Daniel Liew

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A Giant Puzzle Baphuon

After Bayon, we headed to Baphuon. Situated north of Bayon, Baphuon is truly an astonishing spectacle. It has more than ten chambers at its base. Built in the 11th century before Angkor Thom was even established by king Udayadityavarman II, dedicated to Siva (Hindu) and is the second largest temple in the city.

There is a 200 m long causeway raised on sturdy pillars leading to the temple. The temple is multi-tiered and warrants a bit of exploration, as long as you are up for the very steep stairs.

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The first, third and fifth tier were crowned by galleries, as well as tower-like door and corner pavilions. Twelve stairways also ran from the third to the fifth tier. A rectangular sandstone wall measuring 425 by 125 metres encloses the temple.

We followed the sign and started exploring the temple. The central tower was quite high, it was quieter than Bayon and there was a lovely view across Angkor Thom and into the surrounding wilderness.

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Properly reconstructed stairs built under the conservation program by the French. Just a word of caution, the steps are really steep, those with trouble of mobility should give this a miss.

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Responsorial Psalm

1st Sunday of Lent, the day I sang the psalm solo (cantor). We were the new batch of cantors trained to sing the responsorial psalm within the Liturgy of the Word during mass.

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Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we have sinned. – Psalm 51

Pisang Waterfall

Last Saturday, February 24, I joined my colleagues to Pisang Waterfall. It was a weekend escape from the scorching hot weather and to be able to immerse in the chilling waterfall was a great pleasure. I’ve never heard of the waterfall, partly because it is overshadowed by the more famous ones like Templer  and Sungai Tua. Anyway the Pisang waterfall is one of the source water for Sg. Gombak.

Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.

We arrived as early as 8 a.m at Jungle Lodge Alang Sedayu, 12th Mile off Jalan Gombak. It’s the old Gombak trunk road going north before there was PLUS highway. Visitors have to pay a fee of RM1 per head and RM3 for parking.

The first thing you see is the water intake at the entrance.

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Crossing streams is the prerequisite of this entire journey, you’ll get wet at some point of time.

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Get across the two gigantic tunnels under the Karak Highway. This is where one truly experience themselves in the “light at the end of the tunnel” expression.

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The trek is fairly easy to follow. TIP #1: Follow the stream, at the confluence, take the right turn. The walk from the tunnel to waterfall took us about 30 minutes.

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Picturesque forest and stream.

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A rather unique tree which its branches stretching far across.

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The massive root system and the orange flower buds from the salakas tree.

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We continued our trek, stopping in between just to take a short break for photography. They say it is not the destination that matters but the journey itself.

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Behold, Pisang Waterfall! The full view of the beautiful 20 metre drop greets and invites you for a refreshing swim.

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View from the other side of the gorge, there is a steep trail climbing up the gorge.

Apart from swimming, one can try wet abseiling. You will need to make special arrangement with the tour operators.

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At the foot of the waterfall where visitors lay their picnic mats or just simple enjoy the scenery. This place is still a genuine beauty, but over the years irresponsible visitors have polluted the environment with of rubbish. So do your part, take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.

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I’ve included a map for your useful reference. For more waterfalls in and around Klang Valley, visit this site.

Coordinate: Jungle Lodge (N3 18 17.8, E101 44 07.0) 

All pictures credit to my friend ooisl.

Smiling faces of Bayon

After watching the spectacular sunrise at Angkor Wat, we headed northward to the ‘great capital’ of Angkor Thom. Built exactly in the centre of Angkor Thom is the temple of Bayon.

The moat surrounding Angkor Thom.

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Approaching the South Gate entrance to the city of Angkor Thom, past the flanking stone sculptures of gods and demons spanning the causeway.

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Angkor Thom means the “great capital”. Bayon, which is situated at the heart of Angkor Thom is the official state temple of Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII built around the 12th and 13th centuries.

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We spent at least one and a half hour here hunting for stone faces, taking photos, and sitting in the cool shade as the hot Cambodian sun rose higher and higher. Honestly, I could’ve wandered here for hours being drawn to the smiling faces of Buddha.

There are 216 faces remaining on the temple’s towers. Such amazing ancient engineering feat. Some experts believe that the faces belong to the Bodhisattva of compassion; Avalokitesvara or Lokesvara.

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Daniel set foot here on Thursday, September 5, 2013.

If there’s one thing that amazed me during this day trip at Angkor, it has to be Bayon! Stay tune for more Angkor posts.

Cover – the way lockscreen should be

Trying out a new lockscreen this time. I am not a great fan of launcher as I prefer things to be in its original form, that is to say I do not like tweaking the user interface and what not. There are many nice custom launcher apps out there, for instance Nova Launcher and Facebook Home, which I tried but later decided to uninstall them.

Then I discovered Cover, a lockscreen which I really enjoy using. It is a lockscreen replacement that learns what apps I use at different times and recognise what I’m doing. It knows when I’m at home, work, in a car or just walking and suggests apps based on that. Hence the tagline – the right apps at the right time.

What Cover does is it sits on top of my HTC One (Android 4.3) and Nexus 7 (Android 4.4) screen when it’s locked. At the moment it supports only Android 4.1 and above, and is in Beta version. Even though it’s in Beta, I don’t encounter any hiccups at the moment, the app works smoothly and does what it is supposed to do.

Right apps at the right time

When I turn on my device, the Cover lockscreen happily greets me with the apps I use most, a list of apps are shown on the left pane.

Today I feel jazzy so I plugged in my earphone, Cover automatically showed Spotify, TuneIn Radio, Call on the list of apps.

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As I tilt my phone, Cover instinctively shows the camera button regardless of whether you tilt your phone left or right. It comes really handy.

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Peek

Another feature that Cover offers is ‘peeking’.  I can quickly see what’s new and launch apps with just a swipe. Take Google Translation, as an example, I just slide open the app and it’s ready to use. Productivity has never been this easy! Another way of using the ‘peeking’ function is to check notifications or incoming emails and alerts.

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Switch between apps

Let say I am surfing the web on my tablet and decided to write an email to my friend about something interesting I have just discovered, all I have to do is to bring up the app tray (on the top right corner). This allows me to jump directly between apps, skipping the steps in between.

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Smart settings

I would say Cover is pretty smart. It identifies whether one is at home, work, driving or outdoor (only if you allow the app to access your location). Just set different ringer volumes or vibration/silent mode and wallpapers for each place. Let’s say silence when I’m at sleeping at night, vibration when I’m at the office and ring loudly when I’m outdoor.

Give it a try! Check out the video and download links after the break.

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© 2014 Daniel Liew. All rights reserved.

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