Bentong


Bentong

Bentong is both a town and a district in Pahang, Malaysia. The district covers an area of 1,831 km².It is located northeast of Kuala Lumpur, just across the main range, Titiwangsa Mountains. The original main street going into Bentong town has been modified to a dual carriageway. However, the part of the road which leads to Raub and Kuala Lipis had been upgraded.

History of Bentong

According to an old story, Bentong was previously known as Kapong. It was changed from Kapong to Bentong before First World War.In earlier times, the center of Bentong was around the market area, at the meeting point of the rivers Repas and Perting.The most important transportation way at that time was the rivers by using ‘perahu’ (small boats). The jetty was situated in front of current rest house (near current Bentong Police Station.Bentong became a focal point when tin ore was discovered in the 2 main rivers, Repas and Perting. Tin developers constructed ‘ban’ to extract more ore, hence more profits. The practice became a talking matter to the people outside Bentong, who referred to it as the story of ‘ban untung’ (the Profitable Ban). ‘Ban Untung’ became more well-known than Kapong that later people began to call it Ban Untung. From the name ‘Ban Untung’ was what the name for the district of Bentong derived from.From other story, according to Pak Zek (Budayawan Dato’ Haji Zakaria bin Hitam), the name Bentong originated from ‘Bapong’ (meaning float). Bentong was once used as a fort by Dato’ Bahaman. The British army sent over the Gurkhas mercenary to defeat Dato’ Bahaman to take over the area. However, a number of the Gurkhas were killed after they were ambushed by Dato’ Bahaman’s men. Their bodies were thrown into the river and floated in the water. Following the incident, the site was known as Bapong, and later known as Bentong. The exact date of the name change was on 31st August 1957.

Profile of Bentong

Bentong is both a town and a district situated in the west side of Pahang Darul Makmur, Malaysia. In the beginning, Bentong subdistrict was under the administration of district of Raub. The administration was separated in 1919 due to the large size of the district of Raub. The district covers an area of 183,112.35 hectares. It is located northeast of Kuala Lumpur, just across the main mountain range, Titiwangsa Mountains. The original main street going into Bentong town has been modified to a dual carriageway. However, the part of the road which leads to Raub and Kuala Lipis had been upgraded.

As of 2002, Bentong has a population of 101,533 people. Bentong is one of the biggest towns in Pahang. It is similar in size to Raub. Bentong has many light and medium industries, including timber factories and food industries. It also has one multinational copper wire factory which is the biggest in the country.

Bentong is an important rest stop for truckers who ply the route between Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan, carrying timber and timber products. It is believed that the truckers prefer to use the old Bentong-Kuala Lumpur road (which has been superseded by the Karak Highway), as it is a quieter drive with fewer traffic, more shade from the heat due to many trees, proximity to a local hot spring, and has no toll charges.

A newer and more direct road to Kuala Lumpur is Karak Highway (Malay: "Lebuhraya Karak"). This is a toll road with a higher speed limit than the old Bentong-Kuala Lumpur road and hence, gives Bentong residents faster access to the nation's capital. Karak Highway also serves as one of the few ways of getting to Genting Highlands.

Bentong district is further subdivided into 3 subdistricts, which are mukim Bentong, mukim Sabai and mukim Pelangai. Other than modern housing area, there are 55 traditional villages, 8 FELDA villages, 15 newer villages, and 14 native villages.

About 98% of Bentong district's water supply come from JBA (Jabatan Bekalan Air). Their ability to produce water for Bentong district is 15.7 thousand Imperial gallons (which is about 4.5 litres per gallon) per day while resident here only use around 8.7 thousand gallons per day.For electricity, 99% places in Bentong district have electricity supply. There are 4 main electricity transformers with combine capacities up to 90 megavolt-amperes.For telecommunication, especially line wire telephones, TM (Telekom Malaysia) provides Bentong district with 6,207 units of household telephones, 1,092 units of business premises telephones and 125 unit of public phones.

Bentong district have paved roads totally 837.26 km, comprising 311.22 km of federal road, 224.51 km of state road, 124.05 km of urban road, and 177.48 km of Felda road.

In terms of education, there are 49 primary schools including national schools, Chinese schools and Indian schools in all over Bentong district with overall 12,272 students and 869 teachers. As for secondary schools, there are 14 of them including vocational and technical schools with overall 9,901 students and 755 teachers. There are also 4 government universities and a private university which are Institut Aminudin Baki, Kolej Komunity Bentung, Kolej IKIP Pahang, Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman, and Sekolah Saleha which is the only private university. ("See also: Education in Malaysia")

For medical and healthcare service, Bentong District Hospital has 125 beds but only 6 fulltime doctors. There are 19 health clinics and rural (Malay: desa) clinics for health maintenance and disease prevention. There are 4 government dental clinics.

For law enforcement, there are 7 police stations, 9 police hubs, with manpower of 355 policemen.

For safety and fire problems, there are 3 fire stations with 111 personnel.

Attractions

Local Food

The ice kacang, a local dessert of shaved ice served with coconut milk, red beans, corn, and other ingredients, and steamed food is popular in the Bentong district. The most popular ice kacang in Bentong is Kow Po Special, beside Hong Leong Bank.Tofu (Bean curd) is famous in a way in Bentong probably due to the fresh water from mountain streams.

Foods and local cuisine

Curry Mee is a popular meal of noodles in a spicy curry soup made with coconut milk. The most popular version of this meal is sold at a stall in Kampung Kemansur, one of the villages in Bentong. It is located on the same road as the "Balai Raya Kemunsur", and is 500 meters from the local Sikh temple and the Bentong District Hospital. The stall operates from a wooden house, not a coffee shop.

For Malay and muslim food there are several restaurants operating that serve seafood such as Tomyam, grilled fish satay etc.To name a few;1. Dapur Kita near Ketari2. Midnight Seafood Jalan Kuala Lumpur3. Dara Tomyam near Benus4. Several foodstalls near Teras field (Padang Teras)

Four main Chinese restaurants that provide nice cheap food are:

1. Crystal Courts Restoran plus hotel

2. Bentong Restoran

3. Indah Rasa Restoran

4. Shong Hi Lau

Tau Hu Hua (Douhua)

This bean curd dessert is reputed to be the best in Malaysia, which is both soft and smooth. It is rumored that it has even been taken and sold in the neighbouring cities of Raub and Kuala Lumpur.

Chamang Waterfalls

This waterfall is located approximately 8 kilometers out of town. It is a scenic place very popular with the locals and tourists alike. The waterfall is easily accessible by road.

Hot Spring

A hot spring is situated along the "old" Bentong road which is along the river bank. There is also a smaller waterfall and picnic area along this stretch of road. The road mostly cross by lorries carrying trees barks to Kuala Lumpur. The road is quiet most of the time.


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