Archive for the ‘I Was Here’ category

Floria Putrajaya 2011 Day 1

July 10th, 2011
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From Floria Putrajaya 2011 Day 1

Went to Putrajaya yesterday morning to visit the Floria flower festival. It was the 1st day of the festival. We reached the venue at 9am but the opening ceremony was not started yet. The weather was cloudy, and it rained early in the morning. Heard that PM Najib was to dropped by as he was there for some koperasi event. The launching was supposed to be by FT Minister, but I saw on TV PM launching it. We saw Tourism Minister Ng Yen Yen turun padang as well.

From Floria Putrajaya 2011 Day 1
From Floria Putrajaya 2011 Day 1

First impression we got was that last year’s festival was better in terms of the flower attraction. Maybe since its the first day or because we have seen the same stuff last year. Noticed that the small amount of the roses were not fresh or starting to wilt. I think the weather in coming days will make it worse. There were platforms to walk this time, so can avoid the mud after rain.

From Floria Putrajaya 2011 Day 1
From Floria Putrajaya 2011 Day 1

We were interviewed by RTM but it didn’t appear on TV.

We spent about 3 hours visiting the flower booths and the stalls. The aircond pavillion was closed (supposed to open at 2pm only).  Will visit again to cover the pavillion and also the night floral parade.

The food stalls were similar to those last year.

This time around, we saw more activities lined up for families and children.

Crowd was about 100 cars by 9am, but by the time we left at 12pm, I estimate about 400 cars were in the parking bays.

Took about 80+ photos only this time.

Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

July 6th, 2011
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Continuing from part 1,  at 3.30pm we stopped at the famous Si Racha Tiger Zoo in Si Racha district (Between Chonburi and Pattaya) for their tiger show. This is zoo where tiger and piglet photo was taken (widely circulated in the net). We actually saw tiger cubs trying to suckle milk from pig. They also had crocodile  shows,  AND, pig racing!

The junction to enter Sri Racha Tiger Zoo:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

The zoo has a plethora of activities:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

We started at the tiger show, which had an opening performance by a pig!:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

Photos of the tiger show:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

Standing on stools:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

dance class:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

Next was crocodile show:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

this is one brave lady:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

Putting hands inside crocodile mouth:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

After the tense crocodile show, we visited the elephane show.

So, massage anyone?

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 2

Photos for Part 2:

We left Si Rracha at around 5.30pm, heading towards Pattaya. Had dinner at a restaurant (Kinaree Sea Food – food was so so only) in Pattaya.

Read Day 2 Part 1 here or continue to Part 3 here.

National Science Fair for Young Children Day 2

June 27th, 2011
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Continuing from Day 1 yesterday (BTW, the photos are a bit darker at time due to flash malfunction. The battery leaked).

The exhibition hall at GMI:

Today was the big day for the teams. Both students and teacher will know who will be the champions for 2011.

The day started early at 7am with breakfast, followed by preparation for the public viewing session at 10am. So, the booth were a scene of hectic activity as students and teachers toiled to fix torn papers, top up materials, arrange their presentation and so on. In between, there was a talk on the judging process for the teachers in a separate venue.

Head Judge Mr Shan:

Students testing their equipments:

At 10am, the doors opened for public to enter the exhibition. The public session was until 2.30pm. Personally, I think the crowd was much less as compared to the Selangor/KL region fair held last year (that’s the one I attended, thus able to compare). Maybe because the hall is wider? Or is the location of GMI, which is quite secluded and relatively unknown to the Indian community? Anyway, I estimate about 300 to 500 people attended this fair today (excluding the students and teachers).

Attending to visitors:

Explaining to visitors:


Visitors:


Interested visitors:

Explaining their work:

Volunteers too are impressed:

During the public session, few booths were set up at the entrance. Among there are MISI (Malaysian Indian Science Intellectuals) who promoted their educational magazine for kids named Thumbi, DHRRA Malaysia, Arivan Fan Club (where I was on duty), Grolier Books, Tamil Foundation and so on. A few games and quizzes were held for visitor to liven up the environment.

