Going for an adventure in Royal Belum Rainforest has always been unchecked in my bucketlist until my family and I received an invitation by Caravan Serai crews to spend a weekend with them on Royal Belum Houseboat alongside with other adventurers. Exploring the virgin rainforest of Belum was part of the activities in the itinerary that I’ve anticipated. The one thing that I did not exactly anticipated to be included in our itinerary though, was swimming and bamboo rafting in the lake; Tasik Banding to be exact. Tasik Banding is a lake that surrounds the Pulau Banding, a 240 hectares man made island built to house an army camp at Royal Belum State Park.
Tasik Banding is one of the eco-tourism attraction in Royal Belum Rainforest and a home to plenty of expensive and highly coveted freshwater fishes like Kelah,Temoleh, Baung, Kelabau, Tengas,Loma,Tengalan, Sebarau and Lampam.
Although Tasik Banding is a protected area, fishing activities in Tasik Banding is allowed. However, a permit is required for each fishing rod that was brought in. The cost for one permit is RM5, a fair price for the expensive loot you might be getting from the lake.
Anyway, I mentioned that swimming and bamboo rafting in the lake was part of our Royal Belum Boathouse trip’s itinerary, didn’t I? I guess I did. And did I let the rare opportunity go to waste? Definitely not. I wouldn’t let this opportunity slide for anything else, at least not in this lifetime.
It was about 5.30 pm when we made our way back to the boathouse in Tasik Banding from our trekking at Sungai Kooi Waterfall for a free and easy time swimming and bamboo rafting in the lake. So without further ado, we put on the life jacket and join the rest in the lake.
Here’s my family and I, posing on the bamboo raft.
Me, making an attempt to navigate the bamboo raft.
But then again, I’m not a good rafter.
I usually get nowhere whenever I take the paddle. My husband is better at that than me.
Growing up by the beach, I’ve always been fond of water. I even named my son Adrian, after the Adriatic sea. Swimming is much more favourable to me than rafting.
And here’s me, completely in my element before I managed to persuade my husband and son to jump into the lake with me.
Kiddo, looking abit uncertain and doubtful about jumping into the lake.
Well, I couldn’t exactly blame the kid being doubtful about jumping in. After all, I’m the sort of mum who go nuts about my son jumping into the swimming pool or playing in the waterparks. I almost never allow it. Insane, right? You can say that my priorities is all screwed up, but I’m the sort of person who gets a bit scared about letting my son play in the waterparks. Why? Well because they are man made and have flaws. Not to mention that they are usually urine infested. But this is not. The lake is God-made, and unlike human constructed things, things that God made is nothing but perfection. And how can perfection be dangerous? Nature can only be a threat when you are a threat to them.
My husband finally jumps in and my son decides to finally follow suit.
My husband, slowly getting his fins
My son, finally in the water
The dynamic duo
And here’s my brave boy
I was swimming quite a distance away so it took quite a bit for him to reach me.
Managed to snap this pic as he was reaching out for me
And here’s a selfie to celebrate the little display of courage
My son and I, swimming in Tasik Banding. My son may hesitate at first but trust me, after gaining his fins, he was the hardest to persuade to stop swimming while we were in Tasik Banding. In this sense, I guess my son takes after me, after all. Water is his element and he is a natural swimmer.
A selfie with my husband
Happy times with my husband and son at Tasik Banding.
Swimming and bamboo rafting in Tasik Banding may not be a 5 star resort experience to some. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world. Moments with family like this is priceless and as a mum to a rapidly growing up son, I would advice all parents out there to take some moments off from the rat race, bring your children to explore the great outdoors and make some beautiful memories with them. Time is irreversible, after all and before you know it, children are all grown up. The world is a book. Those who doesn’t explore, reads only one page.
Note: Swimming and bamboo rafting in Tasik Banding at Royal Belum State Park is part of the 2D1N Royal Belum Houseboat trip’s itinerary. The trip was organized by Caravan Serai Holidays. You may read the full trip experience HERE. For those who are interested to join the 2D1N Royal Belum Houseboat trip organized by Caravan Serai Holidays may hop over HERE for more information. Package for a 2D1N starts as low as RM199(+RM70 for two way bus transfer from Kuala Lumpur to Tasik Banding Jetty) per pax.
Note: All the pictures in this article was taken with Nikon Coolpix W100, with minor watermark edits.