I have been exploring some of the more unspoilt corners of Kedah and Perak this week.
I started out in Kulim, which was a small Kedah town until the 1950’s but has since mushroomed into a city of a quarter of a million people, thanks partly to the establishment of an industrial estate called Kulim Hi-Tech Park.
Heading east towards the Gunung Inas Forest Reserve, the road passed rural scenery and sleepy villages.
It had been raining heavily overnight and the rivers were in full flow.
The Tree Top Walk at the Sedim River Recreational Park is one of Kedah’s top attractions. Although it is of robust construction the elevated walkway has a disconcerting wobble as you walk on it 25 metres above the forest floor.
There are some challenging hiking trails that begin here. I’ll leave those for another time perhaps.
Leaving Sungai Sedim I headed south towards Mahang.
The oil palm industry comes in for a lot of criticism from environmentalist types (due to destruction of rainforest wildlife habitat and so on) but these palm plantations can look quite attractive.
Near Selama, the highway passes the impressive Tebing Tinggi Falls.
The view from here is a reminder that Malaysia is a big country with still plenty of lush forest areas. Let’s hope they stay that way.
This hill contains a cave in which a 10,000 year old skeleton was discovered which has been dubbed ‘Perak Man’. I struggled to find the cave due to lack of signage but somehow managed to locate it after a half hour hike and much scrambling over wet rocks.
It is not surprising that the skeleton was not discovered until 1991. Since the cave was locked I had to content myself with peering through the railings.
A short drive away are a number of other archaeologically significant caves but they too were padlocked which is a bit disappointing for an area which touts itself as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Lenggong Archaeological Museum displays the original skeleton of the Perak Man when it is not being loaned out to other museums.
As for Lenggong town itself, it seems a quaint place with some old wooden shophouses and a colonial era post office.
Last stop on my tour of the back roads of Kedah and Perak was at the tranquil Chenderoh Lake, popular with anglers seeking catches such as Peacock Bass and Toman (giant snakehead).