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WHAT A NICE PLACE !

study trip to Lumut, Perak in Malaysia

This is my sketch of the dormitory. A Malay kampong charm. It is called the Chalet G7 at Kampung Baharu, near Lumut in Perak, Malaysia

14 second year students, and two lecturers visited Kampong Baharu, Lumut and Pangkok Island from 9 July to 14 July 2000.It was a study trip, which evoked old and nostalgic experiences for me, but for the students who grew up in the urban city, the kampong lifestyle was rough on the first day but enjoyable towards the end of the trip.

The site is on the banks of the River Dingdings. It is within a Malay village which is spread out along the banks of the river, and back into the hinterland. The local industries are chicken farming, fishing (both larger boats at the local jetty, and smaller boats along the river banks), durian growing, and rubber/palm plantations.

The owner of the Chalet G7 is HJ Zainal Bin Mat Isa, he is also the Pengurus (Headman) of the Malay Village. He tells me that the total population for Kampong Baharu is approximately 2000 Chinese and 250 Malay.

There is only one main road from the nearest town (Sitiawan) that stops abruptly when it runs into the local jetty. On either side of this road are several old (75 years), two-storey shop-houses built in timber frame and cladding. The shop-houses have a couple of general stores, a coffee-shop, Indian and Malay roti/coffee stalls, and two Chinese seafood restaurants. There are plenty of stray cats and dogs around. There are also plenty of chickens but these belong to the locals. NEW BAY - one of the Chinese seafood restaurants serves delicious local dishes. Yummy! Mr Wong's coffee and kaya bread are also my favourite daily breakfast.

Along the river is Chalet G7 - one of three local resorts providing economy chalet and dormitory accommodation for family and student groups. The area is subject to being waterlogged rather than actual flooding.

It's a "getaway from town" sort of place. Slow-moving, somewhat messy, laid-back, littered, friendly, open. Visitors come to relax, see and experience kampong life, fish, go canoeing and trekking, and have barbeques.



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