THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Belum? Sudah!

Day 1: My friends from KL promised to be at McD near the Ipoh Selatan exit at 8.30 am for them to stop for breakfast and for me to join them before heading to Banding Island. Since they weren’t too familiar with Ipoh, I figured I might as well give them the easiest landmark to look out for once they take the exit, and McD was simply so easy for them to spot after the exit.

By 9.30am, we made a move to Banding Island and made it there in about 2 hours. There we met up with the rest of the gang with the last one arriving at Banding at about 12.10 pm. Tom of Belum Eco-Resort was already there and since another group was there earlier, they went first in the 2 boats waiting to bring us to the resort. My group had to wait for the same boats to come back to fetch us.

We finally made a move from Banding jetty at 12.58pm…

day1 2

Reached Belum Eco Resort at 1.16 pm…

day1 3

left our bags at the houseboat which was our choice of accommodation…

day1 4

and immediately went up to the dining deck for lunch.

day1 5

After lunch, we went to the houseboat to freshen up and to do our solat jamak zohor/asar and by 2.56 pm off we headed to Pulau Talikail. Got there in about 10 minutes and started our trek up to the lookout tower.

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The climb up took us about 40 minutes. After all the huffing and puffing, it was worth the climb! The view from up there was magnificent!

day1 7

We spent about 20 minutes up there. Couldn’t stay too long as there were another 2 groups behind us and we could already hear the thunder. Getting down back to the boat took us about half an hour.

day1 8

It was free and easy back at the houseboat while waiting for dinner time. After the climb up to the lookout tower, all the adults wanted to do was to rest. But the kids (the duracell bunnies) never seemed to get tired. They wanted to fish, they wanted to swim, they wanted to kayak. Oh dear! But nope, none of them got what they wanted. Not on day 1.

We had steamboat for dinner…

day1 9

and after dinner we were shown a documentary on rafflesia.

Day 2: We woke up to a beautiful scene so serene…

day2 1

The kids again begged… err no… pestered their parents to do this and that, but there was another island hopping trip in the morning, so the parents didn’t budge. After breakfast on day 2, we were in the motorboats again.

First stop, the rafflesia site, hoping to see a blooming rafflesia. The trekking wasn’t as strenuous as the climb to the lookout tower on day 1, but thank goodness I still decided to wear my trekking shoes. We still had to do some climbing here and there, it was quite slippery at certain parts, and there were leeches!

day2 2

We got to see dead a dead rafflesia…

day2 3

but no sight of any blooming rafflesia. We did however see rafflesia buds, which I wouldn’t have known what they were had I not come for this trip.

day2 4

Our next destination was an Orang Asli village.

day2 5

After a while, we left the island and headed off to our next destination. On the way we saw beautiful sceneries such as this one…

day2 6

The only scene spoiling the trip was this… sheesh!!

day2 7

Our next destination was the waterfalls. Saw all sorts of trees and plants while trekking to the waterfall site. It took us about half an hour from the boat to trek to the waterfall site…

day2 8

Had a splashing time at the waterfall, albeit for a mere 35 or 40 minutes before we had to head back to the boat. While waiting at a shelter, for the gang behind me to catch up with us, a guy who I think works with WWF, came to us and said he wanted to show us something which can rarely be found… lantern bugs!

day2 9

After the waterfall, we headed back to the resort. Got there at 2.30pm and immediately headed for lunch. Then back to the houseboat for our prayer and a short rest. The kids of course found the “rest” to be a waste of time. They wanted to swim! Thank goodness while they were pestering the parents, it rained!! So they didn’t have a choice, and the adults managed to get a short nap!

As promised, after the rain subsided, the children were given a chance to swim in the lake, with adult supervision. I wasn’t one of the adults supervising the kids… I had other plans for myself. I (with 3 others) went kayaking around the island…

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and saw a beautiful rainbow while doing so…

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After dinner, there was another documentary, this time on Royal Belum. Then it was back to the houseboat… chit chat… and zzzzz….

Day 3: Managed to catch the sunrise at Tasik Temenggor…

day3 1

Breakfast is usually served after 8 am, and since I’m not the type to sleep after my subuh prayer, I decided to go kayaking once again before breakfast, this time bringing along my camera with a recharged battery (the day before the battery was already weak so I didn’t bring it along in the kayak with me). Besides, I had asked Steve, the owner of the resort, if there were any hornbills around, and he specified that the birds are usually seen at a certain part of the island in the morning around 7.30. So together with my same kayak partner, we went to that section of the island at about that time… and yes, we finally saw a few hornbills. Too bad my camera wasn’t good enough to shoot long distance objects…

day3 2

Back at the houseboat, the kids finally got to do some fishing.

day3 3

Well, somebody else went fishing and got the attention of a dragonfly instead…

day3 4

For our journey back to Banding jetty, the owners of the resort decided to bring all 30 over guests at the resort in a houseboat (not the one I was staying in, but the one beside it). Since the houseboat takes longer, we had to make a move from the resort earlier. We departed from the resort at about 10.20 am…

day3 5

(The one you can see in the picture was the houseboat we stayed in for 2 nights)

and reached Banding jetty an hour later…

day3 6

I had a wonderful time. It was really worth the trip.

For those of you who love nature and adventure, I’d recommend you go there too.


Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
Kami dah ke Banding tapi belum ke Belum. Kita suka teh Lenggong tapi dah lama tak jumpa. purrr...meow!

Pak Zawi said...

Really enjoyed your story of the trip to Belum. How I wish I could do the trip myself.
Really hate the sight of logging around the lake. When will they have the will to stop all these destruction? Is it too much to ask that the areas around the lakes be left in its pristine state for the future generations to enjoy?

Pi Bani said...

Banding-bandinglah Banding dengan Belum...

Pi Bani said...

Pak Zawi,
Susah kalau dalam kepala otak masing-masing cuma $$$$$$$....