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Green Canopy Cycling Package
Too often we underestimate the smallest, but not Perlis. This is the smallest state in Malaysia – little in size, but big in culture and history. Cycling into the glow of its limestone hills or the shade of its mystifying caves is an infinite leap among the colors of nature.
Tasoh Lake Resort
Perlis may be the smallest state in the country located in the northernmost region of Peninsula Malaysia, but it takes pride of its natural and cultural wealth which we can attest to the moment we began cycling from 1. Tasoh Lake Resort.
The resort is situated on a forty six acre of land surrounded by scenic views of the one million litre lake—Timah Tasoh Lake, the Nakawan Range dividing Malaysia and Thailand, Cabang Hill, and Manik Hill.
Among these, the lake kept us company most; the closest serene sight to behold. Named after two rivers combined, Sungai Timah and Sungai Tasoh, the lake is a man-made reservoir built in 1992 with a cost of RM67 million, supplying water to the entire state of Perlis. Also, it prevents flooding as it can hold about 35.3 million litres of water all at once.
Before we lay dazed by the lake, we got started and cycled 2km on flat road with views of rustic farms on the side to Ikan Pekasam Courtege Stall to delight in some tasty adventure.
Preserved is popular in this state, and we learned the lengthy process of 2. Ikan Pekasam preservation to satisfy our curiosity. The process begins with the frying of rice to brown before blending it. Marinate the fish with coarse salt for two days, cure it with the blended rice afterwards, leave them under the sun, and after four days of patiently waiting, serve.
TIkan Pekasam Tok Besah
As for 3. Ikan Pekasam Tok Besah stall, they catch fish from Timah Tasoh Lake, produce their own version, and sell at the same place.
Before we smell of sweat from cycling and reek of fish from holding some, we hopped on our saddles, and continued cycling 9km to the Forest Reserve Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) research station at Mata Ayer.
The route was easy because of the smooth and even roads spanning the distance. It was noticeably quiet, too, with only a few motor vehicles driving around and rubber trees gracing us on both sides.
Mata Ayer Forest Reserve
FRIM has nine research stations located in different types of forest in Peninsular Malaysia. The Mata Ayer research station was founded in 1974 and is positioned in an area of 455 hectares in 4. Mata Ayer Forest Reserve. Being a point of reference for the founding of forest plantation teak, 300 hectares of the total area covered are planted with 5) Teak, with the first planting carried out in 1953.
Dull yellowish when fresh, golden brown or dark grayish brown on exposure, the tropical hardwood Teak—the name it is commonly known as—is also called Tectona Grandis.
Going around the 6) Teak Gallery, we have seen the wood’s either straight or wavy grain, touched its uneven texture, and smelled its leather-like fragrant. It is classified as a durable to very durable hardwood, good for carving and furniture-making.
Malay traditional homes
Our tour around the station did not end with this teak discovery, because there are other facilities for educational activities, eco-tourism, and the environment to explore. One is the camping area that can accommodate 100 people which is highly suitable for educational field trips. There is also a seminar room that has the same 100 capacity. What is more, there are 7) Malay traditional homes that serve as guesthouses for families or friends going on a recreational trip.
8) Canopy Walkway is another story and is the only one in Perlis. The walk is a triangular structure with a length of 100m and a height of 17m. It is open to the public with an entrance fee of RM5 for adults and RM3 for anyone under 18 years of age. From atop, you will smell the fresh and crisp air, making you feel much relaxed in a sea of green.
Because we did not have enough of nature-loving yet, we hopped back on our bicycles and headed towards our next and last destination, Gua Kelam, found in the north of Kangar, the state capital.
Before getting into our destination, we passed by FELDA (Federal Land Development Authority) Lubuk Sireh after cycling some 4km, where we saw quaint villages and rolling green paddy fields. Residents here are from Kampung Tasoh and were resettled by the government to give way to the establishment of Timah Tasoh Lake. After cycling some distance, we passed by Pekan Cina Kaki Bukit where there are Chinese settlements built by tin-mining migrants.
Arriving at 9) Gua Kelam, once a tin-mining cave, we felt like jumping over the water to freshen up, but we resisted the urge knowing that there is another exciting adventure waiting for us.
Gua Kelam—Cave of Darkness—is a 370-metre long limestone cave in Gua Kelam Recreational Park. Having been known for its enthralling 10) ‘cave walk’, we, of course, dared to enter this cave of darkness.
With our bicycles, we took the eight-foot wide wooden suspension bridge, the only path into the cave, and sauntered right through. Inside is cool but not dark like what its name says. In fact, we were welcomed by the vibrancy of the colored lighting, water noises underneath and from the stalactites, and some bits and pieces of the tin mine operation.
It was said that back in 1935, an Englishman saw this way as a method to transport tin ore from a mine nearby to Kaki Bukit.
From that end of the cave to the other, we were surprised by coming out at a different location. The bridge connects Kaki Bukit to the Wan Tangga Valley, a valley on the other end of the cave. It felt like we were treasure hunting, and true enough, as we came out of the cave, a fresh sight filled our eyes. It was the 11) Secret Garden of Perlis where flowers meet and greet. And just right there, waiting placidly, was the water flowing into the Perlis River, all ready for us.
We plunged right into the river and let the heat of the day go off. This is how we ended this 3.5 hour 20.12km tour and now is your time to take the chance to hunt for this nature’s secret.
Cycling Route - Green Canopy Cycling Package
This cycling tour package is provided by: DCL Travel & Tours Sdn Bhd
No.13, Tingkat Atas, Taman Sena Indah, 01000 Kangar, Perlis. Tel: +60 (4) 977-6966/+60 (4) 977-3966