Saturday, May 26, 2018

Perak: Cycling Kuala Kangsar To Lenggong - The Kampong Feel Ride

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Perak: Cycling Kuala Kangsar To Lenggong - The Kampong Feel Ride
Perak - 19th & 20th May 2018
Kuala Kangsar to Lenggong, Perak : 19th May 2018
Distance  : 39.53 km     Level: Medium.
Time : 7:45 am to 1:30pm
Time Taken : 5 hours 45 mins. (including long stops for lunch, and photo opps at the Victoria BridgeTasik Raban, etc ; rest and regroup).

Route Recommendations :
1. The route is relatively flat; with only moderate undulating climbs at the kampungs and a short climb along Federal Route 76 (Jalan Baling-Kuala Kangsar).
2. The route is partly shaded along the rural kampong road but the main roads are not that shady, so do cover up or apply sun block lotion in the afternoon.
3. Places of Interest:
    - Sultan Abdul Jalil (Sayong) Bridge (GPS: 4.77869, 100.94609).
    - Sultan Iskandar (Iskandariah) Bridge (GPS: 4.81803, 100.96407).
    - Victoria Bridge (GPS: 4.8369, 100.96224).
    - Tasik Raban (GPS: 5.00199, 100.94555).
    - Masjid Hidayatul Ummah (GPS: 4.79249, 100.94551).

    - Pavillion Tower Kuala Kangsar (GPS: 4.77452, 100.93919).
4. Food:
    Day 1:
    - Breakfast was noodles at the Kiung Chow Associaton (4.77625, 100.94229).
    - Brunch was light eats and coffee at road-side shops in Karai town (4.83617, 100.96496).
    - Lunch was fresh river fish and other dishes at Restoran Lau Kai (GPS: 4.93461, 100.92235) in Kampung Baru Sauk.
    - Dinner: inclusive buffet dinner at Suka Suka Lake Retreat (GPS:4.98392, 100.9473 ) in Lenggong.
    Day 2:
    - Breakfast: inclusive buffet breakfast at Suka Suka Lake Retreat (GPS:4.98392, 100.9473 ).
    - Coffee Break: noodles at 等记 Noodle Shop (GPS: 4.84972, 100.90323) in Kampong Liman Kati.
    - Lunch: Noodles & rice sets at Old Town Coffee (GPS: 4.77563, 100.94255) in Kuala Kangsar.

5. Our stay for the night was at the Suka Suka Lake Retreat (GPS:4.98392, 100.9473 ), a beautiful, quiet resort with kampung style chalets adjacent to Tasik Raban. Canoeing facilities are provided too. The stay cost is at RM125 per pax for a twin sharing room, inclusive of dinner and breakfast.

6. Tips on travelling with bikes on the Electric Train Service (ETS):
    - Book you tickets early, especially if travelling on weekends and public holidays. Train tickets can be purchased on-line via KTMB Intranet site.
    - Do NOTE that all types of bicycles are not allowed onto the ETS; put your folded bike in a opaque bag so that it's treated as normal luggage and don't wear any clothing or caps that indicate one is a cyclist.
    - For more details refer to this blog:



Just over a year ago, our buddy Wong KT had taken us on a nice ride to view the Victoria Bridge and then proceeded onwards to Sauk for a good seafood lunch before returning back.
It had been a good ride which took us through the scenic padi fields at Kampong Kota Lama Kanan, before having more fun at the Victoria Bridge.
(... read more of the previous Victoria Bridge Ride)

This time round Wong had done further recce-ing of the area and had invited a few of us to join him for a ride in the area but heading further towards Lenggong, passing by a very scenic lake and staying overnight at a quiet, and rustic retreat resort. He had called this the "Kampong Feel Ride" as we will be experiencing more of life at the rural villages.
For a few of us, the tour started a day earlier by taking the new Klang Valley MRT train to catch a Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Electric Train Service (ETS) train from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Kangsar. The photo above is of my bike, in the MRT train, packed in a large China-made bag resting on a foldable trolley. Folded bikes are allowed onto the MRT but no bicycles are allowed onto the inter-city ETS trains, that's why we had packed our bikes into this opaque bags so that they looked like normal luggage. A foldable trolley is handy for pulling this heavy "luggage" along.

