This was my fourth visit to Kuala Tahan and once again, I have truly enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere exuded by the oldest tropical rain forest in the world. The fresh invigorating air, the luscious green trees and the unique fauna were all captivating. The trekking trips were tiring, of course, but the exercise was very much welcomed, leaving us in a state of endorphin high.
On arrival, after freshing up, we crossed the Tembeling River on a boat. The short trip across the narrow width of the river costs RM1 one way. Mind you, two years ago it was only 50 cents. After paying the entrance and camera fees, we headed to Lubok Simpun on foot. A trek that traversed through the forest, amidst big tropical trees with crawling roots, brought us to another river which was the Tahan River, smaller and cleaner. Huge trees canvas the whole area allowing sunlight to penetrate through in between their abundant foliage.
As the word Lubok suggests, this part of the river is marked with pockets of deep water which could be dangerous if one should suddenly slip into it. The place is however popular as it provides cool river water flowing endlessly through a carpet of smooth round rocks, amidst the tranquil fresh air of the surrounding forest. The continuous churning sounds of gushing water against the rocks impart a natural soothing music that can instantly lull you to sleep. After a good dose of the balmy atmosphere and water-dipping, we headed back when dusk began to approach. It did feel a tad eerie walking through a thick forest late in the evening. However, knowing that we had two tough males accompanying us was reassuring (yeah, tough males, eh?). We came across some pheasant birds which were initially oblivious of our presence, giving Red a good chance to capture their photos.
That night, we had a sumptuous gastronomical experience when we were served with several dishes of Patin: Patin Steam, Patin Asam Rong and Gulai Asam Patin. They consisted of Patin Buah and Lawang, all captured in the wild and not the usual Patin reared in cages called Patin Sangkar. Patin found in the wilderness are said to taste more delectable than those reared. Asam Rong is a traditional delicacy unique to people there. Asam rong can be made from either the seeds of the rubber tree or buah perah. These seeds are chopped and fermented and they lend the nutty and sour flavor to the gravy. We enjoyed the authentic feast so much that some even continued discussing about it in their rooms till they salivated profusely!
Negotiating a rapid. The second boatmen sits in front with a long pole to steer away obstacles.
It was truly a fruitful retreat filled with refreshing experience and the guys have decided on a more adventurous ado this coming July.
P.s. I was bitten by a large leech on my left calf and a pacat on my right. They captured the leech, thinking of concocting some medicine out of it but it died.
*I apologize for not leaving comments at your blogs but streamyx has been going bonkers in this part of the world!