ID :
Wed, 08/13/2008 - 15:24
Auther :


IPOH (Malaysia), Aug 13 (Bernama) -- Road travellers in Malaysia are
familiar with Rest and Recreation (R&R) areas along the highways that makes driving a more pleasant experience.

And for the seasoned travellers along the North South Highway, the Sungai
Perak R&R area located at km 249.30 from the north seems to be a favourite
stopover nowadays.

And there is definitely some compelling reason for this as explained by
Projek Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan's (Plus) Commercial Facilities Manager, Muhammad
Khatib Khalid.

The Sungai Perak R&R, opened on 21 Sept 1992, underwent upgrading last
October and has added a number of facilities that include a 20 metre high
observation deck and an escalator leading to the facilities area.

"Initially there was only 10 food and beverage stalls, but all that has
changed now following a major renovation on last October. The R&R area upgraded
at a cost of RM5.2 million now has an observation deck and ever since the number
of people patronising the place has increased," he told Bernama after paying a
visit to the R&R here recently.

The observation deck now serves as landmark for the Sungai Perak R&R.
Visitors have to climb 27 stairs before reaching the deck with a dome covering
the top.

The observation deck provides a commanding view of the areas surrounding
Sungai Perak and the river itself.

The sight of the vast green landscape below will provide relief for the
tired mind of any long distance traveler.

The Sungai Perak R&R is also equipped with an escalator, that connects the
parking area and the facilities located at a higher ground. The escalator is a
boon especially for the disabled and drivers who may feel tired after a long

There are 21 stalls which include three stalls selling local fruits, two
souvenir shops and the rest are food and beverage stalls.

They are operated by locals and the whole setup can cater up to 356
visitors at any one time.

Other than regular facilities like restrooms and parking areas, the
R&R also has a surau that can accommodate 60 men and 40 women.

For those who want to access internet, wi-fi connections are

According to Khatib, this cyber connection was introduced as internet
connectivity is something often sought by travellers.

"Most of the R&R in Perak are equipped with wi-fi facilities, introduced in
stages since late 2006, and we are planning to introduce the internet kiosks
within the next two years," he said.

For travellers keen to savour the northern state of Perak's delicacies,
they should not miss the "gulai lemak ikan patin" (fish in coconut gravy) and
"nasi lemak rendang tok" (rice served with beef dish) with available at the

Both fares are available at a reasonable price, that is RM3.50 per

This R&R has also opened business and employment opportunities for the

A stall operator S. Atmalingam, 52, said operating the stall at the
R&R has provided him with great satisfaction.

"Before setting up business here, I was working with Sime Darby in Ipoh and
the moment I got to know that there was a lot available here I grabbed the
opportunity to try my hand in business," he said.

Ever since, he said life has changed for the better.

"Doing business at R&R areas are different from running restaurants or
other regular outlets. Here, each stall has its own menu and products. The
customers can come to the stalls of their choice and there are no competition
for customers," he said.

Atmalingam who has been operating at the R&R for the last two years noted
that his takings has increased since the R&R was upgraded and in a good day he
can earn up to RM800.

"My stall operates 24 hours daily and I have six workers," said

Rohaya Atan, 25, another stall operator said she is making use of the
opportunity provided by Plus at the Sungai Perak R&R to sell jungle products and
traditional remedies.

"All the jungle products in my shop are sent by the people of my village.
We process the jungle products like the tree roots into remedies inside
capsules," said the Orang Asli woman who hails from the Bendang Kering Orang
Asli (Aborigine) Settlement.

She thanked Plus for providing the community an opportunity to earn a