At last we are going to embark on the East West Highway, effectively crossing from the East Coast of Malaysia starting from Jeli in the east to Grik in the West Coast of Malaysia!From Wikipedia: "East-West Highway or also known as Gerik-Jeli Highway, a 215 kilometres federal highway constructed by JKR and opened in 1982. Before East-West Highway was built, the journey from Alor Star to Kota Bharu may reach over 1,000 kilometres (621 mi), but the highway shortens the distance by about several hundred kilometre"
When it was opened in 1982, we used it to go from Kota Bharu to Penang, and now we are doing the same thing again!!!!
" As one enters the highway, the Titiwangsa Range through which the highway traverses comes into view in the distance. There are places where road signs are put up to warn motorists of elephants crossing the road, as there is no dedicated grade-separated animal crossing provided."
Elephant crossing sign!!
They actually do cross the road...no, we were not so lucky to have elephant sighting, this picture is sourced from elsewhere; just look at the baby! so cute!!! wish they did not build such unfriendly barriers! ouch!!!
"Traveling along the gentle curves one climbs higher and sees on either side the primary jungle rich with timber"
The East-West Highway is one of the more scenic routes in Peninsular Malaysia, due to its hilly nature. The highway passes through two major mountain ranges, namely the Bintang Range and the Titiwangsa Range.
Scenic or not? This was taken in 1982...it looks like a chinese painting with lofty mountains in the mists the bottom of which is shrouded and invisible!
Another picture in 1982, when the highway just opened, leafless trees silhouetted against the morning sky as dawn was breaking.
We had time to stop and I posed with the Titiwangsa Range in the background!
During construction, the highway was sabotaged and ambushed by the communist terrorists during the Communist insurgency from 1970 to 1982. Many of workers were killed and the buldozers was seriously damaged. The East-West Highway was put under strict security control by the Territorial Army Regiment of the Malaysian Army during construction and during the opening of the Highway on 1 July 1982
I remembered back then, we were not allowed to bring food in the trunk and checks were made periodically for foodstuffs in our car, we travelled in subdued silence, for the threat of being pounced on by Communists (leftovers) loomed large!!! wow! so exciting right!
Zoom back to 2016....weather was fantastic!!
okay, okay, so it was blazingly hot, but the shots are great!
"Halfway along the highway the elevation of the road is over 1,100 m above sea level and the weather cool and pleasant."
We saw this outcrop so we searched for it and found the mosque as shown in beautiful pictures from the net.
Picture from the internet
We had to detour and go inside some villages.
It was worth the small detour to view the magnificent outcrop and the mosque in front of it.
Now we push on to Grik and Butterworth....
"As one proceeds, the jungle gives way to the huge artificial Lake Temenggor at Banding."
Since I couldn't take a nice picture of the Lake Temenggor at Banding I show you one that other people took:
Isn't that a spectacular grand sight?
I could only take the railings as the car zoomed past, we are not able to stop!
Me in 1982 standing on a crater by the man made lake!
We are now already halfway and truly in the middle of the mountain range : Titiwangsa Range!
So we have crossed half the highway and are plodding towards Butterworth!
Beautiful scenery that rivals Mount Fujiyama!
It was a very very very long journey!!!! Since it was built by JKR (Jabatan Kerja Raya) there was no toll, and no R and R!!!!
Hahaha!! Sun is setting!
Picture postcard perfect!
We have reached Butterworth!!
Time for dinner!!!
Bak Kut Teh!!!
Thus ended our Odyssey and epic journey of the EAST WEST Highway!!