My Gerik Diary

My Gerik Diary


Guys, currently I’ve been posted to Gerik, Hulu Perak. After completed my housemanship in Hospital Taiping, I’ve been sent to a place where it never  ever crosses my mind, Gerik. Where my worst nightmares came true!

Gerik.3OMG! Initially I was so reluctant about the decision made by the state authority.  I was so frustrated and keen to make an appeal.  It’s not the place I hate, but it’s the matter of distance which means that I have to separate with my loved ones.  Few attempts made to contact with the department and person- in-charge were all in vain.   Meaning that I have to report myself to Hospital Gerik no matter what.  At that moment, all my happiness of becoming a medical officer simply vanished and I was overwhelmed with a feeling of gloom which surrounded me for days;  when counting the days to Gerik.

For those who don’t know where Gerik is, it’s a small township located at the border between Southern Thailand and Perak.   Those who plan to travel to East Coast of Peninsula of Malaysia by using the West-East Expressway, Gerik is a place where they must pass by. The major tourist destination around Gerik is Lenggong, the latest UNESCO Heritage Site of Malaysia in 2012,the place where Perak Man was found. The Royal Belum Rainforest and Banding lakeside is one of the most pristine tropical forest in Perak, and Betong, a city in Southern Thai province.

Gerik.7The 1st few days are always the hardest when switching from a place to another.  Above all, I’m having a SHOCK over here while attempting to suit myself over this small community.  Culture Shock…

Not that  I’m from a big city, but I found it rather hard to accustom myself with the life style over here.   And for the 1st time in my life, I’ve made contact with our peninsula aborigines, Orang Asli.


Batu Dua Green Curry steamed fish! Some of them said this is the reason why they revisit Gerik.

The life is simple over here as there is only one main road in Gerik, with a few rows of shop houses.   The only fast food here is KFC, and the only place where we can hang around is The Store as there is no cinema here, no night life!.  And the only place  operating 24hourly is our Accident and Emergency Department of Hospital Gerik.

The living pace here is much slower compared with other places,  thus, for those who plan to spend their retiree life in a peaceful, serenity with picturesque sceneries, then Gerik is a place to consider!

Even though we were the only customers in the restaurant, it took 15-20mins for them to prepare our food.  Sometimes the food were not served even after we had finished our second drinks.


Air field of Gerik, the only place where I spent my evening time jogging here…

And don’t assume that the living cost in Gerik is lower.  According to locals, they imposed a surcharge on the transportation fees from Ipoh to Gerik due to the distance.  The price of the food here is even higher than Penang and the room that I rented is also the same price as in Ipoh despite it being in a rural area.

As a doctor in Gerik, you are highly respected as there are not many medical officers here.  Gerik Hospital is always among the least popular. Some of medical officers claimed they have got those big ‘cables’ in the ministry and will try to apply transfer out even  before stepping foot in Gerik, and some of them never even show up  on the day they should be reporting.  So we are always working under inadequate man power.  And Gerik Hospital is the only hospital in the area. The nearest hospital next to Gerik is Kuala Kangsar Hospital which is about an hour distance away.

Gerik.2Sharing with you my first chapter of life as a medical officer in Gerik Hospital….

Life as a doctor here is challenging, although it’s only a district hospital, but we are facing all kinds of conditions here, and the one which I never encountered before during my houseman-ship in Taiping is a variety of diseases and different kind of  conditions of our aborigines. Frankly, I have never treated any aborigine before.


View from Hospital Gerik

There is another way of treating them, as they are facing conditions where others don’t. For example, for the 1st time I met with women who have  already got pregnant for more than 20 times in their thirties, and still reluctant for contraception; needless to say for tubal ligation.  Family planning for them is a total failure as they believe that all these are against the will of nature.

Can you believe that they still cut the umbilical cord of newborn with a sharpened bamboo?


Transit, the place where aborigines stay while waiting to sent for medical check-up or awaiting delivery, those aborigines travel few hours from the mountain before they can reach Gerik.

The locals are still practicing the custom where they call ‘Pantang’, which is, instead of bringing those severely ill patients to the hospital, they will bring them into the jungle and abandon them instead, as they strongly believe that the power of nature determines the fate of the ill patient.

Their children are also facing problems of malnutrition which need re-feeding program as they are always the last to receive food and nutrients for according to the aborigines hierarchy only the breadwinners in the family should eat more compared to those whose aren’t..


Transit, interior view…

Decision making is vital when saving patients as you must make decisions fast to avoid any unnecessary  delay in your management as Gerik is far inside the inland and sending an unstable patient to the tertiary center would require another one and half to two hours.  Sometimes these may be the golden hours to save a patient’s life and we just do the best we can to keep the patient alive.  Sometimes due to the long journey, some patients also cannot make it in time to survive.

One must always have faith and pray hard every time you need to send out a patient. Whenever there’s a patient needed to be  sent out always means that the patient is in critical condition and you must foresee what will happen in the next two hours  in the journey so you are well prepared to keep your patient alive…..

GerikWell, that’s all for this entry.  Will share more with you guys in the near future as I haven’t fully explored the area and the surroundings yet.   If you happen to read this entry and you’ve been here, kindly give me your suggestions on what I should try and mustn’t miss during my time in Gerik.  Ciao…

Pictures were taken by Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Gallery | This entry was posted in Life, Photography and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to My Gerik Diary

  1. yuhiza says:

    Did you see how much smaller lenggong was? Even when compared to gerik..heheh..all experiences are good in their own way.. 🙂 enjoy your posting!

