Day 1 - A group of 17 young-at-heart seniors set off for a short getaway to Bentong and Malacca. For some of us, this is our first overland trip away from Singapore since the countries' borders reopened, post Covid pandemic.
Bukit Tinggi Hills, Bentong
The coach ride took around 6 hours. After a lunch break at a Chinese restaurant in Seremban, we arrived at Colmar Tropicale, Bukit Tinggi, Berjaya Hills Resort mid-afternoon.
Although the rooms at the resort could be better maintained, it was refreshing to wake up to clear blue sky, greenery and tranquillity, in the morning – a nice change from our city life in Singapore. Wild monkeys were roaming around freely and do not be surprised if you are visited by one or two visit at your room balcony. Be wary though as they could become aggressive!
We had some free time to rest and relax in the afternoon. Dinner on both nights were at a Chinese restaurant in Bentong which is around 45 minutes away from Bukit Tinggi hills.
Day 2 - the trip included a visit to Bentong town (Bentong is located in the western part of Pahang state in Peninsula Malaysia). We had a walk around Pasar Besar Bentong market to purchase their local products. In particular, Bentong ginger as it is highly sought after. It is considered to be the spiciest and best ginger. Bentong is also reputed for its soya sauce as it is fermented naturally.
And we also had the opportunity to savour their local chee cheong at a coffee shop. It was smooth and silky and you could add yong tau foo to go with it. The sauce added, had a good ratio of sweetness and savoury, with a dash of chilly paste.
We then made our way to Chow Kai Pheng, a wholesaler for durians. This was the highlight of the trip for durian lovers. It was a treat to feast on 40 kilos of grade "A" Mao Shan Wang durians, freshly collected from Raub durian plantation that morning.
Day 3 - It took us around 3 hours to travel from Bentong to Malacca. Malacca is a beautiful city that is rich with heritage buildings, ancient landmarks and colonial structures. You can see imprints of British, Portuguese and Dutch. In 2008, it was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage site due to the exceptional multi-cultural trading town and multi-cultural heritage.
We arrived at Malacca around noon, had lunch at a Chinese restaurant, followed by a 45-minute river cruise along Sungai Melaka. We could see the historic old town and buildings, and some buildings had art paintings. We resumed our walking tour in the city and Jonker Street, Chinatown. And we had Nyonya cendol for tea. It was tasty and refreshing as t was served with fresh coconut milk and flavourful gula melaka.
After checking into Hatten hotel in the evening, we went for an early dinner at Baba Charlie. We had Peranakan food and were served a variety of dishes ranging from chicken pongteh, assam prawns, sambal fish, sotong, chap chai, etc. The food was sedap and we had our bellyful.
We returned to the hotel early and had time for last minute shopping that evening.
Day 4 - After breakfast, we made our way home. It was a 3-hour journey and we stopped at Yong Peng, Batu, Pahat, for a rest; and more shopping for freshly baked pastries. We arrived in Singapore at around 7.30 pm.
All in all, we had a good time, thanks to Silver Horizon for organizing this trip and Jimmy Sim, the Tour Manager of WTS, for planning the itinerary, overseeing and ensuring that all went well, including a good choice of food and restaurants served.
Can you believe, we chalked up 850 km by road, in total! And ongoing discussion on a future trip for next durian harvest in 2023 ……………
Article contributed by AL
24th July 2022