Written by Muhammad Hasif
Malaysia is blessed with so many beautiful attractions and being a Malaysian, I could not be more proud of that fact. One of them is the Royal Belum State Park, a 130-million-year-old rainforest which is the oldest rainforest in the world. A pride, no doubt.
Exploring the park is best with houseboat since the park is super huge that one needs days or maybe even weeks to fully experience. The houseboat sailed around the calming Lake Temenggor where an abundance of freshwater fishes like toman and kelah live in. While onboard, my friends and I got to savour delicious meals which were included in the package and sleep comfortably. But most of the time, I preferred to sit on the deck and simply take in the serene beauty of Royal Belum. There was one day we got to endure a heavy rain that the houseboat had to stop to seek shelter from the strong winds. No one was harmed but during that moment, I spotted a family of otters swimming to the shore. It was my first time seeing them in the wild!
During the journey, the houseboat made a few stops for us to discover it on the ground. We did trekking to kelah sanctuary, visiting the Orang Asli settlement and exploring the salt lick at Jenut Papan where most animals were said to be heading to get minerals. Mind you, Royal Belum has myriads of animals, including endangered ones but the chance to see them are very slim. Nevertheless, with the help of our guide, we got to see some animals’ footprints including wild boars and sun bears.
My friends and I booked for only three days and three nights and honestly, at the end of the trip, I wish I could have spent more time here. There are still a lot that we can actually do, including spotting the world’s largest flower, rafflesia and trekking to waterfalls and caves. And that is why I am determined to come back and explore more of Royal Belum one day.
But above all, I love the experience of cruising on the houseboat the most. The 117 500-hectare park was simply majestic and breathtaking leaving me in awe in every moment I spent my time there.