DHRRA Malaysia booth:

Arivan Fan Club booth:

Quiz participants:

Telescope section:

At 3.20pm, the closing ceremony started. VIP was Dato’ Dr Jeyaindran of MyNadi. The crowd numbered about 800 people (including participants).

Participants:

First was speech by project director Capt Dr Viknesvaran. He said that 300 schools took part in the School Fair Roadshow, while the Science Fair saw participation of 274 schools this year.

Capt Dr Vicky:

This was followed by MCEF’s Mr Satish Ramachandran’s speech. He gave some suggestions on how to improve the fair for the coming year, for example focusing on certain theme, and also to compile CDs of the projects.

MCEF director Mr Satish Ramachandran:

Next to speak was head judge Mr Shanmugam who  mentioned about the judging process. He also mentioned that some of the teams needs to improve in terms of understanding the fundamental principles.

Head Judge Mr Shan:

Media appreciation followed, after which all the teams were invited on stage to receive participation certificates along with tokens of appreciation.

Presentation of participation certificates and tokens of appreciation to all the students:

This was then followed by MyNadi’s Dato’ Dr Jeyaindran’s speech. He announced that the top 5 winners will be given a trip to Petrosains KLCC and also to the Perdana University in Serdang. He also sprang a surprise by announcing that the 1st place winners (and the teachers) will be taken on a tour to Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Bangalore!!! This is in collaboration with Air Asia and Indian High Commission. This is definitely a wonderful surprise for the participants, and added more tension to the tense environment. Everyone was waiting for the announcement.

MyNadi chairman Dato’ Dr Jeyaindran:

Two new categories were introduced this time: Most Innovative Project and Best Conference Paper. The winners are as below:

Most Innovative Project

Winner: SJKT Kangkar Pulai

2nd: SJKT Ramakrishna

3rd: SJKT Convent Seremban

SJKT Ramakrishna:

SJKT Convent:

Best Conference Paper

Winner: SJKT Kangkar Pulai

2nd: SJKT Sg Tukang

3rd: SJKT Yahya Awal

SJKT Kangkar Pulai:

There was another speech (to add to the tension!), this time by MISI representative Mr Saminathan.

Finally, the moment everyone was waiting for. The winners announcement.

5th place went to SJKT Mukundan

4th place: SJKT Methodist Kapar

3rd place: SJKT Permas Jaya

2nd place: SJKT Tun Aminah

Their booth:

and champions are SJKT Ladang Lanandron!

Their booth:

For the first time, the top three places were swept by schools from the same state, Johor.

The ceremony ended at 5.50pm, and the crowd slowly trickled away.

 

Photos Slideshow:

National Science Fair for Young Children 2011 Day 1

June 26th, 2011
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This is the 4th year running the Science Fair (http://www.nsfyc.org/)  is being organised. I attended the central region competition last year while the national level competition was held in Kedah, which means I couldn’t attend it. The organisers this time include DHRRA Malaysia, Tamil Foundation, Vijayaratnam Foundation, MISI, Tamil Schools HM Council, Malaysian Government, MyNadi,  ECMLibra, MCEF, Putera MIC, Astro and few others.

This time, its being held at German Malaysia Institute (GMI) in Bangi. The location is next to the KWSP training center. If you can find the UKM Komuter station, then you can locate GMI.

This year, 60 schools are taking part. Representative from each state is proportionate to the number of Tamil schools in the state.  Each region had their own competition and the selected winners are now in the final round at national level.

The list of schools:

The students (and teachers) started arriving on Friday afternoon. I was at the venue on Friday night, and helped around a little bit. There were some activities like looking at planet Saturn via telescope.

Yesterday (Saturday) started at 8am with the student and teachers preparing their booths.

Preparing the booths:

 

At 9.30, students were given written test, followed by judges going around judging the projects. This took nearly 4 hours. The judges led by my ex-school teacher Mr Shan were impressed with the projects. BTW, met some of ex-uni mates like Capt Vicky, Vicky Balan, Sathia etc.

Judging Session photos:

 

I found that the students are quite well prepared. Their projects were amazing indeed. I’m sure the visitors will be equally amazed with the exhibitions on display.

