Latak Waterfall @ Lambir Hills National Park

latak panorama

It was a boring Sunday and we decided to get ourselves acquainted with nature by heading down to Lambir Hills National Park. Lambir is a 31 km drive from Miri (according to the roadsigns) and is said to be one of the most bio-diverse parks in Malaysia.

lambir hills national park

We departed a little bit late due to some domestic issues but managed to reach the park at about 12 pm.

tickets

We were a bit apprehensive about getting down with nature at that hour, considering its fiery temper – namely, the sun, but surprisingly the sheer amount of trees in Lambir Hills National Park totally negated any heat from the sun.

trail

Lambir Hills National Park is home to a few waterfalls, but the most popular one is Latak Waterfall. There’s a good reason why Latak Waterfall is so popular – it’s neither the highest nor the most tranquil waterfall in Lambir but it is the nearest. smirk

main trail

It only takes a leisurely 20 minute stroll to reach Latak Waterfall in Lambir Hills National Park. You’ll pass by two smaller waterfalls on the way but it’s not accessible unless you’re willing to scale over untamed forest brush to get to what amounts to a glorified puddle with a trickle of water from above.

smaller falls

Latak Waterfall on the other hand is a comparatively majestic 25 meter wall of water rushing down from a cliff above. You can hear the roar of the waterfall before you even see it…which is true of most waterfalls anyway so I don’t know why I’m mentioning this.

latak waterfalls

It is however quite grand, better than my expectations. The pool of water created by the waterfall cascade starts out shallow and quite suddenly drops down in depth.

latak falls

I guess a trained eye could see it from above based on the color of the water but it surprised me when I stepped from waist deep water into what seemed like an abyss.

frolicking

I think the buoy line warning swimmers not to frolic beyond a certain point is there for a good reason. smirk

latak falls pool

I would guess that it’s about 5 meters deep just before the buoy, it’s bound to be deeper at the base of the waterfall but unfortunately there was a guard on duty that day so I couldn’t venture there.

bbq

The place seems rather lively even for a Sunday – there’s family bringing their kids swimming, a couple of giggling college girls (and one shemale) plus your regular assortment of the dredges of humanity making a ruckus.

jeanie latak

This is Jeanie doing some sort of yoga pose in the water and failing badly.

falls closeup

Latak Waterfall has BBQ pits for your use and changing rooms are within walking distance from the falls. The water is VERY COLD and that’s a great thing. The only downside is that there’s a lot of stones which can cut your feet and random flotsam drifting around the outer fringes of the pool.

trees

I don’t think the water is the type you bottle and ship too coz we both got very itchy soon after coming out of the pool.

Nevertheless, it’s a nice diversion on a weekend and well worth the RM 10 entrance fee. There are better and more private waterfalls in Lambir Hills National Park but you’ll have to be prepared to walk 3 hours to get there.

feet

Take only photographs, leave only footprints. smirk

latak us

It was a well spent Sunday – relaxing by the waterfalls with an occasional dip into the cold natural pool, looking up at the foliage above.

Jeriau Waterfalls @ Fraser’s Hill

jeriau waterfalls

Jeriau Waterfalls is an incredible experience – imagine the cold hill resort temperature combined with the wind chill factor and a natural waterfall that isn’t heated (obviously). Intense. I couldn’t stop shivering. :)

jeriau waterfalls runoff

It’s on the GPS but don’t follow that – ask your resort concierge instead. I brought my Sony Cyber-shot TX-5 along coz it’s waterproof. It’s just a 15 minute drive from Ye Olde Smokehouse where we stayed and the GPS will attempt to take you down a road that you shouldn’t access. It’s a feeder road.

jeriau waterfall

Stop at the Jeriau Waterfalls gate (there are lots of cars parked so you won’t miss it) and it’s a 5 minute walk to the falls. Wikitravel says it’ a 15 minute walk but by my account it’s 5 minutes and we stopped to take interesting photos…

jeriau waterfalls house

…like this hut which has an ecosystem of itself on top of the roof. My travel companion spotted this one. Perhaps the company was good so it seemed shorter so YMMV (pun intended) but be careful coz some spots are slippery. >.<

jeriau waterfalls path

Jeriau Waterfalls is fucking cold. There is no other adjective to describe it. It’s as cold as a frigid bitch brimming with hatred, carrying enough emotional baggage that would cause even AirAsia to decline her wishes to pay 100 times the excess baggage fee.