 Cycling route: : Kuala Kangsar>Sultan Iskandar Bridge>Victoria Bridge>Karai>Temong Hulu>Sauk>Tasik Raban>Lenggong.
Distance: 39.53 km     Level: Medium.
The route mostly runs mostly along shady rural kampong roads. On some stretches it goes onto trunk roads which are less shady. Enroute it passes through Tasik Raban, a beautiful scenic lake. A short stretch is along cycling lanes of Kampong Kota Lama Kanan.

7:00am - We assembled at the Kiung Chow Associaton Building, our regular meet up point for cycling in Kuala Kangsar ... why?
Well, it serves very good beef/beef balls noodles, for those who don't eat beef there are pork noodles too.

As this is a "Kampong Feel Ride", I won't delve much on the cycling route; we will look more at the village folks, their homes and the scenery along the way. So here's some photos on the ride route first:
After that hearty, beefy meal, we rolled of and were soon crossing the Perak River on the Sultan Abdul Jalil (Sayong) Bridge and then onto blue cycling lanes running next to rejuvenating bright green padi fields at Kampong Kota Lama Kanan. On our previous ride we had rode into the paddies to enjoy the scenery there, this time round we gave the a skip as we will be heading further. The lanes run against the traffic so do be careful.... I wasn't 😓.

... while getting into the bicycle lane, I signaled to swing right with one hand and the other hand holding on to the handle bar. My front tire hit one of the protruding road reflectors and I went a crashing down skinning my right arm and leg.
Thomas immediately came to my assistance. Fortunately he carried some medication with him; spraying antiseptic onto the wound, followed by a spray-on liquid wound dressing. The antiseptic was good... and the liquid dressing was good too but OUCH! The dressing really stung the wound; even with fair warning from Thomas, I leapt and hopped around like a monkey, trying to dissipate the pain. Yup, that's me, not laughing like a hyena but grimacing in pain!
Those spray-on antiseptic and spray-on film dressing are handy, and in small bottles were nifty to carry around; I must go looking for them.

My injury was soon a thing of the past as ahead we stopped for a nice group photo with the Sultan Iskandar (Iskandariah) Bridge in the background.
See... cycling is soothing, not just mentally but physically too .... NO PAIN, NO GAIN!

8:50am - We arrived at the Victoria Bridge, it's long dark, steel span sitting on red brick piers was still attractive as ever. But over the past year, a new park has sprung up on the far bank. The Victoria Bridge is a disused steel railway bridge built in 1900, at that time it was one of the most beautiful bridges in South-East Asia, and was opened by the then Sultan of Perak: Sultan Idris Mersid-el-Aazam.

Time for photo sessions and some fun on the bridge. Larry lying down on the railway track... isn't this dangerous, won't he be run over by a train. No worries there as the bridge is now not in use, trains run across on a new adjacent concrete bridge.
BUT... do be careful, the tracks lie on timber sleepers with wide gaps in between, walk carefully and don't slip into the gaps.

Coffee time at some road side stalls (GPS: 4.83617, 100.96496) at Karai Town. The previous time we had eaten at a Mamak shop, but this time round it was Ramadan fasting month and they were not opened for morning meals.

Continuing onward, we were soon riding along narrow, rustic roads that passed through villages with unique names such as Kampung Rimba Badak (Rhinoceros Forest), Kampung Suak Parang (Long Feathered Parang), etc.
The roads were shady and gently undulating (although a couple of stretches were steep) running through rural villages and secondary jungle.

A short stretch went pass oil palm plantations.....

..... and then along main trunk roads which had little shade, like here passing through Sauk Town.

Lunch was at Restoran Lau Kai (老街冷氣海鲜飯店) in Sauk. We had several good dishes including this delicious steamed Sultan Fish (Jelawat, Leptobarbus hoevenii). It's so named as it really very good, a meal fit for a king.... er... it's not cheap too.

Ahead, a wondrous view struck me... I just had to stop and went clicking away. This is Tasik Raban, a small yet beautiful lake balanced by surrounding greenery; the blue skies above were mirrored onto the lake's surface. Just picture perfect!

The final stretch, across a floating timber bridge which led to...

... our stay for the night, the Suka Suka Lake Retreat.
This is a beautiful place set amidst greenery next to the lake, there's even canoeing for the guests and indoor local Malay board games like Congkak. Encik Aziz and his family were very warm host and had meticulously decorated their home (seen above) with that kampong feel too!

Our chalets too were Rumah Kampung Perak which Encik Aziz had purchased, and piece by piece brought over to be rebuilt here.

