About Ulu Chepor in Perak
LOVE the idea of exploring uncharted grounds but don’t know where to go? Well, for a start, Ulu Chepor in Perak is so “ulu” (remote) that it’ll take your breath away!
You can trek in the million-year-old rainforest that escaped the last Ice Age. Wallow in an uncharted creek and “discover” rare plants that may not even be listed in any botanical references.
And the best part is… it’s all just minutes away from the nearest Plus exit toll in Jelapang near Ipoh.
Why you must visit Ulu Chepor
Once in a while, it’s refreshing to uncover a hidden gem with such great potential for eco-tourism. Ulu Chepor is unpretentious and untainted by the bane of commercialization.
The villagers of Kampung Ulu Chepor take pains to keep Sungai Chepor clean as it’s the river that attracts visitors to the area, especially on weekends and public holidays.
What to see at Ulu Chepor
The river enchants with multiple falls at 20-30m intervals. There are shallow sections where you can wade in knee-deep water and admire peculiar plants populating the banks.
Look out for strikingly-coloured butterflies gathering near water pockets and you will particularly enjoy looking at a plethora of fungus mushrooming everywhere. These add colour to the dull forest floor.
Activities at Ulu Chepor
Take a dip in the icy cold water. The waterfall can also give you a soothing back massage. For a cool thirst quencher, leave your water bottle in the riverbed for a couple of minutes and voila, a chilled drink, courtesy of Mother Nature.
It’s also nice to drop by at the many small warung (stalls) to enjoy food, fruit and a steaming cup of teh tarik before heading for home. This way, you’re also helping the local community, which is what eco-tourism is partly about.
What to watch out during your trekking trip
1. The banks of Sungai Chepor are infested with leeches. That’s an adventure in itself. Wear a pair of high-cut jungle boots that choke down on your calves to prevent these creepies from sneaking up your pants.
Alternatively, a pair of tight, long football socks can be used for the same purpose.
2. Bring along food and water. You never know how far or how long it’ll take you to reach the water source.
We spent three hours traversing Sungai Chepor upstream and came to a dead end where huge boulders blocked our efforts to go deeper.
3. As with any jaunt into uncharted territory, it makes sense to bring along equipment such as a compass and first-aid kit. All major mobile phone signals are available but they are faint in Ulu Chepor.
4. Don’t be fazed by obstacles like fallen trees and rutted terrain. Don’t forget you’re in no man’s land. Moving around in untouched wilderness requires effort on your part. A good machete will prove indispensable.
Adventures at Ulu Chepor
Wet and slippery edges are the real peril, not leeches. In one part, we stumbled across a 2m wide elephant trail. Their fresh droppings were a good tell-tale sign.
Wild boars are another hazard you don’t want to cross path with. We came across numerous wallow pits with fresh wild boar tracks.
It’s best to avoid these grounds as they may return and catch a whiff of your scent.
These animals don’t take well to intruders.
Last piece of advice: Scour the jungle by all means but never stray too far from the river if you don’t want to get lost. It will be your guide for getting in – and out – of the forest.
Getting to Ulu Chepor
Ulu Chepor is not marked in any tourist or recreation forest map. To get there, exit the Plus Highway at Jelapang and take the road leading to Chemor.
Look out for an arch (on the left) that welcomes visitors to Kampung Ulu Chepor. Drive in slowly as chickens, goats and children can dart across your path without warning.
On weekends, visitors are required to pay RM1 to enter the riverside picnic ground. The fringes of the rainforest are dotted with warung and picnic huts. There’s also a public toilet.
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Popular Attractions in Perak That You Might Be Interested
- Gua Tempurung – These ancient caves stretch over a kilometer from the south of Sungai Siput to Kuala Dipang and comprise of five domes with ceilings that resemble coconut shells with various formations of stalactites and stalagmites.
- Pangkor Island – Pangkor Island is one of the most highly rated tourist destinations in Malaysia. It’s located in West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The attractions of the island lies in its Pangkor Laut Resort which has been featured in top tourist websites.
- Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill) – Bukir Larut is located in the town of Taiping. It’s the only well known highland resort around this area. This highland offers cool temperate climate for those who like to escape the heat of the city. There are some hotels located at the top of the hill for those who like to spend a night there.
- Perak and Sam Poh Tong Cave Temple – These cave temples are a must visit in the town of Ipoh. They are usually huge and spacious within which explains the reason people built temples inside. The attractions of these temples lie in the facts that there are Taoist statues where people from as far as Singapore come to seek guidance and worship.
- Teluk Intan Leaning Clock Tower – The town of Teluk Intan is mainly noted for its unusual leaning clock tower. This pagoda-like structure has a leftward slant and stands at 25.5m. It was built in 1885 and was originally used as a covered water tank.
- Kinta Valley Limestone Hills – I visited this place on the way to KL. Really awesome place to get refreshed your mind.Ambient inside the cave temple is a place where you can set aside my ever-tiring soul. This place simply offers a different ambient and calm you down.
Photo credits: sanguinie.