Bentong Gallery


No. 17 & 18, Jalan Loke Yew, 28700 Bentong, Pahang Darul Makmur.

Tel : (609) 222 7600


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  • Bentong Charm


    The Star, Wednesday, 29 March 2017

    by Tho Xin Yi


    Banking on Bentong‘s charm


    Liow (in pink shirt) signing on the banners featuring Bentong delicacies.

    Getting to Bentong, Pahang, from Kuala Lumpur involves a scenic drive through the mountains. When the weather is not too hot, the hills near and afar are wrapped in mist, offering a breathtaking view. With waterfalls, ginger and musang king durian and more drawing in tourists, Bentong – located slightly more than an hour’s drive from the capital city – truly lives up to its nickname as the “Back Garden of Greater KL”. But as big development projects, such as the East Coast Rail Line, loom ahead, the people of Bentong are understandably worried about the environmental impact that might ruin the town’s “good mountains and good water”. Bentong MP Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai gave residents his assurance that his mission was high growth and low carbon emission, with an emphasis on ecotourism by leveraging on the town’s precious natural resources. “Tourists come to Bentong for ‘lung-washing tourism’ to breathe in the fresh air here. "At night, they lie on the ground looking at the stars and the moon while listening to the insects 'rchestra'," he told attendees at a Green Bentong gathering to commemorate Earth Hour 2017. Liow, who is also Transport Minister and MCA president, said he did not wish to see Bentong turning into another concrete jungle that loses its green lustre. He said he had approached Tenaga Nasional Bhd, which has agreed to provide saplings to add to Bentong’s greenery. While the Bentong Municipal Council would be in charge of identifying locations for the tree planting campaign, Liow envisioned the trees growing at the Sungai Marong riverbank and in new villages. He added that it was also important to strive for sustainable development with many economic opportunities to keep the younger generation from venturing into other urban areas for jobs. “If you have a business idea, present a working paper to me and I will help you to look for capital,” he told the young audience. Later, at another function, Liow launched the second phase of “Go Bentong”, an initiative to publicise attractions in Bentong through website ( and mobile app. He added that these platforms have helped boost businesses in Bentong, with featured proprietors reporting an increase in the number of customers. Liow said the Go Bentong Facebook page ( had 22,000 followers with a reach of 500,000 to 600,000 a month. The 44 videos on the page have also recorded an accumulated 600,000 views. “Tourism is a smokeless industry that is a main source of revenue for the country. Our tourism receipts raised 18.8% last year from RM69.1bil in 2015 to RM82.1bil. “We are bringing more income to the people of Bentong by promoting tourism here while preserving the environment,” he said.



  • Sungai Penjuring


    The Star, Tuesday, 14 March 2017

    by Foong Pek Yee


    Residents enjoy abundance of green hills and fresh air in Sg Penjuring village


    Chew (in blue shirt) and Ah Ying (in pink blouse) with villagers who live near the village’s riverbank.

    THEY used to crowd around the only radio in the village every evening to wait for their favourite star to go on air. This was the scene back in the 1950s and 60s in Kampung Baru Sungai Penjuring, Bentong, and the star in question was the storyteller, Lee Dai Sor (1913-1989) – a household name with his Cantonese narrations on topics such as Chinese folklore and sword-fighting. Back then, radio was the only medium of entertainment for the villagers. Dai Sor was a household name among the Chinese in Malaysia and Singapore. Born in Singapore, he was an excellent narrator and often had his listeners spellbound. “I can still remember his voice,” said Lee Ah Ying, 66, with a smile that speaks volumes. “We finished our dinner quickly so that we could be at our neighbour’s house by 6pm to listen to Dai Sor’s story. “Everyone would be silent throughout the story-telling session,” recalled Ah Ying of life in the village. She certainly has many fond memories of the place she and her family of 10 (eight children and parents) have called home since 1957. Ah Ying said most of the villagers were either illiterate or had only primary education, and life revolved around their village in a remote and hilly area in Bentong, Pahang. She said the villagers used to wash clothes by the stream, as it was the only source of water supply for them until they got piped water in 1989. Most of the villagers were rubber tappers who would start work in the estate at around 3am or 4am daily, she said. “The village was our world. We were like a big and close-knit family, and the bond remains strong to this day. “I like to tell people we have three types of love in our village – love for our family, friends and fellow villagers,” she said, showing black-and- white as well as faded colour photos of the good old days.


    The recreation centre for Kampung Baru Sungai Penjuring folk is popular among theelderly and children.

    Ah Ying is the fourth child and her parents were rubber tappers. “Each of us (siblings) have been a rubber tapper at one point in life,” she said. According to Ah Ying, the village is known as chang shou cun or “longevity village” because many of the villagers enjoy a long life. She believes the abundance of greenery and the fresh air have something to do with this. Her mother, Chan Kok Foong, died in 2007 at the age of 100, while her father Lee Nam died in 1982 at 76. Ah Ying said even today, the villagers continue to look out for each other, especially the elderly who live alone. During my tour of the village with village chief Chew Keat Hiong, it was clear that the two knew practically every household. The 48-year- old Chew, who grew up in Kampung Baru Sungai Penjuring, said there were 103 houses in the village.


    Kampung Baru Sungai Penjuring is in a hilly area. While the number of villagers is estimated to be around 2,000, only about 500 live there. “Many young people started to move out to look for jobs after 1969. There is just not enough jobs for them in Bentong,” he said. Rubber and oil palm cultivation continue to be the major economic activities in

    the village, said Chew, adding that another upcoming business was agro-tourism. “Some villagers have started to plant durian, and there is already a homestay in the village, which started operations about three years ago,” he said. Chew believes there is potential in the homestay business.


    Kampung Baru Sungai Penjuring is named after this river that flows through the village.It was a water source for the villagers in the old days.

    Located on high land, Kampung Baru Sungai Penjuring commands a panoramic view of Bentong. Major infrastucture developments in Bentong – such as the upcoming East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) linking the West Coast with the East Coast, and the Central Spine Road – are also expected to bring in more business and job opportunities. “The better connectivity will make a difference. “Many would want to stay on in the village or even return for good if they could make a living back home. “In fact, they can live in Bentong and work in Kuala Lumpur and commute by the ECRL,” he said.


    Ah Ying’s house perched at the highest point of the village commands a panoramicview.

