Nestled in the heart of Terengganu, and spanning over 209,199 hectares, Lake Kenyir is the largest man-made lake in South East Asia. This vast lake with 340 islands is surrounded by the world’s oldest rainforest with more than 14 cascading waterfalls, cooling waters, an idyllic fish sanctuary and habitat teeming with exotic wildlife. A treasure trove of flora and fauna thrive in this vast landscape where a wonder of discoveries and adventures await nature lovers. It is the place to be for freshwater anglers, jungle trekkers, mountaineers, campers, bird watchers, horticulturists, nature photographers, researches and even city dwellers. When being in Tasik Kenyir, travellers must visit attractions that are educational and eye-opening such as the Herbal Park, Orchid Garden, Lasir Waterfall, Kelah Sanctuary, Gua Bewah, and Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village.
1. Herbal Park
(10-minute boat ride from Pengkalan Gawi)
This park is situated on Pulau Sah Kecil and abound with over 200 types of traditional herbal species, including Tongkat Ali, Kacip Fatimah, Misai Kucing and Mas Cotek, besides other various herbs and plants. Visitors can feast their eyes on countless types of herbal plant that offer therapeutic and general healthcare needs. Visitors can also savour freshly made herbal beverages renowned for their effective nutriments.
2. Orchid Garden
(20-minute boat ride from Pengkalan Gawi)
This garden is spread out across Pulau Hulu Selimbar, Pulau Hilir Selimbar and Pulau Belit. Various wild orchid species and exotic hybrids of local and international species are bred and bloom in an array of awe-inspiring colours. Established as a hub for orchid gardening, preservation and research, the garden retains the natural ecosystem to allow nature’s wonders to flourish.
3. Lasir Waterfall
(30-minute boat ride from Pengkalan Gawi)
Located 16 km from Pengkalan Gawi, this waterfall is one of the most popular picnic spots in Tasik Kenyir. Visitors are welcomed by the majestic 500-foot waterfall which drops gracefully onto a multi-tiered array of boulders and rocks forming cascading showers of foaming white spray. This waterfall is well shaded by the leafy green canopy of the surrounding tropical rainforest. Tracks and walkways have been built and climbing up to the top offers spectacular breathtaking views.
4. Kelah Sanctuary
(45-minute boat ride from Pengkalan Gawi)
Kelah Sanctuary is located in Sungai Petang, approximately 45 minutes from Pengkalan Gawi. The river has 91 streams flowing into it, mainly from Mount Padang. For the protection, preservation and reproduction of the Kelah fish, fishing activities are strictly prohibited at the sanctuary, to maintain the natural spawning grounds. What makes this sanctuary exciting is the opportunity for visitors to swim with, catch by hand, and have their feet nibbled on by the abundant of Kelah.
5. Gua Bewah
(2-hour boat ride from Pengkalan Gawi)
Situated in Bewah Hill, this cave – which is Kenyir’s largest cave with an entrance arching 40 meters above the water level – is home to nocturnal animals and insects that inhabit the cave. Archaeologists uncovered skeletal remains of prehistoric humans and primitive artefacts used during Stone Age such as pots, axes and eating utensils. Other prehistoric skeletal remains recently found in the area were carbon dated to be 16,000 years old, making those remains the oldest skeleton found in the country. Would be explorers who seek to unearth the treasures of inhabitants from Paleolithic and Mesolithic era should visit this cave. Travellers should also admire the extraordinary sight of naturally formed stalactites and stalagmites that appear in shapes best interpreted by travellers’ imagination. The cave’s tunnelling chambers add further mystery, coupled with diverse species of nocturnal bats and insects found in abundance, making the visit more adventurous and memorable.
6. Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village
Located at the Sungai Telemong area, lovers of wildlife can befriend the rainforest’s largest and magnificent creature at the Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village (KECV). The elephants at this sanctuary welcome visitors and offer them the opportunity to ride, play and feed them. The Kenyir Elephant Conservation Village is the foremost authority on elephant translocation to ensure a healthy elephant population and reduce human-elephant conflict.
For more info, browse www.ketengah.gov.my/lakekenyir or call +60 9 823 1000.