Like what I had told you before, our second day in Mutiara Taman Negara was full of activities. Apart from trekking to Bukit Teresek and trying the canopy walkway, we did rapid shooting at 7 major rapids in Kuala Terenggan, a visit to orang asli settlement, a royal lunch picnic at Lubuk Tenor (a personal favourite) and trekking to Lata Berkoh.
We started our activities, we were each given a plastic bag to put our cameras and phones to avoid them from getting wet which is a sure case during rapid shooting. When we boarded the boat, I was seated at the back with Danial. We sat leisurely at first and took pictures of Kuala Terenggan. I noticed we passed shallow water and the boatman was very skilful to know where to manoeuvre the boat. So I trusted the boatman and his skills. That said, we cruised through the rapids confidently. Almost uneventful except fellow jolly participants who put their hands at the edge of the boat so the water would splash to the participants seating at the back. As a result, Danial and I got wet while the others remained dry.
We had been forewarned not to randomly take pictures of the orang asli without their permissions. Some believe when their pictures are taken, the photographers take their spirits away too.
Once arrived, we were taken to one of the three huts which was located at the heart of the orang asli settlement. Here, we listened to the briefing of our guide who had befriended the orang asli for a long time.
The Batek people are one of the Negrito tribes and have similarities to people from the Andaman Islands, the Philiphines, Indonesia and New Guinea.They are true nomads and are classified by some anthropologist as pygmies due to their short stature.
Here, we watched fire-making and blowpipe demonstration. While the orang asli speak their own language, the younger generation do understand Malay language. We watched in amazement how easy it was to make fire out of a piece of wood and leave and below are the steps taken:-
1) Cut the wood and makesure there’s a groove which will be the track for the spindle.
2) Rub the spindle up and down the wood.
3) Prepare tinder nest.
4) Once you catch embers, place it in the tinder nest and blow.
Two orang asli demonstrated the blowpipe technique to us.
They were made instant celebrities. Look at the cameramen pointing their lenses to them.
With near precision, the weapon (usually poisonous) landed on the wall. Just with a force created by his breath!
When we were told we would be having our lunch at Lubuk Tenor, little did I expect the best picnic lunch courtesy of Mutiara Restaurant, Mutiara Taman Negara.
After our 10-15 minutes toilet break at Mutiara Taman Negara, we boarded the boats again for a cruise along Sungai Tahan. The iconic boat cruise that has been a subject of many tourism promotions. Remember the image of a group of people on a boat cruising along a narrow river with an archway over the water?
It was such a great experience!!
Sungai Tahan water is pristine clear unlike Sungai Tembeling river which is of teh tarik colour. The water source is from Gunung Tahan.
Pictures time. Imagine you were there with us bonding with nature.
When our boat arrived at Lubuk Tenor, there stood the chefs who had folded their pants up their calves. Their boat had been turned to a buffet table waiting for us to devour them all. The two chefs who waited for us were all smiling on our arrival. I was informed the royal picnic lunch was prepared specially for our group. This picnic lunch is not included in the standard package, only prepared by request.
A mat was spread on rocks by the river. There were fried noodle, fried rice, spicy sambal puyuh and delicious tuna and chicken sandwiches. The chefs stood by the boat while we queued for food. The food itself was delicious especially when we were very hungry due to extensive work-out we had during the previous activities.
Lubuk Tenor is actually a kelah sanctuary/ mahseer sanctuary.
We continued our journey to Lata Berkoh, a cascade that marks the end to accessible Sungai Tahan route. Our boats stopped at 500 metres before the cascade. From there, we had to walk through easy walking path along the river bank to the cascade. We arrived at rocky section above the cascade. The rocky area was slippery, so practice of caution is necessary.
From the rocky area, there was a big neram trunk from which the brave-hearted person would jump into the pool. Down the cascade, there are deep pools with strong under-current. If you are not a good swimmer, don’t try this!
On isolated sandy riverside, Mutiara Taman Negara had set up a tent and BBQ pit for us to enjoy our last night in Mutiara Taman Negara. I loved the decoration. Nice and simple. Beautiful set up. There was a tree with all kind of fruits on it.
Twas a memorable trip to Mutiara Taman Negara. A great outing with a bunch of new friends.