Kemensah Waterfall

Initially, the plan was to go to Batu Asah Waterfall yesterday but after asking the locals the whereabouts, I had to scrap the idea. We actually need to hike or take the ATV in order to reach the place. Having kids (my son and 2 of my sister’s kids) and just me, I made a decision to just settle for a small waterfall along the Kampung Kemensah main road. The signboard says Kemensah Waterfall. Good enough for us and we rented a chalet just to have a place to sit, eat and put our things. Day use fee is RM40.

Two-tier small waterfall

Yassin enjoying the cool waterfall.

Kemensah Waterfall is located in Kampung Kemensah, Hulu Kelang. Getting here is easy, you need to look for Zoo Negara.  Take the main road beside the zoo before reaching Kampung Kemensah. Just take a drive further up and look for chalets on your left. If you go further up, it’ll lead you to ATV Adventure Park and further up to a  dead end where Institut Budaya Baru Melayu Selangor is situated. Well, I drove that far. I did dropped by ATV Adventure Park to ask for direction and the person-in-charge was the one who told that we cannot reach the place by car; only by foot, ATV or bike and it’ll take an hour to reach the place. It’ll be great to take the ATV but the fee is too high, me cannot afford to take 4 ATVs to Batu Asah Waterfall. It’ll cost me RM600!

The chalets here are purely kampung style, very basic and toilet is few steps away on sharing basis. There’s no restaurant here, so we were lucky that we had our lunch before coming here and brought some sandwiches and drinking water.

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Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

Few weeks back my son told me that he would love to visit the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) as Mualim Fadzli (his Agama school teacher) told him about the Quran exhibition at the museum. And yesterday, the first day of 2nd term school holiday, my husband and I took him to IAMM. Frankly, me myself have been wanting to go for quite sometimes already to see the magnificent Islamic arts collection from around the world.  I seriously do not why it took me so long to visit IAMM but I totally blame the there-is always-tomorrow attitude that I have in me. KL and Selangor has been my home for the past 33 years and it is shameful of me to visit less than 50% of the attractions. And for that matter, I am going to explore KL/Selangor this school holiday. Expect more jalan-jalan entries from me.

Admission to the museum is RM6 for student and RM12 for adult.

Established in 1998, IAMM has become one of the world’s leading museum dedicated to Islamic Arts. It houses more than 7000 artefacts from around the world, mostly from Persia and the Middle East as well as Southeast Asia; namely China, India and Malaysia. There all altogether 12 galleries here but below are some of my favourite galleries.

The Architecture Gallery. This permanent gallery showcases scale models of selected mosques in the effort to convey the splendour of Islamic architecture. These range from the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina to the Daxuexi Mosque in Xian, China.  To give a more intimate impression of these sacred spaces, IAMM made the effort to re-create a mosque interior in this gallery. The exhibition is divided into 6 sections representing the major typological divisions of architecture erected within the Islamic lands. Al Haram Mosque and Prophet’s Mosque (Nabawi) are two that represents the sacred topographies. This followed by Religious and Funerary Architecture, Fortress and City, Palace, Garden and Pavilion& Tents.

The Prophet’s Mosque (Nabawi), Medina, saudi Arabia 7th Century AD. This mosque was constructed shortly after the Prophet (PBUH) migrated from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD. 

Daxuexi Mosque, Xi’an, China, 684AD. This mosque was built during the Tang Dynasty. The mosque very much illustrates the Chinese architecture.

The Quran & Manuscript Gallery. I found that the Quran collection is amazing. Love the original exhibits of Quran and the stories of the use of media and the art behind it. Some of the Qurans here originated from Turkey, Iran, Java, Uzbezkistan, China, India and even Malaysia.

Al-Quran from Terengganu, Malaysia. 18th CenturyAD.

Quran leaf on vellum. Early kufic script, North Africa or Middle East, 750-800 AD. Contains Surah al-Araf, verses 157-161.

Textile Gallery. Collection here are mostly from the eastern end of Islam. The Safavids and Mughals were responsible for some of the greatest advances in the field. Elaborate woven silks and brilliant colour-fast dyes for cottons were hugely popular. Above all, the intricate plant motifs developed in Kashmir made their mark on the world, most notably as the shawls that were later copied by the workshops of Paisley in Scotland.

Textiles were used for decorative as well as sartorial purposes. With the nomadic origins of so many of Islam’s ruling dynasties, it was inevitable that they would continue to value the portability of textiles. For the rest of society, nostalgia played a smaller part than practicality. With a general scarcity of wood, woven products were the obvious choice for wall and floor coverings.

