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In this post, it chronicles my solo biking journey on a Modenas Elegan 150 from Subang Jaya to Gua Musang. It also tells you of the great food, what you can see and experience along the way. This post is the first part of a 4 parts series.

Many a times I’ve often wondered how or what the central part of Peninsular Malaysia would look. So many of my friends told me about the beauty of Kenyir Lake (Tasik Kenyir) and I’ve also wondered how Gunung Tahan (Mount Tahan), the tallest mountain (standing at 2,168 meters high) in Peninsular would look like from a distance. I’ve also wanted to revisit the beautiful eastern coastline of Terengganu. The following is the map of the places I explored during this tour. Click the map to expand it so that you can experience my travel better.

click tour map to view in better details at full size. It will show you my stops.

The objectives of my tour of Central and Eastern parts of the Peninsular Malaysia are

  1. Discovery
  2. Chronicle my tour with photos & notes
  3. Pass on my experiences and advice to potential followers of this tour

I would also like to say thanks to the sponsors of this trip, some classmates of BBBSS70, who gave me, without much hesitation, much pocket money for sustenance, petrol and lodging on the night prior to the tour. I was delightfully surprised by their contribution!

The planning of this tour started about half a month prior to the date of the tour. Why I chose 4.Jul.2012 to start was the fact that it was a full moon night. Should I need to ride my Modenas Elegan 150 at night, at least the moon could provide some illumination to my poor spread of the head-lights of my Elegan on dark roads. Many of my friends had warned me of the danger of travelling at night on the roads around Gua Musang.

Part 1 – 4.Jul.2012 – Subang Jaya – Bentong – Raub – Kuala Lipis – Gua Musang

Woke up on Wednesday at 5.50am on 4.Jul.2012, I quickly washed my face and out my house in Subang Jaya by 6.10am on my lovely Modenas Elegan 150 with my camera bag and tripod inside the storage area beneath my seat. My clothing, netbook and so on was inside the luggage box behind the bike. I also carried a 4L oil container with about 2L of petrol (just in case) and a bottle of water.

On the road, with the wind whistling through the holes of my double visor LS2 helmet, the cool air penetrating the Alpinestars mesh jacket, my hands and feet protected with a cheap Pro-Biker glove and Pro-Biker boots respectively, I felt “FREE” on the road in the dark early morning ride. The bright lights of the Vespa Super-White 12V 35/35W paved the way for my eyes to follow.

I used the NKVE, cut across to the LDP, then used the IRR2 to Batu Caves and then on to the KL-Kuantan Highway. At the BHP filling station just after the 1st toll, I filled up my tank and continued the journey. Prior to the tunnel at Genting Sempah, the road was misty. The moment I passed the tunnel, Wow! The road and sky were clear and I could see the bright sky. What a difference in driving conditions!

At the highway beside the Selesa Homes, i.e. about 10km before the exit to Bentong, the sun was rising and the scene was beautiful. So I captured the beautiful dawn as follows;

Sunrise as seen from the highway beside Selesa Homes

The view of Selesa Homes and Resort as I turned left

The scene facing the sun at Selesa Homes

After this, I headed for Bentong at the first Bentong exit. My friends had adviced me where to hunt for the best beef noodles, so, at the bus terminal I slowly looked for the “Riverside Centre”. I had to circle twice before I found the unassuming eating centre.

The Riverside Food Court as seen from the road. Can’t see the river.

The stall serving the Beef Noodles – Non-Halal

Best Beef Noodles I’ve ever tasted!

After filling my stomach with the beef noodles and a glass of warm barley drink, I was on my way towards Raub when I saw the signage “Air Terjun Chamang”. Since I was early, I decided to check it out. The waterfalls is only about 9km from Bentong, so I rode slowly along the winding country road until I arrived at the attraction.

The welcome signage at the entrance of the waterfall attraction

The big parking area that greeted the visitors

A view of the suspension bridge

A gazebo for picnickers

more areas for picnickers

the multi-layers waterfall is a lovely attraction

that’s me by my Modenas Elegan 150

The Chamang Waterfall is a lovely attraction for family wanting to spend quality time with their loved ones. It was well maintained and clean. There were lots of picnic areas for people who brought their own food as none could be found at this isolated place.

After this, I rushed to Raub. The road connecting Bentong and Raub were good country roads and well maintained by the JKR. I filled up my petrol tank here as well. My friends told me that I must try the curry at Raub, so, at the entrance of the town, at about 10.30am, the brightly coloured building sort of jumps towards you because of its colour. My friends told me that if I’m not that hungry, at least try out the Roti Canai with their curry and I was not disappointed!

With colours like this, how to miss Ratha Restaurant?

Roti Canai, Teh Tarik and their oily Chicken Curry

Their menu on the wall and the clean environment of Ratha Restaurant

I thought I would just sample the roti canai but ended up finishing the plate. That curry was delicious!

I continued my journey to my next destination and half an hour later, passing through the Benta junction, I was in Kuala Lipis, reputedly the exact centre of Peninsular Malaysia. I cruised around the town, which was basically a railway centre. Again, my friends had told me to try the best Hakka Mee in Malaysia, so, again I had to look around the small town twice for that food stall. They called it the Centrepoint which is basically between two pairs of shop-houses opposite the railway station. There is also a shopping centre called the Centrepoint. So many names with the word Centrepoint can be confusing. Probably because Kuala Lipis is in the centre of Peninsular Malaysia.

Again, I had to try out the towns speciality but couldn’t find the said shoplot. So, I tried the fat mee with BBQ meat.

