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Motormouth From Ipoh

Sunday, July 20, 2008

BETONG - Of Bak Kut Teh meal & The LARGEST Mailbox (Part 3)

Pardon the long absence. Arriving after an ultra-prolonged journey (EIGHT hours in the bus to be exact) from Johor Bahru - Ipoh, I was experiencing bus-lag (if there ever was such a term) yesterday. Not to mention the ever-reliable broadband connection, failing to reach nowhere near the maximum speed of 1Mbps, but instead fell to a humiliating realm of 10kbps. But let's not digress ....

Continuation from Part 2 ....

Central Market - A place for fresh supplies, and whatnots ....

In the mood for some superstar's treatment? =)

The eight members from the GGG (Great Gerik Gang) joined us on the next day, right after our cheap-as-dirt dimsum meal (erm, wrong metaphor?). Of course, some being foodies themselves, they arrived on empty stomachs. Departing to our next destination with hungry lions aboard sounded ridiculous. So, off we went for brunch, though the pau and the siew mai were still happily residing in our guts.

Directly opposite the Central Market in town, are 2 shops side by side, selling Bak Kut Teh (those who think of Bak Kut Teh as a person's name, seriously consider clicking HERE). Following advice from GiantBoy (who's only 16 btw, and taller than some lamp posts), whose aunt is residing in Betong, we chose the one nearer to the traffic lights.

Familiar array of Chinese dishes ... typical of Bak Kut Teh meal in Malaysia

Spicy minced pork - sadly, no one ordered these though I was advocating for it helplessly ...

The main characters with sides of Yew Char Kueh/Youtiao (click HERE to prevent misunderstanding yet again !!!)

A portion for 5 pax served 7 of them, (another joined us for noodles) costing roughly RM7-8 per pax. Reasonable, though I forgot to get their feedback on the taste. Understandably, paled in comparison to Klang's version, I presumed. How about the other 5 of us? We had .....

Noodles in Bak Kut Teh soup (RM3)

No intention to burst our bloated stomachs, the 4 of us (me, KYT, TallGal and LaughingGal) with Mr.Lenggong opted for the noodles instead. The lady owner serves wantan noodles, but we were craving for a taste of their herbal concoction, therefore the hybrid of wantan mee-bak kut teh was born. =P

Although it did not create much of an impact, we were still satisfied, as for RM3/bowl, the serving's pretty generous, with char siew (BBQ pork), siew yoke (roast pork) and choy sum (green mustard) thrown in for good measure.

If you're ever in shopaholic mode, spend away ... no designer goods though.

On that same street with Central Market, are a few shops selling tidbits, snacks, and popular buys for tourist. Do scout a few shops as the prices may vary, and the choices as well. Wanna know what tourists from Malaysia normally buy? (We know, as our job's at the custom dept in Pengkalan Hulu, checking car boots and passengers' baggages) Here's a rundown :

  • Instant noodles (Mama brand, tomyam and duck flavours) - Buy in bulk of 30 packets/box, at RM16 each.
  • Snacks such as Koh Kae peanuts (various flavours eg. BBQ, coffee, wasabi etc) at RM10 for three containers. A steal, as in Malaysia, these retail for RM5-6 each.
  • Black glutinous rice at RM4/kg. Cheap, but carrying any rice products across the border is unwise, as you'll be heavily taxed.
  • Clothes, accessories, fashionable items are lacking in Betong town. Seldom see people buying these and transporting them over the border.
  • And last but not least, THESE (refer pic above). Some vehicles were stuffed full to the brim, boots, passenger seats and all, transferring what possibly could be the epitome of summer, when fruiting season is abound. We, however has had enough of them in Gerik the previous days (more on that later), feasting on heaps and tonnes (OK, I'm exaggerating, but the numbers are definitely not scarce) of them.

The largest mailbox in the world

One of the must-see in everyone's itinerary is this largest mailbox in Thailand, situated at the City Convention Hall, on Sukkayang Road. The original largest mailbox is another one facing the Betong clock tower in the centre of town. But this one absolutely outdid the previous champ, measuring an astounding NINE metres, and a great spot for camwhores.

Just look at the size of this menacing red tower ...

A shot of Sukkayang road ... on the way to the outskirts of town

We embarked to the next destinations, situated far from town, heading north towards Yala province. But more on that in the next post. I'm just in such dire need of rest.

Happy weekend, fellow bloggers and readers !!!


Ciki said...

very interesting continuation to part 1 and 2! I love spicy minced pork .. and that hugeass mailbox is erm, really huge la:D lol btw, was the bakuteh more herbal.. or more porky/meaty tasting?

Anonymous said...

Such an interesting place but I bet Betong is >500miles = ? km from Spore. The looks of bak kut teh looks nice but the best bak kut teh in KL i had before was at old klang good I still miss it (but dont remember where as someone brought me). Durian is huge, typical Thai.

CRIZ LAI said...

It seemed like Betong is still having the cheapest food around. I hope there won't be a steep price hike in the future.

wmw said...

I was trying to spot the slot to drop off the letters in the giant mailbox! :p

Min said...

Eh, the bak kut teh was so so only, not too impressing. However, food there is considered cheap lo :)

Little Inbox said...

Noodles in Bak Kut Teh soup looks acceptable wor...

Lingzie said...

wow very interesting write up about betong. didn't realize that it was so accessible from perak!
the spicy mince pork looks really good! :)

sc said...

the BKT noodles looks interesting.. looks like BKT+ charsiew meen..

HairyBerry said...

i am awed by the size of the mailbox...they really use it ar? hehehehe...

J2Kfm said...

cumi & ciki : hmmm, lacking in herbal taste, IMO. but passable though.

jencooks : Pengkalan Hulu is 2.5 hours from Ipoh (190km), and Betong is another 15 mins roughly.

crizlai : erm, with so much "business" flourishing thanks to malaysian MEN crossing over for a "fix", I think the economy over there is pretty much sustainable!

wmw : it DOES have a slot reachable by hand. though its utility factor is doubtful.

min : yeahloh ... ate whole claypot without letting me taste one sip!!! =(

little inbox : I think Klang has various versions of noodle in BKT soup.

lingzie : hi lingzie! yup, most havent heard of this town, so near to Perak.

sc : can put it that way ... :)

nic : I think they still do la ... the other one, smaller in size in town area is still being used.