Saturday, 9 July 2016

Bentong 文冬 (Pahang 彭亨) Trip (2016) - Part 1

The last time I visited Bentong was more than 20 years ago!!! This family trip was a last minute decision as in actual fact we wanted to book a holiday resort in Pahang for the Hari Raya week long holidays. Too bad it was fully booked. So, we decided to go for a day trip to Bentong on the first day of Hari Raya (6th July 2016).
The Bentong District 文冬 is in Pahang, Malaysia. For non-Malaysians, for your information, the hill resort of Genting Highlands, Bukit Tinggi and Cameron Highlands are also located in the state of Pahang. Bentong is located 80km northeast of Kuala Lumpur which is just across the main range, Titiwangsa Mountain. It is bordered by Selangor on the west and Negeri Sembilan on the south.

According to an old story, Bentong was previously known as Kapong. It was changed from Kapong to Bentong before World War I. In earlier times, the center of Bentong was around the market area, at the meeting point of the rivers Repas and Perting.

The most important transportation way at that time was the rivers by using perahu (small boats). The jetty was situated in front of current rest house (near current Bentong Police Station).

Bentong became a focal point when tin ore was discovered in the two main rivers, Repas and Perting. Tin developers constructed ‘ban’ to extract more ore, hence more profits. The practice became a talking matter to the people outside Bentong, who referred to it as the story of ‘ban untung’ (the Profitable Ban). ‘Ban Untung’ became more well-known than Kapong that later people began to call it Ban Untung. From the name ‘Ban Untung’ was what the name for the district of Bentong derived from.

From other story, according to Pak Zek (Budayawan Dato’ Haji Zakaria bin Hitam), the name Bentong originated from ‘Bapong’ (meaning float). Bentong was once used as a fort by Dato’ Bahaman. The British army sent over the Gurkhas mercenary to defeat Dato’ Bahaman to take over the area. However, a number of the Gurkhas were killed after they were ambushed by Dato’ Bahaman’s men. Their bodies were thrown into the river and floated in the water. Following the incident, the site was known as Bapong, and later known as Bentong. The exact date of the name change was on 31 August 1957.

For more info on Bentong, please refer to wikipedia.

From Gombak toll, it took less than an hour to reach our destination. It was still early (before 7am) when we arrived at Bentong town. Our first venue was Pasar Besar Bentong (Bentong Market) for breakfast. It's a popular tourist destination for local delicacies. Too bad, most of the popular restaurants and stalls were closed on that day as it was a public holiday. We had planned to have our breakfast at a popular kopitian (local restaurant), Yuen Kee Kopitiam at Jalan Pasar (Market Street) but it was closed on Wednesday! This kopitiam is famous for its wantan mee (egg noodles). So, we settled for another kopitiam, LY Corner. My goodness! The shop was so packed with early birds and we had to wait for about 25 minutes to be seated. Ok, I need to cut short my long winded explanation. Just enjoy the pictures :-

Bentong Town : A small quaint town turned into tourist attraction!
Pasar Besar Bentong is located between Jalan Ah Peng and Jalan Chui Yin.
We had our breakfast here.  This is just opposite the Bentong market.
Wantan mee (egg noodles) for breakfast
Big colorful patio umbrellas lining the market street
Local Delicacies
There are many stalls selling moringa seeds. It's a craze now!
When at Bentong market, you should try to look out for Bentong ginger, Tofu Bok (豆腐卜) & stamped Tofu (海記豆付).   Kaya Puffs being sold by Mokie Home-Baked Pastry is located at the back portion of the market (facing Jalan Chui Yin). 
It started to rain and we hurried to our cars and adjourned to our next destination, Air Terjun Chamang (Chamang Waterfall).

To be continued.....................

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