Saturday, October 3, 2009

Endau Rompin National Park - Kuala Jasin Could Be Better

In my humble opinion Kuala Jasin could be better, below is a copy of suggestion letter I have written to them.

Dear Sir,

During my visit to Endau Rompin Kampung Peta last year, I first saw Kuala Jasin and thought it was a marvelous place for a holiday to escape from the city. At that time, the chalets were in the midst of renovation and I was unable to experience an overnight stay. The surroundings were well shaded by tall trees and looking around I saw many gingers, fungi and other herbs on the forest floor around the visitor area. The air was cool and the closeness of the surrounding vegetation made it feel like you were really in a tropical rainforest . Many trees were labeled and I learnt the names of so many trees.

I made up my mind to visit again in August this year to my disappointment I found out that a new VIP bungalow has been built, new toilets have been constructed and a small hall is being built. In additional many trees had been cut down, including those that had been labeled and the surrounding greenery had been cleared. I was dismayed that this development was accompanied by such wholesale clearing of the original vegetation. Now, the trees which have not been cut down do not offer enough shade to keep the area cool and it is hot and bare. Previously green areas around the kitchen are now gone and the gingers, herbs and other plants on the forest floor are missing too. When I stood near the kitchen, I could see all the way to the new toilet block and almost to the last family chalet 100 metres away. There was no natural greenery in between the buildings to give the area the feel of being close to natural forest or to offer some privacy to guests. Even the surrounding natural vegetation has been cleared drastically. In my view it is done too excessively. With the loss of its cool green atmosphere, this beautiful place has lost its unique and tranquil appearance and is on the way to becoming just another ordinary spot.
The trend of clearing away the natural vegetation cause total expose has also taken place at the NERC, around the family chalets and the dormitories. I’m sure most visitors to a National Park are there to experience and get a feel of our rainforest. What a let down for them to stay in a chalet which is totally exposed to every vehicles or persons that comes down from the NERC road! Sadly, the natural riverside vegetation next to the jetty has also been cleared and many of the beautiful overhanging trees have been chopped down. These trees gave the shady pool its attractive quality, sheltered the aquatic life and kept the pool cool. What was once a cool, green and refreshing scene has lost its natural beauty. It appears there is an obsessive need to clear away vegetation which occurs naturally so as to make everything look neat and tidy or to give an unobstructed view.

It seems the Park authority may have overstepped a fundamental line in the concept of what it means to conserve a natural forest – instead, it is attempting to “tame” the forest when it is more appropriate and in line with conservation to adjust oneself to the natural environment. I appeal to the Park authority, please give us the visitor from the city the experience of what a natural rainforest looks and feels like, rather than attempting to make nature neat and tidy to mirror any parks in the city. Endau-Rompin should proudly display its forest in its natural form, and not provide an unnatural, modified version of the real thing.


Wong Chor Mun

Friday, October 2, 2009

My Visit to Endau Rompin National Park 27/8/2009 - 1/9/2009 (Part 1)

Having a thought to take a break just like me ? A place to recharge and escape from the city ? A place that is far off from the city with limited mobile phone coverage? No accessibility to newspapers, television, radio and Internet ? A tropical rainforest that need not one to trek with at least 10kg weight of backpack to reach it’s destination ? To me the only place that met those criteria is Endau Rompin National Park.

Where is Endau Rompin National Park ?
In google map Endau Rompin National Park is situated with the co-ordinate 2.541866, 103.417196 . This park lies from the southern state of Pahang to the northern state of Johor. This protected rainforest is approximately 870 km². It is named after both Endau and Rompin rivers that flow through the park.

How Does This Park Comes About.
In 1985 to 1986 without the support from the members of Malaysia Nature Society (MNS) that makes up from enthusiastic nature lovers, scientists, the co-operations of others individuals with the same like minded channel in through our local universities and from some big corporate companies, Endau Rompin National Park would not be exist. It would not be reality too if not from the generous peoples from Denmark who compelled the need to save and to conserve a natural forest. It is also would not be possible too without the generous donations from a long list of individual and cooperation in Malaysia. To all these peoples who lend your helping hands in donations or any forms of scientific expedition volunteer service whether big or small , a salute to you.

