This year, my family and I took a holiday in Malaysia. This trip was especially significant for me as I was going to meet my granduncles, grandaunt and other relatives, some of whom for the very first time.
Our first destination was Gopeng, after an extremely tiring 8-hour drive all the way up from Singapore. We stayed in a resort called Adeline’s Villa. It was a nice, quiet and quaint place surrounded by lush green forests. It was also an insect haven; you could see insects just about everywhere.
On the first night, we went for a night walk in the oil palm plantations. It was very dark and I could see some fireflies blinking their lights. One of our guides even caught one to show us! We found more interesting animals such as spiders and forest cockroaches. We slept well that night and woke up the next morning to the sunlight shining through our windows.
My sisters were also starting to wake up; slowly yawning and stretching. Daddy and mummy had scheduled a trek in the forest followed by a ride on a truck to the waterfall. It was really fun at the waterfall, despite getting leech bites (eeeww….) during the trek. At the waterfall, the water was cool, there were lots of sparkly rocks and the water cascading down formed a natural jacuzzi!
After a short drive, we arrived in Ipoh. We first went to visit an old castle called Kellie’s castle, which was rumored to be haunted by the spirit of the castle’s builder.
I had a wonderful time there, looking at the castle and marveling at how well preserved it was. The bathroom still had the marble tiles with which it had been fitted with originally!
Dad brought us to try the delicious Ipoh bean sprouts. They were fatter and juicier than the ones we have in Singapore. On the day we left, we went for a church service at a small church called Christ Church Ipoh. We knew about it from my friend’s father. The congregation welcomed us and we were invited to join in their warm fellowship while savouring some more of the homemade and local snacks.
Our next stop was Penang. We checked into an awesome hotel (probably 4 or 5 stars!) complete with a fax machine, two bathrooms, two televisions and a wonderful view of the ocean!
For dinner, we went out with my aunty and grandaunt to a place called Pulau Tikus. It is Malay meaning Mouse Island Market. While the name seemed strange, it had a huge variety of yummy food. We ate assam laksa, satay, satay bee hoon, wan tan noodles, Penang fried kway teow, chendol and other mouth-watering food.
The next day, we went trekking at the Penang National Park with my aunty and grandaunt. The walk was long and not having enough time, we had to turn back halfway. It was a shame that we could not see the meromictic lake. It is a lake where the fresh water and salt water do not mix; at certain periods of the year, different ‘layers’ can be seen as the salt water is denser than the fresh water.
The next day, we left Penang and set off for Kuala Lumpur. I met my cousins who lived in KL and we ate dinner together at what we Singaporeans would call a ‘zhi cha’ place. I stayed overnight at one of my cousins’ house; we had lots of fun together. We even woke up at 5 am to play as that was a school day for my cousin. After that, we went to Seremban to meet my granduncle, my cousins’ grandfather. Dad brought us to eat chendol just before leaving.
Our last stop was Malacca. We shopped and ate. We had to try the chendol there as well as it was said to be famous too. Of all the chendol we ate, we agreed that the one in Seremban was the best we had eaten. What was interesting was the chendol in Seremban was served in a rather thick metal bowl which rested on a metal saucer. That might have kept the sweet dessert cold for a longer time.
Overall, I had GREAT fun during this trip. We took many photos of our holidays, especially with our relatives. I wish to visit my cousin again after my exams this year. This was one of the best holidays I had ever had.
Also sharing Rebecca’s poem with you…