As we were leaving Sekinchan, its padi (“paddy” is mat salleh punya spelling, or rice) fields, Jac said, “the nearest town from here is Teluk Intan. Shall we take a drive there?”
Jeannie said, “Yeah, let’s go!”
“Alan, set Waze for Teluk Intan”, Jac commanded. That line seemed kinda familiar. Where have I heard that before, I thought to myself?… “Sulu, set course for Genesis”…commanded Captain James T. Kirk of the starship, Enterprise from the movie, “Star Trek”.
This Teluk Intan conversation suggestion took place when we had just left Sekinchan and pointed ourselves to “show me the way to go home” – “Petaling Jaya” (PJ). I had already set Waze to PJ. So, when Teluk Intan ronda-ronda (1) or gallivanting (fun translation of the word ronda-ronda 😁) was confirmed, I forgot to re-set Waze for Teluk Intan… until having travelled well over 20 kilometers (km). Jac said, “Hey, this looks like we are heading for home. Alan are you sure your Waze is correct?”
“Yeah, yeah, it is correct”, I said. Travelling a little further, Jac remarked again, “this looks like we are heading home. Please check your Waze settings again.”
This time, I checked and… oops! It was pointing us to home when we were supposed to go in the opposite direction. “This Waze app… it has a bug, setting us towards PJ.” Jeannie and Jac said, “Don’t blame Waze. You didn’t set Teluk Intan.”
I said to Jac, “this expensive car has GPS. Use it, lah!
Jac said she didn’t know how to use the onboard GPS. There are just so many buttons on the Porsche Macan that it could take a lifetime to learn the use of all of them. All she knows is the gear shift, lights, horn and a little bit more. The rest she does not know. Even the clock is not set. She doesn’t dare explore the uses of each of all the buttons for fear it may spoil something. There could even be an ejector seat button (watched too many James Bond movies).
If she decides to ever sell this Porsche, it will be quite difficult as only Porsche enthusiasts will show an interest in it. And there are not many of them around. “Stuck on you…and the way I’m feeling now, I’ll be with you til the end…” (2)
I re-set Waze for Teluk Intan. We turned around and this time, headed in the right direction. We passed the familiar padi fields on the right and the other sights we had seen earlier on as we backtracked the 20km.
Teluk Intan which means “Diamond Bay” in English (Don’t know if any diamonds have ever been found); is the third largest town in Perak, Malaysia. It was founded on the river banks of the Perak river. Once an important trading town by the river; it has declined in importance due to the silting of the river banks, preventing large ships from coming in. There is even talk that this silting could possibly block off the river at its narrowest point, thus turning Teluk Intan into an island town. (3)
“According to some write-ups on the internet, there’s this place that sells this ‘famous’ chee cheong fun (4). It’s definitely a must-try”, said Jeannie. My question is who made this “famous”? 😉
Traffic was fairly heavy, but flowing; all the way to Teluk Intan. After over an hour, we got into Teluk Intan and right away went looking for food – chee cheong fun, as we were hungry. Ain’t it the truth!
We managed to find this famous or popular shop by the very long cue of people lining up along the roadside. We didn’t want to wait that long. We noticed a shop next to the popular one, that also sold chee cheong fun, but it was empty. The result of the food spoke for itself. I have always believed that if one restaurant is empty while the one next to it is full; go with the one that is crowded. The chee cheong fun got a 1 (being the lowest on a scale of 1 – 10) from me. Didn’t look appetizing and looks did not deceive this time.
We, then drove around this small town. Jeannie noticed and pointed out, “On the right, we can see the leaning tower of Teluk Intan”.
One of the town attractions, the Leaning Tower was erected in 1885 by a Chinese builder, Mr. Leong Choon Cheong. It started to tilt four years after its construction finished due to an underground stream. The tower was originally used as a water tower supplying the area of the town. It has a clock at the top, which still rings every 15 minutes. The tower also served as a beacon to guide ships into Teluk Intan Port. (5)
We came to one of those “let’s stop and buy cookies” shop. This shop is well established, big and air-conditioned. I went to the back to witness the factory making process of some of their products. I decided that I will not share some of the videos I took of their production system as I respect their privacy. They may be using a system that is advantageous to them, giving them an edge over their competitors.
By around 5.00pm, we decided to make our way home. It also looked liked there were rain clouds looming overhead.
On our way back, just out of town, there was a road closure and we were re-directed to a road through one of the estates. The road was less than good and very narrow (like most estate roads are). As we drove along (it was raining by now); we came by a small neighbourhood-like township of a few houses. A bit unusual to see this right in the middle of an estate. This was a palm oil estate we were driving through. We also came across some traffic from the opposite direction which Jac was not pleased at all because we were in her new Porsche and had to squeeze by with millimeters(?) between us and the on-coming traffic.
After about half an hour of rough roads (not that bad, really), we got back on the main road and to our relief; the rain did not cause much of a jam. The ride all the way back to PJ was smooth sailing.
I think it was a jolly good, on the spur of the moment idea, to drive up to Diamond Bay (Teluk Intan). It was my first time, seeing the leaning tower. I have heard and read a lot about it. I was in a way thrilled to have seen it and thought to myself, “How much more of Malaysia have I not seen and would like to visit”.
You may have guessed it – when we got back to PJ, makan-makan again – dinner.
- Ronda-ronda is Malay for “going for a spin”. https://www.contextualdictionary.com/translate/malay-english/ronda-ronda
- Lionel Richie’s “Stuck on You” : a hit in the ’80s and is evergreen.
- There are several reviews on Tripadvisor and other sites about this famous chee cheong fun. Many seem to talk about different stalls selling it. Chee cheong fun is rice noodle roll or steamed rice noodle.
- The Leaning Tower at night. Photo credit: Tony Albert.