Thursday, November 05, 2015
Weekend Getaway at Tanjung Balai - Day 2
We woke up very early for breakfast at the hotel's tiny cafe. There were fried noodles and savoury porridge cooked by the hotel owner's wife. We could also request for soft boiled eggs.
After breakfast, we hired a car to bring us to the largest local wet market. The 3-storey building houses two levels of stalls selling dried goods, spices, poultry, meat, seafood, fruits and vegetable, with a cooked food centre on the third level.
My friend wanted to buy some salted fish, petai, passionfruits and snake skin fruits (buah salak). We saw some interesting fruits and vegetables available only in Indonesia. We couldn't understand the names in Bahasa Indonesia. hehe....
My friend bought some small salak fruits which I find expensive. We then drove around the city looking for fruits but to no avail, many street stalls and shops were not opened for business yet.
We decided to go to a local Guanyin temple as it's the Bodhisattva's Leaving Home Day celebration. The guys paid S$2 for the incense offerings. After prayers, we were treated to a scrumptious vegetarian meal cooked by the abbot of the temple. The locals were hospitable and kept piling us with food and drinks. They probably felt honoured to have overseas visitors.
As we were leaving the temple, we noticed a swallow house opposite it. There are quite a number of swallow houses on the island, we found them in the city and in the villages.
Our driver lamented that there were much lesser swallows on the island. His family owns a swallow house and a few years ago, they could collect 10 kg of unprocessed bird's nest per month but now, they would be lucky to collect 1 kg every 6 months.
We proceeded to look for food stuff to buy. My friend finally found some big salaks. I am surprised to see that they grow in clusters.
I saw a shop selling Indonesian products and bought some cakes and fish crackers to bring back to Singapore.
The delicious fish crackers didn't make it to Singapore. They were devoured on Indonesia waters on our way home by ferry. hahaha....