Did I put you off? smirk

Don’t be, coz it’s worth the trip. Sure, the water isn’t clean. FML I swallowed a mouthful of water and I nearly puked. The spray from the waterfall, the wind chill and the mist at Fraser’s Hill – it’s unforgettable.

jeriau waterfalls frasers

It’s tonic for the soul!

jeriau waterfall me

Yup, I just had to do the traditional sixthseal.com pose. I can’t help myself, my psychiatrist says I need therapy. smirk

Driving to Cameron Highlands

arrive

I drove up to Cameron Highlands over the long weekend with my girlfriend at 6 am in the morning. I consulted Google Maps and wrote down the directions from my place to Tapah. It wasn’t very difficult once we got on the PLUS highway but we still managed to get lost coz we didn’t realize the NKVE highway is part of the PLUS expressway.

speed
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step (of the accelerator)

I managed to clock a decent speed once I got on PLUS, managed to hit nearly 180 km/h driving on the fast lane before switching from D to 2 and maintained about 190 km/h. My girlfriend wouldn’t take any photos of the speedometer after that, preferring to hold on to the passenger side handle with one hand braced against the glove box.

fail
Tourist destination peace of mind for travelers – FAIL

The toll costs a cool RM 19.20 so it’s about RM 40 for a return trip – make sure your Touch ‘n Go card is loaded with the appropriate amount coz we had to reverse (much to the annoyance of the cars behind us) and switch to the cash lane due to a lack of credit in the card.

lata iskandar

We managed to reach the Lata Iskandar waterfall after about an hour of driving. The Lata Iskandar waterfall is a popular rest stop for people driving up to Cameron Highlands.

lata iskandar waterfall

The Lata Iskandar waterfall is a magnificent sight with (very cold) water from the highlands rushing down a steep cliff. People can be seen frolicking in the water and generally chilling out before heading towards Tanah Rata (the main strip of Cameron Highlands).

lata iskandar us

It’s a great spot for vacation photography too – the “I was here” type shots. ;)

fake strawberry

I didn’t get to eat a real strawberry then but the next post will be on the Big Red Strawberry Farm where we picked our own strawberries. :)

Sebangkoi Country Resort, Sarikei

sebangkoi

Sebangkoi Country Resort is located about 30 odd kilometers from Sarikei. The place has been a national park for quite a while but the addition of the resort is relatively new.

sebangkoi country resort

Sebangkoi Country Resort is located right in Sebangkoi Park and has accommodations ranging from the budget traveler to suites.

sebangkoi stone

Sebangkoi Country Resort has a guardhouse that is landscaped to look like a chunk of rock. The place is meant as a country retreat and the gates are closed and locked at 9 pm unless you make arrangements with the staff. Sebangkoi Country Resort does not lack in creature comforts (except WiFi) and there’s plenty to do at the park.

sebangkoi resort

Our contingent arrived at the Sebangkoi Country Resort at about 2 pm and checked into the suite. I had booked the RM 280 suite for the night. Mr. Tang kindly offered me the entire suite for the special price of RM 60 coz in return for a writeup about the resort on my blog (which I was going to do anyway ;)). Cheers!

sebangkoi dorms

There are two types of rooms in Sebangkoi Country Resort. The dormitory accommodations (pictured above) sleep 20 people in double decker beds and costs RM 18 per person. The suites has three (3) bedrooms and a living room and can sleep up to 7 people. It’s also fully air conditioned.

sebangkoi bbq

Sebangkoi Country Resort also has BBQ facilities, as well as a conference room that can accommodate up to 200 people. There is also a sound stage that can be used for free if you’re organizing events and such. Okay, enough with the obligatory promotional spiel. Back to the post. :)

bunga raya

We took the Bunga Raya (Hibiscus) Suite, which is our national flower. It’s the VIP suite and it’s one of the two suites in Sebangkoi Country Resort.

sebangkoi rooms

The exterior walls of the suite is plastered with images of Sebangkoi Nature Park. The main feature at Sebangkoi is a waterfall, which is interestingly called “pooh pooh” in Chinese.

hibiscus suite

The suites has glass sliding doors which reflects the nature surrounding Sebangkoi Country Resort. The foliage around the place is impressive…

spider

…as is the wildlife. I’m only taking this coz the spider is dead. I have severe arachnophobia.

dining table

The two RM 280 VIP suites are furnished with a dining table and TV (with Astro) and leads right into the three (3) bedrooms.

couch

There is also a living room with couches and a mini-fridge which you can use to store contraband…

sparkling red wine

…like the RM 41.40 bottle of Don Camillo Lambrusco sparkling red wine you bought prior to coming to Sebangkoi. The official policy at Sebangkoi Country Resort is that outside food and drinks are not allowed.

