Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sultan Badlishah School Reunion 2018 Specially for our Sabah Friends

Few days before the school reunion I got a call from Sabah and it was Sahat informing me of their plan to visit Kulim for a nostalgic visit. I told him I will try to make it on that weekend. 
On Day 1.

I cycled from Setiawangsa downtown to avoid the traffic and to catch a train to Butterworth.
A simple nasi lemak bungkus and a teh "O" before I board the train.
By 1.30pm I was on a ferry to the Penang island.
Finished my bowl of Penang Hokkien Mee at Chew Jetty Cafe before I continued my journey.
I was using the coastal bicycle lane heading towards the Bayan Lepas, the stretch to Queensbay Mall was comfortable to me as I have used it several times but the trail beyond it was new to me and it was not fully completed. I went all the way until I could not find any further lead to the airport. I made a U turn and carried my bicycle into the vehicular road to follow the direction to the Penang International Airport.
The distance from the jetty to the airport was about 22km. I managed to get to the airport in time to greet our friends from Kota Kinabalu, there were 9 of them and together with me to greet them were Ahmad Ishak and Ghazali.
They went straight to Kulim in two vehicles driven by Ahmad and Ghazali while I took a Rapid Penang Bus to Farlim, Air Itam.
A short video clip of my first day to the airport.

The following day I left my mother's place for Kulim, cycling downtown hunting for Koay Teow Th'ng. I tried one along Kimberley Street. Penang is truly a food paradise there are two more loay teow th'ng stall I have marked to savout in the near future.

On Day 2.

After a good rest at my mum's house I was set for Kulim town.
Taking the opportunity to see more heritage buildings in and around the old Georgetown as I was passing by. This is the Eng Chuan Tong Tan Kongsi, a Hokkien clan house found at off Lebuh Pantai (Beach Street).
I decided to try this Koay Teow Th'ng shop and I quite like it.
The duck and chicken meat for the rice noodle.
The name of this shop is called Kedai Kopi Khee Cheang Leong Cafe located at Kimberley Street GPS : 5.416703, 100.332157. Note that the broth is on a charcoal stove, the traditional way.
After a brief exploration and a good Koay Teow Th'ng I headed for the jetty and off I went into one of the ferry for Butterworth.
Passing by Taman Haji Mohd Amin with a river running parallel to it then Jalan Permatang Nibong before reaching a small town called Kubang Semang.
2km away from Kubang Semang I saw a similar building structure that used to be one in Jalan Gombak, Kuala Lumpur. Both these factory buildings belong to Lee Rubber Co Private Limited. The one in Jalan Gombak has been demolished.

Then came the surrounding of Mengkuang comprising of scattered kampong houses which slowly lead into a tranquil road with huge rubber and palm trees. It is a cooling stretch but with some strenuous bends and ascension.  
Nirvana Blissful Memorial Park (富贵积福山庄) at Sungai Lembu, Bukut Mertajam. It has the largest gateway arch in Malaysia, a recognition that has been recorded in the Malaysia Book of Records. I could hear piped in music as I rode pass a cemetery.
Still within the thick vegetation and cooling route I stopped at a burial ground whuch was in a dilapidated condition with a sign indicating that it as a Catholic burial ground. I went in to have a peep and found out that it was a church too known as the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Later I was made known of the existence of a Hakka community and the story of the establishment of this church. Unfortunately effort to preserve the building failed resulting the site in such bad condition. 
Thank you to Simon and Chris for buying me this wonderful lunch at Restoran Kolan Ikan 鱼塘小食馆 at Kg. Padang, Kulim (GPS : .5.385703, 100.570969). The operator has its own fish farm and they are well known for their fresh water fishes. A steamed patin fish fresh, succulent and of course it's delicious.
Another popular fish delicacy on the dining table, this was a deep fried tilapia fish with sourish taste known as the 3 flavoured fish. 
The couple together with their son continued to pamper me, this time with the famous Kelang Lama laksa and its ice kacang.
The famous assam laksa of Kelang Lama with its signature crackers. 
The food adventure continued with a popular steamed vegetable dumplings outlet which is just next door of the assam laksa house. Simon bought some of the dumplings while I took a few pictures of the ladies making the dumplings. I just could not stomach any more food but I will be back for it the next trip.
I regretted for not tasting it when I was there and was drooling while I was blogging this trip.
A cousin of this owner promised to treat me the next time I come back to Kulim, Thank you Yen Ling for the offer I shall contact you for the Chai Kueh. Thanks again to Simon & Chris for showing me around Kulim especially for a possible cycling outing and the food.
The Badlishians had a busy morning with a game of golf and bowling for the non-golfers before adjourning to this nasi kandar shop at Fuller Hotel. Those who attended were students from '73, '74, '75 and '76. Some of the faces were familiar to me and it was good to meet up again. By the way, most of us are now senior citizens.
My classmates, Sahat (Form 1 - 3) while Hamzah since primary until Form Five. It was lovely to meet again.
I cycled from my mother's house in Farlim, Penang to Kulim Kedah covering a distance of 58km including a 3km ferry ride to Butterworth. I enjoyed the ride seeing and discovering a few places of interest. I got to known more of Mengkuang Dam and Jalan Sg. Lembu.

On Day 3.
I was glad to stay at Kulim Club, the rooms in the club have been renovated they were clean and comfortable. A few of my Sabah friends had a good time at the club the night before. We had the chance to chat with our former teacher Mr. Cheah and it was awesome reminiscing the past with him.
I cycled to Sultan Badlishah School from the Kulim Club bringing me old memories as I rode. Thank you to the Headmaster and the staff for organising this visit for us. It was a good and memorable visit for everyone of us.
Albumin Saimin, the representative from Sabah for a short speech of their visit to school.
A group picture at the school padang in front of the school. Long live Sultan Badlishah School.
It's kenduri time at Ghazali's house for lunch. Along with me was Halimajid showing me the way to the kenduri.
It's customary to conduct doa selamat before the meal.
The food was awesome, everyone of us has sumptuous lunch. Terima kasih Ghazali. 
A simple gift for the visitors at a hi-tea in Seri Malaysia Hotel, the Sabahan enjoyed the laksa utara and the kueh mueh.
A surprise visit by Mr Tan Ban King, he was another popular teacher in the school and he is still looking good.
One for the record after our hi-tea session.
By the time we finished with the hi-tea it was about 5 plus in the evening. I bought a ticket for a bus trip to Butterworth Ferry Terminal. The ride was comfort and took about a hour with a fare of RM3.80. It's indeed a good deal.
It was back to Penang for a night before returning to Kuala Lumpur on the following day. The reunion was fantastic and hopefully there will be another one in the near future. Till then we hope to meet again.

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