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Thursday, 31 May 2007

World Most Expensive Coffee

Kopi Luwak
Coffee bean taken from the feces of a civet cat, lightly roasted to preserve its complex flavors, brew into a cup of coffee that people queue up to buy at the most expensive price in the world ....
Have you tasted it before? I was told that Kopi Luwak is a light coffee, not a thick cappuccino that keep us awake all night long....
Here are some info on Kopi Luwak taken from internet:

Kopi Luwak is made from coffee cherries which have been eaten by and passed through the digestive tracts of the Asian Palm civet cat (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). The animals eat the ripe berries, and excrete partially-digested beans in their feces, which are then harvested. This process takes place on the islands of Indonesia which include Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi, also in the Philippines, Vietnam and the coffee estates of south India. Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world, selling for up to $600 USD per pound, and is sold mainly in Japan and United States.
Kopi is the Indonesia word for coffee, and luwak for the Palm Civet Cat. The coffee berries, insects, small mammals and other fruits are civet cat's normal diet. The bean of the berry is not digested, but it is believed that stomach enzymes of the civet cat add to the coffee's flavor by breaking down the proteins that give coffee its bitter taste. The beans still covered in some inner layers of the cherry are excreted, and locals sell them to dealers. The beans are washed, and lightly roast so as to not destroy the complex flavors that develop through the process. One small cafe in the hills outside Townsville in Northern Australia sells Kopi Luwak at A$50.00 per cup, and the locals line up for it......

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Songkran 2007 Penang

Songkran festival, the traditional new year, is widely observed in Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos from 13rd to 15th April. Songkran is the Sanskrit word in Thai which means the entry of the sun into the zodiac. During the Songkran, old and young people will dress in new cloths and visit temple, food will be offered to the monks. In the afternoon of 13rd April, Buddha images will be bathed as part of the ceremony, after which, everybody will joyfully splash water on each other. It is also known as "Water Festival" as people believe that water will wash away bad luck.
To experience how the Songkran is celebrated in Penang island, a visit to a Myanmar and Thai temple in Burma Road on 15th April 2007...........

Architecture of traditional Thai / Myanmar temples
Burmese TempleAnother view of Burmese templeCelebrations
Thai templeInside the Burmese temple compound

The interior of the temples

The prayer...

Wishing for good luck and pails of water ready for party...

The water war and ....facial treatments?

Three musketeers ...

Beauties and the beast?
Young traditional dancers Who ambushed me?

Men's cooking ..... and medical services...
Cooking Medical service

Hawkers' items.
Souvenir stallHawker

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Penang State Park - Hutan Lipur Bukit Panchor

Hutan Lipur Bukit Panchor, a less known park located at mainland Penang, near to a small town called Nibong Tebal. The entrance area of the park offers surprisingly beautiful and unique lanscape with tall trees arranged in somewhat neat manner. The trail up into the jungle is partly tarred and quite comfortable to walk on. I would say, the jungle is less "touched" as compared to other heavily visited parks in Penang island. Countless varieties of plants, insects, birds, and perhaps other wild animals will certainly qualify this park as nature lovers' heaven.
The jungle is well preserved, much better than others, The reason to it is obvious, there is no hotel, chalet, cable car, etc.......

The signboard showing the way...
Signboard showing the wayAnother signboard

The entrance
The entranceAnother view of the entrance

Beautiful trees view at entrance area
The dried leaves are beautifulNo undergrowth below the trees
Beautiful trees at the entranceThe trees are arranged neatly

Inside the jungle, along the trail

Different flora....

Fungi ....

Moths ....

Damselfly and .... a lover couple...

The dragonfly

Giant ants

Cricket and grasshopper

The beheaded alien (long horned spider) and spiders

Baby scorpion and centipede

The house of a bird ...rat...?? and a beetle

A tunnel structure since WWII (?) and bath tub for wild boar
A Japanese tunnel during WWII?Bath tub for wild boar

Wetland walkway
Wooden walkway above the wetlandAnother view of wetland walkBus stop here?