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Thursday, November 23, 2017

MRT Joy Ride For Bak-kut-teh & Expo Negaraku 2017

(A  poem composed by the blogger in the morning of 22/11/2017)

Subsequent to our MRT joy ride to town last Wednesday, November 15, 2017   (see, my cousin brother Pan Mok Weng contacted me on Monday, November 20, 2017 to invite me to go for another half-day leisure trip by MRT to visit “Expo Negaraku 2017” at Dataran Merdeka, KL. (dropping off at Pasar Seni MRT station).  Another place to go is one renowned Restoran Chung Sun Bak Kut Teh (中山瓦煲肉骨茶) at Taman Megamas, Sg. Buloh New Village area (dropping off at Kg. Selamat MRT station, 2nd last stop of Kajang - Sg. Buloh MRT line) as recommended by Francis Chang, a former colleague from Tahir Wong Sdn. Bhd, quite sometime ago.

As my wife Soh Ai was not interested to join, I had to travel alone and join Pan for this leisure trip.

On Wednesday, November 22, 2017, I left home at 10.30am to go to the nearby bus-stand to catch a MRT shuttle bus.  I reached Bkt. Dukung MRT station at 11.00am and took a MRT train 5 minutes later.

There were a total of 26 stations before I could reach my destination at Kg. Selamat MRT station at 12.15pm.  The duration of the ride was 70 minutes and the concessionary fare for me as a senior citizen was RM2.45.

Pan met up with me at Kg. Selamat MRT station at 12.35pm and we walked to the nearby Taman Megamas light industrial area (about 10 minutes), passing by a massive construction site of mixed development project.  

To our disappointment, Restoran Chung Sun Bak Kut Teh (which faces the main road) was closed for business! 

There was only another restaurant on the road behind called Hock Soon Bak Kut Teh (福顺肉骨茶).  This restaurant was packed with customers then and we managed to share a table shared with a middle-aged couple who had almost finished their meal.  They told us they were regular customers of this restaurant and commented that the bak kut teh here tasted better than Restoran Chung Sun, although the shop-front of the latter is larger.  They came here by car from their residence in Damansara Uptown.
Taking MRT ride from Bkt Dukung station
An almost empty train towards Sg. Buloh end
A video taken by me inside MRT train from Kwasa Sentral towards Kwasa Damansara

Overhead pedestrian bridge from Kg. Selamat MRT station
The Bak Kut Teh restaurant we wanted to patronize was closed!
The only other restaurant in that area
We ordered a claypot Bak Kut Teh (肉骨茶), braised pork trotter (卤猪脚), lettuce with oyster sauce (油菜心), a side dish of Yau Char Kui (炸油条) and a pot of Chinese tea (普洱茶).  I initially wanted to order the drunken chicken (黄酒鸡) but the restaurant’s boss told us that at least half chicken was to be served and that would be too much for just the two of us. 

Anyway, I found the Bak Kut Teh quite delicious, but I suspected a lot of Ajinomoto (MSG) was added as I was very thirsty later.  Pan felt that the pork trotter was tasty, but I couldn’t find any lean meat to eat.  The total cost of our meal came to RM48.00.
Braised pork trotter
Bak kut teh
Our dishes at Hock Soon Bak Kut Teh
A pose with Pan MW (pic right)
After lunch at 1.55pm, we walked around and observed some colorful mural paintings on the side walls of a corner shop.  It really made me laugh as there was a signboard claiming two sides of the area as being “Gourmet Food Street (美食街)” and “Cultural Street (文化街)” respectively.  What a joke it is!
The over-exaggerated signboard about "Cultural Street" and "Gourmet Food Street" 
Mural painting on walls
Construction site of a mixed development project (including a 41 storey building) viewed from Kg. Selamat MRT station  
The MRT route and information
At 2.15pm, we took a MRT ride from Kg. Selamat station to Pasar Seni station (fare RM2.20).  We walked through the General Post Office building of Dayabumi at 2.55pm and it suddenly rained forcing us to wait at a bus stop.  Fortunately the rain didn’t last long and we continued our journey to Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square) very shortly.

