1st large waterfall of Sungei Pelepah tributary
|Location||Kota Tinggi, Malaysia (See Google Map)|
|Terrain||Forest stream. Be prepared to be wet from waist level down.|
|Recommended duration||2 days, 1 night|
|Ease of access||Starting point of trek can be reached using public transport|
|Good||Nice waterfalls, comfortable campsite|
|Not so good||Some part of the trail may be dangerous. Campsite is only good for star gazing and spending the night|
Discover the hidden waterfalls in a small forest stream and end the day star gazing on an open campsite. Sungei Pelepah is a river with several tributaries about 15 minutes' drive from the town of Kota Tinggi. The waterfalls described here are found in one of the tributaries of that river. The starting point of the trek is near to the entrance of the Kota Tinggi wet world resort where Sungei Pelepah passes through and it has a large waterfall in the resort. Unlike the bigger and more mature rivers of Berkelah and Jerangkang, the trek along tributary of Sungei Pelepah is either on the stream or the forest trail just beside it.
Pitcher plants are a common sight at the campsite.
The route along Sungei Pelepah tributary waterfalls is generally clean as few locals come on this trek. The first large waterfall is about five stories high and you can stand on the huge logs that lie across the base of the waterfall. There is no plunge pool for swimming but it is a different experience to stand right at the base of the falling water. The second large waterfall is just off the main trail. Visitors usually just catch a glimpse of it as they cross over the top of this waterfall. The last waterfall is a long series of cascading water probably seven to ten stories high and there is plunge pool at the bottom for swimming. You may even take a slide down the side of the rocks into the plunge pool. The main campsite is a large sandy and flat area. Pitcher plants form part of the sparse vegetation on this nutrient poor land. Small, centimeters tall vertical sand columns each with their stone shield to protect the sand beneath from rain can be seen on the sand bunds on the campsite. Some old rusty equipment can be found here which could be the remains of previous tin mining activity. The area of Jalan Lombong was known to contain tin that can be mined open-cast . You may spend the night star gazing although it can get quite chilly in the middle of the night. Cooking and drinking water may be collected from the flowing stream about forty meters away. Although there is a pond near the main campsite, it is not advisable to use the water from there for drinking or cooking as it is stagnant.
2nd large waterfall on Sungei Pelepah
The starting point of the trek is near the entrance of the Wet World Resort where there are oil palm plantations. The Sungei Pelepah tributary runs by the side of an oil plant plantation. Although visitors usually walk through the fenced up plantation, there are some suggestions that the guards may not welcome it. The other way is to walk along the tributary until you to the end of the oil palm plantation and back to the trail. The trail can be slightly technically challenging as there are several places where you need to climb up rocks on the side of the stream. Some parts of the forest trail are less stable and have been swept away by small landslides and are replaced by new trails via alternative path. The campsite is on a flat ground further upstream and at a distance away from the last large waterfall. Across the stream from the campsite, there is a dirt road that leads all the way down to the plantation at the side of Wet World Resort. Taking this road will bypass all the waterfalls along the way although it is a shortcut back to the main road if you just wish to get down fast.
Sungei Pelepah main campsite.
This trek is generally pleasant although there are some things to take note of. The campsite, although comfortable for spending the night, does not offer much in terms of scenery. There are some mosquitoes and sandflies at the campsite but these can be quite easily kept away with mosquito coils. Food should be kept away in the tent as rats have been seen at the campsite. There are isolated encounters with leeches along the trek but they are generally rare. One part of the trek involves walking on the stream through a thirty meter long gorge. Although there is no report of flash flood, this is probably the most dangerous part of the trek in the event that there is one as the steep walls prevent any escape from the rising water. As with all river treks, one has to be very careful and not take things for granted. Although the stream is shallow on most parts, there was a report in 2002 of a Singaporean student who drowned there in 20013.
The trek to this tributary of Sungei Pelepah is popular among Singapore students as the starting point of the trek is easily accessible and it is also near Singapore. It is still relatively unspoiled although there has been some complains of trash building up at the rest points and campsites. There are some technical parts for this trek but they can be overcome with the help of experienced members of the team. Although it is a small forest stream, it must be given due respect.
