My last trip to Lepok, 15th August 2010
I have actually visited this waterfall a year before in 2010 on a previous expedition, finding this waterfall unique with it's fair sized ‘slide’ for you to zip down into a pool of water at the bottom. Of course, this is without neglecting the extra advantage of having a nicely paved road leading to a fairly reasonable car park at the start of the trail leaving me with hardly a worry about damaging my ‘ride’ which has become quite a concern for me these days if I end up having to provide 'transport' for our trips. ;)
The team met up at 730am in TTDI’s Devi’s Corner for breakfast, 11 brave souls mustering for this expedition consisting of our courageous founder (and kungfu panda), Aurelius Teo, seasoned hikers; Aaron Chung, Carol, Eu Jin, Yee Wei, Cheah; newcomers; Shienrun, Pey Chern, Choy Foong, Clay and last but not least yours truly well. After loading up our carbohydrates, we set off for Ulu Langat, traveling along the network of highways that crisscross the Klang Valley to first reach Phoenix Plaza in Cheras. From there, we went through the toll leading towards Kajang, immediately veering to the left and following the signboards pointing to Kampung Batu 9 and Pangsun. Here is where the scene changes from the affluent neighborhoods of TTDI to the familiar kampung environs of rural Malaysia.
A single carriage trunk road leads the way towards sleepy hamlet of Pangsun, unusually busy with large multi-axled lorries plying the route but also not without the characteristic SLOW drivers enjoying their Saturday morning drive in their clanky, old, battered, rusty Proton Iswaras, seemingly all too oblivious to the procession of vehicles trailing behind. Oh well... :p
Fortunately, as we neared the fork that takes us away from the main road leading towards Pangsun, the traffic thins out significantly leaving us with clear roads ahead. At this point, the sound of the flowing river running alongside the road begins to fills the ears. In this rural paradise, crystal clear waters flow over polished river rocks, the sun’s gentle morning rays giving the water an added silver sparkle. Do yourself a favor by winding down the windows, allowing the fresh mist drenched air fills your lungs which is a mostly certainly refreshing experience! ;)
About 3km from Pangsun, we found the fork, a signboard with the words ‘Asli Adventure Camp, Sungai Lepoh’ confirming the prompts from my ‘not-so-trusty’ GPS unit. ;) The narrow but otherwise very good conditioned paved road goes on for another 2km passing small wooden houses and other adventure camps before we finally arrived at the farthest point our cars can take us, a wide open space just beneath a large arch leading to the ‘Asli Adventure Camp’ itself.
You can park your cars on the graveled sides here. Depending on ‘luck’ you might be approached by someone to pay a RM2 fee for parking. We paid for it the first time we were here, although this time there was no one in sight. We alighted our car and prepared to move on by foot but not before we witnessed this huge group of scouts marching in file in the general direction of our final destination! I called out to one of them to ask and was told that indeed, Lepok waterfall was going to be their destination although not before they head up to a ‘hill’ first. Looks like it’s not going to be lonely weekend hike for us after all, eh? ;)
We set off after the scouts, right after we took our customary group photos. Unfortunately, we did not have any of our ‘professional’ DSLR wielding photographers in our group, and with Aurelius appearing to have long since retired from his usual role of being our chief ‘cam-whore’, we have to make do with Eu Jin’s IPhone and my trusty Nokia N97 to make up the shortfall instead. :p
Trail Tracker's Traditional Pre-trip Group Photo! :D
Leaving the car park at 9:50am, we moved down the track alongside the river having to cross a shallow stream almost immediately, in the process getting our feet wet.
Getting our feet wet...
The 2km track to Lepok is oriented generally on a north-south axis so if you kept on heading ‘north’ you should be fine. The next stream was spanned by a rickety wooden bridge, which we reached after passing through an open area surrounded by tall ‘lalang’ grass, beyond which the jungle path truly commences.
Traversing over a rickety wooden bridge... march on!
The trail inclines upwards for a few hundred meters, with deep gouges made by motorcycle tyres in the laterite soil ushering us onwards.
First rise of the trail... fairly decent ;)
Durian orchards dot the left and the right of the trail after this incline, the place all these motorcycles have been plying up and down the trail from and to. We passed a small reed hut on the right along the way, a landmark to confirm that we were on the right track before reaching a clearing in the jungle where we met a fork in the trail.
The Hut in the middle of the durian farm... the last time I was here, there was a man selling durians by the 'longgok'... this time, nobody :p
The clearing in the jungle. Watch for the familiar white and red striped ribbons. They lead the way to the falls...
