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Part 2 – 5.July.2012 – Gua Musang – Tasik Kenyir – Marang

In this post, it chronicles my solo biking journey on a Modenas Elegan 150 from Gua Musang to Kenyir Lake and finally ending at Marang. It also tells you of the dangerous parts of the journey where you must take driving/riding more carefully. It also tells you what’s so nice about Tasik Kenyir and what you can see and experience.

This map is shown here for easy reference. Click the map and it will open up a new window so that you can follow my trip easier.

You may see a magnifying glass with a plus sign. If so, click again and it will show the map in full size. Green spots indicate my stops whereas the polygon indicates places I stayed.

After a great western breakfast in Fully Inn (the hotel where I stayed), I left Gua Musang at 8.45am after filling up my petrol tank of my Modenas Elegan 150. The road was misty but the mist stayed about 20 meters above the road, so it was OK for riding. Then I made the first mistake. Click the map below so that you can understand what I’m trying to warn you.

Warning!  Please take this warning seriously because of the dangerous road conditions to road users. Not recommended that you use the new road after dark.

I came to a junction (point ‘A’ of map) with a signage that showed “Kuala Berang / Tasik Kenyir“. So like any road users not familiar with the road, I turned into this beautiful wide road. However, I also saw the sign “This road is not complete. Use at your own risk.”  Well, OK. I’ve been warned but that beautiful road still beckons me. So, what the heck! I’ll try it.

As I travelled this new road, the view along this road was wonderful! See a sample of the road below.

Beautiful road right? After I took this shot, a nice and kind man rode up to me and inquired where I was going and I told him “Tasik Kenyir”. He told me that I should use the other road at Chiku with the signage “FELDA Aring” and “Tasik Kenyir”. Then I asked him “what about this road?” He replied that this road has lots of pot-holes and is not complete but I can still get to Tasik Kenyir. Then I thanked him and waved goodbye.

At this juncture, I had already travelled more than 10km and the adventurer part of me pushed me to continue along this road. The road was beautiful for a total of approximately 25km from the entry point (A) up till point (B) of the above map and this beautiful road just ended!!!!!

I was at a junction. One part had an uncompleted bridge in front and another part on the left was gravel for about 200 meters to a small road. At this point, I asked the workers if the road goes to Tasik Kenyir and they confirmed “Yes”.

So with firm hands on the throttle and handle bar, I slowly crawl my bike over the lose gravel until I reached the Felda road which had 2 policeman manning the gate. Again I asked them if the road leads to Tasik Kenyir and they confirmed it does. So with a light heart, I moved at a faster speed at about 60kph even though the road had many pot holes but the pot holes that were most dangerous were the ones over the peak of the undulating road that I couldn’t see until I crested that part and like a crazy person, I had to brake like mad! Luckily I didn’t end my front wheel into any of the pot holes otherwise I’ll become superman for a split second. Having learnt the lesson, I slowed my pace especially when I come to an apex so that I could see what’s beyond.

This bad road condition lasted for about 5km until the road broadens and the road surface was much better for travelling. Then it joins the main road from Chiku to Tasik Kenyir and it was excellent except for some damaged due to land slips.

Along the way to Tasik Kenyir, something by the left side attracted my attention and I swung my bike back to see what the place was and noticed that it was the Elephant Sanctuary that I read about and I took the shots of that attraction.

When I was there, I noticed that there was only 1 car parked nearby with some kids on the playground. After the driver finished his smoke, they left. You can also noticed in the photos that the sky is really rich blue. That’s what I like that’s so different from where I stay. Can’t get that blue sky unless I’m lucky on that day.

After taking the shots, I left and when parts of the lake came into view on the right side of the road, I took photos as follows.

The first sign of Tasik Kenyir. Beautiful sky and scene.

Lovely road that almost circled the lake. Beautiful sky!

A damaged section of the road due to landslip.

Another section of Tasik Kenyir as seen from the road

Another section of the road that collapsed. The new road runs beside it.

Another lovely section of the lake seen from the road

A lovely view of part of the lake from the road

This image is slightly over-exposed but is still beautiful.
Seen from the road.

Another section of the damaged road

Another view of Tasik Kenyir from the road

My Modenas Elegan 150 posing by the lake

All together there were 4 sections of this beautiful road that were affected by landslips. There were many lorries carrying timber travelling this road when I was using this road. A note for those that have small petrol tanks in their vehicles. THERE IS NO FILLING STATION from after Gua Musang until just outside Kuala Berang. Lucky for me, I carried a 4L oil container with 2L of petrol as standby.

