Sekinchan – Where Rice Fields meet Coastal Magic

Finding Joy in Simplicity

As I grow older, I’ve discovered that if I can find joy in the simple things in life, the happier that I will be.

The model of well-being developed by Martin Seligman, a pioneer of positive psychology is based on PERMA which stands for Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement.

While I do write about how positive psychology can help improve our performance at work, in this post, I wanted to share about the positive emotions that I gained from this trip and how we can never underestimate the simple joys of creating memories with our closest relationships.

A Day Trip to Sekinchan – Local Delights and Cultural Spots

I recently took a day trip with my family to Sekinchan, a picturesque town which is located in the Sabak Bernam district in Selangor, Malaysia. Funnily enough, I have never been to Sekinchan although I’ve heard and seen a lot about it!

On the way to Sekinchan, the narrow village roads reminded me of my childhood spent in Kerteh, Terengganu due to my father’s occupation. I’ve never forgotten the time spent in the small town where there were no shopping malls or gadgets to entertain us, but only our imaginations as we spent the hot, sunny days lazing by the beach or cycling along the village roads.

Being a coastal town, Sekinchan offers fresh and delicious seafood. We went to the Loong Hua seafood restaurant which is apparently one of the oldest seafood restaurants in Sekinchan. It offers traditional seafood cooking styles within a fishing village setting. As we were handed the menus, I noticed a photo of the crab meehoon and immediately ordered it and it was fantastic! The crab flesh was sweet and fleshy and almost every table in the restaurant had ordered the dish. The restaurant also sold fresh prawn and fish crackers. It again reminded me of the small seafood restaurants that my family used to patronise around Kerteh, Dungun and Kemaman and how fresh and tasty the dishes were. During those days, it was often a delight to greet the restaurant owners as they would regale us with stories of their latest seafood catch.

We then visited the Sekinchan Paddy Gallery and it was a good opportunity for my daughter to understand how her bowl of rice arrived on the table! Learning about rice harvesting and how it is sourced sustainably certainly helps to provide a deeper appreciation for our local farming community. On the way to the gallery, we were amazed by the stunning green paddy fields which stretched as far as the eye can see. It truly provided a visual escape from the concrete jungles of KL. To see these green fields, the best time to visit is typically from March to May and Sep to November.

Another popular tourist spot is Mango King where we were able to enjoy creamy mango smoothies made with real mango puree and topped with bits of salty “assam” or salted dried plum. Parking along this area proved to be tricky as the roads were narrow and crowded! We ordered the “stinky” tofu although it probably was not similar to the ones in Hong Kong! We also ordered buns dipped in condensed milk because sugar and carbs always seem to go well during holidays! I was tempted to order the fiery “assam laksa” and oyster omelette but I knew that I would be pushing my limit! Fresh mangoes were on sale and eager tourists were quick to purchase them and it was also nice to support the local growers.

With the hot weather threatening to bake us, we adjourned to the Sekinchan Coconut Farm to indulge in another sweet drink, none other than the refreshing coconut shake. Hundreds of coconuts were being tossed around and broken open to quench the thirsts of tourists. It was just a nice experience sitting under the tall coconut trees for shade.

Our last stop was the Sekinchan Wishing Tree which is a captivating attraction located at Pantai Redang. The tree stands near the Pantai Redang Datuk Kong Temple which adds to its mystical aura. Devotees visit the Wishing Tree to express their hopes and dreams. Auspicious wishes were written on red ribbons that are tied to coins. After making a small donation, visitors can then take the red ribbons and toss them on the tree’s branches.

Over the years, thousands of red ribbons have adorned the tree, creating a mesmerizing sight. The tree itself has taken on a reddish hue due to the abundance of wishes tied to it. The higher a ribbon hangs with a coin dangling from it, the greater the belief that the expressed wishes will come true. It is a beautiful blend of faith, tradition, and nature.

As it was a 2-hour journey to Sekinchan, we left in the afternoon to avoid driving in the dark. However, those who wish to stay on longer could take a short trip to nearby Kuala Selangor to watch the glow of fireflies in boats or explore the mirror-like sandbanks during low tide at Sky Mirror.

In short, Malaysia is blessed with many locations that offer opportunities for fun and immersive trips. It’s often nice to take a break and appreciate the beauty of natural locations and to indulge in the abundance of local produce.

Reflections on Travel and Happiness

On that note, sometimes happiness is just a short drive away with our closest ones, waiting for us to create new memories and experiences.

I’ve made a short video on my trip to Sekinchan below and hope you will enjoy watching it! Click on the full screen button for a better viewing experience.

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