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Discover the Beauty of Royal Belum State Park Rainforest

( Visit Perak 2017: 4D3N )

luxury haven visit perak 2017 sg kooi waterfall
Escape to tranquility in a rainforest getaway with no mobile network coverage, only scenic landscape, serenity, lush greenery and beautiful people. Now how often do you get that as city dwellers?

royal belum rainforest postcard view sungai kooi
Seek refuge in the pristine Royal Belum State Park in Perak where it was given the royal status in 2003, putting it under the protection of the Perak royal family. Embrace one of the world’s oldest rainforests dating back over 130 million years, the largest continuous forest complex in Peninsular Malaysia, making the Royal Belum Rainforest older than the Amazon rainforest in South America and the Congo rainforest in Central Africa.

Located in Gerik, it is said that 14 of the world's most threatened mammals such as the Malaysian Tiger, the white-handed Gibbon, Asiatic Elephant, Malaysian Sunbear still roam freely in this natural habitat. The spectacular rainforest also houses over three thousand species of flowering plants, including three species of Rafflesia aka Corpse Flower.

royal belum rainforest four times of singapore
Belum Temenggor has also been recognized by Birdlife International as an “ Important Bird Area ” with some 316 known bird species and home to large numbers of hornbills. There are a host of activities you can do in the Royal Belum State Park, like hiking in the forest reserve of Belum Temenggort, take a dip in waterfalls, visit aboriginal villages, spot wild animals and more!

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As a premier eco-tourism destination, there is much to see at the picturesque Royal Belum State Park. Visitors will have to venture out by boat since many of attractions are located along the artificial lake of Lake Temenggor, the second largest lake in Peninsula Malaysia.

royal belum state park luxury boat tour
Image Credit: Regent Media
Be rewarded with stretching views of the magnificent Belum Rainforest when taking these boat rides in Lake Temenggor.

royal belum rainforest sungai gadong trek
There were altogether 3 jungle treks for the Visit Perak 2017 event. Our first trek was to Sungai Gadong, to see one of the rarest plants in the world and on the verge of extinction. The Royal Belum Rainforest is a home to plenty of exotic plants, so a trek up the forest to spot the Rafflesia is definitely a thrilling one.

royal belum state park rafflesia species
Rafflesia is a plant with no leaves, no roots and no stem, and can weigh up to 10kg. It is said that the flower looks and smells like rotting flesh. Thus, Rafflesia has earned its local names as “ Bunga Bangkai ” or “ Bunga Mayat “ which translate to “ Corpse Flower ” or “ Deadmeat Flower ”.

royal belum rainforest sungai gadong trek rafflesia
Rafflesia Cantleyi
To our surprise, we did not detect any foul smell at all. Could it have been exaggerated, or perhaps due to its blooming period? We were indeed lucky to see this exotic beauty even though it was a mini version. It certainly adds an eye-popping colour to the surrounding sandy carpet. Rafflesia can take up to 9 months to bloom but only a small lifespan of 5-7 days before it starts to decay.

tourism perak sg kooi waterfall boat ride
malaysia tourism perak sg kooi waterfall trail
The next day, our trekking adventure took us to the Sungai Kooi to see the Kooi Waterfall. As the 1-hour trek was too much for my aching legs due to a bad fall some months back, I skipped this one; I only did two 30-min treks for this trip. Besides, I had no more energy to look out for those blood-sucking leeches. 1-hour trekking is both mentally and physically taxing for me.

royal belum rainforest sungai kooi motor boat
singapore travel blogger visit perak 2017 sungai kooi
Instead, hubby and I spent quality time resting in the boat and also took a leisure walk in the area with pretty butterflies fluttering around us. An hour flew by quickly as the view is so scenic there under blue sky with cotton candy clouds.

perak tourism sightseeing boats kampong aman damai
gerik royal belum rainforest aboriginal village tour
belum temenggor aboriginal village lifestyle jahai tribe
belum rainforest eco tourism attraction orang asli
perak aboriginal village kampong aman damai orang asli
visit perak 2017 kampong aman damai orang asli
Favour getting a glimpse of Perak’s rural life? Belum Temenggor is home not only to an astonishing number of plants and animals, but to many aboriginal people who have been living in the forest for millennia. Get up close and personal with the Orang Asli at Kampong Aman Damai, an aboriginal village which houses the Jahai indigenous tribe. Learn about their way of life by hunting, fishing and gathering jungle products as their source of livelihood, totally depending on jungles and the surrounding lake.

perak aboriginal people lifestyle solar powered lamps
malaysia tourism royal belum state-park jahai tribe
An eco-tourism attraction, kids here are not neglected at all as there are boats taking them daily to a school nearby. Interestingly, there are lamps powered by solar panel on their rooftops for 4 hours nightly for the indigenous kids to study. There is also the Sungai Tiang, one of the most developed and permanent settlements with solar power and a school.