    Two of Chew’s four children are currently working in Singapore. Ah Ying is also upbeat over the development in Bentong, pointing to the rising price of land in the area as an indicator. “Many will want to return for good if they can make a living here. The environment here is so good and so near to Kuala Lumpur. “We are enjoying the best of both worlds,” said Ah Ying, whose house is located at the highest point of Kampung Baru Sungai Penjuring. She is on top of the world talking about her beloved village



  • Top Scorer


    The Star, Monday, 13 March 2017

    by Beh Yuen Hui


    Top scorer does parents and Bentong proud


    BENTONG: Tan Mee Yee knows that education is the only way to ensure that she will have a better life.


    She comes from a rubber tapper family staying at Lurah Bilut Felda plantation here. Her parents could not afford to pay for her tuition.


    But, the 20-year- old persevered despite the hardship.


    “My results were not as good before. I only scored three As in UPSR and 4As in the PMR examinations.


    “I told myself nothing could hold me back and I must put in more effort until I succeed.”


    Tan took notes of important points during classes at SMK Sulaiman and studied hard.


    Her dedication and the spirit of never giving up paid off when she emerged as one of the most outstanding STPM students with a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 4.0.


  • Kampung Baru Perting


    The Star, Tuesday, 7 March 2017

    by Foong Pek Yee


    Village with its very own 'House of 72 Tenants'


    Kampung Baru Perting‘s library where the elderly spend their free time.

    A DOUBLE-storey wooden house stands out at the entrance of Kampung Baru Perting in Bentong, Pahang and it is no ordinary building.Village chief Hoo Weng Cheong said the house has earned the moniker “The House of 72 Tenants” – after the movie which revolves around the lives of 72 tenants in Hong Kong who must face a nasty landlady. While the movie created history when it beat Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon in the box office in 1973, Kampung Baru Perting’s “House of 72 Tenants” has its own story owing to the many tenants it has seen. The house was owned by the late Chan Sang, a famous community leader in Bentong.


    Development over time has seen most of the village houses being rebuilt (left) whilesome have remained unchanged since the late 1940s.

    This explains why the main road where the house is located is known as Jalan Chan Sang. There are also several Lorong Chan Sang in the village. Chan Sang was none other than the father of Tan Sri Chan Siang Sun, former Bentong MP and health minister who died of a heart attack while playing badminton in 1989. Hoo, 49, born and bred in this 68-year- old village, feels that the house has much potential to draw tourists even if it only has two tenants these days – a hair salon operator and a woman. There are about 670 houses with some 4,000 residents in this predominantly agricultural village. A majority of the residents were rubber tappers in the past and some of them went on to own smallholdings. Hoo said another highlight of Kampung Baru Perting is the village library, which is used mainly by the elderly.


    The main tenant of the 'House of 72 Tenants' today is a hair salon and the housecontinues to take villagers down memory lane.

    “There are some good books, including Chinese classics. The library also offers English, calligraphy and singing lessons, which are popular among the elderly,” he said. With many young people moving to cities for better job opportunities, Hoo said the enrolment in the village Chinese school, SJKC Perting, was only 300. Kampung Baru Perting is famous for its tau fu po (fluffy tofu in Cantonese).  “We have a tau fu kai (tau fu road in Cantonese) in our village,” said Hoo, emphasising the specialty in the village. He nicknamed the tau fu po as wong kam tau fu (royal gold tau fu) because there was high demand for it. “There are tourists who come all the way to the tau fu po factory here to buy them,” he said. But like many ageing villages, Kampung Baru Perting is facing the frequent problem of burst pipes. “There were six cases in January alone this year,” he said, showing a small notebook in which the incidents were recorded.


    Hoo (right) and Lee showing a record of burst pipe incidents in their village.

    Hoo said he had to arrange for the authorities to repair the pipes, adding that each repair would see water supply to the village cut off for at least two hours. “I always try my best to make sure the water disruptions do not happen during peak hours. “We will inform villagers accordingly so they can schedule their time for cooking and washing,” he added.


    Poh Yet Weng, 63 who has been living in the Kampung Baru Perting for more than 53years, with his nephews. Poh enjoys the quiet life that he lea

    Another villager, Lee Tai Wai, 48, said it was likely to worsen because of the ageing pipes and hoped that the authorities would help resolve the problem as soon as possible. “The exercise (to change all the pipes) may be massive but this is inevitable,” said Lee, to the agreement of other villagers who were present at the meeting with StarMetro. They said the problem has been around for too long. Generally, the people in Kampung Baru Perting are happy and proud of their village located next to Bentong town. Hoo said they noticed many outstation cars, including those from Singapore, in the town and that it was getting busier. Meanwhile, the “House of 72 Tenants” continues to evoke a sense of nostalgia for the villagers as they move with changing times.



  • Charmang Waterfall


    The Star, Saturday, 25 February 2017


    Chamang Waterfall


    Duration: Day trip




    i) Picnicking


    ii) Hiking


    Rainy season closure: Generally November to January. Last year, the falls were closed from Nov 1, 2016, to Jan 31. During the rainy season, the waterfalls can be dangerous due to strong currents and whirlpools. Read the warnings on the signboard and stay clear of danger spots to avoid fatal accidents. Getting to a waterfall usuavlly involves some sort of a hike but Chamang waterfall in Bentong is an exception, requiring almost zero effort. It is one of the easiest waterfalls to get to, as you can drive right up to the majestic falls, hearing its thunderous roar from the carpark. Another 20 steps and you will be standing at the water’s edge.


    Located just 70km from Kuala Lumpur and 10km from Bentong town, Chamang waterfall is amazingly huge with an enormous volume of water plummeting down in powerful cascades. The mountain fresh water is consistently cold, making it a popular weekend picnic spot. Depending on the time of year, the water colour ranges from clear to a creamy teh-tarik, with designated safe wading pools for a dip. Similarly, dangerous spots with strong currents or whirlpools are clearly marked with warning signs for visitors’ safety. That said, Chamang does have an easy 2.5km hiking trail. The trailhead is across the river, on the right of the suspension bridge and campsite. The trail starts on a gentle slope before branching to the right for a view of the upper falls.


    Duration: Day trip Activities: i) Picnicking ii) Hiking Family & Friends gathering

    We emerged from the hillside through a break in the trees, and carefully made our way down the smooth rock to a ledge below. The reward is an unobstructe view of the waterfall crashing into the river on the steep banks opposite. The fast and furious cascades made for a dramatic backdrop for group photographs. After the photo-stop, we backtracked, re-joined the path and continued up the narrow winding trail that hugs the hillside. The path eventually climbs away from the river, becoming wider and steeper. Lined with trees and low shrubs, this section has some rocky and rooty spots. We climbed steadily for 20 minutes, winding left and right with no peak in sight. The trail curled left, skirting a 3m bank as it levelled out before going downhill.


