Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jungle railaway malaysia

The Jungle Railway is the railway line serving the East Coast states of Kelantan and Pahang in Malaysia.

Officially the East Coast Railway line, it branches of the West Coast Trunk line at Gemas on the border of Johor and Negeri Sembilan and goes through the forested heart (hence the nickname "Jungle Railway") of Peninsular Malaysia to Tumpat, a small town on the East Coast near Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

The Jungle Railway is an interesting way to get from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore to the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It can certainly be used to get Overland from Singapore to Bangkok, but it is not a continuous train journey as you will have to catch buses or taxis at the northern end of the line (either from Pasir Mas or Kota Bharu to connect to Thailand's railway network at Sungai Kolok.

Although not an epic train journey like the Trans-Siberian, it nevertheless offers an insight to the life of the hinterland of the more rural East Coast states. For many years, people in little hamlets along the railway relied on the train to get to bigger towns like Pasir Mas or Gua Musang in Kelantan as no roads were able to reach such remote areas. While the name evokes a journey through thick rainforest, the reality is that the forest in many parts of Peninsular Malaysia is disappearing. You will still see stretches of thick jungle and the railway track goes over several impressive rivers, but you will also see many oil palm and rubber plantations along the way. In particular south of Jerantut the influence of man on what was once rainforest is obvious.

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