Kenong Rimba Park, just like Taman Negara and Endau-Rompin State Park, contains one of the oldest rainforests in the world, estimated at more than 130 million years old.
Kenong Rimba Park, ("Rimba" is "jungle" or "forest" in Malay) fringes Taman Negara at its eastern and northern boundaries, and covers an area of about 128 square kilometers in the delightful state of Pahang.
It is home to many limestone caves, which provide a natural habitat for bats and other creatures of the dark caverns, and it is therefore not surprising that caving or spelunking is a very popular sport or activity in Kenong Rimba Park.
But most of all, Kenong Rimba Park, situated in the valleys of the Kenong River, is popular for its cascading waterfalls and clear mountain streams, amidst exotic flora and fauna of various species, some unique to the Malaysian rainforests.
You can take a delightful cruise along the scenic Kenong River and enjoy the spectacular views from the river.
Well then, what are you waiting for? Let’s go to the Air Terjun Tujuh Tingkat (Seven Storey Waterfalls) ...Follow me for a good walk... and let’s explore...
Starting from Jeti Tanjung Kiara and after 20 minutes of trekking, we will reach the edge of the forest.
Along the way, we find Gua Batu Tinggi (High Stone Cave) a very attractive cave, which resembles a dug out boat. Here you’ll find that the Sungai Kenong ("Kenong River") passes beneath the cave and flows out slowly.
Along the way you’ll find three more caves, namely, Gua Batu Tangga, Gua Tangkup and Gua Telahup. And nearby you can see old remains and remnants of man-made defensive walls.
Well, it is believed that these caves and traces of the defensive walls were the defence perimeters and used as hideouts, and had been made by the Pahang Malay nationalistic warrior and hero, Datuk Bahaman, and his followers during their short war against the British colonizers in the late 1890s.
Here's a short video on the park reproduced from RTM (Radio Television Malaysia). Watch until the end to get some snapshot views of the area.
Let’s go on...
The trek to Gunung Kenong will take about an hour and there are camp sites at the Sungai Kenong riverbanks. Near Gunung Kenong there are more caves, i.e., Gua Hijau (Green Cave), Gua Buta (Blind Cave), and Gua Harimau (Tiger Cave). These are popular caves in which visitors to Kenong Rimba Park love to explore.
The walk from Gunung Kenong to Batu Kajang will take about another two hours where setting up camp at Sungai Kenong is a big respite, and then fishing in the cool clear river is a truly enjoyable activity.
From Batu Kajang, we will move on to Lata Kenong, where we find the Air Terjun Tujuh Tingkat ("Seven-storey waterfalls") - the ultimate destination for our excursion. And what a beauty!! ... And the waters so coolling!
In fact this 7- storey waterfalls is the major attraction of the Park, and is known for its turbulent rapids that flows through rugged rocky terrain.
Here, in Kenong Rimba Park, you will get to appreciate the many natural wonders that you sometimes imagined never existed.
For one, you’ll definitely be amazed by the incredibly huge trees which can be found there.
In fact I came across one huge Tualang tree that is maybe more than 30 storeys high and seemed to reach for the sky! Just straight up! What a sight to behold!
And then,... the peculiar sounds of the jungle ... all day and night long...
Shh..Shh.. listen now to the sounds.. of the jungle dwellers..
The weird mix of the sweet melody of songs, screams and weird alluring calls of numerous wild-life, avian and insect species, can be heard, especially during dusk and dawn.
The old generation of Malays, however, would translate the howls, screeches and whatever extraordinary sounds in the jungle as screams made by the devil, ghosts and evil spirits, and would tell their children never to imitate the sounds, or reply back.
As children, when in the jungle, we were taught to keep real quiet and just ignore them. Otherwise bad luck might befall us or we become possessed, when the evil spirits come to see who had imitated or responded to their screams!
Those scary teachings and thoughts, however, are no more nowadays, replaced with more inquisitive, undeterred modern minds.
END OF SIDE-NOTE
Well, besides jungle trekking, Kenong Rimba Park’s lush verdant forest provides nature lovers with plenty of nature activities, such as swimming, fishing, flowers spotting (especially of rare orchids), bird-watching, caves exploring or spelunking.
Kenong Rimba Park, as in other forest parks in Malaysia, is home to a variety of wild-life. In this Park, elephants, tapirs, tigers, panthers, flying foxes, sun-bears, mouse-deer and sambar deer, make their homes. And like most forests, several species of primates like macaques, monkeys and gibbons also make these forests their dwellings.
To avid bird-watchers, know that Kenong Rimba Park is also a sanctuary to wild and also migratory birds from as far as North Asia. Resident species of the birds include the brown shrike, yellow-vented bulbul, white-rumped shama and chestnut-winged babbler.
Boating, fishing and shooting the rapids are thrilling activities, but it is advisable that these activities be undertaken under the guidance of a good guide.
In Kenong Rimba Park you will find the Orang Asli (aborigines) who stay in the forests, surviving and eking their living out of the jungle produce. These Orang Asli people, like those at Taman Negara, belong to the Batik tribe. They are the people of the forests, full of knowledge and wisdom on all things in the jungle and living in perfect harmony with nature.
The jump-off town to Kenong Rimba Park is Kuala Lipis.
Kuala Lipis is about 180 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur and 250 kilometers from Kuantan.
If you drive from Kuala Lumpur, take the Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway and turn left to Bentong and proceed through Raub and Benta before you reach Kuala Lipis.
If you’re from Kuantan, take the road to Temerloh and turn right to Jerantut and follow the signboard to Kuala Lipis and it’s straight to the town.
You can also take the KTM train from Johor Bahru from the south or at Gua Musang in Kelantan, and stop at the Kuala Lipis train station. The Transnational Express bus also has services from major towns to Kuala Lipis.
From Kuala Lipis there are two ways to reach Kuala Kenong.
You can take the train from Kuala Lipis to Kampung Batu 9 (about 30 minutes trip) and then take a boat to Kampung Kuala Kenong (20 minutes).
Or you can rent or charter a boat straight from Kuala Lipis to Kuala Kenong through Sungai Jelai, which is about an hour’s trip.
You can find decent and comfortable chalets at reasonable prices at the Tuah Rimba Resort, or you can choose to camp at designated sites, at Kenong Rimba Park. And of course the most beautiful campsite is definitely at Sungai Kenong, with nature’s own cooling "swimming pool", for you to swim in.
If you wish to stay a little outside the Park, there are also many lodges and inns at Kuala Lipis town itself with comfortable stay at quite reasonable prices.
But the easiest thing to do is contact Mr. Mohd. Hassan Tuah, owner of Tuah Travels and Tours, who can advise and arrange for you suitable accommodation, guides, and travel requirements to the location. He's the real expert on the Park.
Well, I do hope you’ve enjoyed your trip to Kenong Rimba Park - one of the popular wildlife and nature parks in the state of Pahang.
If you desire to relax, Nature is always the perfect escapade and is always there to give you the peace of mind you crave for. And at Kenong Rimba Park, the setting is just perfect!
So, don’t forget to take a trip to other delightful places in the state of Pahang. And as always, from me ...
*** SELAMAT DATANG***