Love at first sight! (Images: Parul Tangri, Naqib Shariff, Hostel World, Hafizie Razali, Ihsan Rosniza & Muhammad Afnia Zafiq)
Are you tired of living amidst concrete jungles and tainted air? Do you ever feel like escaping the hustle and bustle of the urban life and long for a change of scenery? Well, perhaps it’s a sign that you should take a break, pack your bags, and rekindle your estranged relationship with nature. It’s time to go back to basics and ditch our smartphones and gadgets, away from the comfort of the city life. After all, nothing is more exciting than wandering off to an unknown path and discovering new things!
Image: Eric van den Brand
Do you ever wonder for a moment if these so called ‘enchanted forests’ ever exist thanks to all those Disney movies? Well, if you’re sold on the idea of it, you’re in luck because we have our very own ‘enchanted’ Mossy Forest right here in our backyard. Just as the name implies, it literally is a forest covered in moss due to the humidity and cool temperature. This hauntingly beautiful 200,000 year-old forest boasts exciting flora such as the carnivorous Pitcher plant, wild orchids, and lush scenery that will transport you to another mystical dimension.
If you’re one of those people who don’t really enjoy the idea of “getting closer” to nature, perhaps this forest may be a great turning point for you. The cooling temperature and fresh air will keep your sweat at bay and make you feel as if you’ve never left your air-conditioned living room. But be wary of the muddy tracks though, so make sure to keep your designer shoes at home and wear proper ones that are meant for trekking or hiking.
: Cameron Highlands, Pahang.
How to get there
: The only accessible way to Cameron Highlands is by road. The journey will approximately take three hours and you will need to take the North-South Expressway (NSE). Half way through the journey, you will need to take Exit 132 at Tapah and then continue to Tanah Rata. Alternatively, you can also catch a bus from either Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) or KL Sentral for only RM35. The bus will end its journey at the Tanah Rata bus terminal. From Tanah Rata, you have to make your way to Brinchang, which takes about 15 minutes only. Look out for Copthorne Hotel as your landmark because the entrance to the forest is just opposite the hotel.
: - It’s advisable to engage with a local who knows the ins and outs Mossy Forest before your trip as the terrain there is suitable only for four-wheel drives.
- Do not underestimate the weather as it could get really chilly, so make sure you stock up some warm clothing and make sure your tent is waterproof.
- Be prepared for muddy tracks and steep areas while trekking.
- There’s no water source or toilets inside the forest so you might have to plan ahead.
If you’ve envisioned yourself chilling by cascading crystal clear waters teeming with fish amidst a luxurious green backdrop, then Sungai Chilling is the place to be! Sungai Chilling is known for its pristine waters and spectacular waterfall. It is located in the Sungai Chilling Fish Sanctuary and managed by the state fisheries department. The place is very popular among the locals and ideal for families. Since the fishery department is trying to conserve the area, the waterfall is only open to public from Friday to Sunday.
: Kuala Kubu Baru, Selangor.
How to get there
: It takes approximately one and half hours drive from Kuala Lumpur via the PLUS Highway. The entrance is located on the right side of the road further up the Selangor Dam. To reach the entrance, you will pass by a steel bridge. You will have to park your car at a small clearing after the bridge since no vehicles are allowed into the sanctuary. Make your way inside and you will stumble across office buildings and the campsite. You will need to register yourself and pay RM1 admission fee. A deposit of RM10 is required if you are camping there. The campsite is located near the river where you can see an abundance of fish swimming gleefully. To get to the waterfall, you will need to cross a suspension bridge and also six crossings.
: - Toilets and praying rooms are provided near the campsite.
- Wear proper footwear if you are planning to go to the waterfall as it may be muddy and slippery.
- Fishing is not allowed.
- Cooking is prohibited at the waterfall but you can exhibit your Masterchef skills at the campsite.
Image: Hostel World
The Island Life 🌴 After the mediation course I took a bus, a taxi, and a boat to come to Rainforest Beach on Kecil Island, Malaysia. We're doing a work exchange at an Eco-camping hostel with other wonderful volunteers. These last few days I've snorkeled with rays, fish, and sharks in the clear waters, have been kept awake at night by the rain and thunder, saw a green turtle come lay her eggs on shore, and was also devastated to learn they might have been stolen by poachers. Days are slow and relaxing, wifi is non existing, and the sun is warm.
Camping by the beach sounds like a fun idea but what if we told you could do it minus the headache of packing your sleeping bags and setting up the tents? Rainforest Camping Pulau Perhentian offers visitors who are more on the adventurous side a stress-free camping experience on a secluded beach. They claim to be the only operator in Malaysia that offers the best of both worlds – camping and a beach escapade all in one place.
For as low as RM61 per night, you can enjoy a relaxing tropical getaway made especially for nature lovers. Who wouldn’t like the idea of waking up to breath-taking sunrises accompanied by the sound of waves crashing? The campsite is on a private beach so you don’t have to worry about fighting over sunbathing spots or overcrowded beaches. You can book your tent via their Airbnb
: Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Terengganu.
How to get there
: If you don’t like going on road trips and enduring long driving hours, it is advisable to take a direct flight to either Kuala Terengganu or Kota Bharu. From the airport, you can charter a cab or catch a bus to the Kuala Besut jetty. The journey will take about one and a half hours from Kuala Terengganu or one hour from Kota Bahru. From the jetty, you can take the speed boat and ask them to drop you off at the Rainforest Camp or Rainforest Beach at the Perhentian Kecil Island.
