Thursday, 2 August 2018

Riding With The’ Gang to Taiping

The Bike Gang Parking Spot in Taiping 
I procrastinated in writing this post for a few months now for i am afraid. It is very seldom that I write with people that will read this post and somehow the fear or judgement or the call of bluff if I hype up the story or tweak it a bit may be exposed. Oh well ...

So to tell it properly i have to start from the beginning I guess ...

( This will probably be a long post since I am lazy to break it to segments )

The Gang

I first knew Kim & Bijan through a comment left on my blog. Apparently they were looking for information on border crossing around South America and they stumble upon my blog, so that was the beginning. I was back in Singapore working and they were still on the road but we kept in touch and a year later I met them in person in Dec 2016. Time sure flies since then.

If the one reason I am still blogging till today is definitely from all the amazing people I have met through the blog and not for the hope of Google Sense advert ever giving me money. I earn USD1 a year currently on the blog through advert and with a USD100 minimum pay-out, I guess I need to live to a hundred or something. Still I have hope ... haha

Early 2017 we meet up again exchanging stories, having fun reminiscing travel experience and each with their own twinkle in their eye probing subtly each other plans for the next adventure.

Kim: No money now la have to work .... work ... sigh*

Me: Yep yep ... plans and dreams not important now ... time to zombie mode and work and safe for the next trip .... we discuss again next year ok.

Early 2018 and the meet up was more exiting this time round. Even before I asked, I could see the eyes shines brighter and the smile much wider.

Bijan: Ooi what's your plan ?

I got my bike d .... planning to travel South East Asia, time to see my home backyard properly. Paiseh go so many places in the world but never really seen home-ground South East Asia.

Alas time changes everything. Kim got a sudden job offer in Dubai leaving Bijan alone in her plans to go back to South America riding. I could only smile. We were all traveling again in our own way and that was so much fun than zombie working. The excitement, the danger and the ever ongoing subtle jest to up one another that you gonna miss out big not joining me on my own trip.

While Bijan trip will be the most obvious get go adventure with everything to look forward to minus Kim, mine had unlimited potential since South East Asia is so near I could practically detour and change plans and if lucky or fated enough maybe end up in Europe through the mind boggling silk road .... possibilities but I ain't thinking this time round ... we’ll see ...

Kim thou tries to boost her own spirit up saying she would visit the middle east more easily now, its nearer to Europe and South Africa, holidays are still possible like riding in Oman. Under constant rebuke from me and Bijan to get Kim as jealous as possible, the pout on Kim mouth was priceless.

Bijan: Enjoy seeing mine and Edwin post on Facebook ya travelling :P we will keep you entertained.

Me: Yep ... and after a year when you save up all that money working, we will be broke and watch your travels.

So no chance to ride together ... @#$% ... hence Taiping was the outcome of the discussion and by some luck we all mange to squeeze out time from our busy schedule to make it happen before each of our big trips were to begin.

The Bikes

Two Big Girls & a Small Bluey .... 
I rode bluey back from Johor to KL just to join up with Kim and Bijan on the trip to Taiping, but that first long ride nearly wreck my body. So many pains and aches on my butt that i had never experience, so when Kim called and said they need to delay the start by one day i was secretly overjoyed. A message back to my boss forcefully extending my holiday by two more days was a given.

Me:- Bluey ( Demak D7 125cc )

A local Malaysian made bike, Demak was not well known and last i heard (2018) rumours that the company closed shop. I choose that bike for many reasons i guess ... 

1. It was whoopingly cheap at RM 2900
2. Its below 125cc which means i can bring it into vietnam without issue
3. Its super easy to self maintain (i no longer service at the workshop .. DIY)
4. Malaysian made babe

Bluey at Sekinchan 

Bijan:- CMC Italjet Buccaneer 250i

Frankly i admire the beauty of this bike. The engin power, the fuel inject system, the lovely sound or a puring cat ... Bijan offered me to test ride the bike many times as it was within my licence class of 250cc, i think she could almost see my drool of wanting to try it but i had to say no .... somehow i felt if i test ride it and knew what i was missing, riding bluey would never be the same

Bijan's Ride: CMC Italjet Buccaneer 250i
Kim:- CMC 400 cc

This power-horse from china and looking at Kim riding it i wonder how she manage to ride it as well. The bike was way bigger than her. Still have to admire a lady rider. 

