Yes! It’s Royal Belum! One of the places that we really wanted to go all this while. Looking back at the entry written by ThatSoFarah, we promised ourself that, sooner or later, we should allocate some of our times to be here. Royal Belum have been in existence for the past 130 million years making it one of the world oldest rainforest in the world beside the Amazon and Congo! Having said that, how can you miss such an opportunities to explore nature at your home land. Naaaah, it couldn’t be happened right!
A few weeks before the adventure begin, we received unexpected text from our dear travel blogger friends, LilyRiani which invited us to be part of the journey. Our deepest thanks to the Traveholicawesome for the invitation. The whole trip was made possible by them and we really appreciated it! Coordination and arrangements was fully made by them too.
Oh ya, we basically took a 2 days 1 night boathouse trip operated by Belum Outdoor Adventure (BOA) which includes boat transfer, accommodation (chalet or either camping), meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), licensed nature guide, permits and basic insurance coverage with an introductory price of RM150! Just don’t mention. Yes, we know. It’s super cheap. Oh ya, just don’t forget that permits are required to enter Royal Belum Park prior to your visit. Hassle free, just let them do all the works. 😀
We decided to start our journey on Friday, right after office hours and continue our journey to the meeting point on Saturday. It will take you a 5 hours ride all the way from Kuala Lumpur to Pulau Banding Public Jetty overlooking a scenic view right after the exit at Kuala Kangsar. You will pass through a Tasik Raban, Lenggong and Lawin town too.
Let’s get on board
All participants and visitors are required to complete BOA Release of Indemnity Form right before our departure. A short briefing was given by the operators on the dos and don’t s while we were on the boathouse and throughout the trip too.
So sit back and relax.
The first pit stop is definitely the Rafflesia site at Post X-Ray. Since Royal Belum is an untouched forest, it’s basically a home to a wide range of flora and fauna which includes the rarest, the heaviest and the most stinkiest flower in the world – Rafflesia. To be brief, there’s only 3 species that can be found here which is Kerrii, Azlanni and Cantleyii. Again, as what happened in Kampung Peruas, Pahang before, it’s just not our luck to witness a blooming rafflesia as it has a very small life cycle of 5 to 7 days. Just be reminded that a short trekking of 20 – 25 minutes are required to reach the area. Do wear your most comfortable clothes and shoes!
If you ever think that you are not fit for this, think TWICE! Check out this lovely moms and their kids.
Na and cheeky Aqilah. A pair of polka dots pants and slippers on? Awesome huh! No excuses and they even made to the top!
Mrs Papi and Suci. Standing ovation!
Our 2nd times of seeing the ‘Baby Rafflesia’ after in Pahang. Rafflesia plants open into a cabbage size bud.
Next on the list is definitely the Orang Asli Village. It took us quite sometimes to reach the destination. Therefore, we took the chance to chit-chat and did a little bit of ice breaking session with the entourage just to kill the time. We managed to get to know Pae in person too. We were lucky that we lingered around with those K-Pop lovers, so we basically talked about K-Pop die-hard fans and a sharing session of all her previous trip to the ‘HOMELAND’, South Korea. Right in the middle of the conversation, we then saw a village from far with a sign of Kampung Aman Damai. What a short and brief name they got there.
Pae, a Malaysian with a Korean blood.
Basically, as informed by our Tour Guide, Jahai and Temiar are the 2 ethnic groups of Orang Asli that can be easily seen here. From our observation, the Jahai ethnic physically are short with darker skin and curly hair. As a guest here, we are encouraged to bring some donations. Having said that, we brought along a few packets of biscuits and Milo to be given to them. Here, you can actually experience the daily lifestyle at the settlements, trying the blowpipe at an affordable rates and get to know the rainforest herbs such as ‘Kacip Fatimah’, ‘Tongkat Ali’ and etc which are also available for purchased.
The super shy Tribe Chief (Tok Batin) son.
A shot with the Tribe Chief (Tok Batin)
Rainforest herbs – Kacif Fatimah for sale
Right after the visit to the village, when then departed to the base camp and this is where the houseboat will docked. Without waiting any further, the rest of the boys changed and put their life jacket on. I basically took the chance to experience and learn on fish ‘casting’. Hope I got that term right!
Sungai Tiang Base Camp
Next thing that we knew, we are sniffing to a nice smoke smell from the boat. Surprisingly, chicken and lamb are already on grill. Frankly, this is one of the nicest view of the day – a cool sunset view while having a delicious chicken and lamb grill.
Later that night, we were given a session by BOA which covered everything about Royal Belum, the flora and fauna. One of thing that caught our attention is how Belum got his name. It was originated from one of the grasshoppers species which kept making the sound of ‘belum….belum….’ when it’s fly and irritated the local villagers that they then decided to call the rainforest at such. Besides, tips and tricks were given by BOA tour guide on how to deal with the wildlife especially the high population of elephant and tiger here in Royal Belum. Questions and answers were thrown in the air during the session followed by endless conversation and laughter. And at one time, everybody was stunned and quiet to see the boat operators came back with a big catch of Giant Snakehead FIsh (Ikan Toman).
Towards the end of the night, we crawled and wrapped ourselves in the sleeping bag with the fresh night forest air.
We will continue our journey on Day 2 soon.
Our compliments goes to TravelholicAwesome – Chawan & Na, LilyRiani, Janggel @ Ren, Byya, MasMZ, Shahrule, Kak Anash @ Coco Nutz, Mrs Papi, Icam for organizing & inviting us and not to forget the rest of our Travel Friends – Hang Dhamin, Pae and Time Travel Afif.
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma