|Negeri Sembilan 23-5-2008|
|This excursion to Negeri Sembilan started with an email from my friend 'Caving' Liz. She wrote: "I have read about an old goldmine near Air Kuning. No ideas if there are waterfalls around. Like to join me for a trip?"|
Of course I wanted to join, although there are no significant waterfalls in this region of Negeri Sembilan. So I looked for other attractions and found the Sungei Kelamah War Memorial on my map of N.S
A goldmine and a war memorial, that should be enough for a nice day trip.
We started with breakfast at a mamak stall in Tampin. Entering this small town, we saw a beautiful temple, which turned out to be a Sikh Gurdwara.
An interesting religion,this Sikhism, virtually unknown to me. We were friendly welcomed by the Granthi and could visit the temple, after covering our heads.
On our way to Air Kuning we passed a large Chinese cemetery and an Indian temple.
After these cultural preparations, it was time to look for the goldmine. The only clue we had was that it should be near Air Kuning, a motley collection of shops near a railway crossing. We tried a few roads, looking for signboards, but found nothing.
So we decided to ask in one of the shops if somebody had heard about this goldmine. We were lucky! One of the customers knew about the place and told us that he could find somebody to guide us there. It probably helped that Liz said she was a reporter for the newspaper..:-).
Waiting for the guide we had a very eatable chicken rice in this unnamed shop.
After a while Mr Halim arrived, with two of his children, already dressed for the mosque (it was Friday). He took us to the mine, a few km north of Air Kuning, located in a rubber plantation. No way, we could have found it on our own.
We thanked our guide for his help and decided to explore the tunnels.
We could hear the sound of many bats, so it was no surprise that we had to walk in the bat poo, with bats flying around us.
Quite an interesting experience..:-)
Click here for a more detailed report by Liz Price
Our next destination was the Sg Kelamah War memorial. The position on my map turned out to be wrong, so it took us some time to find the correct location, which is actually beside the no 1 trunk road.
Here heavy fighting has taken place in January 1942 between the receding Australian troops, defending and finally blowing up a strategic bridge, and the Japanese attackers. A few remains of the bridge can still be seen, everything is so peaceful now.
Our last stop was the KTM station of Gemas, where an old steam locomotive has been very well preserved. It is the "Temerloh", built in 1946. It is the last remaining operational steam locomotive in Malaysia. In the mid-nineties it has been used by the Peninsular Line for luxury trips. Click here for more info. A pity that they stopped this service.
It was a rewarding trip. A typical Malaysian one, with a mixture of everything. The government should employ me to promote tourism in the country..:-)