I first heard about Sungai Lembing through a friend when she told me about how beautiful the sunrise is at Bukit Panorama. Then of course there is the food to savour because every town in Malaysia has their own specialty in terms of food. For food, I am not going to write too much about it on this post as I’ve already written extensively here – 10 Things to Eat in Sungai Lembing.
The Sungai Lembing Mines was our first stop as it was very close to our accommodation. At first the compound seemed uninteresting with nothing to see, but don’t let the compound fool you because when you take the train into the tunnels, it’s a world of wonders inside. The tunnels are well lit inside, with infographics explaining the history of tin mining in Sungai Lembing. The chamber that we visited is also known as the “Million Dollar Chamber”, where miners made RM 2000 – 3000 daily from uncontrolled tin mining activities, which was thought to be equivalent to be today’s one million dollars. The underground tunnels represent the largest tin mine in the world, totalling a cross-cut subterranean length of 322 km. It is also extremely deep, at the depth of 700 m, making it the world’s second deepest tin mine. Find out more about the Tin Mines at Sungai Lembing here.
Next place we visited was the Sungai Lembing Museum, which was the former residence of the British mine managers. From the machineries that were used for mining to different type of mines, there’s everything to know about tin mining,
For the rest of the day, we spent walking around Sungai Lembing. Being an Ipoh girl, I thought Ipoh was small, but not until I walked around Sungai Lembing ! You could pretty much walk around the town center in less than 15 minutes ! One thing I like about Sungai Lembing is that it has such a nostalgic vibe with the old houses and century-old trees. For the red post box that you see, don’t underestimate as it is made of full metal, and probably more than a hundred years old as well ! If you are interested in wooden ornaments and wooden kitchen tools, there’s a store that’s selling them in town.
For dinner, it was Bak kut teh made with mountain water , the restaurant is called Sungai Lembing Mining Restaurant, 礦城山水肉骨茶. One thing that you’ll notice is that lots of things are made with mountain water, like mountain water noodles, mountain water taufufah, etc !
Day 2 – Breakfast at the Hawker Center (Egg Chee Cheong Fun & Lembing Noodles), Rainbow Waterfall, Lunch (Duck Egg Noodles & Tomato Noodles), Hanging Bridge, Lembing Noodles Factory, Dinner at Ah Ding’s Charcoal Roast Pork & Restaurant Lai Seng. Accommodation : T Box Sungai Lembing.
We started the day early at 6.30 am as we took a 4WD package to go to the Rainbow Waterfall (RM 50 per person). Breakfast was at the hawker center where we ate the Lembing noodles, and don’t miss out the egg chee cheong fun that’s right opposite from the hawker center.
The tour started of with sunrise viewing, followed by driving into the forest, and tracking even further in to get to the waterfall. I must say I was slightly disappointed because after all that hard work of tracking to get to the waterfall, the amount of water was puny as it was dry season. But did the waterfall live up to its name ? Sure it did ! Can you see that tiny strip of rainbow, right above the guy wearing red pants ! Read my full account on the Rainbow Waterfalls –> here to get a feel of how it is to get to the waterfall.
The Rainbow Waterfall took about half a day and by the time we go back to town, it was time for lunch, where we ate the duck egg noodles and tomato noodles.
For the rest of the day, we crossed the hanging bridge to find more good food on the other side of the bridge. A popular place to go would be the Sg. Lembing noodle factory. It was open for visitation but I think we arrived too late and the workers have already finished making the noodles; try going there in the mornings if you want to see the making in action. The noodles are hand made using mountain water, boiled over charcoal fire and supplied to hawker stores in Sungai Lembing. If you love the noodles so much, you could bye them back in bulk here (1 kg and above), otherwise just eat them at the hawker stalls.
For more local snacks, you’ll find them at the stores next to the Sungai Lembing Noodle factory, such as mountain water taufufa, “dan san” (fried dough), concentrated kalamansi juice and coconut biscuits.
For dinner, it was Ah Ding’s Charcoal Roast Pork (阿定柴香燒肉), and Restaurant Lai Seng. Ah Ding’s Roast Pork has been around for at least 50 years in Sungai Lembign and traditional methods are used to roast the pork over charcoal fire. It’s open only on Saturday evenings fro 5.30 pm, so be there early because it gets sold out fast !
Day 3 – Sunrise at Bukit Panorama, Breakfast at Hawker Center, Sunday Morning Market, Crystal House, Gua Charas.
Watching sunrise at Panorama Hill is an activity you absolutely do not want to miss because all you need to do is an easy hike of 40 minutes to see the rewarding view. The sky was a mix of pink, purple, red, orange amidst a sea of clouds. The entrance of the hike is located behind the hawker market; but don’t park your car near the market on a Sunday because there’s a morning market there. When the stalls open around the hawker market, your car will get stuck there (because ours did !) See here for more pictures of sunrise in Panorama Hill.
Breakfast at the hawker center. Be sure to try Sister Fong’s Mountain Water Tofu (阿鳳麵檔山水豆腐).
Here is the Sunday market that I was talking about. It’s a small market that you’ll find selling typical touristy items and some local snacks such as the coconut biscuits and mountain water taufufah. Oh, if you missed Ah Ding’s Charcoal Roast Pork on a Saturday night, you’ll find it here at the market. Just be at the market early as it’s a hot selling item at the market t !
Since our car got stuck at the market, we rented a bike to see the Crystal House. The house is located on high ground so look out for it as you might accidentally drive past it. The owner of Crystal House is an active old man that once used to work as a miner. When the mining industry dwindled, he made a living via working with explosive and blasting mountains, through which he was able to find may crystals and the collection started from there. What’s even more interesting at the back of the crystal house is a short stretch of tunnel, which he built entirely by himself !
By the time we were finished with Crystal House, we were finally able to pick up our car and started to make our way back to KL. If you have extra time, Cave Panching (a.k.a Gua Charas) is just along the way so you might want to check it out. It’s RM 2 to get in and it’s a short climb up a few floor of stairs to get to the cave, at the end which you’ll find a Sleeping Buddha. And that’s it ! Till we meet again Sungai Lembing !