    Duration: Day trip Activities: i) Picnicking ii) Hiking Family & Friends gathering

    The descent, while not overly steep, was slippery due to a thick covering of dried leaves. We made sure to place our feet firmly on the ground to avoid sliding on the leaves and loose sand. The trail passes a bamboo patch and forest canopy, drops down a final steep bank onto a grassy area before evening out along the river. We headed down a side trail to the riverbank for a quick exploration. After 70 minutes of ups and downs, the final upriver stretch on a flat trail led us to a concrete path with steps and hand-rails to re-join the suspension bridge.




    Hutan Lipur Chamang, Bentong


    N 03 30 580, E 101 51 496 or Google ‘Air Terjun Chamang’ Bentong Pahang


    Entry Fee : RM2 per person



  • Similar Names


    The Star, Tuesday, 21 February 2017

    by Foong Pek Yee


    The bane of having similar names


    SJK(C) Khai Mun Chamang Bentong, which is more than 60 years old, is the pride of the villagers.

    HER heart beats faster than normal whenever her husband, the village head of Kampung Baru Chamang in Bentong, gets an emergency call from one of their neighbours. Leong Kow Mui’s anxiety has been compounded by worries that help – whether ambulance or fire engine – may not arrive on time. Her worry is not unfounded. “There have been many times when the driver of an ambulance or bomba (fire truck) lost their way to our village. “It is a matter of life and death, and any delay could result in a tragedy,” said Leong of the problem faced by the villagers. Kampung Baru Chamang or Chamang New Village, set up in the late 1940s, started to experience “identity confusion” after the 1970s when another residential area was set up across the main road and named Kampung Chamang Baru or New Chamang Village.


    set up in the late 1940s. after the 1970s it was named Kampung Chamang Baru or New Chamang Village.

    Tiang (fourth from left) at the big T-junction where the two villages face each other directly. With him at the entrance to Kampung Baru Chamang are (from left) villagers Wong Kam Weng, Ng Pow, Tiang’s wife and Lee Ah Ying who is the assistant to Bentong MP Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. The main entrance is at a big T-junction, where the two villages face each other directly. A plaque on the roadside proclaiming “Kampung Chamang” immediately before the entrance to Kampung Baru Chamang does not help matters either. Leong, 67, said her 68-year- old husband, Tiang Kok Choi, would have to go to the main entrance of the village whenever there was an emergency to help direct help to the village to avoid any misunderstanding. Tiang, who became the village chief a decade ago, said he hoped the authorities would build a big and clear signboard at the village entrance to avoid any “identity confusion” and prevent tragedy in times of emergency. “It only takes the driver of the ambulance or bomba to make a wrong turn at the junction for this to happen,” he told StarMetro. Tiang said the number of emergency cases, especially those involving health issues or the elderly falling down, was expected to increase as the village had an ageing population. There could be up to a few cases a month at times, he added.


    set up in the late 1940s. after the 1970s it was named Kampung Chamang Baru or New Chamang Village.

    Pupils of SJK(C) Khai Mun Chamang walking to school from their homes. Like most new villages, the houses in Kampung Baru Chamang are built close together. Villagers Wong Kam Weng, 72, and Ng Pow, 77, also hoped the authorities could build a prominent signboard at the entrance. Tiang said the village did not face any other serious problems apart from this. He attributed the comfort to the upgrading of infrastructure by the authorities. There had been no flooding in the past three years, he said. Proud of the village they have called home for several decades, Tiang, Leong, Wong and Ng were eager to introduce the places of interest. Tiang said there were about 250 houses and some 1,700 villagers, but many of the younger people had left for work or study in cities such as Kuala Lumpur, Johor Baru and Singapore. The couple’s four children are working outstation. Tiang said this outflow had resulted in the enrolment at the local primary school, SJK(C) Khai Mun Chamang, falling to about 200 currently.


    set up in the late 1940s. after the 1970s it was named Kampung Chamang Baru or New Chamang Village.

    Village head Tiang is eager to introduce the village‘s many attractions, especially the There is a community hall where the villagers play basketball and badminton or participate in activities such as line dancing. But Kampung Baru Chamang is best known for its “bird house”, a place where bird lovers would bring their pets in the mornings and evenings. “The bird house can be quite packed in the evenings and weekends,” said Tiang of the open-air hall with facilities. Here, they could hang their bird cages and bathe their birds. People would sit, relax and spend time with their birds or chat with fellow enthusiasts. Tiang said visitors from outside the village would also drop in at the bird house. “It is basically a place for bird lovers to gather, and the place with a very huge tree by the side of it is conducive for that purpose,” said Tiang, who did not rule out its potential to be developed into a tourist spot in tandem with the rapid development of tourism in Bentong. Tiang said there were many bird lovers in the village and their wealth of knowledge on the subject was invaluable. Like most new villages, Kampung Baru Chamang also has its own temple. Unlike most new villages, however, Kampung Baru Chamang does not have a coffeeshop. This, Tiang said, might be inconvenient at times, especially for the elderly who like to have coffee while chit-chatting. Tiang pointed out that the village was a close-knit community and enjoyed good security. “We know who lives in which house and can spot any stranger in our village. Once we spot someone (unknown), we would notify one another,” he said. Over time with development, the village roads appear to be getting narrower with many cars parked by the roadside. But Tiang felt the villagers were coping well with the congestion, saying: “We practise give-and- take to make our village a nice place for everybody.”



  • ECRL Station


    The Star, Tuesday, 21 February 2017

    by Ong Han Sean


    Liow: ECRL station proposed to be located near Bentong’s industrial park


    The East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) is a proposed railway line to the states of the East Coast Economic Region namely Pahang, Terengganu & Kelantan

    BENTONG: With a slew of infrastructure projects in the works, Bentong is set to be a satellite town of Greater Kuala Lumpur. Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) and the Central Spine Road (CSR) were two major projects which could transformBentong. “These projects will not only develop the east coast but Bentong as well. Bentong will be a satellite town with an organised and planned development. “People can live here and work in Kuala Lumpur, with  Gombak only a 25-minute ride away once the ECRL is completed,” he said at the SK (Felda) Chemomoi annual general meeting here. Liow said the railway line had been a dream of the people and been planned during British colonial rule and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s tenure but could not be executed. “But now we have the technology and the political will to carry out this project. The Government is committed to develop the east coast,” he said.


