From Taiping with Love – Part 3 (Taiping Town again)

Completed our so-called ‘treasure hunt’ in Matang and Kuala Sepetang earlier. But, we definitely need to continue the ‘treasure hunt’ back in Taiping town itself. Right after the overdosed consumption of prawns, we then drove back to Taiping town. Just to kill the time, we strolled down the Taman Tasik Taiping and it’s really KILL me out! I lost my BB right here! I just realized it when we left the place and we quickly turned back to check whether my BB is still there or not. After a few trial, ‘the person’ who found my BB cancelled out the call and turned off the phone immediately. Thanks! You’ve made my day! Tragis gile. By the way, I’m proud to announce that I’m now phone less for almost 8th day. 😀

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In case you’re wondering that big trees, it’s actually ‘Pokok Hujan’ or Rain Tree. Scientifically, it was called as ‘Samanea Saman’. Right after the tragedy, we then left to hotel and had our dinner at the food court next to Balai Bomba Taiping. So, our choice is Kak Lia Yong Tau Fu No. 17 as advise by other blogger. Maybe, Yong Tau Fu is just not our kind of food. We couldn’t complete the whole meal plus the condition of the food court itself. :(.

On the 2nd day, we immediately checked out from the hotel since we need to get back to KL as soon as possible. But we promised our self that we need to get some good local food before we left. FF’s really wanted to go to The First Galleria since we saw the place the night before. Apparently, we got lost and that the reason how we found out about it. Unfortunately, the place will be open somewhere around 12.30pm and we have to pass it out. But, we had fun looking over stuff just in front of the galleria.

The First Galleria.
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Model 221 Class of 22125 which carried the name of ‘Teluk Chempedak’! For many years, the 221 class was used in the back and forth to Singapore via ‘Ekspress Rakyat’.
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This is definitely our last tour to Taiping before we left. We parked our car by the roadside and walked along the old looks of shop houses to the market and end up at the Larut Matang Hawker Centre.
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Oh my, we really impressed on the structure of the old market. It really stand till today.
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The barber. A Pakcik and an Uncle. Love it!
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And this is where our food hunting ends! We tried the Ella Popiah before waiting Pakcik Jabbar to set up his stall. You can see the ingredients. Simple but yet delicious! We then ordered the famous Mee Combat too! Since we’re there early and no one were around, we had a short chit chat and asked Pakcik Jabbar how does the word of ‘COMBAT’ came into the picture. He explained to us with full of action. How cute! He actually love the COMBAT TV series produced way back in 1972 and he always makes fun with the children who came down from the upper floor through the staircases (previously the Larut Matang Supermarket) doing an action of gun shooting. Since then, people around called him Combat! We laughed out loud! To make it more real, Pakcik Jabbar will always wear an army shirt as his uniform too!

Ella Popiah.
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In overall, Taiping really create the scent of calm as for us. And there’s no time concept here. Everything were remained as it should be in this modernization era.

Mission accomplished! Taiping rocks! Where’s next?

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

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From Taiping with Love – Part 2 (Matang & Kuala Sepetang)

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. :D. 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).

Source: Majlis Perbandaran Taiping (Official Website)

The exterior
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The interior (1st floor)
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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.
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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!

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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.

Source: Majlis Perbandaran Taiping (Official Website)

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The jetty and the view from here.
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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.

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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. :D. 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.

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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.

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

From Taiping With Love – Part 1 (Taiping Town)

Assalammualaikum and Hi there!

From Taiping with Love. It reminds me of the cartoon series way back in the 90’s! Or is it in the 80’s? Totally lost count with numbers. I just realized that I got an Agoda point that need to be redeemed 3 hours before it got expired. Oh gosh! That’s close! We managed to secure hotel somewhere in Kamunting, Taiping. As usual, this is definitely FF’s idea! So, basically this is our first journey of the year. Initially, we wanted to stay in Belum Rainforest Resort. After a few round of discussion, Taiping was finally been chosen as the budget destination this time.

Started the day as early as 7.00am and reached Taiping at 10.00am. As usual, stop over at Tapah R&R for the early energy supply. The first signboard that we saw right after the Toll exit is the Perak Museum (Muzium Perak). Without thinking any further, we just drove to the location.From the reading, I just knew that this is the first museum ever in Malaysia and it was completed way back in 1903.