I reached the Kenyir Information Centre at 11.52am.

After spending about 3 hours on the road, I decided to quench my thirst and fill my stomach and get as much information as possible for future visits. But… first, let me tell you what’s nice about Tasik Kenyir.

History and Statistics

Kenyir Lake (Tasik Kenyir) was formed due to a hydro-electric dam at Kuala Kenyir (which is near Kuala Berang). The dam was completed in 1985 but was officiated by his royal highness, the Sultan of Terengganu in 1987. The station was named Sultan Mahmud Hydro Electric Power Station. This station is able to produce 400MW of power at full capacity.

The estimated normal water capacity of Lake Kenyir is 13.6 billion cubic meters and the deepest point is 145 meters. The normal water level is about 180 meters above sea level.

The lake spans over 209,200 hectares and is considered as the largest man-made lake in South-East Asia. Mount Tembat, Mount Bongsu, Mount Lawit, Mount Kachang, Mount Raung, Mount Gajah Terom and Mount Gagau surrounds this lake. In the centre of the lake is Mount Cergau. The lake also includes 340 islands which were once hilltops or highlands. Numerous tributaries flow into this lake.

Map by KeTengah.gov.my
Click to enlarge

Interesting Places around Tasik Kenyir

There are 14 waterfalls/rapids surrounding this lake. Petuang Rapids, Tembat Waterfall, Lata Terap Waterfall, Sungai Buweh Waterfall, Lasir Waterfall, Petang Waterfall and Saok Waterfall (on the island) are some of the few well known waterfalls. The one that’s nearest to the Information Centre is Sg. Buweh Waterfall.

There are many caves but the most famous are Bewah Cave and Taat Cave to the south of the lake. They can only be reach by boat with 2 hours journey time.

There is the Elephant Sanctuary and fishing sanctuaries surrounding the lake. A lovely garden is near the Information Centre. There’s also a Herbs Park on the main island.

Activities

1. Camping … There are so many camping site surrounding the lake as well as on the main island. You just need to ask the information counter. Cost can be as low as RM1 per person and RM5 per tent. Camping sites are … Pengkalan Gawi, Sg. Lawit, Saok, Tembat, Lasir, Tanjung Bewah, Pulau Perpek and Pulau Petang

2. Jungle Trekking … The most popular trekking routes are to Mount Gagau (need to go by boat) and Mount Lawit (not far from the Information Centre).

3. Picnicking … the most popular place to do that is at or around Pengkalan Gawi.

4. Fishing … probably the most popular activity at this place. For those who loves to fish fresh-water fishes, this is a heaven! KeTengah sometimes conducts fishing competition at this lake. Some species found in this lake are Haruan (Common Snakehead), Toman (Giant Snakehead), Bujuk (Forest Snakehead), Patung (Banded Leaf Fish), Terbul (Carp), Biji Durian (Chocolate Gouramy), Tembok Tebing (or Jumung) (Pikehead), Tapah (Giant Catfish), Keli Kayu (Walking Catfish), Baung Kunyit (River Catfish), Sepat Siam (Snakeskin Gouramy) and even Kelisa (Asian Arowana)

5. Water Sports … Kayaking, canoeing, boating, rafting and shooting the rapids. There is annual Kenyir Regatta and Telematch conducted by KeTengah.

Food & Drinks

There are food stalls at Pengkalan Gawi or at the restaurant just behind the Lake Kenyir Information Centre. The prices they charge is quite reasonable in my opinion.

The cost of the fish nasi lemak and an eye appealing teh-tarik (as shown on the left) only cost me RM5. The drink is full-body and the food delicious! Their price is hard to beat even in Kuala Lumpur roadside stalls.

The restaurant is airy, spacious, tidy and clean. The staff is courteous and friendly!

What more you want?

Actual Google Terrain Map with roads & places
Click to enlarge

The view of the lake from a spot in between Pengkalan Gawi and Lake Kenyir Resort & Spa

Since I had time to spare, I also paid a visit to Lake Kenyir Resort & Spa. The following photos were captured in the resort. I understand that you can get accommodation here for as low as RM208 nett for low season.

