We live in a glorious age, where information is readily available through this thing called Google.
So I was stumped when I couldn’t find ANY info about this place that I went to in Kuala Perlis…apart from a few photos.
No location, no how-to-get-there, no ‘history of bridge’… nothing. That’s when I knew that it’s truly one of those spots that nobody but the locals know about. Ladies and gents: Jambatan Tuanku Syed Putra.
Named after the late king (father of the current Raja) the bridge can be accessed via a side road. It spans across the river mouth of Kuala Perlis, connecting one side of the bank to the other.
First impression: This is a steep-ass bridge.
You reach the top and there’s a platform where you can chill and take in the sights after the climb.
Both sides of the river bank were lined with fishing boats. Most were already docked for the night. Our guide mentioned that you can see the hills of Langkawi on one side and Thailand on the other, although I got confused as to which side was which. I think this was the Langkawi side (?)
Evening is the best time to come: lovely sunset!
This is a hidden gem that you should try and locate, especially if you’re heading to the Masjid Al Hussain near the seaside area. As mentioned in a previous post, you can’t Google or Waze your way to the exact spot, so the best way to get there is to google Pasaraya Seri Utama Kuala Perlis and ask locals for directions.
They say that once you know how to balance yourself on a bike, you’ll never forget how to ride it. While that’s partially true, the last time I tried re-riding one after 10+ years almost ended up in me being flattened into a pancake (read story HERE). I was understandably wary when our guide in Japan, Mariko-San, announced in the car that we’d be heading to a ‘mountain biking’ place next. I mean, it’s already difficult for me to ride on flat ground, and now you want me to bike on a mountain!?
Turns out it was ‘sort of’ flat land after all, and the bikes she was referring to were railroad mountain bikes – basically bikes that have been attached to a railroad track on rollers! 😀
This unique activity in the Hida region of Gifu was the brainchild of illustrious locals, who decided to convert part of the disused 2.9km track (which formerly served the Okuhida-Onsenguchi station in Hida and Inotani Station in Toyama) into a tourist attraction. And so, in 2006, the Rail Mountain Bike Gattan Go (a Japanese term similar to ‘clickety clack’ in English) was born.
There are several ‘models’ to choose from, including family-friendly ones that have a carriage at the back for the little ones.
Since we were a group of four, I took the front with Mariko-san, and the two guys followed from the back. A safe distance needs to be kept between the bikes so the instructors let us gain some ground before releasing the next set.
Before we set off, there was a safety briefing and a brochure to read (in simple English, if you can’t understand Japanese). We also had to wear protective safety helmets. Loose items need to be stored as it will be difficult to retrieve if they fall onto the track. You CANNOT jump off or stop during the ride (kind of like the motorised jeeps in Jurassic Park – and we all know what happened when they stopped lol).
And… off we went!
The bikes rolled faster than I anticipated! Every now and then there was a loud “CLANK!” as it went over a notch in the railroad track, but the ride was anything but bumpy. If you’re lazy to walk but would still like to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery of Hida, I 100% recommend riding the Gattan-Go. As the wind rushes through your hair, you’ll see verdant green landscapes on both sides, sometimes passing through high ledges that offer sweeping views of the quaint rural Japanese towns below.
A vivid red bridge spanning across a roaring river. I couldn’t stop the bike so I precariously balanced the DSLR on my arm while taking 10x shots hoping one will turn out good lol (don’t try this at home kids).
Riding past the backyards of some homes.
Some parts of the track passed through tunnels that cut across the mountains. The tunnels were pitch black, and I could hear rushing water in the darkness even over the loud clanks of the bike roller against the rails. We also passed by several disused stations, some of which have small shrines next to them dedicated to local deities.
End of the line! We had to stop so that the staff could turn the bike in the other direction. There was a basin nearby which was filled with fresh mountain water. Cool, refreshing and sweet!
Heading back to the starting point with more gorgeous scenery.
The entire trip took us about an hour, but it sure didn’t feel like it!
This ‘tunnel’ cookie was almost too cute to eat.
Due to Japan’s changing seasons, RMTB Gattan-Go! only operates from April to September from 9AM – 4.30PM (8 slots per day) and October to November from 9AM-3.30PM (7 slots per day).
Price is at 1000 yen per pax.
RAILROAD MOUNTAIN BIKE GATTAN GO
Azumo, Kamioka-cho, Hida City
The attraction is accessible via buses and taxi from JR Takayama Station or Okuhida Hot Spring Villages (55-60mins).
I have many online friends from other countries who know very little about Malaysia. Some of them can’t even pinpoint where we are (fyi we are a South East Asian country split into two – the Western peninsula is between Thailand and Singapore, while East Malaysia is below the Philippines.) I recently interviewed a few Chinese expatriates and students for an assignment and they said that most of their countrymen think Malaysians still live in trees… (seriously?)
Well to enlighten everyone on how an urban area in Malaysia looks like, here is my drive through the Klang Valley on Saturday! Klang Valley is the surrounding places around Kuala Lumpur, one of our capital cities. And since its Sat, the traffic is smooth. If I took this on a weekday, the song would have finished playing and I’d be stuck in the same spot on the highway….
Hi people! Continuing on our Singapore tour where we left off…After the museum and river tour, headed back to the inn to check-in, shower and chill. Legs felt like falling off D:
Had dinner at a nearby cafe called Fika Swedish Cafe and Bistro along Beach Road. It’s a small, chic looking cafe with white deco, tables and chairs. Splurged a little on their signature dish, which is meatballs for SGD20. It came in a plate of eight huge, juicy meatballs drizzled over with sauce and lingonberry jam, steamed potatoes and salad. The meat balls are defo better than the Ikea variety.
Back to walking. Walked REALLY far, all the way to Marina Bay Sands. Passing by the inside of Raffles hotel. It looks like a colonial British building, with white arches and little shops bathed in yellow light, which visitors can access through a covered pavement.
A tall building with glass elevators! Would’ve been interesting to be in one of those.
We were back at the Esplanade area, heading over to Marina Bay Sands. The view is absolutely breathtaking at night. Now I know why people say Singapore has one of the prettiest night views in the world. But let the pictures do the talking!
(Left) Marina Bay Sands building and (right) ArtScience Museum, which is shaped like a lotus flower on the water.
The ‘Helix bridge’, shaped like DNA strands. There are lots of joggers running up and down the length of the bridge.
Marina Bay Sands shopping centre! This place is MASSIVE. Guess who we saw?
Jackie Chan! He was around to promote his new movie, Police Story. Since he was a VVIP and all, that’s why they closed the ArtScience Museum for him to make an appearance. He walked on the red carpet through the mall, and people were chasing after him in crowds to take a picture.
There’s an entrance to go to the top of Marina Bay Sands, (where the ship like platform is), and you have to pay 20SGD (pricey, but worth it!) to go up to the 56th floor. Upon reaching, a strong breeze and cool night air greets the guest. For patrons staying in the hotel itself, you also have access to the Infinity Pool, a large swimming pool that cascades right over the edge of the building, and a dining area/bar which was off limits for us normal tourists.
It feels like you’re on top of the world, standing there looking at the lights with the wind in your face.