Friday, June 12, 2009

Cuti Malaysia! : Lis Na Ree, Penaga Laut, Warung Mizi

For our 3-day vacation over the national cuti sekolah (school holiday) break, we chose the Lis Na Ree Resort just 1 km down the road from the Sanctuary Resort in Kampung Sungai Ular.

(Right: Pool at Lis Na Ree resort, Penaga Laut tree at far end)

We chose the Lis Na Ree resort for the fact that it was cheaper than the Sanctuary Resort, even though the Sanctuary sits right beside the estuary (kuala) of the Sungai Ular, from where boats leave for Pulau Ular. The Sanctuary is a condominium development that rents out 2-bedroom and 3-bedroom apartments, which makes the cost quite prohibitive for just two people. Thus, we chose the Lis Na Ree, just down the road.

One nice thing about the Lis Na Ree is their pool, which is not exceptional save for the large Penaga Laut (Calophyllum inophyllum) tree at one end which produces abundant shade and fragrant white flowers. In the morning, after a strong rainstorm the night before, you can also find its green ping-pong ball size fruit bobbing in the pool.

It is this ability to float (called drift seeds) that has enabled the Penaga Laut to colonize many islands in the South China Sea, and Indian and Pacific oceans. What gives the bouyancy are internal air cavities and a thick fruit shell that prevents both water-logging and sinking.

The tree typically grows on the crest of sand dunes and beaches, which stabilises the beach, and it produces long, low-hanging branches that make for great shade and hammock mounts. As the photo shows, the Lis Na Ree has done a good job in building around this tree rather than displacing it.

The day before our island trip, we hosted the children of my colleague and her sister. Children and swimming pools go together like bread-and-butter, and these four children (one not in photo) had a blast splashing and getting comfortable being in the water. In fact, the Lis Na Ree is quite popular with families since the parents can sit on the steps leading up to the pool-side rooms and watch their children only feet away. For us, we actually enjoy the sound of children splashing, and laughing (squealing with joy). Very pleasant sounds.

Of course, what would vacation be without a decent eating spot? Our first morning found us driving down the road to find the kedai/warung with the most cars parked beside it. Kampung Sungai Ular's hot-spot turns out to be Warung Mizi. Our choice was confirmed when in our 30 minutes at the shop, we watched around 10 different snack sellers bring their wares to the warung to be sold (donuts, kuih, springrolls, sweet-sticky rice, etc.). This is quite common in Malaysia -sort of a cottage industry- whereby (mostly) women prepare a plate of snacks to be sold at the local shop. This gives a bit of extra income to the housewife and provides the shop with a larger selection of finger foods for their customers.

(To be continued....)

No comments:

Post a Comment