Two days after completing the Cendol Tour to Melaka, four of us embarked on a credit card tour to Teluk Intan. This time Mark and I had Marco and Lay for company.
Everyone was on road bikes this time, all sporting Apidura saddle bags.
We started the ride under the sun, the moon, and clouds. It looked like we would have nice weather for our ride. Looks can be deceiving!
We rode from Ara Damansara to Denai Alam. Once on the motorcycle lane alongside the Guthrie Corridor Expressway, we cycled past the Lagong toll plaza to Exit 3501. There we joined the LATAR Expressway toward Ijok.
Our first stop was at Sin Loong Kee Noodles in Kampung Baru Kundang. Steaming bowls of beehoon and mee, accompanied by strong coffee.
That breakfast set us up nicely for the ride along the rest of the LATAR Expressway toward Ijok.
At this juncture it was still overcast and relatively cool. It didn’t stay that way. By the time we were riding through Bukit Rotan on our way to Kuala Selangor, the sun was out, and the heat was on.
We stopped in Kuala Selangor for a photograph by the Selangor River. And truth be told, a bit of a rest.
Then we were on the hunt for something to drink. Which we found at a roadside stall advertising ‘kelapa wangi’ (fragrant coconuts). You pick the coconut that you want, or just let the vendor choose for you. Four or five swings of his cleaver, and the top of the coconut is off. Add ice and guzzle.
The sun was unrelenting. By 1.00pm the “feels like” temperature was 40° C / 104° F. We were in Sekinchan, and had covered 101 km / 63 mi. It was time to stop for lunch.
We sat in the KFC in Sekinchan for seventy five minutes. Half of that time was spent eating. The rest was spent sipping drinks and summoning up the willpower to leave the air-conditioning and venture back out into the furnace.
We got as far as Sungai Besar before we needed another dose of air-conditioning. This time in McDonald’s, where we chilled our insides with lime sundaes. The green food colouring in the lime topping might have been flourescent, but there was nothing wrong with the taste. Those sundaes hit the spot.
Back on our bikes again, we were starting to get worn down by the double whammy of the broiling heat, and the frequent stretches of rutted, poorly patched, and pot-holed roads. We were expending a lot of energy negotiating around and over the holes and bumps in the road. A raised or depressed manhole cover is just an irritation to a driver, but it is a hazard to a cyclist.
After a particularly bad section of road north of Sabak Bernam, where even the patches over older patches had themselves been patched, we pulled over under some trees, beside a small Indian shrine, to rest our tired hands and forearms.
It was nine and a half hours since we left Ara Damansara. That dead straight road ahead of us seemed endless, disappearing into the horizon.
We had roughly 25 km / 15.5 mi to go. Not a lot. But we were getting to the end of our reserves of energy. We were at that point where every kilometer seems to take an age to cover. The distance markers at the roadside were becoming more of a hindrance than a help. Seemingly mocking our slow forward progress.
We covered just 15 km / 9 mi before we needed another stop. The Shell petrol station at Taman Aman was a haven of air-conditioning and cold drinks.
As the distance between us and the Yew Boutique Hotel in Teluk Intan fell to single digits, the sun finally dropped low enough in the sky so as to make the heat less oppressive. At this point the distance markers were in partial numbers.
Teluk Intan 3.5 km
Teluk Intan 2.5 km
At 6.00pm we made the left turn onto Jalan Mahkamah, and then left again onto Jalan Mahkota. We had arrived at the the place that was the reason for making this trip to Teluk Intan.
The Restoran D’Tepian Sungai.
The udang galah (giant freshwater prawn) restaurant right on the bank of the Perak River, where the participants in the BCG Tour to Teluk Intan had feasted.
We wanted to order our food ahead of time, so that we could come back at 8.00pm knowing that we had a table, and that our food would be ready. Just as the proprietor was telling us that the largest of the udang galah, the Grade A ones, were finished – “Boo”, a supplier pulled up with a fresh delivery – “Yahoo!”
We made one last stop before the hotel. The Menara Condong, or Leaning Tower, is the iconic structure of Teluk Intan.
We were back at the Restoran D’Tepian Sungai at 8.00pm sharp. Waiting for us were 2 kilos / 4.4 lbs of those Grade A udang galah, prepared three different ways. 500 grams / 1.1 lbs of batter fried squid. And a couple of steamed crabs.
It sounds like a lot of food. It was. But we consumed all of it!
You would have thought that everyone was full after eating all that. Think again.
Teluk Intan is noted for its chee cheong fun. The best is reputedly made by Liew Kee (Ah Lek) Chee Cheong Fun. Which is not far from the Yew Boutique Hotel.
We took a few night shots of the Menara Condong on the way to the chee cheong fun shop.
The chee cheong fun shop looks like a maximum security prison. There are no tables and chairs. Strictly takeaway only. Nevertheless, the queue was long. The place is famous far and wide.
There was talk of a few drinks before calling it a night. That turned out to be talk only. Once we got back to the hotel all thoughts turned to sleep. And dreams of cooler weather for the ride back to Petaling Jaya.