Tuesday, October 29, 2013

TSDayOut: Kuala Langat

*blows dust*

it has been a while.

anyways, i submitted my name to join this program by tourism selangor. i was selected on my first try! whee~~~ well, i came to know about the activity from twitter, @adameben tweeted about it. this will be a minimal pictures post, since my camera broke down, so had to rely on my slowpoke cameraphone. :(

we were asked to gather by 8am in front of pizza hut bangsar, for registration and where we were supposed to ride a bus to kuala langat. everybody was still shy this early in the morning. even myself. ;P

our first stop was for breakfast. nasi lemak sotong in banting. apparently, i've never heard of it, being a fan of nasi lemak. i really love sotong, that when vanessa offered her portion of sambal sotong, i accepted it without hesitance. LOL!

the rice was surprisingly fluffy, thought it lacked the coconut milk. but well, maybe it was healthier. a plate of rice, a dollop of sambal, ikan bilis, slices of cucumber and egg, also a small bowl of sambal sotong. it was really good that i forgot to ask for another plate. HAHAHA.

there are 3 shops selling nasi lemak sambal sotong here. the one i ate at, a family business for the past 20+ years. the couple who operated it started the business after they got married. they served my teh o panas in a rather old-school clear cup and saucer instead of a mug. very retro.

next stop was a kerepek factory. maybe the engineer in me, i got excited to see all of the machines. who would've thought that something done manually in the past would be commercialized and operated with big machines.

The makciks peeling off the skin of the tapioca. They usually spend about 8 hours to finish about 3 tonnes of fresh tapioca. Yes, 3 tonnes, peeled, by hand. I was wondering why they don't purchase a machine for peeling them, but then again manual work ensures the tapioca already gone through first stage of quality control. The makciks would ensure only the good tapioca gets to the next step, while the bad ones are being rid of. There's also the issue of each tapioca being different sizes, so perhaps, it's faster doing the peeling the manual way.

3 tonnes of tapioca, at least a portion of that attributes to the peeled skin right? They recycle the skin too, dry them off in the sun and use them as fertilizers for their 140 acre (gasps!) tapioca plantation. tapioca on tapioca, tapiocaception!

then the peeled tapioca will be washed and sliced, using this machine below:

it looks like the coconut grating machine, where you put tapioca at the top, and thin-sliced strips come out. the slices are soaked in water in order to remove the starch from them. the slightly murky water is the result of the starch. this is done to avoid residue in the frying oil.

this is the fryer. it can accommodate 5-6kg of sliced tapioca in each fry. it's really huge. it would take about 5 minutes to get them golden brown and crispy.

voila! pretty neat eh?

the staff will then sort the kerepek, looking for burnt ones, tossing them to rid the excessive oil.

don't these look familiar? instead of mixing cements, these are used to mix the sambal mixture with the kerepek to make those kerepek sira. it was really fun to watch, but maybe i'm just fascinated with machines. hahaha.

that was not a vain attempt at a selfie. was just amused that they had to freeze the roll of kerepek bawang before slicing them. things you found out. :)

rows and rows of kerepek, taller than me. i asked the owner, how's the demand for hari raya sounds like? he said it's almost the same like daily production, about 3 tonnes and a half, and production also goes well into the night. he said for now, their kerepek is well-received domestically, for local consumption. in his words,
"kilang kita pun kecik je, pasarkan pun kawasan sekitar, takde pergi eksport lagi setakat ni." humble man. 

another fact i found shocking, though rather expected, when he explained about the purple sweet potatoes. they produced kerepek from two different types of purple sweet potatoes. one is of a higher grade, as it is sweeter and lighter coloured, while the other darker and less sweet. the darker one is easy to source, but with the current weather, it's harder to source for the sweeter one. "kita gali pokok, tapi dapat yang kecik, kadang-kadang takde. macam dah nak pupus."

the owner was rather patient with my sometimes nonsensical question. ;P

in the kerepek shop, i bought kerepek tempe. they produced them in round slices instead of odd rectangles. i forgot to ask the owner about it, but my theory is, they prepared the tempe (fermented soybeans) in long cylindrical forms, like those kerepek bawang, easier to put in the machine for slicing.

next destination was paya indah wetlands. along the way, i was looking at the parits. seriously the parits in banting was really pretty! species of waterlily filled all the parits! if you took a close-up picture of the waterlilies, you wouldn't have thought that they were in parits, prolly some pretty ponds somewhere, instead. my phone's camera didn't support anti-shake, so i ended up with mostly blurry pics of the parits as we were heading towards our next destination: paya indah wetlands.

don't these gigantic pylons remind you of aliens bots treading the green field? okay, maybe just me. LOL!

i was really excited for this trip due to paya indah wetlands itinerary. i've heard about it before but haven't had the time and chance to explore it, so this was really an exciting opportunity.

there are at least two species of ducks here. interestingly, these ducks are the first indicators of bird flu. they take the blow first and die. sad, but really noble. ducks in shining armour. ;)

apart from the ducks, bird watchers would have a splendid time as migratory birds stop here. the management was doing everything they could to divert the birds from going klia-bound since it will cause traffic issues and also hazard if they end up in the fan.

one of the many signs that caught my attention. a hippo's bite can kill! so much for a cute looking animal eh?

facts about crocodiles. didn't manage to snap their pictures, too bad. the management does population control on the crocodiles as the swamp area is rather small. there are 48 crocodiles over there. each time they lay between 40-60 eggs, the mother would take care of the eggs for 3 months. as they practice population control, the management would remove the eggs from the nest, to avoid them from hatching.

i just found out that the crocodiles are nocturnal animals. very informative! they are only fed during the weekends. quite a show too when it's feeding session. they're trained to come near the enclosure with a whistle.

compared to the crocodiles in the zoo, they're more vicious as they're in their natural habitat. larger area to roam.

so, these are the hippos! interestingly, the baby hippo was born in captivity. it was only 2-months-old. apparently, the adult hippos, 2 females and a male were gifts from the government of botswana. so, the management of paya indah is taking care of the nation's prezzie!

the mother's name is juwita, while the baby is yet to be named. didn't see the dad, probably kept apart to avoid him from killing the baby. fact: hippos are territorial, they mark the territory with their urines. hippos spend most of their time in the water. even while lactating!

the name hippopotamus came from greek's hippo - horse and potamus - river, so that literally translates to river horse. problem is, hippos are more genetically related to pigs, so i thought river pigs are more apt. HAHAHAHA!

juwita and its calf looked healthier and friendlier than any other hippos i've seen in the zoo. most probably coz they were kept in an area as close as their natural habitat.

the baby is really cute! don't let these cuteness fool you. they may not be as fast as the cheetah, but they could beat you at running! they can clock 30kmph over short distances. who says short legs and stocky couldn't run? run juwita, run!
interesting fact: hippos produce their own sunscreen.

don't the views of the room make you wanna go sleep? yes, paya indah wetlands also have very nice chalets. it's really a steal at RM120/night. to wake up to this view in the morning? priceless!

oh, i forgot to mention that we did the tour on bikes! the area wasn't that big for you to walk, but it's nicer with bikes. been a while since i was on one.

i even saw a peacock (yes, it was male since it was really pretty LOL!) walking near the office. yes, they let the birds roam free.

thank you tourism selangor for this wonderful opportunity on #tsdayout! i really had fun and gained so much new knowledge. :))