Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hiking in Lower Belum Rainforest - Lake Temenggor, Malaysia

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
It took about one and a half hour boat ride to get to our first destination in search for the salt lick spot. According to our guide there are about 60 salt lick spots around Belum and many wild animals frequented the area to lick the needed salts for their general well being or when they are ill. Our first stop was Sira Gajah and there we found fresh elephants dung and their tracks, which our guide could easily tell that the elephants were there 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

1 comment:

  1. Annapurna Base Camp Trekking

    Annapurna base camp trekking is famous trekkers in Nepal.
    The principal peaks of the western portion of the great Annapurna Himal, including Hiunchuli, Annapurna South,Annapurna, Gangapurna, Annapurna III and Machhapuchhare, are arranged almost precisely in a circle about 10 miles in diameter with a deep glacier-covered amphitheater at the center.
    From this glacier basin, known as the Annapurna Sanctuary, the Modi Khola knifes its way south in a narrow gorge fully 12,000 ft. deep. Further south, the gorge opens up into a wide and fertile valley, the domain of the Gurungs. The middle and upper portions of Modi Khola offer some of the best short trekking routes inNepal, and the valley is located so that these treks can be easily combined with treks into the Kali Gandaki region to the west.
    Itinerary Details:
    Day 01: Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara (914m.)
    Day 02: Trek from Phokhara to Tikhedhunga(1540m)
    Day 03: Trek from Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani (2750m).
    Day 04: Early morning hike to poon Hill and Trek to Tadapani (2590m)
    Day 05: Trek From Tadapani to Chomrong (2170m)
    Day 06: Trek from Chomrong to Bamboo (2340m)
    Day 07: Trek from Bamboo to Deurali (3230m)
    Day 08: Trek from Deurali to Annapurna Base Camp (4130m)
    Day 09: Trek from Annapurna Base Camp to Dovan (2630m)
    Day 10: Trek from Dovan to Jhinu danda (1780m)
    Day 11: Trek from Jhinu danda to Pothana(1900m)
    Day 12: Trek from pothana to Dhampus phedi and drive to Pokhara.(820m)
    Day 13: Drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist bus or Flight