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Sipping in Serenity, Discovering Lenggong’s Hidden Gem

Last year, my wife, my son, and I visited Suak Saudagar, a coffee shop in Lenggong. It was October 19, 2022, to be exact.

Despite this being our third or fourth visit, we have yet to explore many other interesting parts of Lenggong. Nevertheless, we believe that Lenggong is an underrated place with great potential.

We hope that those who have experienced Lenggong, as we have, will help spread the word about this hidden gem.

That’s why we’ve decided to repost our experience here, as it was previously only on CoffeeloversMY‘s Facebook and Instagram, making it harder to search and share across different platforms. Here goes.

Professor Siti Zuraina was the archaeologist who discovered the Perak Man and the palaeolithic sites in Lenggong, which led to its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

These discoveries were significant for several reasons. Firstly, Perak Man is the most complete palaeolithic human skeleton found in Southeast Asia to date.

Secondly, the excavation of the palaeolithic sites in Lenggong, dating back 10,000-11,000 years, made a significant contribution to medical history when it was discovered that Perak Man had a rare birth defect known as Brachymesophalangia Type A2.

Thirdly, Professor Siti’s research also established that the early human migratory route from Africa to Australia was through Peninsular Malaysia. From the Red Sea to Lenggong Valley.

Fourthly, recent studies in geology and geophysics have revealed the presence of a meteorite impact crater in Bukit Bunuh, which diverted a river in the area.

Archaeologists speculate that this diversion may have played a role in preserving the site at Bukit Bunuh, leading to the discovery of tools such as hand axes made by hominids.

Historical context. And we are sharing them here with you in the hopes that you’ll get to experience Lenggong as we did. Now, back to coffee.

Meet Suak Saudagar. Such a great name, isn’t it? According to Dewan Bahasa, Suak [sua/] is teluk kecil. Small bay or inlet in English. While Saudagar [sau.da.gar] is orang yg berniaga atau berdagang. Trader in English.

We had a chat with the owner of this coffee shop, Solihin, and according to him, history has it that there was once a river. And the river was an important trade route for traders then. Especially traders travelling from the Perak river and wanting to conduct business in the hinterland.

Next came Chendroh Lake in the 1920s, which caused the river to gradually transform into small inlets, or suak in Malay. Hence the name Suak Saudagar for the coffee shop. According to Solihin, naming his coffee shop after these old Malay words was his way of preserving them for posterity.

Suak Saudagar is not just a coffee shop, but also a gallery that pays homage to its name’s inspiration. The gallery showcases a variety of relics from times past, such as books, vinyl, and furniture, among others.


References:

Goh, H. M., Bakry, N., Saidin, M., Shahidan, S., Curnoe, D., Saw, C. Y., … & Kiew, Y. M. (2020). The palaeolithic stone assemblage of Kota Tampan, West Malaysia. Antiquity94(377), e25.

Teoh, M. (2022, August 26). Meet Malaysia’s first archaeologist, who discovered the 11,000-year-old Perak Man. The Star. https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/family/2022/08/26/going-back-to-the-future

Jmm, V. a. P. B. M. V. (2016, June 15). On the Path of Prehistoric Migrations. Museum Volunteers, JMM. https://museumvolunteersjmm.com/2016/06/06/on-the-path-of-prehistoric-migrations/

Chia, S. T. E. P. H. E. N., & Majid, Z. U. R. A. I. N. A. (2002, April). The conservation and preservation of Perak man from Gua Gunung Runtuh site in Lenggong, Perak, Malaysia. In The International symposium on the conservation and preservation of Java Man site (Indonesia) and Peking Man site (China).

UNESCO World Heritage Centre. (n.d.). Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley. https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1396

Abdullah, N., Talib, N. K., & Saidin, M. (2020). Mineralogical evidence from Bukit Bunuh impact crater and its contribution to prehistoric lithic raw materials. Warta Geologi46(1), 6-11.

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