Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lata Kedondong 2012: The Return

Yes, we returned to Lata Kedongdong once more, first time in 2012, after quite a while. :)

Gathering a posse of 17 people, we congregated at Devi's Corner TTDI to pay 'homage' to it's roti canai, roti telur, telur setengah masak (most of the time) and teh tarik, filling up our energy stores before the commencing hike.
Breakfast at Devi's Corner, TTDI

Taking off after our 'expert' commando navigator, Dennis Teh, arrived 30 minutes AFTER our scheduled departure, we head off first to Desapark City, doing a few merry go-round turns before finding our 'Princess' Wai Wai standing at a different guardhouse from the one we thought we would find. :p ;)
Princess Leia, er... Wai Wai ;)

Needless to say, our FIVE car convoy couldn't maintain 'shield' integrity and so we ended up separated into three groups, all heading in the general direction of Ulu Yam. Offhand, I would like to thank my very patient participants, because despite the round and round turns, they have the supreme patience not to complain about it when we finally arrived at the destination (well, at least not in front of me of course)... ;) Haha!

Taking the MRR2 road with Vit Ping the only person skillfully steering his steed behind me, passing over the flyover at Kepong roundabout in the direction of the Batu Caves temple, we took a left turn just before the temple at a junction with the words 'Ulu Yam' printed (Route B22). We linked up with Teoh san's Honda Accord in the town on the road to Empangan Batu (Route B23). We are starting to gather 'lost sheep'... ;)

We passed Empangan Batu (Batu Dam on Route B23 -> B57), intermittent phone coverage granting us a brief opportunity to locate the other two cars in our earlier FIVE car convoy. They were behind us in Batu Caves town when were were passing by the Empangan Batu's romantic blue lake. :)

We reached Ulu Yam Baru town about 20 minutes later, following signboards to Batang Kali (Route B57) from there. Once we exited the town, it didn't take long before we found the signboard pointing towards Genting, about 6km from Batang Kali. We turned into the road (Route 66).

Caution is advised when travelling on this road. It is winding and there are many blind spots. And like it's famous cousin in the US, it is also famous for those people with a need TO speed. FAST cars (ie: Ferraris, BMWs etc) and Mat Rempit convoys ply up and down the route, the winding roads a 'test' to hone their skills on the highways of Malaysia (to the detriment of us all citizen drivers) :p. Of course our navigator, Mr. Dennis still have fond memories of this stretch of road... ;)

We reached the parking lot of a recreation park located about 20.5 km from Genting. Time check: 1030am. ;) The park is very well managed and clean, the toilets suitable for post trip baths and apparently now maintained by a keeper who would appreciate a 'contribution' of RM0.30 for upkeep of the toilets. :)
At the Car Park, waiting for cars #4 and #5... :)

After docking our three trusty 'steeds' at the car park, it was time to catch up with the two other cars. Informed that they went ahead to Batang Kali for a petrol stop, they finally linked up with us at the car park at 11am. Well, I guess it's still morning.
A large gathering... :) Definitely the biggest group I have brought to Lata Kedongdong... :)

After a customary group photo, we heaved anchor and cast off, in search of the staircase located at edge of the park that led to the jungle track and Lata Kedongdong beyond!
And we are off! :)

As before, the staircase and cement trail only went about a few meters before petering out to jungle track. And again, if you are not really observant, it would seem like there are seemingly a few 'tracks' heading in generally the same direction. Well, one rule of thumb when tracking on this trail, keep the stream and the road between you and you will never go wrong. ;)
The stream that links with Sungai Batang Kali
The jungle trek begins...

You can choose to do a 'river track' but I haven't done it before myself, although I have heard others do. However, judging by the size of some boulders in the stream, I would presume it to be a little 'tough' to scramble over them boulders.

At length, we reached a point where we had to negotiate up the side of a boulder close to the falls. Protruding tree roots offer good foot and hand holds although Dennis's boy scout rope was a welcomed relief for those not so 'initiated' in the art of jungle trekking. ;) The alternative over climbing up this 'high point', is to circle around it in a slightly longer and rather branch entangled route. Not really recommended. :p
For the 'uninitiated', a good sturdy rope is always better than trying to climb slippery rock (or in this case, boulder) faces... :)

We arrived at Lata Kedongdong approximately 30 minutes after leaving the car park. I almost couldn't recognize it this time around. :p
Arrival at Lata Kedongdong, 2012

For one, there is this huge tumble of bamboo spread across the outflow of the pool fed by the waterfall, inadvertently raising the water level of the pool and making the water look 'greener'.
The bamboo tumble covering the pool outflow, 2012. Water is slightly greener... :p
The clearer, 'cleaner' version we discovered in 2009

Despite it being almost noon, the area was still cool and the air pretty crisp.

There is also some form of bamboo 'shelter' located close to the track when we came in, no doubt set up by people with the intention to spend a night here without the hassle of carrying a tent. :p

We dropped our bags and head to the cool waters of the pool. The initial plunge was met by still 'icy' cold water although as our bodies adjusted to the temperature, swimming in it becomes bearable. ;)
Wading into the pool :). That's what we came here for isn't it? :)

As mentioned before, the raised water levels has deepened the pool at its center and although there is no detectable current there, it is more than 2.5 meter deep. Caution is strongly advised when swimming. Closer to the waterfall and towards the outflow, the current becomes stronger and now with the fallen bamboo tumble 'shrouding' the point where the water tumbles down from the pool, the seemingly stable waters just before the tumble might hide an underwater 'vortex' that can potentially suck a swimmer under and trap them between the boulders underneath. Keep away from the outflow! :p
The piles of boulders below the pool...

Once more, Dennis and Aaron explored the area above Lata Kedongdong, skirting along the slippery rock incline next to the falling waters. Again as before, there really isn't much aside from a small pool and a minor cascade. They lingered there for a moments before joining the rest of the group below.
A new yoga pose from Aaron? Must be back breaking! :p

Some of us didn't join in the 'fun' of swimming, preferring to keep their clothes firmly on their backs. ;) Questions as to 'why' they don't want to indulge in our little habit elicited a rather 'coy' answer in the guise of, "Oh, I didn't read the part about bringing spare clothing" and "Ah... next time." :) Ah well, as the saying goes, "Render upon Caeser..." ;)
Presenting: The Non Waterfall Bathers (NWBs). :)

After spending 1 hour and 15 minutes at the falls, it was time to head home and to look for lunch! ;)

We packed our stuff, taking time for one more group photo.
Group photo before we leave...

After that its a short trek back to the car park, a brief shower before going over to Ulu Yam for a taste of its famous Loh Mee! :D
One of Ulu Yam Lama's famous loh mee... Mmmm... ;)

Overall, Lata Kedongdong is still a nice place to swim, albeit one has to be a little bit more careful this time. A short relatively easy hike from the car park and a nice cooling dip awaits. Well worth the LOOOOONNNNGGGGG drive from civilization... ;) Till the next adventure! ;)You're welcomed to read my last documented visit of Lata Kedongdong here. ;)

The car park on km20.5 Ulu Yam -> Genting can be referred for below, ah the perks of modern technology... :)


  1. Very well written blog entry! I enjoy reading your narration of our adventure and you have a very good command of the English language.

    I understand that it's not easy being the organiser, hence the "supreme patience" hehe...

  2. Thank Kenny! :) It's always a pleasure to have your participation in my trips... ;) Thanks of course for coming... as they always say, the more is always merrier... :) Hope to see you next round! :)