Gunung Pulai Recreational Park (19th March 2017)

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At last the day had come for my good friend Hanis Harun to show me Gunung Pulai (Pulai Mountain). This is a popular walking/trekking area, just 45 min drive north of central Johor Bahru. Take Route 1, then the highway to KL and turn off on to Route 165. Just look out for the brown and white road sign saying ‘Hutan Lipur Gunung Pulai 2 and follow the road through the palm oil plantations and quarries. Actually, Johor Kaki has done a very helpful blog about Gunung Pulai which I thoroughly recommend.

In fact, we were too late in the day to get to the top of the mountain (well, it’s just a hill really!) but still had a very enjoyable walk through the lower levels of the rain forest.

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You can park just outside the park, then walk through the park gates as vehicular access is restricted. You are not supposed to bring food into the park, but you should definitely bring something to drink. If you turn left at this signpost, you get to the ‘recreational’ area with a waterfall and water pools in the river.

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If you continue along to the right, you will see a small sign on the right saying Hutan Pelajaran which will take you into the forrest and jungle tracks. We decided to stay on the concrete road and a little further on turned off to the left to get close to the river and the top of the second waterfall. You could hear the sound of rushing water very clearly from the road, even though the cicadas were making a tremendous racket in the late afternoon! This primary rain forrest provides the water catchment area for Johor Bahru and Singapore. 

When we got to the river, Hanis jumped across while the rest of us stood back in surprise; was she expecting us to do the same? Only her daughter Farah followed across but it took a lot of persuasion to get them to continue walking down hill on the other side of the river instead of risking the return jump! The water was running very fast here and there was a huge drop away which you cannot quite see in the photos. So, we went our separate ways and met up at the base of the lower waterfall.

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I think this park has suffered in the past from people leaving rubbish behind (not an uncommon phenomenon here in Malaysia), so there were plenty of signs around telling visitors not to behave like monkeys who can throw garbage anywhere!

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We did see monkeys in the trees; they were black with thick muscular tails and white colour around their eyes. I think these are spectacled langurs but will have to go back to the park with a zoom lens next time to be sure. The photo below shows such a monkey in the tree tops (can you see it?), and I have zoomed into the photo to show you its backside and tail.

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spectaculed langur

When we were leaving the park, there was a small macaque monkey perched on top of the guard post. I suspect it hangs out here to be near to the ice cream vendor.

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There are a huge variety of trees in this forest, so here is a collection of photos of assorted greenery!

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After leaving the park, it was time for dinner! So, we drove to Satay Wak Radol in Kempas Denai and were rewarded with some delicious satay and other typical Malaysian dishes. There isn’t too much in the way of English here, but a bit of pointing and gesticulating should do the trick! 

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So, the end of another adventure in Malaysia! Next time, to the top of Gunung Pulai and back!

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