First there was the ferry. Buses, cars, trucks, bicycles, motorcycles and people were brought across the Kemaman river. It took sometime for them to get across as they had to wait for the ferry to unload its passengers and then make the return trip.
I don't think many of the younger generations could imagine how many ferries we had to get in to reach Kuala Terengganu from Chukai. First the ferry at Chukai river in town, then at Bukit Kuang, Kertih, Paka, Dungun....
Then in 1964 (if my memory is right) the Bukit Kuang Bridge was built. What a fine bridge it was, for that time there was a very light traffic using it.
I remember I did a lot of fishing on the bridge. Garupas were really biting those days. There were lots of fishes back then. When gerpuh season came there would be hordes of fishing enthusiasts on the bridge trying their luck. Rarely they would go home empty handed.
During high tide, species like sole, mackerel, red snapper, rays and even the shark swam in. One time I even caught myself a giant ray using a bait of entire squid!
But now, after more than 40 years since it first carried its passengers across the river, it is an old bridge by any standard. The heavy traffic causes massive traffic jam at peak hours.
Meaning no disrespect to it, the ole Bukit Kuang bridge has just got to be upgraded...a new bridge has to be built to take off half of the load it had to carry now.
Bukit Kuang folks have got to be prepared for their land to be acquired for the construction of the bridge and the connecting road. Houses have got to give way for the new bridge.
May be the original Kampung Bukit Kuang, the village where I grew up, will soon be no more. The kampung where my late grandfather, Ibrahim Long, Pok Mang and Syed Noh (the pioneers), they all agreed to come home and stay for the night every night. They did so to make sure that the ladies and the children were safe. Bukit Kuang then was unlike the present kampung.
Now, only the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the three pioneers live in the village. My mother was the sole surviving child of Ibrahim Long. Pok Mang is survived by a few daughters & sons and many grandchildren....