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A TALE OF THE RAGING KAMPAR RIVER

White water rafting is definitely not for the faint-hearted. Since I survived to tell the tale, let me share with you the excitement of rafting in the Kampar River surrounded by the greenery of the Gopeng rainforest.

White Water Rafting in Kampar River, Gopeng, Perak

Gopeng, a small town about 90 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur, has many pre-war shop houses. This quiet and unassuming place is the gateway to some of the most adventurous outdoor activities in Peninsular Malaysia.

The most popular adrenaline pumping fun is white water rafting in the Kampar River. The scenic waterway is created by the merging of three rivers, Geruntum River, Geroh River and Pacat River in Perak. Rated as a Grade I to III river, it offers a great combination of water ranging from gentle flows to challenging and technical white water. It is also perfect for beginners.

From Gopeng town, it takes about 15 minutes to reach the starting point located at Kg. Ulu Geruntum. The journey itself is a memorable experience as visitors will pass by some of the most picturesque places in Gopeng with a whole spectrum of landscapes. During the fruit season, you will be looking with envy at the fruit orchards flanking both sides of the narrow, winding road. You can also enjoy the beauty and the tranquillity of the quaint traditional villages along the way. A 100-year-old water pipe stretches from the nearby mountains through the major settlements to the old mining area and the villagers are still using the water supply from it.

Upon reaching the white water rafting site, you will find many resorts there as well as several adventure specialists offering white water rafting and other outdoor activities. These are all a stone’s throw away from the starting point of the white water rafting. Whichever adventure company you go with, you will be given a liability form to sign before you can proceed further. Your river guide will brief you about paddling commands, safety measures and the do’s and don’t’s of white water rafting. Then, armed with a life jacket, helmet and paddle, you are all set to face the raging river.

The number of passengers per raft depends on river conditions and other factors but generally it ranges from two to six people.

It helps to have a skillful and friendly river guide as he will calm you down with his jokes and fascinate you with local anecdotes. Our guide, Max, who sat at the back of the raft, helped us to avoid rocks, kept us on the right path, cracked jokes and made sure we had a great time. Besides the guide, a safety kayaker cum photographer will follow rafters throughout the journey to ensure their safety and capture images of their ride.

Water Confidence Test
One of the most important things a rafter has to do before continuing his or her journey down the breathtaking twists, turns and drops of the white water course is the water confidence activity. Depending on the level of the water, there is a possibility of you being thrown out of the raft. The water confidence activity helps you prepare for the worst. It requires you to do body rafting along a short stretch. Your guide will steer you into the current and then he will let you go. If your water confidence is low, the three-minute body rafting will feel like ages and you will end up swallowing a lot of water. This is definitely not an activity for the self-conscious. However, the most important thing is to have faith in your guide and not panic.

After your water confidence has been tested, it is time for you to try your first rapid. White water rafting is an exhilarating activity that provides you with the ultimate adrenaline rush. Cascading down the rapids is only part of the fun. The whole journey is not one huge “liquid chaos” as it provides scenic and relaxing experiences. There are also flat sections in the river for you to take a breather after conquering tough rapids.

Up, Close and Personal with the Rapids of the Kampar River

Kampar River has been a popular spot for white water rafting since 2003. A trip on this river is a two-hour, adrenaline-fuelled journey along a seven or nine kilometres stretch depending on the water level. There are 10 prominent rapids along the stretch and every rapid has a tale to tell.

The first rapid was named Broken Ledge to reflect the concrete ruins of a dam at the river that was once built for the tin mining industry in the Gopeng area.

One of the toughest rapids in the river is called Easy Drop as rafters including the river guide have the tendency to be thrown overboard. Basically, the rapid has two drops of approximately three metres high. Upon reaching this rapid, the river guide will shout the word “Boom! Boom!” to indicate that everyone has to sit in the centre of the raft to avoid falling into the river. It is very exhilarating as your raft is thrown through the rapid and you are left to the mercy of the powerful water.

Rajah Corner is the longest rapid in Kampar River. It is aptly named after the big colony of Rajah Brooke butterflies swarming over the rocks along the area, especially in the morning.

Whenever a raft passes through the Hyside rapid, it has to be in a 30 degree angle so that it can get through the rapid without capsizing. Everyone must move to the “high” side of the raft so that the raft will be in a slightly tilted position.

Slide rapid is a little tricky and slightly technical as it requires the raft to go through most of the right side before sliding to the middle. A raft can easily get stuck in this rapid, especially when the water level is low. If it happens, rafters must shift to the front or the back of the raft depending on the situation and in the meantime, the guide will push the raft back into the main current. It requires skillful manoeuvering because of frequent obstructions.

One rapid called Paddle Breaker marks the site where a guide had his paddle broken in half while going down it. Snake rapid got its name simply because the curve of the river looks like a snake. Your raft will go through a zigzag pattern to clear out of this rapid.

Enders Rapid refers to a skillful trick river kayakers love to do at this rapid. The play manoeuver involves nosing the boat’s bow down and deep and the stern up resulting in the kayak popping vertically upward.

Seeing a flock of chickens running around the area during their first recce, the guides decided to name one rapid Chicken Run. Another is called Eddy Point, the white water terminology for an area where two currents from the opposite direction met to create a circular or spiral motion in the water.

All these rapids offer different kinds of thrills to rafters. You can never run a river the same way twice as the changes of the water flow make each trip unique.

During the journey, you will find yourself resting between rapids, relaxing and listening to your guide talking about the river. There are several rest stops at some areas of interest.

End of the Journey

The journey ends at Kampung Jahang where you will be transported back to your resort for a quick shower and a change of clothes. Your guide will then take you to a nearby restaurant for a hearty meal after all the hard work and excitement.

No one ever walks away from white water rafting experience in Kampar River untouched. You will either get addicted to this extreme activity or fall in love with the sheer beauty of the river area or both. Either way, you will want to return to this unique place again and again.

If white water rafting is not challenging enough for you, there are other extreme activities that you can try such as water abseiling from the top of a three-storey high waterfall, advanced-level kayaking, mountain biking, jungle trekking and caving.

Getting There
From Kuala Lumpur, get off the North-South Plus Expressway at the Gopeng interchange. It is advisable to join organised groups as they will guide you to the starting point and make all the arrangements necessary.

Who to Contact

DESTINATION PERAK SDN. BHD
(A subsidiary of Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Perak)
Level 11, Perak Techno-Trade Centre, Bandar Meru Raya, Off Jalan Jelapang, 30020 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.
Tel:1800 22 8772
Email: [email protected]

 

 

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

Tourism Malaysia: Top 7 in August

1. Penang Hungry Ghost Festival
When: August 3-31
Where: Penang
What: According to Taoism, the gates of hell open every seventh lunar month of the Chinese calendar. Ghosts and spirits walk the streets for a month and visit their descendants. This is a month of bad luck where parents tell their children to stay at home. During the Hungry Ghost Festival in Penang, many puppet and opera shows take place to entertain the spirits. It’s open to the public but the first row at each performance must remain empty for the ghosts. On the last day of the month, believers mark the return of the souls to Hades with big bonfires at midnight.
More Information:
http://www.tourismpenang.net.my/index.php/Festivals/hungry-ghost-in-penang / Photo source

 

Padawan Raft Safari2. Padawan Raft Safari
When: August 14
Where: Padawan, Kuching, Sarawak
What: Go kayaking or rafting into wild Borneo with friends and family… the experience will be unforgettable. Stand up in a bamboo raft and admire the stunning surroundings while paddling along the river. There are different categories for this popular and fun competition in Sarawak. Even if you don’t win a prize, the views and laughs will be an amazing reward.
More Information:
www.mpp.sarawak.gov.my / Photo source

 

Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week3. Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week
When: August 17-21
Where: Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur
What: It’s not all Paris and Milan! Kuala Lumpur has its own Fashion Week, too! For five days, Pavilion will turn into a catwalk for the creative Malaysian fashion industry. A great opportunity for fashion lovers and trend setters to discover Malaysian designers and their ‘Ready to Wear’ collection. An event full of inspiration and style!
More Information:
www.klfashionweek.com / Photo source

