Friday, October 18, 2013

Cherating - Half Day Tour (Media Trip 2013)

A restful night was the prescription for the fatigue after the eventful first day and the next day began with new spark of energy. While we can't begin the day with sunrise (it was rather cloudy), at least we had ourselves some wonderful breakfast prepared for us by the Legend Resort Cherating to fuel the day. When everyone was done, off we began with the half-day tour.

Even without a sunrise view, morning by the beach is still beautiful

Mangrove River Cruise

Our first activity was the mangrove river cruise by Hafiz's Cherating Activities, the same people behind the fireflies watch we went yesterday. It was a whole new experience even though we were cruising down Cherating River just like last night. With the strong sunlight lighting up our day, we have a better view of the river and its surrounding mangrove trees compared to the pit black of night cruise. Plus, the objective of this journey is to look out for wild animals in their natural habitats.

Everyone was boarding the motorboat

Cameras were clicking away with every animals being spotted

Our boat guide, which was also the nature expert working under the agency, gave us a thorough tour of the Cherating River. He was very informative and always more than happy to share with us his knowledge on the many species of mangrove trees growing along the river. He also has a good eyesight for often he was the one pointing out the animals hiding deep in the jungle. Some of the wildlife we saw were mangrove snakes, macaques, blue kingfishers and monitor lizards. Often, cameras will be flicking away at the direction the guide pointed at, hoping to capture a good picture of them.

Can you spot the mangrove snake? Look for the yellow stripe

Pak cik showing us his catches of the day

Besides these animals, the best asset of this cruise has to be the Cherating River itself. Growing up in a city, I don't really have a strong connection with nature and it is usually through these river cruises that I get to experience and see with my own eyes the beauty of Mother Earth. While the Cherating River is not really that impressive especially compared to the Kinabatangan River cruise I took in late August 2013, it is nevertheless a good exposure for the beginners. For an hour and a half river cruise, it costs RM 25 for adult and RM 15 for child with the first trip begins at 9 a.m.

It is such a lovely view

Limbong Art for Batik "Tjanting"

Abang Mazlan and his wife, Umi, have been in the business of batik making for more than 25 years. Their stall, a rather simple little shack along the same road where Hafiz's Cherating Activities is located, are full of batik clothes of various sizes and designs as well as wood carvings where some of these batik designs were based on.

Make Your Own Batik Here

Written steps in making batik

For tourists who are keen on learning the art of making batik, Abang Mazlan offers to teach the skill to them. From the very first process of sketching to the last step of drying the cloth, tourists will be given a hand-on approach so that they can produce their masterpieces all by themselves and at an affordable price. Prices depend on the sizes, with the smallest costing no more than RM 30 all-in, inclusive the framing. Definitely a small price to pay for your own piece of art.

The tools needed

Demonstration of making batik

Keropok Lekor (Fish Cracker) Making Demonstration

The strong smell of fish left no mistake that we were in close proximity to a fishing village and the mak cik standing in front of me were making rolls of keropok lekor, one of my favourite street snacks. I have been eating this local fish cracker since my schooling years and while some might be put off by its pungent fish smell, I find the scent ever more inviting. And here at Keropok Cap Intan in Kemaman, a small town in the state of Terengganu famous for the lekor, was where we were shown how this local delights were made.

Get freshly made keropok lekor here

A few types of fish are blended together before mixing it with flour and rolling it into fish pastes which will then be cooked in boiled water. The end result is grey-coloured fish sausages ready to be sold to customers. It seems rather easy but the fact is, there are techniques in making these pastes. There are two versions of keropok lekor, the original meatier version and thinner one, also known as keropok keping or keropok kering (fish cracker is a more accurate term for the latter version). Personally, I prefer the fatter version as it is chewy and fragrant.

She rolled them up all in a jiffy

Keropok kering have to be dried under the sun before being packed

Packed keropok kering

Everyone left with at least one bag of the crackers to bring back home either for own consumption (that's me) or as souvenirs. Depends on which versions and what kind of fish it was made of, prices range from RM 5 to RM 24. You can contact Cik Rohani at 012-9486174 or 09-8684678 to place reservation. They can deliver it straight to your hotels in Cherating if requested.

This trip is made possible thanks to the peoples of M-Mode Berhad, Santai Travel, Tourism Malaysia and The Legend Resort Cherating.


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