Monday, 3 June 2013

Lata Berkoh

Initially, I thought spending 7 nights at Taman Negara was overly excessive as people normally stay for only 3. Strangely time passed quickly when we were there.

The hotel prides itself in being minimalistic by not providing television, telephone and internet access in the room. The dimly lit room smelled musty, the floor was always sandy and walls dusty, but nobody seemed to mind. We even had a huge gecko sharing our room.

After an exhausting day in the jungle, I slept like a log except for one night when I heard something scuttle up the wall. The sound of rain pelting on the roof at night took some getting used to at first but soon became music to my ears. We woke up to the boisterous chirping of birds every morning and went to bed hearing wild boars roaming just outside the door. One almost barged into our room when we were eating.

With no work distractions, the blissful week flew past just like that. It was a rare opportunity to get away from it all.

One of our favourite spots in Taman Negara is Lata Berkoh which is accessible on foot (8.5km walk from the park HQ) or by boat. We found it easier to take the river boat which costs RM160 for a return trip.
 

I was there with my friends in 2001. The place hasn't changed at all.

With May Ling in 2001.

 
Lata Berkoh in 2013.
Back again in 2013.

















The boat journey from HQ to Lata Berkoh takes about one hour.  The scenic ride along the shallow Sungai Tahan, lined with huge, leaning Neram trees which form an archway over the water, is very therapeutic.
 



The boat comes to a stop by the riverbank and it's another 1.2km trek through the forest to the cascade.
The boatmen will stop at the river bank and wait for your return.
You might even see butterflies along the sand bank.

The short hike through the forest is a pleasant one. The well trodden path flanked by large trees and bamboo clumps leads straight to Lata Berkoh. Be prepared for some uphill climbs along the way.
 
The water here is cool and clear with a brownish tint released from the tannin of the trees. Due to the strong undercurrents at the cascade, swimming is discouraged.

 
 We spent hours by the shore right by Lata Berkoh. While the guys kept themselves busy documenting rare butterflies and bugs, I was more than happy to enjoy the solitude, which in my opinion, is truly rare.

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