Monday, April 20, 2009

BELUM ... Land Before Time

An article in the New Straits Times focusing on the 'birds and trees' in BELUM tweaked my memory.

We were there three years ago. An overnight getaway. Not forgotten, only stored in the recesses of my mind.

We drove there from Taiping, a journey of about 4 hours . Headed north to Grik. Past Grik to the prime tropical rainforest of Belum -Temenggor.

Over 130 million years old, older than the Congo and the Amazon rainforests, about 4 times the size of Singapore island, the tropical rainforest beckoned. Just wondrous to know that it is home to big animals like the Malaysian tiger, tapir, sunbear, gibbon, elephant and the Sumatran rhino.

Our stay was at the Pulau Banding Resort. Pulau Banding is a man made lake located within the majestic Temenggor lake. The resort is literally at the doorstep of BELUM.

Our room overlooked the lake. It was serene with the mountains in the backdrop. In the morning, the mist covered and hovered low and cooled the air. The morning air was punctuated by the calls of birds and ? monkeys

On the boat ride in the reserve, the marine police came by. Just checking. Ok, everything's in order.

We followed our guide , looking for the world famous rafflesia. He found it and we were estatic! Hasten to add, it was in BUD.

Just our luck. Viewing it expertly, our guide said, ' Stay 3 more days and you'll see it in bloom.' We had to contend with the pictures we see. This unique parasitic plant draws curious thousands . Nevertheless, coming up close to the bud was like striking gold.

'It takes about 9 months to reach full bloom. Come back for the smell!' he joked. Well, it stinks to high heaven!! And that's no joke.

We stopped by an Orang Asli ( local indigenous) village. They were welcoming and showed their prowess with the blowpipe.

My sis-in-law in new company

We came by an island and hopped off. There a group of men were having their buddy time out, away from the city. One was strumming the guitar and crooning away. An owl perched on a platform sat quite motionless and his sharp eyes surely were keeping an eye on us. Another man proudly showed us their catch of the fishes in their ice box.

In the waters of the lake are the kelah and the tioman, the popular catch. One man had his own rafters and he fished from there.

Choose your adrenaline kind of adventure - birding, fishing, camping, trekking, boating, dipping in/near waterfalls - the call of the untouched BELUM is too strong to resist.


  1. I came across a rafflesia right in my own backyard in Puchong many years ago before it became a media darling and failed to capitalize on the find for not having a camera and worse failing to recognize its significance ... sigh.

  2. Wow! that's amazing! What happened to the raffelsia? You must be sore with yourself... sigh

  3. Beautiful place! I would love to visit it and see the rafflesia for myself. They really do a great job on preservation. Have a great week, sunshine :)

  4. Great adventure, beautiful place. I like the owl. Don't think I would like the rafflesia.

  5. Wow great adventure in the rainforest. Lovely find of an unique plant.

  6. Good post. Would be perfect for EArth Day. I have not been to Belum and to see that Rafflesia is one my biggest wish...happy weekend.

  7. Hi Kate and friends,

    Thanks for your comments. Looks like you read my mind! Thee's a post on Earth Day too - nature and art hand in hand.


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