Snaps: Food Tripping in Kampar Town & Pasir Pinji (Part 1), Ipoh

It’s been a while since I last went for a shutter therapy session with the boys, I think by now it would have been months. It’s a shame when I come to think of it that I don’t find/make enough time for something that I so clearly miss and is passionate about. But try as much as I could, I cannot really make the time to do it. Now, if you’re new and just picked up photography you’ll want to avoid getting too long of a hiatus from shooting because you’ll find that your creative perspective may take a hit from this break. At least to me, that was what that was happening. It can be rather de-motivating, to say the least.

What helps though to ignite that passion again is new sights and sounds, even a simple trip out of town would help. The fresh change in the scenery would be a warm welcome for you. Since there was along holiday in May, I suggested to my parents that it’s time to head for another one of our gastronomic food road trips again. Do you remember the last few edition(s) that I posted about my road trips around Malaysia?

There was the;
Initially, the plan was to head to Sg Lembing for the May holidays but as it turns out the place was fully booked and so, we ended up heading to Ipoh instead. I have been to Ipoh on another food trip with my family before and that time we visited Ipoh and Taiping together. Taiping was a rather huge disappointment and hence, this time around Ipoh would be our main place of attraction.

For this trip, I decided that I was going to get my photography mojo back on and I’m lucky enough to have the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II together with the Olympus M Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens to bring with me for this road trip. I actually haven’t shot/played with either one of the two gears, so I was pretty pumped to test these babies out.

In my Sekinchan post, I mentioned how travel friendly the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7 with it being lightweight, enabling me to bring along all my lenses for the road trip. This time around because I had the Olympus M Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO which have a constant aperture of f/2.8, so I didn’t bring any other lenses. With this PRO lens, it’s as good as having prime lenses with a focal length ranging for 12mm for wide angle, up till 40mm. Although the E-M5 Mark II is the latest camera addition to the Olympus Micro Four Thirds family, I was more excited with the 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens instead. I’ve always been more of a lens person. :p

So for this road trip, I settled with just the E-M5 Mark II and the 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens. I did carry along the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7 together with the 25mm f/1.8 lens. Again, I managed to fit this all into my brown messenger bag. I’m still truly amazed at how compact the Olympus Micro Four Thirds’s cameras are. Before I bore you any further, let’s have a look at the pictures that I taken (mostly with the E-M5 Mark II and the 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens)!

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Because we were headed down on the first day of the holiday, we were caught in a somewhat heavy and massive jam on our way to Ipoh. There was nothing interesting to do in the car except taking selfies! The E-M5 Mark II has a 3-inch vari-angle swivel touch screen monitor, which made selfies so much easier too. So, it was car selfie time!

Can you spot the camera in the reflection of my shades? I’m using the e-Portrait Beauty mode for the selfie above, where the camera automatically detects my skin and only smoothen that. Notice how everything else is sharp and in focus too, like my hair and my hoodie!

Like in all our the Hong’s family gastronomic food trips, we would make pit stops along the way before we head to the destination of our choice and this time around, we picked to have a stop over in the Kampar town for breakfast. Mention Kampar and you’ll be reminded of the fish balls and tofu(s) too! And that’s what we headed there for, for some yummy fish balls and fish meat goodies!

We had a family friend whose son studied in Kampar, so she recommended that we pay a visit to the Kedai Hoong Kee, which is located in Kampar Old Town. It’s located amongst many many stalls, so we had to look out for the shop’s name. You’ll find that there are a couple of other shops which would sell similar items as Hoong Kee does, but this shop was the busiest. They have an array of choices like fish ball, pork ball, taufu, fried wantan, fried foo chok and fried eggplant. Price ranges from RM0.40 to RM0.70 per piece. My favourites are the tofu ones!

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// Kedai Hoong Kee //
Jalan Baru, Taman Tasik Emas,
31900 Kampar, Perak
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Dad saw another stall selling some chee cheong fun, about a few stalls away from Hoong Kee and decided to give it a try. But alas, as good and promising that it looks it actually pretty meh. I didn’t like the texture and taste of it that much. So it’s a no from me. The real winner of Kampar is the fresh sliced fish porridge in the next two pictures.

It’s true when they say that the simplest things are the best thing in life, and the same goes for food. This is one of my favourite comfort food that I eat in Pudu, Kuala Lumpur. This one was even tastier, because the sliced fish was so fresh! So fresh that you can eat it raw too, like sashimi. It had a raw crunchy sweet fish taste to it. I hope you can imagine how that tasted like, or else you can always taste it yourself.

There is also delicious chicken porridge served here, so if fresh fish slices are not your choice, you can have the chicken instead. The stall is located just opposite from the rows of stalls where Hoong Kee is located at. The porridge stall is located in Pusat Makanan Gold Wing and a bowl of porridge is RM3.50 each.

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// Pusat Makanan Gold Wing //
012-5713177 | 018-5791821
Jalan Baru, Taman Tasik Emas,
31900 Kampar, Perak
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After that, we headed to Pasir Pinji which actually was a neighbourhood place located in Ipoh. What I found out was that the delicious food from Pasir Pinji was located in those house in a neighbourhood, especially the famous chee cheong fun.

My brother took the two pictures above, while we waiting in queue for our chee cheong fun. There was actually a rather long queue for the chee cheong fun, whereby you’ll be assigned with a number and then you’ll need to wait till your number is called out. Only then you’ll be able to place your order. We were lucky to have been able to get a table to sit and wait and even have our chee cheong fun.

