Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Last Saturday (27th November) I was in Taiping for the first time in my life. During my stint at ICU, PM's Department, I visited and shot (on video) Kuala Sepetang a town nearby but didn't visit Taiping. Kuala Sepetang has the Best Managed Mangrove Forest in Malaysia, if not the world.

Taiping was originally known as Klian Pauh (less sparkling than Klian Intan but sweeter). When tin was discovered and mined in the area, there was an influx of Chinese who worked on the mines. History told us that these Chinese belonged to either the Cantonese- speaking Ghee Hin or the Hakka-based Hai San. Clashes between these two groups aided by their Malay allies (The Larut War) led to the British intervention and the subsequent Treaty of Pangkor (1874). To commemorate (kome is a Perak word) the end of the war, Klian Pauh was renamed Tai Ping which means "Eternal Peace" in Chinese. Not sure if it is Cantonese or Hakka. Kervin or Buaya69 can enlighten us. Whatever it is, Taiping is really peaceful when I visited it. I guess all the trouble makers are in the Taiping prison- the first modern prison in Malaysia. Taiping has many firsts. First Lake Garden, first railway line (Taiping to Port Weld), first hill resort (Maxwell Hill or Bukit Larut) and the first major town developed by the British. Click on the link at the end of this post for the other firsts later (40 in all).

The Lake Garden is really scenic. Dato' TT, my guide that day, proudly told me that the Lake Garden is beautiful from any angle. He drove me around the lakes to prove his point until he nearly went into a one-way street. I am sure lots of romances bloomed in this garden and I have been told that some chose this place to get married in, or at as the case maybe. I did see one bride and groom having their photo-shoot there that day.

Taiping is now known as the Retirement Paradise. It is also known as the wettest town in Malaysia with lots of rain. I was also told that some Taiping people like to bet, even wagering on the exact time the next rain drop falls. One guy betted that he can hold the balls of the local bank manager. Skip the story if you are a prude, not of age or you have heard the story before. Taiping is an old town so stories about it are old too.

Auyong (not his real name of course) betted 50 thousand ringgit that he can hold the bank manager's balls by 11 am, Wednesday morning. His friend, knowing how proper and strict the bank manager is, accepted the bet.

At 10.45 am, Wednesday morning the two friends were in the bank manager's office and the following conversation took place:

Auyong: Tuan Manager, yesterday I betted 10,000 ringgit that your balls will fall off.
Manager: That's right. The whole of last night I kept checking them. They are still intact.
Auyong: I have to make sure that they are original before I pay up.
Manager: Emm..Fair enough. (Stripped and displayed his family jewels)
Auyong: (Scrutinizing) Hmmm..Look original. May I?
Manager: Em..err (thought of the money) ok..
Friend :( Turning green) Alamak..mampos aku
Auyong: (Holds the balls) Original. Here is your 10,000 ringgit.
(Turning to his friend) Give me my 50,000 ringgit.

Complete list of Taiping's firsts here.
Pics of Lake Garden

| 1:14 AM :: ::
21 CommentsOldStyle:
  • Kali pertama dalam hidup saya sampai ke Taiping ialah apda bulan Jan,2004.Nampaknya lebih kurang Pak Ku juga..
    mungkin kerana lokasinya-ramai yang 'terlepas' dari melawatnya.

    Sila lawat catitan ringkas dan komen di blog saya:

    Seronok ambil gambar disana.

    By Blogger Berisman, at 6:59 AM  
  • Pokku:

    I first went to Taiping in 1983. It was a school trip that was ended horribly when our school bus was vandalised by the students of the host school (which is 'sepelaung' from the lake)after one incident. We were supposed to have a great time in Taiping but then because of 'bbaloh & nok begocoh', everything was spoilt.

    I visited Taiping a couple of time when I was in Penang for 6 years before coming here. Taiping really has serenity. My kids really enjoyed visiting Taiping zoo. Do u know whether the lake is natural one or man-made? I always amused by lakes. I am lucky that both places that I stayed in US last time are nearby lake (Chicago is just next to the Lake Michigan) and Folsom is just an hour drive from lake Tahoe(the is also a huge man-made lake in Folsom itself).Here in UK, my place is just 45 min drive from the the famous Lake District area. We just spend 2 nights in a lodge there last weekend.

    p.s: Does Ganung has any famous 'tasik'? I can't think one of Kelate.. heard abt Danau tok Uban in Pasir mas but never been there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:15 AM  
  • Pok Ku,

    I had my secondary education in Taiping, in a school opposite the Taiping Zoo. I still remember,how we walk all the way from my school to the town every weekend.
    Till now, I still visualise Taiping as an ideal place for me to retire. :)

    By Blogger Jiwa Rasa, at 9:09 AM  
  • Uncle, have you noticed that Malay restaurants serving breakfast are next to none in Taiping? Experienced that when I went there to 'menghantar' my newly wed sister to her in-laws' house.
    Anon, T'ganu is famous with its Tasik Kenyir.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:15 AM  
  • Taiping is also famous for it's Ikan Pekasam. You should try Pokku. Squeeze a bit of lemon, cuts some onions and cili padi, voila' mak mertua lalu pun tak sedar.

