Jul 14, 2007

Betung, Southern Thailand

It was a 3 days 1 night tour to Betung, Southern Thailand. This place is famous for communist's tunnel - Piyamit Tunnel. This is the main attraction of Betung other than the usual visit of Thai temple. Our mode of transport was a 44 seater bus and we started our journey from Kajang at 10pm. We were expecting to reach the border early in the morning. Our bus is the first to reach the Malaysia immigration and waited for a while for them to open. The border crossing is normally close from 11.oo pm to 6.00 am. After getting our passports stamped at the Malaysian Immigration and the Thailand Immigration . We were introduced to the local guide named Ah Meng, an ex-communist. Most of the Chinese here were once communist. When we reached Betung town, we went for our breakfast and later checked into our hotel. The only 3 star hotel in Betung and later we assembled at the lobby to visit the communist's tunnel. The guide told us that Betung was also confused with Bentong, Pahang and a long time ago when relatives came from China some went to Betung, Thailand and some to Bentong, Pahang. Therefore it is not surprising that there are many relatives on both sides of the border. The organizer had arranged a big 'tut tut' (transport) for us because the roads cannot be access by bus, further more it has to be a 4 WD.

Piyamit Tunnel is the Malaya Communist's base build for bombshells and storing food supplies, the battlefield bases are located on the mountain top in the midst of the deep forests which separates the boundaries of Thailand and Malaysia which includes the area of Yala provinces. The Piyamit Tunnel was build in 1977 with 1 KM in length and 5 - 6 feet wide and it took 3 months for excavation of 50 man. There are 9 entrance/exit paths. To tour the tunnel you need to pay an entrance fee which is not included in the package.

The big "tut tut" which can carry almost 30 to 40 passengers. There are 2 rows at each side and 1 row in the middle. The road leading to the tunnel is narrow and winding and sometimes muddy. There are a few souvenir shops and for those who are not interested to visit the tunnel, you can shop around and take photos. We bought a wood carving with a herd of elephant made from chengal wood which cost us RM90 only. The next stop a visit to a hot spring on the way back to the town and you can buy hard boiled eggs which were cook in the hot sulfur pond (suppose to make you "strong"). Every time when you visit Thailand try their local delicacies such as 'tom yam' soup, chicken feet, desserts and etc. After lunch, we visited their famous garden and temples. Dinner is provided in the hotel with live singing. It was free and easy after dinner. You can walk around town and do some shopping or try the various types of local food. There are many entertainment outlets that provides live band performance, pubs, traditional Thai massage, foot massage and others.

Next morning after breakfast visit the morning market to do some last minute shopping. There are various local products such as coconut candy, biscuit, sweet cakes and glutinous rice dumpling. Check out by 12 noon and proceed to the Thai immigration and later to Malaysia immigration where all baggages are check by the customs so it will take some time. The trip to Betung was an eye opener of sorts as we understand how it came about due to the early communist years. We had our lunch in Ipoh where we shop for our Malaysian snacks and the famous salted chicken. We reached Kajang almost 10 pm at night. It was a good and affordable trip.

Have fun and be happy. ☺
This posting by KC

1 comment:

bargading said...

love betong...
somtam (papaya) / tam makmuang (mango)is really nice....