Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Selangor: Kuala Selangor To Sekinchan - When AhPek Meets Ah Moi

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Selangor: Kuala Selangor To Sekinchan - When AhPek Meets Ah Moi
Kuala Selangor to Sekinchan: 18th December 2016
Cycling Distance - 78.48 km.     Level: Medium
Time : 8:10am to 6:00pm
Time Taken :  9hrs 50 mins (inclusive of stops at Pantai Redang, Yong Tau Foo Factory, Padi Factory, Mango Farm & regrouping, rests, lunch, tea time and lots of photo opps).

Route Recommendations :
1. Ride Conditions
    - The main road (Route 5) from Kuala Selangor to Sekinchan in the morning have heavy traffic & the weather is quite cooling. However, in the afternoon the traffic gets heavier and it does get very hot, so do cover up or apply sun block lotion.
    - The route from Sekinchan to Kuala Selangor running along Sungai Tengi is quite scenic and rather shady. It's a enjoyable route to take even in the afternoon.
2. Points of Interest:
    - Pantai Redang (GPS: 3.50285, 101.09447).
    - The Dong Xin Yong Tau Foo Factory (GPS: 3.50387, 101.09858).
    - Scenic view of the fishing boats at Bagan Sekinchan (GPS: 3.50442, 101.09945).
    - The PTP Sekinchan Prawn Cracker Factory (GPS: 3.50742, 101.09599).
    - Ah Ma House antiquarian collections of the locality (GPS: 3.50741, 101.10844).
    - The Sekinchan padi fields (GPS: 3.51313, 101.11689).
    - The PLS Sekinchan rice factory (GPS: 3.52067, 101.12868).
    - The Mango King farm & shop (GPS: 3.52797, 101.13938).
    - Sungai Burung viewpoint at the sluice gates (GPS: 3.52649, 101.16275)
    - Bukit Melawati in Kuala Selangor (GPS: 3.34117, 101.24816).

3. Food
    - Breakfast was at Auntie Kopitiam (GPS: 3.34111, 101.24972) in Kuala Selangor.
    - Lunch was at Pantai Redang.
    - Dinner was a good seafood spread at Restaurant Seafood Hai Ung at Pasir Penambang (GPS: 3.35224, 101.2488).


Ah Moi & Ah Pek meeting up for the first time *All Smiles*
This is one ride that will be memorable to me as this was when I got to meet the Ah Moi. "Who is this Ah Moi?", you must be wondering. Well she is an avid cyclist from Johore, an active member of the ACN, who also blogs a fair bit; see her interesting blogs at Amoi On Pedals. Both our blog names are uniquely of old-school names. Ah Pek refers to an old man, while Amoi (Ah Moi) refers to a young country lady.
We had been friends on Facebook and when she invited me to join her for this cycling event jointly organised by the Asia Cycling Network (ACN) and De Foldee Cycling Group (DFCG), I just had to go and not miss the opportunity to meet her. Here we are in the photo above, happy and glad to meet up and looking forward to riding together!

Cyclists from Asia Cycling Network & De Foldee Cycling Group at Pantai Redang, Sekinchan.
Other than the Amoi, during the ride I did get to meet other great and friendly people from the ACN, DFCG and a few from My Brompton Malaysia. It was a mixed group: strong riders, riders out for a easy ride, family groups, etc., and the event was more of a fun ride to cater for all.

In the morning of event day, we met at Auntie Kopitiam in Kuala Selangor. The place is a cosy coffee joint serving good local coffee and a simple but delicious range of local food like nasi lemak, toasted bread, and even her own range of kaya (egg jam), etc. Auntie Lee still runs the shop herself, for her age she was still looking good - bright, sprightly and ever smiling.


For ease of viewing, I have split the cycling route map into two:
Cycling Route (Kuala Selangor to Sekinchan) Kuala Selangor>Tanjung Karang>Sekinchan>Padi Fields of Sekinchan>Rice Factory.
Cycling Distance - 39.90 km.     Level: Medium
Time : 8:10am to 2:00pm.
Time Taken :  5hrs 50 mins (inclusive of stops at Pantai Redang, Yong Tau Foo Factory, Padi Factory & regrouping, rests, lunch and lots of photo opps).
From Auntie's Kopitiam in Kuala Selangor the route is via Highway Route 5. In the morning, traffic here was heavy but manageable. Weather was cooling as the previous it had rained evening. Going around Sekinchan was by the quieter rural roads.

Cycling Route (Sekinchan to Kuala Selangor) Rice Factory>Sungai Burung>Bukit Belimbing>Kuala Selangor.
Cycling Distance - 38.58 km.     Level: Medium
Time : 2:00pm to 6:00pm.
Time Taken :  4hrs (inclusive of stops at Mango King Farm, Sungai Burung & regrouping, rests, lunch and lots of photo opps).
Along the padi-fields the route was along rural roads there. Back to Kuala Selangor it was along an interesting shady, scenic road that ran parallel to Sungai Tengi. At Kuala Selangor there was a short route uphill to Bukit Melawati.

We started straight off with a warm up ride up a bridge spanning across the Sungai Selangor. Actually the route is rather flat and these bridges and flyovers were the only slopes we encountered.

Sue, another friendly cyclist from the ACN, brought smiles and laughter to the ride with her friendly banter. Don't be fooled by these sweet looking ladies, they are strong riders who can pop onto a road bike and go a hundred kilometres easily.

Herbert, the co-organiser was also busy taking photos with a camera attached to his fore-arm, Nifty!

At Tanjung Karang, up and across a bridge over Sungai Tengi which we will meet again later on a scenic route.

