A sleepy town steeped in history

The 1926 railway station is a legacy from the colonial times. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

KUALA LIPIS (Sin Chew Daily) -- Nestled along Sungai Jelai, much of the sleepy town of Kuala Lipis still retains the look of early 20th century.

The most popular attraction in town is perhaps the railway station which was constructed fully in wood.

Driving around town in the evening, you may chance upon one Chinese restaurant operating solitarily at a street corner.

We were told that the shop was the only Chinese restaurant you could get after dark.

The main street is deserted, with swallows perching on street-side electricity poles far outnumbering humans.

"The town is dead after nine," the station master said.

Dead after dark

Seeing the inactivity in Kuala Lipis, you may not believe this town used to be the state capital of Pahang from 1898 to 1955.

It was founded after gold and tin were discovered in the vicinity, but later faded into obscurity as mining activities waned. The town became quiet after the state capital was moved to Kuantan in 1955.

Nevertheless, Kuala Lipis does have its share of notable persons, including prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who was born in the town, and celebrated artist Siti Nurhaliza who was raised here.

Only a handful of shophouses are still operating today, others long overgrown with trees.

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