Kim's Ride: CMC 400
The Ride from KL to Taiping

Kim: We did not really plan the route to Taiping, we just pole-pole along the way there is it ok with you?

Pole-Pole which is pronounce as poh-leh-poh-leh was a word Kim pick up somewhere along their travels around the world which means chill, relax, slow-slow, or along that line.

Me: Sure, in fact that is a must ... heck I pole-pole from JB to KL 350km took me 12 hours .. that's 30km/hr. So which road do we take to Taiping I asked since we were sitting down in Uptown Damansara eating breakfast at dawn before the journey

Kim: We thinking north-south highway all the way to Taiping.

Apparently their version of chill riding and my version was totally different. How the hell do you chill ride on a highway? So I suggested a route I knew ... the Sekinchan - Teluk Intan - Lumut - Taiping coastal road which was the old coastal kampung road. Luckily they bought the idea and we were off with the first stop aimed at Sekinchan.

Start Your Engines ..... Vroom .... 
Throughout the journey their slow pace was Bluey MAXIMUM SPEED. Oh how I came to knew bluey so much better now thanks to Kim and Bijan. Bluey has a top speed of 117km/hr on flat road and best cruised at 70-80km/hr but with these two I was forced to go 90-100 km/hr else be left behind. Heck sightseeing is hard when you travel pass 60km/hr

Cendol stops, coconut stops, paddy fields stop, photo stops, lunch stops, silently I apologies to bluey for the abuse at every rest point and hope that bluey does not overheat before we reach Taiping.

Title: Bijan Taking Photo of Kim 

Title: Before the Big Photo Taking Session 
Last stop before Taiping was Burn Chendol, and looking at the clouds there was signs of rain on the way. Time to ride everyone ... no more stops, we meet at the hostel ok. Bye bye Edwin both Kim and Bijan said with a smirk on their face. So I got one more treat after chendol i guess, the Malaysian call it “Makan Asap” eat my smoke .... within seconds I have lost both the girls

Slow ride then I guess, but looking up ahead I could smell the rain coming. Stop at the side of the road to change gear to wet weather outfit then almost instantly it was the tropical rain, the big droplets that completely soak everything, good thing I suited up fast I guess but now I could only go at 30km/hr since visibility is very poor.

It rained all the way to Taiping and when I reached the hostel, I was told no girls on bikes have arrived yet .... cheekily I send a message to Kim .... ooi why so slow ... never did get a reply but half an hour later the sound of Vroom Vroom Vroom started echoing at the front door of the hostel.

Kim & Bijan unpacked everything that was wet which was almost everything and went straight to the self service laundromat few shops down.

Kim: You need to chuck in anything to dry ?

Me: Nope ... thou my bags are wet all my clothes are dry ... plastic bag inside the bag haha.

Kim: CIS !!!


Somehow the only two activity that we had in mind for the three days two night in Taiping was Maxwell Hill and Kuala Sepetang Seafood. Maxwell Hill was regulated by the government so the only way to get up was by paying the RM 10 jeep fee or hike up on foot. Lazzy buggers that we are, all paid the RM 10 to get a ride up. 

Maxwell Hill also known as Bukit Larut 
Some of the better roads at Maxwell Hill 
I for one almost regretted the trip up .... motion sickness plus one hell of a damm good driver racing up a barely 5 foot winding dirt path was almost enough to make me puke. Plus not knowing how long more I was to endure the torture for I had no idea how far the ride up is, it was a mind torture as well.

Somehow just as I thought I'm not gonna make it to the end, we were there ... up high on Maxwell hill where the temperature drop lovingly to 21 degrees or so I felt. Rest was all I did ... plus a bit of mental training to prepare for the trip downhill.

Every other time was spend wandering around Taiping with Kim constantly on the foodie app looking for new places to go eat.

Bijan: Ooi when did this become a food trip .... (grumbling of the weight she will gain)

While Kim could eat a horse without gaining a pound, I could eat consistently without getting full so paired up we were eating almost non-stop. Kim would order all the dishes she wanted to try and I'll take almost half and Bijan will grudgingly take a spoonful or two of the good stuff. 



Fried Banana - Goreng Pisang

Big Prawn Curry in Bread 

Halal Char Kuey Teow - Missing one Ingredient 

Food was always the topic and one of the special memorable one would be the Guinea pig.

