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Pelepah Falls and Firefly Hunt at Kota Tinggi

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The Statue of Liberty

Three years ago was my first time to land my feet in New York City. I went there with my eldest Sister,...

For the past few weeks, boredom has again struck me. I want to go out! I want some adventure! I told myself so. Actually, this outdoor outing has been in my consideration before I went on my long holiday in February. But as I’ve been for ages never joined any trekking trip, ok…I took more time to think it over before I eventually decided to go.

What had made me keep thinking on this trip was the Firefly cruise at the end of the day. Well, I have never seen that in my life. I was very excited! I found this trip through meetup.com. I joined the Outdoor Adventure Group organized by YMCA Singapore. Phew, as I couldn’t find any friends who want to go for the adventure, so, there I went alone!

The initial itinerary was as follows:
07.30 am: Gather at Woodlands Check Point

08.15 am: Arrive at JB Custom, transfer by coach to Kota Tinggi

08.45 am: Stopover for breakfast at Johor Bahru
We were given a few options: Wantoon noodle, Prata or Bak Kut Teh. Most of us chose Bak Kut Teh because we knew that we need a lot of energy later on. Haha..We ordered a big pot of Bak Kut Teh for 5 pax with few additional ingredients. We spent around RM15 for each pax.

10.30 am: Arrive at Kota Tinggi
After breakfast, here we go. We took a coach and about 1hr later we reached our destination – Kota Tinggi. Our bus was the one on the right (yellow colour).

11.00 am: Briefing and start trekking to Pelepah Falls
The outing group that I joined that day was a multinational group! Haha..Why do I say so? Because there were Singaporean, Indians, American, European, Malaysian and me, Indonesian. Although we were a stranger to each other, we did take care of each other and get to know each other. That’s what make the outing fun! Our group leader and the local guide gave us some briefing and there we go! But well, we didn’t expect to get our shoes wet so fast but in fact, yes, we got wet at our first 5 mins cause we need to go through a small stream to get in.

The Pelepah Falls was actually located behind the Oil Palm plantation. So, we have to walk like about 20 mins to pass through the plantation before we stepped in into the real path. Oh yes, have I told you that this was a water trail? If you are considering to try this trek, remember to put all your things in the water-proof bag or zip-lock plastic bag as we will walk through a lot of streams. Be prepared to get really wet!

About an hour later we saw a waterfall! We were so happy! Everyone was like jumping into it and refreshing themselves including me! 😀 We can go right under the end of the falls and let the waters hit our body. Have you ever tried the natural water spa? That’s it. Must try! The waterfall was not as big as I thought. Kinda disappointed but later on, we were told that this was not final yet! The real waterfall was still 20 mins walk from that point. Wohoo..!

“But..OH NO!!”

An unexpected thing happened! My shoes were worn off on the halfway! Laughable I know. I had to wear the shoes as long as I could before I changed to slippers. What a luck. First, I forgot to go to Money Changer to change for some Malaysian Ringgit then I realized that I forgot to bring slippers or extra shoes. I felt that was the poorest condition ever in my lifetime! Haha…But thanks God I still have slippers to hold on even though it belongs to my friend or else I may have to walk on that rocky path with barefoot.

Just imagine that I walk with one slipper and one shoe like that. It’s dangerous. But I had no choice but to proceed with cautions. Or do you think I want to stay forever in the forest?

01.30 pm: Lunch by the waterfall, dip in the pool
Yeaaaa…We finally reached our destination! The waterfall was awesome. I meant it! The feeling when dipping into the flowing water was awesome! Kinda feeling like a natural jacuzzi.

Pelepah waterfall is very unique. It’s not a very steep falls like we normally see but more like a slope. We can still walk upwards slowly with a little bit climbing on certain parts to reach to the top of the falls. I didn’t go up with my shoe conditions as it will be very slippery for me. Our group leader said that not many waterfalls which we can go so near to like Pelepah Falls.

We spent around 1 hour there for our quick-lunch and yes…enjoyed our efforts after walking for hours. Just have to be careful of the rocks while dipping into the pools as some of them might be sharp. But not to worry, it’s safe overall. Everyone was like going wild. They soaked, they jumped!

02.30 pm: Trek back to pick up point
It’s true, climbing up is easier than climbing down. It’s difficult to see what were below us or which steps we shall step onto. But that’s the challenges! And could be because we were more familiar to the path already, somehow we felt that we make our way back to the pick-up point was faster.

We stopped a few times to ensure that none of us was left behind and at one of the resting point, we saw a lot of garbage which must have been left by some irresponsible Trekkers. Our local guide initiated to clear all the rubbish which followed by the rest of the people. I just wonder, how could all those people have such bad manners to throw all those rubbish. Haiz…

04.30 pm: Change up and transfer back to Kota Tinggi for dinner
We cleaned up ourselves with clean clothing at nearby washroom which located at the resort just next to the plantation. For people who wish to enjoy the waterfalls without going through so many troubles, usually, they will opt to go to a resort instead of as I was told that there was a mini waterfall inside the resort as well.

05.30 pm: Arrive in Kota Tinggi, Dinner
We were brought to a restaurant near to the Firefly cruise. We were served generously with 8-courses meal. Yummy! Nothing was better than this after walking and climbing so much. Ha! Honestly, I was starving! It was like all energy got from my breakfast was totally used up.

06.30 pm: Free & easy
There was still time available for us to shop around. There were many shophouses. First thing first, I went to get a slipper cause at that moment I was wearing my friend’s very wet shoes. Haha..cause she had to wear her slippers so I had to get something to protect my feet. Again, I had no choice. :p

I bought the slipper around RM8. Happily found it, I bought it without a second thought. And later on, we went to another store to find the rubber shoes which was recommended by our local guide. He said it’s cheap and good for water trek. Well, I got the rubber shoes at RM7.99. Slipper and shoes at the same price! Ha!

07.30 pm: Gather at Jetty and proceed for Firefly cruise
It’s the time for the cruise! I was so looking forward to seeing the firefly. I have never seen that before. I was so excited! We waited till the sky was darker, then we boarded to the boat. The Fireflies were more at a later time and ultimately more visible if the sky was dark enough.

Too bad that I was not able to capture the Fireflies with my HTC phone camera. Neither other phones or cameras were able to capture, too. It was so beautiful. The Fireflies were on the trees, blinking. Somehow I felt like seeing Christmas tree. Haha..We can felt the breeze and saw the night scenery as well. I was told that their lifespan was very short, only a week. And every time they will fly to the same tree and eat the same leave until they die. It was a new experience for me. I saw a new thing. 🙂

08.30 pm: End of the cruise, transfer back to Singapore
The Firefly cruise marked the end of the programme and we headed back to SG.

10.00 pm: Arrive in Singapore
There was a little bit delay at the beginning but the programme was well ended and we all reached Singapore back safely. It was fun!

Lastly, some of the photos were taken by my friends but I didn’t manage to keep in touch with him. Hope you all enjoy it and give some comments!

Tracy Chonghttps://about.me/chongtracy
I love nature and I wish to swim with whales one day. If I am not exploring and working in front of my laptop, most likely I will spend the day trying out new recipes or spending time with family or friends.

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