Despite the fact that Malaysia has moved into the Recovery Movement Control Order, many are still taking the wait-and-see approach when it comes to travelling interstate. For Klang Valley residents who wish to assuage their cabin fever without fear or worry, it is good to know that Selangor is not short of choices when it comes to scenic spots.
One of the most popular destinations for a day or even an overnight trip has been Sekinchan. Called “Sik Kang Chong” in Cantonese, which may be loosely translated as “the village that is good for plantations”, the coastal town is home to a lively fishing village and acres and acres of beautiful paddy fields. Sekinchan is, in fact, one of the country’s major rice producing hubs with one of the highest yields nationwide.
All it takes is a 1½-hour drive north from Kuala Lumpur to reach this blissful part of Selangor where vast fields of paddy, allotted by parcels and neatly irrigated, stretch as far as the eye can see. For those who wish to enjoy the emerald-hued panorama, climb up the tower of the pagoda at Nan Tian Temple, perched right in the middle of a rice field, for a sight that is truly made for sore eyes.
For local boy and renowned photographer Heng Mok Zung, who prefers the mononym Zung, Covid-19 forced him to consider a career pivot post-haste. A celebrated lensman who has photographed a slew of luminaries ranging from the Dalai Lama and Richard Branson, to Andrea Bocelli and even three US presidents, he acknowledges that the pandemic hit his business hard. “The bulk of my work is photographing weddings and events in overseas locations. So, as you can imagine, 95% of my bookings and assignments got cancelled almost overnight.”
Born at the local hospital on March 28, 1978 — “the same day, but not the same year, as Lady Gaga,” he cheekily quips — Zung is the youngest of a fisherman and homemaker’s seven children. He is a Sekinchan boy through and through, catching frogs and fish in the area while growing up, studying at the Yoke Kuan primary and secondary schools and developing a life-long love for the paddy fields and the laidback charms of his rustic hometown. Zung has long been championing Sekinchan’s sights and sounds, often cajoling his high society friends and the cool kids of KL to brave the drive and spend a few hours trying out the seafood restaurants, checking out the local must-sees and must-buys and generally feeling far away and relaxed, yet with the bright lights of KL just a short drive away. In fact, on clear days, the outline of Genting Highlands can be seen in the hills just yonder.
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