Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The Ipoh Pomelo Trail

Ipoh, Malaysia, is famous for its pomelos, the world’s largest citrus fruit. The limestone soils and local climate appear to encourage the sweet flavour of the local produce. In my article of 6th May 2015, ‘The Famous Pomelos of Ipoh’, I indicated two easily-discoverable locations along the pomelo trail: The Hentian Limau Tambun; and also at Jalan Tambun.

This year, during our visit to Malaysia, and to Ipoh in particular, we planned to seek out the stalls of pomelo orchards along Jalan Ampang Baru. In fact, this was not our primary purpose in visiting this part of Ipoh: our intention was to visit the Enlightened Heart Tibetan Temple, and then check out the fruit stalls as we returned to our lodgings.

A scenic view of the famed limestone hills of Tambun along the Ampang Baru Road

So, on completing our visit to the enthralling Enlightened Heart Tibetan Temple, we turned left along Jalan Ampang Baru, heading towards the suburb of Ampang. A very short drive from the temple, our first port of call was at the Go Chin Pomelo Nature Park. Clearly marked for tourists, you would need to be asleep to miss the Chin Farm. Even then, the speed humps in front of the farm would bump-awake a drowsy driver.

Here, we were able to stroll along a defined path through the orchard. Aside from the luxuriant pomelo trees, there were some enormous old starfruit trees in full flower, the walkways lined for part of the way with lovely bonsai specimens.

The clearly marked front entrance of the Go Chin Pomelo Nature Park

The walkways of the Nature Park are lined with lovely bonsai plants

This day was a quiet day. Consequently, inside the stall itself, we were able to converse with the owner and his assistant… In Malaysia, we can usually find a language of conversation. On this occasion, we chatted away in a mixture of English and Malay. As the proud owner of two young pomelo trees in Sydney, the discussion was invaluable for me, particularly in regard to possible Sydney ripening times.

Needless to say, we purchased sweet, white pomelos, not only for our consumption, but also as gifts for family and friends whom we would be visiting.

Departing the Go Chin Pomelo Nature Park, we continued along the Ampang Baru Road, discovering a number of other pomelo stalls. These, we would pop into in our subsequent weekly visits to Ipoh…

Small pomelo stalls, fruit shops, and larger stores established to draw the passing tourist buses, dot the Ampang Baru Road. In our subsequent shopping days, we were able to purchase not only pomelos, but also local and Thai mangoes, red as well as yellow rambutan, mangosteens and bananas. As a starting-point for an education about Malaysian tropical fruit, a drive along Jalan Ampang Baru is an excellent idea.

A larger fruit and pomelo stall, the Niu Kee...

A myriad of tropical fruits are on sale at some of the stalls

Thai Maha Chanok mangoes
Red, as well as yellow, Rambutan hang invitingly at the Xian Fatt roadside fruit stall

By the way, when visiting Jalan Ampang Baru, the Tibetan Temple is a must-visit! Please add it to your Ipoh itinerary.

Wishing you hours of enjoyment and contentment in your garden…

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