22nd November 2008, Saturday
*This is Taiping Bumper Issue. Will segregate the two days trip into 3 posts or else, you will go cock eyed and salivate nonstop. Reader’s discretion advised. Might cause serious gastric problems if you read this on empty stomach.
We hit the road at about 9.00 am for Taiping, as soon as we polished off some plates at the nice vegetarian noodles in Selayang, one of the places that I would highly recommend you trying if you were to come to Selayang one fine day!
The journey via the highway to Taiping is quite a breezy one. We cracked jokes, poked fun at each other and said the most ridiculous things. Journey to Taiping from Kuala Lumpur would take about 3 hours and 30 minutes, depending on how fast you drive and risk getting a summon! As for Sailor Boy, I told him that I am not going to pay for his summon if he wanna drive like Schumacher. Instead of taking the Taiping Utara exit, we exited via Changkat Jering towards Simpang. This would save us a few ringgit from getting out from the Taiping Utara exit and also, nearer to Taiping town. The whole toll cost about RM23.20 from Rawang to Jelapang and RM6.40 from Jelapang to Changkat Jering. I wonder why they bother to charge road users since the condition of the road is kinda bad especially at the slow lane.
The moment we reached Taiping at 11.35 am (record time), we had no time to lose. We parked near the Market Square and started our gluttony trip.
Whenever I am in Taiping, I would never miss out this dish. It’s the wet kueh teow which I believe, only Taiping has it. Instead of using cockles, bean sprout and egg, this one comes with char siew, fishballs and vege. I don’t know which the best stall in Taiping selling this is but, we tried a plate from stall no. 63 in the bazaar under the old Larut Matang’s supermarket. Not bad! We had the heh chien and or chien from stall no. 77 as well. I prefer the or chien to the heh chien though.
A funny incident though. It has been ages since the last time many people mistaken me as a guy. When Gas Stove went to order a plate of char kueh teow (the normal one) from a stall, they said they will send the plate to where the bespectacled guy in black t shirt is sitting. Mah Chi B*i!!! The so called bespectacled guy in black t shirt is me!!! Lol!!!
After the kueh teow and some nyonya kuehs, we went on our journey to walk about Taiping town. We went to the Taiping War Cemetery to take some pictures. It’s a peaceful place here and there were two burials – one for Muslims and one for Christians.
I didn’t realize this till I saw the jawi inscription on the tombstones at one side and a cross at the other side. This is probably the second time I came here. On how to get there, you just take the road towards the zoo and keep and eye on sign board to Maxwell Hill. The War Memorial is just 3 minutes away from Maxwell Hill.
When we got to Maxwell Hill, it was only 1.30 pm and the tickets to go up the hill had been sold out. We were given offer if we would like to go at 4 pm instead but on top of the RM6 per adults, we had to top up RM10 as tips to the driver because it was already consider overtime for them. The jeeps going uphill operate from 7.30 am to 3.30 pm and go up hill hourly.
So if you don’t want to be disappointed, you better get your tickets at 7.30 am especially on weekends. I guess luck was not on our side and we didn’t do pre-booking so we didn’t go uphill. The weather wasn’t that conducive to go up either as there were signs of rain coming with the thickening black Cumulonimbus clouds forming.
We went to the Lake Gardens. I could see despite the rain, I guess Taiping is in drought. The waters are not as clear as they were before and rather shallow. We spotted a few families having picnics at the Lake Gardens.
I was somewhat disappointed that most picnickers left their things on the grass of the fields surrounding the lake and some didn’t even bother cleaning up after their outing. Actually, it’s mind boggling to know why on earth these people bother to have picnic in such hot and humid weather. I would prefer to stay at home and have a meal and then, watch tv with full blast air conditioners on during weekends! It was a hot and humid Saturday afternoon and even with the clouds, I could feel the heat burning my skin and practically sweating like a pig and here, you have kids running around in the afternoon sun.
After Taiping Lake, we were famished. So we decided to go back to Port Weld to have the kick-ass curry mee. Before that, we stopped by our old house in Taman Taiping to have one last look since my dad sold the house just last month. It was quite sad that the house we grew up in for a few years is now strange to us. The new owner undertook a new renovation on the house and we barely could recognize the house anymore.
Then we dropped by the Siamese Temple to pay respects to our deceased relatives. I guess nowadays, hometowns are merely places of memories and would probably fade with the oncoming developments. There is a new Taiping Sentral where the old Istana used to be. I used to pass by this Istana on my way to school and dreamed of living in there. It was an elongated bungalow house in yellow hues and brown windows. I am sad that it was made to go, to make way for development for commercialized Taiping Sentral.
We also stopped by Aulong to buy the kaya kok. When we reached the house no. 1106D along Jalan Masjid in Aulong, we were greeted by sweet aroma of rich butter. Sailor Boy was offered a kaya kok to munch on by the nice elderly lady and even offered some water. I think, we had been there numerous times and were not even greeted by such gestures! We were jealous!
The elderly lady was nice enough to let us take pictures of the nice homemade cookies– the hup tou sou, made from butter and grounded peanuts. My aunt loves this very much so we bought some for her. The kaya kok cost Rm3 for 5 pieces, kinda pricey but they were good! And hup tou sou cost about 50 sen each.
To be continued