1 Day Tangkak Durian Tour + 2 Way Coach + Mount Ledang Waterfall Visit + Durian Buffet Lunch + Dinner + Insurance. Child and Adult Options Available.
… screams the headline on All Deals Asia. Yep, it is one of those online coupon sites. At S$54.00 (excluding driver tipping which was an additional S$5.00), covering “an air-conditioned coach” both ways and 2 meals, it was reasonably priced. I’ve been to a similar-ish tour (minus the waterfall but plus a mushroom farm visit) before and had a good time. Hence when EK mentioned it to ML & I, we decided to go for it.
Our tour was on Saturday 5 October 2013, conducted by AMW Travel Service Pte Ltd.
The meeting point was beside 168 coffee shop at People’s Park Centre in Chinatown, like 2 bus stops away from where I live, and thus, I made the 7am meeting time easy. I was too early, in fact. Got there like about 6:40am and simply stood around. Both EK & ML were late (EK was really late, arriving at like 7:20am, but she wasn’t the last), and I didn’t see anyone who looks like he/she was the tour representative. At about 7:05am, a few more peeps started to arrive and eventually the tour rep (who turned out to be the driver) appeared and took attendance. Gotta say I was pretty surprised to see a short list of like 15 peeps.
Anyway, cheers to the “punctuality” of Singaporeans! We eventually set off like 7:45am… in a van. Yep, so much for an “air-conditioned coach”. Furthermore, the van had a faulty air-conditioning system – thankfully I was sitting on the side that the vent worked LOL There was a slight jam leading up towards the Woodlands customs, a slight jam on the causeway and after, but that’s normal… it was a Saturday morning after all, and we did leave a little late.
First stop was a breakfast place, at our own expenses. Had a RM4.00 bowl of prawn noodles that was absolutely fabulous – this is one thing I really adore about Malaysia, the food 😉 After breakfast, we were off on the way to where we’ll have our lunch – the durian buffet. The journey took like 2hrs+ if I’m not wrong. I was half asleep the entire time so I wasn’t exactly looking @ my watch!
The lunch place was simple. It was an open-air fruit stall by the side of the streets with tables to accommodate like 20 peeps. There was fried bee hoon, chicken curry, an assortment of fruits (i.e. watermelon, guava, honeydew) and of cos, DURIAN. The friendly stall owner simply opened various types of durian and placed it on the tables in front of us. And yep, it’s free flow. We ate as much as we could, and we could request for only a certain type of durian to be opened.
It was delish. *\(^_^)/*
Post-lunch activity was visiting the Gunung Ledang (a.k.a. Mt Ophir) waterfall. From the carpark, it was a short walk along a paved road with a couple of small stalls @ the side, before hitting the main trail. The trail was straight-forward, with sections of steps and easily navigated. I’d estimate it to be somewhat around 3km one way. We were given 1.5hrs. Ample time to make it to the end of the trail and back, but insufficient should one wishes to take a soak in the waterfall – well, technically you could jump in for a bit, but there isn’t time to shower.
I’ve been to Gunung Ledang once before, but not the waterfall. The last time I was here, it was a Meetup group event, a hike to the summit instead that took way longer than 1.5hrs. It’s a lovely mountain, and a manageable hike with some sections that require scaling ladders and pulling oneself up a boulder surface with help of a rope. I wouldn’t say it is comfortable for beginners, but back then, I wasn’t running, I barely exercised but I still made it ok. I think that was like my 3rd or 4th mountain? The coming down was argghh but that has more to do than my short legs and fear of toppling over than anything else LOL).
Anyway the waterfall was a lovely sight. Nothing beats taking a break from the city on a weekend.
The trip went downhill (no pun intended) after the waterfall hike though. Prior to dinner, we were taken to 3 “shopping stops” to purchase local products. That was not mentioned in the itinerary! While I don’t mind making ONE shopping stop, as I do wanna get a honey lemon lime concentrate, 3 is overkill. What made it worse is that, at every stop, when the driver noticed that I didn’t purchase anything, he would ‘question’ me why – while he made it seem as if he was joking, his smile didn’t reach his eyes. Besides, I knew he wasn’t and it kinda irked me. I just hate being pushed to buy stuff. The worst was when he commented that aiyoyo teacher (that’s a popular drama series reference) will be angry and hit me if she knew I didn’t buy anything from Yoyo Store. Like seriously? Do I look like I’m 10? Ugh. Not cool.
Dinner was fine. A multiple course meal at a Chinese restaurant. The fare was standard; the taste was as expected from an establishment as such – nothing special. Then it was back to Singapore. Tour ended at People’s Park Centre. Wish the driver would have made a stop at Admirality or Kranji MRT Station instead, since I was due to go to a friend’s place in the North after. No idea why he wouldn’t, since most other tour drivers have multiple drop off points. – points for that!
On the overall, I had a good time though I daresay my previous experience was better. I’d definitely go for such a tour again should any of my friends want to, but the nxt time, I’d avoid this particular tour operator.
P.S. Durians are certainly NOT for everyone, and there is no in-between. You either love it, or you hate it. I’ve seen videos of the fruit being offered to Caucasians and the majority reacts very badly towards the taste. My bro claims it stinks, but most of my friends adore it. It has a pungent smell, and the flesh is custard-like with a pretty ‘strong’ taste. There are different grades varying in price & types – some sweet (my preference), some slightly bitter. One thing for sure, it is something that you have to try at least once in your Life =)
imho… how can anyone hate it?