jumper

…and lived to tell the tale. ;)

kellies castle

This is Kellie’s Castle. It’s located in Batu Gajah in Perak (about 20 minutes from Ipoh) and it was built by a Scottish rubber and tin tycoon over a century ago. The construction of the castle never completed.

kelly castle

It’s quite a high structure as you can see from this picture. Here’s a vertigo inducing picture from the very top of Kellie’s Castle:

kellie castle view

I strongly recommend you do not attempt to jump off unless you are decked out in BASE jumping gear. However, if you want to do the “Goodbye, cruel world!” thing, you can actually scare the crap out of a lot of people by jumping from the other side of the castle and onto a ledge.

You have to be quite accurate though coz if you miss the ledge, there’s nothing to stop you from really plummeting down. Heh.

leap of faith

I also did the Leap of Faith in Sunway Lost World of Tambun. This is quite a quirky experience – you wear a harness that connects to rope and it’s basically a controlled fall.

fulcrum

The interesting bit about this is that it’s purely manual. This literally puts the man in manual as there are two people down there to act as counter-weights as you jump off.

harness

You climb up several ladders secured to the side of the limestone cliff and appear on a metal ledge 75 feet up. It actually takes three people (the third is a fail safe) to slow down your descent and your velocity actually lifts the two people down there as you stop in mid-air.

I wasn’t wearing anything under those board shorts and I highly recommend you do if you value your family jewels. ;)

tambun seafood

Penang has an abundance of seafood due to its status as an island, and for the very same reason, the seafood also happens to be disgustingly cheap. Thus, a trip to Penang without having seafood is kinda like going to Egypt without visiting the pyramids.

tambun pier

We travelled from Tambun, Ipoh to Tambun, Penang after the hot springs trip. Tambun (the one in Penang) is famous for seafood and lies just before the Penang bridge connecting the mainland to the island.

gee seng tambun

We had dinner at Restauran Gee Seng, which looks small on the outside but actually has a huge amount of space which can easily accommodate 30 tables or so, with its own pier for fresh hauls of seafood to boot! Parking is a bit of a nightmare here though, since the road into this area is narrow and the parking attendants frequently shuffle the cars (along with their drivers) around when some poor sod stuck at the back of a matrix of cars has to exit after his/her dinner.

However, I’m sure you don’t want to read about the tribulations of the complicated parking system, so I’ll let the photos do the talking:

thorny clams

This is some sort of spiked clam that requires a toothpick to dig out.

extract clam

The flesh tastes good dipped in chilli sauce, once you’re able to get the damn thing out. It takes a bit of practise.

jolyn

Jolyn here shows us that chopsticks are not merely eating implements.

octopus

We also ordered boiled octopus

vegetables

…and a serving of greens to balance out the marine meat. It had shrimps in it anyway, keeping true to the seafood restaurant roots. ;)

baked crabs

The baked crab at this place comes with a mallet made of wood. You use it to crack open the shell.

crab claw

This style of cooking preserves the natural sweetness of the crab meat.

signature tofu

The signature tofu dish at this establishment is different – it’s deep fried into triangular shapes and is a mixture of tofu and some vegetables. It’s quite tasty.

oyster omelet

The oyster pancake (o chien) isn’t what Sarawakians are used to. Ours is a crisp pancake with juicy oysters in the middle – click here to see a sample. The oyster pancake over here is more like a classic omelet, except with oysters.

chilli crab rolls

Next up is one of my favorite dishes – chilli crab served with a side of bread rolls to soak up the gravy with. Let me attempt to describe the pure awesomeness of the chilli crab. The gravy is cooked with starch and tastes sweet and tangy, with a slightly salty note in there somewhere.

chilli crab

It’s also infused with egg and at one point; I just discarded all social graces and started scooping up the sauce with my spoon and drinking it. Pure heaven!

mantis prawn cooked

This is the mantis prawn. I’ve written about the mantis prawn experience here in a post filled with (very justifiable) hyperbole.

mantis prawn flesh

It’s my first time eating mantis prawn and the tender and sweet flesh is simply orgasmic! This is what it looks like in the aquarium:

mantis prawn live

I can’t believe I haven’t had mantis prawn before! To this very day, it keeps me awake at night, doubting my own judgment and fitness to live.

coconut water

The bill came out to a grand total of RM 253.20 for the six (6) of us. We thought there was an accounting error on the restaurant’s part and made plans for a quick exit strategy since a dinner like that has gotta cost around RM 400.

