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A couple of months ago, I found myself with a collection of old photographs left in my care by a relative. Among these photos, there are some photos of Batu Pahat taken during the late 50s and 60s. I thought I might as well share it here on my blog. Even though I was given the task to sell this print but I feel that they are too priceless to be sold off. It’s part of our history.ūüôā

This is a photo of Ai Chun before the new school blocks and hall were built thus covering this from public view. If anyone has gone into the school before, this original building can still be found somewhere in the middle of the compound.

The fire station when it was taken on 1st January 1959 (hence said the description in the photo).

I have no idea where this is, but according to the description its Bukit Istana. Would this be the building where the royalties stay when they drop by in Batu Pahat, near to Kampung Istana. To me it looks like the old house situated near to Tasik Y, at the small hill where the government quarters used to be situated. Could someone shed a light on where this is located? All comments are welcomed.

Cathay cinema during the 60s before it was refurbished to be a exhibition hall a couple of years back. Does anyone missed the creaky wooden chairs and the sticky floor that greeted them once you stepped into the hall? Or the stalls selling tit bits lining the side of it whenever there is a blockbuster showing.

I guess that’s all for Part 1, will post more soon …. I hope.

Time Flies

It has been close to 2 years since I last touched this blog. Surprising it may seem, this blog even though inactive still does garner viewers to drop by. I would like to say thanks to those anonymous viewers who still visit this site.ūüôā

I am thinking of making a comeback, but updates won’t be that regular than it used to be. I am now working in KL, I only come back to Batu Pahat during the weekends. I will try to put something here once I have got the materials to contribute.

Stay tuned~

Announcement

-This blog is closed indefinitely until the owner has the time to update it. Sorry for all absence as the owner is changing job soon and not sure when he will be available for postings-

Comeback!

I will be back to posting in a couple of days, just need to arrange my spare time again.

I know I have been slow on updates to this blog. I am wondering should I continue blogging or just delete this blog off the face of this earth. Do give comments.

 

(This is a¬†three part series, I had wanted to make it a long post but it won’t have all the information I need.)

After a good night rest, we woke up to the sound of a morning call at 6:30 am.¬† We got out of bed and cleaned ourself and then went down to the Hotel’s Cafe for our breakfast. We then went back to our room to take our luggage to the tour bus. While waiting for the other passengers to come down from their hotel rooms, me and my wife posed for some pictures at the hotel lobby.¬† The hotel was adorned with Christmas decorations, a lot of Taiwan folks are Christians, testament to the Portuguese influence here since the 1600s.

 

Wife with miniature Santa

Wife with miniature Santa

Wife with Christmas Tree and presents beneath it. This Christmas tree is located in front of a fountain with a naked Venus de Milo in the middle of it. (Sorry no naked pictures, tree blocked).

Christmas tree

Christmas tree

There were also a number of antique vases lying around the lobby. One which struck our attention was the height of my wife.

Giant vase

Giant vase

Since I am bigger size, I decided to pose by hugging it.

Vase hugger

Vase hugger

When most of the passengers have come down we went outside and waited for the bus driver to load our luggage into the tour bus. We decided to take a picture of the hotel’s exterior. Looks kinda majestic, doesn’t it.

Deco Art Hotel

Deco Art Hotel

We then boarded the bus and off we go to the next venue in our itinerary, Yehliu Geopark. On the highway, we passed a lot of office buildings and apartment blocks. What caught our attention was this building, it’s the Taipei 101. The Taipei 101 is the tallest building in the world, it surpassed our Petronas Towers, in Kuala Lumpur back in 2003.

Taipei 101

Taipei 101

At a certain part our bus slowed down, my wife woke up from her slumber and asked me where we are. I told her we were just stopping because of a highway toll. She looked at the toll booth and told me it resembles a triangular sandwich. In fact, after traveling all over Taiwan all the toll booths look like that.

Sandwich toll

Sandwich toll

Finally we arrived at the geopark, when we alighted from the bus, we saw the Yehliu Ocean World building. The Yehliu Ocean World is the first ocean world in Taiwan. There are many marine life being showcased here including the dolphin and sea lion show. Ocean World is located along the beautiful north coast near Yehliu, a scenic area with abundant natural resources. There is a plan for a performance auditorium with a capacity of over 3,000. We did not get a chance to visit this due to time contraints, maybe it’s another place for me to explore in the near future.

Yehliu Ocean World

Yehliu Ocean World

The red canopy stalls you see above are actually stalls selling produce from the sea. The folks who stay in Yehliu county are primarily fishermen. The thing that struck me when I came down from the bus is the aroma of squids being grilled at these stalls. These grilled squids are kinda chewy, so buy them if your teeth or jaw can stand the long gnawing. To the right of the Ocean World, is the Yehliu Geopark ticketing booth. When our tour guide, Benny, went to get us our tickets, we posed for a photo in front of the signboard.

