Saturday, September 29, 2018

Back to Balik Pulau for a Countryside Leisure Ride

We arrived at Balik Pulau Foodcourt at about 7am from Farlim Air Itam. There were alreay a few locals taking their breakfast while some food stalls were still in the midst of opening. We has a light breakfast before we commenced our ride.
The weather was perfectly good for cycling as we have to pass by the heart of Balik Pulau town.
Within a short while we were already into the tranquility of a Malay kampong enjoying the quietness and serene atmosphere. Jo loved it so much and kept on mentioning about it.
As sun slowly rose we came back to the same route at Kampong Paya Kongsi with Sg. Kongsi running parallel with a quarry dust path.
The vegetable farm was covered with maturely grown vegetable such as sawi, kangkong, purple spinach and others.
This stretch is long and scenic with a few cows and horses stationed at the river bank. I simply love the scene.
Balik Kampong at Balik Pulau is a eatery joint which popular for its authenticity of Balik Pulau Assam Laksa and Hokkien Mee (Penang Prawn noodle). Other than these two dishes I understand that they also serve good Belacan Fried Rice and Green Curry Chicken Rice. Unfortunately we were not able to savour the food as we were too early and it only opens at 10.30am.
A couple of fishing boats moored at the river bank as we pedalled further up Jalan Kuala Jalan Baru into a small "commercial" zone. 
A coffee shop named Ah Huat was marked for another possible makan cum rest spot.
As we continued further down the road there is a small Tua Pek Kong Temple and a quiet cycling trial. After spending some time at this area we decided to reset our orientation and head towards Pulau Betung.
Cutting across a paddy field still within the vicinity of Kg. Jalan Baru and connecting to Jalan Kuala Sungai Burong. There a lots of swifts birds seen some resting on the power line while some gliding above the low sky.
After going through a shady and super serene segment along Jalan Kuala Sg. Burung we were near Pantai Malindo which we have been to this place before. This time around the massive piles of huge rocks has disappeared, they have been removed leaving a flat surface without anymore water break or protection. I guess there must be a good reason for it.
The scenery was awesome which I could not resist myself taking a lot of shots towards the sea.
And time to move out of Pantai Malindo and continued the desired loop before the sun gets fierce.
Our plan to savour our favourite noodle at a house at Kg. Pulau Betung did not materialise as it was closed, we were lucky to encounter a food stall a few metres away after the noodle house. We had Char Kuay Teow, Kuay Teow Th'ng and Lobak. The food was good and tasty, all the lobak was freshly prepared.
Penang is surely a food heaven you can find food almost anywhere in the island and most importantly the food always taste yummy and authentic.
We then headed to Kuala Pulau Betung to visit the fishing jetty and passing by its fish market. 
This small island is Pulau Betung sited just a short distance from the fishing village as we viewed it from an elevated spot (the road towards Kem Bina Negara Balik Pulau).
A little bit of uphill pedal just to have a view of the sea and the Pulau Betung. And the sun has started to get hot.
And back to Kuala Pulau Betung there was a few men net fishing at the river mouth of Sg. Pulau Bentung.
A stop at Kampung Kuala Muda to snap a shot of this mural. Hidup Malaysia Baru!
The Malay Warrior (painted by Julia Volchkova) welcoming back us to Balik Pulau Town.
Finally a stop at this famous Balik Pulau Laksa shop in the old town for its Assam Laksa noodle before we leave the town.
We were sitting at front of the shop peeping through the five foot way at another piece of Julia Volchkova's mural that is the Old Fisherman Mural.
The bowl of Balik Pulau Assam Laksa we tasted, was good and satisfying . The other popular dish is its Siamese Laksa which we will try it on our next visit.
The route we took for the lovely morning for about 28 km.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Kijal Day 3 - Time to Go Back Kuala Lumpur

Here we come Pantai Kemasik which is about 4km from Awana Kijal Resort and we were hoping to see the sun rises.
 Some scattered to get a good spot to view the sun rise (if there is any) as the sky was slight cloudy. Even the fishermen told us that it was going to be a cloudy day as they were about to go out to the sea.
Our luck were looking good as we were able to spot the salted egg yolk in the distance horizon despite a slightly cloudy weather.
One for the album at Kemasik Beach.
The cameras were clicking endlessly and the models were busy posing here and there. Everyone was happy that they came for the sunrise sighting and most importantly it was fruitful.
Gan the happy lady with the sunrise.
We found a warong for our breakfast, the roti canai was crispy and delicious especially the gulai ikan. The warong is located at the junction from the road coming out from the beach near a local mosque. Photo cedit : Gan GC
Later we went to a fisherman's house to buy ikan bilis. This family is surely a big time dry fish producer operating from his home. 
Relaxing at the front of the fisherman's house while the group was busy buying ikan bilis.
We had a chance to see the house the place they process and dry the fishes within the compound.
We were impressed with the nice local roti when we first tasted at Captain's house and on the final day our Captain arranged with the baker for some loaves to be taken back home. At the bakery shop Kedai Roti & Kueh Chip Koon. GPS : 4.222174, 103.419359 Taman Chukai Utama.
Fresh from the oven and best eaten when they are fresh.
The variety of bread found at Chip Koon Bakery and a local Pak Chik told me the best is the plain bun (Roti Kosong).
Thank you once again to Captain Wong for the time and hospitality at Kemaman, we shall meet again.
Next stop was a dried sea products shop and the shopping continued ......
Watching these ladies preparing satae while the rest was busying buying salted fish and lekok at one of the warong along the way out off Terengganu. Thank you Kim Aun (Chew) for organising this trip and the free accommodation at Awana Kijal and the wonderful company of my cycling buddies. 

