The Bridges Of Putrajaya (Part 6)

Posted by : foongpc | Tuesday, May 27, 2014 | Published in

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This is the final post in The Bridges Of Putrajaya series. Initially, I wanted to cover all 9 bridges as all of them were unique in their own ways, but I did not have the time to visit all of them.

You may want to check out the 5 bridges I have blogged about so far ....

Part 1 : Seri Wawasan Bridge
Part 2 : Seri Gemilang Bridge
Part 3 : Pedestrian Bridge
Part 4 : Seri Saujana Bridge
Part 5 : Putrajaya Monorail Suspension Bridge

In this Part 6, I am going to share about the Seri Bakti Bridge.

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This bridge connects the Government offices in Precinct 1 to the residential neighbourhood which includes the Deputy Prime Minister's Residence in Precinct 16.

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Standing on the bridge, I could see the beautiful scenery of Putrajaya Lake with the pink-domed Putra Mosque in the distance.

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The Seri Bakti Bridge comprises a dual two-lane carriageways, 2m-wide median, and 2.5m-wide walkway and cycle track.

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Minimalist in design, it has elements of Islamic architecture with a minaret-style pavilion at each pier. Even the lamp posts and railings fit in nicely with the overall design.

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Although this bridge is not as grand and spectacular as other major bridges in Putrajaya, I kind of like it! The pavilions with green roofs serve as observational decks overlooking the beautiful Putrajaya Lake. Flowers are planted inside the pavilion to add some greeneries to the concrete structure.

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Not satisfied with just walking on the bridge, I walked down the steps to the area below the bridge and took this photo.

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I thought it looks pretty charming from down here. What do you think?

And this concludes my Bridges Of Putrajaya series. Which one of the bridges do you like best? Perhaps I will visit the remaining bridges in the future, so you might just be looking at a Part 7 or Part 8! Who knows? :)

The Bridges Of Putrajaya (Part 5)

Posted by : foongpc | Thursday, May 22, 2014 | Published in

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I'm taking a break from my blog posts about my Penang trip to continue with my long forgotten Bridges Of Putrajaya series.

There are altogether 9 bridges in Putrajaya, the administrative capital of Malaysia. So far, I have covered four of them. To refresh your memory here are the links.

Part 1 : Seri Wawasan Bridge
Part 2 : Seri Gemilang Bridge
Part 3 : Pedestrian Bridge
Part 4 : Seri Saujana Bridge

Of all the bridges, there is one that really fascinated me. It's the Putrajaya Monorail Suspension Bridge. This is how the bridge looks like from afar.

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Notice something interesting about this bridge? Look closely at the two ends. When I first saw this bridge, I was like, how the hell do anyone get onto it? Yes, it is suspended on both sides.

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In case you think it is purposely built that way for some unknown reason, let me assure you that basically the bridge is simply uncompleted. LOL!

In the background is the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque also known as the Iron Mosque. Do google about this mosque if you are interested to know more.

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Located at Precinct 4, the Putrajaya Monorail Suspension Bridge was designed to link the monorail from Putrajaya Sentral to other areas in Putrajaya. It was part of the monorail project that was intended to have 2 lines, 23 stations and 18 km of track.

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However, in 2004, the project was halted due to financial constraints. At that time, the Government did not approve further funding as it was thought that the small population of Putrajaya could not justify the viability of a monorail service.

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Now a decade later, the city's population had grown but there is still no news about the project whether it will continue or cancelled for good.

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So the bridge now stands there across Putrajaya Lake looking all forlorn and empty.

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In fact, while I was snapping photos of this bridge, the song "Mr Lonely" kept playing in my head.

Lonely, I'm Mr Lonely,
I have nobody,
For my own
I'm so lonely,
I'm Mr Lonely....

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Personally, I think the Government should revive the project and make the monorail system a reality. Putrajaya desperately needs a good monorail system as anyone without a car will attest to the fact that getting around Putrajaya can be really quite tough.

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Even former Prime Minister and the brainchild behind Putrajaya Tun Dr Mahathir had called upon the present Government to continue the monorail project as the administrative capital is facing more and more traffic congestion.

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It would be pretty sad to see the incomplete bridge abandoned in this way.