Here are some of my favourites:

I am really happy to visit IAMM. When asked which galleries he likes the most, Yassin told me that he likes The Quran Gallery and the Arms & Armour Gallery.  Other galleries here include Jewellery, Arms & Armour, Living with Wood, Coins & Seals, Metalwork and Ceramic & Glassware. While facilities include Children’s Library, Museum Shop, Museum Restaurant, Fountain Garden and many more. For convenience of visitors, IAMM provides postal services. Admission for student is RM6 and adult RM12. Free for children below 6. IAMM open from Monday to Sunday as well as public holidays from 10am to 6pm.

Go check Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia tomorrow. Or the day after tomorrow. Or the day after that. But please don’t take 14 years to visit like me.


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Art and Cat

I was thinking of creating a blog for my kittens after the last one went obsolete when I lost my kittens. It broke my heart and I never updated the blog. When Azah (from  told me to create a new blog for my new kittens, I said I think about it. After a while, I suddenly have the urge to create a new cat blog for my new kittens. And so I went looking for websites and blogs for cats just to find inspiration. Found some good ones, some crappy ones. And later, I found one that catches my eyes! The Curious Cat!

Love the artistic layout and the interactivity. Go and click-click on the light switch. Haha nice, right? I always wanted to do one like this but not sure how to go about it. I guess knowledge in Adobe Flash is very important. Or not? Maybe it’s just a rollover image? Or maybe javascript with all the toggling image coding?

Anyway, you gotta see Curious Cat, the main character. Curious Cat has two sidekicks, Smiley and El Cracko. I love, love, love!

Curious a.k.a. The Curious Cat is a blogger, feline companion, and all-round critic. He is picky, opinionated and holds high aesthetic standards. His curiosity has led to a sharp awareness of all that is wrong in his home. From faulty tiles to deplorable décor, Curious pours out his frustration to anyone who will listen (or stay still long enough). His hobbies include blogging and v-logging about his terribly flawed abode, documenting his human servant’s regrettable taste in home décor and pawing through design magazines.

Don’t you just love this cat? He complains a lot like me. If you know me personally, I complain a lot when I see flaws even as tiny as dust. My husband says I am one grumpy lady who just loves to complain and critic; from design to food to traffic system to almost anything. I am not a perfectionist but I just see a way in my own perspective on how things should be done and how we can do better if we pay attention to what should be done. I normally share my thoughts with ‘flawers’ and this is one part that my husband did not like about me. He will tell me to just shut up and mind my own business. I just cannot. Can you?

Back to Curious Cat. You gotta see this video of him:


Curious surely got taste! I love his catty comments about terrible tiles and regrettable choices in home décor. I hate animal prints too, hopefully that’s not a real leopard skin. And pink tiles? Gosh, that is so strawberry-shortcakes! Hi-5, Curious!

Let’s see this video how he shuts the mouth of El Cracko:


Meanwhile go check his random thoughts in the Curious Reports tab. He has a witty way of blogging and oh, he knows a bit of photo editing too ;P

I bookmarked the website and followed him on Facebook. Curious Cat has found one big fan in me! If you love cat, you should follow his progress too. You never know what he’s going to do next. Next thing you know, he’ll be writing in a critic column in some home décor magazines.

Can’t wait for his next vlog and blog post!

Here kitty kitty!

*Pictures and videos credit:

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De Palma Kuala Selangor #depalmahotel

When my family and I went to Kuala Selangor to visit the Kampung Kuantan Fireflies Sanctuary, we didn’t plan where to stay. As I know there is a De Palma Kuala Selangor, I suggested to my husband that we should check the place out. We just drove around and followed directions to the place.

After going through the registration process like any other hotels, we walked to our room. Our room is in the form of a Malay wooden chalet! I love it! Although it is not fully traditional, the main features are there; the wooden house, the verandah and the cylindrical column posts.

I like the fact that the room is equipped with praying mat, direction of Qiblat as well as Al-Quran. For your information, All De Palma hotels are Syariah Compliant and De Palma is the first to pioneer Syariah Compliant Hotel after recognising the needs of Muslim travellers who had difficulty in obtaining hotels to suit their lifestyles.

My favourite spot here is the area facing the admin building equipped with wooden benches. I managed to sit there for about an hour and draw. While I draw, my son took the opportunity to play in the pool and make new friends.

During our stay, there was a group having a family day or something and they had a barbecue picnic.  Intrigued by the idea, I went and check with the front reception and yes, they cater barbecue picnic to a group of 20 or more. Yay! I thought this is great because I am thinking of having a family day since last year and this is just the right place to hold such event. Other facilities here  include banquet facilities, ballroom, musollah, outdoor court and meeting room. While services include free WiFi service, laundry, Mountain Bicycles rental, newspaper upon request, outdoor/field trip package and 24 hours security.

Overall, our stay here was great. As for food, I didn’t have any from the hotel (except breakfast on the checkout day) because after my son had finished having fun with his new-found friends, we went to Malawati HillKuala Selangor Nature Park and Kg Kuantan Fireflies Sanctuary and had our lunch and dinner around Kuala Selangor.

