Asia, Birch Memorial Clock Tower, Car, Diary of a Foodster, Eat, Food, Gerbang Malam, Ipoh, Katong Kids Inc, Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple, Kellie's Castle, Kids Activities, Malaysia, Memory Lane Flea Market, Perak Guan Yin Tong, Photography, Restoran Sun Yeong Wai, Shopping, Sin Eng Heong Kedai Biskut, The Idea Box, Travel, Vacation, WEIL Hotel

Ipoh Travelogue – (Part 2): Railway Station, Birch Memorial Clock Tower, Memory Lane Flea Market, Perak Guan Yin Tong, Kellie Castle, Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple, Restoran Sun Yeong Wai, Sin Eng Heong Kedai Biskut and Gerbang Malam

Why you should visit Ipoh? When I arrived at the small-sized Sultan Azlan Shah Airport, I had the impression that Ipoh had nothing much to offer. But dwell in this lovely town and I realised this is one of the most rewarding destinations in Malaysia.

Come Day 2, I woke up to the beautiful and scenic view of the city and mountains from the WEIL Hotel. We had our itinerary planned and wasted no time to get to where we need.

Ipoh Railway Station

Most of the attractions are located in close proximity to each other, so travelling is easy. We hopped into our rented car and made our way to one of the historial landmarks – Ipoh Railway Station. Did we mention that it is just 3.5km away from the iconic WEIL Hotel?

Ipoh’s railway station was completed in 1917 under the British colonial administration. Along with the Old Railway Station in Kuala Lumpur, it is one of the most beautiful examples of colonial architecture.

The War Memorial right in front of the Ipoh Railway Station to honour the prisoners-of-war (POWs) who died building the Thailand-Burma death railway.

This railway station was once featured in the Hollywood film, Anna and the King, starring Jodie Foster and Hong Kong superstar Chow Yun Fat.

If not for this visit, I would not know that this grand old building houses the railway station and the now closed Majestic Station Hotel Ipoh which had up to 100 well-appointed guestrooms!

 

The Ipoh Railway Station served by the new, fast, KTM Electric Train Services (ETS). All passenger train services to/from Ipoh are on the new KTM Electric Train Services (there are no KTM Komuter trains from Ipoh).

Most ETS services run on the KL Sentral Railway Station, Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh route. Click here for the ETS timetable from Ipoh to KL.

The building seemed dated and affected probably by lack of proper maintenance but it is still worth a visit when you come to Ipoh.

Address:

Birch Memorial Clock Tower

The Birch Memorial Clock Tower (Malay: Menara Jam Peringatan Birch) is a clock tower situated in Ipoh, Kinta District, Perak, Malaysia.

Unveiled in 1909, the clock tower was constructed to commenorate James W. W. Birch, the first British Resident of the state of Perak.

The clock tower has been overlooked by many tourists who prefer to flock to touristy attractions. On closer look, it is well preserved and I feel it is necessary to visit this place and understand the cultural heritage of British colonialism.

Address:

Memory Lane Flea Market

I reckoned many of you may not consider visiting a flea market, giving the excuses of sweltering weather and old and filthy goods.

I do not agree.

As we approached Jalan Horley, we just couldn’t help but thankful to have the opportunity to travel and mingle with the locals.

We had a hard time finding a parking lot after driving a few rounds and finally managed to find some spaces in an old estate located behind Memory Lane.

Open every Sunday morning, it is known as “Memory Lane” or fondly referred to as “Loken” or “Pasar Karat” (rustic market) by the locals.
Located in Jalan Horley, it is the place to go to for rare and secondhand items at reasonable prices.
A stall selling cold drinks, a perfect respite from the blazing sun!
The life of the locals. The kids enjoying their self-invented game while the folks working hard for better days ahead.
Cute tote bags with different themes and designs going at RM10 each.
Yes, we remembered these old school, childlike games that will not break the bank.
What a place for collectors to purchase rare stamps dating as far back to Straits Settlements period. An interesting visit to Memory Lane for us. We could find many second hands and used items that we thought were well extinct. Definitely the place to visit on a Sunday morning to trigger memories of the old days.
Address: 
Jalan Horley, Kampung Jawa, 30300 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia

Perak Guan Yin Tong

On our way to Kellie’s Castle, we chanced upon Perak Guan Yin Tong.

