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Kedah Sights & Visits ~ Forests & Waterfalls I

• Intro & Background • Sights and Visits  • Langkawi • Kedah Map •

• Gunung Jerai • Alur Naga Waterfall & Legends •Bukit Hijau •
• Bukit Hijau • Lata Assam Jawa (Lata Bayu) •

Take your pick and drive over for hours of peace and solitude within the green environment. What is a tropical paradise without the sights and sounds of the cascading waterfalls? This magical play of flowing and crashing water can be found at many locations in Kedah.

Gunung Jerai
As the highest peak in the state, it adds a touch of variety to the scenic flat plains seen throughout the area. Located near Sungei Petani and standing at an impressive height of about 1,200m above sea level, it boasts of cool, fresh air, natural surroundings and a decent helping of local legends. From the summit, the visitor is treated to spectacular views of rolling paddy fields and the sea surrounding Penang and Langkawi islands. Considering this place to be sacred, traders built a complex of temples that have now been excavated and preserved at the
Lembah Bujang Archeological Museum site.

The main vegetation is the dipterocarp forest which consist of hardwoods such as keruing, cengal and meranti. Going up the landscape changes dramatically from lowland to montane conifer forest. Typical species of the conifers include Agathis dammara and Podocarpus imbricatus. Several rare orchids are found on Gunung Jerai including the Bulbophyllum longiflorum. Pitcher plants of the Nepenthes species are also quite common

A forest recreational park, the Sungai Teroi Forest Recreational Park, is located on one of the mountain slopes, being home to a variety of species of rhododendrons, orchids, pitcher plants, countless varieties of ferns and herbs. Trees along hiking trails have been labelled for easy identification. Dammed mountain streams form semi-natural pools provide cool spots to relax. The Forestry Museum which is housed in a beautiful traditional Malay house is located a short distance away from the Peranginan Gunung Jerai Resort. Here visitors can derive useful information on Malaysian forests and learn among other things, the commercial and medicinal uses of different indigenous plants.

The mountain also holds a secret relating to the Second World War. The British army, anticipating a Japanese attack from the sea, had built trenches located close to the peak. There, they would wait for the enemy who never turned up. The visitor can still see these trenches criss-crossing the jungle path.

Alur Naga Waterfall & Legends
Located about 200m from the resort is the famous Alur Naga waterfall which is indeed a magnificent spot. The hike down a path of steep boulders was well worth it as one could spend the whole day enjoying the serenity and beauty of the falls.
The name was derived from a legend where a dragon was believed to have lived in the cave behind the waterfall and occasionally came out to bathe in the pool. Or as another legend has it, a king called Raja Bersiong (king with fangs) used this pool as his private bathing pool.

Located near the waterfall was a huge rock resembling a ship which was believed to have turned into stone. On top of the rock one can see long diagonal lines intersecting one another exactly like the wooden planks on a ship. He then went to a corner of the "ship" and demonstrated that it was hollow beneath. That is supposed to be the trap door leading to the lower deck. A short distance from Batu Kapal, were three strangely shaped stones – a human head, three toes and a dolphin. According to legend, a long, long time ago, the sea level was higher and Gunung Jerai was not a mountain but only an island called Pulau Serai. Batu Kapal, which was actually a junk, was shipwrecked when it was caught in the coral reefs. The human head and the three toes could have belonged to one of the sailors and together with the dolphin, were all changed into stone for eternity.

For those who are more adventurous and physically fit, they can walk up the road. This comparatively arduous task takes an average of four hours.
While ascending, there are several strategically located vantage points from where visitors can have a magnificent view of the coastal plain, the "rice bowl" of Kedah, the Straits of Malacca and legendary islands of Langkawi.

Take-on the 20,000 "Tangga Kenari" steps challenge up the mighty Jerai Peak. This alternative access for trekkers offers a better experience as the crawling route meanders to the top. Along the way, get familiar with the myriad attractions of the forested abode... take a breather at the many lay-bys and let the unique sensations of the environment rejuvenate your spirits. You are in nature's own pharmacy where the flora may just be the panacea to life's many incurable ailments. You could also partake of a nocturnal hike up the mountain with the help of lights that show the way up the steps.

Getting There / Stay
This forest clad mountain that was formerly known as the Kedah Peak lies 45 km to the south of Alor Star. It is accessible by road where 12 km of winding tarmac leads all the way up from the foothill to the only resort, Peranginan Gunung Jerai, sitting at the peak. Overnight accommodation is provided for with rooms and chalets. The town of Gurun is the stop off point, 33 km south of Alor Setar on the Butterworth-Alor Setar trunk road. A jeep service can take you up the mountain (45 minutes), starting at 8.30 am till 5 pm daily.

Location – 4 5 km to the south of Alor Star
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Bukit Hijau
Located about 112km south-east of Alor Setar, deep in the forest of Gunung Inas in the Baling district is Peranginan Bukit Hijau, a great highland retreat for those inclined for the greenery. A three-kilometre jungle-trail through a virgin forest reserve leads up to nearby Gunung Inas at 1,454 metres.

Also known as Lata Bukit Hijau Recreational Forest, it is famed for its amazing seven-level cascading waterfalls that create seven pools of cool, crystal clear water. Although picnickers come here during weekends and public holidays, its large camping ground with basic toilet facilities along the Sungai Mempelam (Mempelam River) is more than adequate for all. Activities available there include nature walks along the bridle path that leads to the forest reserve where one can see nature
at its best.

To get there, one can proceed on routes:
1. Sungai Petani - Kuala Ketil - Bukit Hijau (1 hour driving).
2. Kulim - Bukit Hijau

Location – Gunung Inas
54 km from Kulim Towm or 112 km from Alor Star
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Lata Asam Jawa (Lata Bayu)

This is a very old recreation area and also a renowned spot in the northernmost part of the country. The park is dominated by a big cascade. The Waterfall is a finale to series of rapids ending up with a cascades. Total height of the continuous slide is about 30 meters high. A beautiful pathway follows the left bank all the way until a level plain on top of the rapids. There is only one small vertical fall of 2 meters at the end of this stretch.

Some 3 kilometers out of Baling town and a branch road to north Kedah, places like Sik, Weng etc. On the way [15 kilometers later] in the village of Assam Java, good and prominent signage directs you to the 3 kilometers Park road.
Location – About 30 km from Baling & 90 km from Alor Setar
Visit Rating -


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