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Friday, May 1, 2009

Chiling Waterfalls, Kuala Kubu Bharu

Warning! This is a very long post.

Chiling Waterfalls are probably the most beautiful waterfall in Selangor. That's what it was written in this website - http://www.waterfallsofmalaysia.com/51chiling.php . I can't claim it to be true, neither can I deny it because, if my memory serves me right, I have never been to another waterfall in Selangor, so I can't compare. On its own, the Chiling waterfalls are simply breathtaking. If you are looking for a relaxing place to chill (pun intended) out, this is the place to be. It reminds me so much of those zen-like pictures I always see in magazines.

Early last month, Steve, Mctc and I did a recce to these falls. We were so disappointed to find that they close on Mondays.

When our Ledang climb was postponed from May 1st (Labour's Day in Malaysia) to May 23rd, we grabbed the chance of going again and subsequently called all our friends.

Some responded no but the majority was keen to go. We had a different group altogether.

There were 13 of us.

Eddie and Christine, together with their 12 year-old son Christopher. They almost never go for nature trips like these.

Steve and Douglas, both loved diving.

Edwin and Danny who had been on our Kinabalu trips before.

Matt and Minch.

Mctc, who just discovered the beauty of nature since we brought him to Bukit Panorama in Sungai Lembing, Pahang.

King Keong, whom we met at the Bukit Panorama but never exchanged contacts.. Rach was searching for blogs on this hill and she stumbled upon his blog. She commented on his blog and somehow exchanged contacts.

Rach and I.

The Seremban people met at Blossom food court at 6.45AM. Mctc and I were about 7 minutes late. The rest of them were having a cup of drink or a light meal when we reached there. We started our journey at 7AM.

We had scheduled to meet the KL people at 8AM at the Sg Buloh overhead bridge restaurant. All of us arrived at almost the same time. we had a short toilet break before heading to Kuala Kubu Bharu.

9.15AM. We had breakfast in this corner shop.

We had either won tan mee, curry mee or pan mee. Eddie and son was at my table. Eddie was so friendly to the lady who was making our breakfast that she gave him a plate of won tan (top picture, right) free of charge.
The signboard stated that they charged a big bowl/plate for RM3.50 and small - RM3.00. Since we didn't say whether we wanted big or small, Eddie asked the lady how she knew whether her customers wanted big or small. She replied rather in a saucy way.. she would be her own judge. She would give according to what she felt the person might want.. as long as everyone was "happy happy". (She said these in Cantonese except the word "happy happy")

After breakfast, we proceed to the Kuala Kubu Bahru dam. It was closed... probably because today was a public holiday.

A panoramic view of the dam. So beautiful.

Not long after the dam, we reached the little bridge where we park our cars....

.. and walked about.. um.. 100 metres or so to where the entrance to the Chiling waterfalls park (also know as the Sg Chiling Fish Sanctuary).

After 5 minutes of walking, we reached the gate of the park authorities. Our first stop was a visit to the toilet.

Then we registered ourselves at this hut. The fee was RM0.50 per person. It was really dirt cheap.

A signboard showing the map to the waterfalls. We had to cross the SAME river 6 times. When Rachel saw this picture earlier, she asked.. why we can't walk straight instead of following the trail which was probably 3 times longer. I had no answer to that.

10.30AM -We started our journey to the falls. We had to cross the river 6 times. This is considered the first river crossing. We had the help of this suspension bridge. Only 4 people are allowed to be on the bridge at any one time.

There was no signboard whatsoever. we had only this advice from the park authorities - Keep left. So when we came to this crossroad, we didn't realised that we had to turn left because 1) there was a path going straight, and 2) there was a stream o water flowing from left to right. It didn't look right.
The front people went straight ahead when someone from the back yelled... keep left, keep left. This is our first mistake.

Water was flowing downstream. At first we were afraid that our sandals would get wet and muddy. Later on, we didn't care.

The pathway was narrow and prickly.. Not really prickly, just annoying. If you can stand the ferns brushing against your exposed skin, then it shouldn't be a problem.

0.59AM - Our 2nd mistake - we thought this was where we were supposed to cross the river. The few of us in front crossed or was half-way crossing when Douglas called out... "Any pathway over the other side?" Matthew, who reached the other side first, checked and said "no". So all of us who were in the river, turned back.

We walked further ahead. It was impossible not to step on the water along the trail.

11.22AM - At last, we saw this signboard - 2nd crossing.

The water wasn't very high. Reached just up to my mid calves. And the water was cold.. brrrrr...

11.26AM - 3rd river crossing. rachel went up to where the sign board was (circled in red), but it wasn't necessary. Again the water was shallow. We could have just walked in the water between the 2nd and 3rd river crossing because it was very near to each other as we later found out.

The path was not difficult at all. almost flat ground except for some minor climbing-over the rocks and tree roots.

11.39AM - 4th river crossing, A little bit deeper this time. the water level reached up to our thighs.we had to be careful because there were slippery rocks at the bottom of the river.

After the the 4th river crossing, Douglas called out for a water-break. All of us laughed and obediently took out our water bottles from our back pack to have a sip or two.

