GO Kampung | Hutan Melintang
Malaysia is wonderfully bestowed with stunning places, of which many have remained unknown and unpopular among tourists. As of late, there is an extensive outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) worldwide, causing public anxiety of travelling around, especially to places where crowds are expected.
Being parents with young children, we, of course, are concerned about the current situation which seems to be increasingly alarming. However, we didn't want to make this an excuse of being "confined" to indoors. One day, as we we were watching documentary about fishing villages in Peninsula Malaysia, we stumbled across Hutan Melintang, and made it our impromptu plan during the weekend.
THE LOCATION & JOURNEY
We took the inland route instead of the coastal road passing by Tanjung Karang and Sekinchan. It was an informed choice as the inland route passes by a lot of interesting FELDA settlements and remote rural countryside. Although we do pass by traditional villages quite often during our road trips, the settlements and outskirts along this route are just not quite same. The road sections between villages are largely lined by oil palm plantations at both sides. The houses in these villages and settlements have front yards which are tidy, organised and planted with beautiful flowers.
If you're interested to stop by these settlements and villages, you can mark these down in your navigation system: FELDA Sungai Tengi Selatan, FELDA Sungai Tengi, Kampung Soeharto and FELDA Gedangsa. Along the journey, there are also wildlife signages. We hadn't seen these signages is a long while, so it was thrilling.
As we were approaching Hutan Melintang, there were vast paddy fields, We even saw some egrets along the drainage surrounding paddy fields, such a sight to behold especially for us who have been living in a city without such luxury.
ABOUT HUTAN MELINTANG
Hutan Melintang is a mukim in Bagan Datuk District, Perak. With its location on the coast of the Strait of Malacca, it is unsurprising that majority of its population work in the fishing industry. Besides fishery, there are also several factories in Hutan Melintang manufacturing food products from seafood. As the main area of the village is modest and within easy walking distance, many visitors have made Hutan Melintang as a stop-by point when they explore nearby larger towns, such as Teluk Intan.
WHAT TO DO IN HUTAN MELINTANG
1. Men Lok Seafood Restaurant
Established in 1937, this was initially a traditional coffeeshop (or more fondly known as kopitiam in Malaysia), and three brothers have given it a transformation in 1979, making it one of the "iconic" seafood restaurant in Hutan Melintang. We aren't even kidding. Many day-trippers come to Hutan Melintang just to try out this seafood restaurant. Hence, don't miss it when you're here! Their signature dishes are prepared with the freshest seafood, hence no doubt on the quality. Don't miss out their mantis prawns, eel, baby shark's meat and crabs - all have received good reviews from food lovers.
As there were only two of us on that day (with a baby who doesn't eat out yet), we ordered Crispy Fried Mantis Prawns and Baby Squids, Steamed Fish Fillet and some vegetables to go with our lunch. We love all the dishes we ordered. The verdict? Total recommended!
Address: Men Lok Seafood Restaurant @ No 21, Main Road, Hutan Melintang, Perak.
Tel No : 605-6411484
Saturday - Thursday ~ 12PM - 5PM
Closes on Fridays
2. Walking around the banks of the river
To burn off the extra calories after the hearty lunch, try walking over to the banks of the river and watch with own eyes fishermen return and unload their catch. Hutan Melintang is one of the biggest fishing villages in Malaysia, so plan it into your itinerary.
3. Explore Teluk Intan
Teluk Intan is just a 30-minute drive away. It makes all sense to also visit Teluk Intan during the trip. Teluk Intan is the largest town in Hilir Perak, with several attractions to explore and scrumptious local delicacy to sample.
MAKING IT A DAY TRIP
If you have a whole day to spare and wish to make full use of it, there's our suggested day trip itinerary:
9:00AM - Begin the journey from Kuala Lumpur. Depending on the route you're taking (we highly recommend the route in the map below), take your time and enjoy the scenery along the journey.
12:00PM - You should arrive in Hutan Melintang at noon. Just about time for lunch at Men Lok Seafood Restaurant. After lunch, walk over to the river banks. It offers beautiful view of the fishing village.
2:00PM - Take your time to enjoy Teluk Intan! Not-to-be-missed, the Menara Condong Teluk Intan (Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan) and also the very famous Liew Kee Chee Cheong Fun.
4:00PM - Make a quick pit stop at Langkap to try out the famous pao. It makes a good tea time snack.
5:00PM - If you're keen to wait for dinner hour around this area, Mambang di Awan is another small town that you can explore.
6:30PM - Drive further to Tanjung Tualang for dinner. This town is famous for their freshwater prawns. There are several restaurants serving prawns, make a comparison before you choose.
After dinner, it's time to head back to Kuala Lumpur feeling rejuvenated and satisfied.
It's good to sometimes venture out to explore all these lesser-known places in Malaysia. It reminds us how thankful we are to be able to live in such a blessed country with so many hidden gems awaiting us.