Monday, June 25, 2007

Trekking at FRIM

FRIM is our leading institution in tropical forestry research. The 600-ha site in Kepong is located 16 km northwest of Kuala Lumpur.
FRIM consists of three research divisions.
(1) The Forestry Division provides data, standards and guidelines for managing our natural forests on a sustainable basis.
(2) The Product Development Division focuses on the development of forest-based industries.
(3) The Biotechnology Division involves in creating new planting material through genetic engineering.
FRIM’s ‘forest tour packages’ provide opportunities for outdoor recreation (i.e. forest trekking) and public education in its grounds.
The look of the sky in dense forest of FRIM. It was a good day for forest trekking.
One of the main attractions is the Canopy Walkway which spans about 200 m and is suspended between trees at about 30 m above ground. The trail to the walkway is uphill, steep and physically demanding (about 30 - 45 mins).
A small charge is levied for the visit;
(1) RM5 for adults
(2) RM3 for students (Age 13 onwards)
(3) RM1 for children (Age 7 - 12 yrs)
Despite that it is built with high quality ropes, visitors are advised to be at least 3 - 5 meters away from each other while on the canopy walkway.
A fallen durian fruit. Plenty of them actually on the grounds of the trek trail.
Some kids - there is nothing much more fun than than outdoor fun with water.
Looks like it is popular among the Chinese community as well (not to mention that I saw plenty of foreigners too).
A kid seen here enjoying the cooling water from the nearby waterfall.
A small waterfall at Sungai Kroh with 2 little huts is ideal place for family day.
FRIM is a popular spot for picnickers, joggers, cyclers, tourists and nature study groups, for family day events, treasure hunts, camping, birdwatching, jungle trekking and as well as nature photography.
For me, it is a treasure of relatively unpolluted air, cooler temperatures and quiet serenity.
For the serious jogger, there are 2 tracks that wind through dense forest, plantation ground and laterite road that will surely test their endurance.
It was definitely some tough and long walks (there were no cabbies till to the main entrance of FRIM). I saw this traditional house on the way.
PEJABAT means office.
I did not drive. Took the KTM train to Kepong Central and a cab to FRIM. It was a good trip away from the hustle bustle of the city. And the heavy rain came only after the trekking. Pheewww.

More information : Forest Research Institute Malaysia

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Madurodam, Den Hague

Although I spent almost a week in Amsterdam, I did not have much chance to look around considering it was that time more for work than vacation. I thought the best way to see and to know more about Holland (well apart from the Red Light District), that Madurodam would be a MUST visit - so that to know abit about the country.
Madurodam is a miniature city (1:25 scale) located in Den Hague. The city was named after George Maduro.
Madurodam is indeed one major tourist attraction in Holland. As you can see, the park was crowded with people especially on weekends. The miniature city has some two hundreds of models.
This is probably the Super Container Ship that travels to the Far East.
Dutch Maritime Museum (Amsterdam) - a marine warehouse housed all kinds of materials needed for the shipping sector.
Amsterdam's largest renaissance church Westerkerk (Amsterdam), where Queen Beatrix and late Prince Claus were married in this church.
In the canal 'Herengracht' are the Holland International round-trip boats which give you a completely different view of Amsterdam.
Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam) houses one of the major collections of paintings from the 15th to 19th centuries.
The street cafes on the Rembrandtplein are crowded with people (fake ones). The Rembrandt Square was named after the famous painter.
Frans Hals Museum (Haarlem) - named after the 17th century painter Frans Hals and has more than a dozen paintings by him in the museum as well as others' artwork and collections.
The Canal 'Voldersgracht' in Delft.
Not sure the significance of this building. Forgot.
Delftse Poort - the head office of an insurance company in Rotterdam.
The two office towers of the building - both the full size and the miniature one are made entirely of glass.
Het Binnenhof (Den Hague) - the Dutch Parliament buildings, has been the centre of government of the country for centuries.
The scrap iron barge that plies back and forth the little canal.
The Royal Palace (in Dam Square) was the City Hall of Amsterdam for one and a half centuries, until King Lodewijk Napoleon furnished it as a palace in 1808, which it has remained ever since. The palace is now used by Queen Beatrix for official receptions.
The Concertgebouw is considered one of the three finest concert halls in the world, along with Boston's Symphony Hall and the Musikverein in Vienna.
The Peace Palace (Den Hague) is the seat of the International Court of Justice. And it is one of the oldest buildings of Madurodam.
The Noord-Holland town of Broek op Langedijk is home to Europe's oldest vegetable auction but now a museum.
Frisian 'Head-Neck-Body farm' (Wunseradiel) - the living accommodation (the head) is linked to the farm building (the body) by a narrow section (the neck).
Hans Brinker is the young hero of legend who pushed first his finger, and later his entire arm, into a hole in the dyke all night long, to keep out the water that threatened to flood the country. He has become a symbol of Holland's age - old battle against water.
House of the Future (Rosmalen) built to show how a house might look tomorrow.
Royal Palace 'Huis ten Bosch' in Den Hague - the residential palace of Queen Beatrix.
Village square with Salvation Army Band - you can listen to the band by inserting a 10 cent coin.
The Bulb field of Lisse but in Madurodam, which blooms all year round.
DD-IRM 'Regiorunner' - the longer distance lines for the Dutch Rail. Madurodam has the world's largest miniature railway.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol - the airport is ranked fourth in terms of passenger traffic.
George Maduro fought the Nazi occupation forces as a member of the Dutch resistance and died at Dachau Concentration Camp (click here) in 1945. His parents donated money to start the Madurodam project.

For more information, click Madurodam : Holland in Miniature

Monday, June 18, 2007

One Shot Technology

This technology was developed by Cadbury in the 1930s but only became common on commercially available machines in the 1980s.
The One Shot Technology involves simultaneously depositing the center inside of a shell of chocolate, in just a one step depositing into the mould (better efficiency compared to the multiple steps traditional shell moulding which has been around for generations).
Cadbury Dairy Milk Snack is a bar with chunks, each filled with a different flavour: strawberry, pineapple, orange, coconut ice, Turkish Delight and caramel.
Nothing much over the weekends. Read books and ate chocolates. Cadbury Snack is far more sweeter than the standard dairy milk bar. I didn't quite like it actually.
But Cadbury Old Jamaica - Rum 'N' Raisin is a good deal - one of the best chocolates I have ever tasted. The rum is not overpowering - all just nice and balance. A MUST try.
I bought it recently from Harris-Popular, 50 wipeable recipe cards for easy DIY-chocolate homemades.

One of my favorite websites for confectionery updates : Candy Blog