Words and photos by Christine Lai
It is not about the destination; it is about the experience. If you are looking to experience nature at its best, Ulu Tupai Rimba Alam Waterfalls can surely fit the bill. Located about five kilometers from the famous Taiping Lake Garden, this place is definitely for me heaven on earth.
Ulu Tupai Rimba Alam is surrounded by mesmerizing waterfalls and lush jungle. It sits on one of the four ranges in Taiping, namely Bukit Bintang range.
Due to the emphasis of exclusivity and privacy, the retreat only takes single booking at one time. You get to experience the retreat and its surroundings that this place has to offer solely with your group without any interruption and disturbance from other groups.
To reach Ulu Tupai, you will need to hop on to a 4×4 vehicle. No worry if you do not own one as the retreat owner, Pak Man, will drive you up and it will take about 15 minutes. Upon reaching the retreat, you will be welcomed with cascading waterfalls and never-ending greenery. I am truly amazed at how untouched and pristine this retreat is.
There are currently two chalets at the retreat on top of a hill lock that can accommodate up to 15 guests at one go. All meals are provided; ulam belacan (salad) and Malay ‘luak’ which is a curry dish, sambal udang (spicy prawn), petai and rice. Durians are a seasonal windfall!
It comes with basic modern amenities that preserve the feeling of being back to nature. There is no need for air-conditioners as the waterfall creates a cool breeze that gently sweeps throughout the retreat. The rooms are provided with fans.
The average temperature at this retreat is 24 degrees. On a hot sunny day, the temperature can reach 27 degrees and it can drop to 20 to 21 degrees at night. There were a few occasions the temperature dropped to 18 degrees due to the rainy seasons as Taiping is known to be the wettest part of the country.
There are a lot of activities that can be done when you are at the retreat. You can dive into the clear pools by the waterfalls at any time of your choice. There are a few pools that are easily accessible from the main cabin. The nearest pool is the Infinity Pool. This pool is not too deep and is suitable for children to take a dip. Parental supervision is advised as the currents can sometimes be strong.
Another pool is located further down from the eating hall. You can choose to take a dive in this pool as it is the deepest. It is named the Emerald falls due to its clear greenish waters. This pool is slightly murkier than the Infinity Pool because of its sandy bottom but overall it is still clean and clear.
For those who are more adventurous, there will be another activity to explore; which is jungle trekking. You will be guided by Pak Man’s son-in-law to a waterfall destination of your choice. You can choose either to trek to the Fantasy Pool or Bukit Korea that will take about 40 minutes and enough time to work out a sweat.
Both waterfalls are magnificent and when I first saw it with my own eyes, I immediately fell in love with this place.
You will be able to see a lot of different species of plants during the trek up. Along the way, you will notice that it is not the type of usual trekking trail because we literally have to cut our way through the forest. But, it will be worth the sweat and effort because, at the end of the trail, you will discover the beautiful waterfalls waiting to be admired by those who are there. You can rest by the rocks or decide to jump into the pool to cool yourself down.
This retreat is a transcendent beauty and has an ability to coax any travellers into a state of bliss. I am sure that you will not regret the decision to come visit this retreat at least once in your lifetime.