Built beside a limestone hill, this ancient Buddhist temple honors goddess of mercy Kwan Yin Tong. This would be a place for believers to visit.

And kids could entertain themselves feeding the ever hungry fishes.

Address:

Lot 3851, Sungai Pinang Besar, Pangkor, Perak

Kellie’s Castle

We drove a little further up and arrived at Kellie’s Castle.

Kellie’s Castle is a castle located in Batu Gajah, Kinta District, Perak, Malaysia. While it may look complete on the outside, the ruined mansion was unfinished on the inside.

It was built by a Scottish planter named William Kellie-Smith either a gift for his wife or a home for his son. Work on the castle started in 1915, but was unfortunately halted a few years later with Kellie’s sudden death and the castle was never completed.

Nevermind about the hot and humid weather. Kellie’s Castle is one of the most Instagram worthy spots in Ipoh.

It was an interesting experience exploring the castle’s hidden rooms. Be prepared to climb flights of narrow stairs to reach the top where you could get a panoramic view of the plantation and castle ruins.

We came across the locals fishing along the river outside Kellie’s Castle!

Opening Hours : 9.00am – 6.00pm
Admission Fee :
* RM 5 (foreigner)
* RM 4 (adult)
* RM 3 (secondary school students)
* RM 2 (primary school students)
* FREE (child aged six and below)

Address:

31000 Batu Gajah, Perak, Malaysia

Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple

The Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple is a tourist attraction situated in the natural and picturesque area of Gunung Rapat in the south of Ipoh – the capital of Perak state in west Malaysia.

We heard so much about Ipoh being famous for its limestone hills and we could finally see it right in front of us!

Confucius was a Chinese philosopher and politician of the Spring and Autumn period. It was believed that one would get smarter praying to Confucius. What do you think?

Although there is a lot of marble tiling, there are still lots of natural large statactites.

This place features golden statues of Buddhist and Chinese mythological deities.

Take a walk here to experience the calming ambience of this lovely cave.

Address:

Pesiaran Sepakat 3, Tmn Endah Jaya, 31350 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia

 

Restoran Sun Yeong Wai Roasted Duck Ipoh 新扬威烧鸭饭店

We love roasted duck and if we were ever to visit Ipoh again, we are 1000% sure to visit Restoran Sun Yeong Wai again!

Passed down from father to son and established in Ipoh for more than twenty years, Sun Yeong Wai is now a brand closely synonymous with Roasted Ducks, barbeque and roasted dishes.

The menu for your archive when you visit Ipoh.

Yummy!

Address:

63, Jalan Mustapha Al-Bakri, 30300 Ipoh Perak

Sin Eng Heong Kedai Biskut

While we were dining, we wondered what was happening behind us.

Started in 1961, Sin Eng Heong is one of the oldest biscuit shop in Ipoh.

Sin Eng Heong Kedai Biskut was attracting a long long queue of customers despite the overwhelming heat. They have the best kaya puff in town, so popular that you have to be prepared to queue up to 2 hours.

We got into the queue while the family was still eating. Impatience got the better of us and we walked out after 45 mins.

Address:

64 & 66 Jalan Mustapha Al-BakriIpoh 30300, Malaysia

Gerbang Malam

Come the night, I took a walk down Gerbang Malam. While the pasar malam was smaller as compared to Memory Lane, there was a food street at the other end.

It was nice walking down the street looking at the stalls and cheap products.

Where cables were going for as cheap as RM1 each.

The salted-baked chicken is one of Ipoh’s most famous delicacies. The chicken is marinated with ginger, rice wine, and other Chinese herbs such as female ginseng and wolfberries, then it is wrapped in paper and baked with salt.

Many visitors come to Ipoh to taste none other than their kai see hor fun, consisting of super smooth flat rice noodles (kuey teow) produced in Ipoh, shredded/sliced poached chicken, chopped spring onions, boiled shrimps, and garnished with chopped red chillies.

Another version..

I finally settled for this stall.

They produced tasty chicken and bean sprouts. A must-try dish in Ipoh!

My order.

All these for RM21!

