Wednesday, August 17, 2005

My holiday trip to Taiping – almost a disaster but...

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Although I had planned my trip to Taiping way before the haze was creating havoc in the Klang Valley, I was looking forward for the trip as a way of escaping the choking haze in the Klang Valley.

However, just the day before I was leaving for Taiping, the haze decided to migrate itself to North. I was dread of the thought that I am actually traveling towards to haze rather than away from it. The view along the North South Highway did not ease my fears that I am going to spend my holidays in heavy haze.

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* The haze was so bad that the street lights were up when I was passing near Ipoh. The atmosphere in side my car was gloomy as well

By the time we reach Taiping, the town was covered with a fine blanket of haze but life went on as usual in Taiping. A quick trip to my in-laws house indicates that despite of an increasing API reading in Taiping; people there were generally ignorant of the haze. Perhaps they were so used to the mist surrounding the Maxwell Hill and the hills surrounding the town.

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* A rather disappointing view from my hotel room. I can’t even see the hills! Luckily the room was great, air-conditioned and I spent most of time playing with my son.

Other than going to my in-laws house, we decided not to “move” around much in the haze. So, it was back to the hotel where all of us (me, my wife and my son) decided to take a good nap after a long journey. Luckily for us, it was very windy and rained that night. After the rain, I hopped out to the nearby market to buy dim-sum, dumpling and of course, couple cans of beers. After putting my son to sleep, I and my wife had our “light dinner” at about 1.00 am while chit-chatting.

The next morning was a surprise! The haze decided to take the day off and almost left Taiping clear from haze.

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* It was beautiful and it stayed as such for the next 2 days. We had a good view of the hills and the mist early in the morning.

Sunday to Tuesday was a busy time for me and my family. We enjoyed the various food and site-seeing. Unlike the last time we were here, we spend little time in my in-laws house. It was great as I felt that I spend quality time with my family (hmmm…should do this more often). Interestingly I spend more time sleeping. It was not until my wife pointed to me that it has been a very long time since we took a long break from our daily schedules.

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* Coming back. It rained cats and dogs! Visibility was as bad as driving through the haze but being an experienced driver, it did not pose any problem except for a couple of morons who were driving through the heavy rain without switching on their headlights.

I will be planning for another holiday trip in 2 – 3 months time. Perhaps this time, might go for Penang or Langkawi. It all depends on my project datelines. It also depends on the haze…that’s the last thing I want on my holidays.