Apr 23, 2015

Day Trip To Ipoh - Delicious & Artistic

To breakaway from the usual weekend routine, my partner & I decided to make an impromptu trip to the town of Ipoh in Perak on 18 April 2015, Saturday.

Restaurant Kong Heng, Ipoh
We took a light breakfast and set off approximately 9:30am from Subang Jaya, and headed to a coffee shop eatery called Restaurant Kong Heng (Google maps location) on Jalan Bandar Timah. The journey was estimated to take 2 1/2 hours which will just be about right for lunch. We were very fortunate to get a park space just as we arrived at 11:47AM.

Parking System

It been close to two years since we visited Ipoh and we discovered it now used a Parking Coupon system which operates on Mondays till Saturdays (exception on Public Holidays). The parking rates were RM0.30 for 1/2 hour and RM0.60 for an hour. There was a newspaper stand behind Restaurant Thean Chun which sold the coupon booklets, where one can buy a booklet of five pieces of RM0.30 for RM1.50 or five pieces of RM0.60 for RM3.00. We did not think we will take more than 1/2 hour for breakfast so I just a booklet for RM1.50.


Ipoh White Coffee
We started to order our feast. Ipoh is famous for its White Coffee but I preferred to just go for the conventional coffee with milk. I was surprised that a small cup of coffee now cost RM1.70 (which is the same price as Kuala Lumpur)
'Chu Cheong Fun' with mushroom sauce

My partner ordered a plate of 'Chu Cheong Fun' with mushroom sauce, and this plate cost RM2.50. It was tasty and a good variant from the usual type that usual sweet sauce or the combination of sweet + chilli sauce.

Next was a single piece of 'Popiah' for RM2.00. It was 'OK'
Char Kueh Teow

I ordered a plate of 'Char Kueh Teow' which is a mix of thin yellow noodle and white 'hor fun'. This plate cost RM5.80 for a big serving. This was nice - fried with prawns, cockles, and egg with a dash of chilli sauce on the side.

Lastly is satay. We ordered a plate of ten(10) sticks and it cost RM8.00. This was quite dish disappointing, the meat was no longer as tender as the last time I remembered it to be.

After completing lunch about 12:30PM, we decided go about looking for the "7 Ipoh Wall Art Murals by Ernest Zacharevic". I had done some searches on the Internet and found a write up about it here that provided the GPS coordinates and a map.

The Walkabout

We drove over to the Jalan Dato Maharajelela and parked in front of the Perak Tourists Information Centre (Google maps location) to start our walkabout (we later that that was not a good move, which I'll explain shortly).

The first mural we saw was this giant size mural at the side of the OldTown White Coffee shop. An elderly gentleman enjoying a cup of white coffee.

Mural: Old Town White Coffee.
Old Town White Coffee
Road Name: Jalan Dato Maharajalela
GPS: 4.59787,101.076169

Walking down Jalan Tun Sambanthan next the Ipoh field, we spotted the second mural on the top-side of a shoplot  that depicts a paper plane with two young boys riding it. I guess it was showing the simple pleasures in the good old days where children have fun the old fashion way - with some paper and a lot of imagination.
Mural: Kids on a Paper Plane.
Kids on a Paper Plane
Road Name: Jalan Sheikh Adam
GPS: 4.597715,101.076882

Next we continued down Jalan Tun Sambathan, crossing Jalan Sultan Yusuff to the next mural. Here we can see five bags of Kopi-o which were the usual favorite drinks of workers. I jest with my partner that "I won't want to wait to see the (giant) workers who left their coffee hanging by that building".
Mural: Bags of Kopi-O
Bags of Kopi-O
Road Name: Jalan Tun Sambathan
GPS: 4.597151,101.078703

Continuing down Jalan Tun Sambathan, it will intersect to Jalan Bijeh Timah where you'll spot the mural that depicts what industry the state of Perak was famous for, Tin (Malay: 'Timah') Mining Pools. This piece was named 'Evolution', showing how the town of Ipoh had evolved from colonial times to what it is now. 
Mural: Mining Pool
Evolution - Mining Pool
Road Name: Jalan Bijeh Timah
GPS: 4.596343,101.079138
Mural: Humming Bird (before)
From Jalan Bijeh Timah, we turned right to Jalan Panglima and found the fifth mural which was the Humming Bird (below). When I first saw this mural, I thought of something was missing ... I then realize that due to 'progress' A REAL TREE which the Humming Bird was painted next to had been chopped down. Apparently when it was first drawn, the humming bird depicted to be sourcing for nectar from a tree (left). Such a waste !