A puncture along the way. A few of the guys (more than enough) stopped to help out - just shows that chivalry is not dead and very much within us male cyclists.

10:00am - Arriving at Sekinchan, first place to visit was the Dong Xin Yong Tau Foo Factory. The factory (actually a cottage industry) was on the right while a showroom/shop was on the right. Workers were busy making all sorts of Yong Tau Foo, too bad they have renovated their "factory" and had replaced the quaint wooden building with a concrete one.
(... read more of the Yong Tau Foo factory)

Sekinchan has always attracted many with it's rustic fishing village atmosphere. The weather has been kind to us with bright blue skies; at a bridge overlooking the "bagan" (fishing jetty) colourful fishing boats laid moored with their reflections on the calm water.

Sue, Calving & Ah Moi happy at the Wishing Tree at Pantai Redang, Sekinchan.
Pantai Redang is always a favourite among visitors, it has grown from a quiet beach (when I first visited three years ago, see blog) to a busy, hectic place full of tourist and all kind of stalls catering to them.
Our friends here, having a nice pose at the wishing tree. Visitors can get long red ribbons from an adjacent temple, say a pray and then throw them up to catch among the tree's branches and hope that their wishes come true.

With Calvin's permission, I led the group for a ride along the rocky bund (next to Pantai Redang) hoping to show them Pasir Panjang, another beautiful beach further north.
Hah! This AhPek underestimated the distance and it would take more than the estimated fifteen minutes! Half way there, we turned back as we were short on time.
Nevertheless, I think the rest did like the bund route; stopping every once in a while to take photos with cows, and also on the rocky shores. For the more adventurous, this bund also leads southwards all the way to Kuala Selangor.

Kneaded cracker dough looking like loaves of bread pre-cooking in an oven.
Most spend more time at Pantai Redang and had their lunch there. Peter and me rode out to town to have a simple lunch and then popped by to visit the nearby PTP Sekinchan Prawn Cracker Factory. It was Peter's first visit here and he was most intrigued by how they made the crackers here. Other than prawn crackers, they also make squid, clam and fish crackers here too. The seafood is mixed into a paste with flour, kneaded and put into an oven for some pre-cooking. Things are done with mechanised equipment now, but it is still the personal touch of the old man and his son (another Peter) that makes their cracker superb!

The bun looking dough is then cut into slices and sun-dried for two days.
(... read more of Sekinchan Prawn Crackers)

1:00pm - We regrouped and rode inland heading for the paddy fields, but first a stop at Ah Ma House. This was an unique shop that showcased antiquarian items from days past - old artefacts, tit-bits from old days, furniture, etc.
(... read more of Ah Ma House)

We are at the Sekinchan paddy fields, it's a sea of green this time. Most of the padi were green almost maturing while some were already a golden yellow ready for harvesting.

Amoi fulfilling one of her cycling dreams, riding at the padi fields of Sekinchan!

Other than the paddy, we caught glimpse of flocks of white egrets. Some would be flying around too.
(... read more of the Padi Fields of Sekinchan)

Unfortunately, these days the farmers are adopting a scorched earth policy. We could see many of the harvested fields burning, this is just not good for the environment and the beauty of the place.

Our next destination: the Sekinchan rice factory operated by PLS Marketing. This is a view of their rice sorting warehouse. There is a small showroom that has many rice, rice products up for viewing and sale. For a small entrance fee, one can visit the rice museum at the first floor.
(.... read more of the rice factory)

Time for some photo of myself.... 
Oops! Sue and Calvin photo-bombing at the back... naughty! naughty! 😵😵😵

Further on saw us enjoying mangoes at the Mango King. Sekinchan had so much to offer, I have been to fruit farms, vegetable farms, fishermen's jetties here but this is the first time at this mango place which have several varieties of mangoes up for sale.

This place also made fantastic Mango Slurpee from fresh and sweet mango plucked from their plantation next door.

We rode further inland then made a right to for our return trip to Kuala Selangor. The road here was a pleasure to cycle along, mostly shady and running along the picturesque Sungai Tengi. At certain stretches, banana trees lined it's banks oddly tilting inwards.

At other stretches, reed grass bushily stuck out, their brown contrasting with the green and blue around. Beautiful isn't it?

Back at Kuala Selangor, it was a short ride up to Bukit Melawati for a good view of the surrounding area. It was a good end to a enjoyable ride of meeting new friends.


What? At Kuala Selangor and not eating seafood?

Hah! It's not the end of the day for us yet. We drove over to Pasir Penambang and had a very good sea-food dinner at Restaurant Seafood Hai Ung ...

... among the dishes we had was this Ikan Kurau (Threadfin Fish) grilled Thai Style and served on a yam leaf. Needless to say the fish was very fresh and went very well with the spicy sauce.

Salt baked prawn; simply done yet giving the best prawny taste.

For drinks, some of us had this concoction - it's a mix of toddy (palm wine) mixed with a touch of Guinness stout; a slightly sweet-bitter and heady drink. Cheers!

Many thanks to Calvin and De Foldee Cycling Group for leading this ride and the Asia Cycling Network for organising a cross-border event where all thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

(For more photos of the ride, click here)

Related Blogs :

Yong Tau Foo Factory @ Bagan Sekinchan
Sekinchan, Selangor : May 2014
Want to see you Yong Tau Foo is made in a commercial way, visit this factory then!

Ah Mah House Sekinchan
When in Sekinchan, don't just visit the paddies and seafood shops; drop by this place and have memories stirred of a past by-gone era and childhood days.

Rice Factory @ Sekinchan : May 2014
First time to a rice factory, and it was an interesting learning experience.

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