One of the best kept secrets in the state of Selangor is the Forest Reserve of Sungei Congkak ("Hutan Lipur Sungei Congkak"). I have visited it three times in the past few years with the most recent time being on 18 June 2005, a day before Father's Day.
The picture posted here was taken in 2003, when my daughters and I went camping there with some friends.
If you want to know more, do keep on reading the next few tips.
Updated (2009): Our family revisited Sg Congkak during the school holidays in June 2009 and found that it was still a great place to visit. There were many visitors, but for some reason, they were all converged towards the main entrance to the park. If you venture deeper in (around 20 min slow stroll) , you'll find a quiet spot to yourself-which we did. :-)
Take the Kerinchi Link from Mont Kiara or Bandar Utama and get onto the Federal Highway. Just near MidValley (on your left) are various underpasses.
Look for underpass (exit E2) to Seremban, Cheras and Kajang. Keep on the right lane towards Cheras and Kajang. There will be a toll just ahead. After the toll, continue along this road (housing estates on both sides of the road and past Plaza Phoenix on your left), till you get to the Batu 9 Cheras Toll (Lebuhraya Cheras- Kajang). Immediately after paying the toll, keep left and look out for the Green & White road signs that say Ulu Langat & 'Air-Terjun' (this means Waterfall).
Update: Looking to visit this place this weekend (June 09) -hope it won't be too crowded! I'll also see if any of the road-signs have changed.
This tip continues from the previous one.
After paying the toll at the Batu 9 Cheras Toll Gate, take the left exit. Reset your speedometer to zero. From this toll to the Sg. Congkak turnoff is about 18 km and exactly 22 km to the main car park to the park's entrance.
You will drive past a market (lots of activity in the mornings) and some shops. The next landmark is the Batu 9 Police Station (on your right). Exactly where this police station is is a set of traffic lights and the road has a "Y" junction. Keep left and take the left fork and continue along this road towards Ulu Langat. Batu 9 Cheras is the name of this town/village.
You may see several green and white sign that says "Air Panas 10 and Air Terjun 21". Along this single-lane road, there are numerous durian & rambutan stalls, a few stand alone bungalows, and some shops and tiny towns. The next major kampung is Pekan Batu 18, with a large mosque at the centre of town. Continue along the same road which will become a bit windy. From Pekan Batu 18, it is about 3 km to the turnoff to Sg Congkak Forest Reserve (Hutan Lipur Sg Congkak), which is on your left.
Drive through a small road through what looks like the back of some people's backyards and you will also be able to see the river on your left. Dotted along the river are make-shift huts, stalls and eco-camps.
Continue along this road till you get to the privately run car park (see picture). You can park your car here for RM2.00 per day. You can also park overnight - just inform the guy who minds the place. He'll keep an eye out for your car.
A word on handphones: Once you get into the park, handphone coverage is practically nil for both 012 (MAXIS) and 016 (DIGI).
It was my son's first visit to a "jungle" and he was delighted! He was in high spirits, and jumped & skipped instead of walking.
There are several very basic chalets and campsites at Sg. Congkak. I have trekked as far as Campsite No 6. During my previous two trips, we had made camp at Campsite No. 5. I have written a couple of tips on it, under accomodation.
However, during this trip with the kids, as we were not planning an overnight stay, we just continued walking from the main gate till we found a shady spot by the river where there was no one around. And now, on to the next tip.
My four year old son did not take to the water straightaway. I was not surprised, because I found the water to be ice-cold too!
I was delighted to see little fresh-water fishes in the water and when we stepped in, they came to nibble on our toes! My son really didn't like that at all, although I found it to be merely ticklish and a bit amusing. Being a true city boy, he also didn't quite like what he called the "water spiders" (tiny thin insects with long thin legs, that scate on the surface of the water). There were also red and blue dragon flies and tiny butterflies, but he didn't seem to mind those.
The story continues in the next tip.
muddybok sent me this reference on common water striders. Click to know more about this special insect. It is a natural predator to the mosquitoes. The other insect that you will like to have around to keep mosquitoes at bay, is the dragon fly. Do smile when you see the water strider and the dragon fly, because they eat those nasty mozzies!
~This story continues from the previous tip~
After getting over the initial cold, we soon settled down on various rocks and each person had their own favourite "hot-spot" (that's what my girls called it). Then everyone started feeling hungry, so my husband climbed back up to where we had left out stuff and brought the sandwiches & fried nuggets down to the river.
So, there we were, seated on the rocks and munching away. We put the water bottles into the river to keep the water cold. Ah, it was very pleasant and time seemed to have no meaning.
The good thing was that after lunch, my son seemed to settle in and became quite comfortable. He was soon splashing in the water with his sisters. We too became bolder and soon immersed our whole bodies into the river!
