The Journey Begins

Bukit Takun, Templer's Park

This is the start of a new photo essay on the first interstate main road of Malaysia; the Federal Route 1. It spans over 800 kilometers, beginning at the border with Singapore, and ending at the border with Thailand. Constructed in stages from around 1909, it was the backbone of Peninsular of Malaysia until it was supplanted by the newer North-South Expressway in the 1980s and 1990s.

I hope to visit some of the landmarks and towns along the old route and record the many long lasting effects on the landscape. While the impact may not be as severe as the decay of the famous and longer Route 66 of America, little is documented of the decline of the many once-bustling towns on our historic Federal Route 1.

The journey north from KL to Ipoh used to begin at Bulatan Kuching. Travelers were soon greeted by a hilly and winding road into Templer’s Park. The Kanching Falls, along with pristine forests and streams were once popular attractions for KL residents. From Route 1, motorists can still see this landmark limestone and granite monolith that is part of Bukit Takun. It is now surrounded by gated housing and a golf course, though.

Next stop is the first stopover town of Rawang. Follow me on this fascinating journey.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f11, 1/640 sec.

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