Thursday, February 02, 2006


Kuantan is quite a small town and many a time, we will find ourselves exhausting the list of places to visit and unwind during Sundays and public holidays. But in actual fact, there are numerous interesting sites that are available for the adventurous ones or even the not-so-adventurous but claiming to be one (like yours truly) simply because not wanting to be left behind!

Besides the popular spots like Teluk Cempedak, Pantai Cherating, Pantai Balok and Pantai Sepat, there are more secluded haunts like Sungai Bekelah, Air Terjun Pancing, Sungai Jin etc.

It has been almost two years since we last went to Sungai Lembing, an old tin-mine town which is now just an old semi deserted shire, almost ghostly if you asked me! It has the biggest underground tin-mine in the world but unfortunately due to the drastic fall in the price of tin ore, this mine was closed down in the '80s.

The entrance to the mine.

The mine is situated at the farthest end of the town and nowadays it is left to crumble in solitude. In our recent-most visit, the ruin constituted of dilapidated wooden structures with thick undergrowth surrounding it. We dare not venture in, only viewing it from afar, fearing the possiblities of unstable ground above the mine. Within the vicinity are old wooden quarters, some still occupied.

The museum

There's also a museum nearby, perched on a hill, probably displaying all the historical artifacts pertaining to the old mine. We didn't get to visit it as it was closed.

The ghostly town of Sg. Lembing

Now, the town is perculiarly unique, I daresay. The main town-square consists of two rows of mostly wooden shophouses with a giant old-tree dividing the road in the centre. Most of the shops are quaint and dark with minimal lighting which doesn't seem to daunt the shop owners nor their customers. There's this shop ( I can't bring myself to label it as a restaurant due to it sad state) called Kedai Makan Warisah which sells Mee Jawa that is so tasty that I'd crave for each time I'm there.

The town mosque. notice the water-level marks for the flood in the year 97 and 2001, I think

On the way out, you'll find the town Mosque on the left side with a tower that has markings of water level painted on its wall. You see, Sg Lembing is at risk of flood each time the monsoon comes when the river outflows its banks. Five years ago, when the monsoon poured its wrath and the road badly flooded, there was total communication breakdown. There was shortage of food supply as the town was almost submerged in water and could only be accessed by boats and helicopters.

Muhammad and Luqman having a great 'brotherly' time.

We spent some time at Sg Jin, wading and frolicking in the cool water. Beautiful rocks and pebbels of all shapes, colors and sizes fill its banks on both sides. The water was fairly clean but slightly murky compared to our previous trip. They must be logging again up in the hills, *sigh*

The hill where Gua Charas is situated.

Not forgetting, on the way to Sg Lembing, there's this chalk-hill (I assume it's chalk from the whitish hue, afar) which house a famous cave called Gua Charas (on the right side). As you ride through, you will find this rather odd shaped hill with a huge dark opening in the centre and that's the cave. If my memory serves me right, there's a Buddhist temple there, too.

So the next time, you're in the mood for the taste of old, quaint town with a mining history and not forgetting the 'bowl-licking' Mee Jawa, try Sg. Lembing.
It might just fulfil your crave for nostalgia!


abdullahjones said...

Sungai Jin! wah! terima kasih. saya suka ke sana.

Queen Of The House said...

Thanks for the travel tips! My family hasn't had much of a chance to visit Kuantan & its surroundings (been there once or twice but limited to Kuantan/Teluk Chempedak & Cherating). With the 'Autobahn' (spirits & all!) we have been thinking of making some short weekend trips if time permits .... I saw a documentary on Sg Lembing once, and I think the mine/museum is worth a visit, but will we be disappointed?

NBB said...

pekan sungai lembing tu, seperti dilanda geruda je... mana pegi orang dia semua? tengah makan besar ke?

2wenty3hree said...

Lama tak mandi sungai. I miss the days when my dad would make the compulsory stopover at Hutan Lipur (forgot which one) on the way home from Terengganu. We rarely do that now, everyone would be so eager to get home and get out of icky travel clothes.

bergen said...

You picked a good place to write the entry. I've never been there but I've heard so much about it. I believe it's like Bukit Besi in the early 80s.

Paul Moss said...

