We needed a mini break from KL. It’s a wonderful place to live, but plenty of weekends away should always be on one’s travel menu. Malaysia is a place to be discovered. Our plan was keep it cheap, as little travel as possible, and off the tourist trail.
It doesn’t take being a rocket scientist to know this generally leads to awesome food, friendly locals and language barriers. We specifically focused this trip on places renowned for their culinary experiences.
First stop Crab Island (Pulau Ketam). We caught the train from KL Sentral to Port Klang. Only 87 minutes away, result. Even the little man was a tad surprised.
Then there was a 30-minute boat ride from the ferry terminal at Port Klang. The boat didn’t feel too safe, what the heck, we’ll make it.
The scenery is lush, coastal estuaries, mangroves, and being that it was somewhat eerie, added to its appeal.
Once the ferry docked at Pulau Ketam, we got off, and played spot the crab with our son. It was like playing spot the grass stem on a football pitch. Seeing that no-one on the island seemed to speak any English we opted to just cruise around the fishing village. It wasn’t much – people come here for only one thing.
Every run down looking restaurant was selling the same thing. The Hubbie was happy everything advertised looked to be rather cheap.
We settled on a small place halfway through the village. We didn’t want to take any chances so decided to order the whole restaurant. The dishes were awesome, shrimp, calamari, delicious green garlically vegies, and why of course a huge buttered steamed crab. It was amazing!
All 3 of us thought the food was out of this world. Our 8-year-old guarded the plate of calamari from us like a lone warrior fighting an empire.
We were keen to cycle the island, but the rain intervened. Instead we jumped around in puddles, said hello to a few locals and watched my bonkers partner in crime, decide to visit a house and join in with the locals who were karaoking.
We did a little more crab spotting while walking back to the boat. It was back to Port Klang.
We then needed to go back on ourselves to visit our next destination – Klang, it was only 5 stops.
Before looking to find digs (adds to the adventure not booking), we inspected Little India. It was full of shops selling little of much value, but there was a real buzz about the place. Over-amplified just a touch by the booming Hindi music.
We crossed the Kota Bridge as sunset passed over the Klang River. We found very few places to stay, eventually stumbling on a hotel called Aliya. It was clean, fairly modern and slightly overpriced, but it did its job.
For dinner we headed to Restoran Yee Li Lou across the road from the hotel, it didn’t look like much but we were super impressed once we got inside. The owner was rather suave and quite forward, but we felt comfortable taking his suggestions on what dishes we should try. We were all in food heaven.
During the course of our meal we mentioned to him that we wanted to try the local dish bak kut teh. It’s a bit sketchy of its origins, but supposedly nowhere in the whole Asia does it better than Klang, (who also claim to be the recipe founders)
Bak Kut Teh is a pork dish it translates as “meat bone tea.” It is fatty pork ribs which are simmered forever in a broth full of herbs and spices (to name just a few – cloves, berries, and cinnamon).
The owner was very apologetic when he explained they didn’t sell it. We couldn’t believe his hospitality when (on a busy Saturday night) he walked us to a famed restaurant that served the dish. He recommended we go and have it in the morning for breakfast.
Our words won’t do it justice. Photos below taken at 7am.
We took the time after filing our bellies to check out some of the decaying colonial buildings. Not necessarily a beautiful selection to choose from but interesting nonetheless.
We decided to check out Regent Pandan Layer Cake Shop. A cake shop famous in the region dating back a number of generations. We were a little weary from the searing heat, but the long queue inside and out convinced us to buy some to take back for our train journey home. We opted for the Yam and Pandan cake. It was a sweet ending to our adventures in Klang.