I have never been to Tasik Chini, so when I read that a trip to Tasik Chini was being organized by MNS Nature Guide Special Interest Group, I jumped at the opportunity. I contacted the organizer, only to be informed that I had already missed the deadline. But the good news was, there were a few people who had missed the payment deadline, so the organizer offered me a spot :D
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I drove from Melaka to KL in time to meet up with a few others as well as to carpool to Tasik Chini. We drove from Cheras to Gombak, took the KL-Karak Highway which eventually merged into the East Coast Expressway. I am pretty familiar with these highways because I had been on them quite frequently in the past 6 months since I established my project site in Kemaman :D
We arrived at the guesthouse at about 11:30 pm, and we were promptly served sandwiches and tea before we made our way into our respective rooms and called it a night. The rooms are pretty basic and sufficient — each room has a double mattress, pillows, a mosquito net suspended from the ceiling and a stand fan.
Our activities started the next morning, at 6:45 am for those who wanted to go birding, and at 7 am for those who wanted to take a walk to the jetty. The jetty used to be surrounded by lots of lotuses just two years ago, but unfortunately, we did not see any lotus this time around :( Another structure near the jetty, called the “Sunset Bridge” had also been destroyed and could no longer be used.
After breakfast, we proceeded to Kampung Melat for a hike. Our guide, Jason (in the black tee with blue horizontal stripes), was extremely knowledgeable and accommodating. He made numerous pit stops to introduce various interesting trees, vines and roots to us. The other two girls, one in black and one in blue, were our Orang Asli guides. The girls led the way during the hike, made sure that the tracks were clear, demonstrated a traditional method of trapping small animals in the jungle and chopped off some liana vines for us to try the water the comes out of its vessels.
(I wished I had taken more pictures during the hike!)
On our way back from Kampung Melat, we were brought to an area which used to be a lotus haven. We were pretty disappointed to see only a couple of lotus buds, but at the same time, grateful that we managed to see (and photograph) them. According to our boatman, this area used to be choke-filled with lotuses just two years ago! The scientist in me feels that this site makes a very good study area, if anybody would like to conduct a research here.
The next day, while waiting for lunch to be served, we had a “survival” workshop, where we were taught and shown a few conventional and traditional methods of starting a fire (in case the lighter you brought into the jungle got wet). We were also treated to a crash course on choosing the right hammock, as well as the differences between a basic and a more sophisticated hammock. And of course, we were also taught some rope tricks so that we could securely install our hammock in the jungle :)
What would you do if you could successfully start a fire and put up a hammock in the jungle, if you didn’t have anything to cook/eat? That was why we had to learn blow-piping too :D
This trip would not be complete if we didn’t have a chance to mingle with the Orang Asli kids. They were extremely adorable and curious about our presence in their village. They participated in our fire-starting workshop, they were our audience during our blow pipe lesson and competition, and they even joined our cleanup activities! :D
So if you would like to experience staying in an Orang Asli village, and go hiking in the jungle with somebody experienced and knowledgeable, please contact Mr. Rajan Jones. Rajan owns a 10-room guesthouse, which can easily accommodate 20-30 persons.
Mr. Rajan Jones/Cikgu Nee
Kg. Gumum, Tasik Chini
Pekan, Pahang, Malaysia.
+6017 913 5089
More pictures taken during the trip can be found here.
Two weeks ago, I went on an ad hoc trip to the famous “Rainbow Waterfall” in Sungai Lembing, Pahang. My Mum was back in her hometown, Sungai Lembing, and a few of my aunts got together and somebody suggested a day trip to the waterfall. I was in Kemaman, my Mum called me and asked if I was interested to join them, and I thought “Why not?”
Sungai Lembing is a tin mining town 42 km northwest of Kuantan. Until the 1970s, Sungai Lembing was a major producer of underground tin. Sungai Lembing town developed in the 1880′s when the British set up the tin mining industry, although the history of mining in this area extends much further back. From 1891, the Pahang Consolidated Company Limited, (PCCL), which was under British control, had a 77-year lease to mine the area. PCCL managed the mine from 1906 until its liquidation in 1986 when world tin prices collapsed.
- Source: Sungai Lembing @ Wikipedia
My cousin brother (the one standing to my right) has a day job repairing trucks in Kuantan, but when he isn’t working on the weekends, he would morph into a tour guide, and takes tourists to the Rainbow Waterfall. He recently bought a 4WD, which he uses to drive tourists to the waterfall. He puts on a tarp sheet and installs cushioned seats onto the back of this 4WD before every trip.
We leave at about 6:30 am, in time to catch a glimpse of the sun rising on our way in. The journey to the foot of the waterfall is rather challenging. We needed to cross at least 3 rivers/streams that ordinary non-4WD cannot pass.
After 1.5 hours of a bumpy journey on the 4WD, we arrived at the end of the road. We got off the vehicle, and had to cross a river about 50 meters wide. At times, usually after a heavy rain the night before, the water level in the river rises above the chest, but there are also times when the water level is at a pretty safe hip level.
After crossing the river, we proceeded to hike towards the foot of the waterfall. The hike up takes about 45 minutes, an hour maximum if you stopped to photograph the waterfall or leaves or bugs on the way.
When we got to the top, the rainbow was beginning to rise. My cousin said we were very lucky as there are days when the rainbow isn’t visible (on cloudy days).
We spent about 2 hours at the foot of the waterfall, while my cousin brother and his other guide friend played bartenders/baristas, who only served hot Milo, hot Nescafe and Maggi in a cup :D After taking enough photographs and soaking for long enough in the cold waters, we packed up and left.
We then started descending the hill and after 45 minutes, we arrived at the river crossing. This beautiful rock arrangements were patiently put up by my cousin brother for our enjoyment. It may look like it’s an easy job, but wait till you try your hands at it! :D
If you would like to go to the Rainbow Waterfall and would like to hire my cousin brother as your guide, please call Ah Teck (阿德) at 019 – 944 6167. He speaks only Mandarin, Hakka, Cantonese and Malay. You may tell him that you got his phone number from his cousin sister (表妹), Ah Nyok (阿玉), yeah, that’s me :D