Saturday, March 21, 2020

Selangor: Ijok To Pantai Remis - A Rustic Ride To The Beach

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                                     AhPek Biker - Riding Adventures                                   
As I sit at home to write this very delayed blog on a ride we did almost nine months ago, the world is facing a dangerous pandemic, the Covid-19. To help slow down the spread of this pandemic & have it eradicated, I am STAYING HOME and not going out unless really necessary.
Stay Safe, my friends.


Selangor: Ijok To Pantai Remis - A Rustic Ride To The Beach
Ijok to Pantai Remis, Jeram : Sunday 23rd June 2019
Cycling Distance - 51 km.     Level: Medium
Time : 7:30am to 2:55pm
Time Taken :  7 hrs.  25 mins. (inclusive of stops for breakfast, long lunch, visits to beaches, rest, regrouping, and lots of photo opps).

Route Recommendations :
1. The route is very flat and hardly any climbs and uses mostly quieter, rustic roads that runs through villages and plantations. It is only partly shady.
2. Weather can get rather hot from late morning to mid-afternoon, so do cover up or use sun-block lotions.
3. Places of Interest:
    Along these route were several places of interests, some of which we visited and others we did not for lack of time:
- Pantai Remis (GPS: 3.20092, 101.30569).
- Pantai Jeram (GPS: 3.22532, 101.30568).
- Jeram Lobster Farm (GPS: 3.24053, 101.30594)
- Sky Mirror at Sasaran (GPS: 3.21591, 101.19443).
Sasaran Sin Fatt Si Kong Temple (GPS: 3.25949, 101.30383).

Kampung Bagan Sungai Buloh (沙沙兰渔村) (GPS: 3.25763, 101.30402) this is the river-mouth of Sungai Buloh River which gave it's name to the Sungai Buloh township. It's located near Kuala Sungai Buluh town (GPS: 3.27132, 101.29797).
- Sky Mirror Kuala Selangor (GPS: 3.21591, 101.19443), click here to see photos of the Sky Mirror.
- Sasaran Art Park (GPS: 3.25926, 101.30659).
- Ijok Beggar's Chicken at New Beggar's Delicious Restaurant (GPS: 3.30694, 101.41881).
4. Food
- Breakfast: Noodles at Kedai Kopi Wee Kee (偉琪茶室) (GPS:3.31470, 101.41361).
- Morning Tea: Dim sum & Baos at Kedai Kopi Shin Lok (新乐茶室) (GPS: 3.19150, 101.31450).
- Lunch: Giant seafood platter at Restaurant Grandma (GPS: 3.25882, 101.30445).
_________________________________________________________________________
PRELUDE

Despite their busy schedulew, the two Cikgus SC Chin & Liliana take the effort to regurlarly organise rides for our Happy Cycling group. Our last trip with them was an eye-opener that took us through the tough hills of Sungai Buloh (most of us didn't realize that there WERE tough hills there 😅) to a Cambodian Village there.
This time round we head for the coastal area of Selangor, starting from Ijok (yup, the one famous for it's Beggar's Chicken) and heading to the beaches at Pantai Remis.
_________________________________________________________________________
THE RIDE

The route starts from Ijok town and almost intermediately goes onto quiet rural roads, and later through plantation roads. Nearing the coast it avoided the busy Route 5 main road and cuts onto beach-side roads along Pantai Remis and Pantai Jeram. The return route cuts through Bagan Sasaran and continued mainly on quiet rustic roads.
Cycling Distance - 51 km.     Level: Medium
(View Cikgu Chin's Ijok to Jeram Route Map)
(View Cikgu Chin's Jeram to Ijok Route Map)


Stretching it at Ijok town.
As usual, the Cikgus rides are a favorite among our friends. This time round fifty-three of us showed up to follow the Cikgus.
Will it be as exciting as always; we shall see .....


Many of us were in a chirpier mood, just happy to meet up with old friends and to cycle together. It's understandable as many had not seen each other for quite a while.


After a quick breakfast at the town, we rolled off Laluan 54 (Federal Route 54), also known as Jalan Kuala Selangor as it's the main road leading towards Kuala Selangor. Almost immediately we turned away from this main road to ride on a parallel but quiet country road that cuts through palm oil plantations. A previous night rain had cooled down the morning, but it was also flooded some stretches of the road.... Never Mind, it's all part of the fun.


At this early hour of the morning the roads are quieter than normal but ahead it ran below the LATAR Highway which by contrast was a busy main thorough-fare and we could hear the grumbling of many cars above.


Along the rustic inland area we rode by several kampungs and most had mosques or suraus, some of which were small but every once a while we passed by bigger ones like the above. This one has an unique dome, a taller and sharper one.


First regroup.... was in the middle of some brush-land just before oil palm plantations.


Another regroup, nearer the main road. The plantations road we were cycling on all seems to be tarred and in good condition.


Often irrigation canals run on one side of the road, the water seems dark brackish but it did form a good mirror surface to reflect the palms beautifully.


But not all the plantation roads were in good order, there were some (probably in between different-owned plantations) that were a bit run down with pot-holes.


Good news though, they are being slowly upgraded.


The quiet area with hardly any traffic made us feel like king of the roads for some quieter stretches.


9:15 am - We reached Kedai Kopi Shin Lok (新乐茶室) which is famous for their baos. We stopped for a quick bite of their paus and also other dim sum dumplings. The pricing here is cheaper than in the main towns but not as cheap as expected. This is because they are renown and other than out-of-towners, many locals patronize also this place.
This place also sells pretty good kaya-puffs and wu-kok (deep fried yam puffs).


