Saturday, December 1, 2007

Pantai Kamloon Recreational Park - The Sad State of Neglect

Pantai Kamloon Recreational Park is located in Bumbung Lima, Kepala Batas, in northern Seberang Perai, mainland Penang. it is accesible from the old Butterworth-Sungai Petani trunk road, located right beside the North-South highway at the Kedah-Penang border.

the name pantai (literally 'beach') is misleading, as it is not a beach, but a freshwater lake/wetland, with long, wooden walkways for visitors to take a stroll around the area. there are a few gazebos along the walkways for resting and enjoying the scenery.

however, the park appears to be anything but well-maintained. many of the wooden planks lining the walkways are broken or missing, leaving large gaps here and there. the decorative pots on both sides of the walkways are either damaged or altogether missing, and the contents are devoid of anything but weeds. the metal chains bordering the walkways are rusty and missing in most places, and there are litters on the ground, some appearing to have been discarded a long time ago.

the place itself is quite isolated. there are hardly any visitors around, adding to the lone, deserted atmosphere. birds are scarce, if any at all. the only sound in abundance came from the highway, of vehicles zooming past.

entrance under the highway, leading to the park.

the start of the wooden walkway.

available info list the total walkways' length as around 1800m, but i've ventured only less than 50m of it. the damage is quite extensive - many wooden planks are simply missing, with gaps more than enough to fall through; the rest, rickety and creaking, and not safe to step on. from the condition of the area, there's not much point to proceed any further.

there are siren system to warn visitors when the water level rises to a dangerous level, though i wonder if it's still working...

bright orange fungi growing on the wooden planks.

it seems that this place was built many years ago, judging from the condition. it's even visible in Google Earth - by comparison, butterworth outer ring road and jelutong expressway in penang do not even exist in Google Earth yet. For a unique recreational park that has been around for many years, there are surprisingly few info available on the web. Googling for "pantai kamloon" returned less than a hundred results, and less than 10 are direct reference to the park. another 'white elephant', apparently?

and no prize for guessing who is the elected parliamentary representative for this area. who else but the sleeping, see-no-evil, hear-no-evil prime minister?

overall, it is highly recommended to avoid from visiting this place at all.

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