Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cemerong-Berembun-Lansir Hike

The guys chilling out in the Sungei Cemerong. Nikon D300, 18-200mm,1/80 f/8, ISO200.

I’ve just returned from a 3 day/2 night backpacking trip to the Cemerong Forest Reserve in Terengganu, Malaysia. Malaysians are lucky. They have miles of pristine jungle trails and rivers of cold, crystal clear water.

Hiking, and lovin' it... NOT! Nikon D300, 10.5mm, 1/10 f/4.5, ISO200.

My friend, Kiwi, who runs the nearby Paka River Camp, invited me along for this trip that he’d organized for his son and a few of his son’s friends.

Come On In! The Water's Great! Nikon D300, 10.5mm, 1/50 f/8, ISO200.
From the Park Headquarters, we hiked from the bottom of Cemerong Waterfall to the top. At 640m, Cemerong Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in Malaysia. At the top, we did what must be the most insane thing I’ve done this year! We crawled over slimy rocks, slick with flowing water, out into the middle of the waterfall and peered down over the edge! I’m sure it must be safer than it looked to me because Kiwi wouldn’t let his son (or his son’s friends) do something stupid and dangerous.

Getting our 'macho' shot at the top of Cemerong Falls. From left: me, Yogi, Kisnu (our guide with the blue hat, obscured), Kelvin and Ee Feng. Marvin is taking the picture.

We spent the night in Camp ‘Y’ and hiked over the top of Gunung Berembun (1034m) the next day to Lansir Falls. It was a beautiful walk along a small trail beside the Sungei Lansir stream. The trail would crisscross the stream a few times. We spent our second night camped out on the granite shores Lansir Falls. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos to show you because my camera died on the morning of the second day.

Friends helping out each other during the trek. Nikon D300, 10.5mm, 1/60 f/4.5, ISO1000.

The distance hiked each day was short, but if you looked at the distance and were expecting a short and easy walk, you’d be mistaken. The hiking was fairly technical, which is typical of this sort of jungle trek. There were a number of stream crossings, and some pretty steep ups and downs. In places where the trail splits, there may be no obvious signs which way to go. That, plus the lack of good maps, means that if you want to do this walk, you’ll probably need a guide. I suggest you email Kiwi at pakarivercamp@gmail.com or check out his website Paka River Camp for a heads up.

Kiwi (extreme left) supervising a Stream crossing. Nikon D300, 10.5mm, 1/100, f/4.5, ISO200.

On the third morning, we hiked back out, stopping along the way for yet another swim in another crystal clear, cold stream.