The Endau-Rompin State Park, the second largest national park in Peninsula Malaysia after Taman Negara, straddles the Malaysian state borders of Johor and Pahang.
It is situated in the southern part of the state of Pahang and is named after the rivers of Endau (in Johor) and Rompin (in Pahang) that meander majestically through the Park.
This State Park encompasses an area of 31,797 hectares or over 488 square kilometers and is one of the last remaining lowland dipterocarp forests in Peninsular Malaysia.
Endowed with natural beauty and a rare eco-system, the rainforests of the Endau-Rompin State Park, like the rainforests in other parts of Peninsular Malaysia, is more than 130 million years old.
Many unique and endemic varieties of plants have been discovered within the forest, such as the magnificent giant fan palm (Endau ensis), climbing bamboo (Rhopa loblaste) and the slender stemmed walking stick palm (Phychoraps singaporensis).
Pitcher plants, toadstools, and orchids also grace the forest floor. Moths and butterflies of every shape and hue ( rainbow hued included) can also be found flirting among the verdant foliage.
It is the natural dwellings to wild-life such as tapirs, deers, wild-boars (including a rare specie of bearded wild hogs), many species of birds, reptiles and insects.
The Endau-Rompin State Park is also sanctuary for the nearly extinct Sumatran Rhinoceros.
HELP CONSERVE THE SUMATRAN RHINOCEROS
The Sumatran rhinoceros is probably the most endangered of the five rhino species found worldwide. It is believed that fewer than 300 of them are left currently in the world.
Therefore it is imperative that we protect the Sumatran rhinos’ habitat especially from poachers. Because sadly, their numbers are depleting due to indiscriminate poaching and hunting for their horns which are supposed to be aphrodisiacs according to old Asian beliefs. This wide-spread mistaken belief must be eradicated so that these rhinos will still be around for future generations.
WWF-Malaysia has in February 2006 initiated and undertaken a five-year project called Rhino Rescue, with one of the objectives being to raise awareness of the urgent need to protect and conserve the Sumatran Rhinoceros through outreach to local communities as well as increasing efforts in understanding its ecological, biological and spatial needs. This project will be carried out in the Belum Forest Complex in the Malaysian state of Perak.
So do help to protect these rhinos where we can, and donate to efforts towards this end.
The Endau-Rompin State Park is home to humans too -- the Malaysian "Orang Asli" or aborigines, still live in the jungles of the Endau-Rompin. You can visit them and hear their stories of the mythical creature -- the Hantu Jarang Gigi ("Fanged Teeth Devil") -- a "Bigfoot" type denizen of the forest.
And stories on this Malaysian Bigfoot (Malays call them "Mawas") abound until today...
A little sidetrack..
Stories recently abound of this Malaysian Bigfoot especially in the Johor part of the Endau-Rompin State Park. In fact the various Bigfoot sightings from way back in the 1980s and until 2006 have transformed the mythical hairy creature into a real denizen of the forest.
They are said to be around 3 to 4 meters tall and a recent photograph and taking of a left foot model of this Malaysian Bigfoot’s footprint made through gypsum, measures the foot size as 45.5 centimeters long and 36 centimeters wide.
One sighting in November 2005, reported that three creatures, two of which were at least 3 meters tall, were seen fishing in the river, and they were plucking the fishes with their bare hands!
Previous expeditions to track these denizens of the forest had been unsuccessful because they know the jungle better than we humans. And the Johore state Government had set up a committee to investigate and later to track them in the jungles to confirm their existence.
The most widely accepted theory is that this Malaysian Bigfoot is a descendant of the giant primate species, Gigantopithecus Blackai. Remains of this animal, found in Vietnam and China, date back between 100,000 and two million years ago.
There were similar sightings reported in wilderness areas around the world, including the so-called Bigfoot in North America, the Yeti in Tibet and the Yowie in Australia.
There are plenty of things to do once you’re in Endau-Rompin State Park.
Jungle trekking, with plenty of trails and pathways, is an activity that should not be missed there. Hiking inside the Endau-Rompin State Park, with guide (for safety reasons) by the forest rangers, you will find a host of nature’s own attractions including varieties of flora and fauna, wondrous rock formations, breathtaking waterfalls and rivers, brooks and pools.
In fact the 50-meter fall Mahkota Waterfalls, an attraction which should not be missed by any visitor there, is unique and awe-inspiring in the sense that at 25 meters high, there is a cave, the Kelapa Gading Cave, situated in the midst of the waterfalls!
The rivers with their rapids will beckon those brave adventurers to go swimming, kayaking, water rafting, boating and other related activities.
Fishing in the rivers of the Endau-Rompin State Park is definitely an enjoyable and satisfying activity for avid anglers. There is a good variety of game fish species. The Park is a sanctuary for wild Mahseer (or "kelah" in Malay) and sometimes you can see them in the hundreds at certain locations. You can also swim among them if you like!
It is also said that fish caught in the rivers of the Endau-Rompin State park is bigger than those same species in the rivers elsewhere in the Malaysian Peninsular.
P.S. However no fishing is allowed during the spawning season from September to October to ensure the continued propagation of the fishes.
And to those avid bird-watchers out there, know that there are about 250 species of birds which can be found there to keep you fascinated daily.
And if you can stay up at night, there is also an observation tower for visitors to watch animals at their nocturnal going-ons.
And especially to nature–lovers and adventurers, there are plenty of other things you can do there.
You are surrounded by nature, so take your pick and do what you want -- hiking, fishing, kayaking, boating, bird-watching, photographing the flora, butterflies, insects and others.
After living with the joys of nature, you may not want to leave Endau-Rompin State Park... and you might want to stay and join the Bigfoot family! (Ahem..)
From Kuala Rompin, the road journey to the Sungai Kinchin base camp at Endau Rompin State Park is about 50 kilometers and the road runs through the village of Felda Selendang.
Buses, taxis or rented cars are available from Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan to Kuala Rompin.
It is advisable for first time travelers to Endau-Rompin State Park to use a travel agent to ensure a safe-guided tour since infrastructure in the Park is rather minimal.
Entry permits must be obtained before visitors can enter the Park, and they may be obtained from the Forestry Department at Kuala Rompin, Pahang.
Do take note however that during the rainy monsoon season -- from November to March -- the Park is closed.
Facilities at the Endau–Rompin State Park are limited and basic but the sheer magnificence of the forest would easily compensate the lack of creature comforts.
There are camping sites located over a 2 hectare area, and they come complete with camping amenities such as stoves, BBQ grills and toilet facilities.
Quaint little chalets are available at Sungai Kinchin base camp. At Kuala Rompin town there are international class resorts for family holidays, as well as many budget hotels for single travelers.
Of course, if you wish to experience all the joys of jungle trekking, caves exploration and the thrills of river-boating, then I recommend you go with, and get expert guides, from registered travels and tours companies. There are various packages that will enlighten you on all things jungle.
And to keep the place preserved for future generations, we must therefore follow the rules and regulations specified by the authorities of the National and State Parks. It is for the our own protection and benefits.
So, Did You Meet The Hantu Jarang Gigi (Malaysian Bigfoot) While in the Endau-Rompin State Park?
Well, they have never disturbed humans and instead they always would run away when they see humans, letting us live peacefully.
So let them live and roam in their natural habitats. Live and let live. The world is big enough for everybody.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the trip to Endau-Rompin State Park. And do click to other pages in this Web site for more exciting trips in the delightful state of Pahang.
As always, from me ...