Last and the highest waterfall along Sungei Pelepah tributory
Take a bus to Kota Tinggi bus terminal. You may check out the available bus services, prices and dates on http://www.busonlineticket.com
To Wet World Resort (Sungei Pelepah)
Via local bus:
Take a bus that goes to Kota Tinggi Waterfall (Wet word resort) (September 2003)
Check at the bus station which is the bus going to Kota Tinggi Waterfall (Wet world resort)
Cost: Rm 2
Duration: 30 to 45 minutes
Bus ticket is bought on the bus
Bus stop at the carpark in front of Wet World resort
There is no bus shelter
The bus makes a U-turn in the carpark of the Wet World resort before heading back to town.
Via taxi (Sep 2004)2:
Cost: Approx. Rm 10 to 12 per taxi
Duration: 20 min
Via private van/mini-bus (Sep 2004)2:
Cost: Approx. Rm 3 per person
Duration: 20 min
|00||Either from gate or from the stream under the bridge about 40m from the entrance of Wet World resort||If starting from stream, turn left to return to the main trail or walk along the stream||Walk parallel to the stream|
|20||Stream||Cross stream||There is a small clearing before the stream|
|05||T-Junction||Turn left and cross river|
|01||Stream with the remains of a make-shift bridge. There are trails on left and right side of the fallen bridge a few meters before it. After getting to the other side of the stream there is a Y-Junction.||Cross stream and turn left at the Y-Junction into the vegetation.||At the Y-Junction, the trail that goes straight to the river is much wider than the left trail which is very narrow and leads through the vegetation but obvious.|
|05||River with a small waterfall on the right||Cross river||There is a campsite after the river|
|01||Path leads to the bank of the river||Keep to the right side of the river|
|10||Small waterfall in front||Cross river|
|01||Cross river to the right bank|
|01||Steep slope about 2 storeys high||Climb up using fixed ropes.|
|01||Small waterfall||Cross river followed by steep climb by the left side of the waterfall. Walk through the narrow valley.||There is a very small cave behind the small waterfall.|
|06||Climb up left bank of the river|
|05||River with 1st main waterfall on the left side||Cross river, route is directly opposite.|
|10||River. 2nd main waterfall can be seen on the right.||Cross river followed by a very steep clim|
|05||Y-Junction||Turn right, descend to the top of 2nd main waterfall. Keep by the left bank of river|
|01||Last main waterfall||Cross river and climb up from the right side of the waterfall||Trail is on the right side of the waterfall|
|20||Top of waterfall||A mixture of land and water rout along the stream|
|30||Fallen tree right across stream||Turn right onto the bank with another campsite. Turn left and cross the stream with the trail directly opposite|
|02||Main campsite beside a large stagnant pond.||There are sandflies at the main campsite|
Summary of timings
|Starting point to 1st large waterfall||: approx. 1 hour|
|Starting point to main campsite||: approx. 2 hours 20 minutes|
Note. The forest ground is quite unstable with sections of the route badly eroded. Thus part of the route described above may be different.
Land route from campsite to main road
|00||Campsite||Head back towards the stream where you came from.|
|03||Stream||Cross the stream. Walk straight across the open space and there is a dirt road visible. Follow the dirt road|
|20||Inverted Y-Junction||Go straight|
|50||House at the edge of the plantation. Wet world resort is visible||Proceed to main road|
Start the trek at about 10 am
Lunch break at 1st large waterfall (about one to two hours)
Rest stop at last large waterfall (about one hour). Set off about 4 pm.
Reach campsite about 5 pm. Set up camp, have dinner and rest for the night
Have breakfast and break camp. Depart campsite by 9 am
Reach main road and take bus to Kota Tinggi for lunch.
- Outdoors Sandals
- Light weight clothes
- Gas stove and canister
- Pots for cooking/ Mess Tin
- Small Shovel
- Nylon string
- Water Purification Tablets
- First Aid Kit
- Toilet Paper
- Extra clothing
- Kitchen utensils (Fork, Spoon)
- Rain gear
- Sleeping bag
- Swiss Knife
- Insect repellent
- Water container