Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Betong, Thailand (Nava K's Weekend Tripping) - Episode 2

Did I? Did I sleep? What should I possibly? Say? Loud knocking and slamming of doors until almost 6am, and me at first like, wondering if Betong hotel devils are playing sparks. Not until later, once I put two and two together conclusively? Oh! The tale of Betong. The prominent tale to alcohol and after effects of clubbing or even maybe? Strip Shows or Tiger Shows taking a toll on human devils. Human devils not as in males only. Even the horrifying giggles of women? Remember, I told you (Betong Thailand Episode 1)? Betong is? The sex land for men. Can Betong be the sex land for women? You figure it out for yourself. Whatever! Hopping out of bed by 6.30am after like sleeping, maybe 4 hours most to most, I showered and down to the lobby. My two friends? They are always the earliest birds. They in fact had already embarked on a mini tour within the nearby area and we later, going with the flow of Betong streets for, where can breakfast be. 

Not bad. Betong for a fact is a promising deal for breakfast and thank god we opted out from hotel buffet breakfast. Nothing like sometimes eating at the streets, don't you think so? Of course. Although, whether you get the runs, pretty much is a different matter all together? Carry some charcoal tables and you will do fine. Where was our breakfast? Between the road side stalls, hawker carts, and coffee shops, we agreeing on this coffee shop. Which coffee shop? Wish I can tell you, but due to signboards in Thai language? How did breakfast fare? Char Kway/Chinese Crullers and the other type of dough fried stuff, washed down by coffee? Satisfying.  

Breakfast concluded, and we thereafter climbing the steep slope at the back of our hotel for checking out the temple. Temple most probably, if I am not mistaken, already abundant or redundant. I mean? When nothing was going on. No smoke and smell of joss sticks in the air. we were the only ones and inside of temple out of bound? What did we do? We stood around. We looked at the outside structure and also, the sky and view of Betong town from atop. Other than that? Just like 20 minutes of our time for walking, seeing and back to our hotel for hopping into the tuk-tuk we had prior made arrangement last night. 

Into tuk-tuk and our driver? Shooting off like Speedy Gonzales. I suppose his limit is no speed limit. And us? We knew. If we didn't grip tight to the bars atop, lemme tell you. You can go tumbling down or even flung out of tuk-tuk. What a ride! But to tell you the truth, me quite enjoying this quite like an adventurous ride while continuing with looking at whatever throughout the journey. Our driver too was a silent man. Silence most probably is his golden words? Must be. But he did though hear us out. Of course due to my loud voice before bringing us to a Muslim eatery for another round of breakfast. What? I thought we told him we wanted to try some Betong soupy noodles. Nevermind we told ourselves. Maybe it will be good we test out Betong roti canai? Honestly. Don't waste your time. Our Malaysian roti canai is still unbeatable.   
Thereafter, we journeying to the hilltop Wat Ki Lo Si/ Kek Lok Si Temple. Where you can wash away your sins or bad luck by opting for "Mandi Bunga/ Flower Bath”. Not free. Nothing is free by the way in this world if you don't know. In fact, everything comes with a higher price tag when you travel. We definitely were not at all keen in Mangi Bunga. Wat Ki Lo Si on the whole? Captivating. Without a doubt. Albeit compound of temple is not big, yet, its so genuine. I bet you will love it. Bells, gongs, gods, and also for allowing your mind and eye sight to wonder towards the beyond or within the limited scope of Betong view. Wow!  Imagine! Morning breeze slowly blowing for giving you the cuddly feeling and sun on the contrary wrestling its way out by slowly rising in sky kingdom like a big ball of untamed, bright orange fire. Awesome!  
Approximately 20 minutes in  Wat Ki Lo Si/ Kek Lok Si Temple, prior to us hopping back into tuk-tuk for the start of another uphill and downhill journey. Wild durian trees and jungle on one or both sides, and we later stepping foot in Piyamit Tunnel. Piyamit Tunnel lemme stress. The star attraction in Betong and the kinda sightseeing for people like me who simply love walking back to down the memory lane of yesteryears history. War history basically and for further spilling of the beans on communism I have always been intrigued about, and I have also to a certain extent studied during my secondary years. Of course, nothing like seeing is believing and one which sort of similar to the settled war dust in Penang War Museum
From the main entrance and into the jungle via the downwards staircase and shaded pathway, and we walking happily like chippy birds till the entrance of the tunnel where we greeted the former communist. He in return? My god! Proudly professing how and why he bolted from Malaysia to Betong. Yet, despite us trying to fish out if the out of bound passage is still accessible, he wouldn't utter a single word. Maybe because? Passage is still a secret hideout or for still going in and out of Malaysia, or some illegal trade? Perhaps the truth is still out there? Up next? To the right across mini museum. For the facts and figures of communism and who were the fighters. Apart from also viewing all things related and co-related to the communist era. Was I impressed? Nonsense. In the name of communism, killing people and claiming to be freedom fighters? Rubbish. In fact, I can't outrightly agree more why Chin Peng was not allowed into Malaysia even after kicking his bucket. Honestly, I really despise the whole debatable plot and theory of communism.  
Out of museum, just a small square by the way and a couple of minutes at the altar outside, followed by? The moment of truth. The tunnel. The narrow tunnel. Guided by another former communist and, being bolstered amongst the groups of China coming Chinese tourists. Of course, as civilized Malaysians, we gave way to them and they in return,  my-my, for once they proved us wrong. Quite well-mannered and giving way to us too. What's in store in tunnel? The home of communists. Their living area. Where they ate, slept and where I think they made babies as well.     
From one end to the other end of the tunnel and by the 15 minutes, we exiting out and walking further and further in this jungle till a stop at Piyamit Millennium Tree. Fantastic. Never have I seen such a tree before. Damn significant. One huge bugger and those huge roots routing out here, there and within where they can.  

Piyamit Millennium Tree screened upside down, inside out, and we continuing with walking, while simultaneously not missing out on all those things displayed throughout the jungle loop which led us back to the main entrance. A cold drink definitely called for from one of the stalls outside, plus we needed a tiny bit of resting our legs and subsequently, to Betong Hot Spring.  
Betong sun literally beaming high up by this hour and by this hour too, Betong Hot Spring swarmed by hundreds of tourists. Of course hot spring is the main highlight. Apart from you idling your time away within this huge open area for as long as time is on your side. Our intention on the other hand was plain simple. Testing out hot spring by dipping our legs. Can we have a bath or dip our whole body? I don't know, but as the saying goes, dipping of legs, hands or whichever part of your body in this bubbling out from the underworld and quite bearable hot water should take place for at least 20 minutes? Otherwise? You can't or won't reap hot spring's benefits and healing properties. Timeout for us within half an hour from Betong Hot Spring. Pretty much a full-stop.  

To be continued.....

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