After a great two days in the Cameron Highlands, we headed back into the heat with our next destination being Taiping. It’s not really on the backpackers trail and there’s no hostels but it broke up our journey up north and fingers crossed we’ll find some great places to eat.
We caught the bus to Taiping via Ipoh. The bus journey was not too bad but during our wait for the second bus at Ipoh bus station we both felt a bit bloated…a sure sign that something was not right!
When we finally arrived in Taiping, we tried to find a local bus which would take us to near to the hotel we were planning on staying at. So, in the usual drill, I stayed with the backpacks whilst John walked round the station trying to find some information about how to get to our hostel. Whilst he was off, I was suddenly hit with massive stomach cramps. And with two backpacks to watch, there was nothing I could do but bear the pain until John came back. I think he wondered off for about 10 minutes in total and when he got back, I decided we would get a taxi straight to our hotel. So we flagged one down and was just about to get in when I couldn’t take it anymore and had to run to the public toilets at the station! Not my finest moment but what can you do about it?!
I eventually arrived back to the taxi and we made the 5 minute journey into Taiping where the taxi dropped us off in the main square where all the other taxis were waiting, so not even to our hotel which was a bit cheeky. And in my current state, I couldn’t really be bothered to argue. The hotel was a 4 minute walk or so from our drop-off point so lugging my backpack, I managed to get to the hotel which luckily had a spare room for us!
During check-in I actually felt really light headed and had to sit down and John had to run next door to grab me a bottle of water. Weird how it can just hit you and I’m so grateful that it all happened after I got off the bus and not whilst I was on the bus! What a nightmare!
As soon as we checked in John’s stomach went as well. What a pair?! We spent most of the afternoon going to and fro from the bathroom and our room. By evening, we were both feeling a little better and we were starving so we decided to head out for a little bit of food. We probably shouldn’t but hunger got the better of us.
We came across a massive food court with around little food stalls selling all sorts of dishes though each stall only really specialised in one dish. There was rice with chicken, rice with duck, rice with roast pork belly, noodle soup and rice porridge, among others. However, one stall stood out to us – a stall selling popiah.
I had read something briefly about this popular dish but never tried it. Popiah is a type of fresh spring roll with a very thin paper like skin. The filling includes a mix of turnip, carrots, meat and peanuts, and we watched the man behind the stall quickly create about ten of these spring rolls with his nimble fingers in just a few minutes. The popiah is served warm with a sweet-ish sauce dribbled over it. The stall was popular and we decided to give it a go. We ordered 4 between us.
The dish was divine and it was a bit of a shame that our stomachs weren’t feeling that great as we would have eaten about 5 each at least!!
After dinner, we had a quick walk around the town (it’s very very small) and then headed back to the hotel to rest where we both struggled with a stomachs again…it’s all part and parcel with travelling!