This article first appeared in Forum, The Edge Malaysia Weekly on April 24, 2023 - April 30, 2023.
The Endau-Rompin river delineating the border of Johor and Pahang in the southeast of the Malaysian peninsula is a gentle, wise and ancient being. Old man river. It has a lazy flow of ochre-hued water from the mud that it carries from its rain-fed catchment areas upstream, as it gently winds along the border of the two states.
Standing on the banks of the river in Tanah Abang, a small Orang Asli settlement about an hour’s drive out of Mersing, one could be lulled into serendipity, wishing to spend a longish weekend on one of the “homestay” boats that line the banks of the river.
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