Photo by Tempak Menarik

Pantai Merdeka (Kedah) did not get its name from our independence. My parents told me that the beach has always been called Pantai Merdeka even before 1957. In December of last year, my sister invited us all to go to the ancient beach. I was reluctant because the last time I went it was filthy. But I went with the gang nonetheless.

I was half expected it to be like one of the beaches in Kuala Selangor and Seremban, like a newly refurbished beach. Well, yes I was right. It has a playground, a resort motel, a huge food court and bathing and toilet facilities among others. The beach was literally refurbished; it was shortened because the cement wall was added to reduce erosion of the entire beach. Nevertheless, the water is clean.

Not long after we arrived, I was happily splashing and swimming with that same-old round black rubber tubing that we used to swim with when we were small. I know how to swim of course but having that rubber float brings back all fun and fond memories of my childhood. At a brief moment, I was a kid again. My kids did not feel my enthusiasm. They complained the water was too salty.

The short picnic trip to Pantai Merdeka has been rewarding. My kids enjoyed the play park while their grandparents watched over them as I had my fun soaking in the sun and swam like a hippo for almost two hours. I thought my sister wouldn’t join in but in the end, she did. All in all, everyone had fun and a great time at the Pantai Merdeka.