One of the schools that interested me is SJKT Sg Biong from Kuala Kangsar. They have four young participants (I guess Year 3 and 4),which represents HALF their school population! They were regional champions. Must thank the school and teachers for their dedication.

SJKT Sg Biong:

 

The afternoon program involved the opening ceremony, but I had left by then. At night, there’s a conference for the children, whereby each team will present a paper.

Today morning will see a “viva” session whereby the students will answer questions based on their conference paper. This will be followed by opening of the exhibition for public from 10am till 2pm. The event ends with prize giving ceremony at 3.30pm.

OK, gotta make a move now. Will update the results later tonight in next posting.

Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

June 24th, 2011
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There were lots of photos, so I divided the day into 3 segments. Part 1 covers from morning till about 2.30pm. Part 2 covers from 3pm till we reached Pattaya at around 6.30pm, and Part 3 covers the rest until night.

Part 1

Wake up call at 6am. Had breakfast at the hotel by 7.30am, checked-out and off to our first destination – boat trip on the Chao Praya. We took the tour coach to the River Complex, one of the stops for the ferry service.

This is the river complex. notice people walking by? They alighted from the ferry and walking to their work destination. Imagine our Damansara/Segambut/Klang/Gombak rivers used for such purposes.

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Along the way to the complex, we saw something unique – motorbike taxis. The pillion rider pays the motorcyclist a fee to drop them at certain location. Unique indeed!

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Some of the traditional food items. Those workers who are going to work will buy breakfast from the stalls along the road.

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

The flower stall  along the road outside the complex even has Hindu deities pictures:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

The tour group had 25 people, so things moved a bit slower than usual. We took the boat at Hilton area and went up to the location where can feed the catfishes at the temple area.

The pier:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Our tour guide is the one seat (green shirt). Nickname’s Alex but real name is Aran.

 

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

One of the souvenir sellers using boat to peddle their wares:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

One of the fish at the Buddhist monastery river area attacking the bread:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Here’s a short video clip of the boat trip:

 

We turned back at the fish feeding area and then stopped at Wat Arun (Temple of the Dawn), which is located at the banks of Chao Phraya, at about 9.15am. It was the Royal Temple dedicated to the 2nd Chakri Dynasty. Ticket to climb the structure costs 50 Baht (RM1 is about 10 Baht) per person. The stairs are very steep.

This is the view of  Wat Arun from the river:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

The outer prayer area at Wat Arun:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Sleeping buddha:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

One of the statues at the Wat area:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

This is the view from the Wat Arun:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Another view:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Next (short) stop was a leather factory, which I think the tour company tried to earn some commission. Unfortunate for them, no one bought anything 🙂

This was followed by visit to four faced Buddha (which looked like Lord Brahma) in the shopping area. Its known as the Erawan Shrine near Ratchaprasong Square. We can buy the flower and incense stick and pray here. Similar to Bali, we noticed that many houses/buildings in Bangkok has a shrine outside. It seems that the shrine is build first to protect the construction of the house/building.  This particular shrine is very famous.

The Four Face Buddha:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

 

You can pray accompanied by dancers:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Another view of the Four Face Buddha:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Information Signage on the Four Face Buddha:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

We stopped at McDonalds at Amarin Plaza (they serve pork burger, so not halal ya…) to buy ice cream while waiting for the bus (did I mention it was HOT? ). Cost 13 baht for chocolate coated vanilla ice cream.

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Burgers offered:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Had lunch around noon at Royal Dragon Restaurant which is one of the largest restaurants in the world with unique roller-skating waiters. Food was ok.

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

There’s a picturesque view in the restaurant:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

One of the skating waiters:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

The restaurant’s Guiness Book of Record statement:

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

Another short stop at a herbal factory, S.K. Natural Herbal Shop, (again no buyers) at around 1.30pm.

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

We also saw few Tesco outlets. According to the guide, Tesco and 7-11 stores are quite common and have replaced the traditional sellers.

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

It was quite hot, according to the thermometer, it was 42 degrees, but probably the heat from the windscreen affected the reading.

From Bangkok Pattaya Trip Day 2 Part 1

The full set of  photos for the Day 2 Part 1 (from morning until afternoon) is below:

 

Read Day 1 here: