Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Visiting Kukup

We were on our way to Desaru and thought it a good idea to go a little out of our way to visit Kukup. We even thought of putting up a night in one of the homestays there but glad we did not make any prior booking as after visiting Kukup, we found it not that nice a place after all.
Kukup is a small fishing village located on the muddy shores of Pontian District, some 40 km or so from Johor Bahru. Visitors will first arrive at Kukup town which comprises only one main street. This street is also a dead-end street for four-wheeled vehicles. Beyond this street are narrow alleys leading to the village houses and the sea. 
There is a ferry terminal at the end of the main street. There was hardly any space to park our vehicle so we had to make a detour to park at a private car park.
I learnt that you can go to Indonesia (Tanjung Balai) from this ferry terminal. Commuting passengers' traffic probably form a big bulk of this small town activities.
A small Chinese school in the town.
Despite being famous for seafood, there are surprisingly only a few seafood restaurants in Kukup.
This newly opened restaurant is located a few doors away from the ferry terminal.
Our itinerary includes dining at a seafood restaurant here.
It was slightly before noon and 'New Kukup Restaurant' was still empty.
The shellfish and baby squids were very fresh and taste wise a little above average. It was however not that cheap to dine here. There were only two of us so we could not try more varieties.
a shop in town
a shop in town
A few narrow alleys at the edge of the town lead to the fishing village.
The alleys are built on stilts above muddy land and are inaccessible to four-wheeled vehicles.
All the village houses are also built on stilts. Looking down you can see hundreds of mud skippers and lots of garbage.
Many stretches of alleys stink and I wonder how the residents could live healthily here.
drying shrimp paste (belacan)
During  high tides the garbage will be washed to sea  and I think this is not very good for the eco-system either.
The air got a little better when we approached the seafront.

Many kelongs are set up offshore, not for anglers but as fish farms to breed fish.
Seen here are a few fishermen returning with the day's catch.
Fishing trips can be arranged for angling enthusiast as advertised here.
Kukup Island which is located about 1 km offshore is visible from the village seafront. Visitors can take boat rides to visit the national park which is home to a mangrove forest.
There are also a number of chalet or homestays for visitors staying overnight.

So what is it that I do not like about Kukup? 
Probably, it is the haphazard setting of the town and village, the stench from below the muddy shores and the wanton throwing of rubbish. The seafood is not that cheap too considering this is a fishing village. A day trip yes, but to stay longer than that is something I would not recommend to anyone.

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