The official signboard

The official signboard

Yehliu Geopark is truly unique because the rock layers near the seashore contain substantial quantities of limestone and sandstone, which are subject to sea erosion, weathering and earth movements, thus making this 1,700 meter-long peninsular almost lunar-like in many ways. The wild looking landscape leaves little to the imagination. It’s easy to imagine what life could be like in another planet. The photo below showcase some of the formations that could be found in the geopark. The one in the middle is what’s made the park famous, it’s the Queen’s Head.

Geopark's Gallery

Geopark's Gallery

This is another structure showing the geopark name in Mandarin.

Chinese sign

Chinese sign

As we were preparing to climb up the geopark, our tour guide pointed out this landscape to us. What do you think it looks like? Our tour guide thinks it looks like a camel with its head and the humped back. Other sources from the internet pointed out that it resembles a dragon head.

Dragon head or camel?

Dragon head or camel?

This is another view of the bottom part of the park, its the public parking area. The faded island in the background is Turtle Island, its where some tour groups go for whale or dolphin watching.

Parking bays

Parking bays

When we were halfway up the hill, there was this sign that shows us how the erosion carved itself into the limestone and sandstone in that area.

How it all began

How it all began

The area is studded with seawater-eroded holes teeming with sea-life, as well as unusual rock formations, which makes the surrounding environment rich in ecological resources. Sun, wind, rain, waves and northeastern typhoons all make a major impact on this narrow strip of land.

 

Sea erosion landscape

Sea erosion landscape

Yehliu famous rock formations run along a thin silver of land jutting out into the ocean. Upon entering, visitors must walk through a plant nursery before emerging out on the bare stretch of rock running parallel to a low-slung mountain range, making it a wonderful habitat for sea-birds. The immediate area boasts a large cluster of candle, ginger and mushroom rocks, all of which gain ther names from their odd-looking appearance.

 

Mushroom Rocks

Mushroom Rocks

The majority of the rocks in this area are mushroom rocks. There are about 180 of them in different states of erosion. Some of them have no neck, while others have broad or extremely thin necks. Yehliu most recognizable landmark and claim-to-fame perches majestically among her subjects. It’s known as the Queen’s Head Rock. Not only does it play its role well over all the little mushroom rocks, it really does resemble a queen’s head when looking it at the right angle.

 

The Queen's Head

The Queen's Head

 

 

 

 

There was even a memorial for a guy erected at the Geopark. The history is that during a storm, a few children fell into the sea. This man came along and rescued them out of the sea but due to fatigue he was later swept out to the sea and never found again.

Legendary Hero

Legendary Hero

There are also rocks that looks like bee-hives. And a lot more weird shapes.

Bee-Hive Rock

Bee-Hive Rock

Asteroid wannabe

Asteroid wannabe

More bee-hives formations

More bee-hives formations

Some scenic views and landscapes.

A view of the sea

A view of the sea

Tip of Peninsular

Tip of Peninsular

 

The day was Monday, 8th December 2008.  Had finished packing our bags last night, took me 2 hours to stuff everything into 2 suitcases. I also manage to pack an extra hand luggage into one of the check in luggages just in case we buy extra souvenirs from Taiwan.

We woke up to the sound of heavy rain lashing at our room window. The time was 5:30 am. The travel agency was supposed to pick us up at 6:10 am. Checked that everything was in order and I got a call from the tour guide. He will pick us up at 6:15 am. We lugged our baggages out of the house and waited for the van to arrive.

The tour guide, Mr. Te helped to carry our luggages to the van and we took off to Chiu Travel at Jalan Rahmat to board to tour bus which will take us to Changi Airport, Singapore. The bus was supposed to depart at 6:30 am but due to some latecomers we only got moving at 7:15 am. The rain was relentless, I was worried that Taiwan would also be raining and spoil my trip there.

My wife nudged me and told me about our bus seating numbers. Actually we just sat randomly in the bus and coincidentally the bus number we sat was 13 & 14 respectively. In chinese numerology 1314 means eternity (forever).

Our eternity seats

Our 'Eternity' Seats

 We arrived safely at Changi Airport at around 10 plus,  and had a quick breakfast at the cafeteria and then proceeded to the check-in our luggages counter at 11:00 am. While walking towards to the boarding rooms, we passed by several Disney decorations adorning the duty free section of the airport. I asked my wife to pose in front of a Mickey Mouse Pirate Ship.

Pirate Mickey's Ship

Pirate Mickey's Ship

 As we reached the waiting room to board the plane, we saw our plane parked outside and my wife was all smiles because this was her first time flying on a plane. This was my 2nd time, my first was 2 years ago when I went to Guangzhou/Hong Kong. This is the photo of the plane we were about to board.
EVA Air BR 226 Flight

EVA Air BR 226 Flight

Minutes before boarding, I got a written message from our tour guide, Mr. Te. It seems that my parents, sister and aunties were at the airport too to see me off as a surprise. But I was already at the waiting room, there was no way for me to see them. I was a bit sad at that. I manage to call my sister from another fellow passenger handphone as my phone has no roaming facilities. We said our farewells from the phone as well as from sms messages and boarded the plane at 1:00 pm. Before that,  my wife just had to take a picture with the plane.

