Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Road Trip to Penang Wedding: Gua Musang

We continued our road trip on to GUA MUSANG! 
I did not know it was a town! 
From the name "Gua" I had always thought it was a cave!!
A cave of musangs or civet cats!!
 I think it was because I was shown this photo all those years ago when he told me of his outing at Gua Musang.
That's him, in the cave in Gua Musang!
Gua Musang turned out to be a town!
 So this sign says "Gua Musang" and my husband said, "we are going to stay the night in Gua Musang": It was already evening and he would not like to drive any further.
 The road leading to the town was suddenly flanked by limestone mountains, and the only other place which I have been which has these mountains is in Guilin, China. 
In fact this is what Wikitravel says of Gua Musang: 
"The town is surrounded by interesting limestone rock outcrops like in Guilin or Yangshuo. Though there are less than in Guilin they do not lack size."
 As we passed the arch, it started drizzling, which added to the atmosphere of the place.
 It was a trip down memory lane for my husband and he was quite excited to find this road that leads to the railway station.

 "Gua Musang is a railway town, once only trains were the only means of transport to the town. The journey provides a glimpse of village life in the jungle hinterland"
 The road leading to the railway station was once the main road, and shops did a roaring trade because of passengers alighting and also waiting for the train, but today, it looked sleepy and most of the shops looked closed. Public holiday maybe? 

 From the windscreen, the old railway station loomed ahead.  Excitement mounted!
 The limestone outcrop. 
The old coach.
 The platform. 
 Everything looked familiar, yet strange.
 It looked quite deserted,
 and a tad rundown.

 We got closer..........

 And walked to the ticketing area which looked empty save for some kids playing.  Then we learned the news: 

 "The old station in town has closed down. The new station is about 1 km to the south."
 What a pity! with the limstone mountain as a backdrop it was the most unique railway station in the world!!! (I daresay hehe).  Where in the world can you find a rail track that runs parallel to the length of a limestone hill and cave?

 We took a photo for old times' sake, his, mot mine for I have not been here before.
 He took the train here all those years ago with local friends who then took him on a hike up those very mountains.

 fancy hiking up this hostile looking slopes?
 they did. That's a young him in front.
 Gua MusangGua Musang is surrounded by limestone hills and caves, which can provide entertainment for cavers and rock climbers. 
The area is bolted with 30 routes from 5b to 7a, though there is no equipment hire in the town so trips will have to be prepared for 
(you can see from the picture that they do not have much climbing equipment, I don't know how they did it!)
 He cuts a lone, forlorn figure now, on the deserted walkway, so sad that this has to close down.
 Once upon a time you had to take the Gua Musang train to anywhere, but now car travelling is much easier with a network of roads that has sprung up.

By car[edit]

Once only accessible by train, Gua Musang is now at the hub of serveral roads that run north to Kota Bahru, south to Kuala Lipis and Pahang and west across the Cameron Highlands to Simpang Pulai and Perak (near Ipoh).
 I did not climb Gua Musang hill, but these people did:

 and now
 falling into disuse and disrepair

locals come here to chill out and kids play on the once busy platform
 "I have come back here 30 years later, but there will not be another 30 years for us!!!"
 Once run by KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) but now instead of catching the train he is catching Pokemons.
 so we left the infamous Gua Musang railway station. We did not even check out the new one.

 Looking for Chinese food here is a challenge.  But we did, We found some comfort Chinese dishes, our old favourites Kong Poh Chicken and Ginger Spring Onion pork.

 Cute Chinese retaurant in a cutesy town that time forgot.
 Food Garden: the name of the restaurant.
 His companion for the night as he worked on the computer in his pjs at the lounge of our hotel.

Hotel Mines Inn
We woke up to a very misty morning with shrouds of fog hovering on the mountain tops

 As usual, our challenge was to look for a Chinese breakfast place.
 After many spins, we found this quaint and quirky place, the red stools were unmistakably Chinese.

 In fact this is quite a famous wantan mee place according to my friend, Kwailin who happened to be from Gua Musang, she only found out I went to Gua Musang on Facebook and I only found out she is from Gua Musang after she told me, because she always said she is from Kelantan.  She stays in the new village behind this shop.  Kwailin Cheong  at Kampung Baru, Gua Musang.
My Line dance friend Kwailin from Gua Musang
There is a 400 year old temple near her place:


 When I wanted to wash my hands, the waitress led me to the tap here...hehe!

 I had mee pok (flat noodles) wantan!
 Another of our "comfort food" wantan mee with dumplings in soup and kopi o!

 Time to check out of our hotel and continue our road trip to Penang.
 Hotel Mines Inn.
 The hotel mini garden! hehe
 On leaving, I saw the housekeeper putting the dustbin and side table on the beds so that she could clean the floor!!! hahaha!!!!
 "Antique" furniture in the lounge where the cat made friends with my husband's leg.

 Leaving mist shrouded Gua Musang.

 With a last glimpse of the limestone outcrops.
And we hit the level road again.

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