Tasik Temenggor Discovery Island
Okay, my friend Fred and I went to Tasik Temenggor Discovery Island (TTDI). TTDI is located at the Temenggor Lake in Gerik, Perak, Malaysia. It is near the world famous Royal Belum national park. We started our journey from KL in the morning, but we got stuck in the traffic jam before we reached the highway. Being stuck in a traffic jam was tiring enough. The jam alone caused us to be late by a few hours. In fact we missed the boat ride to TTDI at 12:00pm. Anyways, after overcoming the jam we continued our drive to TTDI. We went on the North South expressway heading towards north. We exited at Kuala Kangsar. The drive from KL to the Kuala Kangsar exit was only 3 hours. From there we drove towards Gerik. This was another 150 km drive. But the roads were clear and we had a good drive. Upon reaching Gerik we than made our way to the Public Banding Jetty. As mentioned earlier we were supposed to take the boat ride to TTDI at 12.00 noon, but since we were very much late, we took a boat ride at 6.00pm. Our host Tom was there to greet us with his crew. On our way to the island, we came across a group of wild elephants that were drinking water along the lake bank at one of the many islands at the Temenggor Lake. It was awesome as it was my first time seeing these great animals in the wild. As our boat tried to reach them closer, they ran away and we saw that there was a baby elephant among them which was the reason they were being protective. It was an exciting experience as you normally see this sort of thing on television or the internet through national geography or the discovery channel. Seeing the elephants made up for our late arrival! Upon reaching TTDI, we were given our rooms, which were one of the A-Hut chalets that looked like an ‘Orang Asli’ hut. I shared a room with Fred. There was a queen size bed, a fan, lights, power source to use electrical stuff, and an air ventilator to keep the air within the room to flow. The design was simple yet stylish. It felt really comfortable and cozy considering TTDI is an eco resort. It is definitely luxury in nature. There was also a balcony with a beautiful view of the lake. You can just sit at the balcony and enjoy the view. You will feel as though time is standing still. It is a great place to just relax and unwind. The next best thing about the chalets is the open air shower! Yes! That’s right. They have a shower room that allows you to shower as you enjoy the sky since it doesn’t have any roof. It is truly going back to nature. You need to try it. I think this is the only place where I get to shower in the open air. Everything about the chalet had a touch of nature. It was wonderful. After having our shower, we had dinner. The meal for the first night was steamboat. We shared a table with a group of reporters from NST and Harian Metro. They were a bunch of friendly people and the food was more than enough to fill up our empty stomach after a day of long journey. It was pretty much the kind of meal that makes you talk with one another as you pick up your food from the same steamboat container. It was a fun experience. The food was very good in fact it was one of the best steamboats I ever had. On top of that we had dinner at the restaurant which was open air and the cool breeze from the lake whetted our appetites. It was very relaxing and you could hear the laughter from all the tables as everybody chatted and laughed. Right after dinner, we were invited to the hall room to watch a presentation of Rafflesia flower. It was a documentary on the types of raffelsia and its growth phase. It was very informative and it was exciting to know that tomorrow we would be making our way to one of the islands to actually see the flower. After the presentation, we were allowed to play games like cards, darts and karaoke but I passed since I was very tired from the journey and went to bed early to have a very good sleep in the jungle. Day 2, I woke up having slept soundly. I felt fresh and the morning air at the lake was so clean and clear. You could feel your that your body felt fresh and energetic. We had breakfast which I remembered was Kue Teow because one of the NST reporters dreamt about having Kue Teow the other night. After a good breakfast, I went canoeing alone to circle the island which was quite tiring and took me about 20 minutes. It was great fun. I was later joined by others and we canoed together. Once we were done with canoeing, we went in for a dip in the bottomless lake with our lifejackets still on. The water was great. The amazing thing was that the water is so clean and it is always opposite to the temperature out of the water. Meaning if it was hot outside than the water would be cooling. If it was cold outside the water would be warm. Either way at whatever time a dip in the lake will be great and refreshing. Once