Sunday, 7 September 2008

Chiling Falls - Crossing Rivers

Angie and I were supposed to go to Tioman during the long Merdeka weekend but all bus tickets to Mersing were sold out. This is what happens when you plan long weekends trips at the last minute.

So instead we went for a hike to Chiling Falls with another friend, Sharon. Chiling Falls is located in Kuala Kubu Bahru, a small town in the north of Selangor.

The hike to Chiling Falls is an easy 3 km journey - that is when hiking on terra firma. The difficult part is the 6 rivers we had to cross to get to the falls.

Here is a recap on what we experienced and learned, and hopefully these tips will be useful to hikers who are planning to go to Chiling Falls.

Finding the Trail

Chiling Falls suffers the lack of proper signboards. We lost our way twice because there were no signboards at confusing bends, junctions and forks in the trail. Luckily Angie bumped into one of her friends who was returning from the hike and he gave us directions.

After crossing the first bridge (which is a suspension bridge at the rangers office), you'll reach a clearing in the forest. Immediatly turn left and follow the trail there. Do not go straight, or you'll end up at the suspension bridge again, or worst, end up somewhere else.

When you reach a small river that looks like the picture on the right,
immediatly cross it. Don't let the appearance of a no-trail deceive you. The trail is there, you'll just have to look hard enough.

Hiking Gear

1) You'll DEFINITELY get wet (ahem) while hiking. So remember to bring along extra clothing.

2) Use durable sandals instead of sneakers or trainers. Since you'll be immersed in water most of the time, sandals are the best. I used sneakers which filled with sand and soaked water easily, making it heavy and difficult to move in.

3) Bring a waterproof knapsack or wrap your valuables in waterproof materials. Best is to leave your electronic gadgets - cellphone, camera, non water proof watch, etc in the car.

Crossing Rivers

Don't let the rivers scare you. It is actually quite simple to cross if you have the necessary experience and knowledge. Initially we wanted to turn back cause we have never crossed rivers with such strong currents before. Moreover certain parts were waist deep; and if you're not careful, chest deep! But we braced ourselves and made it in the end. The return journey was easier since we were not 'virgin river crossers' anymore.

1) The best way to cross is to swim cum wade. But we could not do that since we had our cumbersome knapsacks which we had to hold above our heads to keep dry. Next time I'll bring only a bottle of water.

2) Look for the best possible path to cross instead of jumping straight in. The best is to look for areas where the current doesn't look strong and where you can see the rocks under the water. This means the water is not so deep.

3) Keep your footwear on when crossing the rivers. It would help protect your feet from the rocks and sharp stones on the riverbed. Oh yeah, when you step on sand when crossing the river, you might sink a bit cause the sand is very soft. Make sure your footing is firm before you take the next step.

At Chiling Falls

When we reached the falls we noticed a very clean area compared to other falls and nature reserve parks in Selangor like Sungai Kanching, Templer’s Park and Sungai Gabai, which looks like a rubbish dump.

There was also a considerable lack of hikers leaving us lots of room to swim and laze around. Maybe because it was the long Merdeka weekend and most folks had gone outstation.

After a brief swim, we gobbled down nasi lemak, tuna & egg sandwiches and Cheezels (what an unhealthy snack for hiking!).

Being the photoholic that she is, Angie than started fiddling with her camera. Here are some fun shots to end the hike:

Note: Credit to Angie for taking all the photos in this entry, except the first photo.


Angie Tan said...

do you think we should go agian ? ;p

Julie Lim said...

Why not? It's fun :-)

Sree said...

wah lah wei,the write up was so engrossing and the photos by Angie so exciting,glad you and friends had a great time,hope to meet your gang soon to hear in person the narration.

Julie Lim said...

Mr Sree,

Yes we did have a great time although at times we were frustrated (when we got lost) and scared (when the current was strong).

Nevertheless we'll continue hiking and posting our hiking stories :-)


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