 

Rhythm of Gamelan4. Rhythm of Gamelan
When: August 19-21
Where: Kompleks Sukan Negeri, Kuala Terengganu
What: Musicians from Malaysia, Indonesia and Europe meet to explore and learn about this musical art form. Gamelan is a traditional instrumental ensemble of Java, Indonesia, typically including many bronze percussion instruments. Professionals lead the two-day workshop while members of the public enjoy the harmonious sounds. A great opportunity to discover this royal music, now accessible to everyone. 
More Information: www.motac.gov.my / Photo source

 

Mask Festival Malaysia5. Malaysia International Mask Festival
When: August 19-21
Where: Esplanade, KLCC Park, Kuala Lumpur
What: Come enjoy an explosion of colour as elaborate masks from Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and China are showcased to the public. Masks are an expressive art form in many Asian cultures and commonly used in rituals and celebrations. The three days festival in the heart of the city features activities and performances full of folklore and mysticism.
More Information:
https://www.facebook.com/mymaskfest/ / Photo source

 

Jet Ski Championship6. Selangor Open Jetski Championship
When: August 27-29
Where: Tasik Biru, Rawang, Selangor
What: Water sport lovers will be in heaven. Participants from Southeast Asia, Japan and Australia will gather at Blue Lake, Tasik Biru to compete and show off their skills. There are local and international categories, complementary activities and lots of fun.
More Information:
http://www.aseantourism.travel/event/detail/selangor-open-championship-jetski-competition / Photo source

 

Raintown Half Marathon7. Raintown Half Marathon 2016
When: August 28
Where: Taiping, Perak
What: Over 4,000 athletes from all over the world will meet in the ‘wettest’ town in peninsular Malaysia. Taiping, also known as ‘Raintown’, is the scene for this popular half marathon. Participants can opt for the 7km, 10km or half distance event. Hopefully the rain will stay away just this once!
More Information:
www.mptaiping.gov.my / Photo source

For more events, news and deals go to http://www.malaysia.travel/en/my/events

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

Ethical transport destination: Malaysia

Ethical transport destination: Malaysia

Multi-ethnic, abounding in enlightenment and biodiversity, Malaysia is both a place we wish to revisit and don’t wish to spoil by being an “ugly tourist”.

By “spoil” we meant minister to overdevelopment, thereby watering down a normal enlightenment or even destroying a inlet that brought we here in a initial place. “Ugly” tourism fails to honour a internal enlightenment or sourroundings and rather draws people usually for a weather, waves and levity on a wallet.

Bako National Park, Borneo. Pic: tbSMITH (Flickr CC).

Bako National Park, Borneo. Pic: tbSMITH (Flickr CC).

Ethical travel, on a other hand, does a reverse. The reliable traveller wants to give something behind – and we don’t meant dull drink bottles or even some avocation giveaway shopping. The thought of reliable tourism is not usually to minimise a tourist’s disastrous impact on a destination, yet to try to make things better. An reliable holiday in Malaysia can take a form of proffer vacations (volun-tourism), eco-tourism and tolerable travel. These categories can be distinct, yet can also overlie considerably.

Let’s start with an reliable holiday activity in Malaysia that doesn’t engage a implausible healthy beauty. Hard to believe? Read on.

Ethical business

The Downtown Night Market in a collateral Kuala Lumpur facilities hundreds of marketplace stalls that occupy or are owned by recuperating drug addicts. It was started by a recovered addict who wanted to emanate a plan to assistance ex-addicts stay clean. KL Downtown has now turn a city’s largest night bazaar.

From the BBC:

“The concert (open from 10 pm to 4 am) is a outrageous pull for tourists […] charity all from local, handmade batik fabrics to transport food to feet massages to five-minute haircuts. On weekends, a marketplace invites internal dancers and musicians to perform on a stage. A apportionment of all deduction go to Kuala Lumpur’s Pengasih rehab centre.”

The Downtown Night Market is a good approach to do your holiday selling and assistance a locals assistance themselves.

