Exploring a Rainforest by Night – at Belum Rainforest Resort in Malaysia
It’s just as well they hand out head torches for the night trekking tour: it’s like being on set of the movie “A Bug’s Life”, it creeps and crawls all around us. Right in front of us, a centipede scurries across a rock, a yellow snake abseils from a branch and the shiny, big saucer eyes further back could be those of a loris. Guided night trekking in the Belum Temenggor rainforest is a real adventure.
We have found a green pearl in the north of Malaysia, situated in a rainforest more than 130 million years old. The Belum Rainforest Resort is a sustainable oasis for adventurers and explorers and the gateway to a unique flora and fauna. The resort was conceptualized with the aim to make this untouched part of the country accessible for Malaysia, its visitors and to preserve it for future generations.
The biodiversity in this habitat is unique, with many endangered animal and plant species. Asian elephants, white-handed gibbons and Malayan tapirs can be spotted here. To observe these rare animals respectfully in their natural environment, the Belum Rainforest Resort has designed hikes and tours guided by expert rangers.
You can feast your eyes on the famous, giant rafflesia flower – it can regularly be spotted in full bloom here. The up to three feet tall goliath of the flower world is best seen during the three hour “Rafflesia Walk”. A boat tour is combined with a hike on the “Discover Belum” day trip: starting with a visit to an Orang Asli village (the indigenous people of the region), you walk on to the Jenut Papan viewing point where you can observe various animals at a “salt lick”. There is time for a little siesta after a picnic by the Sungai Ruok waterfall, listening to the gushing and trickling sounds of the water. The resort offers other tours covering different interests, just book them the day before and they will have a knowledgeable ranger ready to take you.
People who come to the Belum Rainforest Resort want to be close to nature. They want to relax, eat good food and leave the daily grind of our digital world behind. Particularly visitors who have been to Langkawi and Penang should consider the drive up to the Belum Temenggor rainforest. It’s a five-hour drive north from Kuala Lumpur and a two and a half hour drive east from Penang. The rainforest is a year round destination, here is a list of what you can see when.
There are more adventurous activities than “just” hiking on offer, too. If you like to be a little more active you can explore Temenggor Lake on a kayak, get soaking wet while bamboo rafting, try out archery (I really want to do that!) or see if you can catch a snakehead fish while out fishing for the afternoon.
The best way to relax after so much exploring is in the resort’s beautiful infinity pool, or in one of the luxurious rooms. There is a room type for every taste and budget, from superior to deluxe to the traditional Kampung House. If you are after something a little more unusual, why not book a room on the resort’s houseboat!
And if you are still lured by the call of the mystical rainforest, put your head torch back on, tune your eyes and ears and get back out there for some more night trekking. It’s just what the doctor ordered for a jungle-deep sleep afterwards.
This is the perfect place to see sustainable Malaysia off-the-beaten-track.
Our top tip: don’t forget a good insect repellent!