6:50AM. I started walking to the rendezvous point at KL Sentral, which was only 5 minute by foot from where I checked in for a quick rest after arriving in Kuala Lumpur Airport at 2:00AM from Manila.
I arrived 5 minutes before 7AM at The CoffeeBean & Tea Leaf KL Sentral, the time and place I were to meet up with the rest of the tour group. Standing at the car dropoff point, I spotted a guy in a dri-fit shirt, cargo pants, a bandana on his head and trekking shoes to boot, with 2 trolley bags! Aha! That’s Macho Cho, the delegate from South Korea. We had a WhatsApp chat group for the international faction with the organizers where he sent his photo, which allowed me recognize him right away! We grabbed seats at the coffeeshop were I got a cold cup of caffeine to put on extra energy for the trip, even with just 2 hours of snooze.
Olivia and Khairul, both from Indonesia, were also at the venue before the call time. The participants from Malaysia arrived, with them is Megumi from Japan. The group of almost 50, had a quick briefing, received packed breakfast which we ate on the bus, that left a few minutes before 9AM from KL Sentral to Negeri Sembilan.
I was seated next to Shannim, whom I thought was British, but is out-and-out Malaysian. The trip seemed quick with Shannim putting forth stories about trips to her favorite, underrated beaches of West Malaysia. Her adventures made me rarin’ to go explore west Malaysia!
Over an hour on the road, we started ascending a mountain drive, with one side of the window looking out on verdant thicket, akin to the landscape we gaze on when going on out of town trips here in the Philippines.
After over 90 minutes, we finally arrived at our first destination for the day – Jeram Toi! The moment we got to the entrance, we all huddled and the guide started running down history, facts and facilities. I’ve picked up a detail that Jeram Toi was partly coined from a former wise leader Tok Batin Toi, who used perah fruit as poison and drove away Rawa (Malay tribe) attackers from Sumatera.
Jeram Toi features an 11-tier waterfall, 4 of which can easily be reached through a short stroll up paved walks, while the remaining 7 are planted deeper in the forest, and through a rugged trail.
The crisp air hit the trees making them sway, producing gentle clutters and hisses. The water falling on the rocks forged mellow burble tones. Listening to the forest sounds was relaxing! Everyone from our tour group was energetic in taking photos. There were a few group of locals who arrived earlier than us, swimming at the first and second tiers of the waterfall.
I was impatient to reach the top. Gladly, I was in my cross training sneakers, making it easier for me breezing up the paved trail! I’ve reached the end of the concrete path, were a stream flows down the 4-tier waterfall. I noticed a good spot at the foot of the last waterfall, found myself a solid rock to stand on, looked up, and wondered at the light breaking through the leaves, hitting the water, making them glimmer. It was nothing less than magical!
We lingered for over 90 minutes in Jeram Toi. Though the park is open from 8am to 6pm daily, we had to keep moving! Descending by foot swiftly back to our respective vans, then off to Negeri Sembilan Forest Reserve.
[ NOTE: Admission to Jeram Toi waterfalls and pool is FREE! Toilet, prayer room and parking are essential facilities available. ]
LATA KIJANG, NEGERI SEMBILAN
From Jeram Toi, we travelled for roughly another 70 minutes to Kenaboi State Park, Negeri Sembilan – our home for three nights! Kenaboi State Park is seamed in mountainous Jelebu District of Negeri Sembilan, and it’s where the impressive Lata Kijang is tucked.
The soonest we were done setting our sheets and our trolleys in our tents, we were off to Lata Kijang. I hopped in on at a back of pick up truck, where I was able to meet up local content creators – Ayu, Xulhmi, Yuffie, Kelly, Dboy, Ikram, Aqiss and Khairul of Indonesia. It was easy to get along with them, as they were pretty friendly.
We broke the ice by getting to know each other and sharing some stories, as the 4X4 drove along a narrow pathway through the jungle until we reached the hill’s summit, which was highlighted with a verdant forest reserve view.
From the drop off point, it took me about 10 minutes to get to the foot of Lata Kijang. Impressively at 80 meter high, it is the tallest waterfall in Negeri Sembilan, located inside the 6.47 hectare Kenaboi Forest Reserve. It was easy to be dazed by its beauty! The constant flow of water creating a cool mist whenever the water hit the rocks, crickets and birds chirping, the wind softly blowing through the trees – it’s such a relaxing rhythm! A few large logs were at the course of the stream, adding a more rustic vibe to it.
It was my first time seeing Malaysia’s nature spots and I was forthwith fascinated, and made me eager to visit more in the future. We concluded the day with a great waterfall chase, and a preface to a great friendship with my new acquaintances, that all happened in Negeri Sembilan. The experience was no less than memorable!
For more information about these waterfalls, you may get in touch with District Forestry Office through 06-6136500, or by visiting their website at www.forestry.ns.gov.my.