Volun-tourism

Malaysia has opposite options for volun-tourism including operative on organic farms, volunteering during organizations that strengthen involved sea turtles from poachers, educational stays during orangutan reconstruction centers and more. These stints can be total with eco holidays. A stay during an organic plantation competence follow or convey a jungle trek or stream expedition. Some diving schools incorporate operative with turtle charge projects into their activities.

Turtle in Malaysian Borneo. Pic: LKEM (Flickr CC).

Turtle in Malaysian Borneo. Pic: LKEM (Flickr CC).

Other examples of volun-tourism embody training English in multiple with environmental recognition and there are internships/positions accessible that can final several months. Alternatively another instance would be to revisit an void island to observe seahorses and widespread recognition of their plight.

A illusory classification and apparatus for volun-tourism as good as reliable transport and eco-travel in Malaysia is Wild Asia. Other useful links include Kahang Organic Rice Eco Farm and Bubbles Dive Resort.

Homestays

A homestay in a normal encampment is a good approach of experiencing a authentic, nation lives of Malaysia’s genealogical cultures. Your appreciation and financial support encourages these villages to safety their approach of life. It’s also a good approach to see how these normal communities live harmoniously with inlet and to conclude their abounding internal biodiversity.

Homestays can also be total with rainforest camping, jungle movement and rafting trips. See Peraya Homestay for some-more information.

Rainforest lodges and eco-resorts

Though reduction romantic in nature, yet high in environmental recognition are stays in Malaysia’s eco-lodges and identical resorts. These holidays are ideal for those peaceful to spend a small some-more who maybe don’t wish to severe it by volunteering or embracing a normal encampment lifestyle. However these people still caring about Malaysia’s implausible inlet and wish to knowledge it in ethical style and comfort.

Rainforest resort, Taman Kota. Pic: CDN Harv (Flickr CC).

Rainforest resort, Taman Kota. Pic: CDN Harv (Flickr CC).

Rainforest lodges are situated in healthy parks surrounded by Malaysia’s pleasant rainforest. Other forms of eco-resorts embody lush island accommodation on beaches adjacent to mangrove forests and even floating resorts located off a coast.

All rainforest lodges and eco resorts are tighten to inlet and offer plenty opportunities to observe wildlife, such as orangutans, and attend in several nature-based activities like jungle trekking, swimming, rafting, diving and snorkeling.

See Eco Tropical Resorts and Bagus Place for some good rainforest and eco-lodge ideas.

Nature inlet nature!

Most (though not all) of a above varieties of reliable tourism engage Malaysia’s astoundingly biodiverse healthy environment. Malaysia is believed to enclose around 20 percent of a world’s animal class with a high commission of autochthonous species. Two thirds to 3 buliding of a nation are lonesome in forestland. Tourism that encourages a refuge of this different biodiversity is inherently ethical. This means holding advantage of Malaysia’s 26 inhabitant parks and countless state parks and inlet reserves.

Use it (ethically) or remove it!

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Five Malaysian eco-breaks

Five Malaysian eco-breaks

Sustainable travel, including obliged inlet holidays and what has turn famous as eco-tourism, is on a arise in Malaysia – and with good reason. Though Malaysia has rarely grown civic regions, it is also home to a abounding ecology and opposite geography.

For a nature-interested traveller, this Southeast Asian republic comprises plateau and highlands; beaches and large pleasant islands; rainforests and mangrove estuaries and many more. The well-organized tourism infrastructure and resources of healthy locations and activities assistance make Malaysia one of a world’s tip destinations for environmentally-conscious travel. Malaysia is an sparkling as good as available plcae for a dizzying choice of eco-holidays.

What follows are 5 ubiquitous ideas for eco-breaks in Malaysia. There is naturally copiousness of cross-over between and among these categories and lots of accumulation within each.

Orangutan observation

The solitary good apes that are singular to Asia, these opposite involved primates are usually internal to Malaysia and Indonesia. Malaysia has precocious comforts for watching orangutans in a furious and in special reconstruction centers. Visiting these pot and centers aids in a insurance of habitats that are essential to a presence of these fascinating and peaceful apes.