seafood in tambun

However, upon further inspection, it seems that we were billed for everything we ordered after all. Tambun seafood is dirt cheap and it’s fresh and delicious to boot! I highly recommend stopping by Tambun for dinner when you drive up to Penang! You’ll be missing out if you don’t. :)

sunway lost world of tambun ipoh

The Lost World of Tambun is a hot springs cum water theme park (just don’t read that sentence wrong ;)) operated by none other than Sunway. I headed down with Suanie and Carol over the long weekend for some R&R (and to soak my poor creaky joints in the hot springs). 

sunway city ipoh

There were a couple of false starts – I woke up at 8:30 am when we were due to depart 8 am, said “Shit!” and called Suanie. It turns out that she just woke up as well – Carol was the only one who was on time. Heh! After a quick breakfast of dim sum (where I ordered beer, much to the chagrin of my fellow road trip buddies – apparently dim sum places here don’t serve the amber fluid) we were off to Ipoh! 

sunway lost world of tambun

The Lost World of Tambun is in Tambun, Ipoh and it’s about a 2 ½ hour drive from KL. It is based on a Mayan (though official brochures calls it Malayana, whatever that means) lost city water theme park concept and built around natural hot springs. There is another public hot spring facility in Tambun about 2 km down from Sunway’s empire, but after a quick discussion of whether to go to the public one or the commercial one, we headed down to the latter.

Actually, it was Suanie who made the decree – since she was the one driving; we decided it would be a good idea to listen. ;) 

lost world of tambun entrance fee

The theme park costs RM 30 per person to enter, which I paid using my credit card since I was short on cash thanks to my spectacular vehicular mishap that set me back 11k (out of pocket, no insurance claims). The girls paid me back with cold, hard paper bills which I desperately needed since this is the precarious Credit Card Month (TM) where I charge everything to plastic. 

lost world of tambun wave pool

The RM 30 covers the entrance to the wet park and the dry park. It should be noted right now that the terms are used very liberally here – don’t expect a Sunway Lagoon setup coz the Lost World of Tambun is much smaller, with very few rides. Think David and Goliath. Or Lilliputian and Gulliver. 

lost world of tambun pool

The wet park consists of the standard wading pool with waves, which is pretty relaxing and much larger than your average swimming pool. There are various water slides around the park, which won’t exactly give you an adrenaline rush, but is fun for a couple of rides.

beach volleyball

It also has a sandy beach where you can play beach volleyball or lounge around.

lost world of tambun hot springs

However, the main attraction at Lost World of Tambun is their natural hot springs. It comes bubbling up from the bottom and the pool is quite hot – my guesstimate is 40+ degrees Celsius.

Not hot enough? I’ve got great news (and a challenge). The hot springs pool has this rock cover where boiling water dribbles down into blocks of stone where you can sit. 

tambun hot springs

I’m telling you, this water is fucking scalding hot! You can see the steam literally rise off the top and people flinch when they touch the water. Hell, I flinched when I touched the boiling hot water.

However, being a sucker for pain (and also to show the damn inanimate object that I won’t let it get the better of me) I sat on the hot stone blocks and let the searing water flow over me while I gasped for breath and my skin turned the proverbial color of red usually reserved for lobsters.

I’ll cut off my left testicle if the water isn’t at least 80 or 90 degrees Celsius. Int3nse.

uncle

Anyway, after showing the hot springs who the boss is and getting it to say “Uncle” (actually it was more like I was red and peeling after Carol dared me to stand under a particularly heavy torrent of skin cooking water), we proceeded to the dry park. 

pirate ship

It was quite a disappointment. I counted a grand total of two rides. There is a pirate ship (which doesn’t go 360)… 

carousel

…and a carousel ride where you get spun around. 

suanie

Suanie discovered her inner child on that ride though. 

lost world of tambun ipoh

The Lost World of Tambun is reasonably entertaining if you’re from Ipoh but I won’t drive all the way down from KL for it.

lost world of tambun limestone hills

The primary attraction is their hot springs and the great view of the limestone hills surrounding it, but this is marred by one very significant theme park policy that prevents proper enjoyment of the facilities…

lost world of tambun group 

It should be noted that there are no alcoholic beverages sold inside the theme park, unlike its Sunway counterpart. You’re not allowed to bring food and water in too. :(

mantis prawn

I’ve never had such a succulent piece of crustacean in my life! The odd looking mantis shrimp (also called mantis prawn) tastes more like lobster than prawns.

mantis prawn size

I had this at Tambun, Penang last night. Mantis prawns are huge creatures that can grow much longer than a chopstick (shown here next to my hand for perspective). I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve ever had mantis prawn…its awesome stuff!

mantis prawn flesh

The carapace peels back to reveal a bed of soft, tender flesh that almost melts in your mouth. The sweetness of the mantis prawn flesh is unbelievable!

It’s so good that I just had to write this hyperbole laden post.

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