Malaysia is one of the few countries in Southeast Asia blessed with boundless beauty and unspoiled nature. There are many hidden gems in the country that tourists have yet to discover.
Located about 85 kilometres from Kuantan, Lake Chini is Malaysia’s second biggest natural freshwater lake, with an area of 12.565 acres; Lake Chini consists of 13 interconnecting water bodies, each with its own charateristics. Historians believe that Lake Chini is the site of an ancient Khmer city but the local folks, on the other hand, believe that the mysterious lake is guarded by a Loch Ness type monster named Naga Sri Gumum . There were reports of occasional sightings of the monster but unfortunately they were not scientifically proven.
Lake Chini is blessed with vast treasures of nature, which is rich in biological resources.
Granted UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status,there are 138 species of territorial flora, 300 species of non-aquatic vertebrates and 144 species of freshwater fish. Thousand of white and pink water lilies will emerge on the lake from August through September, transforming the lake into a floating multi-coloured garden.
On the fringe of the lake, especially at Kampung Gumum, there is a large concentration of the aborigines of the Jakun tribe. They still live their old traditional ways and fine woodcarvings and blowpipes are available to visitors.
Activities in Lake Chini :
1. A Visit to Lake Chini Research Centre
The centre is a one-stop centre for conservationists and for visitors looking for more information about the lake and its flora and fauna. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s field station at Tasik Chini is a research hub dedicated to the preservation and monitoring of the ecological site.
2. Boat Ride
Visitors to the lake can take the boat from the jetty at Lake Chini Resort for a boat ride to discover the 12 different lakes and visit the Orang Asli settlement at Puput Village. Here you can see the Blowpipe demonstration or even try it yourself. There are some souvenirs like mini Blowpipe, comb and necklace made of bamboo to bring back home.
For those who are coming from Kampong Belimbing/Kuala Chini jetty the boat journey for half an hour along the winding Chini River under canopy of giant tropical trees is mesmerizing. Lotus flower are blooming every where around the lake. You may pick one but not all and during hot day ask the boatman to make a hat out of lotus leaf.
3. Trek Away
The area surrounding Lake Chini offers a few exciting routes for jungle trekking and terrains suitable for four-wheel drive challenge. Experienced guides are also on hand to guide visitors to Terapai and Mentagan Waterfalls or even a hike up to Chini Mountain. There are also facilities to explore the 12 lakes as well as camping sites for those who like to stay outdoor.
It is one of the most popular activity at Lake Chini. The best time for fishing is betwen November to January when rainy seasons increase the volume of the lake.
Hire a motorized boat or canoe, look for giant ‘Snake Head’ fish or TOMAN, ask the boatman to take you to the best spot. Use green little frog for bait as this species is their favorite food. Baung “Cat Fish’ is another species that is always in great demand. They usually came out in the evening searching for rotten and smelly foods.
5. Climb Chini Mountain
If seek for more adventurous and outdoor activity then Chini mountain is the answer. You need 1 whole day to climb to the top, stay overnight and back the next day. Do not forget to take enough drinking water on the way up as no water supply is available at the top. Bring along light camping gears, foods and sweater as the night fall the weather can be very cold.
6. BEBAR PEAT SWAMP FOREST ( Black Water Jewel )
Bebar is the river that flows within the peat swamp forest from an Orang Asli Settlement called Runchang to Nenasi a fishing village by the South China Sea. It’s located about 40 km. from Pekan (The Royal Town). Many researches and studies have been made and they find out that this place should be kept for future and at the same time has a great potential as a tourist destination of it’s kind.
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