Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hutan Lipur Gunung Ledang- A gem in jeopardy

How did you spend your Malaysia Day weekend? We went on a semi-impromptu trip to Johor for one of Abah's ex-student's wedding. Since the wedding was on Monday, we went a day early just to relax. 

After safely reaching Segamat, trying to find a hotel that had a pool proved to be impossible. Why the pool? Well, when it comes to hotels, my kids don't care about the size of the room, the variety of the breakfast buffet or whether or not there is free wi-fi, all they look forward to is to splash around in a pool. So we headed off to Gunung Ledang Resort which was just 45 minutes away from Segamat.

We reached there around 4pm and there were so many people trudging up from the visitors car park up to the hiking and waterfall area. Entry was pretty cheap, just RM 2 per car, RM 1 per adult and RM 0.50 per child. No wonder people were flocking in. 

We managed to secure 2 standard chalets despite making no reservations on a long public holiday weekend, Alhamdulillah. By the time we had rested and settled in it was almost 5.30 pm so we decided to just let the kids enjoy the pool and visit the natural sights the next morning. The kids of course enjoyed themselves immensely.

The accommodations were decent, food was pretty good and basically it was a pleasant place to stay the night (around 3 start quality). 

The next morning after breakfast, we made our way up the trail to the waterfall. We didn't hike far because of the kids but just looked out for a spot that would be suitable to have a little fun in the water. The kids had a lot of fun wading in the cool, beautiful, pristine water. They loved the natural pool and the little fish swimming with them. They even pretended that all the small rapids were leaks and tried to plug them, not very successfully of course. It was truly a wonderful morning spent relaxing and enjoying nature.

I would love to say that the place was beautiful because it truly was but the biggest drawback was still the human factor. More precisely, littering. I shuddered to see how inconsiderate and irresponsible people can be. Mostly, they just left all their rubbish here and there despite the ample number of rubbish bins provided. I do not know how people can leave everything from polystyrene bowls, food wrappers, plastic bags to used diapers just lying around and some even make their way into the stream. Come on! With the heavy traffic of people visiting the place (there must have been thousands over the few hours we were there), imagine what will happen if everyone does this. I would not want any foreign tourist to visit because honestly, it was an embarrassment. 

I seriously think that people who litter there should be fined heavily. When are we going to learn to stop littering? Just because they paid a paltry entrance fee, they automatically think that it gives them the right to make a huge mess? 

I did not take any pictures of the heaps of rubbish because that is not how I want to remember our visit there but I sincerely hope that some action can be taken soon. If not, the beautiful waterfall, stream, and trails will just be another rubbish dump. It would be a real shame, because we really had a great time there except for those eyesores.


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