Enjoy beautiful waters at a Terengganu river and a waterfall in Kedah


The deeper the stretch along Sungai Air Hangat in Terengganu, the more beautiful the emerald green tinge of the river during the dry season.

Hot, dry days are here and the scorching days are expected to last until May in many states, fuelled by the potent El Nino weather phenomenon.

But amidst the rainless spell, there is a refreshing surprise: nature’s wonders are blooming in certain rivers and waterfalls across the country.

Here are two exquisite examples: a river nestled in Terengganu and a waterfall in Kedah.

The deeper the stretch along Sungai Air Hangat in Terengganu, the more beautiful the emerald green tinge of the river during the dry season.The deeper the stretch along Sungai Air Hangat in Terengganu, the more beautiful the emerald green tinge of the river during the dry season.

In Terengganu, you will find a river that gleams with a hue as vivid as an emerald.

Unlike the typical murky algae-laden waters, this river near Jertih boasts clarity akin to a polished gem.

Venture into the uppermost section, known as Lata Kolam Air Deru, and you’ll find an ecopark run by Kaswadi Harun.

“If you use an underwater camera here, you can record videos of you and your friends swimming below. You can take clear pictures of the little fish swimming around,” assures Kaswadi.

The river flows down from a mountain about 1,000m high that used to have logging compartments but is now a jungle reserve for the trees to grow back.

Crystal clear stream at the top of Bukit Perangin waterfall in Kedah.Crystal clear stream at the top of Bukit Perangin waterfall in Kedah.

There are neither plantation nor agricultural activities upstream of Lata Kolam Air Deru, so when the jungle is undisturbed, Sungai Air Hangat’s water is not marred by mud or fertiliser wash-off.

“Actually, many streams and rivers in the hills of Terengganu are like this during the dry season. But with Sungai Air Hangat, you can drive all the way in and reach the river after a short walk.

The river tumbles along large boulders at such a speed that Kaswadi said most of the boulders aren’t covered in moss or algae.

Stretch along tinged green by natural iron oxides at Sungai Air Hangat in Terengganu.Stretch along tinged green by natural iron oxides at Sungai Air Hangat in Terengganu.

Across eddies and pools, previous adventurers have lashed ropes for everyone else to hold on to as they wade across to explore the opposite bank.

The current beauty of the river, said Kaswadi, will last until October, when the seasonal rains may slightly muddle its pristine waters.

“On Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, as many as 3,000 people come to our ecopark for camping and picnicking or just to play in the river.

“If you want to have a peaceful time, come on the other days,” he said.

In Kedah, the dry days have bestowed a surreal charm upon Bukit Perangin waterfall in Changlun.

With the sun casting its rays at the perfect angle, the cascade transforms into a mesmerising mist, painting vibrant rainbows across the sky.

Located in the northern heartland not far from the border with Thailand, Bukit Perangin is in a permanent forest reserve and adventurers are required to register with the Kedah Forestry Department before entering by using the iForest Kedah app, available for download in Google Play Store.

Alor Setar resident Din Ismail, a regular hiker, visited Bukit Perangin recently and was astounded by how gentle the water cascaded down from a height of roughly 60m, and recounts that standing beneath the waterfall’s gentle drizzle felt like being enveloped in nature’s embrace.

This misty cascade of the Bukit Perangin waterfall in Kedah can be seen only during the dry season.This misty cascade of the Bukit Perangin waterfall in Kedah can be seen only during the dry season.

Reaching this hidden gem requires a journey through rugged terrain, a testament to the unspoiled wilderness that awaits adventurers.

While the allure of Bukit Perangin is undeniable, Din advises novice hikers to proceed with caution, considering the challenging 7km to 10km trek through hilly jungles.

He recalls getting lost on his first trip to the waterfall. After downloading better maps into the hiking app and carefully relying on the GPS tracker, he found the waterfall on his second solo attempt.

“I am used to hiking alone. But if you want to visit this waterfall, you might want a guide. Just search for Bukit Perangin on the internet and you can find guiding services,” he said.

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StarExtra , outdoors , hiking

   

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