Within 20 minutes of car ride to Matang, we then stumbled across the Matang Historical Complex signage. We look at each other without words and FF’s very much understand that we need to stop over and visit the place. Actions speak louder than words.😀. Entrance fees are free.
The Matang Historical Complex (formerly known as Kota Ngah Ibrahim Historical Complex) is located at Gantang Hill, Matang (formerly known as Permatang). It was built by Ngah Ibrahim, who carried the title Orang Kaya Menteri Paduka Tuan. He was the son of Che Long Jaafar, the first Malay who opened tin mines in the Larut, Matang and Selama areas in 1840. This complex also doubled as a home, fort and administrative center and covers an area of 0.8094 hectares. This building was constructed using only rock-based materials. After Ngah Ibrahim’s death in Singapore on Feb 4, 1895 the building was put under the English administration until it was converted into the Matang Malay Teaching College (1913-1922). During the Japanese occupation in the Malay States (1941 – 1945), it functioned as the Japanese Army’s headquarters. After Japan surrendered and the World War II ended in 1946, it was transformed into a Malay School (1945-1984). The fort was converted into the Matang Historical Complex beginning in 1985 and was handed over to the Department of Museums and Antiquities (Now Department of Museum Malaysia).
The interior (1st floor)
Check out the Union Jack flag!
While driving towards the Kuala Sepetang Town (formerly known as Port Weld), I talked to FF’s and told him that I got goosebumps while walking around at the Ground Floor of the house (especially after passing by the model of prison, once used by Japanese’s Army as the headquarters). FF’s responded the same but we just keep it to ourselves till we finished exploring. Phewww!
On our way to Kuala Sepetang Town, the mangrove forest welcomed us with open hand.
Once reached the Kuala Sepetang town, the first smell that stuck in my nose is definitely the smell of seafood! You can actually see the fisherman loading up all their ‘catch of the day’ at the nearby jetty. We then saw this old signboard of KTM Portweld dated 1885. OMG! It has been there for about 128 years! We just found out that the whole railway line from here to Taiping is the first railway line in the Peninsular of Malaysia. The only thing left is the signboard and the ticketing booth which is now a coffee shop!
We then left to Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve (Hutan Paya Laut Matang). Again, NO entrance fees required! Did i told you that this is really a low-budget travel but you can really enjoyed it all the way. I believe it’s open daily to visitor. The best part is that it has a boardwalk built over the swamp and you can really observe the mangrove closely.
Matang Sea Mangrove Jungle is 101,877 hectares, with 198 permanent forests reserves that have various flora and fauna species from the shoreline and sea mangrove eco-system. This is the oldest mangrove jungle and recognised as the best mangrove jungle management and administration in the world.
The jetty and the view from here.
We even saw the charcoal factory signboard nearby. FF’s entered the junction and we stop at one of the factory and asked the workers whether is it possible for us to walk around and see how charcoal were made. They told us that we’re very much welcomed and feel free to walk around. Permission granted! It’s best to seek for permission once you entered other people premises. Current view finder at that time : RUSTIC, DUSTY, HOT, BLACK. We’re very much lucky since the workers are still around at this hour.
The whole trip wouldn’t be complete with a bowl of local famous ‘Mee Udang’ in Kuala Sepetang. We then end up at ‘Mak Jah Mee Udang’ at Kampung Menteri due to the crowd there. We only ordered a bowl of ‘Mee Udang’ and ‘Udang Goreng Tepung’ for both of us. Just nice since we’re still full with Kuey Teow, Cendol and Pasembur that we had earlier on the same day.😀. I would say that I like ‘Udang Goreng Tepung’ the most than the ‘Mee Udang’ itself. It’s very easy to spot the restaurant with the help of directional signage along the way. You wont get lost.
We wrapped up the whole journey to Matang and Kuala Sepetang somewhere around 5.00pm and returned to Taiping Town.
We will continue our journey on Part 3 – Taiping Town.
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma