Monday, October 27, 2014

A Day in Tanjung Sepat

My parents are in town again since last Thursday and to make their visit to Malaysia more colourful than their last visit here a couple months ago (re: Dylan's incident), I thought of bringing them out for sightseeing over the weekend.

As my parents had been to Malacca twice and gone shopping in KL's malls many times, I had to scratch my head to think of a new place for them to check out that is not too far from Seremban for a day trip. After some considerations, my final pick fell to Tanjung Sepat. Tanjung Sepat is a fishing town in Kuala Langat, Selangor and located about 1 hour away from where we live.

The following is a quick itinerary of our recent visit to Tanjung Sepat.

Qingren Qiao (Lover's Bridge)

The first place we visited once we reached Tanjung Sepat was the Lover's Bridge area, one of the main icons of Tanjung Sepat.

Hello from Tanjung Sepat!

On our way to Lover's Bridge, a notably very famous local products shop called Qingren Qiao Local Products Shop greeted us. I deemed this shop as a very famous one because I saw the photos of the shop owner together with Simon Yam, a prominent Hong Kong actor, and several other local celebrities when they visited the shop were proudly hung on the shop's main entrance. Hmm.. I wonder what Simon Yam brought back to Hong Kong after he visited this shop? Prawn crackers, dried sotong (squid) and several huge salted fish perhaps?

Not your typical old-looking local products shop. 
Many celebrities had apparently been shopping here.

Seriously, with these colourful old-school lollipops lurking in front of the shop, how are visitors, especially kids, not to be tempted to check the inside of the shop? Glad Naomi was napping when we reached Tanjung Sepat, otherwise I am pretty confident I'd have to deal with her 15 mins unscripted drama titled "Lollipops Hysteria" when she saw the lollipops.

Anybody needs some sugar rush?

This shop was pretty interesting to visit but admittedly, the smell of the salted fish, dried sotong and other fishy products sold in front of the shop was considerably strong. For a moment, it crossed my mind if I'd smell like salted fish or dried sotong once I left Tanjung Sepat because I hung out for almost 20 mins around the shop's entrance whilst waiting for my parents shopping some local goodies.

Anyway, another interesting part of this shop is the stuff from older generations it showcases surrounding the building. It's really fun to take picture with these old gems.

Plastic chickens and eggs inside those bamboo coops.

Even before we checked out the Lover's Bridge itself and the wet market nearby, my Mom and I took many pictures in this shop area alone.

 I feel like shooting old kung-fu series now.

Further down from this shop lies the famous Lover's Bridge, a very long concrete bridge that stretches to the sea. It was blazing hot when we arrived to Tanjung Sepat on Saturday so my parents and I only snapped some pictures in the bridge then continued our journey to check out the wet market.

Oops sorry, the Lover's Bridge was not fully shown here 
but we were standing in the famous bridge.

Here are some pictures of items sold at the wet market. Lots of snacks, fish products and fruits were sold there.

 Fish balls and its by-products.

Tried a salted fish pan-fried bao sold in the wet market but I found the salted fish filling tasted rather weird. I ate a bite then passed the rest of the bao to my husband.

Salted fish bao for RM 3 per piece.

After we're done shopping at the wet market, we hopped back on to the car and decided to find a place for quick lunch. Since my husband was not familiar with Tanjung Sepat area nor its famous restaurants, we spent quite some time circling the fishing village trying to find the right place for lunch. Have you heard of an old saying that goes something like this: If you are too picky over something, instead of getting the best choice, you'd usually end up getting a not so good one? I think that happened to us because after being too selective with 'what's for lunch?' options in Tanjung Sepat, we ended up settling ourselves with tasteless economic noodle and chicken curry we randomly found somewhere in town.


Not as good as it looks.

Even the ABC Ice that my husband ordered from that eatery was another thumbs down. Given the taste, it got me thinking if we'd be able to finish the ABC Ice. Unexpectedly, Naomi solved our problem. She pushed the ABC Ice glass too forcefully when she wanted to pass it to me. As a result, the ABC Ice was accidentally poured all over our table. And there went our drink/dessert.

Before Naomi poured the ABC Ice.

After lunch, my husband wanted to buy some famous Mei Cai Bao (steamed buns) for my parents to try but the bao seller told us to come back after another hour because they had not steamed the next batch of the baos. With this, we decided to explore the rests of Tanjung Sepat area first and come back for the baos again later on.

By the way, I was quite surprised to see the numbers of small temples in Tanjung Sepat town. If I counted correctly, there was at least one temple in every 10-20 houses!