Your service has cause the magnificent tualang trees, rare fan palm Livistona endauensis, other rare interesting plant species that are yet to discover by the botanists continue to reign. Has given a chance trees and plants continue to grow naturally, function in it’s manner as one of the supporting component to others living animals and insects in the forest. We human may able to grown trees, fashion them marvelously however we fail to design it with such micro-architecture beauty that what nature has provide.

Indirectly secure a place for the Hornbills who need tall solid big trees for their survival in terms of food supply from the fig trees and cavity nest to raise their next generations. Your service have also indirectly ensure Elephants, Tigers, Panther, Sumatra Rhinoceros, Malaysian Peacock Pheasant continues their generation lineage, as they need big forest to roam around

In 1993, the Endau Rompin National Park was finally created. Since then the administration of the park is being lay upon the shoulder of Johor National Park Corporation (PTNJ) and our Johor local govement. Kampung Peta and Kampung Selai are the two entry points to the park administer by Johor National Park Corporation.

How To Get There
If you want to access Endau Rompin Kg Peta

by own vehicle
Use the North South Highway exit at Ayer Hitam, proceed and follow the road direction to Kluang/Mersing. That would leads you to Kahang town which is the midway to Mersing. The Endau Rompin National Sign Board would leads you to the Park office at 11, Jln Bawal 1. Tmn Kahang Baru. 86700 Kahang, Kluang. Johor Tel: 07-7882812 Fax 07-7882813 which is on the ground floor of a two storey shop lot. Entry permit and registration need to done at this park office.

The journey from UPM toll to Ayer Hitam head to Kluang and then to Kahang took me 4 hrs with 2 pit stops with my driving speed of 90/110 kmph. As this National Park is established recently the road access to it (about 56Km) would be too rough stretch to be bear by a normal car. 4WD transfer can be pre-arranged from the Park office. The 4WD would travel along the dirt tracks that is used to be the old logging track pass by rubber, oil palm plantations, orang asli settlement. This rough journey on the road takes 2 hrs.

If you have booked the 4WD transfer from Kahang office that will normally wait for you at 12noon, therefore do work backward the time you need to start your journey.

Public transport
Proceed to Kluang using express bus or train. Then proceed to Kahang Park Office by taxi or the local bus. Do make the prior arrangement as they need to pre-arrange the 4WD transfer.

If your visit to this park is not booked through the eco-tourism agent. Do make your booking by phone at 07-788 2812, or email them at There is no other accommodation beside the park’s accommodation. The park provide a few choice of accommodation to suit it’s visitors on how they wish to experience the rainforest. Accommodation range from camping , dormitories, standard chalet to family chalet.

If your choice of accommodation is at sungai marung or kuala Jasin then boat transfer need to be arrange from kampung peta. Guest vehicles are not allowed to goes beyond Visitor Complex as this national park beside being an eco-tourism spot it also serve an important conservation area. Beside the reason being for guest safety sake by curd guest vehicles this will ensure less disturbance to the wildlife there.

A to and fro 4WD transfer cost RM350 per vehicle. Entrance fees to the park for Malaysia is RM5 per pax, RM10 per pax for Non Malaysian. Visitor need to take up the Insurance coverage of RM2 per pax . For more details refer to For better comfort call the park office for latest rates.

What are the Attractions ?
What are the Attractions of Endau Rompin National ParkThis national park is one of the spot for eco-tourism. At this national park you would have an ideas of it’s local communities culture aborigines being refer as Orang Hulu or Jakun. Activities that can be pursued here are such as jungle trekking, photography and others nature appreciation. Due to the fact of it’s rich biodiversity this park is also constantly visited by researchers.

Share with you all some of the photos that I managed to took during my trip there from 27/8/2009 - 1/9/2009.

Purple- Naped Sunbird attracted to Setawar

Notice the bird stuck it's beak inside.

It will draw out the the nectar in a glue form

The melodious called from the White-Rumped Sharma could not stop me to look out where the sound originate.

Trogon.. Trogon... no matter how many times I have seen them yet I will never be bored.

A Male Crimson Winged Woodpecker. I traced it by it's pecking sound.

As I was treking down to complex this Yellow-Bellied Bulbul came and stop for awhile not too far from me. No doubt it was near however I find it hard to work on this subject as I depend on the natural lighting.