Mural: Humming Bird.
Humming Bird
Road Name: Jalan Panglima
GPS: 4.596704,101.07843

From Jalan Panglima, we turned to Jalan Bandar Timah where we spotted this life size mural of a girl climbing on a stack of real plastic stools and some thick books to reach a bird cage. Due to the elements of sun and rain, the classic red plastic stools have start to fade and crack.
Mural: Girl feeding birds in a cage
Girl feeding birds in a cage
Road Name: Jalan Bandar Timah
GPS: 4.597004,101.078213

Backtracking a bit to Jalan Bijeh Timah and walking towards Jalan Market, there is a narrow lane where you can find the final life size mural of a man stacking his trishaw with trash and recyclables. You can choose to pose on either side of the trishaw to 'lend a helping hand'.
Mural: Trishaw
Road Name: Narrow Road off Jalan Bijeh Timah
GPS: 4.59525,101.078556

Recall I mentioned that we made a mistake about the Walkabout starting point? the map below show you why... the coffee shop, Restaurant Kong Heng where we had our lunch was at the center of it all DOH! ..

Mural: Map
Ipoh Art Mural Map

SO if you wish have a smoother journey, have a meal at either Restaurant Kong Heng or Restaurant Thean Chun first then check out the murals from 3 to 7 first before driving over for 1 and 2.


Burps and Giggles signWe hung around Ipoh town a bit and visited Ipoh Parade (I won't be elaborating on it). We decided to have dinner before we set off home, and the place we chosen was 'Burps and Giggles' (Google maps location) - YES IT IS IN THE SAME AREA !.
From the exterior it did not look much but we were surprised when we got inside.

Burps and Giggles

We saw this beautiful piece upon entering the shop ...

 Burps and Giggles - art

Burps and Giggles - art I noticed other pieces around the restaurant;

Burps and Giggles - art

The overall ambiance of the shop was warm and welcoming.

Burps and Giggles - interior

Burps and Giggles - interior

The Drinks & Food @ Burps & Giggles 

I ordered an Ice Cappuccino while my partner ordered a 'Mango+Apple+Orange' juice. For appertizer, we ordered an item called 'Wanted' - calamari fritti, lemon wedge & honey mustard dip. Our mains were a 'Harvey' - Fish, Coriander-Mint Salad, Thai Infused Spread, and Beef Meatball Pasta, Tomato Rose Sauce & Splashes of Cheese Creme.

Burps and Giggles - Menu

Burps and Giggles - drinks
Ice Cappuccino (RM10) &
Mango+Apple+Orange juice (RM12)
Burps and Giggles - burger
Harvey (RM17)
Burps and Giggles - burger 2
Harvey - internal
Burps and Giggles - appetizer
Wanted (RM13)
Burps and Giggles - pasta
Beef Meatball Pasta (RM17)

We truly enjoyed our meal. As we were walking back to our car, we spotted another street art - this was by an artist named 'Kareem'.

Mural : Mining pool

It was around 7:00PM as we departed from Ipoh town. It had been a truly delicious and artistic trip. We do look forward to visiting Ipoh again in the future ... hopefully we can find more beautiful treasures the next round.

Ipoh sunset.

How about you? Have you visited Ipoh before? and if you have, what are your favorite eateries, sites & activities?

Apr 19, 2015

Philips Driving Camera CVR300 - Finally the one

 Philips Driving Camera CVR300 - logo
Our first purchase of a car camera was a horrible failure. So for our second purchase we decided to go for a more reputable brand.

On 5th April, we saw walking at Ikano Power Centre (IPC) and Popular Bookstore was having a Fair on the ground floor, and we saw one of their concessionaire called Ascom. They were selling projectors, storage devices and car camcorders. They had three models available;
  • CVR700 (RM499) - has a built in GPS logger
  • CVR300 (RM399) - has a rotatable camera
  • CVR200 (RM369)

My first instinct was to check the prices online, and I had the Lazada mobile app installed. From my previous posting you’ll noticed I’d made numerous purchases online as it was more economical, but this time I was shocked.

Philips Driving Camera CVR300 - sold online.

Lessons here:
  • Not everything sold online is cheaper from physical stores.
  • Don’t believe the claims of so called ‘discounts’ - do more survey & comparison.

Philips Driving Camera CVR300 - description of the product.

Hence our second purchase of a car camcorder is the Philips Car Driving Recorder CVR300 for RM399.00. On top of already great price, we gotten 3 x RM10 book vouchers from Popular (there was an ongoing promotion for every RM120 spent, a RM10 voucher will be given).

Here are the videos of the Unboxing, and Usage experience;

[Updated, 20 April 2015] Here are some sample videos that have been uploaded unto YouTube.