we had enough of swimming, it was already lunch time at 12.00pm. It was a nasi lemak lunch to keep us full for the next journey. It was a wonderful lunch as we were quite exhausted after all the canoeing and swimming. Everybody was quiet as I guess everybody was quite hungry. After lunch, we were told that we were going to three different island destinations which were waterfall at Pulau Tujuh, orang asli village at Kg Chuweh and Rafflesia flower sightseeing at Pulau Besar. We traveled by boat from one place to another as we went island hopping. The first stop was the waterfall at Pulau Tujuh. The boat ride from TTDI to Pulau Tujuh was about 45 minutes. Once we arrived at Pulau Tujuh we started to make up our way up the trek to the waterfalls. The route to the waterfall was not really challenging for Fred and I since we’ve done a lot of hiking activities. Though, I found that other people were finding it quite challenging to get there. In my personal opinion, the water fall was nice but I was not that impressed. Maybe it’s because I’ve just seen a greater waterfall in Langkawi just last week. Lesson here, you should start looking at the smaller ones first to keep up the excitement every time you see a waterfall. Nevertheless, we still took a dip into the icy cold waters of the waterfall. It was truly refreshing! After all the trekking up it was worth the journey to enjoy the fresh clod water. We had a blast splashing around at the waterfalls. The second stop was the orang asli village at Kg Chuweh. Kg Chuweh is an island inhabited by the aboriginals here in Temenggor Lake. Apparently there are more than 70 tribes here in Temenggor Lake. They live off from fishing and gathering honey in the wild. It was interesting to know that they actually have tarred road and even astro. We just sat around and let them watched us instead of us watching them. The children were very shy as they came slowly to get food from us and ran away very quickly once they got it just like a mouse, as Fred said. This was a wonderful opportunity to see their houses and also try your hand at their blow pipes. It was interesting to find out that they still hunted using the blow pipes even until today. You can also buy a set as a souvenir. The last stop was for Rafflesia flower sight seeing at Pulau Besar. At first I thought the track was more challenging but it turned out that it was only for a short distance. To our disappointment, we didn’t get to see a blossomed Rafflesia flower. The Rafflesia flower need 9 months to bloom and once it blooms within a few days it will die. There were only buds when we arrived. I guess we were not chosen to be among the lucky few that get to see a real blossomed Rafflesia flower. By the time we came back to the boathouse, it was almost dark already. Some of us went for canoeing and a quick swim. Some just went back to their room to get some rest. Later we had a BBQ for dinner. There were arrays of BBQ food on offer. After a long day of activities everybody was hungry and the smell of the BBQ was enough to make me salivate as I waited for dinner. I personally liked this dinner better than the last one and so did Fred. After a great BBQ, we watched a presentation on hornbills. There are more than 10 species of hornbills that visits Temenggor Lake every year. In fact thousands would come to the lake every November. If you are a bird lover than Temenggor Lake is the place to be. You can hear their calling and watch them live! The third day arrived, which means the last day. We had breakfast. Everybody was chatting away talking about yesterday’s experience. Everybody was taking pictures. After that some of us went for a dip in the lake and some went canoeing. Before I forget, at the side of the house boat there is a fish feeding area. You can see so many fish as they feed on the bread that we threw at them. In fact you could even try your hand at fishing. We practice sport fishing here. Hence it is catch and release. After that we got ready to leave the island and head back home. I was told that Temenggor Lake is a great place for fishing enthusiast. There are more than 12 different species of fish here including the Toman and Sebarau which would give any ‘kaki pancing’ a run for their money. Overall, it was a unique adventure, being on a private island on a lake. I had lots of fun and it was a different kind of experience going back to nature. If you are looking for something different compared to the normal by the beach or up the hill holiday experience, than you need to go to TTDI. You can discover a lot of new things here. I guess that’s why they call it Tasik Temenggor Discovery Island. In fact you can discover yourself here! If you ever come here, hope you will be lucky enough to see wild elephants, a blooming Rafflesia flower, and hornbills. You can visit www.temenggor.com for more details.