Tuesday, April 17, 2007

KTM promoting tourism by train in Pahang

Ancient: A stalactite and stalagmite in the caves.
DURING the British administration, the Kenong Rimba Park in Lipis was known to be an escape route and a place of refuge for Pahang’s famous warriors, Tok Bahaman and Mat Kilau.

These days, the park has been upgraded and it is now being promoted as a recreational forest.

Covering an area of 16.644ha, the park has been managed by the state forestry department since 1988. It is also not far from Taman Negara and is rich in flora and fauna. The park is in a hilly area, located between 60m to 373m above sea level.

Recently, a group of 20 journalists and photographers visited the park on the promotional programme Moh Melawat Pahang (Come and Visit Pahang).

Moh means mari (come) in the Malay dialect spoken in Pahang.

The programme jointly organised by the state government and KTM Berhad hopes to promote tourism in Pahang using the train service as a mode of transport.

The trip began at Kuala Lumpur where the group hopped on the 8pm train and arrived in the quaint town of Lipis at 6am the next day.

During the journey, the media were taken on a tour of the train that comprised VIP rooms, a canteen and first class, second class and economy rooms.

Unique: Azam briefing the press people on Kenong Rimba Park.
State Culture, Arts and Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Maznah Mazlan took time off to join the trip accompanied by KTMB international services and strategic business services unit general manager Sarbini Tijan and international services division marketing manager Mohd Noordin Kimi.

Also present were Tioman Development Authority general manager Datuk Hashim Mat Tahir and Bukit Fraser Development Corporation deputy general manager Ishak Mokhtar.

In formation: Fourwheeldrive vehicles leaving the park.
According to Lipis district forestry department director Hasbullah Mat, the Kenong Rimba Park area was also where orang asli of the Batek tribe live.

“However, they lead a nomadic life, moving from one place to another.

“The rain forest in the park is 130 million years old and there are more than 1,200 species of flora and fauna that have been recorded,” he added.

Studies showed that 130 species from a total of 261 endemic species in the peninsular were living on the limestone formation of Kenong Rimba Park, he said.

Among them are enggang badak (rhinoceros hornbill), enggang tebang mentua (helmeted hornbill), tiong mas (hill myna), cecawi anting-anting (greater racquet-tailed drongo or king crow), porcupine, mouse deer, tapir and even the poisonous tarantula.

Hasbullah said the British Tarantula Society would always come to the place to study the spider.

Park operator and nature tourist guide Azam Abdul Rahman said the limestone caves in the park had beautiful formations.

He said that studies had revealed that the limestone caves were hundreds of millions of years old and could have existed since the Stone Age.

He added that if one stood at the bottom of Gua Kesong and looked up to its rocky wall, one could read the word Allah in Arabic. This unique formation was the result of natural changes that the limestone had undergone.

Natural: Visitors walking on a titior strong branch of a tree to cross over low ground to visit the caves.
Gua Batu Tangga is another limestone cave with rock formations that could be likened to a Greek-style staircase, a mouse deer, elephant and also crocodile.

“Equally unique rock formations can be found in Gua Batu Telungkup, Gua Hijau, Gua Batu and Gua Harimau,” said Azam.

“The night life surrounding the caves is a fascinating sight,” he added.

Life-like: A limestone formation that resembles a crocodile.
Azam also said the park could be reached via road from Kuala Lumpur passing through Felda Kechau 9 in Lipis.

However, the route was only accessible using four-wheel-drive vehicles as it was a Felda Plantation track and partly used by lorries to transport timber, he added.

On the facilities available, Azam said there were rooms, chalets and dormitories, and those who were more adventurous could pitch their tents at the campsites in the park.

“The water in the streams and rivers here is cool and there are no mosquitoes.

“However, leeches are everywhere, waiting to suck the blood of victims,” he warned.

Source : STAR
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