Lembah Beringin: A Photographer’s Dream Destination… And A Local’s Nightmare
Lembah Beringin is a small town located in the district of Hulu Selangor, Malaysia. When the tin business began to deteriorate in the 1970s, the town that was once hailed as an emerging satellite township with a mix of residential and business properties saw its downfall.
The development in Hulu Selangor, which some referred to as “the new Petaling Jaya,” was reportedly going to be surrounded by important facilities such as educational institutions and hospitals.
Yet such hopes proved unfulfilled as the 1997 financial crisis posed a negative impact on development when it was just under two years away from completion… leaving behind something straight out of a Silent Hill film.
Due to its abandoned structures and infrastructure, Lembah Beringin has been renowned as a “ghost town” in modern times. Few people reside in the area and the cherry on top is the dilapidated structures and amenities, which depict that the town is now a shadow of its former self.
Even so, Malaysians haven’t shied away from its potential to serve as an intriguing subject for photography and exploration, particularly influencers, and social media personalities who publish vlogs showcasing the area to this day.
Here is one of the most recent viral posts by a local influencer:
@joannajoseph We had the opportunity to visit “Lembah Beringin” that is also known as the “Ghost Town” or “Bandar Berhantu” of Selangor. Since we heard a lot of rumours about the place being haunted we decided to check it out for ourselves and this is how it went. If you have experienced something in this place, do leave your commenrs below. ✌🏻 #lembahberingin #malaysia #huluselangor #haunted #exploration #paranormalmalaysia #abandonedtown #abandonedplaces #kualalumpur #selangor ♬ Creepy Violins – Apollo Nove
There are two ways to reach Lembah Beringin – either via the main PLUS highway or a less-traveled back road that connects to Kerling and Kuala Kubu Bharu. The town is located in a relatively secluded area, with forest surrounding the Sungai Tinggi Dam to the west and extensive estate land shrouding the other corners.
To speak of the town’s history, Lembah Beringin Sdn Bhd, the organisation in charge of the project, filed for bankruptcy and was liquidated in 2006. Just about 1,300 of the total number of units intended were ever built; more than 1,000 were abandoned, leaving more than 600 buyers without recourse to this day. Despite this, the township’s completed sections still resemble a typical town, and roughly 200 apartments are occupied, mostly by families and seniors, with some serving as weekend residences.
A direct connection to the PLUS North-South Expressway, which is about an hour’s drive from the centre of Kuala Lumpur, was one of the advantages that the little hamlet of Lembah Beringin touted. LBGC, an 18-hole golf course, and KYUEM, a nearby private school, were further noteworthy features.
During that time, it was said that the builders hurried to build many townships in Hulu Selangor, such as Bukit Beruntung, Bandar Sungai Buaya, and Bandar Baru Lembah Beringin, in response to the rumoured upcoming development of the new Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) nearby. The eventual construction of KLIA in Sepang, more than 100 kilometres away definitely contributed to the decline of these townships, especially Lembah Beringin.
The only businesses still operating in the area are a residential college, three restaurants that also serve as shops, and a homestay. Lembah Beringin Golf Club in the municipality, which used to be a significant landmark, ultimately ceased operations following the pandemic as well.
To describe the area in the simplest terms, it’s pretty much just an untidy mass of overgrown greenery, unused structures, buildings that appear to be on the verge of collapse, and abandoned cars, even BMWs, that mildly speak of the owners’ plight.
Allure and mystery aside, the buyers of these abandoned units in Lembah Beringin are not just numbers on a balance sheet, but real people – mostly less fortunate estate workers who poured their entire life savings into purchasing their dream homes, who now find themselves trapped in a perpetual limbo, haunted by the possibility of never being able to step foot in the houses they’ve paid for. Despite their heart-wrenching situation, they continue to dutifully pay their monthly bank loans, carrying the burden of a lifelong dream shattered by the cruel twists of fate.
A handful of initiatives have been taken in recent years to revitalise the community and draw in new companies and inhabitants. There were also plans to repair some of the town’s historic structures, and the local government had launched a variety of initiatives to market Lembah Beringin as a tourist attraction.
Lembah Beringin is nevertheless an intriguing and menacing reminder of Malaysia’s past, even if it may never reclaim its former splendour. All in all, this place is unquestionably worthwhile a visit, whether you’re a history enthusiast, an urban explorer, or a photographer seeking a distinctive scene.
Nevertheless, if you’re planning a trip to the area, make sure to adhere to laws to avoid trespassing, and refrain from making a mess or offending its residents.