Weekend Waterfall Chase At Lata Pisang
The weekend is here! Now, as we enter the RMCO phase, things are beginning to ease up. Activities are resuming and tourism industry is gaining some steam. While it is no longer easy to climb mountains like before, I explored alternative means for a half-day adventure in Selangor. I wanted something quick and peaceful, tucked away from city life. And, lo and behold, Lata Pisang was the answer.
Welcome to Sungai Pisang waterfall.
Located 30km from the heart of Kuala Lumpur is a different kind of adventure. The landmark is the Hospital Orang Asli Gombak and Jungle Lodge Alang Sedayu (Waze). Parking space was ample and the crowd was rather thin. From the carpark, we walked to the right and descended towards the Gombak river just before the main gate.
Parking fee: RM 5
Entrance: Free (public space)
Jungle Lodge Alang Sedayu.
The River Walk
There was no sign of a proper trail. The river was our best marker. Crossing the river was doable given the calm and shallow waters of the Gombak river. But, wading the waters with its slippery rocks at the base made it a challenge. At this point, if you wore your trekking shoes with socks, be prepared to get them wet. Otherwise, opt for one of those hiking sandals.
The first of many river crossings.
The trail then took us into a field of overgrown plants and weed before we met the river again. This time we walked briefly on the rocks, on the left side of the river before stumbling on a narrow trail on our left. From there, we walked in the shrubs, along the Karak highway wall before seeing another important marker.
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel
It seemed unbelievable, cutting across a major highway (Karak) through a tunnel below, but it is no dream! The highway was built above the river so the tunnel was necessary to ensure the continuity of the flow. Don't worry so much as the water here is shallow, but with that being said, always be observant of the changes in current and flow. The entire length if the tunnel is dark with lights only streaming in from the two ends of the tunnel.
The light at the end of the tunnel!
And Then We Got Lost...
Okay here is the tricky part. If you have read a few blogs, it did mention that the trek through the forest was short. The instructions were pretty simple; the river should be on your right and you will meet a Y junction. Well, everything was going hunky-dory right until that junction. To tell you the truth, that junction with its stated marker doesn't exist anymore. Also, all the necessary trail markers were missing.
The view as soon as we exited the tunnel.
We bumped into a another group who seemingly knew the way, so we decided to follow. The rugged and obscured trail went on and on for hours with no sight or sound of a nearing waterfall. By this time, we had criss-crossed the river more than 10 times for almost 1 hour before turning back. Along the way, a few of us were bitten by leeches and I was practically walking in the river with my shoes and socks on. We wondered will we ever get to see the waterfall...
We walked along and in the river for almost 2km before turning back.
The Turning Point
We had to turn back as all trails were obscured. Another group who had gone further in had also made a U-turn after trekking for almost 2 hours. We reached the starting point at about 11.30am with a mission to complete. We had to find the waterfall. Some of us remembered reading another blog after walking along the Karak highway to get to the waterfall. With a stroke of luck, another trekker who had been to the waterfall confirmed our doubts. The highway was our best option!
Back to where we started again.
Karak Highway Walk
Now it may sound prosperous; climbing up a step-like channel drainage to the highway and walking at the side of the highway for about 500 metres before exiting into the forest again. Of course, we were being stared at by passing motorists, who were baffled by what we were doing.
Immediately after the tunnel, climb the drainage system to get to the highway.
Walking along the Karak Highway for 500 metres.
We had reached the next marker which was an old wodden bridge linking the highway to the forest. From here, it was another 15 minutes easy trek into the reserved forest.
The crucial marker (wooden bridge) before entering the forest.
It is a sheer 40 metres drop, but don't panic the way down doesn't require ropes or abseiling. However, caution must be exercised when climbing down. Just make sure you don't step on loose rocks and stay close to the wall.
Spot the waterfall 40 metres below.
Once we got to the bottom, it was all fun and play. The water is chilly and refreshing, not forgetting clean. However, there were still people who left their rubbish behind. If you are expecting a magnificent waterfall like Chilling or Kemensah, you will be disappointed. But this place is, indeed, a perfect weekend half day getaway for those living in Klang valley or Kuala Lumpur. To us it, the scale of the waterfall didn't matter. We had longed for a bit of adventure with a Malaysian touch. And, truly, it is exactly what we got.
This is what awaited us below.
The cinematic chilly waterfall.
The waterfall is perfect for a dip.
The path ahead is what would have been the meeting point had we continued trekking along the river.