    The East Coast Rail Line (ECRL) is a proposed railway line to the states of the East Coast Economic Region namely Pahang, Terengganu & Kelantan

    Liow, who is the Bentong MP, also allocated RM20,000 for the school to hold its activities and approved another RM250,000 for the construction of a new hall. Later at a Chinese New Year celebration at the Bentong prison complex, Liow said the ECRL station had been proposed to be located near the town’s industrial park. “This will place Bentong as the centre where the Karak Highway and the CSR meets. Bentong itself is currently seeing double digit economic growth and putting the town at the centre of a junction will ensure more dynamic development,” he said. Liow added feedback from the public on the station’s location would be obtained and it was hoped that the groundbreaking could begin by the middle of the year. He also allocated RM10,000 for the prison to hold activities for inmates.



  • CNY Celebration


    The Star, Saturday, 18 February 2017

    by Royce Tan


    CNY do takes guests back to Imperial China


    Part of the 20,000-strong crowd at Dataran Bentong enjoying the performances at the national-level Chinese NewYear open house.

    MALAYSIANS were taken back in time to the days of the Ming and Qing Dynasty in China during the national-level Chinese New Year open house in Bentong, Pahang. The main gates of the Forbidden City provided a fitting backdrop on stage while LED graphics complemented the theme and performances. From the performances by the ‘Terracotta Warriors’ to a blue and white porcelain dance, it was truly a magical trip to the past. About 20,000 spectators were also entertained by the “four ancient beauties of China” in a 10-minute musical.


    Najib (centre) and Rosmah singing several Chinese New Year songs at the eventfinale with Liow (second from right) and his wife Datin Seri Lee S

    Portrayed by dancers from Istana Budaya’s performing arts group Artistari, the four beauties moved gracefully dressed in vibrant traditional costumes while skilfully using a Chinese fan and pipa, among other items. Legend has it that the four beauties — Xi Shi, Wang Zhaojun, Diao Chan and Yang Yuhuan — from four different dynasties, were the most beautiful women of ancient China. Xi’s beauty would make fish forget how to swim and sink below the surface while Wang’s looks led to birds forgetting how to fly.


    Two lions from the world-renowned Kun Seng Keng Lion and Dragon DanceAssociation wowing the crowd with their moves.

    Diao on the other hand, outshone the moon while Yang’s face put flowers in bloom to shame. Earlier, fireworks illuminated the night sky as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz and Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob launched the celebration. The thunderous beats of the 24-festive drum by SJK(C) Bukit Tinggi pupils kicked off the night with a bang. Some 30 of them showed off their skills by drumming and moving in unison. Among the highlights was the heart-stopping lion dance performance by world-renowned Kun Seng Keng Lion and Dragon Dance Association from Muar, Johor. It was double the thrill with two lions prancing on stilts, wowing the crowd with their gravity-defying stunts and cheeky gestures.


    ‘Palace maidens’ dancing alongside the ‘four ancient beauties of China’

    Five-year- old Jeremy Wong definitely had the best view, perched on his father Willaim Wong’s shoulders. Wong, 32, said it was the first time they watched the Kun Seng Keng troupe perform live. “I’ve only watched videos of their performances on Facebook. It’s amazing to be able to see them in person,” he said. Housewife Maisarah Mohamad, 43, said the lion dance was the highlight for her. “I was really scared for the performers’ safety when the lions jumped from stilt to stilt.” After the performance, the two lions greeted Najib, Rosmah and other dignitaries. Other performers included local singer Aiman Tino who belted out his hit single Ku Rela Dibenci (I’m willing to be hated), much to the excitement of the crowd who sang along with him. Songstress Yuni Wun then serenaded them with Teresa Teng’s famous numbers Yue Liang Dai Biao Wo De Xin (The Moon Represents My Heart) and Tian Mi Mi (Sweet as Honey) as well as Frances Yip’s Cantonese classic Seung Hoi Tan (Shanghai Beach).


    The fireworks display at the launch of the National Chinese New Year OpenHouse celebration at Bentong Square.

    There were also Malay and Indian cultural dances as well as singing performances by Kvinx and Pop Yeh Yeh legend Datuk Jeffrey Din. In his speech, Liow, who is also MCA chairman and Bentong MP, thanked Mohamed Nazri for choosing Bentong as the host for the open house this year. “The spirit of moderation and inclusiveness is evident through the multiracial Malaysians present here tonight to celebrate Chinese New Year,” he said. Adnan said functions like the open house could foster greater ties between races. “I have been to many countries and we are still one of the most diverse and unified nations in the world,” he told the crowd.


    People of all races trying the free famous ‘Lemang To’ki’ during the open housecelebration.

    In a memorable finale to the night, Najib, Rosmah and other dignitaries sang several Chinese New Year tunes. Also present were Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, Wanita MCA chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie, China’s ambassador to Malaysia Dr Huang Huikang and his wife Zhao Shumei.



  • King of Fruits


    The Star, Friday, 17 February 2017

    by Tho Xin Yi


    Taiwanese guests intrigued by the King of Fruits and Bentong’s charm


    Chamang Waterfall offers a welcoming respite to the tropical heat.

    BENTONG: The town that is slightly more than an hour’s drive away from Kuala Lumpur charmed guests from Taiwan recently. From the famous Bentong ginger to the much-coveted Musang King, they were treated to more than just the gastronomic delights that Bentong, the preferred “backyard of Greater Kuala Lumpur”, is well-known for. The delegation from Taiwan New Southbound Policy Countries Parliamentary Amity Association began their day with a breakfast of soup noodles and coffee at a local Chinese kopitiam in Bukit Tinggi while enjoying the fresh morning air. From there, their tour bus took a winding scenic trunk road to the hot spring in Bentong, where locals and tourists were having a splashing fun time at a resort. With their jackets removed and sleeves rolled up as the scorching sun was unforgiving, the officials also visited the Chamang Waterfall not far from Bentong town.


