Sunday, December 22, 2013

Drinking water from rattan

After a caving trip in Merapoh in Pahang some of the local guys cut rattan to get a fresh supply of drinking water.
 It is surprising how much water one rattan can hold. And it tastes just like water. There is no taste.

Ajak enjoying a drink

Here is a 1943 report on "Drinking Water from the Rattan Vine", from a technical training manual of the US War Dept.

I was intrigued by these leaves with holes in a pattern. I don't know what the leaf is, or what made the holes

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

Klang River monitor lizards and otter

On a few occasions I've seen monitor lizards in the Klang river at Brickfields, near the Tun Sambanthan monorail station. Normally I don't have my camera with me. On one occasion I did, but the river had been in flood and flowing very fast and the monitor lizards were also fast. So it was not easy to take photos.

The first photo is a small (young) monitor lizard floating on a pile of vegetation. The 2nd photo shows a larger one swimming away from the camera -

The other day as I was crossing the pedestrian bridge from the station to Kuen Cheng school I spotted an otter by the river. It was not on the bank, but on an area of earth exposed by the river. Once again I didn't have a camera. The otter looked quite big and also quite dark. It must have seen me watching as it dived into the water and I didn't see it again.

I've no idea which species it was. It was only the second time I've seen an otter in the wild in Asia. The first time was in the river at Krabi town, in south Thailand.
[photos taken at Melaka animal safari]

Someone else has blogged about the Klang River otters, see the blog.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Asian Koel bird

Every year I keep a log of when the koel bird arrives in KL. This is a migatory bird with a really irritating and loud call. The call sounds like the bird's name - koel, ko-elll.

It is a type of cuckoo, and like other members of the cuckoo family, it lays its eggs in the nests of crows, so that the young are raised by crows. According to Wikipedia, it migrates to warmer climates in winter, so as it arrives in KL in Dec, it must have come from a colder country.

It is the Asian Koel. Wikipedia has some good photos. The other day a bird was calling loudly in front of my kitchen. I scanned the trees looking for it but couldn't find it amongst the leaves. However I did spot the female, which was sitting on a tree listening to the call.

As with many birds, the male and female have different coloured plummage. The female is brown and speckled

See my older blog for some bad pictures of the darker male , which is bluish black.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas 2013 at The Gardens & Mid Valley

Having seen the Christmas decorations in The Pavilion and at KLCC , I think they are better than those at The Gardens and Mid Valley.

Mid Valley is nice in that the main theme is white, but I'm not keen on the white "cardboard cut out" trees with music on them!

At least these trees are green
though the reindeer looks a bit tacky!

The Gardens is quite low key, though it's traditional in a tasteful way.

There are hanging 'chandeliers' with deer antlers


Lots of presents around this tree
 Christmas would not be Christmas without turkey. And Cold Storage are giving the option of halal or non halal turkey!

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christmas 2013 at KLCC

Suria KLCC has a nice Christmas display in the centre concourse. The theme is a fireplace and chimney, with a huge teddy bear, presents, toys etc. The mantlepiece has candles. It has been done very nicely. It is much better than the single huge purple tree they've had in past years.

Outside in the hot sun is an enormous Christmas tree. They used to have it inside in the centre court. It seems much better outside, with a more interesting display inside.

This entrance had a nice display of toys and trees, with a centre theme of a set table

At other entrances there are small displays with Santa.

Harrods are doing Christmas meals. But RM68++ for one course of turkey with mash potato and veg is rather a lot. Although I have eaten in Harrods before and it was very good.
See also Fahrenheit, and Pavilion, and Mid Valley and Gardens.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Afternoon Tea v High Tea

I enjoy going to nice places for High Tea. High Tea is quite common in S E Asia, and is not to be confused with the English afternoon tea. The latter is generally just a cup of tea and a cake or biscuit eaten as an afternoon snack.

High Tea is very different. It is almost a meal in itself. And it is not cheap, it often costs more than a meal. I don't recall ever having a High Tea in England. In any case the cost there is ridiculous. A quick google shows that Claridge's Hotel in Mayfair, London, charges £50 (exc. service charge) for a classic afternoon tea.

In Malaysia, High Tea really varies according to the place. Some places serve a Malaysian version, or fusion, and include Malaysian snacks like noodles, curry puffs, local kuih (cakes). I don't go to those.

I only go to those that have traditional items - finger sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, cakes and pastries.

Christmas 2010 I went to the Grand Millenium Hotel in Bukit Bintang for their "English Afternoon Tea". It was really good.

It served the items that I like.

At RM28 ++, it was quite good value for a treat. In Dec 2013 I went to ask about the current high tea and was disappointed to find it is now RM58++ for a chocolate hi-tea. Although it sounds nice, I think it might be a bit too much - in terms of chocolate and cost!

Durian light

Other high teas I have enjoyed have been in the Strand Hotel, in Yangon in Myanmar. And one in Sandakan, Sabah, at the English tea house.

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas 2013 at Bukit Bintang pt 2 Pavilion

The Pavilion definitely has my vote for the best decorated mall this Christmas, 2013. OK it's probably the most upmarket shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur so they should put on a good display, but it's way ahead of other malls.

Snowflakes on the trees -

The entrance

  There were reindeer outside and polar bears inside

The Christmas poinsettia

 The atmosphere was really nice with Christmas songs playing and the merry go round added to the effect. Icicles hanging on the tree -

© Liz Price
No reproduction without permission

See also Fahrenheit, and Suria KLCC and Mid Valley & Gardens.