queen bed

Two of the three rooms are fitted with a queen sized bed and a single bed while the other room is only fitted with a single bed. There is also a wardrobe in each of the rooms.

room view

The rooms all opens up to a great view of the greenery around the Sebangkoi Country Resort, with a thoughtful mosquito netting screen to avoid the pesky insects from indulging in your hemoglobins during the night.

canteen

We headed straight to the only canteen at the resort straight after unpacking our stuff for lunch. I hadn’t eaten anything since the morning and was starving for some solid food. The canteen is located at the reception area and is open to the public as well as resort guests.

canteen coconuts

There are coconuts, ice cream, and snacks on offer as well as a la carte orders.

oranjeboom

The canteen Sebangkoi Country Resort also serves alcohol (only beer) and we ordered Oranjeboom Premium Lager at RM 10 for 3 tins. It certainly went down well in the warm weather at the place.

nasi goreng pattaya

I ordered the Nasi Goreng Pattaya (RM 4.30) which the proprietor highly recommended. It tasted great, but I was craving for carbohydrates at that time so I’m unsure if my judgment was affected by this situation.

nasi goreng inside

It’s fried rice with bits of meat and frozen vegetables (defrosted and fried before serving, naturally) wrapped in an egg omelet.

maggi mee

My traveling companion went for the Maggi Mee Telur (RM 2.80) which is a bit of an interesting choice. She said she hasn’t eaten the stuff for ages and wanted to eat instant noodles. It came with the packet of flavoring on the side and has an egg and some vegetables inside.

arrival food

Thus properly nourished, we went for a walk around the resort area.

sebangkoi resort area

Sebangkoi Country Resort is not a big place – there are two suites, four dormitory style accommodations and a central dining area.

resort stilts

Sebangkoi Country Resort is located on top of a hill so the air is relatively fresh and cool. This also necessitates the construction of concrete stilts to accommodate the hilly gradient of the terrain. There is a long flight of stairs if you go up to the suite using the back entrance but the front access is on flat ground.

greenery

The entire resort is located in a forest, so there’s lots of foliage and greenery to sooth your eyes. It’s been ingrained into us as school children that proper rest for the optical senses should be done every hour by looking at a distant tree, so I think we used up our quota for the month so we can stare back at the LCD screen at work without breaks. ;)

panties

I also saw some decidedly feminine panties being hung out to dry. I assume it’s from the local girls working as staff at the resort. Washing dirty linen in public.

earthquake

ZOMG! Sichuan Earthquake 7.8 Richter aftershock hits Sebangkoi! More than a month later!
(Which makes it OK to joke about it) 

wasps

It should be noted that wasps have made their nests under the resort’s structure, which can make it unsafe for people who’re allergic to stings.

sebangkoi falls path

The most popular attraction at Sebangkoi is the Sebangkoi waterfall. It’s about a 10 minute walk (up and down hilly terrain) from the resort through a guests-only gate behind the main reception area.

stream

There is the occasional stream running through the planked path as well as forest trees all around.

rest stop

The famous bright red Sebangkoi park rest huts are located at intervals down the path. There is also a 2.6 km jungle trekking trail for those who’re into this sort of thing.

waterfall entrance

Sebangkoi Falls is not very difficult to locate since there is just one path leading to it. We soon heard the sound of falling water and arrived at the falls.

sebangkoi waterfall

The Sebangkoi Waterfall is located on an inclined rock terrain with a bright red bridge behind it. This is the only waterfall in the park and there is already a family frolicking in the water when we arrived.

Sebangkoi Waterfall video

sebangkoi falls me

The water isn’t exactly clean but it’s very cold and refreshing. It’s not dirty from garbage or anything like that, but rather topsoil and other dead leaves being washed down from further upstream so it’s perfectly safe for swimming in.

log throwing

There are random logs and rocks in the pool under the waterfall and I attempted to remove a rather solid looking log, but nearly got a hernia instead.

Hello, I’m Johnny Knoxville and this is Log Throwing.

beer belly

Dad? Is that you? We have the same beer belly.

blood

It should be noted that there are sharp stones at the bottom of the waterfall pool. I managed to get a gash on the knee without realizing it.

gash

It’s a good thing it didn’t get infected or anything like that, but I did sneeze a couple of times. I attribute that to the hundreds of people cursing my existence though. ;)

Row, row, row your boat.

under waterfall

It’s actually very therapeutic to be under the waterfall. The falling water acts as a massage on your aching muscles and the cold water from the highlands is very invigorating.

kung fu waterfall

Please do not disturb. Kung Fu Practice in session.

