Sg Klau – Musang King dom

Malaysians are crazy about their durians. When I was young, it was simply durian kampong and the mini orchards which offers either bitter or sweet. As long as the durians are ripen and not hard, the durians are considered good. Bonuses are when we get a fruit with small flat seeds (chit what). Durians were sold by the fruit. Small ones may cost as low as 50 sen while the extra large ones cost up to RM 4.00.

Over the years, taste became more demanding and branding came in. Durian Kampong were considered unbranded as D24, D2 and D101 became premium durians. Then came the extra premium durians from Balik Pulau the Ang Hare or red prawn. We even had fancy names like Lin Fong Chiao. The premium fruits were no longer sold per fruit but based on weight. Prices moved up from RM 2 per kg for Durian Kampong while a D24 will cost RM 6 per kg and the Ang Hare will cost RM 9 per kg. Then the Musang King swept the market and started pricing at RM 15 per kg.

Today about a decade later, the Musang King can cost up to RM 95 per kg. Many blame the demand from Mainland China for then escalation in pricing.

One way to enjoy a real durian adventure to venture to the source of the fruits, to go to Musang King dom or Sg Klau.  My first trip to Sg Klau was in 2013.

To get to Sg Klau, you have to go to Bentong and proceed towards Raub. A right turn about 15 km outside Bentong, leads you through a short-cut passing by Felda plantations to Sg Klau.

New folder1Sg Klau is a small village which is the centre for Musang King durian plantations.

Upon reaching Sg Klau, you can check out Yiow Sang in the middle of the village which provide a good place for breakfast.

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After breakfast, you may proceed to drive around and check out one of the numerous durian collection centres.

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Best to visit during the peak season as supplies may be limited to exports.

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They have several types of Durians with Musang King and Teka being the most expensive selling at RM 65 per kg as per 2017. The different types of durians are actually quite different when you put them side by side

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Undoubtedly, Musang King is the crowd favourite.

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Drive is a bit long from KL. Prices in Sg Klau is not much cheaper than Bentong. Unless you buy a whole jeep load full, the petrol cost plus durians will cost you more than eating in PJ.

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But apart from durians, there is another attraction here.

The Berembun Waterfalls is an adventurous 4WD trip from Sg Klau. Coming to Sg Klau is not complete without going to Berembun. Will blog on Berembun next.

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Gunung Berembun

If you were to head to Cameron Highlands to climb a mountain, Gunung Irau would undoubtedly be the most popular mountain to climb for the leisure climbers while the   hardcore would think of Yong Yap and Yong Belar.

There are many more mountains in and around Cameron Highlands. There is one little gem of a mountain which starts at the trail to Robinson Waterfalls. Gunung Berembun is one of the lesser known and lesser climbed mountain but offers some mossy forest just like Irau but much easier to assess.

It is part of the Jungle walk No 9. The distance is only 2.57 appears to be easy and manageable.

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The easiest way to assess is to head towards the Robinson Waterfalls. This is about 1 km from the Tanah Rata town centre.

Once you reached the trail to the waterfalls, look out for signage for Jungle Walk No 9.

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Signage at the cottage at the start of Robinson Falls. Peak will be 2645 meters. Decent.

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Start of the trek to Gunung Berembun.

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The mossy trek in the Berembun trail.

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Quiet and deserted.

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The peak which is surrounded by jungle. No view point.

It started to rain at the peak and there is another trail from the peak leading to a bungalow called Arcadia. I chickened out and took a short-cut down to MARDI.

Took about 2 hours to reach the peak and an hour down to MARDI.

Nice short workout but most of the trail is overgrown due to the less activity in the this trail.

 

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Bukhansan – A Lovely Hike In Seoul

Mei are I were in Seoul for a short trip and felt that we wanted to check out some local trekking. Seoraksan or Jirisan would have been great places to start but we were a bit hesitant and were afraid that we could be chewing more than we could swallow. So we decided on a “baby” hike closest to the city. We decided on to check out Baegundae Peak at Bukhansan National Park.

Did some research on the internet and found instructions to the Bukhansan National Park was pretty straight forward. Take the Seoul Subway Line to Gupabal Station. Use Exit 1 and look out for bus-stop. Take Bus No 704 and get off at the Bukhansan Mountain entrance bus stop. Did exactly that and found the bus-stop about 50 meters from Exit 1. Saw a couple of locals wearing trekking attire (one thing about Korean trekkers, they all dressed like pro trekkers) and asked whether they were heading for Bukhansan. When they answered yes, we were relieved and will just follow their cue. Bus No 704 came promptly and within a short ride of about 20 minutes, we were deposited at the Bukhansan Mountain entrance bus stop.

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From the drop off point, we could see some peaks in the distance of a suburban street lined with shops and restaurants. Walked towards the peaks and soon we reached the Bukhansan National Park Entrance.

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At the trailhead, with the mountains in the background.