tourism perak attractions kampong aman damai orang asli
jahai orang asli blowpipe hunting tool self defence
Visitors can also check out the Orang Asli’s Blowpipe, the single most essential tool for hunting and self-defence. Still living in the traditional bamboo huts, the Orang Asli were the first inhabitants of the Malay Peninsula of Australo-Melanesian origins, with many of their earliest burial grounds dating back 10,000 years ago.

malaysia tourism-royal-belum-state-park-orang-asli
singapore travel blogger kampong aman damai orang asli
luxury haven lifestyle influencer explores orang asli village
If you do visit the village, do bring some goodies for the kids to snack. It is optional but these will make the children very happy.

royal belum state park sg papan suspension bridge
visit perak 2017 sg papan trekking trail
royal belum rainforest sg papan trekking trail
Next stop was a visit to the wet Salt Lick in SG Papan, an animal clinic where foot prints of deer, tapirs etc can be observed when they come to lick the salt in the area. To get to salt lick, visitors will need to cross a suspension bridge. Only 5 people at a time please!

royal belum rainforest sg papan salt lick tour
sg papan salt lick animal clinic
sg papan salt lick wildlife tracking device
It is estimated that there are at least 60 salt licks scattered around the Belum area. Wildlife use salt licks to get essential nutrients or to heal themselves of any illness. Camera traps to observe the wild animals were spotted nearby.

What’s Spotted Along The Trail:

royal belum rainforest wild mushrooms
virgin royal belum rainforest wild mushrooms
royal belum rainforest flora fauna wild mushrooms
Different Species of Wild Mushrooms

belum rainforest kundang rumenia fruit tree bouea oppositifolia
Kundang Rumenia Fruit Tree aka Bouea Oppositifolia

royal belum rainforest damar hitam siput tree
Damar Hitam Siput aka Shorea Faguetiana, a 500-year-old tree

belum rainforest agarwood gaharu tree oud oil
Most valuable tree in Belum Rainforest:
Agarwood, or locally known as the Gaharu tree.
The burnt bark exudes a mild scent and
the Oud oil extracted from the tree is used as an essential oil for massage.

belum rainforest sg papan sphaerotheriida giant pill millipede
sg papan sphaerotheriida giant pill millipede curled
Sphaerotheriida or Giant Pill Millipede rolling into a ball when disturbed.

royal belum state park sg rouk waterfall trail
royal belum state park sg rouk waterfall
Our 3rd jungle trek took us to the Santuari Ikan, SG Rouk. Be welcomed by the first tier of waterfall as soon as you arrived. Visitors will need to trek uphill again, followed by crossing a challenging stream to reach the Sungei Rouk Waterfall. Also known as Kelah Sanctuary, the waterfall is a freshwater fish sanctuary, hence no fishing is allowed.

visit perak 2017 belum rainforest santuari ikan hammock
visit perak rainforest santuari ikan sg rouk waterfall
The Sungei Rouk Waterfall offers a cooling retreat from the heat. Take a quick nap in a sarong hammock, or perhaps dip in the pool of mountain water. However, I learnt that waterfalls are favourite hangouts for tigers as they enjoy bathing in the cool flowing waters, and aquatic leeches can potentially attack bathers by crawling into the mouth, nostrils, eyes and genitals. I just have to take my hats off these swimmers. Water was really inviting especially under sizzling temperatures, but I wasn’t going to take any chances, so I just relaxed by the pool area with hubby.

singapore weekend getaway royal belum rainforest
Within the state park, you can go for many nature tours to track wildlife, but chances are slim to spot a Malaysian tiger or Sumatran rhinoceros. Belum Temenggor is also the only place in the planet where all the ten species of hornbills that inhabit Malaysia can be spotted at once.

enchanting royal belum rainforest lake temenggor
Witness Mother Nature at the Royal Belum State Park, a haven where birds twitter and dragonflies dance. The Royal Belum State Park boundary is protected by the local army base. Permits to enter must be applied through the Perak State Parks Corporation, and application will require 1 day to process for Malaysians as well as foreigners. A guide is essential for visitors wishing to explore the park. When visiting this beautiful forest please help with conservation by leaving nothing behind other than footprints.

* Tips:
  • Wear comfortable walking shoes as trekking trails are steep, wet, and slippery, and may also entail walking through a stream.
  • Bring a rain coat or poncho.
  • Slap on lots of sunscreen. Best to apply a 24-hr protective sunscreen.
  • royal belum rainforest tips to prevent leeches
  • For those with a weak heart like me, you will also have to battle with leeches. Well, four out of eighteen of us got “ attacked “ by leeches and hubby was one. Hubby wore shorts as his track pants were still damp due to the rain the day before. In fact, many of us did not have long sleeves and pants due to the hot climate. The only one I had was my Korean rash guard meant for swimming, but of course I gave up the idea after learning there are leeches.

    rainforest tips to ward off leeches
    These sneaky bloodsuckers are attracted to warm-blooded passers-by, so don’t give in without putting up a fight. As we only found out about leeches lurking in the rainforest the night before our trek, hubby suggested scouring for protective items in convenient stores like 7-Eleven as most shops were closed. We could only make do with the above.

