Monday, November 30, 2009

Empangan air sungai kuning

Who would have thought that next to the urban life of Shah Alam, lies a pocket of beautiful collection of flora and fauna? Taman Pertanian Malaysia Bukit Cahaya Shah Alam or better known by the name Bukit Cerakah (Cerakah hill) promise to excite any avid nature lovers. At a nominal cost (RM1 for parking and RM3 for entrance fee), you can enjoy the serenity of the park. You can charter a bicycle so can you cover most of the garden within shorter time. The park opens at 9am. It is advisable to come early while the air is still fresh and cool.

This vast pocket of green lungs was created to expose the public on agriculture products. There are botanical gardens like herb garden, mushroom, paddy field and animal garden such as deer, fish ponds and peacock. I supposed there are agricultural researches conducted here but the research activity may not be open to the public like me. Just hope there is so this vast amount of lands will be fully utilized.

From the look of it, this park comprises of virgin and secondary forest. People can do a lot of activities like visiting various gardens, jogging, play paintball, and stay at the chalet, camping, fishing and host of other activities. For me, I just want to enjoy my weekly brisk walking while enjoying the view and the fresh air. Last Saturday I decided to explore Empangan Sungai Air Kuning (literally means Yellow River Dam). Around 9.15 am, I took the easy way to the dam using the tarred road. It is quite easy to find the dam as there a lot of map and signage along the way.

I reached the dam around 10am. The air is still quite cool at the time; it was cloudy and drizzling at the same time. I took a breather at a hut while enjoying the view. At RM18, you can catch all the fish that you want. However, fishing here is strictly catch-and-release. You may catch but you need to release the fish back to the water.

Please keep track of the time as the serenity of this place is intoxicating. You can easily lose track of time. Watching the fishes swam freely in the water gave me the feeling of peace and tranquility. The time can easily pass you by; it is just you and nature. One thing that I like about nature is that it is so pure and honest. How I wish our life can be that simple.

After 30 minutes I took a jungle track to Sungai Dua Dam. It was raining the night before and it makes the track very wet and slippery. The track is not that hard and it is suitable for beginners who want to have a feel of what jungle tracking is all about. The first part of the track is along the dam before it turns to the jungle. Just look up and follow the sign and you will be able to keep on track. My journey took longer time as I made various stops to take photos. If only I have a better camera…the camera fitted in my blackberry is not suitable for this occasion. However, I make do with whatever resources I have. The scenery is too precious to let go…I must immortalize it in my album. You can find lot of beautiful species of flora and fauna as well as stream of river along the track. Just hearing the sound of the running water makes all the sweat worth it. The track can be quite fun but can be quite lonely as well. The best thing is you have the track all for yourself. The downside is that it is very remote and if anything happen to you, nobody will be able to help you.

You will know that you are near the main road when you reach cemented track. By this time, the sun already begins to flex its muscle. The road that leads to exit the park is relatively easy. It is just that with tired legs and scorching sun makes it a bit difficult to walk.

Always remember to bring a bottle of water. It keeps you hydrated. My personal choice is a bottle of Ribena or Evian. Ribena is good for the refreshing taste and sugar for instant energy. Evian is for the mineral. It may also helps if you bring some chocolate bars for instant energy. Better bring your small backpack to put all your water, chocolates, wallet, mobile and car keys. You do not want to accidently drop your car keys in the jungle and have to double back to find it. You may find that with proper shoes, it is easier to walk in the jungle. My timberland shoes never fail me in ‘hard’ or easy tracks. Always wear proper attire such as long sleeves t-shirt and long pants (for example the one that you use for jogging). Long sleeves t-shirts and pants will act as a cover from leaves and thorns. Most important thing is, please respect the environment. Do not bring home any species like flowers as souvenirs. You can snap a photo and put it in your album. Let the flora and fauna dies in their natural habitat and not in your personal album.

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