During the December holidays last year, my family and I visited the Belum Forest
Reserve. Situated in the north of Perak, this forest reserve is one of the
oldest rainforests in the world. It is a sanctuary to many endangered animals
such as the sun bear, Malayan tapir and the Sumatran rhinoceros.
our journey from Kuala Lumpur at dawn. At first, it was too dark to see
anything. But as the sky lightened, we saw oil palm plantations and orchards
along the way. After more than five hours, we finally reached the Pulau Banding
jetty. All of us became very excited when we saw signs warning us of elephants
crossing the road. We felt like we were really in the wild. Together with other
tourists, we traveled by speedboat to the Royal Belum resort where we were
staying for two nights.
It was past noon when we arrived at Pulau Banding. We checked in and had a
quick lunch. Then we went on an island cruise. Pulau Banding is a small island
with interesting plants at every corner. We took lots of photographs of the
unusual plants we saw. After the island cruise, we went kayaking. It was great
fun. The lake water was so clear that we could see brightly colored fish
following us. By evening, we were dead tired. We went to sleep very early.
The next morning, we got up at the crack of dawn
to watch the sunrise. It was rather cold and misty. The air was so fresh. We
could hear the sounds of birds and animals coming from the forest behind us. The
sunrise was beautiful. After breakfast, we went island hopping. A speedboat took
us to Pulau Talikali first. We trekked through the forest to a viewing tower.
From the tower, we had a bird's eye view of
the lake. It was spectacular. After that, we went to Pulau Tujuh. Again, we
trekked through the forest. We saw logs covered with colorful fungi and lovely
orchid-like flowers. We had a picnic lunch at a waterfall before heading back to
the resort. On the trip back, we saw the most wonderful sight. A flock of
rhinoceros hornbills glided gracefully across the lake. It was the highlight of
our trip to the forest reserve.
I did not catch even
a glimpse of a tiger or a wild elephant. But
the trip to the Belum Forest Reserve was a memorable one. I am glad that this
part of our country shelters so many kinds of plants and animals.