Travel Journals
Wandering about Sungei Lembing
13th January 2014, Monday
By: Singapore Trekker

Sungei Lembing is a small idyllic town located 42km northwest from Kuantan in West Malaysia. In Malay, Sungei means ‘river’ and Lembing means ‘spear’ and the town was named when according to legend, the local ruler saw a vision of a spear in the river that flows through the town. Sungei Lembing was a major producer of underground tin from 1880s until 1986 when the tin mining operations were closed due to the high operational costs and the collapse of world tin prices. Today, this small town is largely a tourist spot known for its friendly locals, laid back village feel, numerous waterfalls and of course one of the most picturesque sunrises in West Malaysia on top of the aptly named Bukit Panorama. It is always recommended to arrive on a weekday (Mondays to Thursdays) to avoid the large number of local tourists that throng this place for the sunrise and waterfalls. The first impression you get when you enter Sungei Lembing is how similar it is back in the 1950s with the old shophouses and wooden kampongs that line the streets. Sungei Lembing Back AlleyBack alley streets of Sungei Lembing town Night shoot Sungei LembingBukit Panorama sunrise The highlight of Sungei Lembing is the sunrise view atop Bukit Panorama, a small hill about 267m located right in the middle of town. The hike up would take about an hour; past steep stone cut steps aligned with metal railings, most in a state of disrepair. Take note however that weather is highly unpredictable and more often than not, most photographers come down with a sense of disappointment. It is advisable to visit during the non-rainy season from May to September, but that does not guarantee you a good sunrise either. Bukit Panorama Moonlit Night After sunrise, hikers would then throng the market coffeeshop nearby – the best place to wind down from the hike with a cup of locally brewed coffee and soak in the laid back atmosphere. Market vendors sell an array of noodles, kuehs, and various street food and usually open only during the weekends from Thursday onwards. The suspension bridge in the middle of town also offers some nice photographic opportunities. Explore the row of shophouses after you cross the bridge and you’ll discover them still selling old fashioned snacks such as the deep fried twisted dough, noodles, biscuits and more. Hanging-Bridge-Sungei-LembingHanging bridge over the Sungei Lembing river Sungei-Lembing-River Another notable attraction nearby is the Sungei Pandan (or Panching ) Waterfalls. Located outside Kampong Panching, which is near the halfway point between Sungei Lembing and Kuantan town, Panching Waterfalls is a popular retreat for locals and tourists alike. Recently, efforts have been made to improve the landscaping of the park, introducing park benches, small swimming pools and walkways. Panching-WaterfallsPanching Waterfalls

You can get to Sungei Lembing via several routes. Most tourists arrive via coach, from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, which takes approximately 3 to 6 hours respectively. You can also fly into Kuantan via its small International airport with Malaysia Airlines or Fireflyz from Singapore. From the airport, a taxi will take about 45 minutes (RM60) to get you to Sungei Lembing.