Broken Dam! A Day in Kuala Kubu Bharu and Ampang Pecah

As a little boy, my parents and sometimes my extended family used to spend a lot of time in Fraser’s Hill. We always passed by Kuala Kubu Bahru (KKB) along the way, seeing as how it is necessary to pass by that historical town up to the Gap resthouse. I never really paid much attention to the town until I was older and heard stories from people who went to boarding school there that it was Oh-So-Haunted (!).

Me and the cousins in days of yore in Fraser’s Hill

So, after three decades or so, I decided to actually spend a day in KKB. It was a toss up between KKB and Pulau Ketam but considering the rainy La Nina weather, Eddy and I decided to head instead to KKB for a look-see and lunch.

We took the the route through Jalan Kuching down to Rawang, and then to Jalan Ampang Pecah, and here are a few observations:

  1. The residences along and near Templar Park are actually quite elegant. I wouldn’t mind living there, even though it is pretty far out! I really am impressed. Unfortunately, there was some ugly over development closer to Rawang but hopefully the forest won’t be all shorn away… At least, not in my lifetime…
  2. Rawang has really spread out! We were so surprised to hit the Rawang Tesco after what seemed such a short drive!
  3. This route is definitely more pleasant, scenic and far less boring than taking the highway (which is what we did on the way home)
Kuala Kubu Bahru – charming, no?

When we hit Jalan Ampang Pecah Rahsia, I recalled the history of KKB that I had read prior to taking this drive. Apparently, once upon a time, the dam broke and flooded the KKB township. They built a new township where the current town is now located, while the residential area now called “Ampang Pecah” was where the original town was. You can read more about that here.

We drove along, trying to locate how to get to the township (I mean, you would think it would be easy but us urbanites are quite clueless, you know… 🙄) and we came across the clock tower, near the police station. From the clock tower, we had a pretty nice view of the township. Thankfully, the weather was not too hot, so we could stand around the clock tower, taking photos while just admiring the town and the beautiful hills in the background.

Two guys walking by told us that there have been teams of cyclists going up to Fraser’s Hill the past few days, and we noticed also quite a number of motorcyclists having drinks under the shade in the town. Pretty soon, we got hungry and decided to head down from the clock tower over to the township.

I really like this little township! I can imagine living here, nestled in the foothills of the Titiwangsa range, an easy drive away from Fraser’s Hill and not too far away from the capital. The township was filled with lots of Hainanese food shops, along with some mamak food shops and I saw one Malay food shop as well. There were the usual grocery shops and also one Secret Recipe, so coffee and cakes are available if you feel like it.

Old fashioned Indian barber

We walked around a few blocks, taking in the clean streets, manicured trees and just the ambience of it all. We ended up in Sun Sun Nam Cheong, a Hainanese coffee shop which seemed to be pretty highly recommended online. They serve simple fare of both Chinese / Hailam variety as well as Western cuisine, and appeared to be a family-run business. We ordered simply and enjoyed the food and coffee. The price was comparable to Klang Valley prices, but I guess that was okay. I think they knew we were not local.

Inside Sun Sun Nam Cheong
Sun Sun Nam Cheong grow some of their own vegetables, it appears

After lunch, we decided to get some fresh coconut water. The vendor, set alongside a car park and food stalls, seemed to be quite popular, selling also fresh sugar cane and ABC. The price for this was maybe slightly more than Klang Valley price, but can’t really complain, I guess.

We headed to the car and decided to go for a drive before heading home. We were feeling the after-lunch sleepiness but of course wanted to experience as much as we could before heading home. We discovered a rich religious community, with a church, several Chinese temples and a large Hindu temple along and a bit interior to the main roads. There were also several mosques, of course.

One of the Chinese temples in KKB
The Hindu temple along the main junction heading to Fraser’s Hill
The Catholic Church just outside the main town area of KKB

I don’t know… There is something about living so close to nature, with streams and forests and greenery that just refreshes! I could have driven around there the whole day, and I totally understand why so many cyclists choose that route to cycle. We headed over to Ampang Pechah, the original site of the township but maybe we didn’t really explore very much because it was purely residential. I can imagine it might be quite spooky at night, what with all the banana trees along the roads and lanes…

Imagine this at night! Along the Ampang Pechah lane
Little stream near one of the Chinese temples

The trip was good for me, really refreshing! I wonder where I should head to next!

Nice old tree near the fresh coconut stall

What about you? Where do you suggest for a day trip? I’m thinking Templer’s Park.