathway to the pavillion and it is a short walk from the large parking area to the far end near the massive tidal breaker.

You can order the meals from many fresh seafood sellers downstairs and you enjoy the meals upstairs overlooking the inner harbor.

The services are fast and friendly and you know it is a good place to enjoy food when the locals head there too.

Anyone who loves seafood should seriously consider making a stop at Sokcho.

Miss Kim Chol Yeon from the local tourist office who mans the tourist booth just outside the Sokcho Express Bus Terminal is a great help if you have just arrived in Sokcho and need information.