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The trails were well maintained and clear.

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There were maps along the way.

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The first hour was a walk in the park, without too much gradient.

 

Then we begin to climb, gradually at first and then it went steeper.

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There were also steel stairways to ease the climb.

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The last leg was a challenging climb up the rock face with the help of steel cables.

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The Korean Flag marks the peak.

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The Peak at 836 meters

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It was a great feeling at the peak looking down towards Seoul.

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A panoramic view of the peal.

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Bukhansan was a lovely experience for us. Nice day hike to enjoy nature in Seoul.

Total time taken was about 4 1/2 hours.

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Best Fish Head Curry

I have been frequenting Ratha Fish Head Curry in Gohtong Jaya and found it to be good but not special. The outlet in Gohtong Jaya was a branch of the original in Raub. So when I had the chance to pass by the town of Raub, I decided to check out the original.

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If you are traveling towards Raub from Bentong, you can’t miss Ratha’s as it is the first corner shop greeting you as you enter Raub town. The orange coloured building has a signboard KARI AYAM RAUB & KEPALA IKAN.

The food is typical of what you can get from a Mamak shop; biryani, roti chanai, chicken curry, mutton curry and of courser, fish head curry.

May & I ordered the usual accompanying dishes of simple papadom, cucumber and fried chicken as not to overshadow the main course. The fried chicken is good, cucumber fresh and crunchy and the papadom perfectly fried.

The main course would be Ratha’s Fish Curry

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The Verdict – The Fish Head Curry is definitely much better than its distant cousin in Gohtong Jaya. The curry is thicker, tastier and truly good.

Was very pleased to have tried this true gem. I would vote Ratha’s Fish Head Curry in Raub to be one of the best that I have taken and would recommend anyone who passes by Raub not to miss this.

 

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Demise of Malaysian Football

2015 marked the final demise of Malaysian football. Malaysia started the year ranked 154th in the world out of 209 countries in the FIFA ranking which was the lowest point in history. One would this would be lowest Malaysia can get but the 2018 World Cup AFC Qualifying Group A resulted some unbelievable drubbings for Malaysia.

3:0 by Saudi Arabia

6:0 by Palestine (twice)

10:0 by UAE

Four matches totaled 25 goals against Malaysia, something totally unimaginable during my school days when Malaysia ruled South East Asia and was definitely the top five teams in Asia.

As a result, 2015 ended with Malaysia now ranked 170th out of 209 countries in the FIFA ranking.

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From the FIFA graph, Malaysia is on a continuous slide downwards for the past 20 years, more like 35 years from the glory days when we qualified for the Olympics. So where are we compared to our neighbours and with the regulars who used to compete in our Merdeka Cup tournaments whom we beat repeatedly, when even South Korea had feared our team.

  1. South Korea 51st
  2. Thailand 133rd
  3. Hong Hong 137th
  4. Philippines 139th
  5. Vietnam 147th
  6. Singapore 149th
  7. Myanmar 158th
  8. India 166th
  9. Malaysia 170th
  10. Indonesia 179th

We were neck to neck with the South Koreans, today they are ranked 120 places above us. We were better than all the rest but today, Malaysia is below soccer minnows like Philippines and India. Even little Singapore is ranked higher than Malaysia.

The only consolation we have is that we are ranked above Indonesia. What’s next? Will Indonesia overtake us on the the FIFA ranking in 2016?

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Christmas 2015

Christmas have always been a gastronomical experience and 2015 was no difference thanks to our gracious hosts, YM.

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What to eat in Bahau

What to eat in Bahau? This was the question that troubled me as we stumbled into Bahau town on our way from Senai to Mentakab. It was 8 pm, stomach growling, nothing much in sight and no positive suggestions from my GPS. I believe this is a dilemma faced by many when you are on the road.

Did not get any concrete feedback form the web either. Only one notable mention of a restaurant called Koh Theng, hence we went searching for it. Read that it was near a school. We found a Chinese school called Chi Wen and we immediately parked our car and continued our search on foot. Koh Theng  was truly located in a street next to the school.

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Asked the lady proprietor for recommendations, she appeared lost for ideas. Asked her how she steams her fish, she mentioned only two styles; clear (cheng ching) steamed fish or gravy (cheong ching) steamed fish. When we prompted what was in the gravy, she could not describe clearly so we decided that we should make it simple.

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We went for clear steamed garoupa

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Accompanied by simple fried greens

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Finished off with a bitter gourd soup

The meal was simple, almost home cooked style but tasted good. It is not a place to purposely drive all the way to Bahau to eat but if you happened to be in Bahau like us and wanted a simple dinner, we strongly recommend Restaurant Koh Theng.

Total cost including one pot of chinese tea cost RM 56.20. Good and cheap.

Restaurant Koh Theng (Ah Lock)

No 31, Jalan Mahligai, 72100 Bahau, N.S,

Tel 06 – 454 5986

 

 

 

 

 

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