Go whitewater rafting on the fun rapids of Jeram Besu and trek into the forest of Lata Jarum to seek out the unique Rafflesia!
Located near Benta in the state of Pahang, Jeram Besu has rapids from class 1 to 3 and is considered one of the best spots in Malaysia for white water rafting. Rafters, kayakers and canoeists are known to come from all over the country and even from neighbouring countries like Singapore to experience a run down Sungai Lipis’ Jeram Besu. The best time to test out the rapids would be after a heavy rain the night before as the waters will swell, making the currents rougher.
Calm down if you’re raring to go once you’re strapped into your rafting equipment because you will first be put through the mandatory water confidence course. It teaches you how to float on the surface of the river, sit and paddle in the water as well as how to handle a capsize so you will know what to do in case a real one happens out on the rapids. You will also perform a “man overboard” exercise which requires you to let yourself fall off a rocky ledge into a part of the river called the “Mother Rapids”, a churning, swirling section of water, so take it as a challenge, as once you have overcome this, your adrenaline will make you feel invincible!
Whitewater rafting at Jeram Besu is not just all about the rough waters, as you will also be able to have a moment of quiet on calmer parts of the river. Sit back and enjoy the view of butterflies drifting around in the air, occasionally taking a trembling break on a rock before taking off again. Do spare a glance at overhanging branches as you pass by them as you may see some white-throated kingfishers roosting in them, and you may also spy Oriental pied hornbills gliding overhead on a good day.
In the tropical forest of Lata Jarum, go on a trekking adventure to discover the Rafflesia, the world’s largest single flower of any flowering plant. Contrary to popular belief that the only place in Malaysia one can find this strange flower is Borneo, it is present in Lata Jarum’s forest in Peninsular Malaysia. The Rafflesia can range up to 100 centimetres in diameter and weigh up to 10 kilograms per flower. It has five large red petals, covered in warts, that spread wide open when in bloom, with an opening in its central chamber.
When in bloom, the Rafflesia emits a stench similar to that of decaying flesh, which then attracts flies and other insects into its chamber to lay their eggs, pollinating the flower. Since the Rafflesia is a parasitic plant, it has no need for chlorophyll and instead feeds off its host vine. It is definitely a sight and visits that one must experience, as it is a flower unique to very specific parts of Southeast Asia. While the main point of this trekking adventure is to seek out the Rafflesia, Lata Jarum’s lush growth of tropical trees that will frame your surroundings along the way should be given due appreciation, too.
You will also get to see Ulu Dong’s waterfall, Lata Jarum. Although not as impressive a waterfall as many others in Malaysia, its cascades of water are strong enough to evoke a similar sense of peace one can achieve at the bigger waterfalls. At Lata Jarum, there is a huge pool at the base for swimming, wading or picnicking. The area is also shrouded in lush greenery, and the atmosphere is fresh and moist.