Last weekend, I decided to visit the village of Bukit Betong. What I saw surprised me. The railway station was left neglected.
The village is situated in Pahang, about 20 minutes drive from Kuala Lipis and was an important center for the Malay administration of Pahang prior to the British occupation on 1800. This is the home Dato Indra Maharaja Perba Jelai, one of the 4 heads in Pahang (Orang Besar Pahang).
|Bukit Betong Railway Station|
Note the unattended bushes behind
However travels were not as easy as today. The small boat with its Honda engine will take about 4 hours to reach kuala medang. You have to sit still for that four hours. The standard of safety had needed improvement as no life vest was available.
|The station building of Bukit Betong|
|Bukit Betong Station|
Used to be ""the passengers waiting area"
I still remember, in those days, people had not learn how to form a line, they refused t line up for the ticket, so everyone would rush for the first 5 minutes, fighting for the tickets, they felt proud if they can forced themselve to be among the first. Now the station is an empty reminder of the past glory.
|Bukit Betong Godown|
The Goods Store Built in 1950s still stand strong
The store was built in early 1950, surprisingly still in good condition. It is reminder of the quality of the material used during the British time. I remembered, the store was the first I place I hang up my public bill board, advertising the concert at the school in Padang Tengku.
|The Official Residence of Station Master of Bukit Betong|
Probably the only person who spoke English in Bukit Betong in 1960s. It had a big
metal water tank to store the rain water.
The beautiful house of the station master is left to the plants and animals
|The station's porter's house, abandoned|
|The station as viewed from the Iron Bridge of Bukit Betong|
|Jelai Bridge Built after WW2 at Bukit Betong|
The Bridge designed by the British.The bridge had to rebuilt after the Japanese surrender in 1945. The earlier bridge was bombed by the retreating British army. I noticed extra planks and the side netting are installed for the safety for the pedestrians. It was NOT there before. However I had not heard anyone felt from the bridge.
|View from the railroad of Bulit Betong|
You can see the Jelai River and small island that was created by the brick pillar of the bridge.
|The notice on the bridge has faded: Cross the bridge at your own risk, the railway is not responsible for |
any accident or incident.
|Jelai Bridge at Bukit Betong|
The view of the bridge crossing Sungai Jelai
|The home of Indra Purba Jelai. It was the biggest house in Bukit Betong, however it no longer is.|
|Picture taken from the railroad, Sungai Tepuai that runs from Kampong Sungai Ular. Notice the calm water.|
Abundanced stall that use to sell local fruits