Explore: Down The Path Less Travelled

During my occasional outstation stints as a writer, I often had to go down paths less travelled, which led me to people and places I would otherwise have not taken the effort to explore on my own.

Sometimes the people who know of these spots would rather not share their knowledge for fear of ruining the peace and tranquility that comes with the isolation.

One such discovery was Kampung Pulai, a quaint village about 10kms from the town of Gua Musang in Kelantan.

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View of Kampung Pulai from across Sungai Galas

This village has been home to a small Chinese community for five centuries. Most have since intermarried with the local Malays, Thais and aborigine communities but maintain fragments of their culture and religion.

A 500-year-old Guanyin temple and the Tsao Tse Tung cave temple along Sungai Galas (Galas river) is the focal point for the villagers whose ancestors came in droves via Sungai Kelantan to mine for gold found in the area.

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The 500-year old temple in Kampung Pulai

However, the quantity of gold found here was small and Australian mining companies which set up base here, left over 30 years ago.

The descendants of the migrants moved on to become farmers, while some are seeking their fortune from small gold deposits still found in the area.

The village is today home to more than 1,000 Chinese (mostly from the Hakka community) and about 200 of Siamese descent.

One of the highlights in the area is the Tsao Tse Tung cave (also known as the Princess Cave) that the local village kids led us to on their bicycles.

The cave features a statue of the goddess Kuan Yin which has been impressively carved out of a stalagmite formation in the limestone cave.

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Carved out of stalagmite in the limestone cave

You will see that the climb up to the cave is worth the effort once you catch a glimpse of the village and the river below from above.

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View of Kampung Pulai from Princess Cave

 

via Daily Prompt: Explore

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