Just after noon we left the jetty at Tasik Banding Perak by boat to the northern part of the lake. We headed for Sungai Kejar close to the border of Perak Malaysia / Thailand. The speed boat carrying 10 passengers was churning its blades at maximum speed to take us there. Meantime exposing natures richness and splendour all along the way. A 115H Power engine took no less than an hour to reach the site with no other craft on the water except for light boats used by the orang asli. This is still a restricted area and only visitors with permits would be allowed to visit.
This is one occasion when I accompanied the team that look and advise on the project that is on going under the contractor awarded the contract. Dispersed at three separate sites all situated at different corners of the lake, it is no simple order of transportation or mobility. Water level of the lake and weather wise added to the factors that contribute to the construction and accomplishment. An ordinary visitor would of course view the visit as extra ordinary, having the one time opportunity to discover the virgin forest, the orang asli homes, their activities and foremost realized the future facilities offered for visitors that will visit Royal Belum in the not too soon future that promised a natural paradise of sort . Surely the magnificent trees, the lakes and the wild animals in the area would render a wonderful vista very near to home. Facilities as planned in the project currently undertaken would allow for visitors to camp on sites as well as be tempted to feel close to nature and desiring to explore the vast tracks of wilderness and nature's reserve. It is hard to imagine the depth of the lake nor what lies hidden underneath since the valleys had been flooded and thus the huge expanse of man-make lake. Tall tree stumps protruding out of the water at several parts of the lake do give clues to what lies underneath. Thus maneuvering the boat is only left to the experienced less you would run into hidden tree trunks.
Along the route to Sungai Kejar we moved passed such nature sights, straining our eyes at the magnificent growth while hoping to find birds especially hovering in the sky or perched on the tall trees. Of course we were assured fishes are abandon in the lakes. For lovers of drift woods, they would be clamouring to acquire them if given the chance. Several islands too dotted the lake. If you have been a visitor to Langkawi you would recognize the scene as familiar and identical excepting the former is an island and the water a different tint of colour. A good binoculars would surely help you to see more.
An hour and twenty minutes later, we approached the construction site at Sungai Kejar, with proposed buildings already taking shapes and positioned where they should have been. Workers were busy at work , grateful to be in the shades of the giant trees that provided shelter from the hot noonday sun above. Earlier on the way we passed a barge carrying materials for the site here. No it did not arrive in an hour but had taken no less than five hours and unloading the materials was another task.
The construction site at Sungai Kejar .
Floats or jetty that allowed the boats to anchor had to be provided by the contractor, less it would be cumbersome when the water level rises without warning.
How would you like to be working here amidst giant trees that gave you protection from the sun while all along presenting vistas of greenery? It is an opportunity one would not like to miss. Maybe that was the reason why I noticed the happy faces of workers here, forming a good mix of locals as well as foreigners the likes of Bangladeshi, Nepalise and Burmese.
At one corner I noticed this piles of wood, obviously collected and placed where they are for a purpose. Curiosity had the better part of me and I started to have a closer look, examining the features and shapes.Ended with taking two pieces home to turn into a 'masterpiece' if possible.
Two views of the construction site with the planned locations of building that would be standing there later after completion.
Wow! Great to see them growing and touching the sky.
This is an 'orang asli village' by the fringe of the lake. One thing for sure they are not short of supply of fishes from the lakes.
The above three pictures show the typical cabins designed for accommodation of trippers to the lake who would be immersed in the surrounding vegetation and foliage. This is situated at Sungai Papan another site for the project under construction.
Looking back as the boat left its wash, we are sure it would not be that peaceful and quint anymore once visitors start moving into the Belum Valley once it is opened to visitors and tourists. Still we have the beauty and serenity to show and with control, planning and management hopefully we could assure its existence. Looking back, hopefully it would not be like many other projects that were executed with great expectations but fall short of good maintenance and management when completed.