Purple has now turned blue... purple is joy, yet blue is hope!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

YET - Road trip to Sitiawan, Pangkor, Ipoh (30pax, 7 cars) Dec 28 - 29 2012

2012 Year End Trip (YET) happened slightly late that year. Anyway, it's better late than none? Our trip  yearly trip has went before local trip, over-the-sea trips, and even the up-north trip to winter place. This time round, we brought it back to cuti-cuti Malaysia food cum road trip once again. Organizing a trip with 30pax and 7 cars ain't easy... many to consider, especially accomodation. Its usually ideal to plan a trip with 3-4 cars and/or 12pax the max. Will elaborate more about it later.

Our 3D2N trip journey began from Kota Kemuning, morning 9AM. Our very first destination was Sekinchan, our local paddy fields town. PLS Marketing Sdn. Bhd. factory (detailed map provided at this site) provides paddy processing visits, worth an educational visit, especially for today's younger generations.

Pearl rice, origin from Taiwan and been successfully cultivated here locally. Bought some brown pearl rice, its nice to mix them with my 5 grain rice. The factory is worth a visit, specially for road trip like us whom could explore along the way for some good stop over. 

PLS Marketing
Young paddy
Local Pearl Rice
Paddy Processing
Processing Machines
The Address
Rice Price list
Our lunch was intended to stop over at Bagan Sekinchan. Loong Wah Restaurant (blog in Chinese), to me its nothing great about this seafood place. It's just the location that made us stop by for lunch. All with pre-planned itinerary.

Village walkway to the restaurant
Was it 咕嚕肉?
Nice fish - common dish of the olden days
Had a few of this
Our journey to destination, Sitiawan restarted after lunch. We arrived at the town of Sitiawan around 3PM, as we needed to arrange for homestay places (2 houses) around Seri Manjung area. Will further 
explain condition of both the homestay houses.

大伯公 temple
After settling down our luggages at both homes, we headed to our next destination in itinerary, 大伯公 Temple. Weather wasn't friendly, we were trapped in the rain. Glad skies gradually cleared after about an hour. This temple has been one of tourist attraction in the town, I first visited this place during a friend's wedding last 2011. Actual location of the temple is at Kampung Pasir Panjang.

We headed for dinner, before heading home. Restaurant Happy (雙喜) was the choice made by our local tour guide. Since we requested to try out local Hock Chiew food. Again, in fact I had wedding lunch at this restaurant before. I missed the 8 treasure dish, which comprised of a unique yam based steamed glutinous rice. According to my friend, this needs special order as they wouldn't be able to serve on demand. Since the group couldn't decide the food place up front, we couldn't have it pre-ordered. Nevertheless, we had other Hock Chiew dishes to try on.

Sweet & Sour Yam Fish
Tofu soup
Sweet & sour Yam pork

Dinner concluded our Day 1 activities. Next day will be a full packed day for outdoor. 
Next morning, our local tour guide brought us to Kg Koh's market's noodle stall. Again, I had been here a year ago! It was such a memorable trip the last time, with my very closed friends and we shared numerous jokes and laughters. Those were the days. Anyways, memories gone across, hope to treasure it once a while.

I remembered I tried the Loh-Mee the last time, and didn't quite like the bamboo shoot's smell. This time round I tried their kon-lo noodle, made out of self made tapioca flour, so called 蛋燕. Texture seems like chewy glassy noodle, not bad. I compared the price list to what we had last 2011, a bowl of noodle had increased from RM2.40 to RM2.60. Inflation is obviously hitting us every other day. Check out this blog for Sitiawan food, in fact it was still RM2.40 in 2009. In fact I kinda like the kon-lo mee from the opposite coffee shop, 安華 for its long waited noodle. Tried in my previous visit.
Kg Koh Market's noodle stall
Nice Kuih Talam from Market stall
Shopping was a must. We headed for some biscuits, mainly served vegetarian biscuits, i.e. green bean, red bean all freshly baked and seems famous in town. I had this biscuits since many years ago when my parents temporarily immigrated to Bruas, my kinda 2nd or 3rd hometown :) It was merely 30min drive away.
Biscuits shopping
Our highlight of the trip was Pangkor Island. It had been 15 years I have not been back to this island, there were other sets of memories lied here in the fishing village island, ahemm... don't think I will reveal them here. Overall experience this time, good! The island is much more tourist friendly. Though they have very limited tourist spot, but they are all well organized. At least transport wasn't an issue for a large group like us.

We experienced its new ferry ride from Marina Island to Pangkor Island. Marina island is a man-made connected island from Lumut. Comprised of many high-end properties like condominiums and shop complexes. Check out their official website for more details, i.e. ferry schedule, how to get there. 

This jetty complex was beyond my expectation. Perhaps its still new, think it was officially launched mid-2012. Check out their ticketing area below, air-conditioned with ample space to maneuver around with large crowd, 30pax of us. RM10/adult, RM5/children for ferry both ways.
Marina Island Jetty Building
Boards of Pangkor island map
Ticketing area
Beach seats
Air-Con Ferry 200pax
RM10/adult, both ways
Automated gate, still manned?
Here we arrived Pangkor Jetty at Sungai Pinang Besar, the main jetty. Newly renovated? Impressed. It was rather cleaner than I expected. 

Upon arrival, our large group was contemplating what type of transport we could rely on. It wasn't a good idea to hike onto a motorcycle, how many would we need? Bicycle? Oh gosh, its gonna be hilly ride all the way. Glad the local authority has a well organized company that operates the pink mini bus. One bus could fit 10pax, 3 busses were just nice for us. We negotiated the price and location/time they could drop us for our day trip visit. 

Pink Bus for Hire
Group discussion
First tourist stop - The Dutch Ford. This place had been renovated and it has much better view, looks more like a mini garden now.
The Ford
Next was a little shopping place for dried fishes and other seafood. Local called it satay fish, great for snacks. The factory located along the fishing villages.

Dried Crispy fish factory
We even passed by fishing boat factory, along towards another jetty.

Fishing boat in making
We visited the famous Chinese temple on the island. So called it has a mini great wall up hill, I didn't hit the hill as it was extremely sunny hot that morning.

Mini tourist bazaar
Post temple visit, we went along towards out final destination and the most relaxing one - the beach! Had some small sight seeing along the hilly roads. Saw a mini airport in the island.

The Chinese bus drive dropped us at somewhere near Coral beach, where a little temple located. This beach indeed is a nice spot and its rather quiet, except for some intruder monkeys whom will come snatched our food once a while.
Shady spot to lie on
Beach view from the Kuan-Yin temple
Mini Temple

Another scenic view from the temple
Here was the super irritating creature whom snatched my fish snacks while I was enjoying my breeze. Look how humanize they are... they grab whatever found from the dustbin. Enjoy the leftover as if they knew how to use a spoon and plate!

Humanized Monkeys
Since we didn't had our lunch, we left the beach slightly earlier in order for us to catch our late lunch nearby the jetty. We hit whichever stall that still operating at that hour.

Dried Mee Sua
Noodle stall

Fried Mee Sua
We left the island around 4PM, thinking to grab some fresh dessert from the ever famous James Cendol back in Sitiawan. Unfortunately, the stall hit its sales target of the day and packed earlier than expected. We had to miss that. :(

Anyway, instead of heading back home and come out dinner again. We decided to continue our dinner straight at the locally famous coconut villa seafood restaurant, Ah Mu at Kg Cina. Not far away from Kg Koh. This restaurant had changed somehow, they no longer has the small coconut styled verandah. 

Highlight of this meal was its toddy (coconut flower fragmented drink) + Guinness Stout. The while + black. I learned about this alcoholic drink here first time ever, and the experience was extremely 'kick'. Alcohol obviously was high. Sea food was not too bad, we had different menu compared to previous day's Sekinchan seafood. I remembered their fried sotong, it was nice pairing them with toddy.
Ah Mu Seafood Restaurant, Kg Cina
Toddy + Guinness Stout
We finished dinner slightly early. Here comes the review of our homestays. First house was where I stayed during friends wedding visit. We enjoyed this place as it was clean and spacious. Unfortunately, I had never expect the crowd to be 30pax, where this place couldn't fit us all comfortably, unless all has sleeping bags and willing to q up every morning for shower. Hence, we had no choice but to seek another homestay nearby. Unfortunately, the other bungalow wasn't in a good condition as most thought it was not well kept. Dust mites found around the house, gloomy and shabby thought its a bungalow. 
Homestay @ Venice Raya 5
Day 3 finally arrived. It's time to head home. Our local guide ran out of idea where to bring us for breakfast. A few suggested places, like what mentioned in Motormouth's blog was closed that Sunday. Hence, we managed to try out this noodle stall, but we gotta wait longer as its the one and only noodle stall serving in the coffee shop, so called self owned. According to our guide, the business was brought up by the current owner's mom, who's a Hokkien and called this Hokkien noodle. Not Penang styled Prawn me or KL styled dark noodle. It's just a simple soup based noodle. I liked the crispy fish cake topped on it. The coffee shop is located nearby the biscuit shop shown above.

Hokkien Noodle
Our journey headed over to Ipoh, time for food.. before heading back to KL that evening. We stopped by Ipoh New Town for Chicken Taugeh Noodle and other stuffs. It was a free and easy afternoon where we all find foods around that corners. 

We continue explored the Pamelo farm in Tambun. First timer, we hit and stumbled around the corner searching for the place. The shop attendant was helpful enough to guide us there. 

Pamelo Farm
Pamelo Tree
Another expedition went by as we were around the Pamelo farm area. From our organizer's research, there is a Tibetan temple around nearby. To our surprise, this temple seems quiet. Sounds a bit scary to me, but since we had quite a crowd to stay close, some of us managed to climb up the tower. View from top was scenic. It's a place good for photography due to its colorful surroundings.

Lastly, before headed home we gotta stop by for dinner. Sungkai was the small town we intend to stop by. According to google, there's a famous Chinese restaurant namely Choy Kee. Blog reference here. They are famous for their braised pork knuckle. Their pork knuckle and steamed Patin fish being slightly pricy. Overall, its rated not to bad for a decent dinner place. Oh, by the way in case one is using Google Map POI to search for this restaurant, one might end up at Bidor town. Seems the place is being tagged wrongly, while many had enquired the same to the restaurant before. It's advisable to book a place prior to visit, as it usually crowded.

Patin Fish
Braised Pork Knuckle

The end our trip report. We marked the end of 2012 with an 'full-filling' road trip like this. It's not easy to organize such trip, especially with such crowd and convoy cars. Anyway, its been a great experience after all.