Discover unparalleled adventure
in the jungle of Gopeng Perak
Under commercialization means the tropical rainforest and limestone hills in Gopeng Perak remains largely unspoilt, and off the tourist path.
A laggard in ecotourism, it has finally found a niche in adventure sports. Activities gaining popularity include white water rafting, water abseiling, caving, Rafflesia (world’s largest flower) sight seeing and jungle trekking.
Long story short, I took up a white water rafting invitation, to see what the hype is all about…
White Water Rafting –
Kampar River, Gopeng Perak
We arrived at the resort at 9.15am after a 3 ½ drive from Kuala Lumpur. The briefing session commenced shortly…
The 25 odd participants gave out a loud “aaaaahh”. The manager was making reference to the ‘Boom-Boom’. You see, boom is a metaphor for crashing down a steep river cascade. And boom-boom? It means two successive steep drops about 1 storey high!
Our adrenaline reaches feverish level at this point!
A sense of calmness prevailed only after the manager told us of their perfect safety record. There is no life threatening accident to date. Moreover, the rapid here is rated between 2 to 3, and is suitable for beginners.
This operator also took the trouble to conduct a practical rafting lesson. We learned important rafting techniques and safety procedures, such as how to –
• properly hold a rowing paddle.
• body raft (float safely in gushing water), illustrated at bottom left of image above.
• common verbal and hand signals. For example, “boom-boom” means hold tight and lock into position using our legs. This is to prevent rafters from being thrown out during a rough fall.
Men were cheekily told to park their assets between the 2 belts found at the lower part of the safety vests. This way, a male rafter can avoid injury when being pulled out of the water at the collar.
The boat can easily accommodate up to 5 to 6 rafters, including the guide. After being assigned to our boats, we carried it on foot for approximately 50 meters to our entry point along Kampar river.
Here, a body raft simulation took place – physically floating down a cascade under rushing river water, before reuniting further downstream.
The exhilarating warm up got us all acclimatised and hyped up!
“Hold”, our guide shouted as we approach the 1st cascade. A bundle of nerves, we quickly clung on to the rope for our dear life. Curled inside the boat, I can feel the water rushing in as the air-filled boat deformed upon contact with rough river rocks.
In a short moment, the boat regained its original shape, and we were over the hump!
By the time we completed the 2nd, all our worries were swept away. Beginning to enjoy ourselves, we became more gung ho. “Bring on the boom-boom”, we told our river guide…
Each time we survived a crash, we would celebrate by raising our paddles high in the air. We would then slap it against the water to produce a loud noise.
The scenery of the undisturbed forest along Gopeng Perak’s river is simply awesome. We saw scores of Raja Brooke butterflies. Normally, you can only see these colourful creatures in breeding centres, like the Penang Butterfly Farm.
At times, we ran aground. So how to get it unstuck?
“Jump-jump”, our guide shouted. We started to bounce up and down the boat to free it from the rocks. On other occasions, we stacked our bodies on top of each other at one end of the boat. We successfully tipped the boat over some tight corners by shifting our weight.
Then the moment of truth… the boom-boom!
It was almost a vertical fall. It happened so fast… I was thrown to the front, feeling chocked momentarily. Before I could regain composure, the boat nose-dived again.
We saw 2 rafters from the trailing boat being thrown off. However, they managed to clamber back into the boat, unhurt.
Finishing in style!
We jumped off the boat to form a body rafting chain, allowing the river water to wash us to the river exit point.
We completed the 10 km stretch in about 1 ½ hours.
Afterwards, we concluded that white water rafting in Gopeng Perak was fun and not scary at all. We even made a pact to meet for rafting again – this time, in tougher rapid!
Here is a Perak Malaysia map
Please use the + or – button to zoom and arrow buttons to move around. Clicking on the purple placemarks will show more details. You can also choose to view map in satellite (Sat) or terrain (Ter) format.
View Perak Malaysia in a larger map
Kampar river is located 7 km from Gopeng town. If you are driving, use the North South Expressway (NSE). Exit at the Gopeng Perak interchange and turn right.
Drive straight until you come across Exxon petrol station on the left. Turn right immediately after the police station and bus terminal. At the roundabout, take 2 o’clock. You will pass a heritage shop house called Gopeng Museum.
From there, just follow the road signage put up by your ecotourism operator. The road is bumpy and narrow. As a safety precaution, turn on your headlights. Use your honk at tight corners to warn vehicles coming from opposite direction. If you have a 4X4, use it! This place is located near the forest.
Location: Perak, Malaysia
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