Maliau Basin, Lost World of Sabah Part 3 of 3
Day 4 in the Lost World, from Ginseng Camp to Maliau Falls (5KM). This time round we only bring bread and water and leave the clothes behind because we are staying another night at Ginseng Camp before heading back to Agathis Camp (where we started).
According to our ranger, sun bear usually comes at night to look for food. Even the kitchen wall and windows were broken and food gone missing. So the first thing in the morning we checked our food and thank goodness it was safe.
The moment we started our journey, we were immediately greeted by tiger leech. Tiger leech is slightly different from brown leech. Tiger leech can be seen on tree leaves whereas brown leech is commonly hiding on the ground (picture below). Tiger leech bite is more painful and the scar can be permanent.
Brown leech possessing the ability of camouflage.
Along the way there’s a lot of wild ‘buah belunu’. It has a strong sweet smell but it tastes extremely sour. We brought it back to the camp and eat it with chili and lime.
More flora along the way to Lobah before reaching Maliau Falls.
The terrain is rather flat and going up and down not-so-steep-hill.
Lobah hill overseeing Maliau Basin rim.
It gets tougher after Lobah.
There are more rocks than before, eroded soil, and very steep hills almost 80 to 90 degree.
The formation of Maliau Basin has a very long history. This area was covered by sea 10 million years ago. We were told that scientist found corals in this area and soil are quite different from where we came from.
Going down hill…
…and here it is! The majestic Maliau Falls in The Lost World. Maliau is famous for its seven tier waterfalls…but this is only the 5th and 6th tier.
How I wish to have an aerial view of the fall, it is going to be awesome.
After spending about 40 minutes at the falls (already 1.30pm), we need to head back to Ginseng Camp (another 5KM) before it gets dark. So off we went…up the hill, the rock climbing style. By that time most of us ran out of water and I was extremely thirsty and dehydrated. Myself and 2 others went ahead with full speed, hoping to wet our throat with water as soon as we can.
But along the way things were not as beautiful and leisure as before. After the Lobah hill, when we were in the deep woods, there were times we heard provoking sound of wild animals and ‘unknown creatures’ just few meters away from us with no direct sunlight, wet and extremely gloomy. We stood still for a moment. Then we sped our way through the forest and there were times we got confused by the path. The signs in the jungle are really helpful, at least we know that we are heading the right direction. But I think we took the longer route, we have not seen those signs before and it felt ages to reach Ginseng Camp. With not even a drop of water in our bottles, we cannot afford to lose our way. This was the toughest part…tired, thirsty, rough terrain, wild animals, it was a great mental and physical challenge. We reached Ginseng Camp around 4.30pm. Now we are able to laugh about it of course…
Day 5. Even though it is 9KM, the terrain is pleasant and not as steep as the ones we been through. The only challenge was the first kilometer where we need to go up hill 800 meters steep.
It was a waste that I did not see any animals (but only hear the intimidating sound at the wrong time). Those who walked ahead of us get to see birds, deer, bearded pigs and more. The animals went hiding after sensing ‘human interference’.
So I took more photos of fungus.
It was a leisure trail all the way to Agathis Camp.
There was a great sense of achievement the moment we stepped out from the track! Tired but satisfied. We have hiked 33.5KM and conquered Sabah’s Lost World. It is an experience that I will not forget. We should at least experience it once in a lifetime.
We went back to Maliau Basin Studies Centre, stayed one night before heading back to KK. Now that I’m back to civilization, spoiled for choices in life and realize how I take for granted the basic necessities that come by easily. There’s so much life in the rainforest, if we don’t appreciate and pay attention to the importance of it, it can be history.
For booking details check out Sabah Tourism Board website. You may also email Yayasan Sabah (Sabah Foundation) the caretaker of Maliau Basin at email@example.com for enquiry and further arrangement.
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