1. not packed to the brim with picnickers (and left behind garbage) &
2. has clear pristine waters?
Question 1 easily rules out a number of favoured spots : Teratak Tekala, Sungai Gabai, Sungai Congkak, Kemensah, Sungai Sendat - which are already packed on normal weekends and which would be even more so with the heat wave. Janda Baik has many viable candidates but finding a spot that flows in a gushing torrent would be a challenge.
Answer : Sg. Dua Waterfall. Located 75km from city centre, it will take you a bit over an hour to get here via Karak Highway. It will feel "far" because the time you spend on the winding uphill downhill highway but it actually is not - when say compared to the daily 1 hour drive to get from Puchong to the City.
|Single but fierce cascade into a medium-sized pool that washes down through ankle height creek|
Driving there : straightforward drive along Karak Highway and through Gombak and Bentong Toll Plazas (passing Genting Highlands, Janda Baik, Bukit Tinggi, Selesa Hill Homes, Bentong exits along the way) and exit just before Karak town. A narrow tarmac road will lead you to an orang asli village (less than 3kms off the Karak highway) to the waterfall. Normal cars can park by the roadside. 4WD can drive down a steep slope which is unpaved and mildy corrugated with deep water channels.
Cost: There is an orang asli toll gate at the village : RM2.00 per head. Don't quibble over this as the funds are used to keep the site clean - there is a functioning toilet (albeit a very spartan one) and a garbage bin which is emptied regularly by the caretakers. RM10.00 if you want to camp here. You would be encouraged to cross the river and camp on the higher bank in the event of a flash flood. The site looks safe enough 99.99% of the time unless you are lucky enough to experience a 100 year flood during your stay. There is no place to maneuver if it does - short of climbing up the terraces and leaving everything behind. Having said that, I would camp here nevertheless ..
Thoughts? Adults would find this waterfall a literal blast. The cascade is strong, hard and powderful. There is a rock underneath the water (you need to find it with the help of the rope) which allows you to get up close and personal to the fall - and get a real pounding from the stinging sprays and forceful thumps down your back. It was just super! Or you could just wade in the pool and enjoy the thundering roar from afar .. but really where's the fun in that ..
|Campsite across the river and someone with a camp chair and a book!|
|Crystal clear waters|
|Spot the sun|
|This part is deep but there is a narrow rock underneath which the man is standing on - allowing you to stand close to the waterfall. It is NOT shallow directly underneath the fall.|
|The sand makes the water looks brown - but it is actually crystal clear|
If you come in a normal car, pack light or spread your load into multiple picnic baskets. Not so easy to be carrying big loads down the slope to the waterfall.
Anything above 25 pax and the pool would be packed. So come early before the crowd arrives. Leave when they do :)
Privacy : there is a sprawling orang asli community living here - i do note that they make their rounds often to see if we are being naughty (with our garbage etc) - so don't really expect a fully private camping experience that is truly wild and remote.
We shall return here next time with a mountain bike. Further up, the road ends and a fire road begins: Felcra oil palm plantation begins. Crying to be ridden and explored!