Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Brother Salleh's Trip To Temenggor Lake

Tasik Temenggor Discovery Island Trip

By A.M. Sallehuddin Mannan

Okay, my friend Fred and I went to Tasik Temenggor Discovery Island (TTDI). TTDI is located at the Temenggor Lake in Gerik, Perak, Malaysia. It is near the world famous Royal Belum national park. We started our journey from KL in the morning, yet got stuck in the traffic jam before we reach for the highway. Being stuck in a traffic jam was tiring enough.

And so we continued to drive until Kuala Kangsar. From there we exit to enter a route to Grik, which then leads to Pulau Banding, the place where the jetty is. Supposedly we took a boat ride to Tasik Temenggor Discovery Island at 12.00 noon, but since we are very much late, we took a boat ride at 6.00pm.

On our way to the island, we came across a group of wild elephants that were drinking water along the lake bank. As our boat tried to reach them closer, they ran away and we saw that there was a baby elephant among them which was the reason they were being protective.

Upon reaching TTDI, we were given our rooms, which were one of the A-Hut chalets that looked like an ‘Orang Asli’ hut. I shared a room with Fred. There was a queen size bed, a fan, lights, power source to use electrical stuff, and an air ventilator to keep the air within the room to flow. There was also a balcony with a beautiful view of the lake and a shower room that allows you to see the sky since it didn’t have any roof. This is one of the place where you get to shower in nature! Everything about the chalet had a touch of nature. It was wonderful.

After having our shower, we had dinner. The meal for the first night was steamboat. We shared a table with a group of reporters from NST and Harian Metro. They were a bunch of friendly people and the food was more than enough to fill up our empty stomach after a day of long journey. It was pretty much the kind of meal that makes you talk with one another as you pick up your food from the same steamboat container.

Right after dinner, we were invited to the hall room to watch a presentation of Rafflesia flower. It was a documentary on the types of raffelsia and its growth phase. I suppose it was very informative. After that, we were allowed to play games like cards, darts and karaoke but I passed since I was very tired from the journey and went to bed early to have a very good sleep in the jungle.

Day 2, we had breakfast which I remembered there was kue teow because one of the NST reporter dreamt about having kue teow. Later, I went canoeing alone to circle the island which was quite tiring and took me about 20 minutes. I was later joined by others and once we were done with canoeing, we went for a dip in the bottomless lake with our lifejacket still on.

Once we had enough of swimming, it was already lunch time at 12.00pm. It was a nasi lemak lunch to keep us full for the next journey. We were told that we were going to three destinations which were waterfall at Pulau Tujuh, orang asli village at Kg Chuweh and Rafflesia flower sightseeing at Pulau Besar.

We traveled by boat from one place to another. The first stop was the waterfall at Pulau Tujuh. The route to the waterfall was not really challenging for Fred and I since we’ve done a lot of hiking activities. Though, I found that other people were finding it quite challenging to get there. In my personal opinion, the water fall was nice but I was not that impressed. Maybe it’s because I’ve just seen a greater waterfall in Langkawi just last week. Lesson here, you should start looking at the smaller ones first to keep up the excitement every time you see a waterfall.

The second stop was the orang asli village at Kg Chuweh. It was interesting to know that they actually have tarred road and even astro. We just sat around and let them watched us instead of us watching them. The children were very shy as they came slowly to get food from us and ran away very quickly once they got it just like a mouse, as Fred said.

The last stop was for Rafflesia flower sight seeing at Pulau Besar. At first I thought the track was more challenging but it turned out that it was only for a short distance. To our disappointment, we didn’t get to see a blossomed Rafflesia flower. There were only buds. I guess we were not chosen to be among the lucky few that get to see a real blossomed Rafflesia flower.

By the time we came back to the boathouse, it was almost dark already. Some of us went for canoeing while some just went back to their room to get some rest. Later we had a western food dinner. I personally liked this dinner better than the last one and so did Fred. After that, we watched a presentation on hornbills.

The third day arrived, which means the last day. We had breakfast and got ready to leave the island and head back home. Overall, it was a unique adventure, being on a private island on a lake. I had lots of fun and it was a different kind of experience going back to nature. You can discover a lot of new things here. I guess that’s why they call it Tasik Temenggor Discovery Island. In fact you can discover yourself here!

If you ever come here, hope you will be lucky enough to see elephants, a blooming Rafflesia flower, and hornbills. You can visit www.temenggor.com for more details.

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