wet market is no ordinary market of late.
Tourists are making a beeline to the market in search of
the famous Bentong ginger, ginger powder and soy sauce
Lai Yoke Wan from Seremban, for instance, has good
reason to opt for the ginger and ginger powder.
“I heard about the Bentong ginger. The ginger powder
comes in handy when I rush to cook lunch for my
grandchildren so that they will not be late for school,:
Yoke Wan, 66, was among some 40 members from Seremban’s
Chi Hwa School Old Boys and Girds Association on a day
trip to Bentong and surrounding areas recently.
Bentong, about 140km from Seremban, was their first
Association chairman Chan Kok Sun, 58, said a tour
company had recommended that they visit Bentong.
“We (members) had a meeting and decided to come here,”
Lai Peck Har, who organized the trip, said she found
Bentong town and the market a bustling place.
“This is our first stop today and we are all excited,”
Said Peck Har.
The members who were waiting for the bus to go to their
next stop were seen chatting happily, many of them seen
carrying a plastic bag of the Bentong ginger.
A 45-year-old stall operator, Chan Kooi Keong, who is
known as Ah Kam, Said there used to be only two or three
ginger stalls in the market, but the number had
ballooned to more than 20 since a year ago.
mother Wong Chow Ngo, 72, has been selling Bentong
ginger in the Market for more than two decades.
Ah Kam Said he was working in Ipoh before he resigned a
year ago to help his mother.
“Besides using ginger for cooking, people nowadays also
take ginger for its many health benefits,” said Ah Kam
before dishing out the many health benefits of Bentong
ginger which he called “the poor man’s ginseng”.
The Ginger, he said, was grown in Bukit Tinggi near
Bentong and priced at RM24 per kilogramme.
Ah Kam said the natural surroundings in Bukit Tinggi is
conducive for ginger growing and that is why Bentong
ginger is a cut above the rest.
Chow Ngo said her customers, including those from out of
town, continued to buy the ginger because they could
feel its good effects.
“It is good for blood circulation which is very
important for health,” she said.
Chow Ngo said her husband, Chan Kok Heng, 82, also took
ginger juice for health.
“People, especially the elderly, will not feel cold
after consuming ginger drink” she added.
Tour guide YL Wong 34, said Bentong was a popular stop
She listed ginger, soy sauce and “sat keh mah” (a
Chinese dessert) as among Bentong’s most sought-after
items by tourists.
Wong who bought half a kilogramme of ginger from Ah Kam,
said she was getting it for a friend.
She said the Bentong stop had got increasingly popular
since September, and she reckoned that the word-of-mouth
advertising had also played an important role.
“We started from Seremban at 7am and our next stop is
Raub,” said Wong of their trip’s itinerary.
stall at the market has the Bentong soy sauce with the
“thumbs up” logo displayed prominently.
The trader, Lee Mok Sang, 45, attributed the surge in
tourist arrivals to “Maju Bentong” – a project to
promote the local places, products and delicacies.
It is a project by Bentong MP and Transport Minister
Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
Like Lee, several other traders at the market were all
praises for Liow for his efforts in making Bentong a
better place for the people.
Besides ginger and soy sauce, Lee said the town was also
famous for its kaya puff, tau fu pok (a type of
deep-fried taufu) and ice cream.
He said the market was packed over weekends and public
holidays and business was very good.
Lee, who has manned the stall for almost 20 years, said
Bentong, surrounded by hills, is a cool and peaceful
Having stayed in Kuala Lumpur before returning to
Bentong and set-tled down in 1995, Lee said living in
the capital city was stressful.
He also forsee better times ahead for Bentong folk,
citing the rise in tourist arrivals which brings more
business opportunities especially to the restaurants and
market traders as very good start.
1. Bention wet market is a popular tourist destination.
2. Bentong ginger, dubbed the poor man’s ginseng is a
favourite purchase at the wet market.
3. Lee at his stall at the Bentong wet market. He says
sales are brisk on weekends and public holidays.