Tour Of Gua Tempurung, Gopeng

Today papa drove us to Gua Tempurung, one of the largest limestone caves in Peninsular Malaysia.  Ever since the North South Highway was opened over 20 years ago and  Gua Tempurung made visible to all who travel on the highway, I’ve been wanting to visit this magnificent cave with a breathtaking view.

We left the house at 9 a.m. for Gopeng.  Our first stop was at the Gopeng food court, situated next to the Gopeng wet market to have breakfast.

Hawkers food in Ipoh and Gopeng are so much more cheaper than in KL.  A plate of standard (with no add-ons) chicken rice, fish ball noodles and curry noodles only cost RM4 in Ipoh and Gopeng while they cost a minimum of RM6 or RM7 in KL.

Alycia who doesn’t like noodles ordered an Indian apam which costs RM1.20 each.  The apam tastes like  Chinese ‘pak tong koh’ (steamed white sugar rice cake) in the middle while the sides are crispy.  All of us pecked on her apam and in less than a minute was done to none. She ordered 2 more pieces later.  Love it. Something so simple and affordable can taste so yummy!  Real comfort food.

On our way to Gua Tempurung, we dropped by at Gaharu Tea Valley, Gopeng just to have a look-see at this tourist spot.  Mum who had been here before told us that there is  a buggy to bring visitors up the hills to the tea valley for sight-seeing. But we decided not to do the short tour as our main purpose was to go to Gua Tempurung.

 

We reached Gua Tempurung  at about 10:45 a.m.  Papa bought us the tix for Tour 2 (Top of the World) which would bring us to Platform 5 of the cave. Tix are priced at RM9 for adults, RM4.50 for children aged 6 ~ 12 year old and RM3 for senior citizens aged 60 and above.  The estimated time for this tour is 1 hour 45 minutes from entrance to Top Of The World and return. But we managed to complete it within 1.5 hours.  Without time spent on camwhoring and admiring the caves, it would only take us an hour to go up and down the caves.

So glad that papa (74 this year) and mum (71 this year) managed to climb up the steep steps inside the cave. Some of the steps are very steep and can really exhaust you to the point of gasping for air. Thankfully papa and mum could climb up without any problem, albeit mum had to climb up and down slowly. The steps are quite slippery at certain points where there is water dripping down  the steps.

At the start of the climb inside the cave:

Participants of the wet tour ending their cave exploration at this exit, which is a stream with crystal clear water:

Our 3 hyper girls climbed up so swiftly that I could not keep up with them.

Tell me what this rock formation looks like? A teenage boy ahead of us commented that it looks like a ‘thumbs up’ but I think it looks somewhat similar to a errr, penis. Depending on which angle you look at the rock, it may look like a thumbs up at an angle and another image at other angles.

Platform 2:

By the time we reached Platform 3, all of us were sweating buckets from all the strenuous stairs climbing, though it’s pretty cool inside the cave.

 

Platform 4:

The rock formation here looks spooky. Can you see what I see?!  Staring right at you:

Finally at Platform 5 a.k.a. Top Of The World, all sweaty and sticky and  stone faced:

This locked gate will be unlocked for participants of Tour 3 and Tour 4, which involves an underground river adventure:

Exit from the cave tour and admiring the stream view and crystal clear water with fishes swimming in the water:

Papa could not resist the cool stream water and washed  his face with the water.

Though a short trip, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the cave exploration. Our next visit to Gua Tempurung will be to partake in the wet tour, hopefully with the hubs too. That would be really exciting and adventurous. The girls are looking forward to it.

 

Pancakes And Hakka Noodles To Die For

And these are available right smack in my hometown of Ipoh, a few minutes drive away from my parents at an unassuming coffee shop named Kedai Makanan dan Minuman Taman Timur.

Whenever we are back in Ipoh, we, especially the hungry big man often gorge ourselves silly like a glutton. It’s as if our metabolic rate went on an overdrive. I will put my army strict diet and exercise regimen on hold and sacrifice my svelte figure in exchange for some short-lived hedonistic pleasures.

Everyone in our family look forward to at least a pigging out session at this coffee shop. Our favorite delights are Hakka noodles, crispy Chinese pancakes, curry noodles and fish noodles.

The day before we left Ipoh, we had our cravings satisfied at this coffee shop – just the 3 girls and me.  We had these:

Curry noodles at only RM4.50 a bowl. What a steal and it’s so yummy too. In KL and PJ, the cheapest for a bowl of basic curry noodles is RM6.50.

Hakka mee with fish balls and meat balls. I ordered 20 balls in the first round but they were not enough for my 3 hungry piranhas, so I ordered another 10 balls after we were done eating the noodles. It’s pretty addictive popping the balls dipped with special chilli sauce and pickled garlic into our mouths.

The Hakka noodles stall:

A trip back to Ipoh will not be complete for Alycia if she does not get to tuck into Tomy Crispy Pancake.  I ordered three types of pancakes in the first round and as expected, someone did not get enough of the pancakes and I ordered another 2 pieces minutes later.

