The Belum-Temenggor forest is located in the north of the Malaysian state of Perak and borders with Thailand. It covers an area of 3000 km² and is the largest continuous forest complex in Peninsular Malaysia, believed to have existed for 130 million years, making it one of the world’s oldest rainforests, older than both the Amazon and the Congo.
The Belum-Temenggor rainforest is home to some of the world's most threatened mammals such as for instance the Malaysian Tiger, the Malaysian Sun Bear, the Sumatran Rhinoceros, the white-handed Gibbon, the Asiatic Elephant and the Malayan Tapir.
The Royal Belum State Park is contained in the northern section of the Belum-Temenggor forest and covers an area of 1175 km². It was gazetted by the state government in 2007 as a state park. To access the state park, a government permit is required. This must be applied for at least a week before the planned visit and can be obtained from the local resorts.
The remaining part of the Belum-Temenggor forest, the Temengor Forest Reserve, lies south of the east-west highway is a production area, meaning that logging is officially allowed. The researchers of the Banding rainforest research centre are trying to talk the authorities into not logging the forest. Tourism could be an alternative revenue source.
Due to the communist insurgency the area has been off-limits for a long time to tourists and has only recently opened up. As a consequence tourism is still underdeveloped, and there are only a handful of resorts. Two of them (the Banding Lakeside Inn and the Belum Rainforest Resort are located near the Banding island and are easily accessible by road.
The Belum Rainforest Resort offers boat trips to the Belum-Temenggor forest, both to the Royal Belum State Park and to the Temengor Forest Reserve. These can be booked individually or as part of a package and include a number of stops (rafflesia, salt licks, Orang Asli village etc.).
On Banding island there is a Rainforest Research Centre, currently providing logistical support for researchers coming to the area, but set to open to the public in 2015. Near the Rainforest Research Centre there is a large jetty with a restaurant and a shop, from which boat trips on the Temenggor lake start. Several houseboats are anchored there. Boat trips from this jetty usually cater to groups of Malaysian tourists.
01 Temenggor lake and bridge 02 Main Banding island jetty 03 Main Banding island jetty 04 Jetty area with shop and restaurant
05 Staircase to jetty 06 Orang asli on boat 07 House boat 08 Floating dock in Pulau Banding
09 Temenggor lake 10 Staircase to jetty
11 Rainforest 12 Tourist boat 13 Tourists on a boat 14 House boat 15 Bay
16 Boats and jetty 17 House boat 18 House boat 19 Fish farm
20 Fish farm 21 Temenggor dam 22 Temenggor dam 23 Tourist boats
24 Lunch place on Tali kail island 25 Temenggor lake 26 Bay with boat 01 Orang asli village
02 Orang asli village 03 Village huts 04 Wooden huts
05 Orang asli kids 06 Small girl 07 Wooden huts 08 Wooden hut
09 Orang asli family 10 Village square 01 Wild boar
02 Wild boar 03 Monkey nest 04 Rafflesia bud 05 Dead rafflesia flower
06 Salt lick 07 Salt lick 08 Automatic wildlife camera 09 Salt lick 10 White mushrooms
01 Banding rainforest research centre 02 Banding rainforest research centre 03 Trees 04 Trees
05 Forest canopy 06 Forest canopy 07 Trees 08 Dead tree
09 Rainforest along lake 10 Rainforest along lake 11 Rainforest along lake 12 Dipterocarp 13 Forest trail on wooden planks 14 Forest camp
15 Waterfall 16 Waterfall 17 Waterfall 18 Trees and sky
19 Rainforest along lake 20 Rainforest along lake 01 East-west highway 02 Tapir street sign 03 Titiwangsa mountains vegetation
04 Fern 05 Titiwangsa mountains
06 Bridge over Temenggor lake 07 Bridge over Temenggor lake 08 Bridge over Temenggor lake 09 Elephant street sign
10 East-west highway
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