If you lead a busy city lifestyle, when it’s not easy to get days off to spend time with your loved ones and you would prefer to have a quiet weekend with them to experience a slice of adventure, where would you go?
If you’d like to explore a place of historical significance not too far from KL, you may want to consider Lenggong Valley in Perak.
A unique place
Surrounded by breathtaking greenery, Lenggong Valley’s pristine environment oozes blissful tranquility. Such is the beauty of rural life! Yet, upon arriving on the long roads of the valley, three hours plus from Kuala Lumpur by car, one can’t help but to have a sense of adventure as well. The valley, though quiet, is waiting to reveal its uniqueness.
Indeed, its uniqueness has been revealed to the world. Not only by local and foreign travellers, but also by archeologists. In 2012, Lenggong was officially declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This site has led to discoveries of population and cultural remains from the pre-historic era, the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Metal Ages.
Have you ever heard of ‘The Perak Man‘? He was found right here in 1991, in the Lenggong Valley. And since then, Lenggong has gradually become a travel haven for those who want a holiday that combines relaxation, nature, culture, heritage, and adventure, all in one!
Here are a few tips based on my own little escape from the city.
A cozy guesthouse
Imagine waking up at the crack of dawn, in cool breezy fresh air (no air conditioning) in a traditional kampung house from Suka-Suka Retreat. Step out of it, and you can walk towards a vast serene lake in seconds, and kayak away in the midst of the still waters surrounding the magnanimous mountains of the Bintang and Titiwangsa range.
Once you are satisfied with your morning exercise in the kayak and a healthy dose of vitamin D, you are served a platter of delicious local delights such as nasi lemak, accompanied by locally grown natural herbal tea and coffee. With every meal it feels like you are dining with friends. It is cozy, intimate and you will also get to experience the Malay traditional way of eating together.
The friendly owners of Suka-Suka Retreat make everyone feel at home, like a family. I liked it so much that I booked for another stay for my second trip!
Boat rides at sunset along Tasik Raban offer probably some of the best views I have seen in peninsula Malaysia. The film ‘Anna and The King’ was filmed here back in the 90’s, and I can understand why.
Lara Croft’s caves
By entering caves, doing boat rides, and visiting historical sites such as Masjid Raja, Telaga Biru, Bukit Bunuh, and Bukit Jawa, is where one gets to explore and learn about the ancient history of the Lenggong Valley.
Exploring the caves was possibly my favourite activity. It brought a sense of excitement and adventure. Yes, Lara Croft in the make! Amongst the many caves in Lenggong, there are four caves that have revealed pre-historic human burials – Gua Gunung Runtuh, Gua Teluk Kelawar, Gua Kajang and Gua Harimau. Gua Kajang has the easiest access, and it doesn’t take too long to travel to from Lenggong, the main village.
When I travel, I don’t usually go with a guide. However, many of the places of interest in the Lenggong Valley are of rural nature and spread out, so I would strongly suggest a guide. I was well impressed with our guide Nash from guesthouse Rumah Tiang. He was very thorough with his explanation about the history of the places we visited, and he also taught us a lot about the heritage and culture of the Pattani people in the Lenggong Valley. You can reach him on 019 336 8807.
Culture, heritage and Pattani cuisine
I don’t think I have been on a journey before where a guide prepares a sumptuous meal and the guests get involved by dressing up in traditional sarongs, whilst being entertained with stories, poems, songs about the people, the culture, and the cuisine.
Not only was I amused and delighted by Nash’ flawless effort, I also got a better knowledge about the Pattani culture. I learnt how to make a ‘supik tangan’, a traditional hat worn by men. I also tasted my first ‘pekasam’, a freshwater fish fermented with salt that is popularly produced by the locals.
Speaking of the cuisine, one should definitely try ‘The Farmer’s Lunch’ when visiting Lenggong.
Someone who has moved to Lenggong, told me that “Once you have been to Lenggong, you will always want to come back.” Well, I have been back there for the second time, and I have a feeling that I will be going there again, as I think there are still places of interest to be uncovered. Plus, I now consider Lenggong Valley a destination for when I need a quiet and peaceful break.
Would you like to explore more beautiful nature in Perak? Have a look at our article about Belum National Park here.