Friday, February 26, 2010

Walking in Kuala Lipis

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It use to be easy to walk around in Kuala Lipis. It is not longer so. The town used to be only two streets, the Main Street and The Jelai Street. There is the third one, a walking alley cutting perpendicular across the two street, right at the center. It is no longer so, as the town had extended. A new township had been built across the river and another spot near the hill at what is being called now, the centerpoint.

The old town is still the active commercial center, although there is an attempt to shift it to the spot across the river.The bus station and daily market had been shifted to the new area. Whatever the reasons quoted, it had caused inconvenient to the local.We hope there is not unethical practices in the decision makings.

The best point to start is at the railway station. It was the center of focus during the heyday of railway, before the road transport became the important mode of transport. As you come out of the railway gate, it used to be the bus and taxi stand. That was a clever thinking of the people in those days, the two mode of transport converge to a center point for the benefit of the travelers.

Your first destination is the mile stone and the post office. Walk towards the main street, it is a one way street. When you reach the main street, turn right, about 50 meters away, you will see the '0' milestone. It marks the centre of kuala Lipis. The post office is just next to it. These two heritage were left by the British and become item of tourist attraction.

On the opposite site of the Main Street, you will find the old fire brigade building, a small one though and next to it. about 3 o'clock position, is the old mosque. The present mosque is slightly further, across the railway track.  The mosque is among the earliest building in Kuala Lipis. From the mosque, you can see the river, at the bottom of the steep bank.

The river was the lifeblood of the region until the railway took over. Before the construction of the railway in early 1900, the only way to travel and transport of goods was through the river. Even in early 1960s, the jetty was frequented by variety of boats. You still could see the local population carrying heavy load of rubber and jungle products up the steps to the street. From there, the goods will be transported via road or train to its destination.

There used to be plenty of floating houses built on bamboo rafts. They were unique and became an attraction of Kuala Lipis. The government of Pahang saw this and wanted to take advanatge, subsequently they decided to build a flooting hotel, the actual cost is unknown, but being a government project, it is normally higher than private venture. However the project failed for reasons only known to the state's official. Subsequently, there no longer the floating houses.

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