All smiles

All smiles

We will be taking the same airlines back from Taiwan as well. After reading so much about EVA Air, I wanted to see why they were awarded the “Best Premium Economy Class” award in Skytrax annual World Airline Awards. We went straight to the Economy Class section which was at the tail end of the plane. Quite spacious if you asked me. We can watch movies, listen to songs and play games in our seats. My wife got her window seat which was pre-arranged when we booked the holidays earlier. We took a photo before the call came for us to switch off all electronic gadgets, I assume my digital camera is one so to be on the safe side I turned it off the entire trip.

Last photo before flying to Taiwan

Last photo before flying to Taiwan

Nothing much to write about the flight except that we hit a severe turbulence when we were nearing Taipei. It was so bad that I saw a few elderly aunties praying.¬†Luckily we arrived at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport at around 6:20 pm. After getting our passports done and the necessary check-out procedures we proceeded to the airport entrance when we were greeted with a chinese guy holding a sign “Chiu Travel”. This guy would be our Taiwan tour guide for the entire 6 days, his name is Benny Lee. He showed us to our bus and while waiting for the bus driver to finish putting our baggages in the bus, I decided to take¬†a picture of my wife putting our passports in her bag.

Busy keeping the precious documents

Busy keeping the precious documents

It was only 7:00 pm and the whole of Taipei was as dark as night. It’s the winter season in Taiwan now, and the sun sets at 5:00 pm daily. So without much ado our bus moved to our itinerary of the day which is Shilin Night Market. While the bus was moving to its destination, our tour guide explained to us what Taiwan is all about, the places of interest we were about to visit in days to come, the food we are expected to eat including the infamous “Stinky Tofu” or “Chou Dou Fu” in Mandarin, the indigenious tribes of the country as well as the history and geology of the whole island.

I could not remember what time we reached Shilin Night Market as our stomachs were already growling by then. It was a cool 20 degrees celcius in Taipei and the wind was very cooling. A brief introduction of Shilin Night Market, this night market is one of the more famous markets in Taipei, making it a long-time favourite among its residents and tourists alike. Located at the Shi Lin area, it surrounds Yang Ming Theatre extending in all directions as far as Wen Lin, Ji He, Da Dong and Da Nan roads.

Since it’s such a huge market, almost any product imaginable, not to mention any kind of food can be found there. The products are of good quality and quite inexpensive, so that you’re sure to get your money’s worth. In fact, the deals are so good that they draw large crowds even on weekdays.¬†

One of the signboards showing what kind of food¬†being sold in the night market. Due to my poor command of Mandarin, I can only make out the word “Dou Hwa” which means soy milk in English.¬†

What's on the menu today

What's on the menu today

A photo of us taken at the entrance of the Night Market, showing the bustling crowd behind us. This is where all the food are being sold. Benny gave us about an hour to fill our stomach before going to our hotel for a night stay.

Hungry looks

Hungry looks

One of the many stalls in the night market, this one sells Taiwan Sausages. I did not know there were so many varieties to it, and it comes in many sizes too. There were BBQ flavour, Wasabi flavour, sweet sauce flavour and etc. Being hungry I chose the biggest one being sold. It has a skin tone to it and its filled with glutinous rice. It was rather filling, wife only had a bite of it just to try out.

NT50 for a sausage

NT50 for a sausage

We had other food too but I forgot to take the photos. One unique snack of Shilin Night Market is called ‘little roll wrapped in big roll’. This little rolls comes in two types, sweet and salty. The sweet rolls are wrapped in peanuts, taro or jujube paste, while the salty rolls are stuffed with curry and spicy filling. These are pan fried until crispy, then crushed and wrapped in a spring roll wrapper, and then in a softer wrapper creating a softer texture. I bought 3 of these, peanut, curry and original flavour, total cost NT100 which translates to slightly more than RM10.00.

The other not to be missed food here is the stinky tofu or “Chou Dou Fu”. Its also the unofficial national snack food of Taiwan. To the locals, the stinkier it is, the better it’s taste¬†is. My wife couldn’t stand the smell and sat quite a distance away while i enjoyed this snack alone. Its usually served fried and goes well with chilli sauce and marinated veggies.

Fragrant Stinky Tofu

Fragrant Stinky Tofu

¬†Other notable eating stalls in the night market would be the Hao Da Chicken Steak, which is very popular by the looks of the long queue there. We did not try this because of the sizable crowd¬†although we regret it much later.¬† The chicken chop or steak is about twice as large as those¬†served in other eateries. It costs about NT40 per¬†piece.¬† However we had a can of¬†Coca-Cola to wash our food down, wife said¬†I had to take this photo showing the chinese letters of “Ke Kou Ke Le” which is the direct translation of Coca-Cola.

Cold drink to wash the smell of stinky tofu

Cold drink to wash the smell of stinky tofu

After everyone has filled their stomachs, we walk back to our bus and check-in to our hotel of the night, Kirin Hotel. Nothing beats having a warm shower and lying on the bed waiting in anticipation of what tomorrow might bring. More to come in Day 2.

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