Photo credit: lets.book, Flickr
Situated in the northern parts of Peninsular Malaysia, the Royal Belum State Park is located within the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex (BTFC), one of the oldest rainforests in the world, dating back over 130 million years. To be more specific, it is located in Perak and crosses into Southern Thailand.
The Belum State Park is divided into lower and upper sections; the impenetrable upper section stretches into the Thai-Malaysian border and acts as a natural barricade, whereas the lower half is generally secondary forest and is pegged with four different types of tree species; meranti, cengal, keruing and merbau. Belum is a state park, not a national park. This means that the park is open for future developments. Efforts to gazette Belum as a national park are still ongoing.
Wildlife and Tropical Plants
Photo credit: lets.book, Flickr
Within this wilderness, there are wonderful nature tours and boat cruises for visitors to spot wildlife and many tropical plantations. Some of the world’s most endangered animal species roam peacefully in this natural haven; among them are the Malaysian tiger, tapir, sun bear, Sumatran rhinoceros, Asiatic elephant and the white-handed gibbon. It is also said that one can spot various species of the hornbill and about three different types of rafflesia in this park.
Photo credit: Tasik Temenggor Discovery Island, Flickr
Trek deeper into Belum and you will come across the second largest lake in Peninsular Malaysia after Lake Kenyir; Lake Temenggor, a manmade lake used for water catchment. Lake Temenggor has a variety of freshwater fish species such as the kelah (mahseer), toman (giant snakehead), sebarau (hampala barb), tenggalan (bulu barb) and baung (catfish), making the lake the best destination for anglers. The dam is the third largest one in Malaysia, and consists of several small islands, peaks of mountains and hills. You can also make use of the boat to venture around for other attractions and activities such as the numerous jungle trails and river cruises, the Pulau Tujuh waterfalls, the Pulau Talikail Lookout Tower for amazing views, the White Rocks (Batu Puteh), a visit to Kampung Chuweh (authentic Orang Asli Village), and trekking to the salt licks (Sira Gajah).
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Staying at the Belum State Park
Photo credit: Muhammad Adzha, Flickr
Once you are ashore, you will discover a few decent resorts at your service; you can conveniently book a package deal of a 3-day, 2-nights or 4-days, 3-night’s stay with breakfast and all sorts of daily activities and tours. The more popular resorts at Belum are; the Belum Rainforest Resort, Belum Eco Resort and the Banding Lake Side Inn.
Before setting off to the state park, you would need to acquire permission at least one week in advance. This can be arranged at any hotel around the area. Cross out your checklist of these essential items: first aid travel kit, tripod for your camera, mosquito repellent, rain coat or umbrella, flashlight, dry clothes, comfortable walking shoes and a fishing rod (if you like).
You can get to Belum by renting a car or by train, and then by bus through its gateway, the small village of Pulau Banding. From there, take a boat from the jetty all the way to your resort.