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