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Kijal Day 2 - Explore Kijal - Kemaman

Good morning Awana Kijal this was our second day and the weather was excellent and Captain Wong was ready to take flight with us on board.
Everyone was ready to roll off for another day adventure in Terengganu.
One formal group picture at the front of the resort.
And off we went following the Captain to Kemaman.
The four behind the entourage sweeping and ensuring all thing in the proper condition.
Still at the lush landscape of the resort premises before hitting the main road.
Obstacle ahead but no problem at all ....
We were able to overcome the obstacle.
and the ride continued ......
Getting out of the resort area of Kijal somewhere at Persiaran Meraga Beris
Along Jalan Pantai Kijal we stopped by to watch the local folks drying ikan bilis on the ground while I took the chance to sembang with these folks and found out that they are ex-soldiers.
Slowly and gradually the sun rises as we ride on for the adventure.
At the proximity of Pantai Penunjuk Kijal where a year ago together with Kim & Anne we cycled on the similar route here.
Here come the dragon back of Kijal - Chukai road on the same route last year that we encountered it before
All doing well with climb with our small wheels.
After more than 25km of pedalling we reached an edge of a beach known as Pantai Marina with a popular spring well that comes with a story.
According to the record from Abdullah Munsyi, he and his sailors have stopped by at Telaga Simpul to take bath and drink the spring water. After having done that they will pluck leaves from the mengkuang and knotted them believing that if it is not done so then there will be disaster befell upon them.
The water in this well comes from the hill next to it where during the olden days the local folks will borrow containers from genies and occupy the well for ceremonies.
Goodbye Pantai Marina GPS : 4.239454, 103.452268
Mounting the bridge over Sungai Chukai as we got closer to Kemaman.
As usual big boats moored that river bank as viewed fro the top of the bridge.
Jalan Kampong Tuan
And into a concrete path looking new with coloured concrete stamped finish.
We could smell the kopi fro Hai Peng.
Our bicycles nicely parked at the side of the kopitiam as we went looking for seats.
There is another Hai Peng Kopitiam in Chukai also runs by the same family but different management. The one we visited is the original one which I believe have gone through several renovation work. There is a picture of the old kopitiam of Hai Peng in the shop.
I tried the kopi 'O' kaw with pack of nasi lemak and nasi minyak. The food bill was taken care by Mrs. Wong (Captain's wife who happened to be at the kopitiam) and thank you so much for the treat.
Never have I seen a drying line for coffee sieve. This is Hai Peng drying line.
An old building of Hainanese related, probably it's the old building for the association.
Bicycle tow service for a flat tyre and heading to the workshop at Jalan Feri Lama GPS : 4.222733, 103.432921. Photo credit : YH Andrew.
While the mechanic was at work the supervisors were take their siesta break.
The day was getting scorching hot everyone agreed to head back to the resort and another 24km to pedal before we will be back.
Just about to reach Awana Kijal we stopped for a quenching fresh coconut water and it was pandan flavour coconut so soothing and nice.
At last we were back and have a few hours to rest and enjoy ourselves at the resort before we will go out for a dinner at Kg. Baru Ayer Jerneh.
Welcome to Kg. Baru Ayer Jerneh and Chew took us to this Restoran Yeen Her for a delicious and special dinner. This village is a majority Hainanese community and it's at least a century old, the location can be tracked from at this GPS : 4.408099, 103.395470. We were told that the food is good here and drove for about 12km to reach this place.
Together with us were also Captain Wong and his lovely wife. And dinner is served.
The food was tasty and fried cauliflower was special everyone of us enjoyed it.
Next to Yeen Her Restaurant is the Hainanese Association of Kemasik.
A rare sight of a small town with timber shops at this modern time and Air Jernih has this charm and attraction.
Air Jernih has been now spotted as one of Terengganu tourist attraction and has been pulling tourists to this quaint village. With this force I guess it will sustain its existence and preserve its charm for others to share. Good night for another wonderful discovering of this lovely village.
The route we took to explore Kijal - Kemaman for a total distance of 61km.