|Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints|
Hiking the Lower Belum Rainforest is an unforgettable experience. It is pretty strenuous and a real challenge walking for hours, climbing the slippery muddy trails and crossing the deep rivers. The density of the tropical forest and humidity remain a huge challenge - it can be so tiring. Hiking in Belum can take days but we opted for a day trip which took about 8 to 9 hours. A good pair of hiking boots is essential and for those unfamiliar with leeches and mosquitoes take along insects repellent. Though exhausting, there were so much to learn from our lush, dense Rainforest and at the end of the day the hike was well worth it.
We hired a boat with a driver and a guide who happened to be husband and wife team. It cost about RM 400 for the whole boat inclusive of driver, guide, water and lunch but it'll cost much more if you book the trip from the hotel. We carried some fruits, snacks and extra bottles of water to hydrate ourselves adequately. The boat can accommodate about 8 people and it is best to start as early as possible before it gets real hot.
|Our guide estimated the elephants were here in less than 8 hours|
With the help of our expert guides, we penetrated the thick forest and the humongous leafy trees were like a canopy protecting us from the blazing sun. Though shaded we still sweat profusely due to humidity. Along the trail, our guides showed us many medicinal plants usually used by the natives to cure their illness but some, like the Agarwood (Gaharu) and Tongkat Ali have been heavily commercialized for all purposes. Another interesting discovery during the hike was when we were shown fresh scratches of tigers claws on the tree barks and deep marks of the Sun bears claws. We were lucky that we were not greeted by them on that day!
|Pulau Batu Putih|
From Sira Gajah we continued our journey by boat to Pulau Batu Putih (White Rock Island) which was said to be inhabited by dinosaurs million years ago. From the white limestone rocks grew the Bogak trees as evidence that dinosaurs existed in the area according to the guides. After a stop at the Temenggor Hydro Dam we headed for a picnic spot to have a late lunch. Not just a simple walk for a picnic but we had to wade the river for more than a kilometer towards the waterfall in the jungle. Some parts of the water was shallow but some can be as deep as 5 feet and it was a good dip after a sweaty hiking.
|Wading through the river for a picnic spot near the waterfall|
|Sira Gajah salt lick|
|The inhabitant of Lake Temenggor waving us from a distance|
|Part of the trail to the waterfall|
|Rocks along the river|
|Our guide protecting our bags packed with camera|
|Cool fresh green water|
|Ancient limestone hills dating back 400 million years|
|I'm not sure what this is?|
|Breeding Telapia fish for exports|
|Lake Temenggor is the home of Telapia fish|
|The visible sun bear claws marks on the trees|
|Huge fresh elephants dung near the hot spring|
|Our guide cuts the Agarwood (gaharu) bark to give us the smell|
|Cute little monster|
|Some fungi found in the forest|