The Royal Belum State Park in Perak is a huge park in the northern parts of Peninsular Malaysia. It is part of the even bigger Belum-Temengor Forest Complex (BTFC) that is shared with Thailand.
Relatively unknown, Royal Belum is believed to have been in existence for over 130 million years making it one of the world’s oldest rainforests, older than both the Amazon and the Congo. This large area thrives with birdlife and large animals regarded as highly endangered such as tapirs, the Malayan tigers, sunbears, panthers, Asiatic elephants and the endangered Sumatran rhino.
In the heart of the forest lies the manmade lake known as Tasik Temenggor, covering 15,200 hectares which is dotted with hundreds of islands.
Royal Belum Rainforest have plenty to offer to adventurers and nature lovers alike and here’s a little guide on the ‘must do things’ if you happen to plan an eco-escapade in Royal Belum Rainforest:
Enjoy The Sunrise and Sunset
Wake up early and enjoy the beautiful colours of dawn. It is always very picturesque during sunrise in Royal Belum Rainforest. Dusk in Royal Belum Rainforest is always instagram-worthy, so if you are located where you can see the sunset during your stay in Royal Belum Rainforest, do make sure you capture the serenity with your camera lenses.
Bamboo Rafting & Fishing in Tasik Banding
If you are the adventurous lot, another highly recommended activity that you can do is bamboo rafting in Tasik Banding. It would be an interesting experience. And don’t worry about the waves, Tasik Banding is a very calm lake. You can also have a swim over there. With lifejacket intact, of course. Fishing is allowed in Tasik Banding, but a permit of RM5 per fishing rod is required before you enter Royal Belum Rainforest. You’d be pleased to discover that there’s plenty of exotic and rare fishes in the lake.
Trekking to Sungai Kooi Waterfall
Trekking to Sungai Kooi Waterfall is another must do thing if you are ever in Royal Belum Rainforest. The route to the Sungai Kooi Waterfall is a little bit challenging with slopes and slippery river stones, but it’s nothing a novice or a first timer cannot accomplish. Trekking to the waterfall takes about 45 mins before you will be rewarded by a showering piece of heaven.
See Rafflesia in Bloom
Royal Belum Rainforest is a home to plenty of exotic plants. Among them are the Rafflesias – the world’s largest flower. Rafflesia is a genus of parasitic flowering plants. The flowers look and smell like rotting flesh, hence its local names, ‘bunga bangkai’ or ‘bunga mayat’ which translate to “corpse flower” or “deadmeat flower”. The Rafflesia flowers can easily be spotted at Sg. Dadong and nearby Ruok Waterfall, but they are not always in bloom. A guide to these sites are needed, so do hook up with a guide prior your excursion.
Every single thing that is residing in Royal Belum Rainforest plays an important part of the ecosystem, so if you ever go to Royal Belum Rainforest, take nothing but the memories and leave nothing but footprints behind.