Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A Royal Belum houseboat adventure

Regardless of how many a time you came to Royal Belum, it will always foster a different vibe – new experience, new fun, new learning, and all this with a new sets of friends. The same for this time around, all 3 times were with different sets of friends doing different things hence, I enjoy Royal Belum to pieces.

My first time here was a new experience all together, it was my first time to Royal Belum and on a houseboat. Not only that, it was the first time I encounter rafflesia as well the Jahai tribe. My second trip was slightly different if I may say so myself. We stayed on at the Royal Belum Resort on Tasik Banding, and it. was. ah-meh-zing. We took a boat ride and trekked as well. And in this trip, ah…. Lemme tell you about this trip …

First thing first :
1. The jetty is brand new hokkay. It is no more a jetty, it’s a freaking jetty complex! With shops and cafes, and all… When I was saw the complex, I was like ‘Eh! Eh! Eh! Tuh baru, dulu takde tuh, banyak nye boat, houseboat lain-lain mana, malam pun bukak lagi ke…’ were some of the questions asked. But obviously, no one responded nor entertained me. Chit!!! Penah jer I tanya
2. This boathouse was huge… like H.U.G.E! 3 levels high. I was told that it can fit up more than 30 pax. Dah macam hostel bergerak dah ni.
3. This houseboat has rooms (note : plural). Each room can fit up to 4 pax (double deck), it also has a VIP room.
4. The common/dining/karaoke hall is a proper setting ie tables/chairs and etc. My previous houseboat was pretty much free sitting ie on the floor.
5. There’s plenty of kayak for everybody. Like every single body, rakit pun ada.
6. They have good cooks. Ni penting hokkay.

7. No more Kampung Aman Damai. Different kampong, at different place now, with different family/villagers.
8. This trip we covered Kooi Waterfall, where else I covered Ruok Waterfall. Kooi Waterfall is very very beautiful.

Above was the big difference I spotted as compared to my earlier trips (more than 6 years ago I think), and I am happy to say that the changes were for the best. Kudos Perakians!

We were lucky that we were able to spot a few rafflesias and one that was blooming. It wasn’t a tough hike but since I am not as thin and sporty as Della, I huffed and puffed a lot…. The result was fantastic. Not complaining here (And also because I know Della will be reading this 😏). However, I did not climbed to get close to the rafflesia as it was steep (Yea lah tuh! Lier!).

And this trip we were lucky that they took us to check-out the Saltlick area. Salt-lick or sira in Malay language is basically an area containing minerals that provides nutrition to some animals. Due to tropical rainforests plats are often low in minerals ie sodium hence animals such as elephants, gaur and barking deers often come to this area to obtain these minerals; in which help their health and digestion. There’s a few saltlicks area in Royal Belum, namely Sira Papan, Sira Rambai and Sira Kejar. Souvenirs that often one brings back from visiting saltlick Sira Papan are pacat.

And of cause there’s kayaking, truthfully this is actually a kayak trip that they included other tourism product to mengaburi mata weolls. I boleh baca permainan Della ngan Ed tauuu… And I love love love you guys for this. Simply love all the kayak places/experiences, NOW I can officially call myself a PROFESSIONAL kayaker dah now (fliphair).

Houseboat Activities
- Kayaking 🚣‍♀️
- Bamboo rafting 🚣‍♂️
- Swimming 🏊‍♀️
- Boating 🚤

- Fishing 🎣
- Karaoke 🎶
- Boardgame 🃏
- Sleeping 🛌
- Eating 🥙

Houseboat : Arus Belum
Contact : Tuan Hj. Shansuddin
Mobile : +6019-526 0067

All in all, I highly recommend you guys to experience houseboating in Royal Belum, it is a great place to spend a short holiday with families and friends. In fact, you can also charter it for teambuilding activities.