For those who live in the city and in need a quick getaway, De Palma Kuala Selangor is the place to be. Just about an hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, De Palma Kuala Selangor is located in the heart Kuala Selangor town. You can get here by car or bus. From KL take the Sungah Buloh trunk road and from there will be many signboards directing you to Kuala Selangor. GPS coordinates is 3.349436,101.240473. You can also take Selangor Bus 141 from Pudaraya Station, KL.

—————Now, we move on to the best part—————

I have made an effort to contact the management for a hotel-stay sponsorship by e-mail. And few weeks after that I got a call from Ms. Michelle from De Palma Hotels management office for a meeting. After having discussion over tea and jemput-jemput and goreng pisang, De Palma Hotels is happy to sponsor a 2 Days & 1 Night stay at De Palma Kuala Selangor! Yay!

Now, do you like to win the stay?

If you do, here’s the catch:

  • Leave a comment and tell me (and the management of De Palma Hotels) why you deserve this stay.
  • You need to share this entry using the above social media buttons.
  • Follow De Palma Hotels on FB:
    and twitter:

That’s it, 3 simple steps. You DO NOT have to follow me or write a post in your blog or subscribe to my blog in order to participate in this contest. But if you win, a thank you note linking back to is good enough.

The lucky winner will be selected based on the most creative comment. Judging will be done by me and Ms Michelle from De Palma Hotels. Closing date is 1 June 2012; 11.59pm.

Treat this as warm greetings from De Palma Hotels management and a thank you gesture from me to you for reading my blog. Good luck!



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Art & Places: Coca-cola Crateman, Cape Town

If you read my post about the Nobel Peace Prize laureates Statues at V and A Waterfront, Cape Town, you must’ve seen something interesting in the background. Something red.

Well, it caught my eyes too. It was red and gigantic, who could’ve not noticed that. What made it more interesting was the fact that it is made out of Coca-Cola crates. 4,200 crates to be exact, with an inner skeleton of scaffolding and cable ties to hold the structure.

Elliot the crateman, V and A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa. July 2011.

This giant crateman or cratefan stands 60 feet tall and weighs a whopping 27 tons. It was built by Porky Hefer and his team for Coca-Cola to draw attention to the ever-increasing importance of recycling both cans and plastic bottles. Elliot (named after a foreman of the team who built it) was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.  According to a signboard there, all materials will be reused or recycled when Elliot is dismantled in 2011. But to verify whether Elliot is still in one piece, I checked with VandAWaterfront on twitter. The person-in-charge told me that Elliot will still be there throughout 2012. Don’t you love social media?!

So, if you travel to Cape Town, don’t miss the chance to ‘say’ hi to him!




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Work-in-Progress: Lantana girl

This one is actually based on my old Lantana girl. My publisher actually suggested me to just add to the earlier lil’ guardians collection as it’ll make my life a whole lot easier. I somehow want to make new ones because the last ones were not so cute. When I did the old ones, I had trouble using my glasses. The power of the bottom part of my multi-focal glasses were not compatible with my eyes. Whenever I drew for more than 30 minutes, I got teary and itchy eyes and my head went dizzy. Early this year my husband paid for my new pair of glasses and drawing is much more easier ever since. Phew.

Here’s lantana girl:

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Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Italy

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is the most important international event dedicated to the children’s publishing and multimedia industry.

This book fair is strictly for professionals and closed to the general public. However, among the many categories of exhibitors admitted, illustrators are certainly welcome! In 2010, with the sponsorship of my book publisher, I got to visit the fair. Being an illustrator myself, I quickly feel belonged. It is such amazing to see children’s books everywhere. There must’ve been millions of books! Great works from great illustrators from around the world were all there.

One thing that I observed here, illustrators brought their portfolios and approached publishers to show their works. Some even brought mock-up books of what they have written and illustrated. I am very amazed at how they promote themselves and the effort they took to wait in a long queue just to have publishers look at their works. This I have yet to see at our local children’s book fair.

And to make it interesting, the organiser have a wall where illustrators can share their artworks. Some put up their postcards and some put up a box with flyers and namecards. I managed to grab some interesting postcards and namecards as keepsakes.

For your information, Bologna Children’s Book Fair has been around for 49 years. Bologna Children’s Book Fair  is an annual event where authors, illustrators, literary agents, licensors and licensees, packagers, distributors, printers, booksellers, and librarians meet. Here they sell and buy copyright, find the very best of children’s publishing and multimedia production, generate and gather new contacts while strengthening professional relationships, discover new business opportunities, discuss and debate the latest sector trends.

I really really had fun visiting the book fair. Hope to visit again next year to stick something on the wall.

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