Places like a Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, Danum Valley Conservation Area and a Tabin Wildlife Reserve (all located in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo) enclose opposite options for accommodation, trimming from simple camping in tents to comfortable, well-appointed stays during some-more upscale rainforest lodges.

Orangutan, Sepilok, Borneo, Malaysia. Pic: Paul Mannix (Flickr CC).

Orangutan, Sepilok, Borneo, Malaysia. Pic: Paul Mannix (Flickr CC).

Other wildlife regard and “volun-tourism”

Besides orangutans, Malaysia is home to a horde of other extraordinary examples of wildlife. Some need your help! Nesting sea turtles are really exposed to poachers. Those who wish to mix a holiday with a possibility to support internal involved class can incorporate proffer work like assisting turtles or regrowing coral into a scuba diving vacation or other inlet break.

This brief outline comes from an essay on “Ethical turtle tourism” from The Star: “The volunteers control daily dinner-time lecture sessions, educating guest about turtles and a threats they face, during that they remind guest to switch off their mobile phones and equivocate camera flashes on a beach during night.”

Other options embody visiting elephant sanctuaries in a rainforest or even wildlife refuges for involved furious cattle, called guar.

Ecological rural tourism

Those into eating and flourishing organic food competence be meddlesome in a bit of rural tourism. Visits to ecological rice, furnish and seafood farms can be distant some-more exiting than a thought sounds. These farms are mostly located in pleasing vicinity and visitors can incorporate jungle trekking, cycling, towering climbing and stream expeditions into their stay.

Kahang Organic Rice Farm facilities accommodation trimming from camping to “floating chalets” in a rice fields. Of march food is also a vital partial of any stay, with dishes stoical of a operation of uninformed organic fruit, vegetables, fish and rice.

National parks

Malaysia is home to several inhabitant parks, dual of that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One such site is Kinabalu National Park in Malaysian Borneo, that contains a country’s tallest peak, Mount Kinabalu, and around 4,500 class of flora and fauna. The other UNESCO World Heritage Site in Malaysia is Gunung Mulu National Park, also on a island of Borneo. Gunung Mulu National Park is a world’s many complicated pleasant karst area, contains a 2,377 meter-high sandstone apex (from that a park gets a name) and some 295 km of explored caves. The park is also obvious for a abounding accumulation of plant life, and a canyons, rivers and dense, rainforest-covered mountains.

Gunung Mulu pinnacles. Pic: Paul White (Flickr CC).

Gunung Mulu pinnacles. Pic: Paul White (Flickr CC).

Besides these dual UNESCO sites, there are 26 other inhabitant parks and many state parks and pot in Malaysia, safeguarding many of a nation’s timberland land. Nearly 3 buliding of Malaysia is lonesome in trees and healthy forests. These forests are intensely biodiverse in flora and are also where fauna such as dark leopards, Sumatran rhinos, Malaysian tigers, Asian object bears, guard lizards and orangutans can be found.

Malaysia’s inhabitant parks embody not usually timberland land, though lowlands full of rivers, atolls, coral reefs and scores of islands. These parks ring a categorical eco-tourism destinations in a country.

Water-based activities

Loaded with islands, rivers and coastline, Malaysia is a dream plcae for eco-friendly H2O activities like diving, snorkeling and stream rafting.

White H2O rafting is probable during grades I-V (tame to really dangerous) in many rivers located in a country’s inhabitant parks. Popular diving and snorkeling spots embody Tioman, a tiny island located within a Mersing Marine Park, and a 9-island archipelago of Redang inside Redang Marine Park.

Tioman Island. Pic: Le Journal de Maman (Flickr CC).

Tioman Island. Pic: Le Journal de Maman (Flickr CC).

Naturally, Malaysia’s many islands yield plenty event for scuba diving and snorkeling among coral reefs.

I wish this list supposing we with some impulse and ideas for an memorable Malaysian eco-break. For a some-more information on obliged tourism, volun-tourism and eco-friendly holidays in Malaysia we suggest a revisit to a Wild Asia website.

 

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