Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Let's Cycle to Butterworth - Pantai Merdeka & Lembah Bujang

I left my mum's place at 6.00am trying to reach Bagan Ajam as early as possible so that we can start our recce immediately. It started with my first plot on Google Earth that I decided to do this one day cycling adventure.
The rain came before I could even get out of Air Itam, I had to Uber to the Ferry Terminal. It took another half an hour waiting for the ferry.
At 8.00am we met and had breakfast at the shop seen at the right hand corner of this photo and it was just next to the Butterworth Outer Ring Highway.
The day was on an intermittent rain mode, it was cooling and wet but lovely to ride.
Our first destination was Kuala Muda, a river estuary dividing Penang and Kedah.
Long long time ago Kota Kuala Muda was once Kedah a state administrative centre before it was shifted to the present location at Alor Setar.
Kota Kuala Muda is a small town, just imagine the size of a state administrative centre during the early years. We saw this beautiful house in the town as we were roaming around.
The 2004 notorious Tsumani came and swept part of Seberang Perai, it was at this spot where several lives were taken away and many houses were destroyed. A monument is built to remember this catastrophe some of the damaged houses are left displayed for public viewing. 
A gallery building with information of the disaster is made available for the public.
One of my listed "to go" places was this fishing village where it is well known for its uniqueness of fish bidding. It is called Pasar Bisik Kuala Muda. The bidding is conducted by way of whispering and the best offer gets the fish.
A short clip of this fish market, see how they carry out their daily transaction.

Our meal at a Malay food stall not too far from Pasar Bisik. The food was authentic and delicious with a wide spread of dishes to choose.
The scenery along this route is beautiful, I love the typical setting of kampong houses with coconut trees  together with the clear blue sky.
I thought we could get a boat ride across the water at Teluk Nipah but to no avail we had to head back to Pantai Merdeka.
The live of the young boys seem free & easy in a wonderful kampong. What a priceless living in a wonderful country side.
We eventually reached at Pantai Merdeka at 2.10pm. I recalled when I was a young boy I came to this beach with my dad's permission with a couple of dollars for the trip. It was my first ever outing of my live. I was thrilled then the minute I saw the sea. Now that I am back after all these years I am equally excited with a good memory of my past at this beach. It was such a good memory indeed.
A resort just before the beach front at Pantai Merdeka.
Happy man with his catch, what a fruitful way to spend his day.
A remnant of World War 2 bunker built by the British Forces to protect the land from Japanese invasion. This is found near the beach at Pantai Merdeka.
It was time to board the sampan to cross over to the other side called Tanjung Dawai.
I heard normally they charged the locals RM2.00 per head for the ride but we paid RM5.00 each inclusive of the bicycle. The ride is about 5 minutes.
Masjid Lama Pengkalan Kakap is the oldest mosque in the vicinity of Merbok, Tanjung Dawai, Bujang, Semeling and Bedong built around 1800, The 25th Sultan of Kedah His Royal Highness Sultan Abdul Hamid had frequently visited this mosque whilst travelling to Kuala Muda district. Under the supervision of the Department of Museums and Antiquities the mosque has been restored in 1994.
The verendah with round columns on square bases and a cemetery next to it.
Sight of local fruit stalls are commonly seen along the way.
It was already 4.40pm we arrived at Lembah Bujang Archaeology Museum, this is my second time coming to this place and I forget we need to ride up on the road. It is only when you cycle you will realise and remember it.
At the compound of the museum there are many artifacts displayed without any security measure and fear of vandalism. These are great evidences of history which have been traced back as old as 3AD older than Angkor Wat and Borobudur. Apparently there are another 80 over new sites found and it will take a long while to excavate. The old ancient kingdom of early civilisation is beginning to unveil slowly but steadily. The story of Old Kedah or Kedah Tua is becoming thicker and it is going to be interesting story.
Natural stream and waterfall next to the museum.
Some of the old shrines (candi) were found elsewhere were re-sited to this museum.
These stones are base for column, the sizes of the columns vary from big to small. Other artifacts such as grinder for sugar cane juice and others.
A pit stop at this hijau kuning warong for some fried rice and cold drinks.
Along the old trunk road it continues to provide ours beautiful scenery which I really enjoyed it very much.
The state so called as the rice bowl of Malaysia provides you sight of vast paddy fields. 
The sun beginning to set as we pedalled our way back to Penang.
I remember my dad used to take me through this bridge many times when I was living in Padang Serai. Jambatan Merdeka (Independence Bridge) spans across Sungai Muda, the longest river in Kedah, and marks the border between Penang and Kedah. It was built in 1955 and a replacement of the historical bridge (1940), which was bombed by Japanese plane in 1942 during the World War II. 
It was a long day by the time I reached Air Itam it was about 9 something. A view from the ferry approaching the island.
The distance we cycled on the mainland land was nearly 120km. It was surely another memorable ride. Hidup hidup hidup hijau kuning.

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