Monday, May 18, 2009

Lata Kedondong: A Hidden Treasure

Lata Kedondong. Located on the road between Batang Kali and Goh Tong Jaya, this waterfall is one of those that qualifies as being 'hidden in plain sight!' ;). Starting from TTDI, we took the first exit at the Bulatan Batu Caves that leads towards Selayang town. We then made a right turn into Jalan Batu Caves before turning left onto B23, a small trunk road that leads us towards Ulu Yam Baru. The road is very scenic, passing by the Batu Dam catchment area where a large blue lake dominates.
Batu Dam Lake

Parking bays are located throughout for those romantically inclined but since our group consists of an all male cast of Dennis, Henry, Hong Yi, Aaron, Wei Han, Vincent and myself, we chose to skip this option instead. ;) However, if 'romance' isn't in the air, we did manage to pander to our other 'male interests', namely CARS! In particular, Ferraris. Yup, although the lonely widing roads to Ulu Yam seems ideal for a morning or evening cruise, don't be surprised to have your car rattled by the afterwash of speeding Ferraris or screehing Mat Rempits. It's a virtual race track and on the day we went, we were 'treated' to a parade of Ferraris and Porshes thundering down the roads at breathtaking speed. :p Upon reaching Ulu Yam Baru, we took a right turn into route B66, another seemingly lonely road that connects to Goh Tong Jaya, at the foot of Genting Highlands. Situated in between is the Kedongdong recreation area, the start of our trek to the waterfall. We arrived there very, very early in the morning at approximately 8:00am, having previously gathered at Devi's Corner at 5:30am and leaving there at about 6:15am. The parking lot where we left our cars was deserted when we arrived and after taking out our gear, we set out to Lata Kedongdong with Dennis leading the way.
Getting down for another adventure!

Initially, I had thought it was going to be an easy 1 hour trek(or at least that was what our MIA leader, Aurelius told me!) but after spending 10 minutes looking for the starting point among the various meandering paths, I realized it's going to be a little bit more challenging than that. We did find the starting point eventually, as we hopped off the concrete path into this inconspicuous point that Dennis seems to recognize.
Finding the start of the trek can be time consuming...

We moved on, mostly along the side of the rushing river up a very vague 'path' that takes us over huge boulders and some slippery climbs up dirt outcrops.
Steep climbs are in store...

Leech encounters were rare although they were of the notorious 'tiger' species that is known for their long yellow stripe along its body and even nastier bite! Only two of us were bitten, Henry along the way to the falls while Wei Han got his at the waterfall itself (while swimming!). We finally reached Lata Kedongdong about an hour later, the powerful sound of its tumbling waters echoing through the jungle as we approached.
Arriving at Lata Kedongdong

Refreshingly, there is this cool breeze that blew towards us from the cascade to bring down the temperature of the surrounding area which sadly consists of mostly boulders. For those thinking to stay here longer, this means there is virtually no space to pitch a tent. Lata Kedongdong itself is impressive to say the least. Consisting of primarily two cascades, the 2nd, lower one is where we find ourselves on arrival. A huge deep pool lies at its foot, formed by the powerful gushes of icy cold water coming from above. Watch out though, the currents are strong close to the fall so trying to swim towards it isn't recommended nor safe.
A nice pool of cool, clean, clear water to swim in

We did however, manage to scale the waterfall's side (after a swim) and reach the 1st tier.
Scaling the side of Lata Kedongdong to

Here, the waters are calmer although there isn't a pool to swim in. Still, the rushing waters are strong enough to give you a good massage! ;)
The second tier of Lata Kedongdong

