Not far from here is a surau (small praying hall) often frequented by Tabligh followers ( a group of staunch Muslims who try to emulate closely the way of living of the Prophet and his companions) and those who want to meditate, worshipping in peace away from the madness of the outside crowd. The surau is also one of my place of lodging when in Janda Baik.
Peace be upon you dear readers. Today, I am moved to share some pictures taken in and around Kampung (the village of) Janda Baik, in the district of Bentong, Pahang... While taking a rest there last week. This refreshing village area is situated on a valley in Banjaran Titiwangsa (the main mountain range in Peninsular Malaysia), at a height of 1,400 feet and more above sea level.
For information, it is the one and only highland in Malaysia that is gazetted as a Malay Reserve Land (meaning only Malays can own the land). The other highland areas seemed to be controlled or owned by other races. Look at Genting Highlands (where exist the only legal casino in Malaysia) which is situated not far from here for example...
These pictures are given according to a sequence of events and travelling. Please look carefully and follow the pace of story-telling which came spontaneously . God willing, behind all this, there will be some sort of transmission of subtle esotoric knowledge for all... Go on!
This pictorial tale is started with a picture taken immediately after embarking off the Kuala-Lumpur-Bentong-Raub bus. To reach Janda Baik by bus, one must stop at the small township of Bukit Tinggi situated beside the highway.
Inside the picture is the Selesa Hill Homes resort at the back. In front are the flats mostly dwelt by outsiders working in and around Janda Baik and Bukit Tinggi.
This is the walking path that must be taken from the bus-stop to the small town of Bukit Tinggi. The bus-stop heading towards Kuala Lumpur is situated right next to the town while the stop for those heading to Bentong and Raub where I embarked is situated almost half a kilometre further away!
The underground tunnel crossing the highway to get to the small town of Bukit Tinggi.
So this is the small town of Bukit Tinggi. Originally, it was a new village area for assembling Malaysia citizens of Chinese origin, created in the 1960s to combat the problem of Communist insurgency rampant then.
Most locals here do business and grow vegetables including around the area of Genting Sempah (near the underground highway tunnel cutting through the mountains) where first grade ginger are grown for export overseas. There are Bukit Tinggi locals who take, even grow vegetables in Janda Baik which is a Malay Reserve Land and send it to the retail wet market in Selayang, Kuala Lumpur.
The view at the pasar lambak in Bukit Tinggi. The word "pasar lambak" is normally used in Muar, Johor where I was born. In Kuala Lumpur, markets such as this are called pasar malam (literally translated as "night market")
Since this picture is taken in the afternoon, it didn't feel right to call it as pasar malam. So let me just use the words pasar lambak ya...
This picture is taken the following day, from the house of Puan Ainon, the owner of PTS, a book publishing company which now features as one of the biggest local outfit in the field. At times, I would drop at the house to use the Internet wi-fi line. Too bad, there is a problem with the line, forcing Puan Ainon and her husband to go down to Kuala Lumpur to continue their work.
This is the picture of a house, taken from the lawn at Puan Ainon's home. For information, in and around Janda Baik, there are many more big and luxurious houses owned by the rich, also the powerful who make this village as their weekend hide-away place.
This is a picture of a tree which grows in the middle of the river next to the village hall and mosque of Janda Baik. Forgot the name of the river but the area is known as Pulau Santap.
According to local tale, it is called Pulau Santap as it was the favourite area for the Pahang royal family to rest and have meals especially during the reign of Sultan Abu Bakar, father to the current Sultan of Pahang.
The same river seen from a different angle. If I'm not mistaken, behind the big rocks there used to exist a pile of sand making up a small island which became the place for the Pahang royal family of old to rest and have meals... That is why it is called Pulau Santap (literally, "the island for having royal meals)!
This is the playing field in front of Janda Baik primary school. This is where the local village youngters play football in the afternoon.
This picture is taken while walking back from Pulau Santap to the river of Chemperoh. In the background is Mount Nuang at around 5,000 feet above sea level, the highest mountain in the state of Selangor.
The summit is situated at the borders of Selangor and Pahang. Not far from the summit also is the border of Negeri Sembilan, that is in Kenaboi.
I've climbed the mountain alone and got lost for over 19 hours. The story is told in my first book "Berpetualang ke Aceh: Mencari Diri dan Erti" (literally, "The trip to Aceh: In search of self and meaning) or BKA I.
So this is the "town" of Janda Baik... There is a shop which is the local mini-market with 2-3 small restaurants, also a bus-stop for the Janda Baik to Bentong service.
This area is also known as Simpang Tiga (T-Junction)... One junction to the Chemperoh river and the area further on, a junction to Bukit Tinggi and on to Bentong also to Kuala Lumpur and a junction to Pulau Santap where the road winds far before connecting back to the route to Bukit Tinggi.
If you want to go to Kuala Lumpur, you can take the bus from here to Bukit Tinggi, 10 kilometers away. Then wait for the Raub-Bentong-Kuala Lumpur bus which appears every half an hour.
The problem is, the Janda-Baik to Bentong service is available only 3 times a day. So I prefer to hitchike the bikes, cars. even lorries carrying vegetables to get in and out of Janda Baik.
This picture is taken while walking from Simpang Tiga to Sungai Chemperoh. At first, I saw a calf running around making sounds as if looking for the mum. Then I saw these three cows...
This is a picture of a section of the Chemperoh river running beside the lawns of my adopted father's home, the political writer S.H. Alattas' house. For information, I used to lodge at this place for over 2 years. During the time, the house was the "headquarters" for me to rest before travelling all over.
The scene at a food-stall besides the Chemperoh river. A picture of the river taken from this food-stall is the one that made the first picture to grace this article.
Hmm... Methinks, enough story-telling for the day ya... While relaxing and looking at these refreshing pictures, hopefully we become more enlighten to see God's greatness apparent or hidden along with the lessons to be learned behind all this, God willing, so long! :]