Morib Beach

The next place we stopped by after the fishing town was Morib Beach. I think the only access to this beach was through Gold Coast Morib Resort.

At Gold Coast Morib Resort.

My husband parked his car in the resort's parking lot and from there; we walked ourselves to the beach.

Told you the it was scorching hot that day.

Again, the harsh sun was not ideal for playing at the beach so we only spent less than half an hour at Morib Beach. My husband considered taking Naomi to play at the Resort's Water Park but I objected his idea because I was not really in the mood to play in the water and preferred to do more sightseeing around Tanjung Sepat. Playing at the water park would easily takes 2 hours and by then probably it's too late for us to discover some other parts of Tanjung Sepat.

Kuan Wellness Ecopark

Located between Sepang Gold Coast and Morib Gold Coast, initially my husband was quite reluctant to check out Kuan Wellness Ecopark. He thought this eco-tourism destination would be a plain vanilla tourist spot, not worthy a visit. After I told him that the entrance fee to Kuan Wellness Ecopark is very modest and taking into accounts that we were already so close to this ecopark, my husband finally changed his mind and agreed to check this eco-park as part of our tour to Tanjung Sepat.

Checking out Kuan Wellness Ecopark for the first time.

Kuan Wellness Ecopark is essentially a place where people observe swiftlets in its natural habitat but we were there for its mini zoo. Kuan Wellness Ecopark hosts a small zoo where children can feed some gentle animals and pat them. It costs us RM 2 to enter this mini zoo and animal food such as carrot sticks or a pack of fish food was also priced at RM 2 each.

Feels like in Holland again for 1 minute.

Naomi literally had a blast in this mini zoo especially when she saw the rabbits in the cage and some of them roaming around freely in the zoo.

Mom, which one is cuter? The rabbit or me?

Naomi loved interacting with the rabbits in real life, talking to them and feed them but was scared when the rabbits approached her.

 Happy girl feeding the rabbit for the first time.

We also took Naomi to feed the fish and she was very excited with this experience even though it's not her first time feeding fish in a pond.

Fish, fish!

Moving on, my husband brought Naomi to see the deer as well and feed it with carrot sticks. Naomi was not so familiar with deer so my husband used the word "Rudolph" to refer to the deer.


Naomi feeding the deer.

After we managed to get Naomi out of this zoo as she still wanted to play with the rabbits, my husband offered my parents to have some coffee at the eco-cafe opposite the zoo. Strangely, this cafe doesn't sell any coffee. Instead, it sells bird-nest drinks that cost around RM 16 - RM 20 per glass. We preferred to drink coffee instead of bird-nest drinks, thus we scrapped our plan to chill at the eco-cafe and went back to Tanjung Sepat town again for coffee.

 Just before we left the ecopark.

Overall, I think we all had pretty good fun at the ecopark's zoo. I didn't regret my decision to visit this place especially since we brought Naomi with us. On another note, not sure why Kuan Wellness Ecopark features so many wooden cows decorations in its compound where we could not find any cow farms nearby.

Kuan Wellness Ecopark
Address: Lot 408 Jalan Tanjung Layang, 42800, Tanjung Sepat, Selangor, Mukim Batu, 42800
Phone: 60 33148 1126

Local Food Hunting

Once we're back to Tanjung Sepat village again, we went straight to the shop which sells the famous baos. To the contrary of what I heard about the long queues that buyers have to expect when they want to enjoy the famous Tanjung Sepat's steamed buns, there was no queue at all when we were there in late afternoon.

Here again just for the baos.

Here's presenting to you the very popular Mei Cai Bao that seemingly only available in Tanjung Sepat.

Mei Cai Bao at RM 2.20 per piece.

Soft buns with fragrant and delicious thinly chopped mei cai and pork filling. I can see why people from all over the place hunt the Mei Cai Baos.

Perniagaan Pau Hai Yew Heng
Address: 405, Jalan Pasar 42800 Tanjung Sepat, Selangor

Not long after we bought our baos, we dropped by a shop just next to Hai Yew Heng which sells the local coffee. After my parents sampled the coffee, they purchased a pack of the coffee to bring back to Indonesia.

Kwo Zha B Coffee, RM 7 per pack.

This shop only sells the packaged coffee powder and the seller advised us to go to a kopitiam opposite their shop for drinking coffee or afternoon teatime. Below picture is Naomi and me standing in front of the suggested kopitiam. Judging from the building, this kopitiam looks like kinda run down but mind you, this place was full house.

 The old kopitiam in Tanjung Sepat.

Actually this kopitiam just sells normal coffee, teas and fried snacks that are widely available in other parts of Malaysia. It is mind boggling to see that this particular kopitiam was very crowded compared to the rests in town.