~continued in the next tip~
The Ulu Langat district is the home of local durians and mangosteens - which are grown by small-land holders who live in the area. Indeed, as you drive from Cheras towards the Sg Congkak Forest Reserve, you will see many durian trees and durian stalls, such as the one shown in the picture, dotting the road side.
While durian & rambutan trees were plentiful, it was not as easy to find mangosteen trees. However, I did see at least one old tree laden with fruits along the village road near the Forest Reserve area. A tall tree, the mangosteen tree bears many fruit, but is rarely grown for commercial purposes, as it takes a mangosteen tree a good ten years before it begins to fruit. On the tree, the fruit is still green, but once it ripens, it will turn purple.
For more information on how much to pay for durians, please check out my shopping tips.
The sign shows the opening hours of the Forest Reserve and charges. Please click on the picture to enlarge it.
Adults pay RM1.00 and entry is free for children.
For enquiries on camping & other activities, please call the phone number listed : 03-5519 4545.
Nearby, there are also a number of private operators whom you can borrow camping gear from and even get a generator set for use at night.
A day out at the Forest Reserve can be made even more fun if you rent a bike here. When we were there in May 2005, we noticed that there were bikes for rental at a low rate (RM3-5 per hour) at the park entrance. The bikes were suitable for bigger kids and adults and looked pretty new and in good shape. I also noticed that some kids bringing their own bicycles to the park.
The path within the Forest Reserve is suitable for cycling, and comfortable due to the mature and shady trees, but do watch out for the cars and motorbikes (such as ice-cream vendors).
Cars are not allowed within the forest reserve, however, for those renting the chalets, they are allowed to drive in.
Sheeptrade Enterprise in Batu Arang, Selangor, is a farm that not only rears goats and deer, but is also a tourist’s spot. Its beautiful and magnificent pastures and jungle nearby is a draw, even for the locals. With its clean and hygienic environment, the farm is fast becoming a hot spot for couples wanting a natural background for their wedding photography.
70km from Petaling Jaya, go along Jalan Sungai Buloh before exiting to Jalan Kuala Langat. Enjoy a quiet cruise before taking the Batu Arang exit on the right.
Formerly an abandoned veterinary land, the Sheeptrade Enterprise is a 140ha of green pastures that span all the way to a jungle towards the hills. It is a picturesque sight, made perfect by the flocks of white goats and agile deer roaming the grounds. For added romance, there is a man-made lake among the greens.
The farm offers comfortable chalets to visitors, mostly families.
The stay also gives visitors an opportunity to learn how goats are reared and the dairy process carried out.
Educational tours are conducted around the farm. Visitors can see how goats are milked and their produce processed. Animal lovers usually are attracted to the kids and most will play with them as questions posed by the other visitors are answered by staff at the farm.
Address:R4, Jalan Ladang Caledonia,48100 Batu Arang, S'gor
Sungai Congkak (Sungai = river/stream) situated in the district of Ulu Langat, in the state of Selangor, Malaysia. I've been to a lot of waterfalls and streams in Malaysia but so far, this is the best place for picnic and camping in Malaysia.
For me the most special thing about Sungai Congkak is that the stream is long and has various depth. If you come with small children, you could go to the shallow part. If you come with adventurous adults, you could find deeper spot to swim.
When you turn right towards the Sungai Congkak, you will see a lot of outbound camps and chalet. Don't get excited yet!! You haven't reach the place yet.. Well, technically you have reach Sungai Congkak but you haven't seen the best of it yet. Drive along until you find a gate with signboard "Hutan Rekreasi Sungai Congkak" (Sungai Congkak Recreational Forest/Park). Now this the place to be. You have to park you car outside (unless you rent a chalet, then you could drive inside the park)
There are 7 zones there. The closest one to the gate is Zone 1 and so on.
Take my advise, camp/picnic at Zone 3 and above. Zone 1 and 2 stream a shallow so it's usually crowded with large families with small children and old folks. There's no privacy there.
ACCOMODATION AND FACILITIES
Many come here for picnic and BBQ. Enterance is RM 1 per head. There's also parking fees (about RM 5).
For those who love to camp overnight, there are also camp grounds available. They charge RM 10 per tent.
If you're not the camping type, you can also stay in the chalets. Here's the rate per night.
(Sorry, I couldn't find the rate in English. I will translate to English later)
It's quite economical actually, The other day we went with 4 adults and 2 kids and we brought along a sleeping bag. We all sleep comfortably in the chalet for 4.
This recreational park is maintained by Tourism Selangor Sdn. Bhd. A private company (phone number : 603-5513200). You may call them for enquiry.
It is such a shame that not many tourist are informed about this great place. You feel closest to the nature here. The public facilities are good. The place is clean and safe and also it's only about 1 hour from Kuala Lumpur.
This is a must place to visit if you wanna experience Malaysia's nature (without having to sacrifice the comfort).
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