Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tasik Banding & Belum Valley: The Story of Langsat

Assalamualaikum and Happy fasting to all fellow muslims.

Last weekend, I had the chance to do some surveys for places to conduct a few upcoming student programs. Actually, I ran out of ideas of places to conduct those programs especially the coming SRC Induction Camp. It was like a burden for me to think about the suitable place to make the program more interesting. Furthermore, I have some good ideas or concept of activities for the program that need a suitable place for it to be implemented. So, I need to go for recce eventhough it is in the month of Ramadhan. I still remember, I was in Cameron Highlands doing the same thing last year in Ramadhan.

I was supposed to go to Pulau Pangkor since SRC had decided to conduct the program there. But, I was quite familiar with Pangkor and I think it is not a suitable place for my new concept. So, Pangkor is my last resort destination this time. Eventually, due to health problem (i.e. acute conjunctivitis, according to the doctor), I did not go to Pangkor. Instead, we went to Tasik Banding.

At first, only Faizol, Azmir and I agreed to go but two other new members i.e. Had and Nazir accepted our invitation. As usual, The Underestimate never prepare for their, the victim this time were none other than Had and Nazir...hehe. We departed form MMU at around 11pm but we stopped at Xtreme Gear ( at Cheng to pick some camping equipments. We planned to stop at Sg. Perak for sahur but due to sleepiness, we stopped at Tapah R&R. After sahur and Fajr prayer, we proceed to Tasik Banding. We took the Kuala Kangsar & Gerik exit. Tasik Banding is about 150 km away from the toll. Anyway, the road leading to Tasik Banding is very straight forward. We just follow the Gerik direction and after reaching Gerik, just follow Banding direction. The view was very beautiful in the morning. Unfortunately, our cameraman was so busy sleeping to have the chance to capture this wonderful view...hehe.

Do you know what's the different between Tasik Banding, Royal Belum and Belum Valley? I also didn't know. The journey was felt very long until we reached Belum Rainforest Resort. Here, we thought we're lost already. But, we proceed until we saw the bridge that becomes the landmark for Tasik Banding. It was around 9.00am. The boat operators were still not operating. There were not many people there at that time and we didn't feel like to ask due to sleepiness. I jusat wandering arounfd the jetty to look for some information about Belum. There was a big signboard about Royal Belum at the jetty. It's stated there that Royal Belum had been gazetted as State Park and is just 1 km away from the jetty. A few minutes later, one boat came and took a family of two to somewhere across the lake. And then, a few more boats came. I asked one of the pakcik about some information about Belum. He said that the lake infront of us is the Tasik Banding(Banding Lake). Royal Belum and Lembah Belum are located there.However, to go Royal Belum, one has to get a permit first from the authority. Unfortunately, it was Saturday and the office was, we couldn't go. However, he said we can still go to Lembah Belum (Belum Valley) which has not been gazetted yet but still has a lot to offer to the visitors.

The landmark bridge at Tasik Banding
Some info about Royal Belum

I asked about the package offered to go to Lembah Belum and the price as well. He quoted RM300 per boat (can accommodate 7-8 people) for 5 hour tour around Tasik Banding and Lembah Belum. I nego with him and he agreed to charge us RM250. Among the activities offered inside the package are viewing rafflesia flower, visit to orang asli (aborigines) village, viewing a unique insect called ketombak (hopefully it's correct) and visit to waterfall. I didn't take the visit orang asli package since all of us are already like orang asli at that time(nobody had taken bath). Furthermore, we have to buy some groceries and sweets or chocolates to be given away to the orang asli and our pocket didn't allow us to take it. But, before the boat ride, the boatman asked me..."depa posa tak?" I said yes, we're fasting. Why? He said, "kalau tak posa boleh amik langsat buat makan dalam bot"...Hehe, terfikir plak dalam hati, seronok gak bulan2 posa ni org lain sibuk posa, kita dpt makan langsat...pastu kat akhirat nanti kena belasah cukup2...ishhh, tak berbaloi.

Nazir tgh makan langsat ker?

First, we went to see the rafflesia flowers. It is claimed that, more rafflesia can be found here than any other places in Malaysia including Sabah. However, we were not very fortunate to see the rafflesia blooming this time. Then, we proceed to see the "ketombak". The journey was very far and some of us were sleeping inside the boat. Finally, we reached the place and fortunately there were four "ketombaks" ready for viewing there. It's quite unique. Then, we proceed to Sg. Nam for waterfall visit. We had to trek for about half an hour before we reached the real waterfall. The view here was very nice. Interestingly, Faizol, Azmir, Had and Nazir didn't take the chance to swim at the waterfall eventhough they have not taken their bath. Azmir and Nazir were enjoying the fish spa and Had and Faizol were sleeping. I swam a little bit and then 'layan' the fish spa. Then, we proceed to Pulau Tali Kail. There's nothing there except empty resort and training facilities. We thought we had enough this time and we asked the boatman to return to the jetty.

The Belum Blooming Rafflesia... everything is belum.(belum means not yet in English)
The "Ketombak"...dengar macam cotton bud.
The beautiful one wanna miss the chance to go here.
But, my photographer was sleeping here..hehe.
The empty Pulau Tali Kail.
We reached the jetty at around 3pm and we were too tired. The only thing in our mind is to find a resting place anywhere. Yes...anywhere. I don't mind.

As a conclusion:

1. If you are a real nature's lover and know how to appreciate nature, Belum is the right place for you.

2. If you are a real photographer who has the passion to capture to Belum. You'll find no time to rest. If you are not, you will sleep in Belum...hehe.

3. If you're not any of the above, then make sure you're not sleepy when you reach belum. Otherwise, you'll sleep in the boat, at the waterfall and definitely at Pulau Tali Kail. Nasib baik tak gi kampung orang asli...kalau tak, mesti ada yang minta izin ngan tok batin kat situ untuk pinjam umah dia nak tumpang tidur jap. Kalau tak pun dapat gantung hammock kat tiang bawah umah tok batin pun jadik...hahahaha.

To be continued ...trip to Kuala Kangsar and Taiping: Bingka Ubi Faizol in the next posting.


  1. really interesting ur journey, we are palnning go to tasik banding next month

  2. where did you stayed at there ? do you have link or contact number about the package? could you please share? i used to go there when i was in school and plan to go again .