Sunday, February 22, 2015

We Went to Sekinchan and You Won't Believe What We Found!

Sorry for the clickbait. You may now proceed with the blog post.

One sunny day, my family and two of our friends went up north from KL to the small coastal town of Sekinchan. Sekinchan is synonymous with paddy fields and good seafood, being a major rice producer in Selangor and being close to the shoreline. Surprising how being close to the sea means abundance in agriculture!

We spent some time in a rice factory/gallery (there's only one in Sekinchan). Nothing much to shout about but you get to see a small part of the operations, churning out bags of rice 24 hours a day. The entrance fee of RM4 also comes with a cute and small packet of rice, remember to claim it on your way out!

After the brief visit, which was not punctuated by photo taking (because the rice had already been harvested, leaving brown fields everywhere instead of the picturesque green fields of waving paddy), we headed a little down the road to a small fruit farm. This is my favourite among our stops of the day in Sekinchan, because it was a small business (unlike the rice factory) and the owner of the farm showed us which trees produced which fruits. We spotted pomelo, rose apples, green lemon, kasturi lime and passionfruit growing in the small farm. Can you believe a thin branch can hold full-grown pomelo fruits without breaking?! If I go back there I must ask the farmer how it can be so strong.

There are a few tables and chairs up front. Buy some fruits (fresh off the farm, of course) and drinks and chill here a while.

Then we headed off to the Sekinchan Wishing Tree. I really have no idea what this place is called, but it's next to a temple and near the beach. The Wishing Tree is essentially a huge tree (20-30 feet tall?) dressed in red strips of cloth. Each strip of cloth is tied to a coin, and on the cloth are written people's wishes. You can get yours from the temple next door (for a token, I believe) and swing it up high to land on a branch. I don't believe there's any cultural or religious significance to this action. If that kind of novelty is not for you, then lay back in one of the swings and hammocks, put up your feet and take a nap. Awake feeling refreshed and buy a bubble game or a kite. The wind in this area (close to the beach) is amazing for these activities.

When the sun goes down, find a table and a seat at any of the makeshift stalls nearby for dinner. There are also halal vendors, not to worry! That evening, we feasted on juicy balitong, firm and tasty blood cockles, stingray cooked in a spicy paste, fried crayfish in rice noodles and washed it down with beer and juices, while feeling the salty sea breeze in your hair. This is the life, man.

At night, somebody wanted to go pee so we drove off the side of the road, near a row of shops. Mana tau there was a huge gap in the middle of the road leading to the drain (uncovered)! So our car's front tyre went straight in. This was literally in the middle of the road, like the hole is supposed to be covered with a block of cement. Anyway, some bystanders came and helped us push the car up and away. But then they demanded for money for their help. So we suspect it's a syndicate that they use to prey on unsuspecting drivers who are unfamiliar with the road - they move the cement block to let people fall into it. The off-road there is unlit, by the way. Lesson learnt: if you really want to pee, just go to a petrol station and don't bother with the shops.

Beautiful day out (bar the hole experience), simple yet satisfying! I highly recommend a day in Sekinchan for anyone who's not been there. Recommended times of visit (for full-blown ripe paddy field) is March/April, apparently (citation needed haha).

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