I always enjoyed trekking trips as a form of exercise and a way to reconnect with nature. The river trek at Tanah Aina was an enjoyable experience. It's a short 3-4 hour, leisurely trek and easily managed by most young and old.
We arrived at Tanah Aina in less than 2 hours by road from Kuala Lumpur city centre (Tanah Aina is 90km northeast of KL near Bentong, off the Karak highway).
As the small track road leading up to Tanah Aina is not passable to coaches, we were transferred to a small lorry for the 2km uphill journey to the resort. The ride is bumpy but only a bit.
Tanah Aina resort also has 4WDs, pick up trucks and vans to pick up smaller groups.
Our dorm was beside a stream and nestled in lush rainforest. It's green everywhere you look. We can hear the rushing water and the singing birds.
We checked into this dorm. It was comfortable. Just find a way to secure your documents and valuables as there is no locker provided in the dorm. Alternatively, you may keep your valuables at the lockers in the lobby.
The bath and toilets are clean and serviceable.
Tanah Aina resort provides organic shampoo and body wash. Please use these. The waste water flushes deep into the ground via a system of pipes, keeping the river clean.
Other accommodation options in Tanah Aina include tents and air conditioned chalets.
We had a sumptuous lunch of traditional local fare at the dining hall overlooking the river.
It was all home cooked style using fresh ingredients.
We were given an introduction to Tanah Aina and a safety brief before setting off on our trek.
Off we went, up well beaten tracks :-D
Soon, we were crossing one of the several streams during our trek. Throughout our trek we were wearing life jackets for safety.
These humble rubber slip on shoes are life savers. They are versatile, comfortable, water proof and have thick soles with good gripping power. I brought my usual leather trekking boots with me but ended up using these rubber shoes for all my treks during this trip.
I got them for RM12 at the equipment shop in Tanah Aina resort. I am told that we can get these same shoes for half the price in town.
:-D This river trek is so fun!!
The stream water is truly refreshing. One of the waterfalls is called "Fountain of Youth" - not sure if it was this one as there were a few.
I got this shot by poking my newly bought waterproof camera into the water :-D It did a decent job for an under SG$300 point-and-shoot, I think. Actually, I ditched my DSLR for all trekking activities since getting this pocketable waterproof camera :-D
This "Leap of Faith" is the highlight of Tanah Aina's river trek. But, seriously, I really don't want to jump off into a 5 metre drop, crashing into the 15 metre deep dark water below.
Nevertheless, I forced myself to do it so that I can give an accurate description of the experience. I waited for everyone who wanted to jump to take their turns before climbing up that platform. (The jump is completely voluntary.)
After a couple of false starts and a nudge from the park ranger, I dropped into water below. After making a splash, I was underwater for about 3 seconds before resurfacing. The whole thing, from leaping off and re-surfacing was over in less than 5 seconds.
After breaking the psychological barrier, I wanted to go again - it was exhilarating and quite addictive, really :-D
"Leap of Faith" spectators.
On the way back to base camp.
We had no problems at all with leeches, sand flies, fire ants, stinging bees or wasps. There were also very few mosquitoes. But, this is still the rainforest, so please come prepared with insect repellent.
We trekked downstream following the river which led directly to our riverside dorm. We kept our feet wet, soaking in the cool refreshing water throughout as knew we are going to miss it.
After washing up, we were all ears for Puan Azizah Aziz, Director of Corporate Communication's presentation on Malaysia tourism :-D
Then, it's dinner. They overfed us again as usual :-D What do you expect of Malaysian hospitality? ;-p
No wifi. Very weak or on-and-off data. No air con but I slept like a log in the cool jungle air, serenaded by cicadas.
It's been a wonderful day :-D
I felt recharged and rejuvenated, and hope to do this again regularly.
->> The river trek is unique, safe and easy to enjoy even for most young, old and novice trekkers. Tanah Aina is a good quick get-away from Kuala Lumpur for KLites. Overseas visitors can consider Tanah Aina as a side trip to see the rainforest after all the shopping, eating, cafe hopping, clubbing and sightseeing in the concrete jungle that is KL.
For more on Tanah Aina <- click
Date: 26 Apr 2016
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