Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's durian season...

Oh yes! Durian Season is here again! Yummy! Look at the sweet thick heavenly fresh! Can't wait to sink my teeth into them

left: D24
right: butterhead

By the way, if you are Uncle Combat's regulars, the stall has been shifted next to the temple. It's brighter, bigger and got a few personal parking lot.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Kukup, this week...

Situated in southwest of Johor Bahru is a century old fishing village called Kukup. The majority of the residents are fishermen or fish farmers. They catch fish from the Straits of Malacca sea and sell them to the market place in Pontian.

Built entirely on stilts, Kukup is an ideal place for people looking for a day trip or a short weekend getaway. We paid RM5 each and board an old fishing boat for a tour to the kelong that brought us up close and personal to some of the sea creatures found around the seas of Kukup. Shark, sea urchin, etc… and a frenzy fish feeding session!

Besides the kelong tour, there are also guided boardwalk tours through the mangroves where you get to experience the sights and sound of walking through a mangrove swamp.

But what is it that makes visitors come back again and again to Kukup? Yes, the very fresh and cheap seafood here!

We chose High King Restaurant. The lunch cost us RM60+ but the seafood didn't taste as good we thought. Though there wasn’t any ‘wows’ for the seafood but I gave it 2 thumbs up for its services and amenities. This restaurant allowed us to park our car within the building shaded from the scorning sun. We also left our car there for the rest of the day while we went sight-seeing. It was a big deal considering that parking in Kukup really sucks!

It's kelong tour...

above left: His name is Ah Long, our boatman cum guide. He is good in explaining about Kukup village and the history behind.

top and bottom: so many kelongs ...

above: Arrived at the kelong. This is just one of the hundreds of kelongs here.

above & below: The standard demo catch...

Uncle selling products like salted fish, ikan bilis, dried shrimps, seaweed, etc.

Next is a boardwalk tour through the mangroves...

above left: the snake river
above right: the suspension bridge, about 15m high. no sweat!

above & below: There are many of these signages. Do you get what they want to say?
above: this is the observation tower.
It's lunch time...
left: butter prawns
right: deep fried calamari

left: steamed fish
right: Kukup specialty, it's not ang ko kueh ok.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Our vanishing kampong...

Read about the Government’s plans to demolish and develop kampong Lorong Buangkok, our last surviving kampong (village) of its kind in our country. Thus, like many other kiasu guys, I decided to make a trip there to see for myself the kampong in question before it is destroyed.

Located in some corner of Yio Chu Kang, at the junction of Yio Chu Kang Road and Lorong Buangkok Road is a quaint little village that's so near, yet so far from urban civilisation, far from the maddening crowd.

Chat with a few residents there. One reminisced about the good old days when the kampong was a lot more alive. The different races mixed around freely then, taking care of each other as if they were a big family. While some residents lamented about the uncertainty of Kampong Lorong Buangkok's future, there some residents who were not bothered by the news at all - they are still renovating their houses!

Glad that I made this trip today, otherwise, I would have missed what a real Malay culture was like! Most of us urbanites live in flats and once home, we are confined in our four-walled cells without knowing what’s happening outside the 4 walls. Though a short chat with the folks but enough to transport my mind back to when it was quieter, where the air was crisper and when life was, well, a lot simpler. If you want to get a real feel of Singapore history, I strongly recommend you to visit this place, our last kampong, before it is gone.

left: a old-fashioned letter box of house no. 13
right: their toilet and bath

left: this Guan Yin statue stands behind house no. 13
right: card playing is the past time of these friendly uncles.

right: this house belongs to a Chinese; notice the "Tu Di Ye" below the right window;
left: the side of the same house.

left: This house has a signboard above its main door, maybe they are operating a home business?

left: the drain lessens flood in this area.

above: a karang guni store, where discarded items gathered

left: a 'jia hong zhu' (meaning luxurious house) by kampong standard
right: this house has just been renovated, looks like they are not bothered by the news

More photos of the other houses and scenes of the kampong...

left: this canal separates the kampong from the opposite detached houses
right: old road sign of Lorong Buangkok