by Zara AB and Fahd Fadzly
Blog : The Province of Chroma
I was in Sungai Lembing last March. I took the chance to give myself a visit to Sungai Lembing as insisted by my hubby. This place is actually located 40km away from Kuantan town with approximately 40 minutes to 1 hour time of driving to the northwest. It can be easily accessible by local roads.
Guess what, every time people asked me around where is my hometown, I definitely told them that I’m from Kuantan and on the spot they will asked me whether I’ve been to Sungai Lembing before or not. Definitely “YES” since one of my Aunt is working in the local govt clinic there. But, ya there’s a big BUT there. I think the last time I was in Sungai Lembing was way back in primary school. Lama kan? I would say, 20 years back? At that point of age, mana la nak tau any good places around in Sungai Lembing. The only things that I could remember is when my Uncle brought me up mandi sungai. Tempat tu pun dah tak ingat kat mana dah.
Right after they asked me whether I’ve been to Sungai Lembing before or not, my gut tells me that this place might be special and interesting. I started to Google around and oh my! Found out that it’s famous! There’s a few places that you can visit and do some interesting activities such as the watch sunrise at the Panorama Hill, rainbow waterfall (the highlight of all, unfortunately I still didn’t get a chance to visit this place. Insya Allah, already plan for it with the family), Sungai Lembing museum, the mine tunnels (currently it’s closed for renovation and refurbishment works), Charas Cave and the hanging bridge.
Sungai Lembing is famously known as a tin mining town. They had the longest, largest and deepest tunnel in the world during the tin mining era and they are the major producer of the underground tin. The mine was managed by the Pahang Consolidated Company Limited (PCCL) and controlled by the British. The pits were closed in 1986 due to the high operational cost and slow demands of tin mine. And not to forget, it was once the richest town in Pahang and known as EL DORADO of the east.
Since it was a last minutes plan, we reached there somewhere around 10.00am. Spend a few hours there and the first stop was definitely the town itself.
The first building we saw just after we enter the main arch of Sungai Lembing, the Masjid Jamek.
And this is where we had or light breakfast. Actually, we already had our heavy breakfast at home, but we just stop here for a cup of drinks and kuih. Cheap! If I’m not mistaken, they said that we should get a signature local dishes here which is Mee Jawa. Seriously, I don’t have any idea where the place is.
After we strolled down the small and quiet town, we asked around and they told us that we shall proceed to the Sungai Lembing museum. It’s open everyday throughout the years except 1st of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya AidilAdha. And it’s free! We even found out how does Sungai Lembing got his name here.
” The name Sungai Lembing is said to have derived from the word ‘lembing’ (spear), a weapon used in hunting. A group of hunters are said to have hurled a spear towards a deer. The deer is said to have jumped into a river with the spear embedded in its body. After a long time, a group of miners arrived at this area. While panning, they had found the spear that was believed owned by the precious hunters and since then, the area has been known as Sungai Lembing. However, there was no evidence to support the myth” – SOURCE – Muzium Sungai Lembing.
They had almost everything related to the tin mining activities. From the clothes, shoes that they normally where, the model of the tunnel, the production and the overall process of tin mining, the end products, the model of the PCCL staff quarters, and even the equipments that can be found during those era. Basically, the building itself was formerly a residence of the mine manager before it being converted as a museum. In overall, this place is definitely a place for you to understand the story of the glory day of EL DORADO!
The model on how the the tin mine tunnel looks like those days. An artist impression.
After a 1 hour solid period of history and science class in the museum, we then headed further up to discover another tourist attraction here which is the suspension bridge. One of it is the Jambatan Gantung Kolong Pahat Sungai Lembing. We crashed the suspension bridge with a few other visitors around. I might said that it was quite difficult to balance yourself and to take photos around when people are coming from another opposite direction as well. But, it’s definitely a must try experience to all visitors.
Since it’s super hot on that Saturday afternoon, we didn’t get a chance to explore more on the village at the other side of the suspension bridge. But, we did had a short chit-chat with some of the visitors who came from the opposite direction where they told us that there’s a Chinese shop selling a traditional coconut biscuits there. You can actually experienced the whole process of the biscuits making and to try out the end products as well.
Well, I do find that Sungai Lembing was such an interesting place. As mentioned, you don’t really need a time machine to experience those era in the pass. This is the place. With just a few hours here, you can actually SEE, LEARN, EXPERIENCE and FEEL what you have actually miss. I’ll definitely come back for the rainbow waterfall trip and Panaroma Hill Sunrise Watch. Insya Allah.