Was in Sungai Lembing last Wednesday and had the pleasure to wade across Sungai Rimau and then berkelah di Sungai Jin. Sungai Jin is truly enchantingly beautiful. A place more beautiful than can be captured in photos and it should stay like that so I`m not telling anyone the location.
Sungai Lembing on the other hand should be developed into a touristic destination if only we can wake the sleeping Pahang Tourism Authority. We should put some excited young minds to make it happen and to do that we should stop the practise of placing old influential people at the top of such bodies.
Two composition is worth some comments. The brotherly splashes is lovely. Pic quality is good, splendid backlight.The ghost town is also great with the old tree strengthtening the age of the old shop row. Good job. Also Hoya polariser+UV+Vcool+Hyundai glass filtration?

dr in the house said...

AJ- pernah kah ke sana?

QOTH- the river is good. Ask the people for Sg Jin. A 4 WD is good coz the road to access may be uneven. But the mine and the Meuseum is mainly for academic purpose. A lesson for the kids. But the Mee Jawa is ravishingly good! You wont regret that! Insyallah

NB- Masa tu dah petang. SO org kat rumah la. I told you its a ghost town!

23- Yes mandi sungai is great but you need to get a good secluded spot coz these places are swarmed with ppl especially on holidays!

bergen- I passed Bkt Besi often but never seen the mine.

Paul the Moss- Oiits! I've got that special pic of you and the rest doing the 'Maori' post. Boleh tayang sini tak???!!! heheh

Nope this time, minus Vcool and Hyundai glass, hehe

maklang said...

Never been to Sg. Lembing but selalu pass the exit to Sg. Lembing. Maybe should bring the kids there one of these days. The problem is Cik Abang tak gemar nak berkelah...

Count Byron said...

DITH... wonderful wonderful entry.. I love every single bit.. and the tranquility the river and the ghost town portray is exquisite.

Thanks for sharing

Trust said...

Kalau sedap sangat biasanya banyak ajinomoto.


ayumi_of_mirkwood said...


I love going to Kuantan, really! Though I haven't been there for ages! My family to frequent the Teluk Chempedak beach.. but my favourite spot is actually the Cherating beach :)

Ku Keng said...

Not just the biggest underground mine but also the deepest in the world.

abdullahjones said...

Pn. Dr,oh! saya sangat pernah ke sana. Bahkan sayalah tukang azan di masjid Kg. Panching disebelah balai Polis selama setahun.lama dulu. sangat lama dulu.

dr in the house said...

Maklang- It's about 45 min from the Bkt Goh Toll house. Lepas tu boleh singgah Beserah, hehe

Count- Do you do picnics too?

Trust- Aiiyah! Why do you have to spoil everything? hehe..but I can tell if its full with Aji...I get giddy headed

Ayumi- Jemput ke Beserah, next time.

Keng- Wonder how many miles deep huh? The museum must have all the answers, I guess

AJ- Lain kali saya ke sana, nak berhenti kat Masjid Panching and tanya dia org kenal tak Abdullah Jones, tukang azan zaman dulu, :)

abdullahjones said...

bukan tanya macam tu. tanya macam ni: dalam sejarah masjid kg panching ni, siapakah juru azan paling kacak? nescaya Pn. akan dapat jawapannya.

dulu, tiga penghuni tetap masjid itu adalah, imam, juru azan dan abdul rahman, budak flores yang sangat hitam dan mempunyai suara membaca al-quran yang sangat bagus.

"lapan ringgit bang! lapan ringgit!" kata abdul rahman kepada saya menceritakan wangnya yang di simpan di dalam songkok yang di curi orang.

kepada kita "hanya lapan ringgit" kepada dia "LAPAN RINGGIT BANG! LAPAN RINGGIT!

kemana agaknya abdulrahman sekarang.

lentiform said...

Oh Doc, those wonderful, beautiful big trees, especially the one at the corner!

dr in the house said...

AJ- macam mana budak Flores boleh tercampak ke Panching yek? Nampaknya awak memang lama di sini. Nostalgia silam la tu. Kebetulan pula, baru ni ada seorang lelaki 50 an lalu depan rumah saya. DIa baru balik setelah beberapa tahun di UK. Namanya Isa. Kenal tak? He was working for the Pahang royalty's business in something, I am not so sure.

