Malaysia My Destination : Info about Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
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Perak : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
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Perlis : Northern Region Of Peninsular Malaysia - Tourist Attraction and Destination Guide
 
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PERAK - NORTHERN REGION OF PENINSULAR MALAYSIA

GOPENG : General Info

 
 

Visiting awesome Gua Tempurung, riding the rapids of exhilarating Sungai Kampar, doing the arduous trek to Cameron Highlands and even seeing magnificent Rafflesia in bloom,

all begins at Gopeng.

 

Just 20km from lpoh is the small town of Gopeng, which you will not miss if you use the Federal Route 1 main trunk road from the south. Seemingly uninteresting, many travellers are not aware that the town is the gateway to some of the best natural landscapes and places of interest in Peninsular Malaysia, all within easy access by toot, 4WD, or through ordinary cars, and even by motorbikes. The town itself consist just several short streets on the east side of the trunk road and there are many ancient looking shophouses, mostly dealing in food, or sundry business, among several newer structures that include banks and a supermarket.

 

If you follow signs carefully, and along the way, ask the locals for directions. The town?s short, narrow streets will take you much further past Malay villages, former mining land, and on to limestone outcrops, swift rivers, hill country, and the rugged blue mountains called Titiwangsa. Its like being transported into another dimension. That is what came into my mind when we started our adventure here as it is interesting how the search for accommodation took us into pristine hill country where we eventually found ourselves staying in basic but interesting wooden chalets right in the middle of a valley surrounded by towering mountains.

 

White Water Trail, Rajah Brooks, Rafflesia & Glorious Panorama

 

 

We were following signboards in town pointing to Adelines Place, and My Gopeng Resort, so we followed the arrows, passing through villages, scrubland, and then started ascending for several km with steep slopes on one side of the narrow road and a sharp drop on the other. After about 20 minutes, the view opened up and suddenly we were on a a broad long valley where the two unique wooden resorts stood. Here, two swift rivers meet the Kampar and the Itek rivers. The road also breaks to two here, one leading to the Orang Asli village called Kampung Ulu Geruntum. The tarred road goes on for two km from the junction right pass the village, which is located by the side of the Itek river and it ends shortly after that replaced by a bike track and then, a jungle track that leads on to Cameron Highlands, some 30km away.

 

The other road goes on to another Orang Asli village called Kampung Ulu Geroh, about four km away. This village is located by the side of the Kampar river and is close to an area where Rafflesia's in bloom were recently discovered. Both villages are inhabited by the Semai group of Orang Asli people, but unlike those living far in the interior, the villagers here are just as established as other rural Malaysians are. Many have cars, motorbikes, even brick houses, and Astro sets.

 
 

The roads that lead to these villages provide excellent trekking opportunities with fantastic mountain panorama surrounding the area, and swift rivers flowing through boulders on one side of each trek. To Ulu Geruntum, the scenery is more pleasant as the jungle is pristine here and the lovely and swift Itek river is ever present close below on the right side as you walk along a hill slope towards the village. After about one km, the jungle opens up to another lovely valley with a vast Dragon Fruit farm that is about to produce fruits.

 

The area also supports Durian orchards and other fruit trees, which thrive in the fresh surroundings. Ulu Geruntum with households as other Orang Asli Shortly further is Kampung its surprisingly affluent compared to those living in villages around the peninsula. Just after the village and hidden 50m in the jungle off the road is a small but very lovely looking waterfall called Merkur. The water from a small swift stream spreads out and cascades in perfect harmony over a huge brown boulder, down to a pool about five metres below.

 

In the evenings, it is common to see villagers bathing in the Itek river or catching fish with their bare hands. The 4km walk to Ulu Geroh is more arduous and can get hot in the afternoon as a large part of trek is through an oil palm plantation, which is not the best vegetation for keeping the atmosphere cool. However, the lovely Kampar river is ever present and offers the opportunity to refresh if you need to. The attraction here is the Malaysian Nature Society Rafflesia Conservation Centre where you can see the Rafflesia Cantleyi, which thrives in this part of the country called the Ulu Geroh Forest Reserve. The centre enlightens visitors all about Rafflesia, particularly this species that grow here in abundance. Its not the largest genus of Rafflesia with a diameter of between 30cm and 55cm but it is the most colourful of the seven species found in Malaysia.

 

Flowers last for about four to five days although the buds life span can be 6 months before they mature into full blooms. Most of the Orang Asli homes at Ulu Geruntum, where some 500 villagers live, have been modernized although further up in the jungle, traditional ones made from wood, rattan, and bamboo with thatched roofs, can still be seen. On the way, you may see colonies of Rajah Brooke butterflies. Close to the village is a little dam, where the water from the Kampar river collects before flowing on downstream to meet ltek river, where the road junctions and the trek begin.

 

 
 

GETTING TO GOPENG

 

From Ipoh, it is about 30 minutes drive to Gopeng. Head south for Gopeng town along the main trunk road. From Kuala Lumpur, exit at the Gopeng interchange (about 25km south of lpoh).

 

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GOPENG : General Info
PERAK - NORTHERN REGION OF PENINSULAR MALAYSIA