There are not many flowers at the Sg Congkak Forest Reserve, however, the few that are there, were quite lovely. I noticed this red flower at various parts of the forest, and noticed that its tiny flowers would often fall right into the river, and the river's current would bring it downstream.
Do look out for the common water striders, dragon flies and butterflies when you are here.
Some interesting info: The dragon flies and common water striders are a natural predator to the mosquitoes, so it is certainly useful to have them around to keep the mozzies away.
It has been a great outing to the river, and we were pleasantly tired and more than a little hungry. On the drive back, we passed by many durian stalls. I asked my husband to stop the car, but he wasn't keen. He loves durians, but is very particular and would only trust his regular durian supplier. Nevertheless, the kids and I were famished, so we asked him to stop the car.
Fondest memory: When my husband stopped the car, the lady minding the stall selected a few durians and we opened the durians right there, and in true-blue Malaysian style, started eating the durians, by the road side.
Gosh, they tasted so good! Undoubtedly the taste was enhanced because we were so hungry! After that, we bought a few more fruits of durian to take home with us, and in addition, to "cool down" the durians (a Chinese Ying-Yang belief system), we also bought some lovely mangosteens.
Social Observation/Local Custom: As usual, once there are customers, other cars stopped at the same stall too. Malaysians always go by the general rule that if a stall has customers, then it MUST be good.
The forest reserve has many types of indigenous trees. In my previous visits, I had not noticed any sort of labeling of the flora, but during this recent visit in June 2005, I noticed that the trees had proper lables, to indicate their common name and their scientific names.
The lables that I saw here included durian kampung, nangka (jackfruit), chempedak (another type of jackfruit), pokok sirih (betelnut) and pokok getah (rubber tree).
Fondest memory: The tree shown here is the Nangka tree. The nangka fruit has a thick skin, and sticky sap. The pods are bright yellow, with thick, sweet flesh and there is a seed in the middle of it. It has a distinctively strong scent as well.
It used to be common in many gardens, but these days, most people don't seem to plant fruit trees anymore and seem to focus more on ornamental plants or themed gardens (Balinese or Japanese gardens are popular). In fact, many city people are simply too busy to have any sort of garden at all-which is a real shame beause tropical flowers & trees require very little care. My fondest wish is to have more city folks bring their kids to the forest reserve and to teach them the wonders of nature. At least, they would get to see the jackfruit in its natural state and not think that the fruits came only in RM2 plastic bags! LOL
Click on the picture to see what the nangka looks like.
The river water is really fresh and cold at the Sungei Congkak Forest Reserve. You will take a while to get used to the temperature, but once you do, it is really worthwhile!
Fondest memory: You'll laugh at me because I wasn't brave enough to soak my whole body into the river, and would only get in to waist deep water. However, after lunch, I took the plunge and sat right into the river next to one of those mini-waterfalls, and allowed the water to pour over my shoulders. Wow! It was a fantastic feeling!
This is an experience NOT TO BE MISSED, if you are ever out by the river.
Tip for clever mums: I had my four year old son with me, so when my legs were feeling cold, I just grabbed a hold of him and plonked him upon my lap. : D
If you are at the Sg Congkak Forest Reserve, keep an eye out for this unique plant that is found only in the Malaysian tropical jungles.
It is used by the Orang Asli as a traditional medicine to bring down fever. I was told you need to boil it and drink the water. I've not tried it, but apparently it works.
Fondest memory: The last time I saw this plant species was at Taman Negara in Pahang. Was quite pleased to see it here in Negeri Selangor. I didn't pick it of course! Afterall, this is a forest reserve under the care of the Forestry Department (Jabatan Perhutanan)
City folks such as me and my children, rarely spend much time out in the "jungle". I planned this trip out to Sungei Congkak Forest Reserve because I wanted a special day that they would remember. Due to the hot Malaysian weather, our weekends are typically spent at shopping malls or hidden away at home catching up on some sleep in the air-conditioned comfort of home.
Fondest memory: After the initial trepidation and hesitation my kids warmed up to the idea of having a little adventure exploring the forest reserve and river. Once we got into our swimming gear, and after getting used to the icy cold water, they started to enjoy themselves tremendously. I took some candid shots of my daugters, age 8 and 11. My fondest memory is seeing them creating their own games right here in nature's wonderland!
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