Lentiform- yes the trees are majestic

abdullahjones said...

saya cuma setahun di sana. kemudian ke kuantan. saya tidak kenal Isa. mungkin kerana tidak pernah bersubah.. silap..bersahabat dengan kerabat di raja pahang.

p/s: apa yang saya ingat adalah jika mahu lampu di buka di dalam gua itu, wajip memberikan sedekah kepada sami penjaga.

hilang seri gua jika berlampu adalah alasan yang betul politiknya. yang sebenarnya adalah :kedekut. :)

dan terima kasih kerana membawa saya balik ke kg panching.

ikelah said...

Paul Moss weh.... tu bukan sungai jin laa.... yang u pergi tu nahang laa... sg jin yang budak tu mandi manda.

brotherly splashes tu zoom at 200mm(Nikkor 55-200mm, hoya uv, rodenstock polarizer, EV-1), ghostly town tu guna 18-55 mm (at 55mm, B&W UV, ev-1).

i could still remember catching ikan lampang at sg jin n the taste was sweet. really sweet even without garam n asam. we just clean the perut n bakar by the river bed. that was yrs ago when we were doing our annual exercise.

pycnogenol said...

I feel guilty of not taking my children to secluded haunts that you've just described. Sungai Lembing sounds serene, romantic and most nostalgic. The only place I remember ever taking them was to Bukit Belacan, and that was YEARS ago.

That was such a beautiful pic of your two sons splashing away.

zizie ali said...

Dua tahun lepas. Selepas ziarah kematian di Panching, sempat ke Sungai Lembing. Ke muzium. Wuh! tumpang bernostalgia. Selama ini hanya dengar cerita orang-orang tua bekas pekerja lombong yang pulang ke kampung. Malah saya kenal seorang perempuan tua di kampung saya yang kununnya (pssst..) pernah jadi pel*c*r di Sungai Lembing. Di zaman kegemilangan Sungai Lembing.

Has said...

Aikk, DITH, mana entry kelmarin? Self destruct ke? He he he.

easylady said...

I remember going there with my siblings 3 yrs back collecting pebbles and stone for my mom's grave.I can still remember the clear and cool water in the river.

Ada yang bawa lori ambil batu kat tepi sungaitu. I guess mesti tokey jual bunga.

Nurelhuda said...

I ll be heding for Kuantan on 17-19th ..don t know if you would have the time o have me for dinner on the 18th?
Self invite pulak !!!

Paul Moss said...

DITH, speaking on behalf of myself, yes you can publish the Maori Pics here. Let`s see whether Ikelah will say yes too.

Anonymous said...

Please say "yes" ikelah...just say "YES"....please!!!!

dr in the house said...

AJ- bila nak betul2 balik ke Pancing?

iKelah- rodenstock lens tu ke yg Redza sedekah?

pycno- one fine day, we can bring our families togethr there, picnic, :))...and I am sure the food supply will be superb as yerterday's!

Zizie- dapat juga anda ziarah muzium tu. Saya teringin juga nak bawa budak2 ni. P*l*cur di lombong?? Masyllah!!! Tak habis2 cerita Geisha ni ye?

Has-hehe...self-destruct macam mission impossible yek? Sbenarnya tu baru gazzette, trailer...hehe

Easylady- Puas dah ronda Malaya? Dah start kerja? Sure malas tu

Nurelhuda- You are most welcome. Lunch would be better coz kerjea malam. Sunday balik pukol berapa? Tinggal mana?

Paul- Ok kena ambik consensus dulu...especially P5 sbb dia sensitive sikit bab gambar ni

Ikelah said...

yes! yes! yes! u gotta ask p5 then, the decision maker

Boogey said...

Piiiirah. Ikelah tu yang beriya pesan jangan publish. Dah tukar fikiran ke pulok bila tengok imej tu kali kedua? Tak de nya ...sama je rupa semua macam dayak.

crimsonskye said...

The only time I remembered hearing about Sg. Lembing being mentioned was in Geography (how many yrs since??). I had no idea it's this delightful place of crystal clear waters, ghostly old town and delicious Mee Jawa :)

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