Kenong Valley, south-west of Taman Negara is the Kenong Rimba Park. This scenic valley, traversed by rippling mountain streams, is home to Batek aboriginal tribe. Within the park are magnificent limestone caves beneath which flows the Kenong River as it meanders gently on its way.
The sense of tranquility and quiet solitude is broken only by the merry chirping of the birds and the cascading waterfalls. The almost magical quality of the surroundings inspires numerous intriguing folklore such as that of the mango tree which bears such deliciously luscious fruits. You may eat as much as your heart desires but you may not take home even a single fruit lest you be blighted with a curse. Folklore aside, there is much more to fascinate you here.
FASCINATING FLORA AND FAUNA
Within the shade of the cool green forests, the keen nature lover is bound to spot some beautiful varieties of wild orchids clinging on to the bigger trees from which they derive their sustenance. Here you will find an interesting variety of plant life that include Tualang (Koompasia Excelsa), the tallest tree in the tropical rain forest. Also in abundance is the gigantic ficus tree “Pokok Ara”, popularly featured in many local folklore, proverbs and rhymes. A profusion of pink and white water lilies floating on the still green waters adds to the enchantment.
Fine Feathered Friends And Mammals
The area is home to birds such as the dove (Chalcophaps Indica) “merpati”, merbah red eye (Pycnonothus Prunneus) “merbah mata merah”, and Copsychus malabaricus “murai batu” prized by bird lovers for their singing ability. Mammals such as the prickly porcupine whose spiky bristles spread out menacingly at the first sight of danger, the deer (Tragulus javanicas) “pelanduk”, Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus) or “tenuk” and elephantsm “gajah” may be found within the park.
PLANNING AN ITINERARY
If you have a head for heights, scale the steep rocky face of Gunung Kesung and Gunung Putih. Chances are that you might be lucky enough to see the footprints of the rare “Kambing Gurun” (Mountain goat) – so rare that even chancing upon its footprints sets you apart from other less fortunate individuals. Local folklore has it that the animal is reared by the “makhluk halus” (fairies) – hence its elusiveness.
The park boasts of a complex network of caves, each with its own unique geological formation and fascinating legend. The most beautiful is Gua Batu Tinggi the habitat of a variety of captivatingly lovely orchids species. It is also the home to some beautiful birds and is perfect for nature lovers and bird-watchers. According to legend, the Sultan’s messenger and the ‘sampan’ (drug-out boat) he was in were changed into stone, at this very spot, as a result of a curse. Another notable cave is Gua Batu Tangga, whose rock formation bears an uncanny resemblance to a flight of stairs. Other caves include, Gua Batu Tangkup and Gua Batu Telahup. Within the interior of Gunung Kesung are several attractive caves which include Gua Kesung, Gua Hijau, Gua Buta and Gua Harimau. All these names are probably derived from the unique geological formations making up the caves, suggesting an intriguing set of fascinating legends.
Nature lovers will be able to appreciate the natural beauty of the park by venturing along the jungle trails. Experienced guides will make the trip much more interesting with their rich store of information and local folklore. Trekking are varies from 2 – 6 days duration.
More Leisurely Activities
Air Terjun Tujuh Tingkat (seven step waterfalls) is Kenong’s very own waterfall, a vision of frothy white tumbling down into a clear rocky pool below. The spot is ideal for swimming and relaxing picnics. It is also a good place to cast your line and reel in your catch.
At present, there are 4 units of wooden huts at the park to cater for overnight stays. Each chalet is fitted with 2 double deckers. A campsite is also available within the park.
All visitors are required to obtain a permit in order to enter the park. Visitors are only allowed to enter the park if they are accompanied by a registered local guide who will be responsible for their safety for enforcing park regulations.
It Is An Offence To;-
- Enter the park without a permit.
- Willfully or negligently deface, damage or destroy any object of zoological botanical, geological, ethnic, scientific or aesthetic value.
- Bring any weapon, explosive, trap, net, poison or any other thing intended or calculated to cause injury to any animal living within the park.
- Disturb any nest, kill, injured, captured or molest any animal.
- Deface or destroy any notice, boundary marks, or any material belonging to the park authorities.
- Without authorisation use or occupy any building, vehicle, boat or any other park property.
- Leave or bury within the park area any trash and non biodegradable disposables, bottles, cans, plastics, which will litter or pollute the floor area of the park.
Transportation such as buses, taxis or self-drive vehicles are available from the major towns of Kuala Lumpur, Kuantan or Kota Bharu to Kuala Lipis, the staging point to the park. Kuala Lipis is also accessible by train from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Kota Bharu. For the 4WD adventures, you may opt for a 2-hour overland trip via Felda Kechau. Visitor are advised to get special permit from District Forest Officer.