Tuesday, April 28, 2009

D DAY - 27 Apr 09

1. At last, D Day arrived. Was up early this morning at 6 am to complete last bits of packing and did final checks before we set off on the Asean on Wheels at 9 am from Sunny's house. Monday morning was chosen to avoid the weekend heavy traffic at 2nd link. This was how the Pajero looked like with packing completed. Very full, but neatly packed with the toyoda boxes.

2. A number of friends found time to come and see us off - Benjamin Khoo (from Mitsubishi service centre), Leslie Chang, and Quek Bee Lan. Of course, there's Sunny family. Here are some pictures taken:

3. We were pleasantly surprised that the customs at the JB side allowed us passed without any check even though we had boxes and boxes of stuff in the back of the Pajero. Happily we set off on our journey. After 1 lunch and 2 rest stops, and after getting lost a little around KL, we were in Ipoh at about 5 pm; all in about 6 hrs of driving.

4. After 57 years, this is my first time to Ipoh. The approaches in and out of Ipoh are really quite stunning, with steep cliff hills that look like they had been scratched. The main streets are lined with pre-war looking buildings which must have been beautiful in their hey days. We were surprised that the town looked surprisingly quiet even though it was just early evening. There was more life the next morning, but still it somewhat lacked the buzz. Taxi drivers said that since the tin mines closed, many people had moved to bigger cities like KL for work. Also, the N-S highway now takes the traffic away from Ipoh.

5. We were thirsty by the time we reached our hotel, Rega Lodge, and longing for a beer after a whole day of driving. Sadly, the hotel restaurant did not serve beer. Decided to take a walk but still no luck with 3 other cafetaria/coffee shops. Eventually managed to get the beer at a seafood restaurant that was preparing to open for the evening. It seemed that restaurants/coffee shops would choose not to serve alcohols like beer if they want to attract Muslim customers.

6. Had a leisurely paced morning the next day (2nd day, 28 Apr). After breakfast in hotel, did some emails and completed another posting for the blog. At lunch, we were happy that we found a coffee shop that served bean-sprouts chicken, Ipoh's signature dish. Really quite good and Sunny would have more to say about this. Set out for Kangar (near to the border) after lunch. Would stay near the border for the night before crossing the border early the following day (i.e the 3rd day).


  1. Hey Neo Chian
    Sorry I couldn't see you off but I will be following every step of your journey. I am amazed you've never been to Ipoh. Glad you tried the bean sprouts – I am told they're fat and juicy there because of the water. Fact or myth – who knows and who cares – it's a good story. I look forward to reading more good stories from you and Sunny.
    Siew Hoon

  2. hey Neo Chian - at last! Congrats on the flag-off , sorry i had to work monday so couldnt get round to giving u some good ol' M'sian advice haha. (and some useful Malay words)

    If you are travelling on the road from Ipoh to Sungei Siput - you will also see my favorite childhood road-trip memory .. that of a huge limestone cliff in the shape of a giant rabbit!! with Ears! Somehow that was always my highlight of our annual KL-Penang holiday drive when i was 8-12 years old.

    If u get to see it - do snap a pic and post it here :-)

    by the way the people look more beautiful and handsome in Ipoh bcos of the supposed minerals in the water there... and thats why the hor fun there is also smoother hehe.

    anyway - will keep an eye out on yr travels, and keep us posted of your adventures. Safe trip!


  3. neo chian, how can u never been to Ipoh after so many years on earth:-) i went there after PSLE ok!! anyway, happy to know that u all are havin fun and enjoying delicious chicken rice (thot u wd have Ipoh Hor-fun as it is their signature dish)w beer. Oh oh, i bumped into siew hoon today and found out the secret of why she didnt turn up at the send-off party.....tell u next time...haha....safe and interesting journey ahead! Bee Lan

  4. Thank you all for responding.
    Its true that the bean sprouts in Ipoh are fatter and juicer. Just wonder why Singapore does not import it. Texture of the chicken was just right, not too soft, not too tough. Combined, they made a tasty meal.
    I did have Ipoh Hor Fun. Its more like kway teow soup, different from the one normally found in Singapore, which comes with gravy, not soup.
    Sorry, Ken, that I missed the sight you mentioned. Not sure I passed it. Will out for it on the way back, but its going to be some 60 days from now.