The chee cheong fun comes in three different sauce of choice; the sweet one or chilli or just the plain soya sauce. Since there were all together 5 of us and we wanted to try all three sauce so we ordered all three! My favourite one would still be the simple soya sauce. To be honest, I always like my chee cheong fun plain and simple. I feel like it’s only then I’m able to taste the smoothness and the flavour of the chee cheong fun. 

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// Pasir Pinji - Chee Cheong Fun //
House No 1456,
Jalan Pasir Pinji 5,
31650 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
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There are a couple more places in Pasir Pinji that we have visited but I decided I’ll shorten the post right here and cover the rest of the places we have visited in the next post instead. As I was reviewing and working on my pictures in Lightroom, I realised that I have actually been shooting in a range of focal length of 20mm till 25mm with Olympus M Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens, on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. The thing was I was probably doing this very unconsciously because with that lens, it’s very convenient to pick any focal length and not having to worry about the aperture.

So, when I took the pictures above, most of the time I’ll zoomed right it to a focal length which I’m comfortable with. It’s probably around that range because the Olympus 25mm lens is my default lens anyway. That would explain why. But I did truly enjoyed using the Olympus M Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. Shooting with this combination feels rather solid and personally, damn I miss that feeling. The Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7 is amazing, but doesn’t feel the same. Ah, wells till the next road trip then. ;p

Till next time,

Snaps: Ed Sheeran Live In Kuala Lumpur

About a month ago, one of my dreams came true and you must know that most of dreams are ones which are rather ambitious. For proof of that, you can have a look at my Travel List where I dream to go to some of the exotic places in this world. Anyways, you get my drift that it is not often that my dreams come true. But there is this one dream that that came true and by the title of this post, you know what that dream was.

I don’t remember exactly when I started listening to Ed Sheeran, but I remember when I first listened to his songs… I feel in love with the Wake Me Up, Kiss Me, Sunburn, Small Bump, Cold Coffee  which was from his first album “+” and also songs before he released that first album. I mean how can you not fall in love with the way he write these lyrics. To further illustrate how amazing he is, I stumbled upon this some time back and I’d though of sharing it here.

It’s hard not to fall in love with someone who writes his own songs and then sings them in just the most amazing way he usually does. I could go at lengths about just how much I’m in love with Ed, but that sentence right there, that pretty much sums up how I feel about Ed Sheeran. And it is then, that I decided it would be my dream to hear and watching him sing live. All this while, I have only ever thought to be able to catch him overseas.. Maybe in the UK or Australia. I never thought he’ll actually come by Malaysia to perform! Boy, am I glad he did.

I still remember when I found out when the tickets were going to be sold, I was so anxious planning it out with about Emily Choong; like what time shall we reach there and to organise our strategy of securing our previous tickets. I’m so glad I had her to be crazy with me, or else I would end up doing this all by myself. We ended up being the first in line for the tickets and yes, one of the first few in Malaysia to have the tickets!

So, fast forward to many months later to 16 March 2015, Ed Sheeran was performing live in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Like most concerts, photography wasn’t actually allowed. Up till today I don’t quite understand why the concert organisers are so strict on that, but then again, if photography was allowed you’ll find so many cameras blocking the view.

And now comes the part where I decided that I somehow needed to immortalize my whole watching Ed Sheeran live experience and so, I sneaked in a camera. Now, before the day of the concert arrived.. I thought hard which camera I should take. There are a few factors that I needed to consider. Size plays a huge factor and then zoom capabilities of the lens. Also, I needed to get a camera which shoot sharp pictures as well. My ideal set up would be the Olympus EM5-II with the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO Lens.

But that combination itself was too huge and heavy. I could never walk into the halls if I had those two. So, I thought a little longer and then I realised that I really wanted to play it safe, meaning I would have to pick a smaller camera to bring in. This camera would have to be able to capture reasonably good pictures with zoom lens since I could end up having to shoot from a distance.
And that’s when I decided on taking the Olympus Stylus 1. It isn’t a Micro Four Thirds camera, but rather it is a compact camera. Yeaps, you heard me right. I settled for the Stylus 1 compact camera in the end, because;
  1. It is lightweight, compact and easy to carry around (or rather, easier to sneak in).
  2. It has a 10.70x zoom, which is equivalent to 28-300mm.
  3. F2.8 is the maximum aperture of the Stylus 1.
  4. There is 12 megapixels on it, which allows me ample of pixels to crop if necessary.
  5. It can also shoot in RAW format.
So, those are the reasons why I chose the Stylus 1. I was confident that I would be able to bring it into the halls and yes, it will be able to give me the results with good quality pictures. And so off I went to the concert. I did manage to sneak it in and the guards didn’t even notice I had the camera with me. I’m pretty much ecstatic that I managed to do so. I won’t babble on any further and I’ll instead show you what I managed to capture that night.

And these are just some parts of the pictures from the concert that night. There are still more pictures from the concert that I have yet to look and to post process. So, I thought I’ll share one part of the pictures from the concert first. Now that I have the time properly review the pictures I just realised how impressive the pictures are. The Stylus 1 certainly did exceed my expectation and boy, am I happy with the pictures.

Meanwhile, you can hop on over to Robin’s blog whereby he has written an in-depth review of the Stylus 1, along with photographs taken by the camera. That way, you’ll be able to know what the camera is capable of. Here’s the link ; Actually it is from this review that I realise the Stylus 1 has amazing zoom capabilities which lead on to me deciding to bring the Stylus 1 to the concert.

I’m glad I did and the concert was just downright amazingly beautiful. Looking back at these pictures, ahh, I’m just melted again. I hope you enjoyed looking at these pictures as much as I did, especially if you were at the concert. If you were not, well you now have an idea of what went down at the concert. :) Do look out for my second part of the post, with more pictures!

Till next time,