So what to do in Ipoh? Simple travel and eat is the way to go 🙂

Address:

Jalan Dato Tahwil Azar, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh, Negeri Perak, Malaysia

Click here for Ipoh Travelogue (Part I) – WEIL Hotel, Concubine Lane, Ipoh Booth Cart, Thean Chun Coffee Shop (天津茶室), Kong Heng Square, Burps and Giggles, Yum Cha Tea Bar and Tong Sui Kai 糖水街

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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California, Chinatown Gate, Christmas, Diary of a Foodster, Eat, Education, Food, Growing Up, Katong Kids Inc, Kids Activities, Las Vegas, Lombard Street, Photography, San Francisco, Shopping, Travel, Travel Blog, Traveler Wifi, Uncategorized, Vacation

California Travelogue – (Part 2): San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, Maritime Museum, Ghirardelli Square, Lombard Street and Chinatown

Soak into the sights, sounds and smells of San Francisco. We did a tour of the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The Park includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, a Visitor Center, Maritime Museum, Maritime Research Center, and Aquatic Park Historic District.

It was an easy tour as the place wasn’t huge.

A short walk further down was the Maritime Museum which was located in the Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building.

Ghirardelli Square is a convenient stop for chocolate and ice cream while already visiting at Fisherman’s Wharf.

No trip to San Francisco is complete without tasting sweet chocolate from those chocolate dream-makers at Ghirardelli. Ghirardelli’s sundaes are real special.

We did not drive during our stay in San Francisco. Instead, we walked, walked and walked.

As you can see, the roads here were steep and it was a test of endurance and good form of exercise.

This picture is a good example to get a sense of how steep the streets were.

We did have the chance to see the splendor of the West Coast, here was what San Francisco looked and felt like.

Strolling down one of America’s crookedest streets in the form of Lombard Street is a blessing! The steep, hilly street was created with sharp curves to switchback down the one-way hill past beautiful Victorian mansions.

Lombard Street is definitely one of the most photographed spot in San Francisco. Tourists just couldn’t resist its charm and uniqueness.

 This street has eight tight hairpin turns through the neighborhood where guests can either drive, or walk, down for an interesting adventure.

After exploring Lombard Street, we walked to the Chinatown.

San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest one in North America (surprisingly well maintained) and covers 24 city blocks.

Trying out the delicious and yummy dim sum!

We finally found the the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory after getting lost! Located in Ross Alley, formerly called the “Street of the Gamblers”; the little factory here makes fortune cookies.

We had no idea why it was so popular among tourists. In fact, we don’t think there is anything special about fortune cookies. Nevertheless, it was a pleasant sight watching the lady sitting at the assembly line, folding and filling the cookies by hand.

Big and Small M at the Dragon Gate, the official entrance into Chinatown on Bush Street, where Grant Avenue takes you into the heart of Chinatown.

Another Macy’s in San Francisco 🙂

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

 

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New York Travelogue – (Part 3): The High Line, Chelsea Market, Subway, Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square

This was our final day at New York City. Our main goal was to cover two attractions. Some say The High Line is a must-go attraction and we shouldn’t give it a miss.

The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.

Saved from demolition by neighborhood residents and the City of New York, the High Line opened in 2009 as a hybrid public space where visitors experience nature, art, and design.

Elevated 30 feet in the air, this former railroad has taken in a form of a beautiful stretch of pathway.  The walk is about a mile and a half in length and takes you from Gansevoort Street up to 34th. We arrived just when the sun was setting and took some beautiful shots.

The Chelsea Market was near to The High Line. An indoor food hall, most of the shops in Chelsea Market were food related.

A suitable place for cafe hoppers also, not to mention there was a variety of shops selling gifts, spirits, groceries and more. The building was formerly used to be a biscuit factory, which was why much of the interior and aesthetic was a reminiscence of its past.

Intrigued to see the Youtube office here..

Not surprising to see the Google’s office here as Manhattan’s Chelsea Market building was bought over by them.

So, that wrapped up our New York vacation. We hope to have more time to visit Pennsylvania and Washington DC. Maybe we will do it next time 🙂

Ending our Big Apple vacation with some memorable pictures.

Definitely not to our liking, we were still figuring out how to take the subway in NYC before we left. Absolutely confusing.

Big M at the vibrant Manhattan’s Chinatown, where when you are in food hunt, you know you will never go wrong with dumplings, pork buns and hand-pulled noodles.

You have all the reasons to walk the famous Brooklyn Bridge. It is likely to be crowded but hey, who cares? We are talking about the epitome of Big Apple.

 Who says you can’t find pockets of spaces to connect with others in one of the most densest cities in the world?

Dazzling with lights all day long, there’s a magnetic pull about Times Square. One of the most visited places in the world with over 360,000 pedestrians daily, we just loathe this place, wondering why Singapore can’t replicate it. This little adventurer was totally mesmerised. The next part of our journey would see us at the west coast of America – California where we would see San Francisco, Big Sur, Monterey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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London Travelogue – (Part 5): Stevenage and Emirates Stadium

We were greeted with light rain on our final day in London. The sky was cloudy but we were determined to end the day fruitfully.

With most of the main attractions covered, we took it easy today and googled for nearby places to explore.

The rain started to pelt and we took shelter at a train station.

Hopping onto the train with our Oyster cards, we had no idea where to go. Since we were not driving, taking a train ride to see the surroundings might be a good idea.

Thanks to the rain, the weather were freezingly cold and we were loving it!

The train took us into the countryside and we passed by hills, seen cattle grazing and lovely houses.

We were kind of lost and didn’t know where to alight. The train captain was surprised we had no destination in mind and recommended that we visit a little town by the name of Stevenage. Stevenage is a town and borough in Hertfordshire, England, 28 miles north of London.

Alas, oyster card is not valid here and we had to pay a fine of about $50. The staff was friendly and chatted with us while he prepared tickets for us to exit.

A lovely little town to explore. Maybe not that fantastic for sightseeing but it was an ideal place to buy cheap loots.

Stevenage was pretty much like Bedok neighbourhood where you could find rows of shophouses.

Delicious germany sausages..nice to try in such a cold weather.

Yes, everything’s $1!

A haven for shopping.

The Iceland store. Wait till we see how cheap the items were.

How we wished we were living over here. It’s near impossible to find such prices over in Singapore. These items were not junk qualities either.

At the other end of the town, there were restaurants and a large Cineplex.

Had our dinner here. The chicken looked kind of dry.

We headed back to our Airbnb but before that we suddenly realised our place was near to Emirates Stadium! And so we alighted from the train and followed the signs to Arsenal.

It took about 15 mins to walk from the train stadium. Along the way, we came across houses and they were so beautifully lighted and decorated with Christmas props.

The residents living in these houses were probably the most blessed of all. Just 20m in front of the Emirates Stadium, they could attend EPL match at their convenience every week!

They might not appreciate soccer but it was a worthwhile visit to the famous soccer club.

This capped off our London trip and we booked a Blackberry Car to the airport at 1am. No hidden cost and the driver was professional. The next time we visit London, we will definitely book with them again. Next up, we will travel over 3500 miles or 8 hours of flight time to New York City!

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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FARM Florist: Farm Fresh Flowers curated to capture the best memories ever

To pride itself as a reliable online florist that promises full refunds for all orders that arrive late is certainly a special florist that every customer should be amazed of. FARM Florist, a subsidiary of Masons Home Decor, takes pride in offering the highest quality flowers with afforable rates.

Their website – https://farmflorist.com/ – is easy to navigate and explore. What really stands out are the friendly features that allow customers to sort by their choices and filter the price ceilings when shopping online. Thumbs up!

Over at FARM Florist, there are so many assortments of flowers that you can shop at ease on all occasions. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, giving flowers is a timeless romantic gesture that bounds to wow your other half.

FARM Florist has the knowledge and experience to ensure your flowers deliver on time and have you receiving the most gorgeous flowers that you have seen.

You may not be the first but you certainly won’t be the last. Bookmark FARM Florist and browse through the beautiful hand bouquets. Your best memories are created here 🙂

Email: hello@farmflorist.com

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

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Fly LegsUp Flight Hammock for Kids

With travelling up to a total of 48 hours on economy seats, seeking comfort during these long haul flights is a priority. The Fly LegsUp Flight Hammock provides the answer as the ultimate travel companion for adults and children.

Fly LegsUp Kids
Photo Credit: Fly LegsUp

The hammock enables Small M to elevate her feet and legs into different positions, supported by comfortable inflatable pillows. Experimenting it for the first time, it greatly made her flight more comfortable.

