Belum On The East West Highway


We spent the weekend in Perak (my tanahair) around the Gerik area (where we found some excellent food too), visiting the Belum Forest, Tasik Banding and traversing part of the East West Highway. 
Here is the East West Highway. It is much improved over the years. 


I know these parts quite well. We used to travel the "old" road from Kuala Kangsar to Liman Kati, Sauk, Jenalik, Lawin, Tasik Raban, Lenggong, Gerik, Jeli, Twilight Zone etc. 
Until today there is NO or very weak mobile phone and TV reception along stretches of this road.   Does anyone recall Sauk or Jenalik? Do you remember Al Maunah? This was their area. They did not like our graffiti. Ha ha ha.
There is a dual carriageway now from Kuala Kangsar to Gerik which really reduces the driving time. (Err . . the dual carriageway is actually about 20 years old already.)  
When you drive along the East West Hiway you are bound to see things like this truck here :


Elephants are still aplenty here. That's what the truck guys told me too.  Often elephants enter inhabited areas and villages in which case they are 'caught' and relocated.
There are signs of the tuskers along the East West Hiway. In this picture here the elephants have damaged those stone walls beside the road. 



And here is a neglected (you can see the sign board lying on the ground) memorial to the soldiers and construction workers who were killed by the communist terrorists during the construction of the East West Hiway.



On May 23rd 1974 while the East West Hiway was being constructed, the communist terrorists infiltrated an equipment storage yard and blew up 63 bulldozers, heavy tractors and other earth moving equipment that were being used in the construction of the highway. 

The plaque at the Memorial says that beside the 63 tractors, a few soldiers and three construction workers were also killed by the communists.


Below here is an army pillbox (a concrete and steel machine gun nest) that was built at both ends of the big Tasik Banding bridge which was manned by our soldiers after the East West Hiway was completed. An old school friend from Penang Free who served in the Army was posted at this location during his military service.

Here is the actual size of the pillbox. 


Here is a nice shot of the pool (where we stayed - service is poor), Tasik Banding in the background and the Belum Forest beyond.
  

Here is video of the pool, lake, hills etc. Absolutely beautiful.

Last but not least, on the way back, more food in Ipoh - at The Durbar.  

Posted by Syed Akbar Ali 

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