Killing all Assumptions…

I find this quote especially useful in photography or whenever you are in doubt… Would finding out the truth be better than making assumptions of your subjects? We do not really know about that but sometimes assumptions would cloud our judgement towards the real light that you might have been looking for…

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
Isaac Asimov

Exploring Sungai Lembing 林明 - Day 3

7th October 2013

0530hrs - Waking up so early again in the morning for the 3rd day was not easy at all but the thought of visiting the rainbow waterfall promptly force me to wash up and get ready.

0600hrs - The 4WD came to pick us up and dropped us at lembing market for an early breakfast.

0630hrs - Finally we got on to the 4WD and headed out for an off road adventure we will not forget for years to come. The off-road ride takes about an hour and it includes crossing a few small rivers, it was damn fun to say the least especially when you have a group of friends screaming all the way whenever we encounter any huge climbs or descends. After the bumpy 1 hour drive and from where the 4WD is parked, we had to make a river crossing on foot and trek through the forest to reach the waterfall. This took us another 40 to 50 minutes.

0830hrs - We finally reached the Rainbow waterfall and it was truely very very beautiful and because we came on a monday, there was’t any crowd so basically we are the only few groups at the waterfall that day. Slowly and surely, one by one we took to the waters and had great fun. According to our guide, as long as there is good weather and sunshine, the rainbow at the waterfall would be there everyday from about 830am to 1130am. Slowly when the sun rises up, the rainbow will slowly fall, become smaller and fade away, therefore this amazing scene can only be viewed in the morning. The guide also teach us a few tricks and we are actually able to walk into the rainbow and even swallow it as you can see in the pictures before. The rainbow actually comes full circle when you are inside. Towards the end of our swim at the waterfalls, our guide even prepared cup noodles for us using water from the waterfall.

1030hrs - We trek our way back to the 4WD and again we had to endure an hour of fun with the off road driving back to our resorts.

1200hrs - We finally reached our resort and quickly we waste no time in washing and packing up as we have to head back home in the early afternoon today.

1330hrs - Our chartered bus from Sri Maju promptly came to pick us up at Lembing Village and after another exhausting 20-30 minutes of loading up our bikes, we are on the way again but this time is back home. Sad but definitely will be back to lembing again someday.

0830hrs - Reached Singapore after clearing the customs with no incidents. Reflecting on the our 4D/3N trip to Sungai Lembing, i can only say it’s not good… It’s Excellent!!! Although this was meant to be cycling trip, we actually did more than that. Never before have i climb and trek so much in a short time and it was exhausting to say the least but the rewards are damn satisfying. I will definitely be back again.

Exploring Sungai Lembing 林明 - Day 2

6th October 2013
0430hrs - Dragging ourself out of bed at this time was really a torture but necessary if we are to catch the sunrise on the top of Panorama hill. And it was a wise decision indeed.

0530hrs - After a 10 mins walk from the resort out to the village and having a quick but satisfying meal of fresh yong tau fu at the lembing market area. We proceed with our exhausting climb up the top of Panorama hill. The climb up the hill usually takes 40min to 1 hours for those with average fitness. The climb up can be very tiring due to the steep and long flights of stairs to the top of the hill.

0700hrs - Waiting patiently at the top of Panorama hill, the sun slowlys peeks out over the horizon and directly over Gua Charas in the distance. The scene with the fluffy clouds and gorgeous sunrise was amazing, never mind that we had a huge contingent of other tourist sharing it with us.

0900hrs - Having a good time on the top of Panorama hill with our antics, we proceed down to the market area for round 2 of our breakfast. Again we have yong tau fu topped with roasted pork, the noodles are especially good as they are made in lembing itself with 70 years tradition.

1030hrs - Everyone was visibly very tired after waking up so early in the morning but that did’t stop us from exploring lembing as we headed over to the Sungai Lembing Museum which was built to re-live the glorious days of Sungai Lembing as Pahang’s richest manufacturer of tin. Once, this city was even dubbed the Malay States’ very own El-Dorado as it was here that a special settlement for British officers was located. Beginning in 1984, though, all that prosperity and riches gradually dwindled as a result of tin’s price drop.
The uniqueness of this museum lies in the fact that it is situated in what used to be a residency of a mine officer. The residency itself still retains its British architecture features

1200hrs - We then headed to the Sungai Lembing Mines. The tin mine in Sungai Lembing was once the deepest and longest underground mine in the world. It was operated on a big scale thus making Sungai Lembing renowned throughout the world. Visitors will experience a lifetime journey trough the “Original Mine” which displays various collections of mining paraphernalia’s. We also came across mannequins, drilling machines, trams, interactive exhibits, info boards depicting life inside the mines.

1400hrs - After the “mining” experience, we headed back to the resort for a break to hide away from the extreme afternoon heat. Those who are more energetic even had a round of table tennis before going for a quick nap.

1600hrs - Waking up, we did what we always do best, which is to cycle and explore around lembing. Again we cross the hanging bridges, cycled down the hidden paths and manage to have great fun on the river bed.

1900hrs - We headed back to our resort for a BBQ dinner. The bbq food was good and we had a good time lighting up fireworks along the way.

2130hrs - Again we had an early nights sleep as we had to wake up at 5:00am the following morning for our 4WD and hiking trip to the famous Rainbow waterfall.

Exploring Sungai Lembing 林明 - Day 1

Sharing a simple ride account for my visit to an old mining town, Sungai Lembing.

