GRAND TOUR – DAY 3
Breakfast. Curry Mee Hoon and coffee.
It was a bit too spicy for breakfast but filling enough to keep me going as I continued my travels southwards.
It was quite a varied day, starting with a pineapple museum near Pekan Nanas. The museum, like Malaysia’s pineapple industry, has probably seen better days.
The chart showed that Malaysia was the 13th biggest producer of pineapples in 1990. By 2001 Malaysia had fallen to 18th place and I suspect it has dropped further since then as pineapple plantations have been replaced by more lucrative crops such as oil palm (and property developments!).
Next stop was the Bugis Museum near Pontian. This museum is supposed to showcase the culture of the Bugis people who originate from Sulawesi in Indonesia and who have played a big role in Malaysia’s history. Inexplicably the exhibits included a NAAFI beer mug, a couple of jelly moulds and a glass lemon squeezer just like the one we have at home!
Kukup Laut was interesting. This is a Chinese fishing community whose homes are built on stilts along a stretch of swampy mangrove coastline. The older homes are made of wood but the newer ones are concrete and getting larger and more fancy. Some are rented out for tourists. There are plenty of seafood restaurants at Kukup.
A few kilometres from here is Tanjung Piai which is as far south as you can get on the mainland of Asia – the Asian equivalent of Lands End. The headland is a mangrove forest maintained as a national park with boardwalks, observation towers and a monument marking the southernmost point. From here you can see queues of supertankers on their way to or from neighbouring Singapore which is clearly visible. By the way, Cape Chelyuskin in Russia is normally regarded as the northernmost point of Asia in case you are interested in doing a Michael Palin style north-to-south expedition.