Between the 15th and 16th century, The Sultan of Pahang was taking a break from visiting his people with his Parliament members at present day Taman Negara. While resting, the Sultan was attracted by a beautiful mountain in a distance; awe by its beauty the Sultan asked his Parliament members."What is the name of that mountain over there?" No one could answer his question so all they did was smile at each other and think of an answer. Amused by his Parliament member's reaction, the Sultan said to them."Tell you what. I shall call this Gunung Senyum (Mount. Smile)."
Gunung Senyum is located within the vicinities of Jenka Forest Reserves at the southwest of Jenka,it's a good 2 hours drive from PJ/KL, as usual we (KL group) meet up at 6.30am and had our breakfast at Devi's corner (TTDI), we then head down to Chenor Toll to group up with the rest of the group which consist of members mainly from Kuantan region.After meeting up with them and begging them to forgive Aurelius for being late, we then head down to Gunung Senyum.
Long long time ago, there was a warrior called Tok Long who have a Magical Golden Feather. Using the feather, Tok Long is able to capture a mystical Silver Bird which he kept as a pet and was so proud of.
It didn't take long to reach Gunung Senyum from the toll, once there everyone got all geared up and ready to cam whore first then move out to the entrance of the cave. One thing we didn't know is that this mountain have hundreds of caves, only a few of them are accessible for visitors.We got ourselves a guide for this trip, so we don't need to worry about getting lost.The guide lead us in to an oil palm plantation and told us some histories of Gunung Senyum."It used to be a very beautiful and very green mountain..." He said while leading the group across the oil palm estate road covered in dung.
"But in the year 1984, an English man who camp on the peak forgotten to put out his camp fire and burned down all the trees."
Such a pity that we couldn't admire the full beauty that it is back then.
One day, Tok Long's Silver bird managed to escaped, Tok Long chased the bird and stumbles upon a fairy village in side a cave, marveled at his finding he wandered in the village and met a Fairy Princess, they fall in love and married but by doing so Tok Long is no longer allowed to return to the human world, which might risk exposing the Fairy Village, in return for his sacrifice the princess gave Tok Long magical powers one can only dream of.
After a short walk in the plantation, we reached a jungle trail that leads to the 1st cave but to reach this trail, we are all required to make a little leap before we can start. The Jungle trail got me all excited but I am not needed in the front since we got a guide so I take on the role which I usually avoid like a plague, the sweeper, making sure no one is left behind.
We reach the first cave and we noticed that there are 2 pits dug at the entrance, the guide explains that long ago, this entire landscape is under the sea (in shallow waters), the 2 pits that we see are actually dug by the archaeologists from the museum, and in the pit they found sea shells from long ago.
Times passed and Tok Long starts to miss the human world especially his village. He asked for the princess permission to return to the human world to visit his village, reluctantly she agrees to his request on one condition. Tok Long must not mention anything about the existence of the fairy village and how he got his powers, also he must return on the coming night when the moon is the fullest or he will not be able to return forever.
I used to think that caves are place where no life could be found or kinda dead, but that perception I had is now gone. Sign of life could be found all over the place, not only insects but also some animals roots of plants could also be found in the ground of the caves. Bats, frogs, spiders, crickets are among the commonly seen animals, some parts of the cave, crabs or even colony of cockroaches can be found co existing with the bats, and they mainly feed off from the bats dropping.
Tok Long was so excited to be able to see his village and his friends again he quickly return to the human world and meet up with all his friends, in his excitement he told a few of his friend about his magic powers and the fairy village breaking the promise that he made to the princess. On the night when he wants to return to the fairy village, Tok Long realized that he could no longer return to the fairy village no matter what he does even thou he is able to see it. He became sadder when he realized that he could no longer be with the princess even thou he could see her. Heart broken and sad, Tok Long regrets his actions. He dug a hole next to the cave and waited in it, hoping one day he can eventually return to the fairy village and back to his love one. Unfortunately, his wait only brought him to his death.
One of the interesting caves to me is Tok Long Burial Cave, there were several pits around the that were also dug by the museum, the guide said that the museum found various sea shells and remains of animals, also found at the site are tools and human remains from the middle stone age.
I jumped in to one of the pits after asking permission from the guide to mess around which I regretted later on because the soil was so fine that it really messed up my boots, had a hard time cleaning it.
I didn't enjoy this trip fully because I missed out on most of the stories told by the guide but overall it is a fun trip. I'm definitely going back there again, hopefully to summit Gunung Senyum with a smile.
Have A Great Day