Sunday, November 16, 2008

Picnic and Feast @ Bujang Valley

The picturesque country road to Bujang Valley, with green emerald paddy field, and the imposing blue Mount Jerai.
Tupah Recreation Park - my territory.

Tupah Recreation Park - encroaching the Big Boys and Sisters territory.

Anjung Muara in the villagey Tanjung Dawai - celebrating seafood dinner of lala in chilli and oyster sauce, steamed crab with lemon grass, grilled red fish, stir-fried baby kailan with salted kurau and teochew paste, and crunchy deep-fried squid in batter served with spicy sauce.

The soul of Malaysia probably resides in Bujang Valley, or Lembah Bujang as it is more affectionately known to the locals, opined the award winning travel writer Gavin Young. In Malaysia: Heart of South-east Asia, he categorically wrote:

“I am certain it is hovering very happily under Mount Kedah where Kamaruddin tends his ancient temples among whistling birds and rushing waterfalls.”

Yesterday, my family made a short visit to that place where the soul of Malaysia is crouching, according to the famous author of Slow Boat to China. Leaving Kubang Pasu at 4.30 pm, we first took the North South highway. From the Alor Setar South exit, we took the almost unbending country road that passes through the never-ending panorama of lush emerald-green paddy fields against the majestic backdrop of Gunung Jerai (also known as Mount Jerai or Kedah Peak). The road then snakes through little towns such as Yan, Singkir and Merbok.

The Lembah Bujang Archeological Museum which has received more than 100,000 visitors so far this year was already closed by the time we approached the site, so we headed straight to the nearby Tupah Recreation Park. When Papa dipped my feet into the refreshingly cold and surprisingly clear stream, I was not intimidated at all. Rather, I took to it like duck to water. However, Papa soon noticed my discomfort after submerging my feet inside the icy cold water, and water splashing with gay abandon, for 20 minutes or so. He quickly took me out of the water for Mama to towel me dry and put on my brother’s old clothing, for our (or my rather) next fun activity. Just when we were about to leave the place, we heard rustling noise in the branches above, and by the time we reached our car, we saw a group of monkeys rummaging through the rubbish bags left by picnickers, looking for scraps.

From the picnic spot we drove to Tanjung Dawai for fresh seafood dinner at Anjung Muara, the most popular eateries among the lot. All the seafood that we ordered turned out to be exceedingly delicious. It was fine dining, no doubt. Alas, it was not refined dining. I took the water splashing experience a bit too far, and attempted to splatter the juicy lala and crab with ladles and all. They all had to find other ingenious ways to keep me entertained and amused throughout the dinner.

For more information on Bujang Valley, please click here, here and here.

4 comments:

elisataufik said...

Masya-Allah!! The Little Elham dah nampak so besar! :)
Btw, what's the story with your dad, is he ever going to come back to this side of the world? ;)

p/s sorry lambat, baru aje teringat nak link your blog :P
p/p/s hey i thought you were going to write about haggling in dierah?

GUiKP said...

For Dierah, it is going to be a case of action speaks louder than word. But still haven't sorted out the video.

Psst, I think he is working on it. Please pray that it will materialise.

Elviza said...

Son,

Could you please tell your Papa that you are too young to be quoting Gavin Young and reading 'Slow Boat to China,' tell him to get you C H Andersen instead!

Sweetly written though. Fast turning into my favorite travelouge.

GUiKP said...

Thank you for your encouragement. Surely Papa will act on your suggestion immediately. Glad you approve of my antic. Mwah mwah.