    The Taiwanese delegation visiting the Bentong hot spring. — Photos: AZMANGHANI/The Star

    Crystal clear waters gushing out from the mountains above offered a welcoming respite to the tropical heat, which according to the Taiwanese, was similar to their summer weather back home. Next, the guests piled into pickup trucks and ventured deep into a durian orchard, where D24 and Musang King durians were served. With a view of rolling hills and a calm river, the guests licked the durian seeds clean, comparing notes on the difference between the two variants. One of them was so intrigued by the King of Fruits and even contemplated bringing a thorny husk back! With a recent surge in eco-tourism products, Bentong could learn a thing or two from Taiwan, which has long built its reputation as the destination for leisure farms. As their visit coincided with Chinese New Year, the association’s chief executive officer and deputy director-general Chung Chia-Pin said their short trip to Bentong reminded them of the unpolished traditions and culture.


    The Techno San Tai Zi, specially brought in from Taiwan, dancing to the fast-beatmusic.

    “People here might be envious of how Taiwan packages its culture with creativity, giving birth to a new industry that boosts the economy and becomes a unique selling point for Taiwan. “But today we are mesmerised by the traditions and celebration that have not been commercialised,” he said. Chung, a member of parliament, added that their four-day visit to Malaysia was also to strengthen cooperation between Taiwan and Malaysia, particularly in the fields of vocational training, agriculture and medical education. At night, Bentong came alive with a temple fair and a parade of floats. Joining the festivities was the Techno San Tai Zi, a popular Taiwanese folk culture group featuring vibrantly dressed and masked performers as the “Third Prince” deity. Accompanied by loud, fast-beat music blasting from the stereos, the six goofy performers danced and distributed sweets to the onlookers who had gathered at both sides of the streets along the parade route. The San Tai Zi was clearly a crowd favourite, judging by the amused expression on spectators faces.


    Musang King and D24 durians are served to the Taiwanese guests.

    Inside the Bentong Chinese Assembly Hall, Taiwanese folk artists Wu Ping Shun and Jhong Li-Ying wowed the fair-goers with their intricate sugar painting and miniature figurines. Despite requests, their artworks were not for sale. Chung said the Chinese New Year mood in Bentong was comparable to that of Taiwan. “The San Tai Zi troupe is a creative twist to a traditional culture. We brought them to Bentong to be part of the merriment here,” he said.



  • ECO Tourism


    The Star, Monday, 13 February 2017


    Vital to keep Bentong as eco-tourism hub, says Nazri


    BENTONG: It is vital to turn Bentong into a tourism and cultural hub so that the satellite town will be protected and conserved as an eco-tourism area, said Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.


    He said a place with pristine nature and environment is hard to find in Malaysia as many areas are being urbanised but Bentong has it all.


    “In less than an hour from Kuala Lumpur, you’ll be in a place where the air is fresh and the environment is well protected.


    “Tourists here will be surrounded by greeneries and clean water. “Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has promoted lung-washing tourism and the first thing that came to my mind is Bentong.


    “Lung-washing has attracted tourists from Europe, the United States, China, Japan and Korea. We need to maintain Bentong as a lung-washing destination,” he told reporters after visiting the Caravan Serai Exclusive Private Villas here during his working visit yesterday.


    (“Lung-washing” tourism is meant to promote Malaysia as a pollution-free destination and targeting tourists seeking a better environment to spend their holidays.)


    Nazri promised MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, who is Bentong MP, that he would give his support to make Bentong a lung-washing district in Malaysia.


    At another function where Liow, who launched the Arch Bentong Gallery with Nazri, said the clean and fresh air and the environment in Bentong can be promoted throughout the world as one of the main attractions.



  • Organic Farming


    The Star, Saturday, 4 February 2017

    by Foong Pek Yee


    Couple enjoys retirement while growing durian and other fruits at their organic farm in Bentong


    Couple enjoys retirement while growing durian and other fruits at their organic farm in Bentong

    A couple’s love for the durian extends beyond savouring the fruit — they also cultivate it at their organic farm in Bentong, Pahang. Ng Swee Pen, 61, and his wife Chin Nyuk Pheng, 58, also take a personal interests in nurturing the fruit trees at the farm in Karak, about 30km from Bentong town. Ng said trees are part of nature and need care and attention. “Trees thrive in as natural a setting as possible,” said Ng who has a Bachelor of Science (Agriculture) degree from Universiti Putra Malaysia.


    Couple enjoys retirement while growing durian and other fruits at their organic farm in Bentong

    He is proud that his orchard received organic certification from the government in 2012. Drawing from his decades of experience — working in plantations — Ng said the yield would be good if the trees are healthy. He only use methods which are good for the environment and health. “There are no added chemicals, artificial pesticides and fertilisers or GMO (genetically modified organisms) in our orchard,” Ng said when met at Karak Organic Durian Farm in Mukim Sabai, Karak, Bentong. Apart from durian, he said his 11 acre (4.45ha) orchard also has fruit trees like nangka, mangosteen, papaya, rambutan and dukong. Ng’s enthusiasm for organic farming was clear to see as he explained its merits on his laptop before taking visitors around his orchard.


    Couple enjoys retirement while growing durian and other fruits at their organic farm in Bentong

    “We are also practising reuse, reduce and recycle in our orchard. “Everything can be put to good use, from the skins of fruit to the fallen leaves and branches because they are ingredients for organic fertilisers,” he said as he threw papaya skin on the ground. Using the analogy of a healthy human being who eats and lives well, Ng said healthy trees thrive and produce good yields. To protect the soil and also ensure its quality and structure, his orchard is planted with leguminous cover crop, said Ng who lifted the leaves of the cover crops, revealing a natural habitat for insects, including utterflies. Beneath the ground, he added, is the habitat for earthworms which help to loosen the soil and make it breathable. “This is very important for the absorption of nutrients from the soil,” he explained as he continued to reel out scientific facts and names to explain the biological, physical and mechanical aspects of organic farming.



  • Bentong in a prosperous city


    The Star, Saturday, 4 February 2017 | MYT 7:08 PM

    by Beh Yuen Hui


    Liow: Plan in place to turn Bentong into a prosperous city


    Bentong will soon become a model of how to transform a quiet town into a prosperous city, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (pic).

    BENTONG: Bentong will soon become a model of how to transform a quiet town into a prosperous city, says Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (pic).

    The Bentong MP and MCA president revealed a series of development plans in progress to reach this goal. "Let everyone witnesses how this small town transformed into a prosperous place," he told the people here at Bentong MCA's Chinese New Year open house on Saturday. He also announced a roadshow would be held to inform the people on the progress of these plans while seeking feedback to further map out the direction for the town. Liow also said that the national-level Chinese New Year open house would be held here on Feb 12. Earlier in Kuala Lumpur, Liow handed out Chinese New Year goodies to nearly 1,000 elderly and less fortunate people at a charity programme organised by the Welfare Society of Loke Yuen Pudu KL.



