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Off The Beaten Path: Kuala Sepetang, Malaysia
Near Ipoh, Perak
Kuala Sepetang is about an hour from Ipoh, and very close to another charming town, Taiping.
Kuala Sepetang is well known for several things. Firstly, it is the place to go to to see mangroves. There is a well-kept mangrove area, the Matang Mangrove Forest. The government has built a boardwalk within the area. Thus, it is easy to walk about the area. There are several signages explaining the different varieties of mangroves. Even if you are not interested in flora, it is still a good place to stop as you can breathe in the fresh air and take a walk after a long trip in the car.
Besides mangroves, you will be able to see how charcoal is made at the charcoal factory which is just located opposite the mangrove forest. The factory is still in production. However, the owner is a very friendly man who is quite willing to answer an questions you may have, provided you ask politely and that he is around.
The factory is an interesting place to visit. The place is hot and the air is smoky due to the burning of the charcoal. In fact, part of the process involves putting the unfinished product into an igloo-like oven. It is really huge and a sight that it not easily forgotten.
Charcoal Making Factory & the Mangrove Forest
Besides the 2 interesting stops, Kuala Sepetang is also a great place for seafood. This is because there are fishing villages nearby. Hence, whatever seafood that you order is guaranteed fresh. And the prices are definitely suitable for all budgets including for the backpacker! My favourite restaurant there is Restoran Tepi Sungai, which literally means Riverbank Restaurant in English.
For those who would prefer halal food, there are many stalls at the roadside selling Mee Banjir Udang (which means Prawn Flood Noodles, literally) . I have not tried it personally so I can't recommend it. Nevertheless, as I pass by the stalls, it is clear which stall is the most popular one as nearby the roads, would be double parked with cars from all over Malaysia. With the huge number of customers, it is obvious that if I were to someday try this unique noodle, I would choose the shop with the most cars!
Another off the beaten path experience can be found at Pulau Ketam.
Other Destinations in Malaysia
- Travelling to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
- Genting Highlands: Hub of Entertainment
- Cameron Highlands: Top Tourist Destination in Malaysia
- Shopping in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Off The Beaten Path: Kuala Sepetang, Malaysia
- Off the Beaten Path: Pulau Ketam
- Off the Beaten Path: Ipoh, Malaysia
- Travelling to Kedah
- Penang: UNESCO Heritage Site and Food Haven
Links to Kuala Sepetang
- Seafood at Kuala Sepetang - Restaurant Tepi Sungai
Just halfway through the first dish, the waitress came by and asked us whether we wanted some flower crabs. Amazingly, the crabs just came off the fishing boat which just docked! Talk about it being fresh, this is as fresh as can be!
- Kuala Sepetang Charcoal Factory Near Simpang and Taiping
We went for a walk into the forest at the back to see where the wood was bought in, behind the factory there is a lot of mangrove trees but they are protected - so they fell the trees further down the river and bring them in by boat.
- Perak - Port Weld - photos of sightseeing in Perak on Worldisround
When I was young, I used to think that charcoal is made from the after-burned wood, but after I paid a visit to a charcoal factory recently, I learnt it was not so. Charcoal is produced by removing water from the wood instead of burning them.