Tomy Crispy Pancakes have super thin and crispy crusts with filling of crunchy peanut, grated coconut, fresh banana slices and melting corn oozing out at first bite. One bite will send you to paradise. *Swoon*

There are many other ingredients like cheese, egg, crabstick, ham, pineapple, etc. that you can mix and match to create your favorite pancake. The stall owner is a lady who has a slight resemblance of Hong Kong superstar Karen Mok. I’m not sure though if her name is Tomy.

This time we did not overeat. Neither did we have food wastage. Had we gone there with the foodie hubs, he would have ordered everything double or triple the quantity.

I can’t wait to go back to Ipoh again soon to tuck into all our favorite hawkers delights.

Deepavali Holiday (Ipoh – 20 Oct 2017)

Activities on the 3rd day in Ipoh:

Cass helped around the kitchen. She peeled a pile of pink Barlotti beans for making soup…

… and helped her granny  bake an Ogura pandan cake.

It was the first time my mum baked Ogura cake in pandan flavor and it did not turn out as well as she had expected it to be like when she baked the original flavor one. Nonetheless, the cake was very, very yummy and cottony soft. The beautiful green color is pure pandan juice, extracted from pandan leaves grown in the garden.

Feeling challenged and determined to bake a perfect Ogura pandan cake for us, my mum  got up at 4:30 a.m. today to bake another Ogura pandan cake. That’s truly a labor of love, from the best mum in the world, thanks mummy!

And the cake turned out beautifully this time – no burnt top and no dampness on parts of the cake. She cut the cake into slices and placed them into containers so that we could snack on them in the train.

To beat the 38C heat, we chilled at Ipoh Parade @ Uniqlo and Popular book store:

While waiting for me to shop, Cass worked on her Crossword Puzzle book, her latest obsession.

 

Dad cooked our favorite dishes for dinner:

Braised chicken with homegrown sand ginger, braised pork ribs with wood ear fungus and carrots in claypot…

Pan-fried turmeric fish with curry leaves, ginger and onions and blanched ice-berg lettuce with garlic oil.

Trip Back To Ipoh (18 Oct 2017)

I got up at 4:45 a.m. on a very lovely Wednesday today. We have a mission and that’s to reach the KL Sentral station by 8 a.m. to have breakfast before catching the 8:30 a.m. ETS to Ipoh.

After 2 rounds of laundry and some house chores, I woke the girls up to get them ready.

I could not resist the magnificent colors of sun rise splashed on the sky and snapped a couple of pix. Can you spot the crescent moon and star? The moon and star are aligned beautifully for us today.

 

Thank God we were on time and managed to hop onto the train at 8:28 a.m.  The train departed at 8:30 a.m. on the dot.

We were warmly greeted  by my dearest papa and mummy who were already at the train station half an hour before we arrived.

My papa took us to Thean Chun @ Ipoh Old Town for lunch.  This part of Ipoh is the most popular place in Ipoh where tourists and locals flock to savour the best ‘ngar choi kai’ (bean sprout chicken) in the world.  Bean sprouts from Ipoh are the crunchiest, freshest, fattest and juiciest in the world.


Beef balls, beef belly with radish, satay, ‘kai si hor fun’, bean sprouts…

 


Wanton mee with chicken fillet (best in the world!) and ‘sui kow’ (meat dumplings).

Beads of sweat were dripping down our head and body while we tucked into our piping hot bowls of ‘kai si hor fun’.  The weather today has been scorching hot and the sea of people at the coffee shop and the entire stretch of road made me dizzy. It’s definitely not a good idea to visit this place during public holidays.

After a satisfying and sweaty lunch, we adjourned to Concubine Lane, located just opposite Thean Chun coffee shop. It was our first time visiting this  tourist hot spot.

Concubine Lane on Lorong Panglima is known to locals as ‘Yi Lai Hong’. Rich Chinese tycoons in the past were known to have kept their mistresses on this lane.

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Concubine Lane is a 120-year old lane in Ipoh Old Town. It is part of Ipoh Heritage and one of the icons in Ipoh. Concubine Lane is most vibrant on weekends and public holidays where many pop-up stalls sell souvenirs, candies, desserts, refreshing drinks, toys, handmade crafts, etc.

Below – Drama Queen shopping for souvenirs of cute pencil cases for her school’s upcoming canteen day.

Below – dream come true for Drama Queen and Cass when they came across a stall selling DIY dream catchers.

Below – the ever indulgent koong koong bought these fruit popsicles for his precious grand daughters. At RM8 each, these ice fruit popsicles sure don’t come cheap.

Below – I spotted this concubine wannabe walking down the Concubine Lane.

Below – Cass and Drama Queen checking out drinks packaged in light bulb bottles. And no, I did not succumb to Cass’s plead to me to buy her one bottle to try.