  • Cool Retreat


    The Star, Saturday, 4 February 2017

    by Foong Pek Yee


    A cool retreat amid fruit trees


    There are more than 1,000 trees in the orchard and some of them are over 70 years old. Musang King and D24 Mangosteen star fruit, coconut, jambu

    MALAYSIANS were taken back in time to the days of the Ming and Qing Dynasty in China during the national-level Chinese New Year open house in Bentong, Pahang. The main gates of the Forbidden City provided a fitting backdrop on stage while LED graphics complemented the theme and performances. From the performances by the ‘Terracotta Warriors’ to a blue and white porcelain dance, it was truly a magical trip to the past. About 20,000 spectators were also entertained by the “four ancient beauties of China” in a 10-minute musical.


    There are more than 1,000 trees in the orchard and some of them are over 70 years old. Musang King and D24 Mangosteen star fruit, coconut, jambu

    There are more than 1,000 trees in the orchard and some of them are over 70 years old. “We have more than 10 types of local fruit trees here, with most being durian, including the Musang King and D24 (species), and mangosteen. “The others are star fruit, coconut, jambu, longan, langsat, mangoes, papaya, sugarcane, pineapple and nangka,” said Xia in her Beijing Mandarin as she took the reporter on a tour of the orchard. Located about 5km from Bentong town, the orchard does not have electricity or piped water supply. “We use solar energy and water from the hills. “We have a generator to use the air conditioner on very hot days,” Pui said. According to Xia, the temperature in their orchard hovers around 20° Celsius at night, which is just nice for them. The orchard, which started as a weekend retreat initially, is now their permanent residence, she added.


    There are more than 1,000 trees in the orchard and some of them are over 70 years old. Musang King and D24 Mangosteen star fruit, coconut, jambu

    Xia said she and her mother Chu Ba-Li, in her 80s, not only enjoy the natural environment and fresh air but also plant flowers and vegetables in their compound. “My mother-in- law always says 10,000 people surround one tree in Beijing. In Bentong, one person is surrounded by 10,000 trees,” quipped Pui, visibly proud of his orchard. A self-professed nature lover, Pui’s tagline for Bentong is: “Think of nature, think of Bentong”. Surrounded by hills and natural water sources, he said the land in Bentong is fertile and perfect for agro and eco tourism. The 54-year- old Pui, who had worked in several countries, including China, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam prior to retirement five years ago, said Bentong’s strategic location and proximity to Kuala Lumpur is another plus factor. His two sons live in a condominium in Kuala Lumpur which is less than an hour’s drive away from Bentong. Pui, who has an agarwood business, said his friends and business associates also share his love for Bentong.


    There are more than 1,000 trees in the orchard and some of them are over 70 years old. Musang King and D24 Mangosteen star fruit, coconut, jambu

    The fresh air, lush greenery, distant hills, birds chirping and sounds of insects make it an ideal retreat for them. The orchard commands a panoramic view of the distant hills and Xia said their guests enjoy taking walks and having a durian feast while enjoying the scenery. Pui and Xia like to entertain their friends and business associates in the orchard. “It is about durian parties. Some also come for holidays or short stays,” said Pui, who has three chalets for his guests.


    There are more than 1,000 trees in the orchard and some of them are over 70 years old. Musang King and D24 Mangosteen star fruit, coconut, jambu

    The couple is now in the process of turning part of their orchard into a holiday retreat. Pui said another 10 chalets and a restaurant are under construction. “It is al about going back to basics, away from the stress of city living,” he said, adding that eco and agro tourism is the way forward and Bentong is poised to take the lead.



  • Bentong Walk


    The Star, Wednesday, 25 January 2017

    by Foong Pek Yee


    Bentong Walk draws the crowd


    Bentong Walk, which took off at the end of 2015, sees traders lining Jalan Chui Yin in Bentong town everyday to promote and sell their goods.

    BENTONG: Wong Koon Siong has been looking foward to Saturdays since a year ago. Rain or shine, the 70-year- old will set up his stall at Bentong Walk to sell his art pieces. An artist, he is proud that his hand drawn sourvenirs, from stone paper weights, postcards to bookmarks are all his own creations. Most of all, he is proud that his creations now help to promote Bentong to the world. Bentong Walk, which took off at the end of 2015, sees traders lining Jalan Chui Yin in Bentong town every Saturday from evening till midnight to promote and sell their goods. The traders include the young and old, and this is also a platform to facilitate entrepreneurship. “I can come up with more than 100 drawings a day,” Wong said while busy setting up his stall, calling out for customers and talking to StarMetro at Bentong Walk last Saturday.


    Bentong Walk, which took off at the end of 2015, sees traders lining Jalan Chui Yin in Bentong town everyday to promote and sell their goods.

    His 16-year- old grandson, Wong Ken Ley, who was there to assist him said he was proud of his grandfather’s creations. “All the things here are done by him,” he said, adding that the bonsai plants which were given a Lunar New Year touch were in demand this season. Despite the slight drizzle, the Wong family and many traders were seen setting up their stalls as Chinese New Year was fast approaching. Bentong Walk was also crowded with many visitors drawn to the grand decorations put up to usher in the Year of the Rooster.


    Bentong Walk, which took off at the end of 2015, sees traders lining Jalan Chui Yin in Bentong town everyday to promote and sell their goods.

    MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, also Bentong MP, was present to have an early celebration with the folk there. There was a day long programme lined up, starting with some 450 participants taking part in a calligraphy contest organised by the Bentong Chinese Assembly Hall. Liow presented prizes to the calligraphy contest winners later in the evening. Bentong Walk chairman Wong Chau Shing said Bentong Walk is now a focal point for major festive celebrations all year round.


    Bentong Walk, which took off at the end of 2015, sees traders lining Jalan Chui Yin in Bentong town everyday to promote and sell their goods.

    Besides a place for the locals to gather, he said Bentong Walk was also a place for tourists, especially foreigners, to enjoy the celebrations and learn more about the local culture. The programmes in Bentong Walk every Saturday are also on the itinerary of many tourism packages, Wong said.