mr universe front

Mr. (from another) Universe – front view

mr universe back

Mr. (from another) Universe – back view

relaxing falls

Smoking beer and drinking cigarettes while soaking in the pool. What could be better?

me family falls

I met a nice family from Sibu on vacation there as well. Please focus on my potbelly, not on the poor little girl’s puberty manifestations okay? ;)

narcissism

This is the very last photo taken before my Sony T-70 fell into the water. It’s divine retribution for my narcissism, I’m very sure of that. ;)

open wine

I was so depressed that I just had to open up our bottle of red wine before dinner. This was taken with a cell phone camera so the image quality is lacking.

narcissism 2

I still managed to do the narcissism (is necessary) thing to get back at the divine retribution thing though. ;)

lounge

The canteen closes at 9 pm and the cigarettes and snacks counter closes at 6 pm so keep that in mind if you’re intending to be eating anything at all at night. We got there at about 8 pm and ordered:

sweet sour fish

Sweet and sour fish slices

chicken soy sauce

Chicken cooked with soy sauce

local veggies

Wild leaves cooked with egg

rice

There was only enough rice for two (2) – they didn’t expect us to eat more than the two dishes of rice, apparently, and that’s a bit of an oversight on the management’s part.

eating dinner

We didn’t really get enough to eat so we managed to wake up the staff at around 1 am in the morning and drove down to Sarikei (about 15 minutes away) to get more alcohol (and food).

two coconuts

I still haven’t worked up the courage to try and start up the submerged digital camera the next morning when we woke up so the breakfast photos were also taken with the cell phone cam. I noticed that the canteen has a larger selection of coconuts now so we each ordered one.

coconuts

I had a yellow ripe coconut while my traveling companion had a green pandan coconut.

nasi goreng seafood

I tried their Nasi Goreng Seafood (RM 4.30) while she had the Nasi Goreng Pattaya (RM 4.30) I had the previous day. The seafood fried rice didn’t taste as good as the previous day’s offerings.

breakfast pic

The proprietor was kind enough to let us check out at 4 pm so we decided to go to the “other” waterfall in Sebangkoi. He told us that there’s a lesser known “waterfall” about a two minute walk away so we changed and went down the route he showed us.

second waterfall

I got some beer from the canteen and with a little bit of Dutch Courage, inserted the battery into my digicam and started it up, while praying to the very same deity that struck me (or rather, my digicam) down in his righteous fury at my narcissism. It worked! =D
(albeit with an extremely slow startup time) 

second falls

I wouldn’t call it a waterfall though…that would be stretching it a little bit too thin. It’s the runoff from a storm drain!

second falls water

However, the water seem to be clean enough to be swimming in and the place is very private. There are even tiny fishes in the water.

charcoal

It’s not completely free from habitation though – traces of a very recent campfire/BBQ session was seen from the charcoal beside the “waterfall”.

debating

I was debating whether to enter the dubious looking runoff water…

the leap

…and jumped in anyway. Call it a leap of faith. ;)

kung fu 2

I did more vertical Lotus Position training at the storm drain runoff. It’s not as dirty as I expected, the water quality is about the same as the Sebangkoi Falls. I wouldn’t recommend drinking it, but swimming should be fine.

second falls smoking

You can bring you own beer if you feel thirsty though…and your own tobacco/other products. ;)

search leaf

I went au naturale in search of a leaf to do a Garden of Eden scene.

adam

Hello, I’m Adam…

small one

…and I have a small one coz I ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Sebangkoi “Waterfall” a.k.a. Sebangkoi Storm Drain

catching fishes

The water was very cold, and soothing on that warm afternoon. I tried my luck at catching some of the little fishes swimming around, before realizing the futility of the exercise.

narcissism 3

I tempted The Creator with another narcissistic shot…and this time, judgment day came just a little over 24 hours later. Oh well.

second falls drinking

I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon drinking beer and smoking at the pool. Please keep your cigarette butts and empty beer cans in a trash bag and carry it away with you. Seriously, a few bad apples will ruin the rest of our reputations. Leave nothing but footprints and all that.

sebangkoi welcome

Sebangkoi Country Resort is a great place for a private and quiet weekend getaway instead of the usual Saturday night excess. You still get to drink, and get some exercise in addition to all that. There’s the nature surrounding you too, so you feel invigorated. It’s the closest natural waterfall from Sibu and the water is cold and refreshing. :)

sebangkoi end

Sebangkoi Country Resort is not a 5-Star resort like Hilton Batang Ai Longhouse Resort, so don’t expect the same level of creature comforts, but it’s cheap if you go in a group and it’s close enough to Sibu for a quick weekend getaway. Cheers!

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