Fly LegsUp Flight Hammock is washable, folds compact, and weighs less than 500g. Its versatile design accommodates for the differences in kids and airline seats. This is a travel essential to be ticked in your itinerary.

Our Fly LegsUp for Kids pack, includes:

– Our patented Fly LegsUp Flight Hammock

– 1 small pillow and 2 large pillows

– Travel bag

– Kids instruction sheet with suggested positions

Fly LegsUp for Kids

Website /  Booking: https://www.flylegsupsingapore.com/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/flylegsupsingapore/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=g4pJhAjQDjg

Phone : Yvonne +65 8661 1226 

Email : yvonne@flylegsupsingapore.com

Retailers

Lilliewoods Social
I12 Katong Mall
112 East Coast Road
#01-24
Singapore 428802

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.

Growing Up, Home Loan, Life Hacks, Moneysmart, Products, Review, Shopping, Singapore, Singapore Products

What you need to know before taking a home loan

Taking out a home loan can be a nerve wracking experience, and a big deal for everyone. It is often said that home purchase involves the biggest capital outlay in a person’s life and especially in Singapore where home assets do not seem to stop appreciating, this is the hard truth that everyone has to come to terms with. However, taking on a debt in the form of a home loan, when researched carefully, can be your friend.

Before settling down in your dream home, here are the questions you should know the answer to before getting your home loan.

#1 Deciding between Fixed Rate vs. Floating Rate Home Loans

Unless you are paying in full for the property, you will be affected by changes to the interest rate. Home loans are typically offered in 2 categories:

a. Fixed Rate

Fixed rate packages maintain the same interest rate during a lock-in period of 1 to 5 years, regardless of market conditions, after which the interest rate converts into a floating rate. Should customers decide to refinance during the lock-in period, banks may impose penalties. Nonetheless, fixed-rate mortgage packages are favoured by many home buyers in view of their expectations of further interest-rate hikes and protects you from any upward interest rate movement.

b. Floating Rate

Floating rate packages have interest rates that fluctuate daily, usually pegged to the SIBOR and SOR indices. They can come with or without lock-in periods. Home buyers who opt for floating rates usually take advantage of the low interest rate environment and monthly instalment amounts. This is particularly usefil in a flat-to-declining interest rate environment.

To this end, home buyers should be mindful to choose home loan packages based on their needs instead of trying to take advantage of short-term interest rate movements.

#2 Affordability

Your current financial commitments affect your affordability. Here are some useful pointers to consider:

a. TDSR

Under the latest Government regulations in Singapore, your Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) cannot exceed 60% of your income. If you are already taking on a car loan, personal loans or credit card debts, it may affect Approval in Principle (AIP) from your bank of choice. The trick to increase your loan application chance is to maintain zero to low debt ratio.

#3 Fees and Charges

When it comes to home loans, you may be inclined to settled on the cheapest home loan rate, but do remember to compare the fees and charges applicable to the loan. Fees and charges are levied under these circumstances:

– Processing the loan application

– Withdrawl after accepting loan offer

– Late payment

– Amending the loan tenor

– Restructuring the loan

– Processing the loan application

Those fees could add up to a few thousand dollars, so it’s worth knowing how much your banks in Singapore might charge you. The amount you can borrow will typically be the same across banks. So, you are not obligated to go with a bank just because it has pre-approved your loan. It is smart to seek pre-approval from multiple banks so you have options before making a conscious decision on a loan to take.

Regardless of whether you are planning to buy a hdb or private property, a great home loan deal always come with making smart decisions by comparing home loans and mortgage interest rates online. A good place to start is Moneysmart which serves as an effective tool for online loan comparison which you can surf at the comfort of your home or anywhere you prefer, so long as you have your smart device with you. Moneysmart has come as a good choice for loan comparison. The browsing experience has been intuitive, with the website creating user experience at the forefront of their thoughts. I find the site easy to navigate, stored with current and useful information and it is definitely a breeze when comparing the latest home loan deals. You would know which site to bookmark and make a visit the next time you need information on home loan packages to assist you.

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All photos, information and opinions, unless otherwise stated, in this post belong to Katong Kids Inc. Reproducing or copying them for use on third party sites without our written permission are strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.