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On the other hand, the bridge could be a good location for movie making. Maybe Hollywood may want to consider filming a movie here. An apocalypse-type of movie perhaps?

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It's still my hope to see a monorail running through this bridge. I am pretty sure that with a monorail system, Putrajaya will get to attract more tourists.

Coming Up Next : Jambatan Seri Bakti

Penang Ais Tingkap (Window Sherbet) @ Tamil Street

Posted by : foongpc | Thursday, May 15, 2014 | Published in

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It was first time trying out Ais Tingkap, or Window Sherbet in English.

It looks like a rose syrup drink but filled with coconut flesh and basil seeds. I believe the drink is unique to Penang and you can't find it anywhere else. If the name Ais Tingkap or Window Sherbet sounds weird, well that's because it was originally sold through a window back in the 1930's!

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Many thanks to Penang bloggers Ken and Ann who admittedly had not tried this drink before, but was willing to help me search for the stall located along Tamil Street beside Chowrasta Market.

I had the opportunity to see how Ais Tingkap was made. First, the cups were filled with shaved ice, liquid sugar, and syrup made of rose essence. Then a spoonful (or more) of each of these three pre-soaked ingredients were added into each cup - biji selasih (basil seeds), kembang semangkuk and getah anggur.

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I'm not sure what you call the kembang semangkuk in English but it literally means 'bloat in a cup' because when soaked for about an hour, the inner flesh breaks through the skin and bloats into a jelly-like texture.

The getah anggur (literally means 'rubber grapes') is actually olibanum gum - a type of resin obtained from a tree bark in India. This needs to be soaked for a day and it will bloat into a transparent, jelly-like mass.

After that, fragrant Indian herbs and root mixture were sprayed.

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Then, coconut water was added.

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And coconut flesh too. Lastly, the drinks were topped with more shaved ice.

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This is my Ais Tingkap drink. See those tadpole-like eggs? They are actually biji selasih (basil seeds) that expanded into these translucent gel shapes when soaked for about 20 minutes.

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How should I describe the drink? Well, it was refreshing, sweet, and aromatic with nice chewy texture from the basil seeds and getah anggur. I would say it's a perfect drink for a hot day! And it was indeed a hot day in Penang.

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Having spanned three generations, this family business is still going strong. Starting with the grandfather who moved his sherbet business from Sri Lanka to Penang in the 1930's, followed by his son and finally to the grandson and his brothers currently running the business.

Although originally 25 different types of herbs were used, now it is reduced to just a handful due to  the difficulty in getting the supplies from India.

If you ever visit Penang, do not miss this very unique cold drink by the name of Ais Tingkap.

Penang Food Hunt : Bak Kwa Bun And Duck Leg Wrap

Posted by : foongpc | Tuesday, May 6, 2014 | Published in

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It was my first time eating Duck Leg Wrap. Never heard of such a thing? Me neither, until Penang food blogger Ken (together with blogger Ann) brought me to this stall located at the junction between Kimberley Street and Cintra Street.

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Mind you, this was right after I ate a variety of Penang hawker food at Cecil Street Market Hawker Centre. Did I still have enough stomach space left to try more Penang food? You bet! :)

Besides Duck Leg Wrap, the stall also sells Bak Kwa Bun, Pork Floss and Braised Chicken Wings too.

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In case you do not know what a Bak Kwa is, it's a salty-sweet dried meat usually made from pork, somewhat similar to jerky.

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I did not find anything special with the Bak Kwa but what made this Bak Kwa Bun so yummy was probably the sauce that was added onto the bread.

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My delicious and warm Bak Kwa Bun!  Oh my, I'm so craving for this right now!

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On the right is a tray of Braised Chicken Wings and on the left is a tray of Duck Leg Wraps. We did not try the chicken wings as they were pretty common. What we were after was the Duck Leg Wrap.

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So what exactly is this exotic food called Duck Leg Wrap? Well, it's actually made up of duck leg, pork, pork liver and wrapped with duck intestines. The wrap is then braised and roasted.

However, this stall's Duck Leg Wrap was slightly different as it used only duck leg and pork. No liver and duck intestines were used.

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Biting into the Duck Leg Wrap, I could only say one thing - it was awesomely delicious! The taste was slightly sweet with an aroma that was hard to resist! Can you see the fatty pork meat? Yummy! I give it two thumbs up!

