Friday, August 04, 2006

Visiting Kuantan: Taman Gelora


Kid on a mini scooter happily going about one of the paths in Gelora.

Taman Gelora is one of the last traquil refuge left in a fast developing Kuantan. Whereas we now often see the hillsides getting bulldozed into unsightly laterrite mounds and housing schemes mushrooming all around every single green space there is, there is always this little mini park to lean back on. True to its purpose, it is tucked into a little corner of coastal waters away from the busy happenings of the city. You just need to take 10 minutes by car from town and you'll find yourself here. From here it is possible and easy to reach some of the other attractions nearby such as Teluk Cempedak, the Kuantan mini zoo, golf course, and the Tanjung Lumpur fishing village.


Connifer lined lakeside

Gelora is sited amidst several condusive environments, housing estates do exist but mostly are old government quarters with a low density population so traffic and congestion is not a problem. Right by it are several lightly wooded areas, a sports and recreation center for football, tennis, boating and biking, a nice lovely beach front and a fishing village. All these adds to the atmosphere that Gelora is a rustic and secluded place. Gelora is actually a long stretch of wooded area surrounding several lake areas and beachfront, starting from the fishing village and Christian cemetery near Tanjung Api and later passes by the Tengku Mahkota's residence and connects to another beach near the Kuantan Royal Golf Course. The entire area is wooded with mostly connifers and sparse mangroves which thrive on the muddy soil.


Tranquil lake view early in the morning, the Tengku Mahkota's residence in the background.

The place is popular with many of the locals. On early mornings and evenings throughout the week you can find many joggers using the various paved paths for their daily exercise. Children are also often seen biking though the paths are in disrepair in certain areas. Folks who like a light walk can take advantage of the shaded paths to enjoy the scenery, the smaller ponds are seeded with lotus plants which makes a stunning view when in full bloom and several small islets in the middle have been converted to resting spots with benches. Along the way various exercise equipment such as monkey bars, stretching benches, push ups and pull ups sets and many others are strategically placed for convenience. The lake also offers boating rentals but I cannot confirm if this is still being maintained as of now. A scenic bridge connects a small stretch of the lake and adds a nice touch to the place. It's also a popular place for picnics, family activities and group gatherings. The beach though not as nice as some of the others such as Teluk Cempedak, does offer something the others don't, secluded and less crowds. Several small food stalls does cater dining but you'd fine better eating facilities nearby if you're desperate though the small gerais (stalls) selling snacks of pisang goreng and keropok lekor are excellent.


One of several small bridges crossing the various canals and drainage.

Another things to look forward for during the Sundays is the pasar tani/pasar malam held near a spot across from the park where local traders often sell goods ranging from foodstuff like keropok goreng (fish meal fritters), ayam percik (spicy seasoned barbequed chicken), murtabak (a meat and vegetable filled fried pastry) and air kelapa muda (fresh coconut drink). Other items for sale include clothings, fresh farm produce and fresh fish and meats. The area might get a bit crowded at this time since parking is a bit hard to come by when so many people are here.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Hey I know this place