The first time (that I could still remember) I set foot in Kampung Bukit Kuang was way back in the early sixties (1963-1964). It was a visit to my grandfather, Ibrahim bin Long or better known as Pok Heng Dekor (Pendekar) and his wife, my step-grandmother.
My grandfather was a famous silat guru of his time. Some said that even Mat Kilau used to spar with him whenever he passed that way on his usual walkabout.
Actually he was Wan Ibrahim bin Wan Long, but due to reasons known only to him, he dropped the Wan part of his name. I only knew this fact long after he passed away.
The little that I knew was that he ran away from his village in Kelantan and stayed put in Kemaman for much of his life. He married my grandmother, had a few children, divorce her and later remarried and had another few children. Finally he divorced her again and remarried my step-grandmother who was more known as Mek 'ndo (for jendol).
First there were only three families living in Kg Bukit Kuang - My grandfather, Syed Noh and Pok Man (the trishaw peddler). As the village was still considered ulu and covered by forest, they made a deal between the three of them.
The deal was that they all should come back and spend the night in the village, come what may. They never broken their deal, not for any reason eventhough they left the village during daytime to work.
Bukit Kuang got its name from a kind of pheasant (kuang) that roamed the hill (bukit kuang). Back then we can hear these birds singing.
I used to climb the hill with my friends in search of the berangan (Malaysian version of chestnut). They were much smaller than the present day Chinese variety of chestnut and they for sure were a lot harder to chew on.
A few times we even came across wild boars at the top of the hill. It is sad to see the hill now. It is no more green as it used to be.
Those days, there was no bridge across the Kemaman river. WE used ferry to cross the river.
The river was full of fish species like rays, sea bass, garupas, trevally, scads, cat fish and of course the crabs and shrimps. There were crocsdiles too, but as far as I could remember, they never disturb us. Probably they had plenty of their normal food to care about us.