Bijan Or Kim: Did you try the Guinea pig when you were in South America?

Me: Yep ... its delicious, didn't you all tried it when you were there?

Kim: CIS ... we did not ... seram la when we see the thing roasted with all the feet and head still intact.

Me: I tried it at Cusco; Peru, nicely grill and all. Its the food of the king’s in South America you know. If you go into the famous church in Cusco, there is a painting of the ‘Last Supper’ and in the painting the main food shown was the Guinea pig and the wine was actually quecha a local alcohol drink. That’s Christianity localized for you here in South America, where they try to explain to the locals the best food and drink one could have before dying, that was what the local understood and painted.

Bijan: What does it taste like ?

(With a twinkle in my eye and a sly smile hidden away .... knowing that only Bijan will be going back to South America and without Kim)

Me: If you wanna know what wild boar taste like, not farm pig ya but wild boar ... babi hutan .. yea it taste like that

I knew that Bijan will never be able to verify the lie I just told .... (Sorry Bijan) .... and a few months later when she was back in South America, her three spoonful was the limit, with the rest left and rejected .... and the remark was it taste like chicken+duck+pigeon+rabbit.

Crap ... i may have just introduced a mental block saying it taste like the forbidden fruit PIG that she could not enjoy it.

The Ride from Taiping to KL

So the journey back was even more faster than the journey to Taiping. The girls now can no longer pole-pole at my pace hence lesser stops since I could not ask for a stop anymore ... heck bluey also started to complain at the pace with flickering headlights.

By the time we reached near Sekinchan, both my main and dim lights were blown, only the high beam was working. Over rev ... too fast

There was a few stops long enough to cool down bluey, one at Pasir Salak town which was a museum landmark now for the historical moment Malaya decided to go against the British rule and kill one of the envoy J.W.W Birch. 

Pasir Salak Museum 

Museum Ticket Office Guy: Two Ringgit please ...

Me, Kim & Bijan : Eh ... wait a second ... (begin the bargain, discussion, persuasion, Non stop berating, angkat bola, charming, jokes trying to avoid the RM 2 fee to enter the museum)

Naturally we lost and paid the RM 2 fee to enter the museum and was instantly greeted with air-conditioning. If only the ticket man said there was aircon inside in the first place, so much worth the RM2 to escape the heat for an hour we all agreed.

The other small stop was Beruas, a single street barely 300m long which said free museum. I could not remember anything inside the museum but it was a nice stop where we got this awwsome photo together. 

Beruas - Selfie Time 

Last stop was food! Tanjung Karang. The girls left me in the dust so many times that I now have no idea where they were or where we are to meet up. Just have to hope they remember our talks about food and Kim’s suggestion about Tanjung Karang.

I got there and parked at the Petrol Station and send a message wondering if I would get a reply or worst yet get a reply telling me they have reach KL already.

A few minutes later I got a reply and they were nearby having the same thoughts about food. So the last stop was this port side seafood restaurant at Tanjung Karang. 

Nuff said ...

I’ll miss travelling with a gang ... sure fill out all the void when one is bored and has nothing to do.

Trip back to Singapore alone was lonely without them and I had to brace a storm as well. Not as fun when you don't have friends to laugh at stupid things. 

Painful Heavy Rain on the way back to Singapore 
Post road trip

When I got back to work & life in SG, colleagues & friends was surprise i finally turn up since I did a last minute extension of holiday.

“ Oh your are back!!” was the general consensus, not sure if it was malicious or disdain or a sigh of relief to them.

I got interrogated on where I disappeared to naturally.

Me: Riding ... to Taiping .... and Back ...

My colleague & friends was suppressed, and thought I was crazy but somehow this should be the natural reaction. When they probe further and knew I was travelling with Kim & Bijan two general types of reaction came out ....

For the Girls
I sense they had this ave and respect for Kim & Bijan ... and a feeling of triumph that the girls could ride faster and better than me to Taiping. Kim & Bijan is a beacon for girl empowerment as I always told them even thou they never seam to think much about it. 

For the Boys

Boys will have the widest imagination ever .... so I'll just leave some of the memorable quotes

A: Did you manage to catch them ? (referring to me eating dust) You should have try to catch one at least ... he said with a smirk

I: You should get a bigger bike ... that's the only way to go ...

T: No wonder you so tired .... daytime riding bike, night-time dunnu riding what ..... (err ... )