Royal Belum – Day 2 (Back to Nature)

Note: Before we continue with the post, million apologize for the delay. It took us almost a month to get back on track as our most trusted companion (read: desktop) are not in a good shape. We had to make a few visit forth and back to the clinic too. Alhamdulillah, everything goes back to normal. Thanks to the technician as we couldn’t resolve it on our own.

Rubbing our eyes when we first waking up in the morning, we then realized that we’re on our 2nd days in Royal Belum. Alhamdlillah, we’re still in Belum. Still. Feeling so fresh with the cool morning dew and also the smell of pure and clean. This is what we called a ‘Smell of Nature’. It’s definitely one of the reason why we love to be in the forest. While the sun are yet to make his appearance of the day, we catch the time by walking around, explored every single corner of the base camp and appreciating the whole panorama view of this untouched forest from the deck.

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A very good morning Lil Aqilah
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An interview video shoot by Belum Outdoor Adventure (BOA) crew members with Time Travel Afif. We just have to say this. He’s just too good in front of the camera. Really. Everything came out naturally.

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It’s basically a free and easy session for the whole entourage in the early morning. While the rest decided to spend their time by getting the refreshing dip in the water, we spent most of our times at the view deck. For both of us, it’s definitely one of the best spot ever at the base camp and a quiet moment for us. Suddenly, we feel so connected with the nature. We could spent hours there doing nothing but appreciating the Almighty God creation.

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After filling up our empty space in our stomachs, we then opt for a boat ride to the surrounding area. We eventually missed out the first trip as it’s already full house. So, second trip it is! We were told by the boat crew that we’re actually heading to Sungai Kooi. These are a few attraction in Royal Belum beside Sungai Kejar, Sungai Papan, Sungai Ruok and Sungai Tiang. We spent most of our time on the boat and we only spent around 10 minutes at the jetty of Sungai Kooi as we were told that it’s too many leeches around. We doesn’t want to take risk to explore around as we have someone with ‘Bdellophobia’ in the house. What is Bdellophobia? It’s an abnormal anxiety, or extreme fear of leeches.

The Banding Bandits
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Hello Mr.Leech!
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We were given a sign that we need to return to our boathouse as it will depart to Sungai Ruok Waterfall and Fish Sanctuaries. We observed that the crew members are there to run the trip within schedule. On our way to the destination, we were given a brief and short ‘FREE’ photography tutorial by the BOA Resident Photographer, Hilmi Yusof. His artworks are amazing.

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We have reached the destination when we could see a few other boathouse docking within the area. We are then transferred to Sungai Ruok via small boats which took us less than 10 minutes and this will be our last stop for the day. We were also informed that this is where the waterfall and freshwater fish sanctuaries are located. No fishing activities are allowed within the area and one of the species that can be easily found here are Kelah. It has 3 tiers of waterfall where we spent most of our time at the 2nd tiers. Just be reminded that a short trekking of 15 minutes are required to reach the area.

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The trek
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The standing stone within the 2nd tiers area
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Sungai Ruok 2nd tiers waterfall. It’s a dry season and the water would not be crystal clear. But the water are cold and there’s a lots of fish in the pool which love to nibble your feet. You can get a fish spa here for free.
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We spent about an hour there. It’s enough to keep us shivering in the cold water. We returned to our boathouse where it’s already lunch time. It came to our surprised to see that the boat operator cooked ‘Gulai Lemak Ikan Toman’ which was caught the night before. It’s our first time trying out the fish and it was so good!

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We then left the place and headed to the main jetty where it all started. We were too tired at that point of time but we wanted to stay around just to see the view for the very last time. We were not sure when will be our next trip here. We definitely can’t promise that.

Friends at the tip of the boat
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The breathtaking view
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We finally reached the main jetty around 2.30pm. We then leave the jetty with a heavy heart. In overall, we really had a good times here with the rest of the travel blogger. This is definitely another option for a short getaway from the city offered by Belum Outdoor Adventure (BOA). Without hesitation, we definitely recommended this and will come back soon. InsyaAllah.

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Our compliments goes to TravelholicAwesome – Chawan & NaLilyRianiJanggel @ RenByyaMasMZShahruleKak Anash @ Coco NutzMrs PapiIcam for organizing & inviting us and not to forget the rest of our Travel Friends – Hang DhaminPae and Time Travel Afif

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma

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Royal Belum – Day 1 (Back to Nature)

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. 😀

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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.

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Let’s get on board
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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.

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So sit back and relax.

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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!

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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!
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Mrs Papi and Suci. Standing ovation!
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Our 2nd times of seeing the ‘Baby Rafflesia’ after in Pahang. Rafflesia plants open into a cabbage size bud.
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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.
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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.

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The super shy Tribe Chief (Tok Batin) son.
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A shot with the Tribe Chief (Tok Batin)
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Rainforest herbs – Kacif Fatimah for sale
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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
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Put your jacket on and let’s rumble
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Artificial lures
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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.

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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).

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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

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma