This golden city has loads to offer — including the hidden gems along the unbeaten path less travelled as revealed by local born and bred Photographer and Storyteller Kim Boon
When it comes to travel off the beaten track to discover the hidden gems of Batu Pahat, who better to look up than Kim Boon who was born and bred there until he left the sleepy hollow to seek his fortunes in the big city of Kuala Lumpur once he hit his late teens.
After many years of irking a living in the hectic city of Kuala Lumpur, he made it a point to head back to his idyllic hometown which has become a huge source of inspiration for him as he rediscovers old gems and finds new discoveries hidden to him even from before.
At this juncture of his life, he is now spending precious treasured hours exploring the hidden gems of Batu Pahat on an adventure of a lifetime that has seen him journeying deep into the unbeaten path of his hometown, capturing photographs of amazingly beautiful images for posterity while recording amazing stories along the way.
“Whenever I am back in Batu Pahat, and need to get some inspiration or spend some quiet moments on my own, I find these hidden gems are just the right places for me to venture to in order to derive some rejuvenation and inspiration. In most instances, I walk away with the reward of having obtained some nice photographs and amazing stories.
“Come explore with me some hidden gems and the unbeaten path in my hometown of Batu Bahat that may give you that little rejuvenation of the mind or some inspiration to appreciate beauty in its simplest form and experience what separates the extraordinary from the ordinary.”
Hidden Gem 1: Batu Pahat River
The 12km Batu Pahat River that originates from Sungai Simpang Kiri and Sungai Simpang Kanan near Tongkang Pechah, and flows through Batu Pahat snakes its way until it reaches the mouth of the river in Pantai Minyak Beku. This is where the seaside village lying on the West Coast of Johor fronting the Straits of Malacca is situated in full splendour.
Prior to 1968, before a bridge was built on this site, people from both sides of the Batu Pahat divided by the river needed to use a ferry to get to the other side of the river.
This river was once a very important sea and trade route that helped develop and prosper Batu Pahat town. This is the river where barter trade junks from Indonesia would bring products in to barter with the locals and then make their way back to Indonesia with goods and produce from here.
Most amazing is the fact that this Barter Trade system and route are still functioning and in practice until today!
I used to take a boat ride or more accurately, a sampan ferried by an old Pakcik, bringing along with me my trusted touring bike. A fee of RM1 would take me from the left side of the river which is less developed across to the right side of the river. This is where the newer developments including the morning market was situated. I would spend a good part of the day there before continuing my ride home come evening time. For me, this river is more than a waterway or trade route. In fact, it also speaks of a place or space which is divided yet connected, where between both divides are two different and separate ways of life.
This is a memorable shot I took of the sunrise over the Batu Pahat River. This is where the local small-time fishermen of Kampung Muhibbah dock their fishing boats at one of many “parking lots” situated along the Batu Pahat River.