Friday, December 25, 2015

Day trip to Kuala Sepetang and Taiping


Depart Penang
Proceed to Kuala Sepetang town
Stroll on walkway in mangrove forest 
Must visit place......Charcoal kiln - traditional method of producing first grade charcoal for export market
Must do ……Eagle feeding - take a boat ride to Straits of Malacca to see Brahminy Kite and White Bellied Eagle feeding.
Lunch at Sepetang river side 
Proceed to Taiping town
Have a coffee break..... at Malaysia oldest coffee factory, visited by Dr Sun Yat Sen  
Must visit place .... Spritzer EcoPark - be blessed by a 215 million year old "Cactus Rock". 
Seafood dinner 
Back to Penang

First Stop - Matang Mangrove Forest 
Have a walk in the world best managed mangrove forest along the designated walkway. Listen to the park guide explanation on this is one of the world best sites for mangrove swamp management.

Good place to snap, snap, snap for the trigger happy photographer.

Look out for the mangrove tree called "Bakau Minyak", used mostly for charcoal production in kiln nearby. Try to see how mangrove reproduce with its torpedo seedlings dropped to the ground and sprout!  

These Bakau Minyak need to be cut in equal length, de-bark before placed in earthen charcoal kiln.
Charcoal oven in Khay Hor Holding Sdn Bhd’s factory was simply named “Charcoal Factory Kuala Sepetang”. 

Meet Mr Chuah in action in front of the igloo like charcoal oven. Mr Chuah offers a tour of the factory coupled with explanations of how charcoal is made. Bonus - he likes to sing to entertain his guests.

Each charcoal kiln serves as an oven to smoke the mangrove wood until all the moisture is drawn out before it turns into charcoal. Then the kiln entrance is being sealed off and let to rest. 
Colorful fisherman boats left idling at the dock after a long day out fishing at night. These boats will go out fishing in a couple of hours time.

All suited up, safety jacket included, off we go for eagle feeding and Pirate confluent.
Off we went on the river cruise for a spectacular eagle feeding session at the middle of Sepetang River. Hopefully we will able to see the 2 species of eagles that inhibit this area - Brahminy Kite and White-Bellied Eagle.

Along the way we passed by cute floating chalets for rent for a night stay and enjoy river cruise, eagle feeding, cage fish feeding or firefly cruise at night. It is built on plank platform with 55 gallon oil drums for flotation.

After 15 minutes boat ride, the skipper threw some fishes onto the water and out of nowhere we saw them coming - Brahminy Kite, some 10-12 of them, circling out boat for handouts, and then scooping fish out of the water. What a sight!
The Brahminy Kite readied itself to prepare to scoop up the fish from the water without wetting their feather. These birds stayed in the mangrove area and their staple food are fishes, crustacean and squids.
Brahminy Kites took turn circling our boat and then scooping fish out of the water. What a beauty!
Graceful Brahminy Kite in flight as if they were posing for us to take pictures. Come and see it for yourself. 

Kuala Sangga, on the mouth of Sepetang River. A perfect hiding spot for pirate with many mangroves forest for hiding. Kuala Sangga also house a functioning church which is maintain by the villagers who are all non-Christian.
Legend of an invincible pirate called Raja Lau (King of the Sea) in Kuala Sangga is a popular folklore of yesteryear. Nobody knows if there is pirate that lurking around the corner, and when asked, the villagers just laughed. Truth or make up stories?
Next stop, lunch at Mak Jah's Mee Udang "Mee flooded with prawns". Here, the saying goes "you have to push aside the prawns to get to the mee". Feast on succulent big prawns on a plate of mee rebus (sweet potato sauce with yellow noodle). 
Enough time for the famous Aulong biscuits along the way from Kuala Sepetang to Taiping. 
Customers jostling for free test sample of the biscuits. Do not miss the chance to buy and packet or two for loved ones at home.
Have some coffee at Antong Cafe, Malaysia's most historical coffee mill. In front of the mill stands a house where Dr Sun Yat Sen during his visit to Taiping. 
Coffees tasting session over, now which one to buy? I like the durian flavor, or Kopi-O or White coffee, or ... so many types. Buy all lah!
After journey 1 hour from Taiping, we finally arrived at Tambun Prawn Village for our seafood dinner.
Prickly seashell for a picking. Just use a toothpick to poke and pull out the morsel of the seashell flesh and dip in chilli sauce. Yummy appetizer.
Another famous fare here, cockle. These are fat and juicy, and not for the faint-heart as they are best taken semi-cooked, still dripping with some blood. In some countries these are called blood clam.
The many dishes one can order from Tambun prawn village. Just take you pick, as any dish is good as they are fresh.
Mud crab abundant in these coastal area. To eat then they must still be living, else when they die, they overheated in their shell and spoil the taste.
Mangrove Jack cooked in Thai sauce style. This is good stuff
The ever popular kangkung stir fried with belacan. The chef here was very generous with the chili sauce. This is 2 thumbs up goodness. 
Satisfied customers with their stomach full. Nothing beats a good dinner after a fun long day.