    By the way Pokku, I hope you don't mind if I put your link in my blog. YH

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:20 AM  
  • My friend, who was borned in Taiping always said he is "Orang Seattle" because that's what Taiping and Seattle have in common - the wettest place in the country.

    Another friend told me that Chinese girls from Taiping are prettier because the water is purest there hehe.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:17 AM  
  • Patutlah ada sorang kawan yang asalnya dari Taiping dulu sibuk bercerita pasal Taiping...

    By Blogger Aku Tak Reti, at 10:39 AM  
  • argh! finally boleh masuk blogspot komen.

    Taiping is actually two words that is pronouced almost similarly in Cantonese and Mandarin lingua. Sorry, not sure about Hakka coz i only know hakka curses! hehehe

    By Blogger Buaya69, at 10:58 AM  
  • Oooo, gitu ruponyo cerita/sejarah Tai Ping.... (belum pernah sampai ke Tai Ping, walaupun tinggal di Utara.. :( )

    By Blogger hana_kirana, at 12:46 PM  
  • tai ping it actually in Mandarin
    and it means..as you have correctly pointed out 'eternal peace'

    By Blogger Chief, at 2:07 PM  
  • Very nice photos of the Lake Garden. I think I remember my Abah saying that he wants to go jalan-jalan in Taiping to take photos - probably these are the scenery he had in mind :)

    By Blogger Yam, at 3:30 PM  
  • There was a documentary in RTM about Taiping sometime four years ago. Taiping is a beautiful place indeed.

    By Blogger Lollies, at 4:12 PM  
  • Haven't been to Taiping, seems se hard to drop by there but really wish to see the town. The only glance that can be hadd was the turn in sign as I passed along the North-South Hghway onto Penang and back again. Maybe one day :D

    By Blogger Kervin, at 5:07 PM  
  • Berisman: Thanks. I enjoyed the lovely photo & the comments.
    Anonymous: Sorry about the unpleasant trip. The lakes were old mining pools. The famous Tasik Kenyir in Terengganu could be called man-made because it came with the Kenyir Dam.
    jiwarasa: InsyaAllah you will.
    Atiza: There are Malay shops for breakfast. You have to look or ask around.
    YH: I shall try the ikan pekasam the next time I get there, InsyaAllah.
    Leen: I thought the prettiest girls are all "Ipoh Mali"
    Akutakreti: Member-member Pok Ku dari Taiping pun macam tu jugak.
    Buaya69: Thanks!
    Hana Kirana: Pergilah melanchong sekali.
    Chief: Thanks!
    Yam: Go there yourself and bring your ajinomoto (penyedap rasa) with you.
    Lollies: Agreed!

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 5:11 PM  
  • Kervin: You would enjoy taking pictures in Taiping. Iam sure of that.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 5:12 PM  
  • I read your blog regularly as its fun & educational. I grew up in Taiping, and guess, have been taking it for granted. Go for a night visit at the zoo on your next trip there, very interesting. Thank you for giving me such lovely memories.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:14 PM  
  • Anonymous: Yes, Taiping Zoo is the first zoo in Malaysia to have Night Safari as one of its attraction. I will surely go there the next time I stay overnight in Taiping. Thanks for visiting.

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 5:19 PM  
  • Here's another Taiping first: Pak Man Telo! What a guy!

    By Blogger Kri, at 7:29 PM  
  • Kri: LOL! Ada sapa sapa yang melabur?

    By Blogger Bustaman, at 10:36 PM  
  • Pok Ku, I knew you had told me about your visit long before you wrote this entry but I haven't had the chance to comment earlier.
    FYI, Kuala Sepetang is the Malay name for Port Weld just as Bukit Larut for Maxwell Hill (and Teluk Intan for Teluk Anson & Manjung for Dindings). The English name are no longer use except among the old people or people my age.
    The Lake Garden used to be tin mines - so they are man-made.
    My collection of Taiping photos is here and another one on the main page.

    By Blogger Nectar, at 11:41 AM  
  • I dont understand..a man would actually allow another man to touch his balls for RM10,000. Whoa!!!

    By Blogger Kok Bi, at 12:29 PM  
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