Friday, October 8, 2010

My Selangor Story - Chapter 2 l From Rags to Riches

24th September 2010 (Fri)

Morning! ^__^ woke up in real good spirits~ Today, we're heading to...

the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre~ ^__^

Have yor heard about Royal Selangor Pewter

Royal Selangor is amongst the best-known names in pewter, renowned for its innovative designs and fine craftsmanship. Having more than 500 skilled craftsmen in our factory in Kuala Lumpur, the company produces more than 1000 designs.
Founded in 1885 by Yong Koon, his little shop called Ngeok Foh (Jade Peace), handcrafted pewter objects mainly for ceremonial use - such as joss sticks holders, incense burners and candlestands for altars of Chinese homes and temples. It later expanded to items that were sought by the British colonials in Malaya (like tankards, ashtrays and tea services)
Business prospered in pre-war Malaya and when his son Yong Peng Kai took over, he mechanised many of the handcrafting processes to speed up production times. The brand was then known as Selangor Pewter.
From the 1970s, the company began exporting its wares; first to Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia, next into Europe and then later to Japan. It now exports to over 20 countries.
In 1992, the company changed its name to Royal Selangor to reflect its diverse product range that had extended beyond pewter and its royal warrant bestowed by HRH The Sultan of Selangor.

 (info extracted from here. To know more about Royal Selangor Pewter please visit here! )

cute sticker entrance ticket~

Warm welcome by Royal Selangor staffs!
And our tour begins~

First, a lil history..
the founder Mr. Yong Koon~

the old shop =)
There were many different pewter products dating way back to the 1890s~ Back then, pewter was used to make money, pots, sculptures and etc..
the pewter exhibition

(from left to right) minature Petronas Twin Towers made with  7062 tankards! life size money tree! guess the weight of pewer!

Fancy a refreshing drink from a pewter cup? ^__^
 Next, the workers demonstrated a few simple pewter crafting techniques~ these skills requires a great deal of patience and experience, thus most of the workers are women.. =P

workers demonstrating their skills
 What I especially like was the Wall of Appreciation! (named by me =P) On the walls are the pewter hand prints of workers who have served Royal Selangor faithfully for more than 5 years! It really shows how much Royal Selangor's appreciates and recognizes their loyal staff~

Wall of Appreciation~ is the name given by me justified? =)
Now, to the most exciting part of the tour...

The School Of Hard Knocks!
Here, we get to shape and customize our very own pewter plate~
Firstly, we were given a flat and round piece of pewter, 2 hammers, a wooden mould and a tray of 26 alphabet metal stamps~
the tools 
Then, we hammered our initials on the flat piece of pewter. Once that's done, its time to knock Knock KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!!! ^___^ We spent a good 10 minutes knocking the flat piece of pewter into a concave curve by placing it in the wooden mould provided.

the end product~ all wrapped up nicely in a box in the paper bag~

After all that hard work, RS rewarded us with a lil teabreak with sandwiches and mouth watering cakes in their nice and cosy cafeteria~ ^___^

 An unexpected surprise appear in a red cheongsam during the teabreak~ =P
The grandaughter of the founder of Royal Selangor, Miss Chen turned up to greet us!!
She even told us the story of the lucky melon teapot which was crafted personally by her grandfather and how the found teapot found its way back to the family~

Miss Chen and a replica of the lucky teapot~
‘It is World War II. Bombs fall as hungry villagers raided warehouses for food.
Amidst the mayhem, a villager named Ah Ham spotted a melon-shaped teapot on the ground. As he bent to pick it up, he heard a piece of shrapnel whizz just above his head. The melon teapot had saved his life!
For many years, the teapot was Ah Ham’s constant companion. He used the teapot daily and often entertained his guests with his wartime story and his miraculous brush with death.
Ah Ham’s lucky teapot is an original creation by Royal Selangor’s founder. Stamped with the hallmark Yu He Zu Xi or Jade Peace Pure Tin, it now has a place of honour in Royal Selangor’s archives.’

The above is the story of the melon teapot engraved on the walls of the Visitor Centre. Exactly how did the lucky teapot returned to the family?
Miss Chen told us the fateful meeting of her husband and Ah Ham. Over tea, Ah Ham related his wish to have the lucky teapot polished to Miss Chen's husband, who coincidently had a wife who worked in a pewter factory. So, Miss Chen's husband took the teapot back to Miss Chen who discovered the teapot's origin! How lucky indeed!^^

Miss Chen giving out the graduation cert from the School of Hard Knocks!

Just found out, Spectre's surname is Phang too! haha..

The RS Visitor Centre also has a souvenir shop that sells all kinds of amazing pewter products such as tea set, paintings, chess sets, statues and etc. However, the souvenirs are quite costly due to the delicate craftsmanship required.

Another must do when you visit the RSVC is to take a picture with the World's Largest Tankard~ =)

 After spending the entire morning at the Royal Selangor Visitor Centre, we hopped onto our bas and made our way up the winding roads of...

Genting Highlands~

Wait. Isn't Genting Highlands in Pahang? Why are we going there for MSS? 
Initially, that was what i thought too.. but i found out later that rupa-rupanya Genting Highlands sit on the border of Selangor and Pahang!