11.48AM - 5th river crossing. Depending on which path you choose, and how short and tall you are, the water level is about knee high for Matt and mid thigh for me. :). This is were Christopher slipped and fell, but he was alright.

Lots of fallen trees. Christine, who was blessed with height always laughed at our height. So when Rach and I saw this tree that didn't quite reach the ground, we challenged Christine to go under the tree in a limbo-rock style... but she didn't.

11.56pm - 6th and final crossing. We reached in the internet that this was probably the deepest river crossing among the six and the water level could rise up to waist-high, so we were extra careful. When we crossed, it wasn't that bad. Slightly higher than my mid thigh.

Less than 5 minutes after the 6th crossing, you could see the lower falls.

There were lots of people, but most of them were leaving.

It was just one huge powerful drop, nothing as spectacular as the Niagara Falls, but everyone was mesmerized by the falls.

We found a shaded spot to put of knapsacks. I brought a disposable plastic tablecloth and used that as a "mat" for our bags.

Then one by one we tested the water. It was very cold.

Some 20 minutes later, 6 of us stayed back while the other 7 went up to the higher falls. I didn't want to go up because I thought there was no way of reaching it and we could only see it from a distance. Later, Steve said that, that was the middle falls, the one that we could at the lower falls too. There is a 3rd fall called the upper falls. They were able to reach there and swim too.

I passed Steve my camera.

The 7 of them who went up. It seems that it was very steep. Even steeper than Gunung Datuk. Mctc said it was between 45 -90 degrees steep. The picture above showed the middle fall, the one that we could see at the lower falls.

Top picture , top left - Picture of the upper fall.

Top picture , bottom right - Picture of the middle fall.

Top picture top right - Picture of the lower fall, where Minch, Christine and I were having a some water therapy. Steve zoomed and took a picture of us. Matt is the one standing up, blocking all of us from the camera's view.

My battery ran out after this shot.

Water therapy - No pictures because we were camera-less.
I was just sitting on the rocks. Minch slept on the rocks, allowing the rushing water to flow onto her shoulders. Christine introduced facial massage. She put her face onto the rushing water and had her face throughly cleansed by mineral water. Later they were using small rocks to scrap away all the dead cells from their bodies.

1.28PM - Steve and gang returned from the upper falls. I changed my batteries as soon as he gave me back the camera.

The men in our group. Eddie's 12 year-old son didn't want to be seen with these older generation.

Pictures above shows the lower falls. Many people tried to swim towards it but couldn't. The current was too strong. The deepest level in this pool is just below this fall (Common sense will tell you that too).

There were a lot of butterflies. Definitely more what we saw in the Butterfly and reptile farm in Malacca.

2PM - Soon it was time to go home. We packed up and left the place with a happy heart.

Time to cross all the 5 rivers again.

The 3rd and 2nd river crossing. Arrow pointing to right. We could have just walked in the river because the 2 crossings were so closed to each other. Steve and Danny (I think) walked in the river. we saw some fish swimming in the 2nd crossing.

Ferns and other interesting plants.

No more river crossings save the suspension bridge crossing. We walked along side of the river.

Yup, we had to go through all the muddy-water tracks again.

Pitcher plants were rampant. I was looking for them, but somehow couldn't find any myself. Christine had to point them out to me. She didn;t spot just one time, but a few times along the way. Some called it the monkey plant because it was believed that the monkeys used these plants as a container to drink water from them.

2.56PM - we took only 1 hour to reach the suspension bridge. The park office is situation near the end of this bridge.

Some rested, some went back tothe car to get clean clothes. There wasn't any bathing facilities, so we had to make do with whatever we could. There are 2 taps - waist level for washing our feet, right behind the toilets and in each toilet cubicles there is a mid-calves high tap with a plastic tube attached.

So many cars along the road near the main entrance of the Sg Chiling Fish Sanctuary. Surprisingly the park was big enough, that we didn't feel crammed at all.

The KL people left immediately because one of them had another appointment. The Seremban people went to Kuala Kubu Bharu town to have a late lunch.

It was about 4.15PM when we entered this shop, made popular to our group by this blogger .

Out of 9, eight of us had chicken chop, while I ordered Hailam fried rice with sambal. We ordered the Hailam mee hoon too, for everyone to share.

We reached home at 7.20 (or thereabouts), had a drink in Blossom Heights and arranged to have our dinner at Sg Ujong Club. The club was promoting Japanese meals.. but according to Minch who loves Japanese food, she said that it didn't taste Japanese at all.

All in all, this was a good trip, an enjoyable one with good company and hey, I get to exercise, while having fun. :)

BTW - no leeches along the way, otherwise I would have mentioned. :)

Video clips of the lower falls and friends trying to swim against the current.


CalvinBoey said...

i've been to this waterfall before and i think it is one of the nicest waterfall i've been to. the trail to the waterfall is also very interesting as one needed to cross river many times.

euniceta said...

Wouldn't mind going to another waterfall. Any recommendation?

CalvinBoey said...

lata kinjang in perak and
jeram perlus (2-3hr walk)in selangor

btw, there's a waterfall in NS called lata kijang, said to b the tallest waterfall in Peninsular Malaysia (i never been here before)

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