Photo credit
Rafflesia : Gaya Travel Magazine

#TravelPerakLah Lenggong & Royal Belum Media Fam Trip 2020 is in collaboration with Tourism Perak and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel Magazine as media coordinator.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

River Kayaking at Sg Beruk in Gerik, Perak

It was complicated but after googling the right name for 'berkayak di jeram', I'm settling with White Water Kayaking.
I mean... 'jeram' is rapid in English, so should it be rapid kayaking? Or kayak at river rapid? Or perhaps... 'rempit kayaking'. Hahhahaha…. Well, I've experienced white water rafting 3 times and I loving it like crazy, did tubing twice and totally in love with it (Bali was more of a canyon with rapids experience and Endau Rompin Selai was more flat but with challenging rapids as well). BUT kayaking at river rapids, this definitely the first. (Statement giler nampak show-off)

After my experiences with a few rapid rides, I kinda expected what’s in for me and I doubt it will be as tough as Endau Rompin Selai nor WWR in KKB (Technical giler). Having said that… suspense lah jugak sebenarnya.
We went upstream via a pick-up truck of what us Malaysians call Hilux, tak kisah lah whether it’s a Triton, Navara, Ford Ranger or whateverthing, citenya kat Malaysia it is called – HILUX ðŸ™„
. Kapish! Ahaks! We then were asked to pick our kayaks (Oh gosh! Sebab we traveled with influencerS kan, hence most of the bright/fun/cun colours were picked first. Obviously!) Some of us kayaked in pairs, some brave soul took single kayak. Eyta pun went solo hokkay. Tabik!

The ride was chill-chill jer, the rapids wasn’t that hard nor were there many boulders… so for you first time out there, easy peasy sangat. The only part that I would caution you guys is to avoid riverbank as there a many thorny trees that might prick you. Stay away from them tau. The whole ride probably takes you an hour or so depending on water level, technicality, how long you lepak at the half-way point and etc. It ends at Castella Café where you have your meal in the water.
Do note that reservation need to be made if you plan to have lunch at Castella Café, walk-ins are not entertained.

1. As usual, toksah dok mai masa school holidays and public holidays, orang jadi ghamai sampai tak mau-mau (read in utagha dialect).
2. If you are familiar with the term ‘kepala air’ or ‘large column of water’, then avoid rainy season and paddle fast fast if you hear thunders and lightning .
3. Parking is limited, you might need to park by the road side. Any side, all side but not side by side cos double parking is a no-no.
4. Bring own litter bag and dispose your sampah sarao at your house or at proper a prober bin.
5. Do not pluck any plant, ruin our beloved rainforest.
6. Bring sunblock and wear them, jangan pulak bring but don’t wear. Facepalm.

7. If you own a rashguard, where them… cos (a) hot sun and (b) thorny trees
8. Wear wet shoes (yang orang pakai gi snorkeling/diving tuh, below RM40 at Decathlon)
9. Where tights/legging/shorts…
10. There’s limited changing room/toilet so please don’t hog them
11. Bring change of clothes, shampoo, soap and towel – bawak jer toiletries bag tuh.
12. Hair comb dilupa jangan, else you risk of looking like a Lion King-lost-in-Gerik. Hahhahahha…
Verdict : A MUST MUST TRY!

Kampung Padang Stang
Mukim Kerunai Gerik
Contact : Khairul Azmi
Mobile : +6019-608 0684
FB Page : Kayak Gerik
Email: bangji5755@gmail.com
#TravelPerakLah Lenggong & Royal Belum Media Fam Trip 2020 is in collaboration with Tourism Perak and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel Magazine as media coordinator.

Monday, January 11, 2021

9 Things To Do in Teluk Intan Heritage Trail

Heritage trail has become increasing popular these days in major cities and heritage towns, an activity that I often look forward to during my travel.
The Teluk Intan Heritage Trail (you need drive around for this, not doable on foot) that I partake is the standard historical sites that what we normally see and experience but the river cruise heritage trail (Yup! RIVER) is simply delightful, it was a heritage trail + eco-tourism combined therefore I highly encourage you guys to give a try. But of course, you need to be like me lah… ie. ask lotsa and lotsa questions else it will be just another river cruise.

