Friday, August 26, 2016

Temenggur Lake, Banding

Ever wondered what’s it like sleeping on a boat in the middle of a large lake embracing a thousands years old tropical rainforest in South East Asia? Take a cruise to Temenggor lake on a typical houseboat!

You can rent the whole boat, fully equipped with facilities and trained crew, solely for you and your group. Boats have comfortable cabins and can accommodate up to 15 persons – making it ideal for your family, group of friends or company members.

In the cruise you the boat will take you to breath taking landscapes and in between stops you can engage in your favorite activities of your choice, such as fishing, kayaking, bamboo rafting, bbq, and even karaoke!

A houseboat (also sometimes spelled as boathouse) is just what it sounds: a house-like structure built on top of a boat-like floating structure. It has engines and can move around, like a tiny cruise ship, but unlike cruise ships they move slowly and are popular around the world for river and lake navigation. They don’t have on board as many amenities like a giant-sized cruise ship, but they are often more picturesque and unusual. They’re built with cabins for people to perform overnight cruises in freshwater locations.

Belum Temenggor rainforest “sits” on top of a large artificial lake, eponymous known as the Temenggor lake. It imbues the surrounding millenary forest, which has since acquired an even more mystical atmosphere. The location, which enjoys extremely limited human activity for miles, is particularly suitable for houseboat cruises. From the houseboat, visitors can enjoy the very pleasant and unique panorama offered by the surrounding rainforest, from a very privileged point of view (there aren’t many rainforests having this amount of water crossing them in South East Asia). The boat moves slowly and are stable enough to take pictures from. Sometimes they stop altogether, to provide for meals, dock on the shores of the rainforest for activities, or fishing.

There are at least three main houseboats operated in Belum Temenggor, plus a variable amount of smaller ones. The houseboats you can book from here are the larger ones which meet higher built and comfort standards and fully comply with safety regulations. There is no boat identical to the other, but the large ones offer the same amenities and the same level of hospitality. The captain and crew members are seasoned sailors with years of experience in the rainforest – they’re also local people who are fun to interact and have a friendly chat.

This particular houseboat has a length of 48 meters and a width of 28 meters. Cabins are distributed on the first floor (1 queen bed with attach bathroom and 1 queen bed and single bed, 2 double Decker beds, 1 double Decker beds with shared bathrooms). The houseboats in Belum Temenggor are specifically built for cruise activities and can accommodate as many as 16 people – making them very suitable for large group of friends, company trips, families. If your group is larger than 15 people, you may contact us and and we will reserve for your group a bigger houseboat.

This cruise experience will last two (2) days and one (1) night, to be spent on board a houseboat in Temenggor lake. The cruise will start from Pulau Banding, the small islet located in the middle of Belum and Temenggor forestry areas, connected with the mainland through a bridge, which is part of a road system that connects East and West peninsular Malaysia.

The houseboats can cater to a number of activities decided by you! If you are a fishing enthusiast, the cruise and the captain will adjust the route to have you and your group cast your rods in areas more suitable for catching fishes. (If you want to do fishing, you should bring your own equipment). If you want to do some kayaking, kayaks can be provided on board by the houseboat crew. There’s also the option to have bamboo rafts instead of “modern” kayaks. Bamboo rafts are traditional rafts used since man learned how to float on water and still employed by many Orang Asli (Malaysian aborigines) of Belum Temenggor in their daily lives. Normally, you paddle on bamboo rafts while standing on it, a bit like a Venetian gondoliere!

Boats have facilities on board, such a kitchen, where the staff will prepare barbecue meals or serve you breakfast, and even karaoke, in case you and your friends want to sing before going to sleep in the evening. The boat will halt after sunset and you will spend one night sleeping in the middle of Temenggor lake, entirely surrounded by the pristine forest and a starry sky. Waking up at the sole sounds of the rainforest it’s altogether a special experience on its own you don’t want to miss! On some occasions you may even spot elephants at dusk (although this is a rare occurrence) or hear gibbon calls. Thought the whole trip it is more common to spot large birds, such as eagles, sometimes hornbills.

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