Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sungai Lembing Sunrise and Noodles

#51  It's not everyday that i have the mood to stay up/wake up super duper early just to catch sunrise so when i do, i realized that 1/4 of Malaysians were actually willing to drove all the way to this quiet but not quite forgotten town just to catch sunrise on a public holiday instead of sleeping in (my fav past time on a public holi :p)

Ok, so maybe the 1/4 of Malaysia population is an exaggerated figure, but really there were so many ppl that i believed could easily amount to 1000 ppl on that Panorama Hill that morning. And not just Malaysians, i knew Singaporeans were there too cz after the sun came out, some of the aunties were busy asking everyone around where they came from and i heard. (not eavesdropping considering they were speaking soooo loudly..hehe)

Panorama Hill, where? Yeah.. in case you are wondering, Panorama Hill is located at Sungai Lembing in Kuantan and is rumoured to have the most beautiful sunrise in Peninsular Malaysia. On a fairly sunny day of course.

* Warning : 40 pictures ahead!! And a potentially long post :) *

So, in preparation for climbing Mt. KK, me and DD decided to test our stamina by climbing Panorama Hill first. I don't think i know anyone else that is crazy enough to drive 3 hours all the way just to climb a hill and watch sunrise right? Even if it's supposedly the most beautiful sunrise.

As if it was meant for us to go, class was canceled that afternoon and we slept through the whole noon only to be wide awake at night. We started driving from KT at 2 am, took the East-West highway, passed the Jabor toll and finall exit at Kuantan toll only to realized we had to drove another 40 minutes to reached the heart of Sungai Lembing.

At about 5am, we were at the foot of Panorama Hill ready to get to the top and there were already so many other ppl making their way up the hill as well. The hill is not hard to climb, it even has stepping stones and the track is well established. But at certain points, it is quite steep and because it rained the previous night, it can be quite slippery. We were following behind this bunch of 50s-60s aunties and uncles and we were worried we would not be able to get to the top in time (i mean we practically drove 3 hours there, i don't want to miss the sunrise obviously!), so we overtook them (like driving car..haha) and DD practically challenged me to ran up the hill or walked with very big, quick steps. We were never quite alone in climbing the hill as there were always ppl ahead of us (quite safe also in a sense) and we reached the top of the hill at 5.30 am. Phew! 30 minutes to reached the top of a 325 metres hill and i was so tachycardic and my heart was palpating so quickly that i thought i could had fainted anytime. Mt. KK is about 13 times this hill and i'm beginning to doubt my ability of getting to the top if i don't start climbing more stairs from now on.

At 5.30 am, it was still all dark but there were already ppl there cheering and waiting for the sunrise. The sky was very beautiful at that time, stars were just above our head, shining so brightly. My camera could not captured the beauty of that moment (if only i had a dslr at that time), and the whole sky just looked black on my camera screen.

Like this..all black except for that one and only brightest shining star that i managed to captured. (Honestly i suspected that to be a satellite or smt cz it shines much brighter than all the surrounding stars. If anyone tells me thats indeed a satellite, im gna be so disappointed!)

The first sight of daylight at 6.30am. Waited an hour there feeding mosquitos, admiring the beautiful stars and getting a good spot.

Slowly, the sun started crawling out and everyone was crossing their fingers hoping the big yolk of the sun will prevailed majestically. Tripods were set up all around me and cameras were flashing. Alas, i forgot to take a pic of all those ppl around me.

More and more of the sun but looks like there were too much clouds that morning.

By now, we were convinced there would be no yolk whatsoever. The sun was pretty diffused that day. A little disappointed. Not the best day perhaps cz it rained the previous night.

But it was still a pretty sight.

By 7am, the sky was bright and we all can see that the sun was partially hidden by the heavy clouds.

