Wednesday, 5 April 2017

One local destination a month - Part 3 : Lumut, Perak

Of all the states in Malaysia, I believe Perak is the one with the most peculiar place-names. By peculiar, I do not mean that they are strange or odd-sounding, but rather the names of normal everyday objects or nouns that somehow evolved to become the name of a place. This in itself is not abnormal (many places are named after the physical characteristics of the location, e.g. Kuala Lumpur, the muddy river mouth) but when you see the examples I'm about to give, you would perhaps understand what I mean.

The following examples and their literal translation :

1. Parit - drain or canal
2. Papan - wooden plank or board
3. Pusing - turn or rotate
4. Lumut - moss
5. Larut - multiple meanings i. dissolve in water, ii. late or extended
6. Matang - mature or ripe
7. Dinding - wall
8. Tambun - fat (a person) or pile (of earth, for example)
9. Mambang Di Awan - ghostly spirit in the clouds

There are of course, a number of other examples but I guess you get my point. Even the name of the state itself means silver, an error of description from ancient days for another mineral that is abundant in the state, i.e. tin. For its sheer freakishness and with no other comparable equivalent elsewhere in Malaysia, I'll give my vote to last place-name in the above list.

On 25 March last week, we were in Lumut to attend a wedding reception. After the reception, we booked into a budget hotel in Seri Manjung, the Ritz Garden Hotel. I have never stayed at this hotel before. I chose it after reading some guest reviews in Google Maps and I'm pleased to say that most of the reviews are accurate. I am satisfied with my stay there and I rate the place as value for money.

Later in the evening, we went to the small town of Lumut and took a leisurely walk along the jetty waterfront. This is where you board the ferry if you wish to visit the nearby Pangkor Island. It was a bright and lively place. There are a few roadside stalls selling snacks, drinks and souvenirs. Many people are taking a stroll or simply sitting on benches to admire the view of a glorious sunset. I guess we were there on a lucky day because the weather was nice and the orange-yellow sky was stunning. I lost count of how many shots I took on my phone-camera.

After the last light of the day finally disappeared, we went for dinner at the Horizon Garden Restaurant. Apparently this place is affiliated to another restaurant in Kuantan with the same name. I've patronised the Kuantan outlet a few times and I liked it. I therefore decided to give this branch a try and again I'm pleased to say that the food they serve are quite delicious. While the price may be on the upper range for some, I consider it reasonable because of the comfortable seating and satisfactory service.

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast at the hotel, we made another visit to Lumut town before making the long drive back to Johor Bahru. I had discovered on Google Maps that there is an old de-commissioned navy frigate which has been converted into a museum. This ship was not there when I last dropped by Lumut about ten years ago. I was very eager to take a step on this old vessel.

Alas, when we reached there that morning, Rahmat Maritime Museum is closed. The ship is moored there alright, but the gate at the front of the jetty walkway was locked. I had a look at the opening hours stated on the signboard. We were not early. So how come?

A stall-owner at the waterfront then told us that the place has been closed for nearly a year. Closed for what? It couldn't be for maintenance works because I see no activity on board. To me, the proper thing to do was to put up a `closure' sign of some sort at the front gate so that long distance travellers like me would at least know something. As it turned out, this was the only disappointment I had in our trip to Perak.

With this part of the itinerary cancelled, we made a short stop at Hasil Laut Jamilah, a store selling dried seafood products from Pangkor, namely anchovies (ikan bilis) and salted fish. I know that there are a few grades of anchovies but before that day, I didn't know that one of the highest grade is called ikan bilis mata biru. Really? I thought `blue eyes' is exclusive to Frank Sinatra... but what do I know about fish..

Fishing in the sunset at Lumut Waterfront. Visited 24 March 2017

No wind, just glorious evening sky

Nice view to end the day

KD Rahmat. A ship museum. Good idea but poor implementation

Good range of products at reasonable prices and very friendly owners

Mata biru, the best bilis that money can buy


Lee said...

Hi, how you doin'? Your mention of those names and meanings brings back memories to me. Used to go Sitiawan, passed thru Dindings, still remember the railway tracks passing thru the town...
And have stopped had breakfast or lunch at Papan, Pusing, Lumut, Parit wayyy back late '70s.
Used to go there either via Batu Gajah or via Taiping dekat Port Weld, and stopping at Pantai Remis makan udang galah rebus.
Hows that for memories, haha.

Love the pics you took. You captured the right moments too. And that Lumut waterfront sunset is spectacular! 3ed pic especially, love the silhouette.

And yes, the ikan bilis there, salt fish too betul best.
I miss eating that ikan sepat salt fish.
You keep well, best regards,

Oldstock said...

Hi Lee. I'm doing fine.

You mentioned about the udang galah... from KL to Lumut, we took the road via Teluk Intan. From Google maps, I saw that there is a place in Teluk Intan that serves udang galah, but when we reached there just before noon, it was not open. Perhaps they open in the evenings, so if I happen to be around the place again in future, I'll try my luck at a different time.

Along the road from Teluk Intan to Sitiawan, I also noticed some kampung foodstalls selling udang galah. But we didn't stop because we had a wedding reception to attend.

Hope you are doing well, my friend.