So this past long CNY weekend, we did a wonderfully typical Malaysian thing. We drove 150kms for a good plate of food. Ignoring the risk of having our butts going numb in heavy traffic on the East Coast Highway, we drove to Temerloh, Pahang to indulge in one of the best fish dishes this side of the land has to offer, ikan patin masak tempoyak.
After a thankfully smooth two-hour drive, we found what we were looking for, just a couple of kms outside of the Temerloh town centre. Sure, the place – Gobang Maju Patin Tempoyak – felt rather touristy, but the fish was good, and the accompanying dishes hit the spot as well.
Then a quick search for a coffee place returned an interesting result: BACA – The Reading Room & Café. Ah, sounds like our kind of place.
Located on the second floor of a commercial centre not far from the patin place, BACA looked and felt inviting as soon as we pushed the door open. Through a signage, visitors are told that at BACA, you are invited to buy, read or donate books.
And from just a glance, any book fan would be delighted by what’s available on the shelves. Apart from what you’d normally expect, there are also sections on Malaysian and Indonesian authors, indie publications, manga, vintage titles and collectibles. And oh, there also local zines to boot! Something we totally didn’t expect.
We recommend you do more than just grab and go, so take a seat, order coffee and some snacks and take your time to browse. You can also just chill and read the books that have been donated to the store, or even play Monopoly!
We were told that BACA welcomes a diverse group of book lovers every day, from students and office workers, locals and outsiders, some coming from Kuantan and even KL. Opened in 2015, they also organise book discussions and meet the author sessions, so do search for their FB page for all the details.
BACA is located at 81 Dynaton Bukit Angin , Jalan Dagang 1 | 1st Floor, Temerloh 28000, Pahang.