Teluk Anson
During Perak British Resident; Sir Hugh Low proposed to rename Teluk Mak Intan to 1882 Teluk Anson. Teluk Anson was named after Major General Sir Archibald Anson, its town planner back then.

Teluk Intan Heritage Trail (both on foot and drive)

1. Old Police Station / Central Station

The earliest British colonial building built by the British and completed in 1882, back then it was used as a taxation and customs office for Teluk Anson. However, in 1941 the Japanese took over the building and used it as headquarters during the Japanese occupation. It was said that interrogation and tortures took place here. There were also saying that there’s a tunnel that linked the Old Police Station to the Old Court House.

2. Old Court House

Construction of the courthouse started in 1891, almost 10 years after the Old Police Station and was completed in 1893. This same building as also used as an Anglican Church for Sunday Mass prior to the completion of the St. Luke Anglican Church in 1912 of which is still being used today.

3. Post Office
The Teluk Intan Post Office is just a walking distance from Old Police Station, Old Court House as well as Hongkong and Shanghai Bank building. The post office in hay day remains as a post office in 2021. It was said that in the olden days, it serves as a place where the locals send mail, voter registration and where one kept his saving. Not only that, even lottery tickets were sold at the post office. How interesting.

4. Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Building
This standalone HSBC building in Teluk Intan existed for more than 70 years and still standing strong. You can reach the Church of St Luke the Evangelist from HSBC as it takes 5-7 mins walks across the field.

5. Church of St Luke the Evangelist
In operation since 1701 was the spiritual administration for the British Colonial Officials and civilians. And the locals that attended the service were largely the migrant workers from India. It was a wooden church with nave, chancel and its high ceiling roof that reminded me of Olaf church in Frozen. The church bell was brought all the way from England.

6. Madrasah Al-Ihsaniah
This semi wooden building was the home to the Tuan Guru Haji Muhd Salleh Bin Muhd Taib, a religious scholar from Minangkabau, Indonesia. The beauty of the mosque is that I was wakaf-ed by Sultan for the public to learn Quran and religious studies. The building was renovated and has seen stood still till this date.

7. Hock Soon Keong Temple
Just across the street from Madrasah Al-Ihsaniah is the Hock Soon Keong Temple where most of its worshipper are from Fujian. This 1883 temple was based on Ming and Ching Dynasties architecture. I exceptionally love the carving on the ceiling describe as ‘three concentric stepped octagons of intricately carved, three-pronged bamboo shoots surround two rings of painted circling bats, symbolizing prosperity, and a shallow central floral dome’ – Teluk Intan Heritage website.

8. Sungai Kerawai Elephant Memorial
I would say this is the most underrated story of Teluk Intan not known to many. The legendary story of train derailment that happened some 125 years ago between train and and angry elephant bull. The story goes that the matured elephant avenged its baby that was killed by the train at the same location. This incident happened in 17th September 1894 and no casualties reported. Talk about elephant memory. Phew…

9. Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan
The ever so famous - Chinese pagoda architecture Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan. Similar (the leaning part) to Pisa, Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan was originally built in 1885 and has tilted since the big flood in 1895. The tower has many purposed, namely :
  • Water management system of the British at times of draught
  • Water supply in event of fire
  • Clock tower
  • Commemorating the British Administration
  • Serves as Teluk Intan landmark for ships traversing the Perak River

There are a few more that we did not manage to cover due to time constraint, perhaps in another trip kot. Ideal days in Teluk Intan? 3D2N.

#TravelPerakLah Teluk Intan Media Fam Trip 2020 is in collaboration with Tourism Perak and all its sponsors with #GayaTravel Magazine as media coordinator.

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