For August 24:
Translated by DOMINIC LOH
Guang Ming Daily
KUALA PILAH -- The tiny town of Kuala Pilah does not boasts dazzling neon lights of bigger citifies, and as a matter of fact, its population is fast fading.
However, this little town known for its rustic beauty and Minangkabau-style Sri Menanti Palace has not only a fair deal of unique heritage buildings, but also an ancient temple using not even a nail, not to mention the scenic Ulu Bendul Recreational Forest.
In the recreational forest, visitors not only can savour the breathtaking natural scenery here, but also visit the unique python garden and experience the fun of snake catching and posing with the creepy creatures.
The nail-less 116-year-old Sam Seng ancient temple, the unmistakable nyonya-style mansions and the east-meet-west Martin Lister Arch are among other physical witnesses of the town's history.
On top of that, the local tea shops reminiscent of the olden days have also become favourites among visitors to the town, and many have come here for the famed Beng Kee herbal soup fish noodle.
Driving from the state capital Seremban, you will be lured by the verdant rice fields along the way. On the roadside, fruit stalls are seen, selling all types of tropical fruits and coconut shake.
To be frank, Kuala Pilah does not have any specialty associated with the town, but its cultural relics, hilly terrain, waterfalls and thick virgin forests have all made tourists yearn for more, especially during weekends and public holidays.
Kuala Pilah is not only the birthplace of the nation's first King, the site of Sri Menanti Palace showcasing the ancient Malay royal relics, it is also the home of buffalo-horned Minangkabau architecture and many unique heritage buildings.
In addition to a multitude of Malay stilt houses and the occasional Minangkabau-style buildings, just before you arrive at the Main Street of Kuala Pilah, a nyonya-style mansion will come into sight.
The building is a classical example of wealthy Chinese mansions of the olden days, sporting brightly coloured eye-catching exterior.
Adjacent to the Kuala Pilah station, this unique edifice is a double-storey corner shophouse with a distinguished Chinese horizontal tablet and two vertical ones around the main door.
Built in 1927, the building is adorned with Chinese geomancy designs that are bound to captivate the eyeballs of passersby.
On the eaves of the root you will find exquisitely sculpted sculptures of ancient people, animals, birds and flowers while the exterior wall is adorned with colourful motifs of flowers, birds and some marine creatures.
On the Main Street of Kuala Pilah is a 116-year-old Sam Seng ancient temple that, not unlike the fabulous Sri Menanti Palace, used not a single piece of nail.
All the initial building materials were sourced from China. Although the temple is not large, it is crowded with worshippers from far and near during festive celebrations every year.
Across the street from the temple is the historical Martin Lister Arch erected in 1901 by local Chinese residents in honour of the first British Resident of Negeri Sembilan Martin Lister who served between 1889 and 1897.
The roof of the Arch is in Chinese architectural style with three doors with inscriptions in Chinese, English and Jawi scripts to explain the arch.
Inside the broad arch are two pavilions with some stone stools just like what you will find in a serene recreational park. Probably due to negligence, the facilities are in a state of disrepair.
Like many small towns across the country, Kuala Pilah is dwelt by mainly senior citizens as most young people have left for better prospects in bigger towns and cities.