Bagan Datuk is a small town nestled in the Southwestern part of Perak. A neighbour to the famed Teluk Intan and other coastal villages, the town was formerly called Bagan Datoh.
Our attention was always on the beach and the leaning tower in Teluk Intan, hence, the charm of this town remained very much unnoticed. It is time we make a change, so Ipoh Echo went on a short trip with Marie Lai and wandered into the remote town to check out what’s on offer.
The drive from Ipoh takes about two hours. You know you have arrived at the village when you see yourself surrounded by coconut trees, the most prominent landmark standing tall in both directions in the plantations surrounding the roads. The warm welcome from the large palm trees extends all the way to the townside of the village.
The one-day excursion took the group to various points of interest including Teluk Intan.
- Waterfront Bagan Datuk
A stretch of colourful shophouses along the road leading to the waterfront on both sides has a fair blend of the past and present. The multifunctional two-storey terraced houses appeared in two phases: slightly decayed with fading colours and buildings that looked like they had gone through a major refurbishment.
This is one of the best spots for the street photographers to document pictures of strangers and unique structures of buildings. Add to your album of street art collection!
There is also a vivid signage with a ‘Welcome to Bagan Datuk’ displayed at the waterfront. Of course, it is there for a reason: for us fellow visitors to take photos as well as to welcome us to the coconut town.
Next to it are several coconut husk structures arranged in a semicircle. Delightfully, they are big enough to serve as much-needed shade from the scorching weather.
Other than that, it is an ideal recreational place to enjoy the coastal view and picnic with your friends and family.
Across the river, there is a floating mosque under construction. The architectural features of the house of worship can be seen from afar. Its arched entryways is one most noticeable element apart from the vibrant blue colour of the dome of the mosque.
- Bagan Datuk Sunflower Garden
The next adventure treasure is the Bagan Datuk Sunflower Garden tucked in the serene neighbourhood. Although some of the houses in the area were deserted, the trip into the garden was interesting.
Sunflowers don’t produce any aroma, though they can have a very mild creaminess and rubbery scent. The bright orange-yellow flowers have many talents, especially one in giving your social media posts an artistic flair.
From interior and exterior decorative subjects to creating a mood for contemporary occasions and adding a character to a wedding celebration, sunflowers never fail to bring a new vibe with them.
You can relax and enjoy the scene at the nearby resting huts. There are plenty of Instagram-worthy spots for you to share on your social media account. Where else can you get a backdrop with a perfect touch of light radiating from the warm undertone of the flowers? At the moment, only at the Bagan Datuk Sunflower Garden!
Fish pellets will be handed to you at the ticket counter after paying for the entrance ticket: RM13 for adults; RM10 for kids aged between seven to 11; and RM5 for children from three to five years old. The garden is open daily from 9am to 7.30pm.
Those who would like to make friends with the small animals can get the package ticket which is RM20 per person. Sunflowers seeds also can be purchased.
Next destination: Teluk Intan
- Liew Kee (Ah Lek) Chee Cheong Fun
What’s so special about the steamed rice noodles here? It is so conveniently available anywhere. Well, unlike the ones commonly served in Ipoh, the chee cheong fun here doesn’t come with any sauces, whether it’s chilli oil, sweet sauce or soy sauce.
There is also no meat or seafood fillings in this one, and they come in packets. So, all you need to do is tell the workers how many you want. And then, you can indulge in a little tea time at the local coffee shop (kopitiam at the corner) adjacent to Liew Kee.
It’s even written on the board that customers are allowed to bring in outside food.
The not so secret ingredients in Liew Kee Chee Cheong Fun are turnips, dried shrimps and preserved vegetables.
Upon unwrapping the paper packet, the aroma from the fried dried shrimps and oil drifts into the air. The noodles are thin and smooth in your mouth. The chewy texture of the rice noodles added to the allure and enhanced the eating experience.
- Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan
Many have heard of or visited the famous leaning tower but its history is still a mystery to most of us. Some might have thought that the slanting structure was intended to get the public’s attention.
In reality, the slanting only happened a few years after its construction in 1885. Having served as a water reservoir for the community, the Pagoda-like tower couldn’t bear the weight of the water, and combined with the flood that occurred 10 years later that loosened the soil around its base, it gradually began slanting.
The tower may look 10 storeys high, but it only has three floors.
Among other places worth visiting are the Riverfront Teluk Intan, Hock Soon Keong temple and Sin Guan Hoe Biskut.