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Friday, May 15, 2009

Chengkau Revisited

I revisited Chengkau last week a side tour after my wife's old girls reunion week in Seremban. It's really been a long time since I visited Chengkau, a hiatus of about 19 years. The last time I was here was in 1990 attending the wedding of Din's elder brother.

The last time I was in Rembau was at his Al- marhumah mother's funeral in 99.

The great fire of Chengkau occurred in 2000. The remnant's of the fire remain until today. They have not demolished what was partially burnt. Also the shop owners went on with business in the partially burnt shop.

The Cina Chengkoi of Chengkau was no where visible during my short visit. He was probably relocated to a proper care institution by his parents to protect him from the angry local community and vice versa.

The scars of the fire are still visible both physically at the site and emotionally in the occupants of the town. An aged Chinese man, pointed out the sites of the fire and stories of it's spread while enquiring on my curiosity. He declined to have himself photographed as the Ah Pek in the partially burnt shop.

The row of burnt shops under the tree, remarkable how the tree itself recovered.

Still in use, the roof has not been properly replaced

The burnt down shoplots, not rebuilt

Very nice view of the contrast of the old and new.

The scars of the fire clearly visible on the roof.

The owner probably did not repaint the building to maintain the rustic burnt look. The Ah Pek inside the shop looked a bit too agitated by my presence to enable me to interview him further.

The new shop houses on the opposite side of the road.

The FV1 shop of Chengkau located in the old row shophouses on the opposite side.

The famous Chengkau signboard at the entrace to the town.

You leave this signboard to see the Chengkau signboard. It's located on the opposite side of the road. This is Din's hometown.

The Chengkau Water storage tank built after the fire.

With regard to cycling, the area offers tremendous possibilities yet to be explored.

Road cycling is possible but you would have to beware of the cars and other vehicles as they travel at great speeds on the lonely roads.

Nearby Gunung Datuk (Grandfather Mountain) offers great possibilities of offroad trails. It's definitely one of the areas that we have to look into in the future.

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