28 – 30 May 2010
Below text is an extract from the promotion write-up by MNS Nature Guide. Special thanks to MNS, Nature Guide for the contribution.
“Kampung Gumum is an Orang Asli Settlement by the shores of Tasik Chini where these gentle people live amidst their culture and their fragile, natural environment.
Tasik Chini is only a short distance from Kuantan, and yet it is an encapsulated world with a mystical background. It is believed that an ancient kingdom lies buried in the dark depths of this country’s second largest fresh-water lake- a vital water catchment area with 200 ha. of open water and 700 ha. of swamp forest and fresh-water swamp.
Scores of colorful butterflies, dragon -flies and damsel -flies beckon you into the forest. Huge spiders wait stealthily in their delicate, silky webs. Morning walks are perfect for birding. Hornbills fly across the valley in flocks, and the grasses teem with scaly- breasted munias. On a leisurely hike through the gently undulating forest, you may be lucky enough to spot a few small animals, and perhaps even a tapir, while the white-handed gibbons play in a noisy orchestra in the background. You will also be amazed by the variety of medicinal plants found here.
Some time ago, there were reports about the dismal condition of the lake and its surroundings due to “plantation encroachment, illegal logging, the introduction of alien, destructive plants and that damned dam.” But during a recent trip there, we were glad to see some positive signs of rehabilitation. The famous lotus flowers of this lake have just started to bloom, and the various species of aquatic plants are beginning to thrive again. Soon, we hope to see the whole lake covered with the gorgeous, beautiful flowers .
Tasik Chini is indeed a photographer’s paradise. The clock has no place in this settlement. However, the Jakuns who reside here need some assistance in conserving their delicate, fragile environment, and we propose to lend them a hand during our trip.”
We, Christy, Li Kim, TC Loi and yours truly started our journey by road from Kuala Lumpur at around 8.30 am on 28th May. The drive took us through mostly well paved highways and gave us an opportunity to take-in the scenic country-side along the route. We reached our pre-arranged meeting point – the Gambang R & R at around 11.30 am. A few other groups had arrived earlier and were enjoying their late morning coffee and breakfast.
Before long we regrouped and travelled in a convoy of 6 vehicles for Tasik Chini. This part of the journey took approximately 1 hour. Other members of the troop made their own way to the destination.
Below are some pictures of the events which unfolded over the next 2 1/2days.
A wooden planked jetty stretch out unevenly into the lake.
An awesome view of the lake! Serene and at the same time mysterious.
Lotus glorious lotus! This flower is synonymous with Tasik Chini. Both co-habit like hand-in-glove.
A panorama view of the picturesque lake.
Our humble huts to retire to for the night. LOL
The common dining hall where we would have our breakfast, tea, lunch and dinner.
After lunch it was fun time. Blowpipe competition!
A White-bellied Sea Eagle gazed down inquisitively from it’s lofty height at the blowpipe party. It did not go unnoticed! One of the troop tipped-off yours truly of it’s presence. Many thanks buddy!
A couple of local Asli boys going out on a ‘mission’ in their motor boat.
One of the troop took a peep into a large tree trunk and discovered there were 2 eggs inside! Unable to have a positive ID. It could be that of a small bird or a lizard.
These dinosaur looking balls is actually a form of fungi. The Orang Asli Chief was quite sure they are poisonous and cautioned against anyone who are harbouring any thoughts of having them for lunch. :-)
A beautiful cluster of fungi growing on a fallen tree trunk.
And this ‘handsome looking’ fungi which felt soft to touch.
If you should run out of your water ration whilst jungle tracking, do not despair. Air borne Lania root will supply your needs! The liquid tastes a little flat but is really refreshing!
On the 2nd morning I had the luck to see this Lesser Fish Eagle (Juvenile) flew out of the deep forest by the lakeside and circled twice over the lake. It provided sufficient time for yours truly to take-in a couple of shots. Gratis!
Tasik Chini is reported to be home to about 75 species of birds. This Rufuous-crowned Babbler is one of them. A very active and difficult bird to photograph.
It has a nice multi tone and melodious call. It’s pictured here practising it’s vocal chords whilst enjoying the warmth of the morning sun.
There is an abundance of dragon flies in Tasik Chini. Certainly macro photographers’ delight.
And also copper-winged damsel flies like this one!
This one have four wings instead of the usual two.
This wild mushroom was camouflaged amongst the dry leaves. Thanks to Anita for spotting it.
The 3rd and last day of the sojourn was a visit to the UKM Research Centre. The troop seen here in full attention whilst the Prof gives the good oil. LOL
I hope you enjoyed the show. I will add more pix when I receive different pix from the troop.
Thanks for dropping by!!! G’Day!