The videos were not edited in anyway prior to uploading to YouTube. The camera was set to record at Full HD 1920x1080 30fps 16:9. Time stamp enabled. Audio disabled.
If you wish to view the original video files, please click here.

Here is the list of the Philips Car Driving Camera model CVR300 detail specifications;
Video Quality
  • Full HD(1920x1080p) at 30 fps
  • HD (1280 x 720p) at 60 fps
  • AAC Audio compression
  • H.264 video compression
  • MP4 files format
Photo Resolution
  • 5MP

Picture resolution: 12/8/5/3MP

Lens & Sensor
Lens: 4G Wide Angle
Sensor: 1:3.2 inch, 5MP CMOS
File format: MP4
Video format: H.264 video compression, AAC Audio compression

Recorder features
Video loop recording: 3/5/10 min
Motion Detect function
Record auto start at power on
Auto save at power off
Microphone mute in recording
Date stamp

Lens & Sensor
Lens: 4G Wide Angle
Sensor: 1:3.2 inch, 5MP CMOS
File format: MP4
Video format: H.264 video compression, AAC Audio compression

Resolution: 480(RGB) x 240
Auto screen switch off: off/1/3/5min
LCD size: 2"

Digital Storage
Recording Media: Micro SD card (class 6 or higher, up to 32GB)

USB: Mini-USB port
HDMI: 1080i/720p
Microphone: Stereo directional microphone
Speaker: Built-in

Battery & Power
Charge Time: 10min
Power supply: 5.5V DC
Backup battery: Built-in 300mAh lithium battery
Life: 2 Min for last capture backup

Product dimensions (WxDxH): 50 x 25.5 x 100 mm
Product weight (g): 55.5 g

Accessories included
User Manual
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Traditional Chinese
Suction cup mount
USB cable
Car Charger: 12V Power adapter with 2.5m long cable

Apr 7, 2015

Xiaomi Yi Action Camera - My Very First Action Cam.

Capturing memories, I have an entry-level Sony camcorder and a compact camera from Samsung (W250F), and most of the time I take photos and videos with my Xioami Redmi Note 3G phone. So I normally wonder how people can spend hundreds to thousand of ringgit to buy something that small - I am referring to Action Cameras.

I must admit that I have no experience with these type of cameras, and since the prices of these gadgets are deemed high (to me), I did not explore or research further. However on 2 March 2015, Xiaomi launched an action camera called 'Xiaomi Yi Action Camera' that cost only RMB 399 (converted to approximately MYR 233.96) - that caught my attention!

I thought it was within my price range but alas it was only available in China and knowing from history how long it takes for Xiaomi to launch new products in Malaysia, I was left dishearten again. On 26 March 2015 I saw the camera on my usual online shopping site, Lazada and it was priced at RM 349.00 and after applying a discount code for 10% off, I secured the item at RM 314.10. The item was 'Sold & Fulfilled by Lazada' and it came with '1 Year Supplier Warranty'.

Since this was my very first action camera, I was very excited! & I was going to make sure I studied it properly and find out how to maximize the my enjoyment using it. Below are the videos of my review of the Xiaomi Yi Action Camera and also the accompanying App.

Xioami Yi Action Camera - device and accessories.

Xiaomi Yi Action Camera (JAT Part 1: Unboxing)

Xiaomi Yi Action Camera (JAT Part 2: Functions & Usage)

Xiaomi Yi Action Camera (JAT Part 3: App Connection & Settings)

Xiaomi Yi Action Camera (JAT Part 4: Maximizing The Experience)

And here is a playlist of videos captured from the camera;
  • The first five videos are captured during the night time driving around residential roads to highways. Some videos have 'Lens Rectification' enabled.
  • There are two videos during the morning and one in the afternoon. 'Lens Rectification' enabled.
  • Two videos driving during the evening, and one is of them was in the rain.

Below are some sample photographs taken indoors and outdoors (click to enlarge);

Xioami Yi Action Camera - Sample photo 1.
A view overlooking a car park - taken during high noon
Xioami Yi Action Camera - Sample photo 2.
A view overlooking a car park - taken during high noon
Xioami Yi Action Camera - Sample photo 3.
On the roof of an industrial lot.
Xioami Yi Action Camera - Sample photo 4.
The indoor open area of Sunway Pyramid
Xioami Yi Action Camera - Sample photo 5.
Visual Effect
Xioami Yi Action Camera - Sample photo 6.
The car park of Citta Mall, Ara Damansara
Xioami Yi Action Camera - Sample photo 7.
Lens Rectification ENABLED
Xioami Yi Action Camera - Sample photo 8.
Lens Rectification DISABLED - default