Sunday, May 9, 2010

Belum Nature Reserve

Dec 2009

Belum Resort, Pulau Banding

This is a long overdue entry of our Nature expedition holiday in Pulau Banding last Christmas. We went to Belum Resort, located in Pulau Banding, Gerik with my mum and brother. The venue was proposed by brother highlighting that this was one of the location my late dad worked in during his army days J. That itself got mom really excited, and Old Man and I thought it would be a good exposure for the girls. Old Man was exceptionally excited to try out his new camera, dunno what SLR or something lah.

Anyway, the Resort is pure nature’s haven sets facing a man-made lake and forest all around. The cherry of the haven would be the chirping of crickets in the background. We even have visits from the wild boars - rampaging the resort’s herb garden on the second night of our stay but we all slept like babies. (tuckered out by all the trekking the day before). The weather was awesome during our 2nights stay, no glaring hot sun which is ultimatum for outdoor activities.

We started our first morning, doing trekking organized by the resort. (mom stayed in the resort, walking around the herbs garden, while bro went fishing for snake head…we suspected this was the main reason of him proposing the named resort as our holiday destination J)

The trekking was the girls’ first experience with Nell conquering every challenge thrown by the jungle trek effortlessly. She made it looked almost as easy as the orang utan in its natural habitat..hahahahhahahaha while Liz did not too bad herself despite her petite size (we later realized the trekkings are tailored to children of 10yrs and above BUT even if we would to know it earlier, we would still bring her along). The team of guides were very experienced and helpful, assisting us with Liz wherever the trek gets too difficult.

The 1st trekking route brought us to the rafflesia’s site. One of the buds had bloomed and we were fortunate to witness it at it’s best. Well, naturally lots of photo taking of the star by Old Man.

Going down the trek back to the boat was quite challenging even for the adults and we were thankful for the help of the guide, who helped carried Liz each time the trek gets extremely tough. J Not too worry for Nell as she seems more agile and physically fit to conquer the trek…she did better than Old Man and I..hehehehehehe. She was definitely in her element.

Next we trek up to the Salt Lake where elephants get their minerals from. Looks like big holes dug by the elephants. Spotted some souvenirs from the elephants……dungs along the way with butterflies all around (yes, I said butterflies not flies. Not too sure why the pretty looking insects seemed to be attracted to the waste of the elephants though).

We then proceed for our next destination, the waterfalls!! Also the place to fill our tummies especially true for Liz, she was really hungry after the 2 treks J. The trekking to the waterfalls opens up lots of surprises for the girls. The eye opener for them would be to uncover the infamous “LEECHES” J stuck to them…inflated and bloated with blood. Well, what do you expect from jungle trekking….Nonetheless, the girls handled the incidents pretty graciously – peeling those blood suckers off swiftly each time they were discovered J

The perfect spot for lunch, a flat rock in the middle of a waterfall as view while enjoying our…very tasty fried chickens, ham and cheese sandwiches and finishing off with fresh fruits. Awesome!

After lunch, the girls got to soak their feet in the cool clear waterfall. They played a little while in the river….with Old Man playing trick on the girls as usual.

Our last trek is to the “orang asli” settlement, we brought some sweets for the children there which were welcomed with much glee. Of course, the girls wanted them are always kids regardless where they are from…city, town, kampong, jungles….


We had our 2 morning breakfasts from the resort which served perfect breakfast spread. The array of choices spoilt u silly….from locals to international western dishes. They were both equally good. Mum still have cravings for their nasi lemak till today J.

We have our other meals at a coffee shop in Gerik town, highly recommended by brother. He drove us there for our first day dinner and last day lunch. The whole family enjoyed the meals to heart content, the dishes were prepared with fresh ingredients….and mostly from the wild!! To name a few, steam fresh caught fish of the day, curry fried wild boar, ginger stir fried wild frog legs….. J They were all yummilious, the girls can’t have enough of the stir fried frog legs, it taste so much better than the one serves in other places….It must be the wild thingy that gave the dish an edge.

All in all…this is an unique experience for the girls. They get a first hand experience of jungle trekking (a good outlet to release all the energy bubbling inside them J) and Enjoying the jungle at its best. They learnt how other children in the other side of the world lives. And last but not least, bonding with uncle over a game of ping pong and whining to Amah about leeches. J