Having been to many big touristy chinese towns in malaysia such as malacca and penang. It was extremely refreshing experience to actually go to Sungai Lembing which is a small Chinese village mostly left untouched to the outside world except for a few touristy but very beautiful attractions such as rainbow waterfall, panorama hill and gua charas to name a few.

Sungai Lembing is a tin mining town 42 km northwest of Kuantan in Pahang, Malaysia. Lembing is Malay for spear, and “sungai” means river. Per local legend, the local ruler saw a vision of a spear in the nearby river and thus named his town after this vision.
Until the 1970s, Sungai Lembing was a major producer of underground tin. Sungai Lembing town developed in the 1880s when the British set up the tin mining industry, although the history of mining in this area extends much further back. From 1891, the Pahang Consolidated Company Limited, (PCCL), which was under British control, had a 77-year lease to mine the area. PCCL managed the mine from 1906 until its liquidation in 1986 when world tin prices collapsed.
**extracted from Wikipedia

4th October 2013
2200hrs - The whole riding group met up at Lavender bus park and loaded up our bikes and ourselves up onto our chartered bus to begin our journey to Kuantan where we would ride about 40km to Sungai Lembing.

2300hrs - We manage to cross the customs smoothly with no incidents and especially to our bikes. Do note that a declaration letter for the bicycles to the customs is almost necessary if not we could be made to unload our bikes up and down the bus which would be a major pain in the ass to do. lol

5th October 2013
0530hrs - The bus journey at night was fast and smooth and it took only 5-6 hours to reach the main town area of kuantan. Many of us was able to steal some sleep on the comfortable 22-seater bus that we have chartered. But waking up at 5am to unload the bikes from the baggage storage area was not something that you would have wanted to do when you have not even brush your teeth.

0730hrs - After setting up all our bikes and having a simple breakfast in kuantan town, we proceed to ride off for our journey to Sungai Lembing.

1030hrs - Having some mechanical troubles to one of our riders along the way we only managed to reach Panching village after 3 hours. Panching Village is the entrance to Gua Charas which is a temple cave found in a limestone hill (Bukit Charas) about 25km north west of Kuantan, Pahang. From Panching village to Gua Charas we have to ride in through a oil palm plantation The cave is a holy site for both Hindus and Buddhists and their symbols and statues are dotted around the interior of this vast cavern.
Bukit Charas is a 400 million year old limestone and granite massif reaching 355 metres at its highest point. If you have’t been to a limestone cave, this cave might impress you with how huge and deep it goes. Definitely a must see place along the way to lembing town.

1230hrs - We took about 2 hours to explore the vast limestone cavern before we proceed to head off and resume our journey to lembing. Along the way out of the plantation, we nearly had a clash heads on with a herd of cows crossing our path.

1400hrs - After an exhausting 15km ride to lembing from Gua Charas, we finally arrived at the entrance of Lembing. We had a thirst-quenching ice kachang and took some photos at the entrance of Lembing town. We managed to reach our resort called Lembing river view resort. Here’s the website address.

1500hrs - We had a very late lunch at Lembing town where we had roasted meat and rice. Everyone was really really hungry and gladly gobble down the food.

1700hrs - We headed to a home-based roast pork factory next to the river in sungei lembing in an attempt to watch the whole pork roasting process. The roasted pork is very famous here as it’s prepared in a very special way. The whole pig is lowered into a pit and is roasted from wood fire. It’s a very slow and painful process but it’s really worth it. Note that it is available only during the weekends and you have to make sure that you make some reservation as you might not get to eat it if it’s fully reserved by others.
Sg Lembing Roast Pork (林明周末晚烧猪肉)
Tel:+6017-909 3580 / +609-541 1975
Address :A-259, Jalan Jeram Takar, 26200 Sungai Lembing, Kuantan.

1930hrs - We had our lunch at a restaurant famous for it’s tomato noodles in Lembing village. Before that we had a fun time crossing the hanging bridges of Lembing. Lembing is nestled along a river and there are a few hanging bridges connecting both sides of the village. It’s extremely fun to actually try riding across the hanging bridges as you need to have a good sense of balance.

2100hrs - We had an early nights sleep after an exhausting day stretching from the night before when our journey started. The next day we had to wake up and move off at 0430am to trek up panarama hill for sunrise.

Rainbow Village

With the recent chaos in the political scene in taiwan where you can see protests and riots happening within taipei main city on an almost everyday basis. It is comforting to know that there’s a different bleed of people just like Rainbow Grandpa (彩虹爺爺) who did his protest in a very different manner. He paints!!!!

On the outskirts of Taichung, Grandpa Huang (Huang Yung-Fu) or Grandpa Rainbow as he is more fondly knows as, lives in an old military dependents village, made up of houses built in the late 1940s-1950s, used as housing for Nationalist soldiers, which were later converted into permanent housing. When the Taichung government announced that they wanted to demolish the place, Grandpa huang did what he knows best. He immediately grab his paint and brush and started painting. Little did he know that his actions would save the village. Currently the war veteran Grandpa Huang, 92 yo at the moment, is the face and soul of the village, which he still paints at the wall, floor, almost everyday. The government decided to shift their urban renewal plans around to help preserve the whimsical little world that this passionate old man brought to life.

This tiny village is a must see if you ever visit taichung. The paintings are colorful and full of life, reflecting Grandpa Rainbow’s unique personality and his passion towards life.

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