The Royal Belum State Park, Perak | Malaysia
| Named the Belum Discovery Centre (BDC), the facility was co-established by Pulau Banding Foundation (PBF) and Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) to educate visitors, both foreign and local, about the natural eco-system and biodiversity of the 130 million-year-old Belum-Temenggor tropical rainforest complex.
| Banding Island is a 243-hectare inland island encircled by the Temengor Lake. The fact that it is a 130 million year old rainforest island speaks for itself. It is surrounded by a man-made lake created in the late 1960s by constructing the Temengor Dam and flooding the valleys of the Upper Perak River and its tributaries. Initially, the construction of the dam was to generate hydro-electric power and to deprive communist terrorists then of one of their few remaining infiltration routes from their bases in southern Thailand. Banding Island hums with an incredible diversity of life, it is that very place for you to find solitude and to be one with nature.
| The Pulau Banding Rainforest Research Centre (PBRRC) is committed to facilitating scientists and researchers in their quest for knowledge. Equipped with broadband access with both well-equipped wet and dry laboratories housing eight workstations that allow researchers from all over the world to conduct their studies on the flora and fauna as well as the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of the Belum-Temengor Rainforest.
| The research centre also serves as a knowledge-hub to visitors and tourists, where it aims to introduce, inform and educate those visiting on the life cycles and bio-diverse systems within the area while acting as guardians of the rainforest.
| The perfect full day excursion for those who wish to wander and explore the Royal Belum state park in a single day. The Royal Belum is the upper part of the Belum-Temenggor rainforest complex which can be reached by boat from Pulau Banding, the starting point of our trip.
| The upper Belum is a more of a wild area than the lower part of Temenggor, since access and human activities are more regulated there. Included in this experience are: cruising the Temenggor lake by boat, trek into its rain forest, visit an aboriginal village and bathe in waterfalls with Packed lunches are included in our tour as well.
| We start Cruising by boat from Royal Belum Resort jetty, we meet with our local nature guides. Ther are friendly, skilled and professional that will lead us throughout the trekking tour of Belum and aboriginal village.
| We reach Jetty Near Kampung semelor and 4x4 Ride needed to reach aboriginal Kampung Semelor Because the Off Road against extremes of terrain, mud and water.
| Once we arrive, the village chief Pak Samad warm welcome us and asked us to sit down with him while he talk a lot about the village he runs.
| An educational toy library was established for the orang asli children at Kampung Semelor in Royal Belum. Launched by Perak State Park Corporation general manager Suhaimi Shamsuddin, catering to children aged three to 12 years. The aim of setting up the library was to enhance the cognitive and social skills of the children, The establishment of the library was met with excitement as the children were never privileged with such facilities.
| Eco-culture tourism (ECT) has brought a multitude of definitions for traveler to enjoy the nature’s beauty and also the unique cultural diversity of human populating the earth, where the relationship between both elements (nature and the local community’s culture). A harmonious and supportive relationship.
| From Kampung Semelor we continue our discover to Sungai Ruok Waterfall and it's take about 30 minute to reach.
| Before entering Royal Belum Rainforest, We need to stop at Royal Malaysian Army check point for personal Document check and Royal Belum Check Point to proceed further. Strongly been warn by guide, Photo taking at Royal Malaysian Army check point are not allowed.
| Ruok Fall is a freshwater fish sanctuary, any fishing activity is not allowed in this area. So you will find shoals of fish, either Kelah, Tengas or Temoleh swim around. It has 3 tiers of waterfall, the path to the waterfall was much more slippery and steep.
| The water was clean and clear, and we held a piece of bread in the water, fish will swarm to feed. For a fish spa experience, we dipped our feet in the water and dropped some bread crumbs near it. It felt a bit ticklish but it did not hurt.
| Known as the largest flower in the world, it is also available at Royal Belum. The Royal Rafflesia flower has yet to consist of three species, R. Kerrii, R. Cantleyii and R. Azlanii. If you are lucky, you can see this flower bloom. During our visit to Royal Belum, we found a 3-month-old Rafflesia flower and were waiting for the day to grow and A Rafflesia which was in dark brown. That means the flower is dead, Rafflesia's life span is short-lived. This flower will bloom and die within two weeks.
Back to our Belum Forest Resort Jetty to continue our activity Bamboo Rafting in the lake was part of our itinerary. The resort offers water-based activities for guests to enjoy the serenity of the lake and the surrounding forests, such as kayaking, bamboo rafting and angling.
| The State Park also contains many endemic, rare and threatened species of flora and fauna in Malaysia and also the World as it contains many iconic but rare, vulnerable otherwise threatened plants such as the gigantic flowers in the Plant Kingdom, Rafflesia cantleyi, R. kerri and R. azlanii and iconic animal species including 14 of the world's most threatened mammals such as Asian elephant (Elephas maximus maximus), the iconic and threatened Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni), the Malayan gaur (Bos gaurus hubbacki), the Malayan tapirs (Tapirus indicus) as well as the 10 species of hornbills, the highest number in the country, in the region and in the World in one single locality thus far known. In addition, many species of plants and animals are of known scientific and conservation value in Malaysia and of outstanding scientific and conservation value to the World, in particular the hornbills and Rafflesia. In term of biodiversity conservation, as well as the dynamics of a tropical ecosystem, this natural property is deemed to be inscribed as a World Heritage Site and one day may become a potential for the world community to study and appreciate. In addition, the State Park also contains a total of 18 species of frogs and toads, 67 species of snakes, and amongst the insects, there are more than 132 species of beetles, 28 species with possibly three new species of cicadas, 97 species of moths and 41 species of dragonflies and damselflies had been recorded via a few past scientific expeditions.