OOh.. Tiger Shrike have reach Johor so early ?
During this field trip this is the only migrant. The rest is yet to arrived.

A Grey Headed Canary Flycatcher was hawking for insect when I notice it.

I aim for a better photo next time for this spp.

This Asian Paradise Flycatcher was hawking for insect too.

Endau Rompin National Park is the site you can easily sight Brown Fulvetta.

I notice it swallow in a berry instead of press, suck it juice and discard the skin.

This is how it's juvenile looks like

Endau Rompin is the best place to look out for Jungle Babbler.

As I trek down from Kuala Jasin, halfway I notice a solitary Banded Kingfisher.

This bird is very patient with me.

The Park's staff told me that this bird was raise up at this trees. Nearly everyday it will come back here.

A Greater Racket Tailed Drongo that I notice came to perched nearby.

tee dee ...dee.. where ? OOps I found you friend.. Spectacled Bulbul.

Notice a flock of White Rumped Munia always mingle in this "certain spot"

It was nearly dusk, time for birds active again before they retire for the day.

HHhmm.. a flock of black bird with a crest.. OOOh it has being long I have encountered Crested Jay.

Well their are threated by habitat loss.

Musa gracillis the smallest Malaysis banana plant that grow wild here, provide a good source of nectar for the little spiderhunter.

The Little Spiderhunter will fly in and perched nearby , look out for any possiblilites of predator before it comes down to the banana flower.

Quite caution of the surrounding, before it draws nectar out from the banana flower.

Fell the surounding is safe it will come down to another perched.

Start to draw out the nectar.

BIRDS Sighted and Heard during this field trip
Great Argus - male,Checkered- Throated Woodpecker,Crimson-Winged Woodpecker,Rufous Piculet,Olive-Backed Woodpecker,Orange-Backed Woodpecker,Buff-Necked Woodpecker,Blue-Eared Barbet,Gold Whiskered Barbet,Black Hornbill,Rhinocerous Hornbill,Scarlet Rumped Trogon,Banded Kingfisher,Rufous-Backed Kingfisher,Indian Cuckoo,Rafles's Malkoha,Silver Rumped Swiftlet,Redish Scops Owl,Malaysian Eared Nightjar,Emerald Dove,Crested Serpent Eagle,Banded Pitta,Blue Winged Leafbird,Greater Green Leafbird,Black and Yellow Broadbill,Greater Racket Tailed Drongo,Lesser Racket Tailed Drongo,Bronzed Drongo,Tiger Shrike (Juvenile),Crested Jay,Black Magpie,Large Billed Crow,Dark-Throated Oriole,Great Iora,Green Iora,Lesser Cuckooshrike,Bar-Bellied Cuckooshrike,Scarlet Minivet,Spotted Fantail,Black Naped Monarch,Asian Paradise Flycatcher,Rufous Winged Philentoma,Tickell's Blue Flycatcher,Grey-Headed Flycatcher,Verditer Flycatcher,Oriental Magpie Robin, Chestnut-Naped Forktail,White-Crowned Forktail,Hill Myna,Red-Eyed Bulbul,Spectacled Bulbul,Cream Vented Bulbul,Yellow Bellied Bulbul,Grey-Cheeked Bulbul,Hairy Backed Bulbul,Finch's Bulbul,Buff-Vented Bulbul,Common Tailorbird,Dark-Necked Tailorbird,Rufous-Tailed Tailorbird,White-Chested Babbler,Ferruginous Babbler,Abbott's Babbler,Moustached Babbler,Scooty Capped Babbler,Scally Crowned Babbler,Rufous Crowned Babbler,Horsefield's Babbler,Marbled Wren Babbler,Grey Headed Babbler,Grey Throated Babbler,Black-Throated Babbler,Chestnut-Rumped Babbler,Chestnut-Winged Babbler,Rufous Fronted Babbler,Striped Tit Babbler,Brown Fulvetta,Fuffy Tit Babbler,Yellow Bellied Yuhina,Yellow Breasted Flowepecker,Plain Flowerpecker,Purple Naped SunbirdLittle Spiderhunter,Thick-Billed Spiderhunter,Long Billed Spiderhunter,White Rumped Munia

Will followed up with a write up on others things sighted beside birds soon.