Stuif's Adventures

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Ulu Besut, September 2010
Some time ago, surfing Google Earth, I had noticed an interesting region in the northern part of Terengganu. A horseshoe shaped mountainous region surrounds the Besut river. See the first image.
A dead end road, starting from Jerteh, is the only way of access.

There is one well-known waterfall, the Tembakah fall. And there might be more, probably only known to the locals.

We decided to do a recce in the Ulu Besut region. Quite far from KL, so we made it a 4D3N trip and we also wanted to visit a few waterfalls in Kelantan on our way.

Our first target was the Pelangi waterfall just after Gua Musang. A typical example of a failed project. Money has been spent to widen and tar the access road, build shelters, toilets, make a nice signboard. But no budget for maintenance and repair! Everything is in ruins now.

After a long day we arrived in Jerteh, where we got a bit worried because there were no signs for the La Hot Spring resort, where we were planning to stay overnight. Another failed project?

But no, the resort was there, with nice chalets for RM 55. New chalets were under construction. On the other hand, the hot spring baths had fallen in disrepair. Fortunately there were two nice pools, directly connected to the hot water source.
We were the only guests, for dinner we had basic food in the restaurant. Not a place for culinary delights..:-)

The next morning we drove until the end of the road at Kg Keruak, where we had coffee at a roadside stall. We were lucky. Asking about waterfalls, a man told us that there was one, but not easy to go there without a guide. So we arranged a guide, who arrived a little later, with his gun!
First we had to drive though palm oil plantations, then into the jungle. Just possible for my Kembara.
Where the road ended, we started walking for about one hour along a clear trail until we could hear the sound of falling water deep in the ravine.
Scrambling down, we reached a beautiful fall. After enjoying the view and taking a bath, we climbed up again to the trail and continued for another hour to the next fall. Scrambling down was very difficult here, but we managed to reach the river bed. The fall was just around the corner, about 100 meter away. Through a misunderstanding we did not have a look, but climbed up again at the other side of the river, to a logging road. So this tall waterfall we have seen through the foliage, but no pictures..:-(

It became clear that our guide had visited these falls about twenty years ago, and that he was not sure himself about the right approach...:-) But it was a nice guy, he showed us elephant footprints and dung, and we also saw prints of a badak, a rhinoceros. I found it difficult to believe him, but he was very firm, from his description it must have been the Sumatran Rhino.

A very rewarding day.

The next day we left the Besut region, saw a powerful waterfall from far away, a target for a next visit. We drove back via Jeli to Dabong, visiting two waterfalls, Renyok and Chener and passing Stong. The tallest waterfall of Peninsular Malaysia, and I have never been there yet!

We stayed overnight in the Kuala Lipis Resthouse, the former Residence. Kuala Lipis was the capital of Pahang state until 1955, and has a rich colonial architecture.One of my favourite towns.

On the last day we visited the nearby Bama cave, before we sent Rahim to his kampong, where I collected the blowpipe I had ordered during my last visit.

Finally we had ice cream at Kow Po in Bentong. A nice, rewarding trip, full of variety.

Route map

Nice signboard...

but access road broken...

and the shelters ruined

The Pelangi waterfall

Ulu Besut map

Malay heartland

The La Hot Spring resort

Nice chalets

Malay style furnishing

The bath tubs

Everything broken

Nice landscaping

The hot pool

Water flowing in from the top pool

The hot water source

Improvising breakfast

On our way

A spectacular waterfall


Crossing the Belawan river

Middle falls

Our guide in the background

One for the album

Any leeches?

Refilling the water bottles

First time I had a gun in my hands

Locals use explosives for fishing :-(

Happy after a rewarding trip

The Besut river has been dammed

A far away waterfall
1 comment

Entrance of the Renyok park

Renyok Mini Hydro Power plant

The recreation park

The Renyok fall

The Chener cascades


The Elephant pool

Stong waterfall from far away

Tallest waterfall of Peninsular Malaysia

Nasi goreng USA :-)

The Rest House of Kuala Lipis


Lipis District Administrative Building

Nice architecture

Another detail

The Clifford school

Main entrance

The Malay hostel oif the school

The school logo

The Pahang club at the back of the padang

The Pahang club

Kuala Lipis main street


The Chinese temple

Sultan Mahmud Mosque in Kuala Lipis

The court house

The Bama cave

Limestone cliff

Interesting root structures

Inside the cave

Roof of the cave

Kow Po ice cream in Bentong

My Semai blowpipe
1 comment

Dan wrote on Sep 24, 2010:
Nice ! nice nice...

wrote on Sep 24, 2010:

geetee wrote on Sep 24, 2010:
Isn't this just one example of the the "typical" local resorts in our country...broken down toilets clogged with filth, run down buildings and shelters etc. Good money have been spent on these structures and the authorities dont seem to have any creative ideas on how to keep them in good order. Jan, let us compile all the photos we have, of such broken down facilities from all the resorts that we had been to in our birding and waterfall trips, burn a CD and get this issue publicised so that hopefully something may be done to improve them. My pet grudge is dirty un-usable toilets.

Kwai Loh wrote on Sep 24, 2010:
No, this is a cave high up a limestone cliff, about 8 km from Kuala Lipis, on the road to Gua Musang

wrote on Sep 24, 2010:
Is this Gua Ayam in Dabong? If it is so, then you are suppose to drive you Kembara through.

wrote on Sep 25, 2010:
welcome to my hometown, the islamic state of Kelantan :)
Quite miss Stong waterfall & sea of clouds at the camp site.

lightlingmk2 wrote on Sep 25, 2010:
I 2nd your motion

wrote on Sep 25, 2010:

Kwai Loh wrote on Sep 26, 2010:
We missed that one :-(. Next time.

wrote on Sep 26, 2010:
Nice nice. I wish to have a driving waterfall recce trip soon. Did you visit lata kertas which is not too far from dabong too.

Liz wrote on Sep 26, 2010:
You'd probably need a DVD not a CD, as there are so many derelict sites and structures!!!!!!!!!!!!

Liz wrote on Sep 26, 2010:
Definitely Gua Bama. An archaeological site.

Kwai Loh wrote on Sep 27, 2010:
The river is the Sg Belawan. According to our guide there are four falls. This is the second one, he did not give a name. The tall one that we missed, was called Lata Berangin and is the fourth fall.

wrote on Sep 27, 2010:
wat's the name of the fall?

wrote on Sep 30, 2010:
Wow...I HAVE to take a look at that Jan.

wrote on Sep 30, 2010:
Oh...mercun bola they are. popularly used to ward of jumbos (that what they claim anyway)

wrote on Jan 1, 2011:
Oh what falls could this be???

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