Sunday, December 7, 2008

Scrapblogging @ Belum Rainforest Resort

We are now in this speck of a man-made island which is surrounded by man-made Lake Temenggor with Gerik in Perak to the West and Jeli in Kelantan to the East. Pulau Banding is home to the Belum Rainforest where the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia, blooms, the extinct Sumatran rhinoceros roams and large flocks of hornbills can be spotted. Papa made a brief stop for the obligatory teh tarik (and scrapblogging, needless to say) before continuing the next leg of our journey via the scenic and tollfree East-West highway to Mama’s kampong in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan to celebrate Raya and Korban with all the folks there.

Papa remembers when he first travelled on the East-West highway in the early 1980s, during his A-Levels break and after his family has just moved to Kedah from Kelantan in 1981, the highway was closed to public between dusk to dawn, for safety reason. But now the highway has unrestricted access, and other attractions for the road users. For a brief history on Banding and the Temenggor Basin, please read here, here and here.

To all who celebrate Aidil Adha, Selamat Menyambut Aidil Adha 1429H dan Selamat Berkorban, from all of us.


ruby ahmad said...

Salam Aidil Adha to Papa & family..he he.

By the way I have not the chance to have seen rafflesia. It must be breath taking!

Have a nice hols with family.

Zawi said...

It is quite a marvel to have carved that road accross the main range and thus connect the East and The West of the peninsular.
To Ruby, you will hold your breath when you see the Rafflesia up close as the stench from an open flower can be over powering. Yes your breath will be taken away from you hehehe.

GUiKP said...

Ruby and Zawi,

Thank you for your comments.

We know the Rafflesia is grown in Belum, but we have neither seen it, nor sniff its pungent smell. It must be quite an experience to see the humongous flower which emits the smell of rotting flesh to attract the flies. I understand it blooms unpredictably, and only for a very limited period during the year.

The East-West Highway plays an important role in the modernization of Malaysia, and in securing a comprehensive win in her brutal war against the Communist terrorists. I feel a museum should be built along the EWH to document its construction which took more than 10 years to complete, and to honour the sacrifices made by the construction workers and our Security Forces who toiled under unforgiving conditions. Pos Malaysia has done a wonderful job by issuing stamps to commemorate the opening of the magnificent highway in the early 1980s.

With the opening of the EWH, the 1,000 km journey from Kota Bharu to Alor Setar (via Kuantan) is now reduced by more than half, with 3-hour of exhilarating travel from Grik to Jeli, including the sight of Gunung Reng. We sometimes had an encounter with a family of elephants ambling along the highway. Alas, our youngest Elham has yet to see the pachyderm creatures for real. Just have to wait for that thrilling moment.

And now there is a Second EWH, linking Simpang Pulai in Perak and Gua Musang in Kelantan, passing through Cameron Highlands. We have yet to drive along the Second EWH, and soon it will be extended to Kuala Berang in Terengganu. Yay!