At that time, many tourists, both local and foreign, were noticed scattered around Dataran Merdeka taking photos with historical buildings (such as Sultan Abdul Samad building) in the background.     
“Expo Negaraku 2017” exhibition is currently held at Dataran Merdeka, KL, for one month from November 15 to December 15, showcasing the infrastructure and development projects around Malaysia.  Organized by the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime Minister’s Department, the exhibition is open from 10am to 10pm and entry is free of charge. 

There are five giant geodesic domes representing the principles of Rukun Negara.  Each of the five domes features a different theme that enables visitors to learn about the concept and get a behind-the-scene view of the different projects being undertaken now as well as those planned for the future.

Pan and I visited all the five domes from 3.25pm till 4.00pm and I found the exhibition well organized as we were guided from one dome to another after watching the respective video presentations in sequence and the exhibits were not too many to cause confusion and heavy consumption.

The 1st dome consists of a theatre displaying videos on the development of infrastructure in Malaysia and how it has helped the people.

The 2nd dome treats the public to a visual and electronic simulation of the infrastructure and facilities in the country.  We were given an interactive experience inside life-scale cars of the MRT, the upcoming East Coast Rail Link and High-Speed Rail (MyHSR) projects and etc. here. 

The 3rd dome features successful programmes by the government to reduce the cost of living, provide job opportunities and quality lifestyle, while the 4th features an interactive video on the government’s commitment.

There were exhibits where visitors experienced what it is like to drive a bus, or direct air traffic control at the airport.  At another exhibit, visitors could take a virtual train ride around the country and get a glimpse at the cities of tomorrow.  There was also a large promotional video presentation of China Railway showing a high-speed train ride passing by many China cities, indicating how this company is involved in our country’s railway development!

The 5th and final dome features an interactive video on future developments and facilities.  The humongous overhead video show in this tent was dazzling and impressive!

After coming out of the exhibition at about 4.10pm, we went to the adjacent temporary food lane along Jalan Raja where many food trucks offer a variety of dishes.  That was where I bumped into Badrulzaman Mohd Bedu, a former colleague from Berjaya Land Bhd, and chatted with him no less than 15 minutes.

Pan and I bought a cup of brewed hot drinks from a “Kopiesatu” truck (my hot chocolate costing me RM6.50) and took a rest at the food lane.  We parted ways after the drink as Pan took his LRT ride at Masjid Jamek station while I took my MRT ride at Pasar Seni station. 
Merdeka Square
A rare glimpse of the anti-Communist Party of China (CPC) Falun Gong group's propaganda posters along the sidewalk of Dataran Merdeka
I saw similar anti-CPC banners/posters on the streets of Hong Kong and Taipei before during my tours, but never expected to find them here too in Kuala Lumpur! 
A panorama view of Jalan Raja
The site of Expo Negaraku 2017
A pose with Pan MW in front of the entrance to Expo Negaraku 2017
Visiting the five domes of Expo Negaraku 2017
Inside the 1st dome before a video show started
Inside life-scale cars of LRT / MRT / ECRL etc.  Funny thing is I came here by real-life MRT ride!
China Railway video presentation

The video presentation of a high-speed train ride of China Railway recorded by me
Glimpse of an exhibit
Survey of visitors' opinions
Interactive video
Inside the 5th dome waiting for overhead video show to begin
A glimpse of the 5th dome
Domed tents housing the exhibition 

A pose in front of the historic Sultan Abdul Samad building
Kuala Lumpur’s earliest Moorish-style building built in 1897
Temporary food lane along Jalan Raja 
My hot chocolate drink
In front of the portraits of our 6 Prime Ministers
It was quite a funny feeling to me as I walked through the Central Market Kuala Lumpur (Pasar Seni Kuala Lumpur or 吉隆坡中央艺术坊), not remembering when I last visited it.

I took a MRT ride from Pasar Seni at 5.30pm and reached Bukit Dukung station at 6.05pm (fare RM1.90).  From there I caught a MRT shuttle bus at 6.10pm and returned home at Bandar Sg Long at 6.25pm. What a wonderful half-day leisure trip!!
Inside Central Market
The final MRT home-going ride 
MRT train was not crowded even at after-office peak hours at 6.00pm