On the oppostie sight, the view was breathtaking as well. The fluffy clouds were just floating below the hills and it looked as though the hills were located on top of those clouds

Clouds, hills, sky.. makes you feel like walking on the clouds

While going down the hill, we saw this big bunch of ppl taking pic at this spot (and thus obstructing traffic down), so we chipped in the crowd. Seriously, i dno why they picked this spot, can see so many trees and bushes behind and i thought it was a damn cun spot. But the view up the hill and even on the way down as we keep seeing hills after hills floating above white, fluffy clouds gives off a very 'celestial' feeling and damn beautiful. (cannot be justified with my photos, you have to be there to see it)

Tired.. my legs felt like it can give away anytime and suddenly all i wna do is sleep

After getting down the hill, we walked towards the Pasar (morning market) where the super duper famous Sg. Lembing mee with yong tau foo was sold. DD had been talking about it ever since he knew about this place and the stall actually opens at 5am and when we walked past there earlier, he was like pointing to me and said 'there there there, that one. So hungry.' At the top of the hill while wating for sunrise, he also said ' im thinkin of the mee now. Hungry!'

So, finally we were going to eat the mee!!

But wait, we walked past this library which was buit since 1968 1st. I thought this is damn old-school and vintage.

FINALLY, we were here at the market and this is the most famous stall that sells the mee with yong tau foo. It is call Sisters yong tau foo (if im not wrong) or if you know how to read Chinese, you get the drift, if not, like me, you can rmb how this signboard looked like, rmb the characters, whatever. Cz there are more than one stall around there that sells the mee, so if u wna try the most famous stall, then must make sure it's this.

The varieties of yong tau foo

What's so special about these Sg. Lembing noodles (whether it's mee, flat mee, kuey teow, lao shee fun, meehoon) are that they are all claim to be made from the usual flour and stuff and also 100% pure and clean MOUNTAIN water (i assume means water from the mountains) as oppose to normal noodles using normal tap water. So, the noodles are supposedly better tasting than normal noodles.

My bowl of dried noodle with black sauce and some fried yong tau foo

And all of these are mine too. The 'song-ness' of being able to choosed from so many varieties of yong tau foo

DD's bowl of original mee in soup with taufu that are also made from mountain water

And his choice of yong tau foo. Besides, dried and soup noodle, you can also order curry noodle with your choices of yong tau foo.

The noodles indeed tasted differently which i felt was more elastic in nature and a bit more bland (like when you are drinking mineral water that kinda taste). But it was freaking cheap. I ate till i can't put in any more food into my mouth and DD ate till he almost gag and guess how much are our bowls of noodles? Mine only cost RM 5.70 and DD's was RM 6.30. I really dno where else can you find yong tau foo as cheap as this anymore.

After eating, needed some morning exercise (it's only 8am when we finished our brekkie) so we walked around the town. We can easily explore Sg. Lembing town on foot as it is really not that big and the best way to take in the village lifestyle.

The shophouses are all still made of wood and looks so old-school and from the Japs occupation era. But they are still so well-preserved and colourful

The one and only Shell petrol station in the town. Damn cute

And we saw the 1st hanging bridge. There are supposedly 3 hanging bridges altogether in Sg. Lembing.

The jump of freedom and joy :D

I'm sure Malaysians are pretty familiar with these hairy fruits right?

The river and village houses along it

And in case you wonder what folks of Sg Lembing entertain themselves with other than climbing hills, eating yong tau foo and cycling...

Classic snooker table.. yep, they do play snooker too you know

We decided to skipped the museum because there were so many tourist buses ferrying loads and loads of tourist to the museum and we were too tired to squuezed with so many ppl. So, we went up to the old mining area instead. After all, Sg. Lembing was an old mining town.

This is the entrance of Lombong 1. The 1st mining tower. There are 4 altogether and all of them looked almost the same, only some is narrower.

And when we looked inside, we can't really see anything except a big, dark tunnel and what's left of the old glorious days of mining

Coming down from the mining area, we decided to get some foodstuff back.

Edible, yes? No? Yes! These 'woods' can be used to boil soup and it claim to be able to cure malignancies like liver Ca among others.

