Feb 9, 2011

Royal Belum, Perak

Second largest park after Taman Negara. Covering a vast area of 148,900 ha and estimated to be as old as 130 million years is a premier centre of tropical rainforest mega-biodiversity, Royal Belum stands on the threshold of discovery as home to some of the world's most important, unique and beautiful natural treasures. It make a unique haven for eco-tourists, recreational anglers and adventurers. The area is rich with waterfalls, streams, lagoons, limestone outcrops and island dotting the numerous waterways that make up Temenggor Lake located within Belum. Nature lovers can expect to see with ginger, orchids, medical herbs, aromatic plants, ferns and if lucky, the world biggest flower, Rafflesia.

While Sarawak has been described as the 'Land of the Hornbills', the Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) has pointed out that all 10 species of Malaysian hornbills can be found within Belum forests. Watching swarms of horbills take flight into the sky is a favorite activity among visitors to Belum.

Our most precious wildlife remains safe in Belum. There are an estimated 60-70 tigers roaming in Belum, over 100 Seladangs survive here in groups of single male and their harems, the Sumatran Rhinos are estimated at 160 individuals and there are over 100 Tapirs. Elephants live in large knit families, Binturongs come out at night, Malayan Sun Bear scale tree for huge honey combs and Serow hide away in the limestone hills. The wild fishing cat sit patiently for its food to swim down the streams as wildcats crouch in thick undergrowth. Here, so many species share space in Belum such as Leopard Cats, Clouded Leopards, Black Panther, Vipers, Flying Foxes, Otters, Porcupines, Armadillos, Reptiles, Dholes and more than 200 species of colorful birds.

How to Get There?

Belum Valley is located, midway between the East and West Coasts. The nearest towns are Grik in Perak and Jeli in Kelantan which are connected by the scenic East-West Highway. Kuala Lumpur to Belum takes about six hours by road. Join the North-South Highway and exit at Kuala Kangsar. Head for Grik and then to Pulau Banding. It is also accessible from Baling in Kedah via Pengkalan Hulu from the north. From Kota Bharu it's a three-hour drive. The nearest railway station is Kuala Kangsar, a long way off. To get to the campsites, arrange for boat transfer with tour operators who normally include the boat fee and entry permit (RM10) in the package. Unfortunately, the operators are not centrally located.


The first choice is camping by the lake or river. There are also floating chalets and a few units of chalet at the Orang Asli settlement. However, for something comfortable, Banding Island Resort offers rooms ranging from standard, superior and deluxe with choices of hill or lake view. Rooms are basic with coffee/tea-making facilities. Resort also has a campsite and function rooms equipped with modern audio visual aids. Located at Pulau Banding, the third biggest island in Tasik Temenggor, the resort makes an ideal stop-over for motorists using the East-West Highway. It also offers a host of adventure activities like fishing, kayaking, jungle walking and trekking, bird watching, camping or visiting the Orang Asli settlement. For food, guests have two choices – the air-conditioned Hornbill Restaurant or unpretentious Warung at the lakeside.

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