Saturday, June 24, 2006

My Recent Trip to Ipoh

Question: What type of bread does not go mouldy?

Answer: The 70’s pop group Bread of course!


Yes, yes, I know it’s a pretty lame joke. But then this time the joke is from my kids, the very ones who groan every time I tell a Lame Joke.

Are you surprised that teenagers in 2006 listen to Bread? Well, it’s a tradition for us. Every time we drive up to Malaysia we must listen to my Bread Essentials CD in the car. So it was no different this past week when we made another trip to Ipoh. Some of you know that I make a trip to Ipoh every December with my family to visit my in-laws. This time, it was unplanned as we wanted to see my mother-in-law who had a fall recently. Thank God it was not serious.

Nevertheless, it was a good break for all of us.

One afternoon, while my girls went shopping, I went fishing with my son to this pond near Tanjung Rambutan, about 10 km from Ipoh. It was one of those ‘special’ ponds with salt-water fish; and at RM20 per hour per rod, it was quite exorbitant by Malaysian standards.

We could see that most of the other anglers were seasoned regulars with expensive gear and reeled in their huge catches (sorry don’t know the name) which put up fierce fights, with practised ease. Most of them were Malays. On our part, we managed to hook 8 kois. Yes; kois - apparently, the owner had discarded them into the pond some time ago.

On seeing our miserable performance, one of our neighbours came over and asked if we came from Ipoh and how much we paid. He sounded surprised to learn that we paid the normal amount of RM60 for 3 hours (plus another RM4 which I presume was some kind of “GST” – Goods & Services Tax). Apparently he was thinking, “These rich city folks are really suckers, paying so much just to catch kois”. What he didn’t know was this:

1. As ‘amateurs’ we were thrilled to be able to catch 8 huge (by our standards) kois. If only we could bring them back to Singapore. In fact, if one of the big fishes were to bite, we neither have the skill nor the equipment to reel it in.

2. We were from Singapore, not Ipoh. The S$28 we spent for an afternoon of quality time and father-son bonding was well worth it, not to mention the many nice photos that I took for this blog. I share them with you here.

(1) This is a shot of the entrance to the pond

Tg Rambutan Pond 01

(2) No doubt, my blogofriend Francis Ho of Kuching Kayaking will like this picture of the clouds. See? Not only Sarawak has nice clouds and mountains OK.

Tg Rambutan Pond 02

(3) Do you know what this chap is doing?

Tg Rambutan Pond 03

(4) He is perched on a raft and pulling himself on a rope to the cages located at the centre of the pond to release more fishes. Too bad it didn’t make any difference for us. See the funny shaped limestone mountains in the background? (Can’t wait to see what ‘sexy’ ideas my friend Victor is going to come up with)

Tg Rambutan Pond 05

Tg Rambutan Pond 04

(5) On the way to Tanjung Rambutan, we saw this Chinese temple located at the mouth of a cave on the side of a limestone hill. Does it remind you of a scene from a Chinese kungfu movie?

Tg Rambutan Temple 01

Tg Rambutan Temple 02

One other thing to share with you guys before I sign off. When friends learn that I drove a Toyota Wish, they often ask me about the mileage. They have heard that this car was very energy-efficient. Being rather ignorant and uninterested in such things, I have never been able to give an answer. So this trip, I decided to check.

On my trip back from Ipoh to Singapore, I topped up the petrol tank at the outskirts of Ipoh. When I reached the Gelang Patah rest point near the Malaysian Immigration Check Point, we had traveled 534 km and used up slightly more than ¾ tank. The mileage meter read: 15.5 km/litre.

The Toyota Wish is truly an amazing car. When I bought it about 3 years ago from a parallel importer, there were very few such cars on the road. I was quite concerned about the difficulty of getting spare parts. But today, I see so many Toyota Wishes on the roads of Singapore, even though there are hardly any reviews or advertisements in the papers.

Footnote: For foreign friends reading this blog; Ipoh is the capital city of Perak, one of the northern states of Peninsular Malaysia. It is linked to the western end of Singapore by what is called the North-South Highway; or PLUS in Malay, Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan. Traveling time for the approx 600 km journey is 7- 8 hours including rest breaks, and depending on traffic and immigration/customs clearance etc.


Victor said...

Thanks for that undeserved mention of me in this post, Chun See.

To continue with your children's lame joke on 'What type of bread does not go mouldy?', the answer 'The 70’s pop group Bread' is not 100% right. If you had a copy of it on the 60s-70s typical cassette tape, it would have sure gone mouldy by now, haha.

Chris Sim said...

That pic of the colourful Chinese temple against a dark and dull backdrop looks almost surreal. It looks like a cut-out photo someone just pasted on the pic. How come no pic of the kois?

That part about the Wish sounds like an advertisement endorsement, Chun See. I heard some celeb bloggers earn big bucks just to do adverts. The figure they get runs into 5 digits, so I heard. So how much you get? Tell us leh :P

Lam Chun See said...

You are right Chris. The Chinese temple does look like a prop that people used in movies. Next time, I will go nearer and take more photos.

As for the kois, I have a couple of shots with my son handling them. But the guy is very publicity-shy. That's why I have removed all his kayaking photos.

Francis Ho said...

Nice trip, nice fishing and of course nice clouds! Thanks Lam Chun See! ;)

Shaun said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shaun said...

Chun See my Dad's side of the family's there. Last time we went, we took two 4 hour shifts on the wheel, damn shiok to drive on the expressway. Family car was a corolla then, was a pretty decent drive. Our family's choice of listening wasn't david gates and gang though, but rather Simon & Garfunkel (America is a beautiful road trip song)and the Bee Gees.

benny said...

A very interesting trip. Thanks for sharing. I was surfing for information on Toyota Wish and chanced upon your blog. Good to hear the fuel efficiency is tops on this ride. 15.5 km/L is amazing!


Lam Chun See said...

Toycon - Yes I saw your dad's photo in yr Flickr page.

I timed the return trip starting from the plaza tol at Simpang Pulai. When we cleared Spore immigration, it was 7 hr 10 min including lunch at the Restoran Jejantas etc. It was a smooth ride, only 1 speed trap at Tapah.

Benny, pls note the 15.5 figure is mostly highway driving at about 100 ~ 120 kph.

Anonymous said...

By spending holidays in Ipoh, Chun See and his family are able to maintain close ties with relatives. The kids will also experience rustic life much different from Singapore, a win-win move.

EmoMoments said...

I chance upon your blog while looking for some old songs to share with my daughter..I really enjoy reading it

dy said...


i chanced upon your blog while looking for fishing pond near ipoh. Can you give more directions to the place or the address?

Thank you.

Lam Chun See said...

Sorry. Haven't been back for long time. Cannot remember the route anymore.