Saturday, May 12, 2012

DAY 1: The Old Palace

       On one fine morning, 27th March 2012, us girls (Liyana, Aisyah and Izzati) are waiting for the one and only gentleman (Fadzil) to pick us up at Rectory. We’ve planned to start our journey at 10a.m. However, he comes an hour late due to traffic jam so he’s forgiven :P The weather is so pleasant. We are looking forward to the journey! Yeay!
            The ‘best’ part is we haven’t booked any hotel yet. A friend of Fadzil’s suggests this one hotel, Desa Inn and Liyana googles about it on our way to Negeri Sembilan, makes a few calls and voila! We’ve got ourselves a place to stay for a night :D Anyway, instead of using Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan, we’re using LEKAS highway and as you all Malaysians know, lekas means fast in Malay language. So, we reach at our destination so LEKAS lah. Haha. On our jouney there, we pass by the second highest bridge in Malaysia (48 metres) which is quite scary because it is really high. But it’s really short! You don’t even have enough time to be scared because its all over so quickly -___-“ So, we are like, “Ek’eleh ni je?!”. Haha. Speaking of scary whatnot, us girls are so glad that our handsome groupmate (Fadzil) is being an awesome driver on that day. He does not speed, so we feel so safe through out the journey.
            When we reach at Kuala Pilah, we use an old route instead of the new one.  And the route passes by Bukit Putus which the name originated from local folklore of a werewolf being beaten up by the locals there until his body parts disassembled, long time ago. The truth of this legend is not known until today, but truth or not, it is still quite scary. Hehe. Near this old route, we found a statue of a huge Tengkolok (a headgear worn by warriors and grooms- nowadays), we couldn’t find any reason of the statue, it looks weird standing there without any description or explanation of information. Hmm

            So anyway, by using the old route, we reach our first pit stop of the day which is the great Istana Seri Menanti, in Bandar Diraja Seri Menanti. Such a small but pretty town!

There are two castles there, the old and the new; we’re aiming for the former one.  After parking the car at Seri Menanti Resort which is located right beside the old castle (also our first hotel choice but it is quite isolated and sooo expensive that our PTPTN couldn’t afford it :p), we enter the fortress with Bismillahirrahmanirrahim. It is said that visitors of the  palace-cum-museum are not allowed to take any photos and videos but being our awesomely selves, we do all that anyway. *evil laugh*

The first thing that we see is Balai Rong Diraja (The Royal Hall). It is so yellow and hurts our eyes :( So, Balai Rong Diraja according to the description given is a place where the king and queen gather for special occasions such as majlis keraian and majlis istiadat. A length white material, similar to that which is found in the prayer hall in mosques is spread in front of Balai Rong Diraja. 

Moving on to the right side of The Royal Hall, we have a mural of the palace and some awards received. 

Not far from the Balai Rong Diraja, there is a room with a very nice and so colourful bed. The bed’s colour looks like saree (it is so bright! We’ll show the picture later). The room is owned by the princess. 

Up till now, we still don’t get it how they can sleep on that kind of ‘bed’. Why? Can’t you see how flat, inflexible and hard the surface is? By the end of your 20s, you’ll get osteoporosis already :P Anyway, can you see a room behind the bed? The white colour one? Haa, that is another funny story that we would like to share. That is the toilet! Wanna see the pictures? Hehe. 

         Okay. Honestly guys, do you think that is the actual toilet used by the royal family long time ago? :P Because as for us, the toilet looks so 20th century. Haha. Well, we think they just build the toilet to show to people that the room has a bathroom. That is not the actual design of the toilet okay ;)

            Just now, we’ve told you that no camera is allowed right? Have you ever wondered how we are able to snap all these awesome pictures in the palace since CCTV(s) are all around the corners?  Hmm. Since we are an awesome group, we have our own superb strategy. How? Every time we enter a new room or hall or anything, we’ll search for the CCTV first. Once we have detected the location of the CCTV, the operation of snapping picture begins. Liyana stands under the CCTV to take the picture while Fadzil, Aisyah and Amiza monitor every spot in that room (we’re afraid if there is a guard doing his duty :P) *Great job group mates!* Haha. Okay, cut the crap already. Moving on to another section in the palace.. We have the dining hall! Oh, this section is Liyana’s favorite. Since we’re in the palace, of course everything is yellowish. Such a fine and stylish place to dine :)


Fadzil is guilty as charged! We are not supposed to touch anything on the table. Haha. Since there is no one in the hall, so we assume that palace is ours :P Funny fact of this picture; Liyana is jealous of Fadzil because he gets to take a picture in this dining hall. She wants it too, but since she is the camerawoman on that day, work comes first :P  

      Now we’re ready to show you the second floor of this palace. Oh but before that, let’s camwhore first! ;)

           Do you see the stairs behind those three awesome people? ;) Yeap, that is the stairs that will lead us to the second floor. The first thing that we found in the second floor is the boys’ rooms! Erm no, we mean, the princes’ rooms -__-“ Haha. There are pictures hanging on the wall. Pictures of them, of course. The room is quite alike with the princess’s room. Except that their rooms have single size beds, whereas the princess has a queen size bed. 

