20 Jan 08 – Since the first trip to Sg Lembing, I have wanted to do the things which I have missed namely:-
1) Do the sunrise climb to Bukit Panoramic
2) Savour the famed Sg Lembing Yong Tau Foo
3) View the Rainbow Falls at Gunung Tapis
4) Visit the Pandan Falls
5) Go through the 3 hours hill trekking
6) River wading along Sungai Kenau
7) Going down to the underground mines.
May & I picked up Hsiao Mei, Zhong Yi and Ching at 3.15 am. All of us did not get any sleep as we had our night out after CK’s wedding. We were tired but still pumped up with adrenalin from anticipation when we reached the sleepy Sg Lembing town at 5.00 am where Ching led the hike as he was the one who has done it before 3 other occasions.
The hike up started from the steps at the side of a funeral parlour. (Picture of the parlour below in the daylight)
Fortunately for us, the parlour was empty otherwise it would have been extremely eerie. Nevertheless, after we moved up the steps beyond the safety net of the street lamp, we were enveloped in complete darkness. Our torch lights could only show us what’s ahead by 10 meters. Everything else was pitch black.
May and Ching surged ahead being the fittest amongst us as I straggled along with Zhong Yi and Hsiao Mei. After a while May and Ching became two moving lights up the hill.
Despite our slow progress, we still managed to catch up with a group of youngsters who had started out earlier. We overtook them and continue our struggle up the never ending steps.
May and Ching waited for us at the top of the steps and led us through the remainder trail to the summit. All in we took about 35 minutes to reach the top from the bottom of the hill. May and Ching could have made it much earlier if they did not wait for us. Bee Yung who came in an earlier trip made it in 20 minutes.
It was really peaceful at the summit and we could see the sky filled with stars. It was a great feeling, only our exhaustion from our lack of sleep dampened the spirits a little. Soon the group whom we overtook earlier reached and all of us waited for the sunrise.
Ching failed to see the sunrise on his three previous occasions and I joked with him that if he gets to see it this time, then we brought him luck. If he doesn’t, then he was the jinx.
It was a long wait from 5.40 a.m. until 6.20 a.m. when we saw a glimmer of light in the horizon.
It continued to be a slow wait. It appeared as though the darkness refused to go away. By 7.00 a.m. the sky became brighter but the sun was still missing. The sun laid hidden behind the clouds.
Nevertheless, it was still beautiful and we took lots of pictures.
We also took pictures of the Western side of the hill where we could see beautiful cotton white clouds covering the town below.
Finally at 7.25 a.m., we gave up hope of seeing the “egg yolk” of a sun and we started to make our descent down the hill.
As we were walking, we could see the sun light peeking out of a gap between the clouds. It was beautiful.
Even though, we did not see a perfect ‘yoke’ but the little ‘yolk’ which we were fortunate enough to see left Ching very happy that he was finally fourth time lucky.
The descent down only took 15 minutes but the steps were wet and slippery. May and Zhong Yi both tumbled from the slipperiness. On the way down, we met people walking up and five hikers who gave up mid way. It was a shame as one of the guys who gave up, looked much fitter than me.
Back in town, we headed straight for the famed Sg Lembing Yong Tau Fu as all of us were starving. We actually had to queue to get our food which made the expectation even higher. I chose flat noodles with dark soy sauce with Yong Tau Foo soup and coffee with milk.
I immediately tried the soup first and my first thought was that it was utterly salty. I then tried the noodles which I found to be nicely textured and crunchy but the sauce was a disappointment. Next I tried the Yong Tau Foo. The white tow foo and the foo chook were good. The lady’s finger was mediocre. The fish cake and the fish ball were quite bad. Lastly but not least, I tried the coffee and found it to be below par and too sweet. I was utterly disappointed with the food in Sg Lembing. It was not bad but nothing to be raved about and I will never drive there just for the food.
We cut short of our trip in Sg Lembing but I managed to fulfill two of my seven wishes. I still have five reasons to return to Sg Lembing. Maybe one day, I will do so.