Admittedly, homestay à la kampung-style and eco-tourism are not everyone’s cup of tea. So, the time of departure from Bagan Datoh will depend on your interests here. One needs to return to Teluk Intan, before making an eastward cross to Sungkai via Jalan Changkat Jong / Pekan Pasir bypassing Bidor.
6. Head to Kampung Selabak , Teluk Intan
About 4km before reaching Teluk Intan town, visitors cannot miss the Kampung Selabak Pineapple Bazaar, located along Jalan Padang Tembak in Teluk Intan.
Kampung Selabak is well-known for its two varieties of pineapples; honey and lychee-flavoured. These freshly-harvested fruits from nearby pineapple plantations are must-buys for anyone who passes this way.
Other local fruits to pick are jambu air, bananas and cempedak. Let’s not forget salted fish, too!
GPS Coordinates: N 03° 59.847′ E 101° 2.83′
7. Sungkai Deer Farm
Continue travelling south-east along Jalan Changkat Jong for about 20km until you reach a junction and turn right eastward towards Pekan Pasir. From this junction, turn right and drive southward for about 7km to Sungkai.
Travel along the Sungkai – Kuala Lumpur main road until you reach a Shell gas station on your left. Immediately after the Shell station, turn left and drive straight along the Kampung Menderiang road for about 10km. Sungkai Deer Farm is located at the end of this road.
The Sungkai Deer Farm, set up in 1978, sits on a land measuring 100 hectares. Established and managed by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, it also provides a sanctuary for certain species of exotic birds and other wildlife, a positive effort towards conservation and prevention of their extinction.
Nature lovers would enjoy the great outdoors this farm offers; its long nature walks, and the opportunity to observe the animals up close. Children would particularly enjoy the change of scenery at Sungkai Deer Farm, a renowned deer farm in Malaysia.
Admission to the deer farm is free-of-charge. It is open from 2pm to 4pm (Mon-Thurs) and 2.45pm to 4pm (Fri). Group visits would require prior permission from the Perak Wildlife Department. For more information, contact the department at 05-243 6645.
GPS Coordinates: N 04° 01.901’ E 101° 22.169’
8. Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park
Drive back to the Shell petrol station junction. Turn left and drive southward along the Sungkai – Kuala Lumpur main road for about 5km until you come to the Sungai Klah junction. Turn left again and drive straight for about 10km until you come to the Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park. There are many signboards to guide you along the way.
Nestled in the serene and lush forest patches and surrounded by FELDA Plantation’s oil palm trees, the 6.5-hectare Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park was developed at a cost of RM6 million and opened to the public in December, 2003.
This unique park is designed to offer visitors hot spring water treatment, believed to be good for skin diseases and to rejuvenate overall health.
Sitting at the foothills of Titiwangsa Range and located some 200 feet above sea level, Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park is said to be one of the best managed hot spring parks in the country.
For those who are keen to enjoy the best that nature can offer, a visit to Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park is almost compulsory. Activities to enjoy, besides a dip in the hot spring are water reflexology, egg-boiling and even a splashing fun time at the mountain springs pool, where the water is cold, instead.
Sungai Klah Hot Springs Park is open daily from 8am to 7pm. Entrance fee is RM12 per adult and RM10 per child. Senior citizens and those with special needs enjoy discounted rates. For more information or to make reservations, call 05-438 8801.
GPS Coordinates: N 03° 59.878’ E 101° 23.598’
9. Dinner in Bidor
Retrace your route to the Sungkai – Kuala Lumpur main road. Turn right and drive straight to Bidor town for approximately 15km.
Formerly a vibrant tin mining town, Bidor swiftly became recognised as the place to stop for a meal for anyone who travels between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur. Reputed for its local delicacies and agricultural produces, obviously, visitors would be spoilt for choice come dinner time.
A must-try would be the duck drumstick noodles and wan ton noodles at Pun Chun Chicken Biscuit & Restaurant, which also offers signature snacks like chicken biscuits and “shat kek mah”. This restaurant, located at Nos. 38 & 40, Jalan Besar, 35500 Bidor, Perak, is open daily from 6am to 9.30pm. It is closed on the first and second day of Chinese Lunar New Year. Contact 05-434 1554.
GPS Coordinates: N 04° 06.699’ E 101° 17.258’
Other dinner options would be Noordin Nasi Kandar (tel: 016-502 1899) and Bidor Curry House (tel: 05-434 9048), both located along Jalan Besar, Bidor. They close at 8pm, so if you are looking for a spicy dinner, be there early. Noordin Nasi Kandar is closed on Sundays while Bidor Curry House closes one day a month.
On the way back to Ipoh, remember to pick up some crystal guava. Synonymous with the pineapples of Kampung Selabak in Teluk Intan, crystal guava is the local fruit to buy here. Also known as “seedless” guava, it actually has seeds, but fewer than normal guava fruits. Well-known for its sweetness, some even claim that it tastes like pear.
Return to Ipoh via the North-South Highway or alternatively, take the old trunk road.
Disclaimer: At the time of printing, all information has been verified and confirmed. They may be subject to changes over time.