Sunday, September 21, 2014

Perak : Parit Buntar Fishing Villages Day 3 Pt.1

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Perak / Parit Buntar 2014 / Day 3 Pt.1    | Go to Day 1 / Day 2 Pt.1 / Day 2 Pt.2 / Day 2 Pt.3 / Day 3 Pt.2
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Perak : Parit Buntar Fishing Villages Day 3 Pt.1
Kuala Sepetang-Taiping, Perak : 7th September 2014
Medium Group Ride : Kuala Sepetang>Aulong>Taiping
Distance: 23.40 km.          |          Level: Medium
Time : 9:40 am - 3:00 pm
Time Taken : 5 hrs. 20 mins. (including stops for cendol, lunch, visits to cottage industries & Taiping Lake Gardens, rest, regrouping and photo opps.)

This is page 5 of a 6-page blog, on our journey from Kuala Sepetang to Taiping before taking a chartered bus to Ipoh. Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to 2-3 Kuala Sepetang        |       Go to Other Days         |          Go to 3-2 Ipoh >

Route Recommendations :
1. The ride from Kuala Sepetang to Aulong using the road running along the former railway track is relatively flat, shady, and interesting as one gets to see rural life of the area.
2. The river mouth at Kuala Sepetang is good for photos of colourful fishing boats. A good place to take photos is a the mid-span of the new bridge over one of the tributaries.
3. The Antong Coffee Factory is worthwhile visiting to see how they make their coffee and to sample some too. Take note that although the showroom is opened on Sundays, the processing section is closed.
4. With branches of the old shady Rain Trees overhanging the road, the Taiping Lake Gardens, the oldest in Malaysia, is always a pleasure to cycle in. Good photo opps here too. 
5. While in Taiping, don't miss some of the local specialties like their Chee Cheong Fun, Char Keow Teow & Cendul.


We has started the previous day with a train ride from Kuala Lumpur up to Parit Buntar. From there, we had started cycling to visit some interesting fishing villages. Then from Kuala Gula we took boat rides to Kuala Sangga and then onwards to  Kuala Sepetang where we spent the night at the Happy 8 Retreat.

We woke up to the twittering of swallows and the occasional squawks of eagles; every once in a while, the roars of the fishing boats set in as they set off on their fishing trips.
After a good Western breakfast at the Happy 8 cafe, we are ready to set off!


View Kuala Sepetang to Taiping Cycling (23.4 km) in a larger map
Leaving Kuala Sepetang we headed towards Taiping using the village roads via Aulong; en route we stopped at three factories. Lunch was at Taiping followed by a quick spin at the Taiping Lake Gardens before we boarded a chartered bus for Ipoh.
Distance: 23.40 km.          |          Level: Medium

9:40 am -Together with KT; Khee (a local friend) will co-lead the ride. Our first destination was the new river bridge over Sungai Reba. A few of us came here the previous evening, and we wanted to share the place with our friends.

(Click on photo to see a YouTube video of riverboats)
It was a good thing too, as the view during the bright daylight was one of more vivid and brighter colours. Also there were then more activities of boats sailing around.

Next we rode over to the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, situated just at the outskirts of the town. This is a shot of us happy and still fresh at the start of the day.
This Matang District has large tracts of mangrove swamps along its coast. Most of the mangrove are harvested for producing charcoal and for construction timber. This reserve here maintains a pristine area where the trees can grow well into maturity while at the same time ensure that the fauna is undisturbed.

There is a board-walk that snakes around this reserve, reaching up to the banks of the Sungai Reba river. It would have been interesting to take a stroll along the board-walk and observe natural life here; but we could not spare the time as there were other destinations waiting.
The girls did have a fun time doing jumps shots here though!

Across the roads are several charcoal factories. These factories still produce the charcoal the traditional way, in brick-dome kilns and with hardly any mechanization. We visited the one operated by Khay Hor Holdings.

I have had visited these factories before. After a brief walk, I left my buddies to have their time inside and went to have a look at activities on the outside.

A worker was preparing logs for the kilns - stripping them of their barks and sawing them into shorter manageable lengths before carting them inside.