It's an idealistic place too, after canoeing we sat and watched the sun set over the lake.

 The following day we took a shorter thirty-seven kilometre route back. We by-passed Sauk and instead went via Kampung Baru Liman Kati, which was an unique Chinese village set amongst the many Malay kampungs.

The girls having fun with a street art mural at Kuala Kangsar. This elephant is named Kulup Chandan... Oops... better stop fooling with it - it was the royal elephant that was used by Sultan Idris Shah when he was crowned the Sultan of Perak.

Okay... let's have a feel of the locals, see what they are up to:
This man fishing on the Victoria Bridge, his rod bending as he reeled in a catch.

A local lady, smiling at us sweetly as she returned back from marketing. Many locals use the Victoria Bridge as it gives access to the market at Karai on the other side of the Perak River.

A playful little boy at a bus stop.

A father and his two sons, shirtless and working under the sun to carry out repairs to their house.

Three young girls riding on a motorcycle; they did several long loops around us - we seemed to be their source of entertainment, a break from their usual routine.

Scarecrows on the roadside. Okay, they are not alive but the do have the local look nonetheless.

Encik Aziz, our host, and his family.

View of the Perak River from the Sultan Iskandar (Iskandariah) Bridge.

Tasik Raban, noon time view with dark blue waters reflecting the white clouds above.

Morning view of Tasik Raban with misty hills in the background; viewed from a narrow bridge (GPS: 4.98336, 100.94515) near the Suka Suka Lake Retreat.

It's the beautiful Rumah Kampung Perak, mosques and other local buildings that attracted me the most:
A bright pink kampung house.

An orangish red house.

This small house was dilapidated, but must looked majestic in its glory days.

A dark-stained timber house.

An attractive yellow house with blue highlights and linings.

The triple copper-domed Masjid Hidayatul Ummah; only two domes can be seen at this angle.

The Pavillion Tower Kuala Kangsar located at the Taman Mawar Park. Built in 1930, it was used as a recreational centre for court officials and other dignitaries, before today becoming part of a public par.

The flags of a political party used to make a cover for a car; the Malaysian elections was held a couple of weeks earlier and this ingenious local had made good use of the flags instead of them being discarded. Another local had used the flag of another party to wrap round his ripening Jackfruit.

A monkey deftly walking along an overhead electric cable. Elsewhere cows were grazing at the riverside, and in the middle of the road, a dead black scorpion laid squashed flat.

The Asam Gelugor (also called Asam Keping, Garcinia atroviridis) looking brightly beautiful green with red petals. This is a young fruit, the ripe fruit is yellowish-orange in colour; they are cut into slices (hence the name keping, which is Malay for slices) dried and are used for cooking asam laksa, asam pedas curry, etc.

An attractive yellow bloom; don't ask me its name... I don't know hahaha!
(Postscript: okay, a friend checked for me. It's called Golden Chalice, Solandra Longiflora).

Along the way were many durian trees standing tall and looming upwards with their leaves silhouetted against the blue sky.

It was a good ride, one with a rustic feel of the countryside, one with a warm feel of the locals, one with colours of their houses.
One can really get into a comfort zone here and snooze of like this cat...

ZZZZZ... zzzzzzz

(For more Photos of Day 1, click here)
(For more Photos of Day 2, click here)
Below is the route map of our return ride on Day 2:

Lenggong to Kuala Kangsar, Perak : 20th May 2018
Medium Group Bike Packing in Perak, Day 2 Lenggong>Tasik Raban>Sauk>Liman Kati>Victoria Bridge>Kuala Kangsar.
Distance: 37.20 km     Level: Medium.
Time : 8:10 am to 12:00pm
Time Taken : 3 hours 50 mins. (including stops for brunch, and photo opps at the Tasik Raban, etc ; rest and regroup).

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  1. Hi Jotaro bro..i am fan of ur blog since 2015.I am newbie in foldie..may i ask got 2nd hand bike?

    1. There are 2nd hand bikes being sold in market, depends on what type of bike you are looking for.
      Perhaps visit the following FB group to check this out is:
      a. Bicycle Buy & Sell:

      b. For Bromptons, Brompton Mart:

      Hope this will be helpful to you.


    2. Thanks a lot.
      I will check it out.

    3. You are most welcomed.
      Happy cycling and have fun. Ride Well & Ride Safe.