Perak Museum was founded by Sir Hugh Low in 1883 and hence it’s the oldest museum in the country. It exhibits various collections of zoology and herbarium specimens, and Malay cultural objects. The construction of the museum was carried out in stages where the first phase began in 1883 and completed in 1886. The next phase began in 1889 with the construction of the front and back porches. In 1900, the original building was connected to the Exhibition Hall at the back, and the construction was fully completed in 1903.

Source: Majlis Perbandaran Taiping (Official Website)

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Entrance fees is RM2.00 for those MyKad holder.
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The first thing that caught my eyes when we entered the first hall is definitely the 9 feet height of elephant skeleton. The skeleton was initially owned by the Department of Museum Malaysia in the 1910 and after the end of the Japanese Government, British has lent the same skeleton to the Raffles Museum in Singapore. It was then returned to the Malaysia Government in 1992. Rasa macam dalam filem ‘Night at the Museum’ plak.
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The second hall (still in Ground Floor) which represent the culture, tradition and custom that we have in Malaysia.
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The 3rd hall (in 1st Floor) which is more into the ethnic group in Malaysia.
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This attracted me as well. An old cannon with Jawi script on it exactly in front of the entrance.
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We spent around 45 minutes plus browsing through all the exhibition hall in the museum. I just realized that in all destination that both of us have been through all this while, we never missed to visit the local museum. Is like a ‘MUST’ thing to do while travelling. As for us, museum might be boring to those out there, but this is definitely one of the place that you can referred in order to learn on that particular place. Frankly speaking, we did skipped some of the section that might be seen previously in other museum. 😀

We then decided to go directly to the Taiping Visitors Info Centre. On the way there, we passed by the ‘Pejabat Daerah dan Tanah Larut, Matang dan Selama’. A very old building complete with a beautiful landscape around. We just love the set. From our observation, they are still using the building as a government administration office. Oh ya, not to forget the old type of telephone booth. So LONDON! Hahaha. Anyway, it’s just the booth without the public telephone.

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Our next pit stop is definitely the Taiping Visitor Info Centre at Jalan Kota. This is where the Taiping Clock Tower is located. It was easy to spot the building since I saw it previously via internet. :D. Through out our reading, it was previously used as the local fire station before being converted to an info centre. Besides, this centre was currently run by the ‘Persatuan Pengusaha-Pengusaha Pelancongan Taiping, Perak’. The personnel there are way too friendly and helpful! The info centre is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00am to 1.00pm and

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Map that we got from the centre.
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Without any delay, we proceed to the next destination as advised by the visitor info centre personnel. The whole journey would not be complete without a good makan places kan? So, Doli Kuey Teow it is! We headed to Jalan Tupai and if you see Pusat Kesihatan Taiping, you’re at the right place. We’re lucky enough since we managed to get a parking spot just in front of the restaurant and it’s only quarter full. It open daily except Friday from 12.00pm to 11.00pm.

We ordered the signature meal there which is the fried kuey teow. As for us, the taste is just nice and it comes together with ‘sambal kicap’ to compliment the whole meal. The funny part is that they have a branch way back in Kuala Lumpur which is in Taman Tun Dr. Ismail, but both of us tak pernah try pun. We passed the same shop everyday to and fro.

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Bila perut dah kenyang, there’s nothing else you could ask. So, it’s time to check in to the hotel. It’s about time. We managed to secure a room at SSL Traders Hotel in Kamunting. We wanted to stay at Flemington Hotel near to Tasik  Taiping, but it’s fully booked. Initially, we planned to go for a short rest and solat before we proceed to Matang and Kuala Sepetang.

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It seems that we still have a few areas in our stomach that left unattended. So, we decided to search for the famous cendol in Taiping Town which is ‘Restoran Ansari Famous Cendol’ in Jalan Chung Thye Pin off Jalan Barrack to quench our thirst. The place is very near to Cendol Bismillah (next to Bank Persatuan at Jalan Barrack). We end up with Restoran Ansari since the info centre personnel told us that both of the cendol recipe it’s actually originated and inherited from the same family. However, Cendol Bismillah was then sold to another person. We couldn’t confirm further on the info. Tak sure atas kesahihan cite nie but i guess we make the right choice! I just love the combination of the cendol and pasembur! Amazing! We managed to swallow our portion in less than 10 minutes.

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We will continue our journey on Part 2 – Matang and Kuala Sepetang.

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma