Part 3: Coast to coast via Camerons, Gua Musang and Lake Kenyir

This post records the final section of the coast to coast journey across Malaysia via Cameron Highlands, Gua Musang and Lake Kenyir.

After a Thrifty Traveller breakfast of Roti Canai and Kopi Kosong for just RM2, it’s time to leave Gua Musang for the nearby village of Pulai.

The Guan Yin temple here, known as the Water and Moon Temple, is thought to be over 400 years old.

Kampung Pulai is famed for its Guan Yin temple, known as the Water and Moon Temple, thought to be over 400 years old, making it perhaps the oldest in Malaysia.

Hakka Chinese settled here more than 600 years ago in search of gold and they maintained their traditional Hakka culture, largely undisturbed by the outside world until the first tarmac road to the village was built in 1988.

The village has a lovely setting, alongside a small river and lake, surrounded by rubber plantations and overlooked by spectacular limestone hills.

On the opposite side of the lake, facing the village is one such outcrop called Princess Hill which contains a cave with a Guan Yin statue.

To reach the cave you would have to take the suspension bridge over the river and walk around the lake. The rubber trees appeared to be well looked after with tapping still going on.

A truly serene scene: Princess Hill which contains a cave with a Guan Yin statue inside.

From the top of the steps there was a good view looking back over the village in the early morning mist.

The breathtaking interiors on the caves.

Inside the cave were a couple of large stalagmite formations, one of which has been transformed into a Guan Yin statue.

The Guan Yin statue here is carved out from a couple of large stalagmites.

Time to leave Gua Musang on the Central Spine Road (highway 8) and travel some distance before turning onto Jalan Felda Aring (1744), a minor road serving the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) plantations and settlements in this part of Kelantan.

The roads here are in excellent condition and with very light traffic, it is a pleasure to drive.

Throughout this trip you will encounter a lot of logging lorries. There are newspaper reports of rampant illegal logging going on in parts of Malaysia but it remains uncertain where these particular trucks obtained their logs.

Most of the surrounding area looks like it was deforested some time ago to make way for palm oil plantations.

Crossing over from Kelantan into Terengganu brings more lush vegetation as you approach Lake Kenyir.

This massive man-made lake was created between 1978 and 1985 by damming the Kenyir River. It is the largest artificial lake in Malaysia with an area of 260,000 hectares.

A new attraction near Lake Kenyir is the Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village. – somewhat similar to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary.

Two elephant sculptures at the Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village.

At the lakeside itself, activities include the Kenyir Water Park, boating and fishing. They have some rather ugly houseboats for rent here. Some Kerala-style houseboats for example would be a good addition..

Penarik Beach – a nice place to relax after a long drive.

From Lake Kenyir, the East Coast of Malaysia is within easy striking distance with Penarik having one of best stretches of beach in the area.

This article first appeared on thriftytraveller.wordpress.com