When it comes to ending a work week, particularly if it’s been a rather harrowing one, some time off is just the balm to our weary worked out souls.Some people relax with a day hiking and with these hiking spots, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Others may enjoy nothing more than a day out at the spa and then, there are others that would prefer a foodie day out. If you can’t get away due to time constraints, then check out these best 10 must-eats right here in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. With many of us having responsibilities to deal with, at times, a weekend get-a-way is not possible and thus, a day trip is the answer.
To each his/her own when it comes to their down time and whatever rocks your boat to get you chilling out is always a good thing. Day trips are one of the best ways to enjoy what our beautiful country has to offer. We’re very fortunate to live in a country where there are actually ample things to see and to do. One just has to be willing to venture out a little to do so.
If you’d like to do something different and need to get away from the city, then this day trip is just the thing you need. We’re talking about Gopeng, Perak. What? Gopeng, you ask? Yes, Gopeng. It’s not a typical place that comes to mind when one would go away for a day trip, but heck, we’re talking about doing something different here.
Gopeng isn’t too far from Kuala Lumpur, which makes it ideal for a day trip. It’s a little town located in Kampar, Perak, where time seems to have stood still in some parts. The drive is just under two hours from Kuala Lumpur and it’s a relatively easy drive, especially in the Ford EcoSport, which we were fortunate enough to drive on the Ford Urban Exploration media trip we recently went for.
Gopeng isn’t glam nor is it known as a must-go food destination or a popular tourist spot like Malacca or Penang. But don’t knock it too soon because Gopeng has quite a bit to offer. Rich with some of the most picturesque areas with sprawling limestone hills and the Titiwangsa Mountain Ranges, it’s quite enchanting. It is also strategically surrounded by jungles, rivers, waterfalls, mountains, ponds, villages and caves, namely, Gua Tempurung.
First Stop: Gua Tempurung
We’re not super adept when it comes to caving, exploring nor are we experienced hikers. The best thing is, you don’t have to be all that. It’s suitable for all ages and there are a variety of activity trips you can choose to do (see the photo below for the types of tours available) at this limestone cave, which is also one of the longest and largest caves in Peninsular Malaysia – approximately 3km in length.
There’s a tunnel in the cave, which runs from the east to the west under the limestone hills known as Gunung Tempurung and Gunung Gajah. It’s made up of five (5) large domes and is believed to have existed since 8,000 B.C., about 10,000 years ago. Each of these domes has different calcium and marble formations, each differing in temperatures and water levels. To add to the cave’s natural wonder, there is a river passage that runs about 1.6km through the hill. Pretty cool, yes? We thought so.
To say that it’s got breathtaking stalagmites, stalactites (icicle-shaped forms that hang from the ceiling of a cave to you and me) and rock formations is an understatement. These natural wonders are truly amazing.
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A visit to Gopeng has to include this wonder of a place simply called Adeline’s Villa. The estate is personally attended to by owner Adeline Kuo, who believes in serving great food to her guests and believes in warm hospitality. This hideaway is quite a gem. It has all the charms and facilities city-dwellers seek, be it for a holiday or respite.
There are chalets that sit amidst cool rainforest greens and aboriginal charms and are equipped with amenities for comfort. So, if you want to make a night out of it, this is the place to do so. There are rooms suitable for families, groups or even for couples if you want something more private.
They’ve a sort of a DIY thing going on here when it comes to your dishes after you’ve eaten. Signs politely ask you to please wash your cups and dishes after you’ve finished the meals. For that bit of work, one can’t complain because it’s rustic but yet elegant enough to charm you. The food at Adeline’s Villa is decent fare too. So, you definitely don’t have to worry about good food because that is also taken care off here.
Adeline’s Villa also offers thrilling nature-based activities that include white-water rafting, caving, paintball, and other team sports, making it a superb place for team building activities. If you’re looking for that next place to have your team building events, look no further. Have them here.
Address : Lot 13302, Mukim Teja, Kampung Geruntum, Sungai Itik, 31600 Gopeng, Perak, Malaysia
GPS Coordinates : 4°27’29.07″ N 101°12’29.75″ E / Waze – Adeline’s Villa
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Website : http://www.adelinevilla.com
Speaking of nature-based activities, we move on to the next part of our journey.
Third Stop: White-Water Rafting
We’ve always wondered why is it called “white-water rafting”. Is it because you’ll be scared out of your wits till your knuckles turn white whilst holding onto the raft for dear life? Well, not quite. According to whitewaterrafting.in, white-water rafting got its name from the raft, an inflatable boat that you ride to paddle through the rough waters and rapids. The term “white-water” is because of the frothing rapids of a guzzling river making the water appear white. Hence, the name.
Now that you got that bit of trivia sorted out and that it isn’t because it’s too scary to go on, we have to say that this activity is one that is fun and very, very wet! White-water rafting at Kampar River in Gopeng has become very popular over the last few years, and with good reason.
The Kampar River is ideal for those who crave for mild technical adventure whilst safely enjoy a rafting trip, tackling a 5-km ride of 14 rapids graded from Class I-III. We started off with a safety briefing from a rather unique fellow who called himself Captain Jack Sparrow. Once you get over his name, you’ll find that you’ll listen attentively to the instructions and the know-hows because these guys take safety (yours and theirs) seriously. Don’t fret about things being too technical because it isn’t, and there are practice runs prior to heading off onto the rapids.
You start off slowly by easing into what we call a baby rapid and from then on, the excitement builds as you progress from one rapid to another. If you’ve some squealers on board your raft, it makes the trip more entertaining or irritating, depending on how you feel! If you find them irritating, don’t be tempted to throw them off the raft as that kind of behaviour is frowned upon. However, if you or others get thrown from the raft, don’t panic! Just float on, and remember the do’s and don’ts from the technical briefing. Someone will soon come to get you.
If you’re a first-time beginner at this, you’ll be relieved to know that it is not complicated to do. We met a group of school children doing this. So, frankly, if they can do it, so can you! Children ages 5 and above can do white-water rafting, as long as they can fit into the life jackets and helmets securely and that they have parental guidance and consent. Thus, white-water rafting is not just great for your group of friends but it’s also a fantastic day of adventure for the family.
So, the next time you’re itching to do something out of the ordinary and want a day trip, think Eco Tourism for a change and you’ve got Gopeng. It’s fun, suitable for families with children, and it’s also ideal for adults wanting something to do with nature. Go out of one’s comfort zone with this trip and experience fun and exhilaration at the same time! Just be sure to bring extra clothing, an extra pair of shoes and a towel to dry off after the rafting.
To be able to combine city living and having the opportunity to do outdoor adventures is really an awesome thing and privilege to have. Don’t just read about this trip, people. Go. Explore Gua Tempurung. Get wet and thrown off a raft in the Kampar River. If we can survive it and have a whale of a time doing it, you can too. Enjoy and live a little (or a lot!). Life is indeed worth living.