Tuesday, 24 June 2014

To Taiping: Weekend Before Ramadhan

Date: 21 - 22 June 2014 (Saturday & Sunday)

It was the weekend before Ramadhan and the initial plan was to eat to our hearts' content before fasting next week. Of course, fate had other plan on agenda and we got a relaxing weekend instead.

Kota Ngah Ibrahim entrance
Kota Ngah Ibrahim Complex

Left home an hour later than planned, we went straight to Kota Ngah Ibrahim in Matang. The first to arrive, we had the place to ourselves for over half an hour before a family arrived followed by a group of school kids. The latter being my museum pet peeve, I was glad that I almost finished touring the place when they arrived. Spent longer than I planned in Kota Ngah Ibrahim as I saw more than I expected to see.

Kota Ngah Ibrahim

Kota Ngah Ibrahim
Ngah Ibrahim's home

Running away from the boisterous school kids, we headed to First Galleria in Taiping town. You can use Waze to find the place. It is right opposite an abandoned building which we later learned was the railway office, near a school.

First Galleria Taiping

First Galleria Taiping
Welcome to Jalan Stesen!

First Galleria offered a guided tour. Although visitors are not allowed to take photos IN the gallery, there are certain rooms in which they allow you to do so- the friendly tour guide will let you know. If you're not sure, just ask.

Tour will end in the souvenir shop and you can grab something you fancy from here. They also sell cold drinks in case you want to re-hydrate.

From First Galleria, we drove to the Taiping Museum. It was already noon and there were a few cars and a couple of buses. Oh great! I thought. The school kids are here already. Took my time in the car to slather myself with sunblock. Wettest place in Malaysia they said? Pfftttt~ More like as warm as anywhere in Malaysia!

Taiping Museum

After taking photos of the outdoor exhibition, we went to see the indoor exhibition. Entry fee was RM2 per adults. The first gallery was dedicated to the museum itself. Well, it is after all one of the oldest museum in Malaysia :) School kids sat in groups under the airconds, seeking refuge from the afternoon heat. Oh well. As long as they aren't noisy.

I spoke too soon. The Nature Gallery were filled with primary kids chattering loudly, taking pics of themselves in various poses or talking on their phone to concerned parents. OK, to be fair some of them did look at the stuffed animals in awe. It isn't often you can see a bull bigger than me!

I could hear the very loud footsteps of the kids on the upper level from the Galeri Kebudayaan (Culture Gallery) in the ground floor. Once they were gathered and ushered away by the teachers, I climbed up the stairs to see the exhibition in Galeri Orang Asli and Tembikar (Aborigines and Pottery Gallery) but didn't stay long as a few families joined us and their kids decided that it was fun to yell and stomp around and the parents just didn't care.

Notice that I haven't mention any food yet?

I wasn't in my best temper and it was almost time to check-in anyway. Skipped lunch and went straight to the Regency Seri Warisan Hotel. Good service and spacious, comfortable room. You should check it out if you're visiting Taiping.

Hotel Seri Warisan Regency
New hotel apparently. I dunno how new.
Hotel Seri Warisan Regency Taiping
Comfy bed :)

Woke up after a short nap and I couldn't tahan my hunger already. So we went to The Gate Cafe for breakfast + brunch + lunch + tea, a short drive away from the hotel. OK, not very short but still in town. Turned out I've been to the cafe before. I just didn't recognize the name.

Red Velvet at The Gate Cafe
Yummy red velvet <3

A worthy place to dine in. I love their red velvet cake! There is also a satay restaurant next door and a BBQ place opposite the road if you're interested. Next door is the hawker centre so yeah, plenty of choices in the area.

Back to hotel, we rested and showered before heading out again to Taiping Zoo & Night Safari after maghrib. I wanted to arrive at 8 pm sharp to avoid a long wait at the tram but it turned out that there were not many visitors and I only had to wait for about 10 minutes before a tram arrived. I was the first in line!

Taiping Zoo & Night Safari
Wearing comfortable shoes didn't help much when you're just lazy

Chose a seat behind the driver (bad decision, should have pick the one after) and off we went on a drive around the zoo! Some spots were not well-lighted so visitors might want to walk in group and bring torchlight. I remembered the animals to be much more active during my last visit. Maybe they were still tired from the recent school holiday.

The night zoo is opened until 1 am on Saturday but we didn't stay that long. I got tired of walking after completing the east loop. The plan was to go to Restoran Selera Malam in town.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find the restaurant even after finding the correct address via Waze. So instead, we drove around the Taiping Lake Garden a few rounds before I decided that we should go to the Taiping Sentral.

Most of the outlets were closed by the time we arrived. Cinema still operating but I've watched most of the shows so we went to the 7 Eleven to get something for breakfast and dropped by Starbucks for coffee to go. There is a mamak restaurant and McDonalds in the mall if anyone wants dinner. Papa Rich is opposite the road.

Stayed in the room till check-out time the next day. Like I said earlier, a relaxing weekend this one turned out to be :)

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