8/17/2013

Raptor Watch 2013

Sis participated in this annual event last year so we decided to go there this time with our mom. Organized by the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), Raptor Watch celebrates the return of the raptors, bird of prey that pass by Tanjung Tuan as they migrate back to the Northern hemisphere from Australia. Tanjung Tuan is a funny piece of land that sits at the tip of Negeri Sembilan but actually belongs to Melaka. The event is fun for everyone, especially for bird watchers as you can easily see these spectacular birds circling overhead. 

We drove down from KL on the Sat morning of the event and headed straight for the action. The event is held on the field owned by the hotel PNB Ilham as it's strategically located near Tg Tuan and the mangrove forests nearby. There were tents everywhere as sponsors and affiliates show their support. MNS organizes nature walks through the forest reserve and the mangrove forest for a fee (think of it as a donation to the cause). We signed up for the forest walk and the mangrove walk. The guide are trained volunteers with the society and they happily explained the ecosystem and the wildlife within these habitats. 

After the forest walk, we made a short walk up to Cape Rachado Lighthouse where we took in the sun and the sight of the sea. Then we hiked down to a quiet stretch of beach near a mangrove forest. The sound of the sea and the birds in the distance was really soothing and we strolled under the shade, drinking in the sights. The hike back up was torturous though but it was worth it!

The mangrove walk was short and sweet. The guide talked about the importance of mangrove forests and it's amazing how the mangrove trees adapted to survive the harsh salt water environment. 
A tiny crab

We had lunch at the resort then checked in at the apartment we rented for our stay. It was spacious and we took a deep nap before driving out to town for dinner at the famous Soon Huat restaurant. The restaurant is right at the edge of a fishing village and we ordered the specialty dishes. After the dinner we went back and settled in for the night. 
Yes this is the way to the restaurant
The fishing village

Dusk at the fishing village
Stir-fried paku pakis
Nestum crayfish
Lala with Chinese wine

The next day, we checked out and headed to the Lukut Museum. There's the old fort up the hill; built by Raja Jumaat, the fortress used to overlook the tin mining activities and eventually came to ruin when the workers staged a mutiny and outsed the king. Unfortunately there were no markers or signages to explain the layout of the fortress and the history, so it was hard to appreciate the remaining stone walls and the landscape. The museum was interesting; there were descriptions of Lukut's history and well-preserved artifacts. Entry is free. Tip: There are monkeys in the trees near the old fort so be careful!

After the museum we went to Lukut town and had lunch at the popular Restaurant. The most famous dish here is the pau. The pork curry was thick and super delicious, a perfect dip for the warm bun! We couldn't finish so we brought it back. Off to Seremban for dessert at Haji Shariff Cendol! The cendol and rojak was the pulling force for the many patrons there. I gotta say: you can never go wrong with cendol with the right texture and perfect combination of brown sugar with coconut milk!
Curry glory

It was my first time to Port Dickson and I now understand why so many urbanites flock there for the weekends; maybe it's the lull of the seaside or the proximity of so many eating places in and around the area. On another note, I'm glad I joined the Raptor Watch event and it's certainly a commendable effort to raise awareness of our mangrove forests as well as the survival of the majestic raptors! 

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