  2. limshouzhi says:

    I haven’t been there,wait ya, will get there a hv a look…

  3. 舍利子 says:

    Don’t know whether it would be suitable to write this here. The other day I brought my mother for routine 3-months TCA for high blood pressure. We walked in your room, and sat down, you just asked in cantonese:”觉得怎么样?哪里不舒服?“ Then my mother reply:”没有不舒服。”and then you just said continuing the same medicine, and wrote the prescription and then we just walked out, the whole process took less then 3 minutes from the moment we walked in. We were the first one in the early morning to walk in, and there were not many patients there. Most of the 华人 doctors we encountered there if the patients replied “没有不舒服”, the doctors will at least use the the stethoscope to listen to the lung to see whether the lung is clear, doing some leg reflections test, just tried not to do the who seeing-patient process in less then 3 minutes and without touching the patient at all though the patient mentioned she was alright. If I was not mistaken you were busing holding a smartphone with facebook interface turning on during that day….. 🙂 Just to be frank, no hard feeling intended.

    Welcome to Grik, if you read the message now 9.32pm, there is Chinese Singing praying凑神戏for Kuil Datok nearby UPRA 8, today is the last day, if you want to join the local folks and have some fun, just be there tonight…..the place is nearby the air-field of Gerik.

    Anyway, welcome to Gerik, and if the comment is not suitable to display publicly, you are free to delete this.

  4. limshouzhi says:

    Well, no hard feeling, actually you surprised me! Well, 1st of all, I want to apologize for what I’ve done for your mother, and thx for your comment, you gv me space to improve, i’m not a perfect person, by reading your comment I know where to improve and to be a better one, seriously I’m ok with your comment, and sorry that u saw me using smartphone opening my facebook, since I’m here, i really wish to join the local folks for all kinds of activities, I wish I could be a better one, thanks for your comment, if you reading it, once again I’m here apologize to what I’ve done to your mother and maybe other patients…

  5. kc says:

    Youll get used to it eventually i supposed

  6. 舍利子 says:

    It’s ok, actually it’s not a big deal. One point to stress, don’t feel discourage or depress from what had been written, remember the story behind the Malay woman ( for thyroid gland operation, if not mistaken) at Ward D1 (Hospital Taiping) who has been warded there for more than a year and still wardingggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg now……………

    You sure will become a good and funny doctor.

    Sharing with all “名医易求,良医难得。”

  7. limshouzhi says:

    Thx for the input, it means a lot to me…u lead me the way to become a better one, thx… I hope I won’t disappoint you by the next time we meet….although i dunno who u r…thx…;)

  8. Chialoke says:

    Things might be tough but m sure its a path to be taken for u to be a better one
    all the best for ur MO posting
    looking forward to read more from u on ur MO posting 🙂

  9. arin says:

    actually the major tourist destination in gerik are royal belum and banding…not lenggong…
    gerik serves as the main administrative centre for the hulu perak district,which includes lenggong and pengkalan hulu (small town bordering betong)..

    anyway, enjoy ur MO posting.

  10. aeen says:

    can i ask u something?do you know any houses for rent in gerik?as i’ve been posting to gerik and want to move on this end month..i hope you can help me..

  11. limshouzhi says:

    Hi…can I ask you are u posted to hosp gerik as well? Because currently my friends is staying alone, mayb u can rent a room there.

  12. chee kong says:

    Hi Dr Lim
    I stumbled on your blog page by mistake. I was surfing on places of interest in Grik. I read with interest on your account of life in Grik and your how to detest going there. Some of your accounts are humorous . You must be funny person. I must say you took good pictures.
    Also i gave you kudos on how you handled your patient feedback. Yes don’t do that again.
    Patients do look highly on doctors and any kind act and words go a long way.
    Everything happen for a reason…including your posting in Grik.
    There was always a silver lining in everything…..
    From my research on Grik , yes it is not sunny island Penang, but i look forward to visit it soon and its surrounding places like Belum Rainforrest, Temenggor dam….i like nature.
    Who knows i might bump into you …….
    Cheers….Keep on smiling

  13. Richard Ng says:

    Hi Doctor Lim I was accidently find your blog when I search some photos of Grik Town.When I read your message about how reluctant you was posted to Grik.28 years go I was sent by my company to Grik as an accountant in a sawmill which was opposite Leong wai kong sawmill.I was very fast adjusted to live in grik.Those were the wonderful days I spent.Those days Tmn Grik which I lived at the back was a small hill.(no houses as it is now,fresh air good for jogging,sometime I and my friend went toHokkien Association to play badmintan or went to military camp nearby jogging.At night went go to eat cuaary me which was very tasty or went to batu 2 to eat river fish.Now I live in Subang jaya,shah alam very day facing traffic jam,how i missed Grik.hope to become friend with you

  14. ahmad says:

    hi dr.lim,
    i orang Gerik tau…biasa laa pekan kecil, Richard Ng mesti kilang papan batu 2 tu..nice blog DR LIM

  15. Richard Ng says:

    Hi ahmad awak kata betul dulu saya kerja di kilang papan batu 2 pada tahun 1985 hingga 1986 lepas itu syarikat kita telah pindah ke Tanah merah kelantan dan jeli.Saya kerja di kelantan 10 tahun dan sekarang saya duduk di subang jaya shah alam,kalau ok jawab saya dan kita boleh jadi kawan

  16. limshouzhi says:

    Hi, nice to meet both of u… when u guys free, feel free to come n visit me ya… well, im still in Hosp Gerik

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