Taking a dip in cool waters... ahhhh

We were there for almost 3 hours, the waterfall completely for ourselves, a testimony of how few people knew about this place. After the first hour, hands became itchy and Dennis sparked a mini cave in when he attempted to lift a piece of drift wood that was wedged between some stones. In an instant, what we thought was solid riverbed became a yawning maw, sucking sand, stone and water into its gaping jaws. Luckily Dennis didn't get sucked in as well. ;) Apparently that piece of wood had been holding up stones, sand and such over that hole and loosening it caused the 'land slide'. :p
The 'opps' moment, Dennis attempting to create a quantum singularity (a.k.a. black hole)

The yawning maw

Initially, Dennis and a few others near the hole tried unsuccessfully to cover it with stones which simply tumbled into the gap and disappeared (much like a quantum singularity! ;)) Then the engineer came. ;) Using a few pieces of floating wood to span the gap, we used it to hold up the stones and sand piled ontop of it. Soon, we had covered up the hole and the place was again as before.
Man just can't leave nature alone!

We frolicked around, Aaron trying to get a tan, Hong Yi taking a nap amid the cooling breeze, Wei Han and Vincent exploring the surrounding boulders while Dennis and Henry attempted to recreate the Bakun Dam. I was invloved in the last two activities. ;)
Hong Yi squirming in the chilly waters

Our grumbling tummies soon reminded us it was time to head back. After taking our customary group photos we moved out, initially attempting to follow the way we came.
One last group photo...

And a solo photo to boot! :)

We ended up going over a different track instead, following down a rain water created path, crossing over to another vague jungle trek when that water hewn path ended with a fallen tree.
Trekking along the rain hewn track

The jungle trek thankfully finished at the concrete steps heading to Kedondong recreational park. All the while, we were keeping the river to our right as reference to our direction. We went off to the park restrooms, using the trickle of water from the showerheads to wash ourselves before going to the surrounding shops that sells among the regular foodstuffs and drinks, football merchandise! :p
Glory, glory Man United?

The stretch of river directly next to the park is filled with people by now, weekend visitors with picnic baskets lining the sides while others wade into the rushing waters, all not knowing of that secret waterfall located inside. ;)
Crowds of people bathe downstream of Lata Kedongdong

At length, we paused to have a drink of cendol (RM1.50) and a bite of Special Burger (RM3.00) at the stalls, unfortunately leaving poor Dennis to 'jaga kereta'.
Deserted car park now filled with er... cars!

It was a chain reaction actually, one of us seeing the other having a seat while we waited the others to finish their bath, ending with almost everyone except Dennis having a cendol and a Burger!
That fateful burger and cendol combination...

A rather irritated Dennis sounded for us to go and after gathering our stuff, we piled into our cars for a round of Ulu Yam 'Loh Mee', or so we think as we left the clear, pristine waters of Lata Kedongdong... ;)


  1. Can you all please not destroy any part of the nature? You guys could destroy the ecology of the river. And you guys should know that you all are going for lunch, why are you all having a good time enjoying burgers there? Sigh... You all missed the good food at Ulu Yam Lama... :p

  2. Hi Eddie,

    Came across your blog when I googled on Kedondong Falls... I'm wondering if the track to the 2nd tier fall is tough for gals? Coz I heard we'll need to climb over huge boulders and all...
    Thanks :)


  3. Aesthurr, sorry for the late reply ;) But in case you have not already been there by now, there are trails on the side of the river where you can avoid the boulders. Navigating the boulders only happens if you/your guide choose to do a 'river' trek.

  4. we've been there last amazing

  5. Arwenetik,

    Great that you enjoyed yourself there. We enjoy each time we visit as well... ;)

  6. NICE PLACE TO VISIT! Been there twice! Camoing and fishing

  7. 'Annoymous', it is indeed a nice place to visit... still 'pristine' compared to other sites and very easy to access... ;) Will be there myself soon! :D

  8. Not long ago I went to Pisang Falls.. So thinking of going to another fruit falls 'Ambarella' as we called up North. came across yr site, hahaha entertaining write-up and I can visualise your time with good help from the photos. thanks for sharing and sure help me to plan. cheers Linda