I stayed at Hotel Puri in Melaka twice. It is converted from an old shop house which was characteristically long and deep. Hotel Puri is one of several so-called heritage hotels in Melaka set in a restored Peranakan townhouse. It is a boutique hotel with beautiful antique fittings and modern conveniences in the room. There's wi-fi and bedside power outlets to power or charge multiple devices. You'll appreciate that when you need to charge two or three camera batteries sequentially, overnight. Many hotels, including new ones, still have the AC socket far from the bed.
This ancient mosque bears testament to the rich multi-cultural roots of Malacca. Its architecture design incorporates Chinese, Hindu, Indonesian and Malay elements. The minaret resembles a pagoda and there are European Corinthian columns and Moorish arches inside. It was originally built by Indian Muslim traders in 1748.
The landmark in the UNESCO World Heritage Site is difficult to photograph as it is surrounded by criss-crossing utility cables. Nevertheless; on a gorgeous morning, the mosque stands as glorious as its past.
Olympus OM-D, ISO 200, f11, 1/1000 sec.
A sepia rendition of an old kopitiam in Main Street, Behrang. This is a typical coffee shop found on many one-street towns along the 'old road' or Federal Route 1.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f6.3, 1/250 sec.
The Tanjung Malim Rest House stands like a crumbling monument to an era long gone. There used to be a rest house in every town but only a few have survived or are still operating. Government rest houses are now mostly a British colonial day relic left abandoned and to fade away silently.
This one is unique as it is one of few with the original design from more than a 100 years ago. One of the last caretakers was a Hainanese. Not surprisingly, the rest house was well-known for the food he served.
The five-foot-way or 'kaki lima' is a colonial legacy from the time when front of shops were required by law to have a 5-foot wide walkway. The practical and functional architectural design element lives on in the old shops of Tanjung Malim and many other places.
According to Wikipedia, the requirement was first specified in the Stamford Raffles Town Act of 1822 for Singapore. It applied also to Malaya and Brunei .
The Larut War of the early tin mining years took place during the second half of the 19th century. Running battles between the Cantonese-dominated Ghee Hin clan and the Hakka-dominated Hai San clan continued until the Pangkor Treaty in 1874.
Near the end of the protracted war, some Hokkiens fled central Perak and settled in more peaceful Tanjung Malim. In the early 1900s, they built two rows of shop houses that formed what is the old town today. A few of these ancient buildings still stand.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f6.3, 1/250 sec.
Mr Wong is the proprietor of a watch and clock shop in Tanjung Malim town. The family business is now more than 60 years old and I asked him about changing trends. They used to sell Rado, Omega, Timex and Tissot. The current top selling brand is Casio.
But a more important question: Why is the time displayed on a analog watch or clock at a shop always set to 10:10? The answer is simple.
At 10:10, the hands are in an optimum or ideal position where it doesn't block the manufacturer's logo (typically at 12 o'clock) and date window (typically at 3 o'clock).
Like a fading 3R print, this scene in Hulu Bernam is reminiscent of days gone by. Kampung houses on stilts and children kicking around outside.
While one can still find many such settings in rural areas, this one has an invisible modern element in the air. This village at the border of Perak is billed as a Kampung Tanpa Wayar (Wireless Village).
During the few days I spent at Kuala Kubu Bharu, I asked the town folk as to which is the most famous institution. Famous, as in well-known to stopover visitors, tourists and outsiders.
The answer, invariably, is always Teng Wun the Hainanese cake shop. Cakes are not the main magnet of the shop, though. It is their kaya (coconut egg jam) puffs; allegedly the world's most awesome. The world here, means the handful of countries that sell this unique pastry.