Thursday, December 19, 2013

Jetstream Adventures Series 04: Taiping - Part 2

The Charcoal factory...

Kuala Sepetang is well-known as a charcoal producing hub.
There are several family-owned kilns that supplies charcoal for domestic needs.
As a matter of fact, the charcoal producers of Kuala Sepetang are the few remaining cottage industry that specializes in producing the fuel.
And the Matang Forest is also Malaysia's most efficient and sustainable mangrove forest.
As a result, the area is rich with marine life, particularly shrimps.
It has a healthy shrimping industry and the offset businesses are small eateries around the area.
In short, Kuala Sepetang is known for their Mee Udang (shrimp noodles).
Our aim was to sample the noodles and visit Port Weld where a signboard of its old railway station once stood.


At a wood storage area in Port Weld
Free-for-all, visitors are welcomed at the charcoal kilns

An inshore vessel used for the transportation of mangrove logs

The Matang Forest

A worker preparing the logs for smoking

Charcoal blocks ready to be used as fuel
We rode the Ngah Ibrahim fort which is a national heritage site and took some photos.
It was closed, so, we proceeded some 6km down the road.
The charcoal kiln is located outside Port Weld and when we got there, there was a handful of tourists visiting the the area.
A busload of USM students from Penang alighted and were led to the kilns by their lecturers.
One of them asked if we were foreign tourists and was surprised to find out that we came all the way from Subang Jaya.
And just as we were about to leave, Michelle's Jetstream experience a flat.
The front tire was completely deflated.
Upon close inspection, I found a hole facing the rim tape. But there were no foreign objects on the Maxxis DTH tires.
It took me a while to replace and fit a new inner tube and after inflating it, we were on our way to a fishing village near Kampung Mentri.


Mangrove logs are smoked for 90 days before it becomes charcoal

A worker removing the smoked charcoal from the kiln

Off they go! 
Shrimping time!

We rode to the jetty where fishermen land their catch.
There were no shrimp boats in sight and by the time we reached the area, it was already mid-day.
So, the only thing left to do, is to head down for some makan.
I led Michelle to a Malay coffee shop and ordered a bowl of mee udang.
And at RM9.50 a bowl, one cannot ask for more!
It was good and there's plenty of shrimps to savour..


Fixing the flat tire..
Mee udang Warisan, one of the best around..

Riding along the fishing village in Kuala Sepetang
After a good fill, we rode towards the Malay fishing village again and found our way to the edge of Port Weld town.
Basically, its a real small village dominated by deep-sea fishermen who are mostly of Chinese origin.
We rode around the area and noticed that there were some Brahminy Kites circling above.
It's strange to see so many birds of prey in a single area. 
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