The view of the lake whilst sitting at the lobby terrace

The view from the terrace overlooking the swimming pool

The view of the reception area

The view at the entrance to the resort

In my opinion, Tasik Kenyir is a lovely place to enjoy nature even though the lake was man-made. It has lots of activities and attractions to fill even 7 days of stay. Thus my 2 hours spent there was definitely not enough to absorb the beauty of this place. I intend to revisit this place in the near future.

Update: I went again by car to Tasik Kenyir on 8.Sep.2012 and stayed for a night. This time, I stayed a night and managed to tour the lake by boat. For more details and photos, go to Tasik Kenyir – A Lovely Place!

The other reason why I had to rush off was that the Modenas Elegan 150 has a small fuel tank. When I arrived at this lovely spot, I probably had about 3 litres of petrol remaining and the nearest refilling station is about 30km away. Even though I had on my reserve 4L oil container another 2L of petrol, it was not a comfortable feeling for me to want to stay there knowing that the Elegan guzzles gas.

So at about 2pm, I left this beautiful place to continue my journey east and also hunt for a refilling station. I only found one when I almost reach Kuala Berang. Please refer the map and guess how far was the Lake Kenyir Information Centre to the filling station.

After topping my fuel tank, just at the outskirts of Kuala Kenyir, I saw some lovely mountain formation on my right so I went looking for a spot to capture it. I found one where they had just tilled the paddy field and the water reflected those mountain range and clouds.

After this, I headed for the Kenyir Dam near Kuala Kenyir. As I was not allowed into the restricted site, I had to go downstream to capture the dam as follows.

Moving to a spot to capture the above picture was an adventure in hiking, especially on riding boots and carrying a heavy camera bag and tripod.

After this, I headed for Kuala Berang, which was quite a big township. Somehow along the way, I took a wrong turn and had to backtrack to Marang. The road heading to Marang was nice to ride, passing many kampongs.

Finally, I reached the Marang Jetty to Pulau Kapas around 3.45pm.

I started searching at the shops around the jetty for accommodation, ride and food in Pulau Kapas and found one called “Makcik Gemuk” the price was reasonable. One of the problems associated with travelling solo is that people will only carry you to the destination if there is a crowd. Well, when I was there, all the normal ferry had gone and came back. So if I wanted to go there, I had to wait for a big group who had booked their chalets enblock. However, their timing was uncertain and I had to wait for this group to arrive.

Feeling hungry again, I went to the food stalls not far away to have another nasi lemak. The prices here were even more expensive than at Tasik Kenyir. Again at about 4.45pm, I went back to the shop to inquire about the group. They still were not certain about the arrival of the group.

Well, the main purpose of my wanting to go to Pulau Kapas was to shoot the morning sun, but all the resorts on the island faces west. If I wanted to shoot the rising sun, I had to hike to either ends of the island in pitch darkness, which was not a good idea. The other reason was to experience the island. Photography took precedence.

I then went hunting for accommodation in Marang and found a nice chalet by the beach for RM50 with wifi availability. Its called Ce Wer Batik and Lodging. The only complain about this place was that there is no hot shower and no shower head. No hot water, never mind, but no shower head? The plus for this place was that it had good beach frontage for the rising sun capture with Pulau Kapas on the right.

The sea beckons me and I had a lovely warm dip in the sea.

Whilst taking a shower, the water was warm at just the right bathing temperature for me. Then I got ready for dinner and went in the direction of Kuala Terengganu which was not far from where I stayed.

Whilst in K. Terengganu, I spotted a lovely mosque and decided to take a blue hour shot.

The above picture was taken as the sky started to rain. Almost a blue hour capture of the floating mosque. As the rain started to pour, I got wet keeping my camera equipment and had no choice but to wear my Givi raincoat. Then I started hunting for food. Ended at a mamak shop and had chicken murtabak for dinner.

The rain stop just as was having dinner and as I was about to leave the diner, it started to drizzle again, so I don my raincoat again. When I reached Ce Wer Batik and Lodging, the rain stopped.

After changing to dry clothes, I noticed the full moon in the sky. With my camera on a tripod, I took the following 44-seconds long-exposure of the moon over Pulau Kapas.

In the middle left were lights of fishing vessels probably netting for cuttlefish. The reflections of the lit clouds and the moon obscure the shape of Pulau Kapas and lights of the resorts there.

After this shot, I went to sleep!

End of Day 2.

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