Monday, October 6, 2014

Perak : Ipoh-Teluk Intan-Kampar Bike-Packers Day 2-1

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Perak / Ipoh-Teluk Intan-Kampar Bike-Packers Day 2-1     | Go to Day 1 / Day 2-2 / Day 3
                                    AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                                      
Perak : Ipoh-Teluk Intan-Kampar Bike-Packers Day 2-1
Perak : Day 2-1, 27th September 2014 : From Ipoh to Tg. Tualang
Distance: 108.70 km.
Time : 7:30 am - 8:00 pm (from Ipoh to Teluk Intan excludes our night spin around Teluk Itan town).
Time Taken : 12 hrs. 30 mins. (Including visits to Gunung Rapat temples, Kellie's Castle, lunch, long stop shelter from rain, regrouping, rest and photo opps)


Route Recommendations :
1. Traffic is heavy along the short stretch along Federal Route M1 leading from Ipoh to Simpang Pulai. Although there is an emergency lane to ride on, do still cycle with care.
2. The stretch along Route A15  between Tanjung Tualang and Kampung Gajah does have emergency lanes to ride on, but at stretches the roads are narrow. Trucks delivering sand ply these roads and speed by closely. Often these trucks will slow down if they can't pass due to on-coming traffic. Still it's best to stop and pull your bike onto the grass shoulder should the truck be following you too long. An impatient driver could be a reckless driver.
3. It rained heavily along one of the stretches we were riding on and we stopped at a fortunate hardware warehouse Our stop was not so much to shelter from the rain but more because it's dangerous to cycle in heavy rain. Even in heavy rain we should be able to control our bikes - but passing traffic will have their visibility cut and may not notice cyclists in the heavy rain.
4. The Sam Poh Tong and its neighboring temples are worth visiting;  these temples are built into the limestone hills of Gunung Rapat on the outskirts of Ipoh.
5. The Clear-water Sanctuary is a private golf club and only member or affiliated members are allowed to enter. For non-members, it is better to get a letter of from management.
6. Kellie's Castle is reputed to be haunted. For the bold-hearted pay the Rm4-00 entrance fee to admire a British-styled castle in the tropics and perhaps get you hair to stand on ends too. There's even a paranormal night tour!
7. The Last Tin Dredge is still closed, peeks of it can only be seen from the entrance gate.
7. There are many shops selling the famed Udang Galah in Tanjung Tualang, Spend a bit more to go for the better shops and at least medium-sized prawns to enjoy a good meal.
8. Teluk Itan is renown for it's famous leaning Clock Tower, Malaysia's equivalent of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
9. There are good eats in Teluk Itan town too, seafood can be cheap if one avoid the touristy joints. Don't miss their famous Ansoon Chee Cheong Fun.

This blog comes in a few parts. This Day 2-1 blog, is on the ride from Ipoh, to Tanjung Tualang. To see other parts:

PRELUDE

The previous day, in separate groups, we have taken the ETS train (with our bikes in tow) up from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh. Our local friend, Patrick had taken us on a night cyclo-tour of the city with a couple of good eats at Wheel Noodle and Lou Wong's famed chicken.
Sated and happy for having scratched our itchy cycling legs, we adjourned for the night at Shangg Hotel and looked forward to a good ride the following day.


THE RIDE


Cycling Route : Ipoh>Batu Gajah>Tanjung Tualang>Kampung Gajah>Teluk Intan
Starting early in the morning with a quick ride around Ipoh Town, we will head to Teluk Intan. En route we will stop at a couple of tourist spots and lunch at Tanjung Tualang before continuing on via Kampung Gajah. After checking into our hotels we did a night ride around Teluk Itan town and had a good seafood dinner.

6:30 am - In the early morning Patrick our local Ipoh friend/guide was a the hotel ready to lead us on a morning ride around his home town. We were even more eager than him and were up an our earlier to prepare for today's ride, one of more than a 100 km. to Teluk Intan.
Within ten minutes we were at Sin Yoon Loong Coffee-shop in Ipoh Old Town, a old renown shop where a lot of old-timers (and these days younger ones too) come to enjoy a good breakfast.


This shop has a stall that sells very good fish balls soup. One selects the ingredients to one's liking - tofu fish filled with fish paste, bean-curds, meat balls, fish balls, etc. - from the stall and within minutes it will be served.
The fish ball/paste is good, but I like their pork meat balls too. The soup is just a lightly flavoured one.


Noodles can be ordered to go with the fish balls; I went for the coarse kon-loh (dry) coarse noodles. These are more bitey and went well with the famous crunchy Ipoh bean sprouts.


And while there, the Ipoh White Coffee is not to be missed, this is the local blend that rivals many from the western coffee bars. I dare say that, to me, this coffee is even much better.
And of course I had my morning fix of two half-boiled eggs, something that I seldom miss for breakfast while riding, they just give me that added oomph energy.