Other than nice kampungs this area also have scenic boat piers. Today's calm weather made the river appear like a mirror reflecting the sky above.
Talking about mirrors, another good tourist attraction nearby is the Sky Mirror. It's a shallow bund out in the sea; at certain times of the month the sea is so calm that it forms a giant flat mirror lying in the sea, one that reflects the blue sky above and also the colorful visitors standing on the bund.



10:15am - We reached our destination - Pantai Remis! It's a favorite beach that draws many to come enjoy the sun & the sea. Us? We just stopped a while, to take in the sights. We were not the only ones eyeing the beach, monkeys were up on the trees and electrical cables ready to swoop down and raid any unsuspecting picnic basket!
Further down is a rocky beach with a mangrove swamp which looked fairly young.


We rode on, heading for the next beach. Here we are, looking like we were riding on the sand, but in actuality there's a concrete pathway below which was covered by a layer of sand.


The next beach, Pantai Jeram, was a rocky one. Here we took turns to have our group photos taken - starting with the girls.... uh.... Rick.... don't "gate-crash" it's the girls' group photo, wait for the boys' turn next!


11:00am - Time to head back; seeing that the pathways ahead at Jalan Pantai Jeram were covered with thicker sand which would make cycling difficult, we decide to avoid it and turned right to head inland.
Hey! There's a lobster farm here promoting Jeram Lobsters; we didn't realized that lobsters were being cultivated in Malaysia, and thought most of them were imported. Well next time we will order Jeram Lobsters, have to support the local industry. This lobster farm, in fact have been around since 2014. This 3-acre farm cater to the high demand for lobsters in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor & southern Perak; and are doing good business, supplying to more than 30 restaurants & hotels.
They are opened Wednesdays to Saturdays, from 8:30am to 5:30pm and can be contacted via WhatsApp messages to +6010-2452415. Click here for directions to Jeram Lobster.


Lobsters were not the only interesting sight, saw this "tractor truck" made from a hand-tractor pulling a make-shift trailer. I had seen these used by farmers while cycling to Oudong in Cambodia and Isan Thailand; didn't know they are used here too.


Very soon we arrived at Jeram, entering the town through Jalan Taqwa. This is suppose to be a main road, but it was narrow and looked like we were going through a side-lane at the junction where it joined the Jalan Kapar, a major through-fare, and so named as it lead from Kapar town further south.


We rode along Jalan Kapar for short distance, went across a bridge spanning across Sungai Buloh (yes, it's the same river that we rode at during our earlier Cambodian Village ride) and made a left. A steel archway announced that we have arrived at Kampung Bagan Sungai Buloh, (i.e. Sungai Buloh Quay Village) and within the village was the Sin Fatt Si Kong Temple.

The temple seems fairly new and it had beautiful and colorful carvings of dragons and phoenixes on it's roof. I have always liked art and found these to be almost as beautiful as the one we saw at Xiaoliuqiu island  (小琉球) during our 2017 cycling tour of Taiwan.


The road narrowed and led to a bridge crossing over a small river. On the other side were trees that had egrets quietly roosting in them! This is a rare sight and we started snapping photos of the birds.


But interesting as the birds were, we were not here for a bird-watching session, we were here for lunch at a restaurant with a cute name - Restoran Grandma. It's located in a large timber houses sitting of piers extend out over the Sungai Buloh river.
Aiks! I recognize this place and the name! Coincidentally, we had stopped by here for drinks during a 2017 tour from Selangor to Penang along the coastal route!


Our meal started of with a seafood soup made from crabs, prawns and cuts of pomfret. It was a "simple" soup in the sense that it had minimum embellishments, just a few cuts of ginger and some chopped coriander.


And here comes the specialty of the house; a giant sea-food platter (at least three feet wide) filled with different types of seafood. From left clockwise:
1. Squid deep fried with batter,
2. A mix of stir-fried seafood,
3. Stir-fried clams,
4. Deep fried flat-fish (this is one of my favorites),
5. Prawns stir-fried with salted duck egg,
6. A huge Silver Pomfret cooked with thick assam curry.
7. Chili crabs (in the centre).


While we were feasting, the egrets were calmly roosting on the trees, among them were a few cranes. It's so peaceful here, such a nice place to be at.


As we rode out, a durian stall attracted some of our attention. Some bought a few as it's cheaper out in these small towns.
I don't eat durians and the above photo shows how I would feel like when eating one, read this blog to see why I have an aversion to durians.
DON'T TRY THIS, it's just a spoof, OK.


Our route back took us through a couple of interesting things in this town: 
First was this pedestrian/cycling bridge over the river, it's nice to know that in smaller towns consideration is given to keep the pedestrians and cyclists safe. The other was the Sasaran Art Park, which we just rode by and saw from afar.


We hApPiLy rode back, using a shorter route, which also passed through kampungs and plantations; the only difference was that some of us had an "extra" load of dim sum & baos, take-away from Kedai Kopi Shin Lok.


Many thanks to Cikgu Chin .....


and Cikgu Liliana for organizing the ride.
And many thanks too to the many friends who volunteered to be marshals and sweepers to keep everyone safe.

TILL WE GET TO RIDE AGAIN,
STAY SAFE.


Click here for a Relive of our Ijok to Pantai Remis Cycling Route.
For more photos of the ride, Click Here.
__________________________________________________________


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