    I strongly recommend protecting yourself by slapping on insect repellent and spraying insecticides on your shoes. Mr Google said leeches have a particular propensity for buttocks and private parts so ladies, wear pantyhose underneath your pants! Wear long sleeves and pants to shield yourself.

    Also, buy a pair of soccer socks if you can’t find leech socks. Common techniques to remove a leech are to apply flame or salt. These will cause the leech to quickly detach.
royal belum rainforest man made lake temenggor
Nonetheless, embrace the rainforest with open arms and uncover the hidden gems. Get away from the hustle and bustle of Ipoh city. A coach ride to the Royal Belum State Park takes about 2.5 hours. For those who are keen on visiting the Belum Rainforest, there are various options of accommodation available which I will be sharing later.

This trip to the breathtaking Royal Belum State Park has opened up a whole new horizon for me. I had stepped out of my comfort zone and went on slippery trekking trails into the forest, got disconnected with the world completely without any mobile network coverage, met with the Orang Asli, saw Rafflesia, had meals on a houseboat, and not to mention battling with terrifying leeches.

visit perak 2017 royal belum state park rainforest
The enchanting beauty encasing Lake Temenggor is harmonized by the diversity of its flora and fauna. With its remarkable natural landscape, list of activities, and close proximity to Singapore, the Belum Rainforest is definitely a trip worth making.

Instagrammers, don't forget to check out these Hot Spots in Ipoh and Royal Belum for your photo shoots!

singapore lifestyle blogger visit perak 2017 sungai kooi
Thank you Tourism Perak, this trip certainly holds unforgettable memories for both hubby and myself!

visit perak 2017 walking trails souvenirs giveaway
Wanna win some Malaysian souvenirs? Hop over now to Visit Perak 2017 Souvenirs Giveaway, Open to All Worldwide!

* This is a sponsored post by Tourism Perak Malaysia. The author only recommends products or services she uses personally which she believes to be beneficial for her readers. Views and opinions expressed in this blog are purely by the author.

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  1. Woow , this is such an exotic and wonderful place!!! Great photos my dear :-)

  2. So much tranquility! My hubby would love this place and definitely bring me and kids for the hike and nature walk.

    Rafflesia! I havent seen the real ine. Usually bloom in March and April and it only stay alive for few days or up to weeks and then die off. The rafflesia you seen looked dry, maybe almost end of its lifespan. But what a fortune to catch a real rafflesia. I hope to see one some day, there is a place over here that have it.

  3. Amazing trip you will never forget awesome pictures

  4. Very nice video! I'm so envy that you are able to get some serenity once in a while. 👏👍

  5. You are one busy lady! Thanks for taking us into this lovely state park (but sorry about the leeches!).

  6. Amazing nature discovery and coming with it activities, I am definitely gonna visit it when I am in Perak. Beautiful.

  7. Such a greast experience and incredible plants!
    Kisses, Paola.

  8. Beautiful, Shirley, and you look gorgeous!

  9. This looks like such a gorgeous nature retreat. How cool that it also promotes eco-consciousness.

  10. Looks really interesting! Thanks for sharing)

  11. Love this place , so beautiful so peaceful!
    Really enjoyed reading this post!
    Great video too!

  12. gorgeous experience!!!
    new beauty review on my blog Bioscalin Signal Revolution
    have an happy day, kisses

  13. Wow, you actually saw a real rafflesia!

  14. Shirley, you have my admiration! I'm not the outdoorsy type but this looks like something I should experience once at least. The scenery is stunning. I watched your video - beautifully captured. ^.^

  15. Eeeek! Leeches. Blah. Aside from those, this place looks so beautiful and interesting. Can't believe how vast it all is too. Quadruple the size of Singapore. Wow.


  16. Wha -?! I'm surprised and a little upset that my parents didn't tell me of this place, seeing that one of them is from Perak. It looks like a combination of Pulau Redang and Gasing Hill, but a better one at that.

  17. Hi sweetie
    so amazing adventure.
    Beautiful pictures.
    Maggie Dallospedale

  18. Great photos!

  19. Seems like a wonderful place to explore!

  20. Wow such interesting and beautiful place to visit!
    even pretty adventurous!
    Beautiful photos!

  21. Amazing pictures and wonderful travel experience!

    ♘ ♘

  22. ;D

    Que passeio bacana!

    Ótima terça!

    Beijo! ^^

  23. Oh wow look how green it is! It's so sad for me every time when I see the tree falls :(

  24. I love this place 😊

  25. This sanctuary is very interesting and a new eye opener for me too. We are blessed with so many protected rainforests with lots of different wildlife and the famous Rafflesia flowers. I might plan to visit this Belum Rainforest in near future since we can easily drive there.

  26. Nice place. But I still afraid of leeches.

  27. Beautiful place, nice photos and nice video!
    Also lovely couple (your hubby and you) ...

  28. certainly a great experience! looking forward to pay a visit there! :D

    #I Blog My Way

  29. An unique trip to embrace nature :-)


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