(Photo by Juan)
What followed was a spin around Ipoh City. In the day time there were definitely more that can be seen, especially nice wall murals street art like this one of an old man drinking a cup of Ipoh White Coffee painted onto a side wall of the Old Town Coffee outlet.



Ric's jump for joy here - Yes, it's definitely a good start for the day.


There are many nice street art here, art that have sprouted up these past couple of years.
We viewed some of them but unfortunately as we were on a tight schedule (we still had 100 km ahead to ride), and had to miss those at the Jalan Masjid Ipoh's Art Street. We also missed  a nice ride along the Kinta Riverside (... see more of Ipoh's Street Art).
Reluctantly, we bid our goodbyes to Patrick and headed out of the city.


8:50 am - Heading out from the city along the busy Federal Route M1, we did good time and were soon at the cave temples of Gunung Rapat. These are unique temples built into the limestone hills of the area. The temple buildings looks very beautiful on the outside, but within the caves there were even more to be seen - as it would take quite some time to explore inside, we had to be satisfied to see the outside only.


Of the temples here, the Sam Poh Tong is the oldest. Built in 1912, it is just slightly more than a hundred years old.


It also has a nice award-winning garden on the grounds, one that looks like a scenery from China.


The adjacent Ling Sen Tong Temple is newer and more colourful. A Taoist temple, it has many statues, like the the above one of characters from the Chinese epic, Journey To The West. My buddies did a fine emulation of the monk Xuanzang and his disciple Sun Wukong (Monkey), (... see more of temples of Gunung Rapat).


9:25 am - At Simpang Pulai, we turned off from Federal Route M1 into Route A106 and then headed down Route A107 that will lead us to Batu Gajah.
It was easier cycling here as the traffic here is much lighter compared to Federal Route M1, also the roads were in much better condition (i.e. less pot-holes). The only disadvantage was that most stretches of these two routes are not shady and it did get hot - something which really zapped our energy later on.


At Clear-water Sanctuary we face a bit of a problem. The guards doing their duty well refused to let us in, only members are allowed in! They did advise that the next time we could get a authorisation letter from management.
Don't we look dejected here!


They did allow us to climb up to the viewing tower next to the guard-house. The view from here shows a large expanse of oil palms; the club grounds must be pretty large as the golfing greens could not be seen.


What our ride leader Kong wanted to show us was this old tin mining equipment that is situated within the grounds of the golf club. It looks like a water-wheel operated dredge.


10:30 am - At Kellie's Castle, these cyclists did some funny posing; we cyclists are crazy aren't we? No.... we are cheerfully happy!


Kellie's Castle is one of those remnants from Malaysia's colonial days, however it is unique in the sense that it was a public building but private dwelling. Having fallen into disuse, the crumbling castle was restored by the government and is now a tourist attraction. Entrance charge to the place is RM4-00, RM3-00 and RM2-00 for adults, secondary school children and primary school children respectively. It is opened from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.
There are rumours that this castle is haunted by the spirit of Kellie Smith (the founder) or by people executed here during the Japanese Occupation of Malaya. Recently a RM80-00 Paranormal Night Tour Package has been launched. Perhaps those who are bold can attend and find out if the ghost stories are true, for more details click here.
As for this AhPek, I think I will pass *shivers*


11:30 am - Close to noon and the sun is scorching down on us. To make matters worse the roads are hardly shaded.... more zapping of our energy by the happy sun. Ah Boy improvised a make-do shawl with is towel... he's hot but still smiling.


At Batu Gajah, Ah Boy's problem was solved. We got these neck length tropical army caps for RM10/= each, Isaac decided to stick to his towel.


The bright day was good for capturing beautiful photos of buildings that we passed by...


... but it did cause us to have a few more "emergency stops" at road side stalls selling cold drinks. The heat-wave also drove us mad, doing crazy things live putting packets of cold drinks on our head to cool down.


At the Last Tin Dredge we our run of luck was still good. Although this museum was still closed to the public, the caretaker did allow us in for a short while to take photos of the dredge.
With the world demand for tin very much reduced, these tin dredges are now obsolete. But these gigantic machines were a sight to behold! Almost as large as a football field these dredges floated around man-made lakes, their buckets as large as small cars scooping up tin ore from the lake bottom.


1:30 pm - Arriving at Tanjung Tualang we were met by Wey and three other lady cyclist friends - they had rode in from Kampar in the morning. Our group is now complete with a total of sixteen riders.
But having only rode about 55 km., our journey was only half cycled.
We had had a good start and then hit hot weather, the next half of our journey we were to face a reversal of fortune.

A reversal of fortune? What happened? .... find out in Part 2-2!


This blog comes in a few parts. This Day 2-1 blog, is on the ride from Ipoh, to Tanjung Tualang. To see other parts:

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Street art is slowing but surely blooming in Ipoh.

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You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Perak / Ipoh-Teluk Intan-Kampar Bike-Packers Day 2-1     | Go to Day 1 / Day 2-2 / Day 3
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