Photo Credit: mohd fahmi, Flickr
Kenyir Lake, Terengganu is a vast man-made body of water that spreads out over an area roughly 260km2 in size! Bordering Pahang in the south and Kelantan in the west, the Lake is fringed with dense tropical jungles. The hilltops, peaks and highlands that once rose from the forest floor now comprise Lake Kenyir’s 340 small islands.
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Lake Kenyir, which doubles as a reservoir, was contrived in 1989 as a result of the construction of the Sultan Muhammad Power Station. This impressive hydroelectric project, which produces an annual energy output of 1,600 GWh, required the damming of the Kenyir river (hence, Sultan Muhammad Power Station is also known as Kenyir dam). The islands on the lake feature an array of tranquil waterfalls and foamy rapids, as well as some amazing caves for visitors to explore (though only with a professional guide). Bewah Cave has recently become quite famous after the remains of a Neolithic Human (who died around 8 to 11 thousand years ago) were uncovered there.
The climate of Lake Kenyir is generally between 23 to 31 degrees Celsius all year round. However, during the rainy season that lasts from November to February, the weather becomes significantly cooler.
A diverse and colorful plethora of flora and fauna can be observed at Lake Kenyir. Nine species of the famous, and distinctively Malaysian, Hornbills make their nests amidst the dense, ropy foliage. Monkeys, squirrels snakes reside in the surrounding jungle. Even tigers have reportedly been seen prowling through the underbrush and even swimming!
Lake Kenyir remains a popular destination for tourists looking to enjoy a good bit of fishing (the lake is home to over 300 species of freshwater fish). Visitors can also enjoy leisurely river-boat cruises, rafting, canoeing or just plain swimming. There are also a few plush resorts that border the Lake providing the ideal point of departure to enjoy the wonders of Kenyir with security and ease.