After an hour's plus ride up the to Genting, we were received warmly by Genting's PR staff~ a few smart looking ladies and gentlemen were standing at the main entrance of Genting Hotel welcoming us bloggers~ honoured honoured~ XD

Even Allie and Tabbie was present~
Then, all of us bloggers plus some senior executives welcomed our VVIP YB Elizabeth Wong, the Selangor EXCO for Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment~

Group Photo~
 We later then proceeded to the Coffee Terrace at Genting Hotel to have lunch with YB and the senior exec of Genting~

They even prepared a banner backdrop for us~

Dato' Anthony Yeo (Senior Vice President of Public Relations of Genting World Bhd) and YB Elizabeth Wong addressing us~

Lunch~ ^___^V
 The food was deeelicious~  though i had a lil problem with the satay..

satay too hard~ XD couldn't get it off the stick =P
not to forget.. 

receiving souvenir pack from YB and Dato' ~

We also received a fully coloured hardcovered photo book of Genting, ALL PARK ticket access of Genting Theme Park and RM 100 Holiday Card that we can use to shop in Genting!! Wee~ What a thoughful gift~ ^__^ we also received a Genting World card with 10,000 points already debited to it!! Genting is really a very gracious host.. Thank Q!! =)

Theme park ticket and holiday card~ ^_^

 After lunch, we were lead to the Visitor's Galleria for a short briefing about Genting Highlands~ Another surprise was also revealed to us at the end of the briefing.. We were going to watch the live performance DAZZLE at 9pm tonight~~ What's more? we're getting VVIP front row seats!! *YEAH~* Can't wait! ^__^

Then, we finally got to check into our rooms~ We are staying in the First World Hotel~ all 27 bloggers had a whole room to ourselves!! awesome~ =P btw, did you know that the First World Hotel is the LARGEST HOTEL IN THE WORLD?!?!? ^__^ this is because it has the highest numbers of rooms~  

my room~ ^^ I'm not doing the room justice, it was waaayy bigger~ 

bathroom~ bathtub!! ^__^
 Felt like immediately crawling into the inviting arms of the clean linen bedsheets of my bed.. However, we still had a few tasks to complete! So, after depositing our luggage in our rooms, a few of us gathered at 5pm and...

tristhan, dylan, nicole, tianchad and photographer jing yi~ 
got our ALL PARK ACCESS passes~ time to rumble!! haha.. we only had less than two hours left to raid the theme park!! Had lots of fun with rides like the roller coaster, pirate ship, kiddie dumbo ride.. 

tristhan and I
I don't know what is this ride called but it is a MUST RIDE when you visit the theme park~ =)
the girls~
In the end, we all bumped  into each other and had a wild time camwhoring too~ =)

photo courtesy of Feeq( the muka hansome in red^^) and his wide angle lens~ ^^

Me and First World Hotel~ 
 By the time we left the theme park, it was already approaching 8pm! We had some simple Oriental food at 好味 restaurant and gathered at the entrance of The Pavilion (not the one in KL =P) promptly to watch DAZZLE~ 

Though we were given special permission to take pictures of the performances, there were certain acts such as the Jerome Murat, the Invisible Man and the Astonishing Shadows were not to be photographed. But Youtube has plenty of videos on these performances~ haha.. so feel free to search and watch k?  this is a short advertorial video i found on Youtube of DAZZLE~

Panoramic view of the stage~ 
The Show kicked off with the very artful performance of the Jerome Murat~ too bad i dun have any pictures of the act..

the Dazzling Dancers of Dazzle~

The Dancers performed quite a number of awesome dances for us that night~  i really admire their stamina~ though i think some of the guys in the crowd are admiring different aspects of the dancers.. =P 
There was also the famous magician Ernesto Planas with his Umbrella tricks~ seriously dunno how he made so many umbrellas appeared! haha.. he is quite a good Latin dancer too~ 

The funniest part was when he tried to teach us MAGIC and asked one of our MSS blogger Spectre to be his volunteer~
He made Spectre guess in which of his hands lay the small bundle of tissue paper. When Spectre made his choice, it turned out that both of his hands were empty! In reality, he threw the tissue paper behind spectre while he was not aware! And an assistant was collecting the tissue papers the magician threw~ The puzzled face on Spectre's face was totally hilarious! XD The magician even made his slipper disappear through the same method~ haha..

Quick Change! Observe.. She was wearing the yellow dress.. and  when the blinds went up for about 2 seconds,  she emerged in the blue dress!!
 One of my favourite performance was the Presto Quick Change! It was really incredible!! How can she change in just a few seconds?? And she doesn't seem to be wearing layers of clothes either! =P

There was also the Astonishing Shadows and the Invisible Man acts performed by Sonny Fontana~ Both are truly outstanding performances that were really eye opening! I didn't know that one could make so many different shadows! All  know is the rabbit and dog hand shadows.. XD haha.. The Invisible Man was also truly a sight to behold as you could see 'nobody' in a  safety suit riding a bicycle! XD

After the show ended, I went back to my room and had a long hot soothing bathe in the bathtub! Sooo relaxing~~~ ^___^

Thank God we received news that we need not blog about the trip till after the trip! yeay!
We also had a lil supper at Mary Brown that night~
dylan, nicole, tianchad, me and jing yi~
Lights off at 3am~ ^__^

P.S. sleeping alone in such a big bed and big room was a lil scary...XD but having 4 pillows to myself was a real luxury~ ^__^ haha..



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