: - Beware of dishonest ferry operators who will charge you below the market price at the jetty. Some of the operators will not pick you up from the island when you return.
- The generator goes off after 12am, so be sure to bring your own torch light.
- It’s advisable to bring waterproof bags.
- Don’t forget to bring mosquito repellents!
Image: Zati Lutpii
Image: Tadom Hill Resorts
Organizing company trips or family days can be a hassle and time consuming. You’ve got to figure out the logistics, the accommodations, the activities, and so on. If you’re looking for something outdoorsy with endless activities surrounded by gorgeous landscape that could cater to a big crowd, look no further as Tadom Hill will cater to all your needs! Tadom Hill is surrounded by impressive crystal clear lakes and 40 acres of limestone hills. Plus, you don’t need to bring along your tents or sleeping bags for this camping trip as Tadom Hill Resorts
have an allocated camping area that has been fully set up. There are two types of tents – lakeside and garden. Each tent can accommodate two people and the price starts from RM100.
So, what can you do at Tadom Hill? At the lake, there is a 5m bamboo diving platform, Tarzan swings and bamboo water swing for you to showcase your Olympic diving ‘skills’ or bring out the inner Tarzan in you. Unless you’re afraid of heights and prefer chilling in the water, you could ideally go for a swim or bamboo rafting with your mates. Basically, there will never be a dull moment at Tadom Hill!
: Banting, Selangor.
How to get there
: If you’re travelling from outside of Selangor or KL, you can catch a flight to KLIA as the hill is only located 15 minutes away from the airport. If you’re driving from the city centre, it could be 45 minutes to one hour drive depending on the traffic.
: - If you’re planning to do a BBQ session, it is advisable to bring your own cooler as no guest fridge will be available.
- Book your accommodation in advance because they are usually fully booked most of the time.
- You could contact them at 012-5225908 (Reception) from 9am-10pm or 012-5225728 (Reservations) from 9am-5pm for more information.
ENDAU ROMPIN NATIONAL PARK
Malaysia has an abundance of tropical jungles and vast flora and fauna that we should really take the time to appreciate and explore. If you’d like to experience what it’s like to live in the jungle far away from the city life, we’d highly recommend you to start with our national parks such as Endau Rompin. The name of the park comes from two rivers that flow through the forest which is the Endau River and the Rompin River. This protected rainforest is one of the oldest rainforest in the world and boasts interesting wildlife such as elephants, tigers, and rhinoceros. It is also said that there are some rock formations that are 248 million years old!
You should engage with a local guide that is experienced as the forest is quite dense and the terrain is only accessible via four wheel drives only. Imagine how adventurous and challenging it will be navigating through the jungle only via a four wheel drive but it is indeed worth the hassle! There are plenty of activities you can do such as visiting the Orang Asli village, tube rafting, night safari, jungle trekking, and many more. For camping, you can also opt to camp out at their designated campsite in Merekek.
: Labis, Johor.
How to get there
: To get to the national park, it will take about four to five hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. You can enter the park via two entrances, through Kampung Peta or Selai. To get there, you will need to use the North-South Expressway (NSE) until you reach the Exit 244 - Ayer Hitam Interchange. From there, make your way to Kahang via Kluang and look out for the signboard of the national park office. Once you arrive there, you will need to rent a 4WD or sign up for a package because you can not access the park with a normal car unless you own a 4WD too.
: - Be mentally prepared for no electricity and mobile coverage.
- Expect a lot of leeches and insects, so bring your insect repellents, ointments, and medications.
- Bring sufficient clothing and waterproof bags as you will get wet and dirty.
- Don’t forget to bring a pair of slippers or sandals.
Image: Ihsan Rosniza
Image: Ihsan Rosniza
Image: Ihsan Rosniza
A lot of people may be familiar with the Berkelah Falls, but what most people don’t know is another hidden gem tucked not far away from Berkelah which is the Jerangkang Waterfall. Jerangkang is well known for its tiered waterfall and natural pools. There is a clearing next to the waterfall perfect for camping. Wouldn’t it be exciting to sleep next to the soothing sounds of gushing water under a blanket of stars?
Besides swimming, visitors would most often trek up to the top of the waterfall to enjoy the scenic landscape. Reaching the top can be exhausting and take up a lot of effort but it will be very rewarding in the end. The waterfall is also quite easy to navigate thanks to the rock erosions.
: Maran, Pahang
How to get there
: You will need to drive for about two and a half to three hours from KL via the KL – Kuantan road. Approximately 30km after passing Maran, look out for the ‘Hutan Lipur Jerangkang’ signboard. You will pass by some rubber plantations. However, to get to the waterfall area, you will need a 4WD and go through an off road trail for about one hour until you reach there. Upon arriving, you have to make your way by foot to the camping area which takes about 20 minutes.
: - You can expect insects, leeches, and maybe mosquitos at the campsite, so make sure you bring your repellents or a mosquito net.
- If you don’t own a 4WD, engage with a local guide or rent one because the trail to the waterfall is not meant for normal cars.
- Bring sufficient food or a portable stove if you intend to do some cooking because there will be no convenient stores nearby you.