Tips for staying cool in the jungle


  • Living
  • Thursday, 05 Jun 2014

Yen’s guests chilling out in a stream while on a mountain trek.

Follow these simple rules by eco tour guide Yen Khang Ling for a fun time trekking through the jungle. 

Most nature lovers love trekking in the jungle, followed by a refreshing dip in a waterfall. Freelance tour guide Yen Khang Ling is happy to lead participants on such a tour whenever there are requests. He prefers to keep the group small – between two and 10 – so that he can give ample attention to everyone.

Yen is known for his popular eco tours to Chiling Falls in Kuala Kubu Baru, Hulu Selangor. A highlight of this 10-hour trip is a stopover at Chiling Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Selangor.

The tour has been highlighted by Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor. This eco tour involves 3km of jungle trekking (which includes five river crossings) and takes about one and a half hours to two hours.

You can spot interesting flora and fauna such as giant spiders, scorpions, snakes and wild boars along the way. The highlight of the tour is Chiling Falls (about 27m).

Yen uses nature as his classroom; even a tendril can be a talking point.

Asked about his youngest and oldest participants, Yen says he does not encourage children below nine to join the tour, unless there are adults to keep an eye on them.

“My oldest participants were in their 70s; they were a French couple and three locals. They led an active lifestyle and had no problem finishing the trek.”

Once Yen had to remove his shoes and lent it to a participant when the sole of his shoe came off.

“I walked barefooted the rest of the way,” he added.

When the water level is near waist level, Yen will use ropes during the river crossing.

In 2008, he had two participants with hydrophobia. It was a challenge getting them to cross the five rivers along the trek. Yen assured them the river was not deep and got them to sit in the river and then stand up. He also shared a quote: “When you fear, you die a thousand times before your actual death.”

After convincing them, Yen told them to hold on to his shoulders while he guided them across the river.

A year later, he led a group of single mothers to Chiling Falls.

Yen’s eco tour to the Chiling Falls includes a stopover at a hot spring in Batang Kali, Hulu Selangor, on the way back. Participants get to soak in a hot spring.

“I would splash hot water on the feet of unwary participants, and they’ll scream: ‘You’re crazy!’ ”

Yen shares with participants, his mastery of mind over matter, and gives them instructions to follow.

“After they go into the 45°C public pool, I’ll get them to dip in the natural pool which is 50°C.”

He encourages them with the words: “Limitation is self-imposed. You’re the master of your destiny.”

Yen also conducts city tours such a six-hour walkabout from Chow Kit Road to KL’s Chinatown. He will make stops to regale participants with stories of the early history of places, the different trades and historic landmarks.

Mall manager Tajinder Sohanpal, 63, a long-time friend of Yen, has been on several of his guided tours to Chiling Falls and Perting Falls in Bentong, Pahang.

“I enjoyed Yen’s tours very much. He would put the kettle on a portable gas stove to make us a hot cup of tea or coffee,” said Tajinder. It looks like Yen sure knows how to get participants to warm up to him.

Related story:

Naturally happy

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