Top 8 Things You Definitely Want To Do At Kenyir Lake
Words by Ariel Chew, Photos by Hafis Johan & VM Bank
Top 8 Things You Definitely Want To Do At Kenyir Lake
Whether you are a city bumpkin in dire need to de-stress or a nature lover who can’t get enough of Mother Nature’s bounty, Kenyir Lake, Terengganu has loads of goodies up its sleeves. This largest man-made lake in Southeast Asia (260,000 hectares) boasts of 340 islands, at least 25 known waterfalls, countless rivers and an abundance of flora and fauna. In short, there are loads to do, see and savour at this peaceful and idyllic haven.
1. Relax and Unwind at Lake Kenyir Resort & Spa, Terengganu
The resort's rustic lobby
The Ulik Mayang Spa is located in one of the best rooms of the Resort which is formerly occupied by former premier Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad
As the only international class resort in the lake vicinity, you can expect only good things during your stay at Lake Kenyir Resort & Spa. This 135-individual timber chalets resort is encased within the lush forests and picturesque gardens, and offers an enticing view of Lake Kenyir, islands and towering hills. Warm cosy ambiance and every comfort imaginable are assured within each secluded chalet. If you want further pampering, surrender your body under the capable hands of the Ulik Mayang Spa’s masseurs. You will emerge rejuvenated from head to toe.
2. Get Your Feet Nibbled at Kelah Sanctuary
Getting to the Kelah Sanctuary is half the fun!
Trust me, it's ticklish!
If you think the resort’s Ulik Mayang Spa masseurs are great, wait till you meet the thousands of enthusiastic kelah fishes ready to give your feet a friendly nibble or two. Sure, they are slimy and toothy. But nothing beats getting the dead skin cells of your feet exfoliated naturally. Plus getting there is part of the fun – two boat rides and a 40 minute trek past a scenic jungle will get you in the mood for some foot loving.
3. Satisfy Your Fishing Fantasies
Night fishing at Lake Kenyir Resort & Spa
Fishing enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice as Kenyir Lake is positively teeming with at least 25 known species of fish such as Toman, catfish, Belida and others. These fishes have different feeding times between 6 to 9am and 4 to 9pm. According to the experienced locals, the best time to fish for Tomans are between 4 to 7pm, the catfish from 6 to 8pm and Belida from 8 to 9pm. Please check with the Wildlife Department at the Tourist Information Center, Pengkalan Gawi on permitted areas for fishing.
4. Get Giddy at Lasir Waterfall
The lovely Lasir Waterfall
View from the top
At 500m and with multiple tiers, Lasir Waterfall has got to be one of the most majestic falls in the state, if not, the country. A 30-45 minute boat ride will get you to the falls which is located 16km south of Pengkalan Gawi. You can stop at the second rest point and have a picnic lunch at the shelter overlooking the romantic suspension bridge and the cascading frothy waters. After lunch, feel free to frolic and dip yourself in the large waist-deep natural pool there. But if you are gungho and have loads of energy to burn, then clamber upwards to the third, fourth and the camp sites located way up high at the water falls. You will be rewarded with a magnificent view of the 5 levels of Lasir Waterfall and the enchanting forest where the camp site resides.
5. Spy on Some Birds
There are plenty of spots to spot birds at Kenyir Lake. Even road sides.
One of the many hornbills living near the Lake
Bird watchers, don’t leave your binoculars, telescope and field guide books at home for there’s plenty of bird watching action to be had at Lake Kenyir from 7am to 10am daily. 9 out of 10 species of the grand hornbill bird that are found in Malaysia can be spotted at its vicinity. Besides the hornbill, there are over hundreds of bird species in the lake area. Thus, your chance of glimpsing raptors, garden birds, woodpeckers, sunbirds, kingfishers, buzzards and others are very, very high.
6. Camping and Jungle Trekking
Jungle trekking at Kenyir Lake also means crossing many rivers in the most adventurous way!
The 130 million year old untouched rainforest is home to more than 8,000 species of flowers, 25,000 species of plants and trees and 300 species of fungus, 800 species of orchids, 100 species of butterflies, 370 species of birds, and 200 species of animals. Therefore, trekking in the dense forest with an experienced guide is an eye-opening, fun and educational experience. Camping beside sparkling rivers at popular camping sites like Saok, Lasir, Cacing, and Tembat will truly make your soul one with nature – pure and unpolluted.
7. Drop by Herbal Island, the Au Naturel Pharmacy
Who would have thought herbs can be so fascinating?
Located on Sah Kecil island, just 8km from Pengkalan Gawi is Kenyir Lake’s freshest and most natural pharmacy. This is the Herbal Island which boasts of about 230 species of herbs out of a total of 1200 of herbal plants found in Malaysia. Browse through the freshly-brewed medicinal potions and sample healthful herbal drinks prepared by medicine men cum researchers working there. The knowledgeable and friendly guides are all too happy to impart their passion and know-how about the many benefits of their beloved herbs.
8. Go Caving Like Indiana Jones
The fascinating Bewah Cave
Caving is one more exciting thing you can do at Kenyir Lake. The two caves located there – Bewah and Taat - are rich in history with the finding of pre-historic stone and iron tools, and sea shells. Lots of creepy crawlies abound in the form of bats, cave racers, spiders, crickets and such. Unfortunately, the Bewah Cave is temporarily closed since February this year to facilitate the excavation of ancient artefacts upon the discovery of human skeletal remains believed to be 16,000 years old.
Click here for Lake Kenyir Packages
Lake Kenyir is located about 80km away from Kuala Terengganu and a 50-minute taxi ride away from the Sultan Mahmud Airport.
Note: The water portion of Kenyir Lake is part of the Terengganu National Park. As such, visitors to the Park will be charged for entrance, fishing, camera and camping. Do get for the permits from the Wildlife Department at the Tourist Information Center, Pengkalan Gawi (Saturday - Wednesday : 9.00 am-5.00 pm, Thursday - Friday : 9.00 am - 1.00 pm).