LOCALS in Yan regard the stream flowing into Batu Hampar Re-creation Park in Kedah, about 55km from Sungei Petani, as a “magic river”.
Villagers believe the stream, which flows down from Gunung Jerai, holds therapeutic powers to relieve tension and aching bodies.
It is a popular spot among locals who use it as a natural spa.
There’s even a natural reflexology path in the riverbed and one can just take a gentle probing walk on the small rocks and pebbles, believed to have rolled down from Gunung Jerai.
A regular visitor from Penang, who wished to be known as Pak Su, said he had been having therapeutic bath at the stream to “wash away the city stress”.
“I was told by a friend five years ago about this magic river. I was then a managing director of a development company in Penang and on the verge of leaving as I could not take the stress anymore.
“When I heard about the stream, I went there and washed my hands and face with the water. I also took some small pebbles home to add to my landscape at my Minden Heights home.
“Months later, I resigned from my job but was instead asked to remain as advisor until to this day,” he said.
Villager Che Som Hashim, 70, from Kampung Raga, about 5km from Batu Hampar, believes the stream, set amidst thick green foliage and a durian orchard at the foot of Gu-nung Jerai, had a benevolent penunggu (kind spirit).
The picnic area was known to be a favourite spot of a past Kedah ruler, Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah. The late king, the grandfather of present Kedah Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, was a benevolent, holy man said to have gentle healing power.
To get to Batu Hampar Recreation Park, take a 15-minute drive from Sungai Petani via Semeling town to Yan.
In Yan town, take a right turning to-wards the foot of Gunung Jerai where a signboard points to “Tangga Seribu” (footsteps up Gunung Jerai).
Drive into the narrow road and at the fork of the road, turn right. Follow the kampung road all the way to get to the stream.