As proof to what the shopowner claim, he display these magazines in his shop that talks about the magic of those 'woods'. Read it and you know the superpowers of those 'woods'

The very famous coconut biscuit that a lot of ppl was queing to buy. Tasted very crispy and kinda like one of those crispier version of new year cookie

Lastly, we decided to head to this shop where the Sg. Lembing mee are made. According to one of the resident of Sg. Lembing, there are 2 houses that made these noodles. One of them is located somewhere on the way to the Rainbow Waterfall which is not accesible by us due to the super rocky road and only locals know about that house and the other is the more commercialized shop located opposite the 3rd hanging bridge. Actually, i would prefer going to the less commercialized one cz less ppl been there and whats the point of visiting somewhere already commercialized. If only we had a 4WD. haha.

These are the bundles of noodles awaiting to be processed

This lady separates the noodles before packing them into packets to be sold to tourist and also to other areas in Kuantan

This uncle dipping the pre-processed noodles into hot, boiling mountain water (?) which uses charcoal to heat up

And here's a short video of another guy flattening the flour. What an entertaining method! haha

This is the beginning of the hanging bridge actually. After i bought my noodles.

This was really the last destination before we drove back to KT.

Charas Cave. Which had another 130 steps to climb and we had to pay RM 2 for parking and another RM 2 to climb that 130 steps. If not because we already parked our car, i would be quite reluctant to pay another RM 2 to get inside the cave.

Introduction of the cave. Skipped everything if you must but read the last line if can. Nostril Cave! How interesting!! haha

3 languages living in perfect harmony :p. Basically, once we completed climbing the 130 steps, the cave consisted mainly of a Sleeping Buddha and other Buddha statues. Nothing much other than that. Besides some really huge monkeys making some dangerous sounding sounds on another side of the cave. I think the staglamite and staglatite at Batu Caves was even more beautifully formed. Maybe i was just too tired by then.

Nope, we couldn't get as high as that. I was always afraid if any bats might fly out from those black holes in caves like the one up there.

We drove straight back to KT after without having lunch cz the yong tau foo was still churning in our tummy after all the walk and climb. We missed a few things in Sg Lembing this time like the Rainbow Waterfall, hot spring and most importantly, seeing the yolk of the sun rising above the sea of clouds, but that just gives us more reason to go back again isn't that? haha.

Overall, a quiet peaceful little town which is even quieter than KT, but with yummy and cheap beancurds, yong tau fu and tomato noodles, friendly people and spectacular view to offer. :)

Best Blogger Tips

12 fondue dips :


nice travel tutorial. haha.. but too bad no yolk

omg the video..i thought what the fella is doing..rupanya uli-ing the dough wtf wtf wtf >____<

No cinema in KT?
I thought its coming soon

the petrol station is damn cute...

Got la...
the new shopping mall in KT?
Call what??

Its lucky that none of you and grp got something happen at such early time in the forest. It happened before some gang robberies there.Siew Sum, mui!

What!!! robbery??? I tot Sg lembing is very safe and peaceful place.

Anyway, thanks dropping by my blog. I think Sg lembing is worth 2nd visit to catch the sunrise. Did you go to the rainbow waterfall?

Hey Melvin here, Well, starter pack is actually RM35 per head.. another RM5 is for the army suit.. But its optional la.. For the starter pack, they give you 100 pallets.. if you wanna add.. then 500 pallets is RM130 i think, can add up to 1000 or 2000.. You are?? Hope to get to know you..

hi...i went to sg lembing before and the places you blogged above...but sadly it was raining so we did not get to go bukit panorama...your pics are very nice...

peanut : gosh.. u r so mean trying to disappoint me :p

yatz : definitely wtf way to uli the dough.. hahaha

jeremy : yup :D

anonymous : thanks for ur warning. We will be careful.

Keong : ya.. will go back again to see the yolk of the sun. Nope, we din go cz we din have time.

melvin : thanks for the info. Maybe will go play the next time im back for long holi :)

keef : you should go again. hehe.. Thank you :)

suddenly i find myself adding panorama hill @sg lembing to my wish List....i always had sg lembing in my wishList but never the sunrise experience...

btw, for the old can just wonder there or there are people guarding the place :)

pilothans : Yea you should at least go there once. But do be there early :)