We went to a kelong in Malaysia called “Ah Ngan”. This is one of four kelongs between the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia and Pulau Sibu. Starting from the north, the first is Ah Fatt, the second is which is supposed to be owned by Singaporeans, is called Hot Boys, the 3rd is Ah Ngan and the last is Ah Yew. We have been to Ah Fatt twice and this time we decided to try out Ah Ngan. I think they are more or less the same.
We had a great time. Compared to the ponds in Ipoh, there were much more fishes to be caught, especially if, like me, you are an ‘amateur’ and are satisfied with small fishes like Selar. For those who are interested to go, let me give you some details.
1) How to get there?
You need to first get to the jetty at Tanjung Leman which is about 120 km from the causeway. You take the route to Kota Tinggi and Mersing. About 90 km from JB you will see a big sign to turn right towards Tanjung Leman and Sibu Island Resort. After that it’s another 27 km through deserted oil palm plantations. About 11 km from the destination, you need to make a left turn. We started from Singapore at 7.00 am and reach Tanjung Leman at 10-something. We chose a weekday to avoid the traffic and the crowds. The boat came from the kelong to pick us up and 11-plus. The boat ride took about half an hour and we reached the kelong just in time for lunch. (I hope I've recalled my figures correctly)
2) What to do there?
Besides fishing, there is really nothing much else to do, although I saw some people watching videos and some mahjong tables. I understand that the kelong can arrange for you to visit Pulau Sibu or go snorkeling; but mostly people are just interested in fishing. It rained on both nights and I took the opportunity to catch up on some reading.
Conditions, as you should expect, are quite rough; but I did see some kids and young girls. You sleep on wooden double-decker bunks. Of course there is no hot water baths. Because of the rain, it was quite cold to bathe at night. With the cool rainy weather and the incessant sound of waves below us, I slept like a baby on both nights.
The food is surprisingly good.
3) What to bring?
Besides your fishing gear, you should bring along a big ice box to keep your catch. Ice is provided free-of-charge. Be sure to bring a big hat and long sleeves shirt to provide cover from the sun.
This is what the kelong looks like close up.
This snake-like fish is called a Todak. Some girls wanted to take pictures with our todak. I told them it will cost them only RM2 per shot :) Last year, my friend who introduced us to these kelongs, caught a big corbia which weighed more than 8 kg.
In one of my previous posts about kampongs, some readers asked about attap houses. For those who have never seen an attap roof close-up, here are few photos. I am really impressed that in spite of the heavy rains, no water seeped through the attap roof.
The attap leaves are arranged in an overlapping pattern like this and the water flows into a gutter and is drained away.
Do you know what these men are doing?
5) Contact details
I am afraid I only have the name cards of these two kelongs; Ah Fatt and Ah Lam (aka Ah Ngan). But if you do a search on the internet, you should be able to get details. Don’t worry if you forgot to bring along the contact phone numbers - they are prominently displayed on the wall at the Tanjung Leman Jetty cafeteria.