3 DAYS 2 NIGHTS – from RM450/pax
Freshened up, recharged and jom! It was our favourite time of the day, around 5 in the evening. This was the time when the sun was setting and the air was cooling down. After 20 minute car drive, we arrived in Kuala Perlis.
Upon our arrival, as we took a deep breath in, a familiar scent filled our noses. It was the smell of the seashore. Situated opposite to Kuala Perlis Ferry Terminal, where ferries from Langkawi dock, 1 Nat Modern is an IKS (Industri Kecil Sederhana) Center that promotes products like carpentry, carving, handicraft, local titbits, cooking ingredients and so on produced by local SME (Small Medium Enterprises) in Perlis. Nat means market in Thai. Apart from selling IKS products, the café is furnished with tables and chairs for visitors to rest and sample light meals. The development of IKS center has seen its results in enhancing the tourism sector of Perlis as tourists were plying the café for souvenirs.
The waves were crawling gently to the shore. 2 Kuala Perlis Ferry Terminal is the main port and ferry terminal of Kuala Perlis. It is a fishing town located just 13km off Kangar. It is important for visitors heading to the famed Langkawi Island while Padang Besar is one of the major entry point for visitors from Thailand traveling by road or rail into Peninsular Malaysia. Also, seafood restaurants can be found in this small fishing town. Not only is the seafood fresh in Kuala Perlis, it is relatively cheaper too. Enjoy eating seafood that you love, having them fried, barbequed, grilled, or sautéed. “Floating” next to the port is 3 Majilis Al-Hussain. This place of worship has an architecture that rests upon the aquatic beauty surrounding it. Built on seashore, the mosque appears as if floating on the sea during high tide when the supporting pillars submerged in sea water. This floating mosque surrenders to the fresh seaside smell and the great expanse of the Straits of Malacca. It took four years to complete at a cost of about RM12.4 million. And, paying attention to the details of the architecture, one would notice how it was structured to match the environment where it sits. Stained glass windows are open to greet the sea air and the walls of the mosque are not painted but finished with different types of coral rocks, quartz, granite, marble and pebbles. Even the dome is golden yellow in colour with a blue motif that resemble the official colours of the state.
But what really unique to this mosque is that, at each time for prayer, a shaft of light with either red, blue, white or green colour will be lit for the fishermen in the sea to know what time and which prayer should be said. For instances, blue light indicates as an announcement for Subur or Maghirb (Morning Prayer at 7am), green indicates Isyak (Evening Prayer at 9pm). Also serves as a lighthouse for boats, the mosque is open to all visitors as one of its functions is to serve as a tourist attraction.
Cycling further, we arrived at Kampung Belacan (shrimp paste village). As its byname suggests, this place is crammed with shrimp paste home factories. 4 Belacan (shrimp paste) is a common yet one of the many favourite ingredients used in cooking in Malaysia especially for curry and chili sauces.
The core ingredient of Belacan is udang kepai / udang garagau, small shrimps that are usually found along the coastal waters of Straits of Malacca. The shrimps are first dried under the sun before being soaked in salted water for 1 – 2 days. The shrimps will then be drained, dried under the sun for another two hours again, collected, and put into the blending machine for processing. Now you have your belacan! Before we made our move, we even purchased two packs of belacan to take back home. It’s sold at only RM1 per chunk!
Next on, be seduced by the beauty and tranquility of this picturesque fishing village, 5 Kuala Sungai Baru! The ambience felt as if time had stopped while seeing fishermen take a boat out to the sea, children playing by the water and a fish drying next to the port. Surrounded by traditional fishing boats, a local characteristic of these wooden boats is that they create a particular scenic effect, painted in bright red, green, yellow and blue.
The colours reflected beautifully in the blue sea of the bay. The fishermen’ diligences significantly created an impact on their lifestyles. Without their hard-work, we would not be able to taste fresh catches from markets or seafood restaurants.