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Saturday May 8, 2010

Jelebu all set to woo tourists

JELEBU is set to complement Port Dickson as one of the top tourism destinations in Negri Sembilan following an RM5mil allocation by the state government to upgrade facilities at Hutan Lipur Lata Kijang and Gunung Besar Hantu.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan expressed hope that this would help attract more tourists to the state, which relies heavily on Port Dickson to pull in the tourism ringgit.

The state is targetting to attract some 2.3mil foreign and local tourists this year.

Serene area: Rest areas built at the Jeram Toi waterfall for the convenience of tourists. Jeram Toi, founded during British rule in 1895, is one of the major attractions on the way to Lata Kijang and Gunung Besar Hantu located some 40km away. Its waterfall is popular as it cascades over seven levels. The rapids were named after an orang Asli leader To’ Batin Toi.

Mohamad said upgrading works are set to start and once completed, the area will have chalets, camping grounds, a multi-purpose hall, a surau, canteen and other facilties.

“Tourists seek comfort when they go for a holiday. We do not want them to make day visits here... we want them to stay longer and enjoy the eco-tourism that Jelebu has to offer,” he said.

Mohamad was speaking to reporters after flagging off a scientific expedition to Gunung Besar Hantu at Wisma Negri recently.

Towering presence: The mystical Gunung Besar Hantu seen from a distance.

Gunung Besar Hantu is among the cluster of mountains located at the tail end of the Titiwangsa Range. Standing at 1,462 metres above sea level, it is among the highest peaks in Peninsular Malaysia.

Dubbed the Titiwangsa Arch, the mountain is also the “stone” that marks the border between Pahang and Negeri Sembilan. A journey on foot through the jungle trail that links Jelebu and Janda Baik in the east of Pahang takes about two days.

Standing at 100 metres, Lata Kijang is also among the highest waterfalls in the country.

The Orang Asli community who live at the foothills of Gunung Besar Hantu believe the mountain is inhabited by ghouls and other ghostly creatures.

The expedition, organised by the state Forestry Department, aims to study the the bio-diversity of the area and to gather more information on its flora and fauna.

More than 200 researchers from local universities, government agencies and non-governmental organisations are participating in the five-day expedition.

Mohamad said this was the second such expedition organised here after the one in Gunung Angsi in 2007.

Folklore: It is believed that the rapids at Jeram Gading got their names after a ruler from here found many elephant tusks here during his journeys.

“Gunung Besar Hantu’s thick and dense foliage is known to be rich in bio-diversity.

“I applaud the organisers for organising such an expedition which has plenty of benefits for everyone.

“It is also my hope that the expeditions will make many more new findings and that these will be researched further,” he said.

Expedition leader Prof Datuk Dr Abdul Latif Mohamad said 14 studies on the flora and fauna, the environment and its micro-organisms and the socio-economic of the people living in the area would be conducted.

Walk among nature: A 30m hanging bridge built across Sungai Kongkoi allows nature lovers to appreciate its beauty at the Jeram Gading falls.


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