Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Taman Negara - Day 2 - Bukit Terisek & Canopy Walk

We woke up early in the morning for Subuh to the sounds of azan (there’s a mosque nearby) and sound of the jungle…insects and the birds. It’s always the best time in a day i.e early in the morning…things are calm and cool after a well deserved sleep last night. We had breakfast at the resort’s cafe, a different place from last night’s café and it is a wonderful place indeed. We had simple nasi goreng with some bread and fruits to fill up the stomach. Once done, we again hopped onto the pickup truck and headed down to the jetty. We were supposed to meet Pak Lah at 8:30 AM at the jetty for a few more challenging activities including climbing Bukit Terisek and go on the canopy walk before we come back for lunch. Today is a beautiful sunny and warm day with a light wind. It did not rain last night and that made the condition even nicer, with less chances of coming into contact with pacat (the ladies hate this creature!). We met Pak Lah at the jetty (he’s always ready and on time), crossed the river to TNP entrance (took a photo at the main entrance) and ready for the 2.5 km walk to the peak of Bukit Terisek.

On the boat to Taman Negara

Mutiara Resort - jetty to Taman Negara

Group photo at the entrance to Taman Negara

Inside Mutiara Resort

The trek initially brought us through the Mutiara Resort where many bird lovers were either watching birds or snapping photos…there is a cherry tree (‘ara burung’) where birds in various types and species like to come and enjoy the fruits. Further on, we passed through flat land, huge tree roots and then hilly and challenging terrains. We passed through 2 junctions (to the canopy walk) where you can decide whether to continue climbing to the top. Climbing was quite challenging in certain sections of the trek….it was a huge struggle for Ibu and Adik but others was okay….both almost gave up from reaching the peak but they eventually gathered enough strength to conquer the hill and conquer themselves and their perceived limits. The trek brought us through a diverse and beautiful flora (daun tapak kaki hantu, majestic Meranti tree etc) & fauna (we saw white faced monkey & rhinoceros hornbills among others). Although it was very tiring, it was indeed an excellent exercise and a rich learning session.

Route Map to Bukit Terisek

Entrance to Bukit Terisek Trek

Pak Lah & Daun Tapak Kaki Hantu

Tree loving Chef

Junction uphill

Liana Tree -squeezed to death

Pak Lah sharing valuable info on Meranti

Taking a breather...steep climb

At the junction, 1km more to the Peak!!!

The alternative way up - the steps (too defined!)

Conquering Bkt Terisek...344m

They too... Icha, Mak Long and Dini

Briefing on Mount Tahan

[Info from www.tamannegara.org/] - Malaysia is one of the 12th mega biodiversity areas in the world and Taman Negara's tropical rainforest indeed is one of the world's most complex and rich ecosystem. The park is home to about 14,000 species of plants and trees more than other forest in the world. There are more than 2,400 species of flowering plant, 200 species of mammals, 350 species of birds, 67 species of snakes, 55 species of frogs, 80 species of bat, 30 species of rats and 109 species freshwater fishes (15 species endemic to Taman Negara).

The vegetations is primary rainforest and can be classified into four main groups:

• Lowland dipterocarp forest (where we were)

• Hill dipterocarp forest (where we were)

• Montane oak forest

• Montane ericaceous forest

The tualang trees (kompassia excelsea), the tallest tree in South East Asia are mostly found on the plains along with a variety of hardwoods such as meranti (shores spp.) and keruing (dipterocarps spp.). Epiphytes such as ferns and rare species of orchids are abundant here, while oaks, laurel and conifers are found on the intermediate slopes.

The peak of Bukit Terisek is not the main interest of the climbers but rather an opening on the side of the peak, a slight descend from the top, is the main target…this is where we can take a view of Mount Tahan during clear days or perhaps very early in the morning (when the sun has not risen from the horizon, similar to viewing Mount Kinabalu).

We brought 4.5 litres of liquid (9 bottles of 500 ml drink), every dropped was consumed when we reached the top…and there was no water left on the way down!!! Another lesson….control your thirst during jungle trekking and double your supply….remember there is descends after a climb!After an arduous and hard climb, descending was another challenge….if you have used up all your strength and energy to climb, your muscle and knees will suffer on the way down…shaky legs!!! It is always important to take the right step when jungle trekking/walking in the jungle….do not step on the same spot twice or using both legs…you’ll lose balance and your speed will be very slow. Again Ibu and Adik were complaining of leg pain, tiredness and thirst on the way down… It is also important to remember not to throw anything in the jungle….keep all empty bottles and bring them back for reuse or disposal and for smokers, do carry a portable ashtray with you (to keep the cigarette butt which you can empty them when there is a proper waste bin). As the TNP saying goes….’take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints’.

Halfway down, we came to the Canopy walkway entrance….and the best part was that the place sells cold drinks!!!!! Well they knew it already after all these years…human behaviors never change!! We climbed up the canopy walkway and off we went…one after another, maintaining a distance or 5 – 10m each….this is the longest canopy walkway in the world (2 more canopy walkways are in Poring in Ranau and FRIM, Kepong). It was another challenging activity…..high above the ground, suspended from tree to tree…stopping occasionally at wooden platforms…fantastic view and fantastic experience. After crossing several suspended walkways, we finally came to the end of it….feeling satisfied with the experience of conquering the fear of height. Refreshed and reenergized with the drinks, we continued our walk downhill following the edges of the hill with the river on your left back towards the Mutiara Taman Negara jetty. The Chef claimed to have met Orang Asal who was hunting (he has a photo of him and he was the only one that met him!!) while Ibu had a scare when a monitor lizard was blosking her walkway...and staring at her!!! But it left....as we got nearer...

Uncle met this orang Asli from the Batik Tribe and he asked him

if he saw any monkey ;-)

Briefing before going onto the canopy walk

Canopy walk 40m high

The entrance to canopy walk..sells cold drinks!

The opening hours

An exit..if you decide not to climb further

Abah capturing the moments

The do's and don'ts

Along the way, Pak Lah continued to wait for slow walkers, assisted the weak and tired and continued to educate us about the jungle….we saw 3 birds enjoying their bath in a water puddle having no regard of people watching them. Having reached the jetty, we met a Chinese man, a hardcore bird lover for the last 20 years, complaining of the difficulty in finding ‘water duck’, a type of migratory bird, in TNP….and he had just returned from Lata Berkoh. According to him the water was not too bad (we will be heading there tomorrow and hope there will be no rain tonight and the water keep improving tomorrow).

As usual, we hopped on the boat and crossed the river to Kg Kuala Tahan, with the pickup truck waiting to fetch us home to the resort. Everyone was very – very exhausted by now and it was already 1:30 PM and we hoped our lunch will still be there. Indeed there was, a specially made lunch consisting of white rice, tomyam, eggs and vegetables….just enough to generate more energy for more activities later in the day. After lunch, everyone took a rest…some slept and some just relaxed while performing solat (again Jama’ Qasar).

The best lunch...when everyone was starving


Uncle said...


what an adventure....must be fun!!

DadaIQ said...

Salam Uncle
IQ wanted to go to Taman Negara with his friends Sdara 85', but not many were keen. So, he took us there. It was fun if you like outdoors adventure.

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