Tourist @ Home : Tambun Pomelo Farm & Tibetian Buddhist TempleMay 1, 2012 | 21,589 views
A ray of sunlight falling on the peeled pomelo; a fruit indigenous to Asia and here in our country; the small town of Tambun in Ipoh steals the limelight for mass cultivation of the citrus fruit.
“The pomelo (Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis) is a crisp citrus fruit native to South and Southeast Asia. It is usually pale green to yellow when ripe, with sweet white (or, more rarely, pink or red) flesh and very thick albedo (rind pith).” (Source : Wikipedia)
Pomeloes are also known as ‘limau Bali’ referring to its island of origin more than a century ago where legend has it that a Chinese trader brought the fruit to Malaya, and also ‘limau Tambun’ since the Perak state government had laid claims to the citrus fruit that has become a hot favourite of publicity/media coverage and incorporated into a key development segment in agro-tourism for the state.
However, Tambun is not only famous for the pomeloes. There is also the renowned hot springs of Tambun, the Lost World of Tambun (a theme park near Sunway City) and a Tibetian Buddhist Temple lying by the foothills of Ipoh’s impressive stretch of limestone hills.
Tambun Tibetian Temple, also known as Jingang Jing She by the locals; is surrounded by magnificent perimeters of luscious valleys, orchards and limestone hills. The path leading to the temple may require a wee bit of maneuvering of your vehicle; though the journey was pittance in comparison to the outcome.
This temple was built back in 1975; and my parents have always commented that we have been here when we were kids; buying off fresh produce such as papayas and pomeloes from the farmers around the area back in the 80’s. However, I have lost all stakes to this shady part of my memory, and the (re)discovery of this temple two years ago got my interest all piqued up again.
Here I was thinking that aside from the few renowned cave temples of Ipoh, there are no other temples of much grander scale in Ipoh. But I was wrong.
Seemingly, a certain Mr Fu Ah Kau; owner of an orchard in Tambun built this temple and transformed the formerly dilapidated wooden form to a commendable setup of temples, pagodas and shrines today. Fu was a follower of the late Nepalese meditation master; Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, hence the Tibetian inspirations for this temple.
The >200 statues displayed in the temple was a sight to behold. The amalgam of influences rendered the decorations, statues, deities and paintings slightly different from the common Buddhist or Taoist temples.
The tallest Buddha statue in Perak (standing at 24 metres tall)
The symbolic Tibetian golden prayer wheels at the monastery
And a Dragon statue that’s larger than life beyond the steel mesh
Around the shrines you can find various orchards punctuated by lush greenery; from pomelo trees (what else?) to jackfruit, starfruit, bananas, papayas and guava.
Since Wesak Day is coming this Saturday (5th of May 2012), why not considering a trip to Tambun Tibetian Temple for a fresh perspective of how believers celebrate the occasion?
Within a kilometer or two away, you can visit the Chin’s Pomelo Farm that is open to public.
This famous orchard was highlighted in various media and featured in The Star before.
Along the road leading to Ampang Baru from Tambun (the map to come at the end of this post), you will pass by several pomelo farms lining the side of the road; with stalls and some larger premises capitalizing on the throngs of tourists dropping by come weekends or public holidays.
The pomeloes come in differing shapes and sizes; priced at an average of RM10 (USD3.30) each, and goes up to RM18 (USD6) or more for the larger and juicier varieties.
More importantly, state whether you are looking for the sweet pomelo (pale, beige/cream colour) or the sour pomelo (pink flesh). And when do you want to eat them. Some are ripe enough to be peeled and relished on the spot, while there are those that need a few more days (usually for prayers, whereby you can place the pomelo at the altar for up to weeks).
Regardless of your preference, remember to BARGAIN if you’re a natural at this … I’m not, hence I always use my charm (or lack thereof), or strike up a conversation with the owner(s) to express appreciation, fascination or plain annoy them until they reduce the price to a reasonable sum.
After all, I am a local boy and I know my pomeloes like the back of my hand.
However, the clicking of my camera gave the cover away. Thankfully, the lady attending to my incessant queries (like always) was kind enough to slash a few ringgit off the price; for she admitted that pomeloes are not in season; hence the poorer quality of the fruits.
Wow. Talk about honesty. Kudos for that.
Orchards in Tambun are also fertile grounds for starfruits, guavas and even tangerines; if those are what I think they are.
There is no denying the intoxicating aroma of freshly-peeled pomeloes; a waft of citrusy fragrance permeated with light hints of sweet tones and a juicy finish; perspiring from the gaps in the bitter, membranous material enveloping the flesh.
Pomeloes are best eaten fresh; capitalizing on the juiciest moments once peeled. Once refrigerated, the fruit still tastes good but gradually drying up by the process. The sour version (with pinkish flesh) is best served in salads; or blended into juices.
TAMBUN TIBETIAN TEMPLE
Off Jalan Ampang (Jalan Ampang Baru 6 in Google Maps)
Tambun, 31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
GPS : E101 8 41.4 N4 35 45.4
Directions : Coming from Jalan Tambun towards Tambun town and Sunway City, you will pass by Hospital Pantai Putri on your left at the crossroad. Go straight until you reach Tambun town; and turn RIGHT at the traffic lights where you can see the Tambun police station directly opposite of you. This road is Jalan Ampang Baru 6. Go straight but take note of signboards indicating PERSATUAN ENLIGHTENED HEART BUDDHIST, or TAMBUN TIBETAN TEMPLE, or PERSATUAN PENGANUT DEWA JINGANG JING SHE to your LEFT. Turn in, and about 1km into the small alley, you will see the temple.
GERAI LIMAU TAMBUN CHIN
158258A, Jalan Ampang,
Tambun, 31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Tel No : +605-549 7309, +6016-593 5912
Directions : Coming out from the Tibetian Temple towards Ampang Baru’s direction (turn LEFT instead of right that will lead you back to Tambun town), you will pass by a small shop on your RIGHT selling pomeloes and various fruits. This is the pomelo farm I have written about in this post.