Yeah, we know what you are going to ask. Is that another room? Yes. It’s like a connecting door. Both rooms are the princes’ rooms :)

And these two ladies are sitting on the dressing table in that room. Dayang in the palace perhaps? :P

Next, we have the queen’s room. As you all know, the queen does not share a room with the king, unless she is being called by the king on certain times/days. Ehem. Haha. So, let us show you the pictures of the queen’s room. It is quite simple.

The picture above is some of the collections owned by the queen. Funny fact of this picture; Aisyah is very excited to see her cloth and shoes. She forces Liyana to snap this picture few times. Haha.
This is the view of the entire palace that you can see from the second floor. Not that 
fascinating BUT wait till you see it from the third floor. You’ll go jaw dropping ;) We promise!

That’s all we have on the second floor. So now, let’s climb another stairs with us to the highest floor of Seri Menanti palace. Nah, the picture of the stairs! 

Oh wow right?! The stairs is so steep! It is 360 degrees different from our own stairs that we have at home. Funny fact of this picture: Amiza doesn’t want to climb the stairs and she demands everyone not to go to the highest level of this palace. But hey, this is work, baby. Everyone asks her to stay and wait while the rest doing their jobs upstairs. But, of course she refuses to wait because honestly, the palace is quite scary, spine-chilling and creepy. So we force her to climb and tadaa! She reaches the next level safe and sound ;) That is what we call team work, people! Haha. There is only one person who is not afraid of anything at all. And of course all of you can guess it already huh? *drum rolls*

HAHA. Yes, Fadzil. Oh well, he is the only guy and he must not be afraid of anything and must protect us girls from any harm and danger. Job well done, Fadzil! :D

When we reach on that level, we see all kinds of musical instruments. Unfortunately, we do not have picture of the instruments since we are all excited to see the view from the highest level of the palace. Sorry people :(

Okay now, the most breath-taking view! 

We miss this place all of sudden :( Can you see how symmetrical everything is? We adore the architecture very much. All of us are like, “huyooo!”. Haha. 

 This is the corridor that connects to the master bedroom. 
 The yellow curtain that you can see is the master bedroom. Master bedroom here means king’s room. You wanna see it? Yeah? Okay, please follow us ;) 

Tadaa! How lavish and luxurious the bed is right? ;) Okay, this time around we won’t have the funny fact. But the real fact told by Fadzil. This is the second time Fadzil visiting the palace. The first time when he was 17 years old. Anyway, a long time ago, in this room, there was a strand of hair of the princess being placed in a bowl. It is for the visitors to have a look. You know, the unwanted hair after being chopped? Yes, that kind of thing is being exhibited. Creepy much? Luckily they don’t have it anymore. Okay, okay, enough of the eerie story. Now, the moment that all of you has been waiting for, it’s time for camwhore, people! :D (can puke rainbow now. HAHA)

Vain session will be continued later. Haha.

        Since we’re done wandering around inside the palace. Let’s go down and explore the outdoor! Watch out with the stairs, people! :)

     Hello back! We are now at the back of the palace. Backyard, yes? So many bizarre items can be found here. Shall we see them one by one?  Jom! :)

Err.. just ignore the ‘model’. Haha. Well this is tabuh. There will be a man who uses this to beat a gong to call people to perform prayer at the mosque. They don’t have microphone and speaker to announce the prayer time. Other than that, the tabuh is also used for announcements; break fast time, death and other form of news.

And this is mimbar. Do you know what mimbar is? Yes, genius! Mimbar is a place for the imam to stand when he is preaching, especially on Friday prayer. So, this is the mimbar used by them, once upon a time ago. 

Yes, photostat machine. Weird, huh? This is not even close to what we have now. When we first see this, we are like, “Serioulsy lah?”. How they operate this machine, ha? We would love to see the process. 

Next, we have iron crate (peti besi).

Please say hi to our next model! Haha. Aisyah is hugging the lesung batu. The giant one. Not like the one that our moms owned at home. We dare you to carry the lesung batu alone. Can you do that? Because we have tried it, and none of us could do it -__-” Extremely heavy! 

Since Liyana has been capturing the pictures non-stop, it’s time to change the shift. She will continue snapping a lot of gorgeous pictures :)

For example, this picture ;)

HAHAHA. Vain, much? 

Aisyah and Amiza :)

Fadzil is trying really hard to read the description. Please watch the recording if you are as eager as us to know whether he can read jawi or not. Haha. Sorry Fadzil, just kidding. Of course you can read jawi ;) 

This is the stage placed outside the palace. Do you want to know the function of this stage? ;) It is simple. The stage is for all kind of performances. It is a source of entertainment for them :) Oh, this stage is located in the big beautiful garden in front of the palace.  

Let's watch Fadzil babbling about the traditional stage ;)

Okay, it is time to leave this palace and proceed to our next destination. That is the last picture before we depart from Istana Diraja Seri Menanti. Wonderful experience we had. Radio is on, seat belts; clear. So yes, we’re ready to move! :D 

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