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…….The World Without Boundaries

Getting Nostalgic at Teluk Cempedak

Written By: jipp - Sep• 10•18

My job required me to travel to the east coast recently, to Kuantan to be exact. It is a town that is so nostalgic to me, as it is the town that I had spent two years of my life trying to pursue for – well, to put it simply – a better life. Coming to Kuantan at the young age of 16 – alone, because my family couldn’t afford to come with me – it was my very first trip out of my home state.

Somehow though, I felt like I had anticipated it all, and that it was just meant to be and things just fell into place in no time at all. I still can’t believe how I did it, or where all the guts came from, but I just did it. And that one trip had definitely altered the course of my life forever.

It would be my third time coming to Kuantan since I said goodbye to it on my last day at school more than 20 years ago, and the emotions were still there, although not as intense as they were when I first returned. I didn’t go to my ex-school this time. Instead I went to Teluk Cempedak, a beach that was just as nostalgic as the town of Kuantan itself.

I remember how I used to go there a lot when I was still schooling at MRSM of Kuantan which was not that far from the beach itself. As a Catholic among the mostly Muslim hostel mates, I had the privilege of being allowed to go out to the town twice a week, while the rest were only allowed once.

The reason? I needed to attend the Sunday mass. I remember how the school guard would hastily hand the log book to me when I told him that, without any further questions at all. I guess asking questions when the reason was to go to church would make him feel bad and disrespectful.

I’d usually go to church and before I returned to the hostel, I’d take the bus to Teluk Cempedak to spend a few hours at the beach. I had always been fascinated by Teluk Cempedak. I remember how I was so wowed by the big brownish-greyish boulders that graced the beach.

There was already a walkway along the shore that led up to another beach where there were more and bigger boulders. Back then it was still wooden, and now it has been replaced with iron walkway. It is much easier to walk on it now, and is much wider than I remember it was back then.

Perhaps the only challenge now is the existence of so many monkeys (whose presence in those days I can’t quite recall). I guess they are so used to having humans around and walking past them now, although they can be quiet intimidating. But seriously, I’d like to say that they are part of the attraction of Teluk Cempedak. They really are.

So the now iron-walkway led me to the other beach, which is now called Teluk Tongkang. I walked across towards the end corner of the beach, which was my favorite spot in the whole of Teluk Cempedak. The landscape is dominated by a stack of giant boulders which was a combination of brown and grey in color.

This part of Teluk Cempedak never failed to wow me every time. I mounted one of the boulders, and was instantly taken aback by how struggling I was in doing it, when back then it didn’t even break me a sweat. I guess age really is catching up with me now. Some things are better off being swallowed in in acceptance, no matter how bitter they might be. Heh.

So there I was, on top of the giant boulder, the very same boulder that I’d go to to enjoy the beautiful view of Teluk Cempedak when I was 20-plus years younger. Quite true to its name (Teluk means bay in English), the beach spans out into a curve that forms a bay. I was so glad that the forest that separates Teluk Cempedak from the township area of Kuantan was still very much preserved and I remember how I used to go hiking to that very forest and enjoy the view of the whole bay from there.

It was on this boulder that I’d put my backpack to be my pillow where I’d rest my head on while enjoying the beautiful view of South China Sea. Being away from the family at such a young age, it was not quite easy for me. Knowing that on the other side of the ocean was Sabah where my whole family was, I’d like to think that whatever little words that I said would make it across to them.

Of course they never did but I just needed some comfort at that time so it was alright (that they didn’t). LoL. I remember how the sound of the ocean would lullaby me into a nap sometimes, and would be woken up by either the cooling breeze (temperature drops as the sun goes down) or the presence of people in the vicinity. Then I’d go back to the bus stop and catch a bus back to my hostel.

So Teluk Cempedak would forever be nostalgic to me. They are just so much memory of my younger days that is entwined to it.

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One Comment

  1. thomas says:

    Wow!Revisit after so long,place is over develop now and i hate the stench of stream @sg chempedak

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