  • Sang Lee


    The Star, Tuesday, 3 January 2017

    by Simon Khoo


    Serene village where durian is king


    Kampung Baru Sang Lees durian landmark built as part of a promotion blitz.

    UNLIKE most new villages, Kampung Baru Sang Lee in Raub, Pahang, is distinctive. Firstly, it is not one of those fenced up settlements for rural Chinese at the height of the Communist insurgency. Rather, it started out as a small rubber estate in the late 1930s. Not long after, as more workers were brought in to tap rubber, the settlement expanded into a village and hence, got its name. Back then, the price of rubber was good and the product was in high demand. But the commodity suffered a sharp decline in later years, resulting in many moving out to seek greener pasture elsewhere. Due to its origin, the houses in this village are more organised, aligned along both sides of a 1.5km long stretch.


    The houses in Kampung Baru Sang Lee are located along both sides of this 1.5km stretch of road. There are 116 houses left now and the village is 100% Chinese, mostly of the Guangxi clan. About 500 villagers are still staying put while 300 others opted to move out to Klang Valley and other major towns. These remaining villagers are now tending to the booming durian orchards and reaping the fruits of their labour. This durian-producing village is famous for the Musang King and D24 species. “Ours are the best in terms of quality in the whole of Raub,” claimed villager Liong Kon Loong, 53, a former rubber tapper. “This is due to the fertile soil and hilly climate,” said Liong, who owns a durian orchard. He will collect durians on his motorcycle during the peak season and sell to middlemen for instant cash.


    Liong, 53, pointing to the D24 durian trees in the village.

    A father of two boys and three girls, aged between 19 and 30, Liong said he had no plans to move out although four of his children were living elsewhere. “I was born and brought up here. I love the nice quiet surroundings, as well as my fellow villagers who are like one big happy family. “There is no stress and we live a carefree life,” he said, adding that his wife would prepare dinner at around 6pm and it’s bedtime at 9pm. Third-generation villager Aries Sew, 28, said she liked staying in the village, preferring the life here over the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur. “Our village life is peaceful and relaxing. Why should I move to the city and put unnecessary pressure on myself? “This is the village envied by others,” she said, pointing out that Sang Lee was located between Raub and Bentong and not far from the Kuala Lumpur metropolitan.


    Another iconic landmark in the village - an old jeep.

    Sew said if she needed to shop and unwind, she would drive down to the country’s capital and meet up with friends there. “My significant other needs to accept my decision to remain here,” she said without revealing if she had someone special courting her. Presently, she is assisting her parents to run a coffeeshop in the village. Local tourists passing by the village en route to Fraser’s Hill will usually stop by at Lee Kam Lan’s place. Lee, 61, operates a family shop selling wantan mee and wild boar curry. “I have been in this business for over 35 years,” she said. According to the locals and the stall’s fans from outside the village, it is the succulent taste that keeps them coming back.


    The famous wantan mee and curry wild boar meat in the village.

    Villagers also made it a point to gather there for their daily “coffeeshop talk.” Another villager, See Foo, 70, said there was much potential for the village to be developed as an eco-village with durian as its main draw. “I spend time rearing birds and listening to their melodious chirps. “My wife has passed away and my three grown children – one boy and two girls– are living in Kuala Lumpur,” he said, adding that they would be returning soon for a Chinese New Year reunion. He said the village had come of age. Village chief Datuk Wong Teik Weng said crime was almost unheard of in this “peaceful, serene and quiet settlement.” There are just two personnel on duty at its police beat to oversee the entire village.


    Lee Kam Lan, 61, preparing wantan mee, a business she has been running for the past35 years.

    Wong said last year, a Federal allocation of RM90,000 was given to upgrade basic amenities such as the drainage system and retaining walls. “We organise a fundraiser every year and festival gatherings which all villagers take part in. “All of us are close-knit and we look after one another,” he said, adding that the first homestay managed by a villager had started operations recently. As part of a promotion blitz, several symbolic and easily recognisable landmarks dot the village. A replica of a durian and an old Land Rover used to transport the fruit were put up a few years ago. The latest addition is a huge palm holding a giant durian with the village name embossed on a signage on the main road. Villagers still send their children to the SJK(C) Sang Lee, which has been in operation since 1940.


    SJK(C) Sang Lee has an enrolment of 101 pupils including orang asli children.

    Now, it has about 101 pupils, including 40 orang asli pupils from three nearby villages. Classmates Wong Guan Teng and Chai Tian Ci, both 11, said they loved the school environment and dedicated teachers. “We come back here to play after revision,” said Tian Ci when asked why they were in school since it was the school holidays. With such a lovely, very liveable and stress-free environment, it is not hard to fathom why villagers of Kampung Baru Sang Lee are staying put and calling the village “their paradise.”



  • Beauty of Bentong


    The Star, Wednesday, 21 December 2016

    by Adrian Chan


    Breathing in the beauty of Bentong


    Getting to Bentong, Pahang, from Kuala Lumpur involves a scenic drive through the mountains.

    TOURISM industry players are optimistic that Bentong is set to be the next up-and-coming destination for eco-tourism, joining the ranks of Sekinchan and Cameron Highlands. The area is unsullied by pollution often associated with rapid development, offering visitors a near-unadulterated experience of the great outdoors. Yet the place is not under-developed that visitors would have to spend the night in discomfort. Tourism in Bentong strikes a balance between the comforts expected of a relaxing tour and a glimpse of the simple life in an agriculture town. Local tour operator Datuk Derek Teng described Bentong as the “backyard of Kuala Lumpur” because of its proximity to the nation’s capital city.


    Teng says Bentong is an ideal place for tourists to unwind and relax after visiting cities, describing the town as the ‘backyard of Kuala Lumpur‘ because of its proximity to the capital. “Bentong’s natural environment is its appeal. It tells the story of a typical small town. We noticed that it is common for tourists to feel lethargic after visiting a chain of cities. “What we want to do is help them relax by bringing them closer to nature, which is why Bentong is ideal,” said Teng, who is CM VIP Holiday chief executive officer. The town has seen a surge of foreign tourists since 2015, with it becoming a favourite pit stop for inbound tours. In fact, the number of eco-resorts have risen over the past few years to cater to the increasing demand, making it a total of 60 this year. Anuar Md Noor, 41, an operations and service manager at Suria Hot Spring Resort in Bentong, attests to this. He said the number of foreign tourists at the resort had doubled in the last year


    "I am confident by the end of December, they (tourists) will shoot up to 10%" Anuar Md Noor “Foreign tourists, mostly from Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and China, made up only 3% last year. By November this year, the numbers increased to 6%. “I am confident that by the end of December, they will shoot up to 10%,” said Annuar. A local bee farm has also reported a rapid increase in visitors. Melipoly Holdings Bhd director Almond Siah said numbers had risen as high as 30% during the festive seasons. “During last year’s Hari Raya period, we had around 500 to 1,000 visitors. This year, it was almost 1,300 per day,” he said.