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Unfortunately, the uncle who have been operating this stall for more than 40 years had decided to quit the business and sold off his recipes and his stall to a new owner. So yes, even if I were to go back to Penang to eat this Duck Leg Wrap, it may not be the same anymore.

Which is a real pity. Hopefully, the new owner manages to maintain the quality and taste of this unique Penang food.

Coming Up Next : Penang's Window Sherbet (Ais Tingkap)

Penang Food Hunt : Cecil Street Market Hawker Centre

Posted by : foongpc | Friday, May 2, 2014 | Published in

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My second day in Penang was very productive and satisfying. After going on a mural hunting spree and visiting some famous landmarks in the morning, I went on a food hunting spree in the afternoon and evening.

Thanks to bloggers Ken and Ann who brought me around, I managed to taste some of the very best food Penang had to offer. Our first stop was at Joo Hooi Cafe at Penang Road to taste the famous Penang Laksa and Cendol. Read about it HERE.

Right after that, they brought me to Cecil Street Market Hawker Centre for some good local Penang hawker fare!

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Located at Cecil Street within the Seven Street Precinct (a triangular piece of land immediately south of Prangin Canal), the hawker centre is probably one of the biggest hawker centres in George Town. It actually faces mostly McNair Street despite it being known as Cecil Street Market Hawker Centre.

This is its name in the local Malay language - Pusat Penjaja Lebuh Cecil.

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Interestingly, the Hokkien word for Cecil Street is Chit Tiao Lor (means 7th road) so the name of this hawker centre in Hokkien is Chit Tiao Lor Ban San (七条路巴刹).

It was about 3pm I think - way past lunch time - so there were not many people in the hawker centre, which was of course, a good thing. Never like crowds!!

We sat in front of this Pasembur stall. And of course, we ordered a plate of Pasembur.

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My plate of Pasembur. OK, actually should be OUR plate of Pasembur. It was shared amongst the three of us.

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In case you have never heard of Pasembur, well, it's actually a popular spicy salad dish that is made up of shredded cucumber, Chinese turnips, bean curds, potatoes, bean sprouts, prawn fritters, flour-batter fritters, and sliced boiled eggs topped up with sweet potato gravy.

This Pasembur was nice, but I could not find anything really special with it.

Next, I was recommended the Lum Lai Duck Meat Koay Teow Th'ng stall. 

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If you are not familiar with koay teow th'ng, it's actually a soup dish comprising flat rice noodles cooked in clear broth and topped with slices of chicken meat, fish balls, and fish cakes. Minced pork are often added in as well. It is also garnished with garlic bits, fried pork fat and scallions.

Of course the one we ordered have duck meat in it. And it's served with a condiment of sliced green chili in soy-vinegar.

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I like this bowl of Duck Meat Koay Teow Th'ng. Not sure if it's the best in Penang though, but it was yummy! Oh by the way, this bowl was all mine - no sharing allowed. LOL!

Besides the pasembur and koay teow th'ng, Ken and Ann also ordered the Char Koay Teow and Popiah for all to share.

Our plate of Penang Char Koay Teow. Oily and sinful, but perhaps heavenly to some!

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Not sure what is a Char Koay Teow? If you are a Malaysian, you have no excuse, but if you are not, I shall leave you to google about it because if I were to explain about every single food in this post, my blog will look more like a Wikipedia. Haha!

This was certainly not the best char koay teow I have tasted in Penang. I managed to try another one the next day which was much better - will blog about that char koay teow in a future post!

Our plate of Penang Popiah.

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This Popiah was delicious. Nice, but probably a little wet. Are all Penang popiah like this? Curious to know what are the ingredients inside? Google it! :)

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Ann also bought some desserts. But I was more interested in the onde onde. I was craving for this sweet potato balls which was covered with grated coconut. Unfortunately, it was not good! No gula melaka (palm sugar) oozing out of the balls at all when I took a bite - what a disappointment!

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Overall, the food at Cecil Street Market Hawker Centre was not bad. I think it's way better and much more authentic than say, Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, which I felt was too commercialised and aimed exclusively at tourists.

So was that the end of my food hunt? Of course not! I did not travel all the way to Penang just to try a few hawker food. So, where did we go next? That's for you to find out, so stay tuned! :)