Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The last leg of our road trip - 20-21 Aug 2015

We didn't want to leave Perhentian Island! It's unanimous. We're talking about coming back again, hopefully next year. We've a short walkabout at the villages nearby Kuala Besut before we continued our journey on the East-West Highway. Kuala Besut used to be a thriving fishing village, but now it's more well-known as a transit point to the East Coast islands.

'Keropok lekor & losong' - the local delicacies you will see in every street and corner. You must eat it when it's hot, together with the local chilli sauce!

A common backyard industry - fish crackers. Tis local snack is popular here, like what potato chips are to the Westerners.

The villagers were very friendly and they're not in a hurry to finish off their work, always have time to entertain our curiosity and questions.

Traditional boat-building in progress

Using simple tools and machine, the locals made the boats by hands, with the knowledge passed down from generation to generation.

Bending the hardwood.

The boat uses the Chengal wood, and very hardy to withstand even the rough sea during the monsoon periods.

It was raining cats and dogs at the beginning of our journey from Kuala Besut to Ipoh via the East-West Highway. I would not recommend it unless you start early of the day (there's not much roadway lighting at night). We left Kuala Besut town after 3pm, and though it's a highway, it's mostly 2-lane highway and winding. Most memorable was a stop at a petrol kiosk to stock up on snacks and junks to last us through the rainy weather. We really have to stay positive throughout.

One of the gems along the highway was a stop at the Titiwangsa Range Lookout Point. It's very windy and cold but the view was breathtaking. We're at the highest point of the Titiwangsa Range, overlooking the valleys and Belum National Park. The elevation of the road is over 1,100m above sea level. Along the way, we also passed by Lake Temenggor Bridge which crosses Lake Temenggor, a hydro-dam near Belum forest and Pulau Banding, a man-made island. The East-West highway is a very scenic route due to its hilly nature. It passes through 2 main mountain ranges, ie the Bintang Range and the Titiwangsa Range.

A complete loop of our holidays, we covered 1,300 km in mileage. A really, very ambitious attempt.

We reached Ipoh before 9pm and have a satisfying bean sprout chicken rice for dinner. We didn't want to end our holidays too abruptly after Perhentian, so we stayed a night in Ipoh. We've a great time feasting like the locals and shopping at our favourite Ching Han Guan biscuit shop before we headed home. 

Quote: "Be willing to step outside your comfort zone once in a while; take the risks in life that seem worth taking. The ride might not be as predictable if you'd just planted your feet and stayed put, but it will be a lot more interesting."

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