Sungai Lembing, Pahang

Once being one of the richest town in Pahang due to its abundance of tin, Sungai Lembing lies about 40km northwest of the state’s capital city, Kuantan. This quiet town, mainly consist of Chinese folks over 50 years of age, has two rows of wooden shoplots and is famous for their handmade Lembing noodles, yong tau fu and coconut biscuits.

I visited this humble town on the afternoon of 16 January 2016 and stayed for a night.


Sungai Lembing town



A shop lot near the food court

The food court, right behind a wet market offers a variety of local favourites, and they mostly serve noodles and fried beancurd or stuffed vegetables.

The vendors were already up and working when I went there at around 6am.


Old mine (closed since 1986)

This town owed its old-shine to the presence of tin decades ago, rendering it one of the largest pit mines in the world.


Searching for remaining wealth.

Until today, we still managed to meet two middle-aged men, digging and searching for remnants of tin and copper in the mine. This gentleman here lead a simple life. Guiding tourists in the morning, and mining in the evening.



One of the five wobbling bridges.

We rented bicycles and cycled around the area, and managed to find 3 of the 5. The bridge took us across to the other side of the town, separated by the river. The locals cycle and ride their motorcycles across the bridge, despite it being made of wood and its predictable resonance.



Lembing noodles.

We came across this small shop that was said to be a family-owned little factory, producing the famous Lembing noodles. The noodles look like our usual ‘yellow mee’, but tastes more like thinner strips of Pan Mee, or softer Wan Tan Mee.

On the following morning, we were picked up by a modified Hilux with benches and shelter on its trunk at 5.30am, and we were brought to the food court for breakfast.



Located near the wet market and the food court, an old couple ran a small stall selling homemade pau’s and kuih’s. All their goods were extremely delectable and cheap. They open at around 6am and are usually sold out by 9am.

We started our journey to Rainbow Waterfall at 6.30am.

It was an hour ride from town, and around 30 minutes of jungle trekking.


The sunrise.

Halfway through the ride, they stopped to let us witness the sunrise, and it was absolutely stunning. It wasn’t the usual view of the clear outline of the sun rising form the horizon, but layers and layers of clouds that were changing colours every few seconds.



The climb.

The toughest part for me was climbing across hundreds of huge, slippery rocks. There was no clear path for this one, so you just have to follow the rope at the side and figure your way up. Although though, the first glance of the waterfall was just simply breathtaking.

I’ve been to numerous waterfalls, but this one really had me in awe. It was at least three to four storeys high, and made of yellowish brown rock surface, glittering and shining with the moisture of the water. The amount of water falling wasn’t huge. It was more like a sprinkler rather than a fire hose, but it was beautiful.



The same man from the mine the day before, preparing cup noodles and Milo/Nescafe for the visitors.

According to the guides, it’s dry season now, but during wet season, the water becomes very heavy and the rainbows will be bigger and clearer. But I was satisfied with my view.

The rainbow stretching across the lower end was so clear I would see the colours properly. Frankly I was quite skeptical when I first heard of the waterfall, and I didn’t bother to search it up. Quite happy that I didn’t, because that feeling when I took a first glance at it was priceless.


Too high to take a complete top-to-bottom picture.



View from the side.

If you look closely, there’s a second inverted rainbow above the more obvious one.

The rainbow shifted as we moved from one side to the other, or when we squat down and stood up. It’s intensity changed as the water volume varied, along with the moving of the sunlight.



What it’s like to shower under a rainbow.

We didn’t plan to get drenched in the beginning, but the guides insisted that we must make our way into the waterfall to see how the rainbow changes. As I went closer towards it, into the waterfall, the rainbow slowly became a complete circle. A ring made up of seven colours, hence a round rainbow.

This experience was certainly one worth remembering, because where else can you see a majestic waterfall with a rainbow at the end? Or a small town where everybody knows each other, and safe enough for 4 girls to cycle all around?



Gone were the days I wanted to start a brand new year counting backwards on the last 10 seconds of the ending year, surrounded by an enthusiastic crowd, skin sticky from the humidity and sweat, watching balls of energy being shot up into the night sky, exploding into millions of sparkles.

I think I’m growing up. Or growing lazy. Or just growing.

It feels okay to walk around the mall in my Nike running shorts, a finisher’s jersey from a marathon I did not manage to run, and a 4 years old Japanese slippers with faded floral patterns. I stopped worrying that I’ll look like an auntie going to the market on a Monday morning, that my friends will think that I’m an uncool mess if I bumped into any of them. These Dri-FIT shorts don’t strangle my thighs, and they allow me to fold my legs into a Buddha pose when I’m sitting in the car. Oh, and I didn’t want to create more laundry by changing into another more ‘presentable’ shirt.

I get more excited shopping in the groceries store, or Sports Direct (think running shorts with 30% off!) than Forever 21 or H&M or ZARA or Robinsons. I like Mark & Spencer, for their imported cookies and peanut butter. The only shoes I really want right now are the Nike Lunar Tempo, because they actually enhance your (sports) performance instead of giving you red, sore bumps around your feet. I refuse to change my phone because my iPhone5s can fit perfectly in my jeans’ pockets without making me feel like I have a brick stuck on my butt.

I don’t have a list of resolutions for 2k16. All I aim to do is to chase out all superficial thoughts from my head, and fill it with things that matter to me, and people who are close to my heart. I want to stop spending energy seeking for attention and recognition from ‘friends’ on social media, trying to impress those whose admiration will not change a thing.

I hope I learn to give more than I take, to contribute more than I consume, for the people I love and those who love me. To embrace what I have, while they last.