    "Although many tourists come here, my customers are usually local Chinese." - LenyArianda Ariffin Siah attributed the increase to the aggressive Go Bentong marketing programme, which had helped boost Bentong’s online presence. “It is a good thing. With more job opportunities now, more and more young people are returning to Bentong. I guess they can see a future here,” he said. The tourism boom in Bentong is said to have given the town a “new lease of life”, with many businesses enjoying increasing revenue. However, the economic slowdown this year is taking a toll on smaller businesses, especially hawkers. Nasi lemak seller Leny Arianda Ariffin, 36, who sets up her stall outside the town mosque, said she was relying mostly on regular customers, not tourists. “I start my business at 5.30am every day. Although many tourists come here, my customers are usually local Chinese. “This year business is bad, it is very quiet. During the school holidays last year, parents would come to my stall, bringing along their children,” she said. On the other hand, Indian food trader T. Manonroney, 46, is enjoying some spillover from the increase in tourists. “We enjoy better business on weekends because tour buses stop at Bentong. “But the increase is just enough to offset the rise in the cost of living. “It is just enough to get by,” said the mother of three.



  • China Group


    The Star, Wednesday, 21 December 2016


    China group makes refreshing discovery on last leg of tour


    Several tourists from China were seen taking photographs of themselves in front of Batu Caves.

    LOCATED some 60km away from Kuala Lumpur, Bentong is the perfect escape for tourists looking to spend time away from the concrete jungle. Its proximity to the capital city is its biggest attraction as tourists do not have to travel far to enjoy fresh air and a change in scenery that this pastoral town offers. Chinese national Li Lixin, 50, got to experience just how close Bentong is from Kuala Lumpur – an hour’s bus ride away – on his first visit last week. Having toured Malaysia on three previous occasions, his first remark about Bentong was about its unpolluted state. “It was a refreshing experience after visiting cities for the past few days before this.


    Development over time has seen most of the village houses being rebuilt (left) whilesome have remained unchanged since the late 1940s.

    “What is most memorable here is the environment. The air is so clean,” he said, noting that his hometown in Beijing city was covered in perpetual haze. Lixin, a salesman, also expressed amazement at the warmth showed by the locals in Bentong. . “I guess you can only feel this in small towns. The genuine warmth people show cannot be found elsewhere,” he said. Lixin was among 60 tourists from China, who were part of a tour group that spent two days in Bentong. The tour is the first of its kind, as inbound tours usually make Bentong an afternoon pit stop before heading off to other cities. Having spent the first four days touring Malacca and Kuala Lumpur, the tourist later took in the sights and sounds of the country’s east coast, before flying home.


    A group of tourists from various parts of China listening intently as an employee at thepark explains how honey is extracted.

    The group’s Wednesday morning started with a visit to the iconic Batu Caves, followed by a tour of the Aerofoam mattress factory in Gombak. En route to Bentong, the group stopped in Genting Highlands before continuing their journey. Their afternoon in the town started with a visit to Bentong’s Valley Agro Park, one of the many eco-tourism sites there. The tourists got to see how honey is cultivated from sting-less bees known as lebah kelutut – a native species in Malaysia – before enjoying an organic meal of vegetables, chicken and fish reared at the park. Their night ended with a sojourn at Suria Hot Spring resort, where they got to enjoy a dip in Bentong’s famous hot spring. The tourists were whisked off to Bentong’s morning market at 7.30am the next day.


    Some of the tourists eagerly testing out mattresses during their tour of the AerofoamManufacturing mattress factory in Gombak.

    There, they were given the chance to buy local products made from the famous Bentong ginger, as well as sample the town’s equally famous yong taufu and taufu fah. Their visit ended with a trip to a durian orchard, located 5km from Bentong town. The durian orchard was the highlight of the visit as many among the group had never seen a durian tree although they have tasted the fruit. “I did not expect durian trees to be so stout. I always imagined them to be very tall with a spiky exterior similar to the fruit,” said Li Yuqing, 28, an art teacher from Beijing. Yuqing, who is a self-proclaimed durian lover, buys the fruit at least four times a year although it costs about 130 yuan (RM83) per serving back in Beijing. “I’ve been yearning for durian since I set foot in Malaysia five days ago. My wish came true on my final day here!” she exclaimed. What Yuqing and the rest of the tour group savoured was, in fact, Bentong’s very own Musang King durian. “The texture is soft and the flavour not as thick as other Musang King variants that I have tried. “The taste is simply unforgettable.


    A trader at the Bentong wet market offering samples of freshly cut Bentong ginger tosome of the tourists.

    “My time here in Bentong is simply amazing. I will definitely get my friends to visit some day!” she said. The tour to Bentong had also impressed several tour operators from China who were part of the group. They enjoyed the trip so much that they plan to include Bentong as a destination in their outbound routes to Malaysia. Although it was her first trip to Malaysia, Ye Jing, who is chief executive officer of a travel agency specialising in tours to Hong Kong and China, is positive that Bentong can grow to become a favourite tourist spot. “The back-to- nature feeling of Bentong is very comfortable. The people here are friendly, too. I must bring my fellow countrymen to visit. “The network I have built on this trip will be invaluable in bringing tourists from China to Bentong,” said Ye, a native of Shenzhen. Meanwhile, Jiang Qiang, a tour operator from Guangdong, felt that Bentong completes the “Malaysian experience” for tourists. “Malacca is rich in history and Kuala Lumpur showcases the country’s rapid development. Bentong, on the other hand, serves as a place of leisure and for tourists to relax. “It completes the whole package,” he said.




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  • Kampung Baru Perting‘s library where the elderly spend their free time.

    Development over time has seen most of the village houses being rebuilt (left) whilesome have remained unchanged since the late 1940s.

    Hoo (right) and Lee showing a record of burst pipe incidents in their village.

    Poh Yet Weng, 63 who has been living in the Kampung Baru Perting for more than 53years, with his nephews. Poh enjoys the quiet life that he lea