A blue river boat moored at the bank of the canal used for delivering the mangrove logs.
(... see more of Kuala Sepetang Charcoal Factory).

Instead of using the main road to Taiping via Simpang; we use a narrow village road. This was a better route as it had little traffic, was shady and the local children was most happy to see us cycling by.
I later learnt from Khee that this road was built along the route of the dismantled Taiping to Kuala Sepetang railway tracks. No wonder it's such straight road with hardly any bends.

Oops... another puncture. We had to consider ourselves fortunate, there were only two punctures among the many of us over the two days cycling.
While the repair was ongoing, some fun -
The girls were posing seductively...

... and I was having some dancing fun with a couple of local Indian lasses.

And nearby, a multi-headed goddess sits atop an Indian temple's roof.

11:55 am - We rolled into Aulong where we,visited a biscuit factory.
But what interested most of us was the Antong Coffee Factory further along at the outskirts of Taiping town.
It has a colourful history of having 
Dr. Sun Yat Sen staying at a colonial house where the factory is located. They also claim that they are the oldest coffee manufacturer in Malaysia.

Unfortunately on Sundays the mill section is closed so we could not see how they make their coffee.
We did go over to the showroom section where there were sample cups of coffee to be tried. I particularly like the Durian-Coffee mix and bought a packet to take home.

What also interested many of us was the single storey colonial bungalow next to the showroom; it's the house where Dr. Sun Yat Sen stayed in while in Taiping.
The house has been maintained as close to its original condition - faded walls, old furniture, antiquarian artifacts like furniture, Nyonya tiffin basket and even antique fire-extinguishers. Also there were old desks, type-writers and photos of Dr. Sun.

Outside is a bronze statue of Dr. Sun Yat Sen.

A group photo before we left.

12:50 pm - Taiping old town centre! The houses here are old and most of the streets shady; it was a Sunday and traffic was light.

What is visiting Taiping without trying out their famous cendol; there are two renown shops, we had ours at Restoren Ansari Famous Cendol.
Somehow while approaching from the outskirts, a few of our friends got lost. Forutnately, Taiping old town is not a large place; KT and Khee went our hunting for them and through calls managed to locate them quickly and lead them back to the cendol stall. Although coming in late, they insisted on trying out the cendol too.... well we should not miss the local things, shouldn't we?

Riding pass by the famous Taiping Clock Tower, we headed for lunch at the Taiping Food Court.

Round a couple of corners and we are into the Taiping Lake Gardens. The overhanging branches of the rain trees here formed an archway across the roads, we could not help but stop for photos!
 Taiping although not the oldest town in Malaysia has many firsts - the lake gardens is one of them, then there is the museum, oldest railway track, oldest coffee, etc.

While a few of us went to meet up with our chartered bus, Khee took us on a spin around the lake gardens with a quick stop to pay some respect to the fallen soldiers buried at the Taiping War Cemetery.
After that it was another quick stop at the Taiping New Club (another oldest record for the town; the oldest golf club in the country) for us to use the rest rooms as we will be boarding the bus for Ipoh after this.
That was very thoughtful of him. Many thanks again Khee for showing us around.

The bus was waiting for us at Car-park E of the lake gardens. Quickly we folded our bikes and put them into the bus. The hold of the bus was not large to put all our bikes and some had to be put onto the back seats and rear portion of the bus.

2:00 pm - Goodbye Taiping.....
Ipoh here we come!

This is page 5 of a 6-page blog, on our journey from Kuala Sepetang to Taiping before taking a chartered bus to Ipoh. Click Here To Go To Title Page.
Go to 2-3 Kuala Sepetang        |       Go to Other Days         |          Go to 3-2 Ipoh >

Postscript : Remember the riding on the gravel roads earlier, and my wish of getting the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires? Well, when he heard about us talking about those tough roads, Khee brought a couple over for me after. And it's a Performance 6! The best of the best!

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You are at - Jotaro's Blog / AhPek Biker / Cycling Malaysia / Perak / Parit Buntar 2014 / Day 3 Pt.1    | Go to Day 1 / Day 2 Pt.1 / Day 2 Pt.2 / Day 2 Pt.3 / Day 3 Pt.2
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