FAR FROM being just a simple scenic spot by a river and waterfall, the Lubuk Timah Hotsprings and Recreational Centre has more than Mother Nature’s wonders to offer to visitors today.
Located in Simpang Pulai on the way up to Cameron Highlands, the location has been a favourite spot among holiday-goers to relax and swim for years.
Just a few years back though, the popular weekend destination had yet to be properly developed and it lacked many basic amenities.
After several upgrading projects started in 2015, thanks to the Tourism and Culture Ministry, it is now on its way to becoming an outstanding destination.
There are currently four small pools and a large one for those who want to take a dip in hot springs.
Besides that, various new amenities have been added like chalets, gazebos, a surau, camping sites, karaoke room, a multipurpose hall and container-style dormitories.
It is also a perfect place to hold team-building exercises, particularly with its newly introduced Tree Top Challenge at the Prelut Adventure Camp, located near to the entrance of the recreational centre.
Thrill seekers have seven obstacles to pass in the challenge – the Burma Bridge, Canopy Zip Line, Wood Barrier, Broken Bridge, Bosun’s Chair, Giant Ladder and Wood Platform.
Additionally, there are also jungle trekking and horse riding activities to keep nature lovers busy.
Retiree Mohd Khalid Noordin, 70, who was there with his son, said he has been frequenting the spot for the last decade.
“I love coming here to relax, it is very peaceful here.
“The place has been consierably improved over the years.
“There didn’t use to be washrooms and showers when I first started coming here, it was just trees all around.
“Today, the facilities here are quite adequate.
“Not only are there washrooms, there is also a convenience store and chalets.
“It looks nice, I am happy to see what they have done with the place,” he said.
Mohd Khalid said he loves frequenting the hot springs as it is just a short drive from the city.
“I would surely recommend tourists in Ipoh to make a stop here, especially if you are on your way up to Cameron Highlands.
“I think I am seeing more and more people coming every year, especially in large groups, during the holidays,” he said.
Students Azri Khairil Ahmad and Siti Nabila Mahmud, both 16, said they were visiting the spot together with their classmates as it was the start of the school holidays.
“We have been here a few times, and we thought to come here again to meet up with our friends.
“It is even more enjoyable to come here now compared to the rest of the year because of the year-end school holidays. No more school for the rest of the year!” said Siti Nabila.
Azri said the walk up to the waterfalls and the dam in the area is a must, as the falls are a beautiful sight to behold.
“But it can be very dangerous, so we always make sure we do not go on our own. We keep a safe distance and we will go back to swimming around the river and hot springs area,” he said.
Businessman Junaidi Jalaluddin was there for the first time with his Alza club buddies from Manjung.
“The whole lot of us decided it was a good idea to check out this place because we heard about it.
“Our club branch in Batu Gajah also recommended we bring our families here,” he said.
Apart from soaking in the hot spring, Junaidi said the area is perfect for picnicking and barbecueing.
“Those who are really stressed with work should come here and enjoy some time off by going back to nature.
“It is great place for relaxing and strengthening bonds between your family and friends,” he said.
Freelance worker Jessica Pan, 49, was enjoying the scenery with her group of biker friends.
Riding on eight motorcycles, the group from Seremban and Kuala Lumpur were there to spend the day.
“One of my friends has been here before, and he said it is a great spot for us to check out,” she said.
Pan said the location looks good for a getaway from the hustle and bustle of big cities.
“But I think they need to look into the hotspring pools because the water there is really shallow and not hot enough for my satisfaction,” she said.
For more information about visititing the Lubuk Timah Hot Springs and Recreational Centre, call 019-244 9056 (Hazarina), 013-433 5361 (Fansuri) and 013-590 1690 (Hafizah).