Belum Temenggor Rainforest

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Belum Temenggor Rainforest, Ipoh Overview

Belum Temenggor Rainforest located in Perak, Malaysia is the world's oldest and largest rainforest. It borders Thailand to its north and Kelantan in Malaysia to its east. Thriving for 130 million years, it is divided into two sections - Belum is located on the Malaysia-Thailand border while Temenggor is located south of Belum. The Royal Belum State Park lies entirely in Belum Temenggor Rainforest. A tour to Belum Temenggor includes hiking, rafflesia excursions and exploring Orang Asli village.

Belum Temenggor is a haven for the birdwatchers housing all of 10 of Malaysia's hornbills. The best time to spot these hornbills is August and September. To spot migratory birds, visit during October and November. Butterfly spotting is best experienced in April, May and November.

Must Know Before You Visit Belum Temenggor Rainforest

Permit : Permits and guides are required to visit protected areas in the rainforest
A permit and guide are needed to explore Royal Belum State Park (RM 20 for permit)

Need to Know : Mammal sightings are rare here, even with a guide.
Beware of guides that promise rafflesia sightings as these flowers are hard to find and bloom only for a few days.

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Flora and Fauna

Belum Temenggor is home to a wide assortment of flora and fauna including pythons, deers, seladang etc. and hosts around 300 avifauna species. All 10 species of the hornbill including the white-crowned, bushy crested, wreathed, plain pouched, black, oriental, rhinoceros, helmeted, great and wrinkled - hornbill can be found here.

There are about 14 mammals that are most threatened present here, including the Indian elephant, Malayan tiger, Tapir, Sunbear and White-handed gibbon.

In the forests, you will also find about 3000 species of plants that flower. You can also find Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower in three variants of species here while the fourth variant is protected by the royal state park.

Orang Asli Tribes at Belum Temenggor

Orang Ali is a collective form of referring to the indigenous natives of Malay and has around 18 ethnic groups. The Orang Asli tribes, (example: Temiar group) live in this rainforest since more than a millennium. They are the aboriginal or original people who have been natives to the Belum Temenggor. They used to be semi-nomads or nomads, traditionally since ancient times and later settled here to sustain and make a living for themselves. They were crafted in fishing, hunting and gathering, small scale farming, and trading of herbs used for medicinal purposes and handicrafts and spices.

The tribe still exists within the rainforest living in huts made of bamboo, hunting smaller animals, fishing and gathering edibles for their survival. Their villages are referred to as Orang Asli villages that you can visit when you are here.  Their usual method of communication is through the Aslian languages.

Trekking in Belum Temenggor Rainforest

Trekking in the Belum Temenggor rainforest is an outlandish experience. Don’t forget to catch the incredible boat ride trails on the Tesak Temenggor Lake that happens to be Malaysia’s second-largest lake. Trekking the forests takes about an hour if you walk continuously.

Houseboat Cruise

Look out for the splendid houseboat cruises while you are here! All the boats are well equipped including a washroom, kitchen and rooms on all houseboats. These cruises are suitable for smaller groups or families who love being amidst nature.  

The basic/regular houseboats can accommodate up to 24 people and is usually an expedition of 2 days. These boats have good facilities and a skilled and trained crew. It costs about RM 245 for 2 days and 1 night.
  • The Blue Fern houseboat is much bigger and comes with various different packages starting from RM 165 (for 2 hours) to RM 450 (2 days 1 night) and RM 600 for 3 days and 2 nights and others.
  • The Deluxe houseboat that has a duration of 1 day, can be booked by 20 people for RM 350.
  • The White Orchid Houseboat accommodates 10 people for RM500 for 2 days and a night.
  •  The Junior super boats can be booked for RM320 and RM425 for 30 people with a 3 day and 2-day package, respectively.
  • The Superior houseboat can accommodate 40 people for RM 350, fo a duration of 2 days and 1 night or RM440 for 3 days and 2 nights.

Belum Eco Resort

The Belum Eco Resort is present in the island on Lake Tesak Temenggor, near the National State Park. This resort provides houseboats and A-shaped chalets that are architected on the hillside and blends with the aesthetic. These chalets have a mesmerizing terrace view and onto the lake. There are various activities to do while you are here including – bird watching, trekking, kayaking and tubing etc. There is a superb homemade meal laid out for the visitors, who also have the advantage as it makes for the ideal base for going on an expedition to the forest.

Fishing at Belum Temenggor Rainforest

Fishing in Belum Temenggor is a thrilling experience as tourists and locals all come here to spend the day in the angler fishing spot. The trip starts at the jetty of Pulao Banding. This destination provides chasing the Toman fishes that are popular all over the world. It is known as the Giant Snake Head fish or the Fishzilla. The fishing trip is usually very rewarding as the Lake is rich with large fishes. You can cruise with the skilled crew, by the streams and waterfalls of the rainforest. The fishing trips usually end by dusk.

It is recommended that you travel with a small group of 10-12 people, but the boats only allow 3 people per boat for safety reasons.

Don’t forget to carry a raincoat, sun protection and hats!

Royal Belum State Park

A part of the Belum Forest Reserve (Hutan Simpan Belum ) has been identified as The Royal Belum State Park. It is present inside Belum Temenggor complex. It is a hotspot of diverse species as it hosts multiple ecosystems. The royal belum state park is known for tigers, tapirs and panthers. A permit and guide are mandatory to explore this park. Keep an eye out for the various animals that you can spot here. The state park is a must-visit or so the locals say when you're here. 

As it is home to biodiverse, rare and endangered species of flora and fauna and was eventually declared a National Heritage Site by the Malaysian government. That was the highest recognition to be accorded. It was gazetted under the Perak State forestry Enactment or the Enakmen Perhutanan Negeri Perak. Topographically, it falls under the tip of Banjaran Titiwangsa or the Main Range. It divides the east coast and the west coast of the Malaysian Peninsula.

How to Reach Belum Temenggor Rainforest

The main town near Belum Temenggor is Gerik (also spelt Grik), 130km north of Ipoh. The most preferred way of reaching the park is by boat from Pulau Banding Jetty, 40km northeast of Gerik. To reach Gerik, take a bus and then opt for a taxi which will take you to the Pulau Banding Jetty. 

For travelling from Ipoh, Butterworth, Kuala Kangsar or Taiping, take a Kota Bharu bound bus and drop off at Pulau Banding Jetty.

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