November 23, 2011 at 2:26 pm
“I never looked back ever since”
On our journey in Pahang, we were led by Mr. Francis Loh, a man who laid claim to the title of the Best Tour Guide In Malaysia. You could sense that he was proud of bearing the title, even though it might carry with it a hint of self grandeur. The truth, however, is that he deserves the title. Hailing from Balik Pulau, Penang, Mr. Francis has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of all things tourism related in Malaysia, and like many other people we met in Pahang, carries nature close to his heart.
The many spots that we passed along our journey in Pahang came alive through his vivid descriptions and explanations. The anecdotes he shared with us flowed freely, allowing us a glimpse of the beauty of nature, as things that might have been ordinary were revealed as precious and rare treasures. A master storyteller, he kept us all enthralled and in awe of the richness that surrounded us.
His own story of how he began as a tour guide is no less compelling and dramatic. Quite a while back, he was part of a weekend trip to a waterfall near Janda Baik, Pahang. Due to some unforeseen circumstances, the rest of the group had gone ahead, leaving he and his family to catch up with them when they could. The trek into the jungle meant that Mr. Francis and his family would need to navigate across a waterfall, one that plunged around 90 feet down into a deep pool. Mr. Francis did not make it across that day, instead he slipped and went over the falls.
The next thing he knew, he was in the pool, looking up at the rushing water, at the very bottom of the waterfall. And he was alive. He made his way back to his family, and what followed was a soul searching journey for him that set him firmly on his current path – as the best tour guide in Malaysia.
This is the first article of Stories From the Hills, the feature series on Kembara Cuti-Cuti 1Malaysia Pahang 2011
Check out the candid photos we took of the trip at our facebook page here