- Read 230 times
Eco Bike Tour
Most tourists who go to Melaka normally spend hours or even days to explore its historical sites. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage City, Melaka is well-known for its rich history and culture.
Unlike most cycling tours, the Eco Bike Tour combines two modes of transportation, the van and bicycle to discover the eco-side of Melaka.
traditional fishing jetty
We began our tour by van at Muara Sungai Duyung. This traditional deep sea fishing jetty that used to be located at Kampung Morten in the city centre of Melaka has been relocated here. This is an interesting place to visit, especially to those who have not seen a 1) traditional fishing jetty. We had the opportunity to step onboard wooden fishing boats and to mingle with the fishermen. A couple of fishermen even spent time showing and explaining the fish that they caught and demonstrated the method of making salted fish.
Twenty minutes into our journey, the van took us to Bukit Lintang, a village converted to 2) crops farming from rubber plantation. Cottage farmers are taught to farm vegetables, tapioca, cili padi (also known as cayenne pepper or needles pepper) and finished products from the crops with the objective to increase the socio-economic status of the villagers.
Tapping rubber tree milk
Young rubber tree
Having travelled 14.4km from Muara Sungai Duyung by van to Tiang Dua Village, we hopped on our bicycles at Jalan Bukit Lintang. From Jalan Bukit Lintang, we cycled for about 3km along Jalan Kampung Bukit Nibong to a small rubber estate to experience tapping and processing rubber. The owner of the rubber estate taught us the proper method of 3) tapping rubber tree milk. A 4) young rubber tree is nurtured in a nursery for 2 years before it is transferred and planted on the field for 4 more years. It takes approximately 6 years for a rubber tree to mature enough to produce latex. A rubber tree has a productive lifespan of 25 years.
Coagulated latex collected is then rolled into thin 5) rubber sheets and air-dried in a smoke house before it is sold to factories to manufacture different rubber products. Malaysia is one of the biggest producers of rubber in the world. The country is also known to be the world’s largest producer of latex medical gloves and condoms. It is interesting to visit a small rubber estate of this kind, not to mention that the owner also plants 6) mangoes and 7) bananas in the estate for their own consumption.
Our cycling trip became more interesting when we cycled a further 5km from Jalan Umbai through Jalan Bukit Lintang cutting into Jalan Ayer Molek for the 8) Indian Village at Taman Ayer Molek. The Indian village is originally built to serve as quarters for rubber estate workers. The estate that we visited this time has been converted to an oil palm estate.
Oil palm estate
Oil palm fruitlets
It was thrilling to walk through the 9) oil palm estate and see with our own eyes workers harvesting 10) oil palm fruitlets from the trees. The oil palm tree was introduced to Malaysia by the British in early 1870’s from West Africa.
Oil palm is a monoecious crop as it bears both male and female flowers on the same tree. Each tree produces compact bunches weighing between 10 and 25 kilograms with 1,000 to 3,000 fruitlets per bunch. Each fruitlet is almost elongated in shape. Generally, the fruitlet is dark purple, almost black, and the colour turns to orange red when ripe. Each fruitlet consists of a 11) hard kernel (seed) enclosed in a shell (endocarp) which is surrounded by a fleshy mesocarp. When harvested, palm oil and palm kernel oil are extracted from the fruitlets.
An oil palm tree will start bearing fruits after 30 months of field planting. It can grow up to sixty feet and more in height. The productive lifespan of an oil palm tree is 20 to 30 years. Similar with rubber, Malaysia is one the largest producers and exporters of palm oil in the world. Palm oil has high commercial values including production for cooking oil, fats, shortening, margarine, spreads, imitation dairy products, soaps, oleochemicals, and recently, biodiesel.
From the oil palm estate, we cycled further down the road to Jalan Tiang Dua and turned left to Jalan Gajus towards Tiang Dua New Village. The Chinese village was an 12) emergency settlement built between 1948 and 1960 to group villagers within a fenced compound during curfews. Although it’s been such a long time, we could still see wooden houses that have long been off sight to many of us in this modern age. This is also an interesting place to cycle at as moving further into the vicinity of the village showed us through local fruit orchards and 13) animal farms. If you come here during the right season, you will see durian, rambutan and langsat trees bearing fruits, and perhaps get the chance to taste them. We then cycled back to Jalan Bukit Lintang where we began, and ended our tour with mid-day local meal.
Cycling Route - Eco Bike Tour
This 38.96km Eco Bike Tour is great for those who fancy nature. The tour will take you away from the city to villages. This van-bicycle tour is good for leisure cyclists as you will only cycle around 15km along the countryside of the entire journey. The traffic along the route is not busy, but expect heavy vehicles frequenting the roads. There are also small climbs on tarred roads, combined with off-road riding as you enter the villages.
This cycling tour package is provided by:
GL Leisure Travel & Tour Sdn Bhd, No 17A, Lorong Setia 1, Ayer Keroh Heights, 75450 Melaka. Tel: 06-312 2155