Like the remaining states of Malaysia, Pahang has its own attractions that lure thousands of tourists to visit from all over the world. Places to visit are aplenty, like Genting Highlands, to Chini Lake, Taman Negara, Kuala Gandah, Cameron Highlands. The state boasts a myriad of beautiful beaches, lofty mountains, and tropical rainforests. Here are some ways to explore mother nature in this beautiful state as suggested by the SalamToday team.
TANAH AINA FARRAH SORAYA
Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya in Raub, Pahang is an Eco Tourism Resort that can only be accessed by 4×4 vehicles. The bumpy ride would take about 10 minutes from the bottom of the hill up to the resort. The resort is surrounded by a pristine river, and luscious trees coupled with cozy campsites, dormitory or chalets making it a pleasant experience for those who love the greenery but still prefer comfortable accommodation.
Here, the resort hosts multiple activities for its guests, and one would be the Leap of Faith, which is an activity of jumping off a 15-foot platform, into the river. To get to the Leap of Faith is no walk in the park as trekking, and crossing two rivers are required. It’s best to bring a dry-bag to store all your valuable belongings, to avoid uneventful incidents.
Only one word comes to mind when someone mentions Kuala Gandah – and that would be ‘gajah’ (which means elephant in Malay). Many tourists would know Kuala Gandah for its Elephant Sanctuary. If you’re driving up from Kuala Lumpur it would take about 2 hours to reach the town of Lanchang, where the conservation centre lies. Established in 1989, and managed by the Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks, the sanctuary is home to orphaned elephants including calves, which are raised and given shelter.
What’s special about this place is that it allows animal lovers to have that personal interaction with the elephants. You can feed them and bathe them if you’d like. The elephants are a friendly herd, welcoming visitors to their home. (The cover photo was taken at Kuala Gandah).
Welcome to the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. Sitting at 130 million years old and covering 4343 square kilometres, any lover of nature would feel humbled to explore this tropical life. To get here, a drive from Kuala Lumpur takes about 3 and a half hours to the launch point of Taman Negara, the Kuala Tahan Jetty, or you can opt for a more fascinating journey that entails a bus ride followed by a 2 and a half-hour boat ride along Tembeling river to the jetty.
Here the Mutiara Taman Negara Resort (the only resort in Taman Negara) would be the choice of accommodation for visitors. It overlooks the Tembeling and Tahan rivers, and sits in the middle of lush greenery, with sounds of nature accompanying its guests. Dotted with a row of chalets, animals are free to roam around the hotel area. But fear not, it’s unlikely you’ll find a tiger lingering outside of your hotel room. At most – wild boars, monkeys and if you’re lucky; tapirs would make an appearance. Go for a trek in the jungle to reach the much talked about canopy walk, said to be the longest (530meters) and stands at 40 meters high.
Initially, the canopy walk was built for research purposes, but upon the discovery among tourists, it soon became an attraction. To reach the peak of the canopy walk, visitors will have to cross a few shorter ones before. If you’re lucky, while on the canopy walk, the view grants you front row seats seeing unique creatures in its most natural habitat.
Here you can also visit the Orang Asli Village which can be accessed by a 15-minute boat ride from the Mutiara resort. Like most other orang Asli tribes, this ‘Batek’ tribe leads an utterly simple life, in nomadic style. Despite their simple lifestyle, with no form of technology, nor connection with the outside world besides the frequent visits from tourists, they are extremely happy and content.
The village, is sprawled across a small area up on a hill, near the river shore, with a few palm-thatched shelters. It’s amazing to realise that is that they have the means and access to start a life in the mainland with other villagers – nearest being the Kuala Tahan village, but they still choose to stay in the jungle.
In the morning, the men will hunt for while the women will fish and collect fruits to eat. For the children, the jungle is their playground. To these villagers, survivor skills are what matters most, and education comes second.
KELAH FISH SANCTUARY
If you wish, take the boat ride to the Kelah Fish Sanctuary, located in Lubok Tunor, Tahan River. This river flows water from Gunung Tahan, the Peninsular’s highest mountain. If you travel via a powered four-seater open boat, the journey from Kuala Tahan to Lubok Tunor took about 45 minutes. But this would depend on the water level. Given how it’s a fish sanctuary, fishing is prohibited in this area. But you can however, swim and feed the fishes.
If you ever make it to Taman Negara, please don’t leave without making your way to the Tualang Tree. The only way to get there is by boat. Just a short walk from the small jetty by the river, lies the Tualang Tree, standing as tall as 65 meters. The buttress roots are so broad, it takes about 18 people to circle it, hand by hand! Be careful when roaming around the tree to avoid getting bitten by leeches.
(Photos by Syahirah Mokhtazar)