The noodles that I sampled. Looks good but the roti canai taken half an hour ago was still in my stomach, so cannot finish the meal except for the BBQ meat.

The stall that served me the meal. Roasted Chicken & Roast Pork also looks tempting.

A view of the lane of Centrepoint. The corner shop with the shutters down is the one that sells the famous Hakka Mee.

As I was eating my meal, I asked the coffee-shop owner where was the stall selling the famous Hakka Mee. She told me that the stall was closed on the day I was there! So bad luck! Anyway, that stall sold-out their food by 11am and is reputedly the best in town. Well… next time then!

With full stomach, I continued my journey by using the Felda road across the bridge. That road is quite good, almost as good as Highway 8. The road connects to Highway 8 to Gua Musang further north, shorter distance from the spot where I ate and I need not back-track west to Highway 8. Happily, I was riding my bike looking out for the signs of Gunung Tahan without any inkling how that mountain looks like.

As I was travelling towards Merapoh, I was trying to find a good spot to capture the mountains. Highway 8 is lovely to travel on bike even though it is basically country road. There were many lorries carrying timber moving on either side of the road and my Elegan easily overtook them.

A sample of Highway 8. Only very little sections damaged by heavy vehicles. Overall , a fund road for bikers.

The vehicles that pose a threat to bikers are actually the inter-city buses which moves at very fast speed, not the lorries. At Merapoh, there are 2 big R&R areas, one catering to buses, and the other one for general traffic. At the Train Station in Merapoh, I spotted the signage to the National Park. The road is actually opposite the train station. About 3km along this narrow and rough road, I reached the Pahang National Park at Sungai Relau.

The signage at the National Park Station as you enter the area

Taman Negara Pahang Station – very nice and big. Air-cond as well.

The doorway at the station … eh… no shoes allowed… how?

At the station, I asked the receptionist where I could observe Gunung Tahan and she recommended that I go to Bukit Seraya where there is a tower that visitors can view the mountain. Then she called up the driver since no vehicles are allowed inside the park except authorised vehicles. 15 minutes later, the driver with his side-kick arrived in their Toyota HiLux 4WD and we haggled over the price and settled on Ringgit 50. I had to check in at the station and my particulars taken since they had to account for every person going into the National Park. The fee to go into the park was only Ringgit 1.

Actually, even at this station, there is a big garden, clear river, ponds for swimming and many other attractions for those who just want to spend quality time with their family. Lots of places for picnics as well but no food outlets here. When I was there, I saw a family going back to their car, their kids wet and carrying a round float.

After this point, it’s no go for non-authorised vehicles

The barrier that prevents vehicles from crossing the bridge into the National Park.
That’s the driver. Not very chatty but will answer your questions.

After agreeing at the price, I hopped into the back of the 4WD which could carry 10 people easily. Off we went to the tower. In my opinion, the road, built by the army, is quite good but narrow and steep at most places. Even my bike could handle this road. After travelling for about 20 minutes, we arrived at the tower.

The watch tower at Bukit Saraya. From here, I could view Gunung Tahan.

The signboard on the tower … hehe! Direct translation I assumed!

View of Gunung Tahan after the clouds cleared its top. The peak is the dark spot in the centre. Not that impressive from this vantage point!

I had to wait about 40 minutes for the clouds to clear the peak so that I could view Gunung Tahan. It is halfway between the peak on the left and the dead tree. Spot it?

I left the Pahang National Park station at about 4.15pm and speedily continued to Gua Musang as the sky looks threatening. Alas, before I could reach Gua Musang, the rain poured and I had to seek shelter at an old wooden house cum food outlet for about 1 hour. While waiting, I consumed 1 cake and a cup of Milo and chatted with its owner. The Mak Cik told me she has a married daughter staying in Melaka and another married daughter staying with her.

Once the rain slowed to a drizzle, I couldn’t wait any longer as it was getting dark. Off I went on the bike, getting wetter by the minute.

I reached Gua Musang half an hour later and hunted for budget lodging. Basically, Gua Musang is divided into 2 sections, namely the bigger and flatter new part towards the south and the older part consisting the train station in the north. Hotels there are pretty cheap and can be found in either sections.

I ended at Fully Inn which had wifi and cost Ringgit 60 with breakfast thrown in. The only thing was my room was on the 4th floor. By the time I carried my heavy luggage, camera bag and helmet, I was panting for breath! Damn! I’m out-of-shape!

The rooms looks clean and my window overlooked the old section of town. When I looked out my window, there wasn’t much activity outside and it was still raining. Ah… such a difference living in an isolated old town compared to the noisy place where I live.

I was drenched and with a hot shower, I was happy! After wearing clean and dry clothes, in my short pant and riding boots (a funny dressing combination), I went out in the rain looking for food.

Since there was still some light, I went to the famous train station and took these shots.

The station with the famous Gua Musang caves. Still raining when I took this shot.

On the platform of the train station

The signboard on the platform showing the nearest destinations

After taking the shots, it was still raining. So I walked back to town getting wet and still looking for food. Finally, I landed in a Chinese restaurant and had a cheap meal of “Mix Rice” and Herbal Tea for only Ringgit 6.

After the good meal, I changed into dry clothes and PJ pants and had a great sleep!

That’s the end of Day 1.

Even though the following photos were not part of Day 1, I included them here since they were taken in Gua Musang.

A view of Gua Musang Train Station with passenger train on the left and the famous Gua Musang hill on the right. Taken from bridge of Gua Musang to Kota Bahru road.

The archway on the Gua Musang to Kota Bahru road

Day 2 coming soon!

Please comment. Thanks for stopping by my blog.