Very oily afternoon snacks.

While my husband and Dad had the usual Black Coffee and Teh-C, my Mom and I shared a glass of cold Kedondong juice - just nice to combat the hot day.

Kedondong Juice at RM 3/glass.

This kopitiam stopover pretty much concluded our visit to Tanjung Sepat. Before heading back to Seremban, my husband briefly showed us the Bagan Lalang Beach as well but we didn't get off the car and play at the beach.

All in all, I guess my parents were quite pleased with their visit to Tanjung Sepat because they found this fishing town very unique, definitely a new experience and place to sightsee for the non-locals .

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Remembering You

This afternoon, a blog reader sent me a very touching article about Baby Loss Awareness Week (thanks, Joyce!). This article speaks my mind as well as the battle that I went and am going through very loud. While I'd previously heard of Baby Loss Awareness Week, I never actually bothered about it. Well, until Dylan's incident happened to us. Honestly, sometimes, it still feels a bit surreal to me to be part of the 'grieving parents club'. No parent intends to sign up for this 'club'. But the truth is, like it or not, I am now part of it.

If I get the info correctly, Baby Loss Awareness week takes place from October 9th-15th every year. It is the week when bereaved parents, family members and friends commemorate their babies who had gone too soon.

I guess I am a day late in honouring this week but would like to do so, especially since baby loss is traditionally deemed as a taboo topic for many people or cultures. To me, baby loss is not a taboo affair nor a talk that will bring anyone bad luck if discussed openly. Acknowledging a baby that a family once lost is indeed difficult but it is very important. It is simply hurtful for the parents when their departed baby is not acknowledged or never spoken of. Just because some people never got to meet that baby physically, it doesn't mean that he/she never existed. That angel was very special and had left tiny footprints that are forever not erasable in his/her parents' lives.

The physical and emotional pains of having a baby that born sleeping were so real. I had my son inside me for so long and went through the same painful and long labour to give birth to him - the exact same labour pains that any woman would go through to deliver normal babies. The difference here was that I never got to bring him home with me. So yes, this angel did exist. He was so real.

Fly high, angel.

To my son in heaven whom I never held in my arms,

It's been a little over two months since you flew away.

I still cannot fathom why I was not given the chance to raise you.

I have, however, accepted the reality that you were destined for something bigger up there.

Just wanted to let you know that you were once my child and will always be my child.

With love,

Mommy

Remembering Baby Dylan. 62 days today.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

First Sunday School

Last Sunday marked Naomi's first Sunday School, although she came incredibly late and only attended it for the last 30 minutes or so.

Naomi was late for her very first Sunday School because (1) I could not exactly find the classroom where the Sunday School was held. From afar, I didn't see any door opened in the Sunday School area where I was told the week before. Therefore, I confidently assumed there was no Sunday School held last Sunday and proceeded with bringing Naomi along to the Sunday Service as usual. (2) I felt that Naomi was considerably quiet and okay during last week's sermon so I refrained myself from bringing her to the Sunday School's classroom as yet. Naomi going to the Sunday School for the first time meant me accompanying her to the Sunday School the whole time too, hence missing the sermon.

Anyway, after the sermon was concluded, I looked at my watch and hey, there's like 30 mins left before the Sunday Service was over so I decided to bring Naomi to check the Sunday School place with my friend (her kids were already joining the on-going Sunday School).

12 October 2014: Naomi's First Sunday School.

When we arrived to the Sunday School's classroom, there were about 8-10 kids and they were generally older than Naomi. The kids were doing some craft things with the Sunday School teacher and Naomi being the youngest in the class was notably the most ding-dong kid of all. She didn't understand what the teacher said nor instructed the kids to do. As such, I did Naomi's crafts for the day - cutting and pasting the paper. While Naomi seemed not to have any problem meeting the new kids, she was more interested in exploring the classroom and couldn't really sit still doing her crafts.

That day, the kids were taught about sharing but ironically, Naomi totally refused to share the raisins that were given at the end of the Sunday School when her Dad asked for some. Amount of lesson taken? None. Clearly, Naomi needs to attend Sunday School more regularly and this coming Sunday, I will make her attend the 8am Sunday School as punctual as we could.

On another note, I spotted a really simple and easy to remember bed time prayer for kids written in Naomi's first Sunday School material. For someone (fingers pointed at myself) who needs to learn teaching a toddler how to pray in English, I found this useful. The bedtime prayer goes like this:

"Dear God, I've been busy all day. 
Thank you for being with me. 
Please stay with me while I sleep. 
Amen."

So, I, too, learnt something new at the Sunday School.