Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A day in Mrs Sukwant’s Life

An account of a day in one of the locals daily life –

At the early hours of a Sunday morning “Cockroo coo.” echoed from the outskirts of hushed Tambun valley. Time to wake up everyone! announced by the primitive roosters to ‘rise and shine ..’ Hearing the roosters’ screech, Mrs Sukwant rushed out of her comfy bed to embark on another wonderful day of her life.

I still remember the aroma of the freshly-made chappatis waving across the house on that Sunday morning. It surely raised all our appetites to try the piping-hot chappatis! This was our breakfast with creamy traditional tea made from farm fresh milk. According to Mrs Sukwant, a weekday at this time would be a lot busier since her four children would rush for school while she would quickly rustle up breakfast so that they are well nourished for their cheerful day.

Mrs Sukhwant performed her household chores by merrily tidying, dusting, sweeping and mopping until midday for lunchtime cooking. We all enjoyed a scrumptious vege lunch freshly prepared for us. She finds her farm lifestyle very relaxing as the summer hours casts longer activity hours in a day for the locals. Being a tourist, you could explore so many places in one day!!

A source of income for the Singh family is to supply milk to their local customers where Mrs Sukhwant packs away milk for distribution in the afternoon. Soon after her task, she prepared some mouth-watering deep-fried snacks such as western-favourite French fries, and authentic samosa as our afternoon snacks. One thing for sure, Mrs Sukwant ensures all her guests enjoy their stay at her farmhouse by enjoying a variety of traditional Indian food, snacks, juices and delicious yoghurt flavoured drinks called lassies all day long. On the same day for dinner, we enjoyed a spicy pumpkin curry and deep-fired mouth watering puree (Indian bread). Yum! Total food heaven...

I had a wonderful stay at Mr Singh’s farmhouse. It was fascinating to encounter a day in Mrs Sukwant’s relaxing life. Touring Mr Singh’s farm, enjoying their traditional food while chatting with his family members were a remarkable experience. A very hospitable family who all guests would love to visit...

Written by: Shaz Kamal, Oct 2009
Photo Courtesy: Kathryn Cooper

Tambun - a secret landscape

Time rests in this Malayana civilization where prehistoric man searched, gathered and developed their temple. Hearing all the fascinating stories about local farms, temples, of gardens and the very famous POMELO’s I certainly had the greatest thrill to visit this place. Below are my two most interesting experiences in Tambun in Oct 2009.

Geographically, Tambun is situated in a major town in the Kinta district of Perak. It is well renowned for its famous RM6o million water park in Sunway called the Lost World of Tambun. The Lost World of Tambun at Sunway City Ipoh is a theme park in a land 400 million years old. The limestone cliffs surrounding the park is still as majestic as if frozen in time.


Arriving at Mt Chin’s (Pomelo producer) picturesque Pomelo ranch, the first thing that struck my eyes were his fruitful Polmelo Trees. I was surprised to see its thin, flexible branches holding a fruit usually weighing at least 1-2kg each. Mr Chin happily enlightened us with a bit of its history. Did you know? the ancient root of this fruit came from the majority of sailing Chinese planters who were of Hakka origin from Southern China. A very good Source of Vitamin C Pomelo lovers. Interestingly a citrus fruit with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh and very thick pudgy rind became the heart of Tambun land after inhabiting well to Tambun-Ampang-Piah region's dark and ferrous soil conditions. The pale green to yellowish skin after ripening is very sought after by locals and tourists alike. Most pomelo farms harvest the fruit twice a year in conjunction with Chinese New Year and Mid Autumn Festival.

Naata Temple

Another fascinating experience was when we stopped at the remote Naata Temple where ancient Buddhism rituals are rigidly practiced till this day. A unspoken place hidden amongst the long-standing landslides of good-old Ipoh. Fu-Ah-Ku, the caretaker of the 14th stories temple approached delightedly to greet us into the spiritual incensed aromatic temple. The temple is considered 13 years old. According to prehistoric beliefs of the locals, the first temple was started by the Hongkong citizens in Tambun who constituted a Buddhist temple in that area following the second developed by Tibetans. Passionately Fu-Ah Ku further narrated that a grand prayer is furnished at the 13th era temple for all locals to participate on every 1st and 15th day of the Chinese Calender.

So, If you're planning to visit Tambun, don’t forget to enjoy the succulent Pomelos and visit spiritual Temple ‘Naata’ while cruising along the 400 million year old limestone cliffs. Guys! Tambun is waiting to be discovered..

Shaz Kamal, Oct 09