A few days ago, we made a trip to Taiping with our friends. Before we arrived, my friend has made bookings to a few places of interests for all of us to visit during our 3 days 2 nights stay in Taiping.
The first visit is the Kuala Sepetang Charcoal Factory. It is such an eye-opener. We learned that the charcoals in Kuala Sepetang are from the mangrove trees (pokok bakau) that are grown in this area. Only trees that are 30 years old can be used to turn into charcoals and a reforestation programme of the mangrove forest is in place.
The boat ferrying the logs back from the mangrove forest
Our guide, Ms. Tia, explained to us that the barks from the mangrove trees were used as dye by the fishermen in the olden days. The dye would make their shirts wind-proof so that they would be warm when they were at the sea. We also tried our hands in dyeing by using different objects to make some patterns.
Our guide explaining to us the usage of the tree barks
The red dye and the knick-knacks we used for our project.
Our crafts out in the sun. Pretty right?
Missy trying her hands at removing the barks from the log. It is not easy for us. We were told that the workers are paid 20 cents per log. So little eh?
We were then given the tour of the charcoal factory by KY, the 3rd generation owner of the charcoal factory. He explained to us the process of making charcoals and etc. There were lots of Maths and Science questions thrown by him to us *chuckle* Remember to do some revision before you go for the tour.
This is one of the huge kilns for baking the mangrove tree logs.
The charcoals made in this factory have a glossy effect. This means that the charcoals are very good quality. About 70% are exported to Japan. KY even baked some sweet potatoes for us and they were so flavourful. It was such a delightful tour and after this trip, we all appreciate charcoals more.
Next was a visit to the Joss stick factory which is also in Sepetang. This factory is famous for its mega huge joss sticks which they supply to Chinese temples.
Big joss sticks are being dried before they can be spray-painted with colours.
The worker crafting a design which looks like a Chinese deity.
The handcrafted figurines for the jossticks
Next time we want to try the Matang Mangrove Forest Tour as it has scenic views and abundant native wildlife. If you are interested on a tour to the above places that I have visited, you may contact Ms. Tia, our eco-guide at mobile no. +6012 3055450.
Read more of our trip here and here.