29-Mar-2003 -- I have being following the progress made on the search for the Degree Confluences in Malaysia on the internet. It is almost time that I should seek one on my own. Of all the confluences that are still to be visited, I can only find one, 102E 06N that is likely to be near inhabited area. But that point was quite a distance away from my residence. My uncle and Auntie got wind of my intention and wanted to be in the act. So the 3 of us, my Uncle James and Auntie Peggy left Penang to look for that northernmost Confluence in the State of Kelantan. A long drive for me, from west to the east of Peninsula Malaysia. The Confluence was about 6 kilometers south from the Free Trade Zone of Rantau Panjang. Reaching close to vicinity where the Confluence is, our route took us on north easterly direction right up to the border before we could turn to head south. We had to pass through a Free Trade Zone momentarily. With the Iraqi war going on, and joining the normal flow of traffic from Thailand, security was very tight on the sector coming out. Once out of the control area, we were on our way, from Rantau Panjang to Pasir Mas, the next town. We started of at 9.00 am in the morning and by 2.30 pm, we were at our destination point. A distance of 307 kilometers covered over the most mountainous road of the region.
From the border with Thailand, the main road is a 25 kilometers long stretch to the first major junction. On this straight road, a short distance away, there was this "Custom Village" locally known as the Taman Kastam, Gual Nering. Directly opposite in the southerly direction was another housing estate, Taman Bakti. To serve this little township the access road was straight and went all the way to the inner edge. In front of the last block and at the fringe of wetland area, is the Confluence - on left side of the road. Children living around the area were curious and had their picture taken with us with the Confluence as background.
The stretch of cross border link road was made with a raised bund cutting through a Plain. Hence, on both sides of the road, travelers can see only wasteland, heavily flooded annually in the monsoon period. In the dry season, it resembles that of a parched wetland of mixed vegetation - scantily wooded, thick scrubs and with pockets of pools. Then at the part of this road closer towards the border, the low lying wastelands were filled and raised to generate safe building space for houses, factories and offices. Taman Bakti where the confluence lies is one such example. This confluence 102E 06N lies at the boundary of the housing area, is 350 meters from the Rantau Abang Road. At the edge of this housing estate, the land reverts once again that of the terrain of wetlands. Weeds and creepers cover the critical small plot [see picture 1] We could not get a "spot on" as the confluence point was under cover and in the midst of this bush. It was marked by the presence of a small pool of water [see picture 2] Our GPS showed that we were 6 meters from "Spot on" The altitude was recorded as 30 meters above sea level and accuracy at 10 meters. This point can easily be pin pointed. It lies just meters away from a spot where the local resident accumulates the daily refuse. [See panoramic picture]