We took the trail to the right where those white and red striped ribbons now appear on the branches of surrounding trees. After this point comes the first and only ‘challenge’ of the trail, a long steep slope that we have to negotiate...
The most challenging part of the hike! The scramble up a long rather steep slope...
The climb slowed our pace a little but overall we didn't encounter any problems although on the way back from the falls, we did encounter quite a number of hikers pausing for breath along the slope, the ‘challenge’ appearing to be too ‘much’ to bear for some… ;)
Along the slope, there were a few tree trunks that straddle across, requiring a little 'heave-ho' to clear...
After clambering up the slope for about 30 minutes, a large metal pipe will appear on your left leading up to what appeared to be a disused ‘dam’, akin to what you might have encountered above Kem Lolo on the Nuang Trail, though in worse condition.
An abandoned 'house' can be seen just at the side of the ‘dam’, also reminding me of a similar construct at Kem Lolo Dam, making it another notable landmark on the trail.
Landmark! ;) An abandoned 'house' by the remains of a 'dam'... a rather (haunting) place to spend the night... :p
We pressed on, skirting along the side of the river, clearing over some boulders along the way. By now, the din of cascading water can be heard through the sounds of the jungle; we are close. ;) 2 hours after we started, we finally arrived at Lepok to discover that it was JAM PACKED with over 30 people bathing in the waterfall! ;)
Civilization finding it's way into the jungle! The look of dismay on Aaron's face describes it all! ;)
They were not the scouts we had encountered earlier but actually members from another group. A few small tents were also pitched at the side, the inhabitants of one burning a pile of twigs and dried leaves to create smoke, perhaps to chase off the irritating sweat bees that begin to buzz around us the moment we arrived. We placed our bags down and waited for about 15 minutes, long enough for the large group to take their leave. ;)
The waterfall is ours! For now... ;)
Once the coast was clear, most of us waded into the falls proper. Courtesy of having the back of my heel chewed off by an escalator one week before in Klang Bukit Tinggi’s Jaya Jusco, I had to reluctantly sit out this round of having a satisfying waterfall bath. :p :( Of those that went in, only Aaron decided to try his luck with the 'slide'. Yee Wei, who has previously did the same decide to sit the slide out.
Carol sitting out a chance to dip in the icy cool waters...
Not surprisingly, the water was icy cold. The depth was deep enough to swim while still low enough for a grown adult to stand on his feet to clear the water. The strength of the cascade at the foot of the fall was not overwhelming yet still good enough to give you a good 'massage' if you were to stand right under it.
City beauties wading into the pool... ;)
A picture is never complete without a beautiful lady at your side... ;)
We hung around the waterfall till 1245pm, the heat of the afternoon sun barely affecting us, shielded as we were from the overhead cloud cover and surrounding trees. It was our empty bellies that urged us to make tracks back to civilization. We returned to the car park by 2pm, as usual, the journey down a lot easier than the journey up.
Some of us washed by the flowing stream near the car park while a rest went into the Asli Adventure Camp to ‘commandeer’ their more civilized facilities. It is still a private ownership however, so it is recommended for you to ‘ask’ when you use their facilities if you see anyone there.
Our customary Trail Tracker lunch extravaganza was held at our regular haunt for trips to this area, Hulu Langat town’s famous Langat Seafood Restaurant and Beer Garden. Located within Hulu Langat town itself, it could be accessed by turning left at the traffic light junction at the center of town on the single road leading out from Pangsun into Jalan Sungai Tekali. From here, you’ll have to cross over a bridge before huge signboards of the restaurant can be seen on the right. Turn into the small road following the directions on the board and watch for the second one that shows the way to the restaurant itself. Do watch out for those menacing unmarked ‘bumps’ on the road especially for those cars with low clearances (mine included), otherwise be prepare for some heartbreaking thumps! :p
At the Ulu Langat Seafood Restaurant and Beer House... never try to disturb Yee Wei when he is eating his food... Grrrr... Woof! :p
A satisfyingly filling meal of egg fu yong, kung po style mantis prawns, green vegetables, kampung chicken in herbal sauce, crowned by nothing less than their signature pork knuckles was served to satiate our hunger.
Their signature dish! Pork Knuckles! Yum...
Once our tanks are ‘filled’, we commenced our final journey home… ending yet another memorable hike to one more of our pristine waterfalls in this quiet pocket of Selangor! :D Until then, this is Eddie Tuen, signing off... ;)