|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Simpoh Air |
Our TN Friend, Prof. Ahmet Karatash ask me about some shot during my visit to Pahang.
Here is one of them.
A week ago, I went to Pahang State, the largest state in the Malaysian Peninsular. Pahang is noted for its rainforest,wetlands, natural lakes and national parks.
Actually I did not go there for a photographic stints but for my niece wedding. Along the way I tried to shoot some interesting nature. One of them is this plant.
This distinctive shrubby tree grows vigorously on eroded soil, wasteland, forest edges and swampy areas.
It has large leaves, and large yellow flowers. The flowers open at 3 am and last only a day. They are pollinated by bees which collect its pollen (the flowers don't produce nectar or a scent) or by small beetles and flies that scramble over it. Almost every flower sets fruit
The unopened fruits are surrounded by thick red sepals. To distinguish them from flower buds, the fruits face upwards while flower buds face down. The ripe fruit splits open also at 3 am, into pinkish star-shaped segments to reveal seeds covered in red arils. The plant blooms from age 3-4 and can live for 50-100 years! Plants in the Simpoh family (Dilleniaceae) hiss when the trunk or a branch is cut (you have to put your ear to the cut to hear it). The sound comes from the air that is sucked into the cut vessels.
Uses: The large leaves of the Simpoh Air were used to wrap food such as tempeh (fermented soyabean cakes), or formed into shallow cones to contain traditional "fast food" such as rojak.
The Simpoh Air sends out very deep tap roots to reach underground water sources. So much so that their presence suggests an underground water source, and some people use the plant as a guide to decide where to dig a well. The timber is not useful because it is twisted and very hard.
Traditional medicinal uses: Simpoh Air is used to staunch bleeding wounds, and the fruit pulp may be used to wash the hair (Brunei).
Role in the habitat: The Simpoh Air provides food and shelter for other plants and creatures. It is among the few plants that can germinate and grow on white sands. As a pioneer species, it provides shade for other less hardy plants to establish themselves. The tiny bit red flesh (arils) surrounding the seeds are irresistible to birds, which quickly disperse the seeds. Tailorbirds often make their nests out of the large leaves of the Simpoh Air.
Bunga Simpor by Dr.s Idris M. Said as background information on the flower which is the logo of the APEC 2000 Summit held in Brunei Darussalam: lots of info on distribution, traditional uses, role in the habitat.
Tropical Flowers of the Singapore Botanic Garden by James Teiw: brief facts, photos.
Guide to the Wildflowers of Singapore, online version on the Singapore Science Centre: fact sheet, drawings, photos.
To buy these references & others, visit
Ivan Polunin, "Plants and Flowers of Singapore", Times Editions, 1987 (p. 99: description, habitat, distribution, photo).
Foo Tok Shiew, "A Guide to the Wildflowers of Singapore", Singapore Science Centre, 1985 (p. 24: description, habitat, photo).
E. J. H. Corner, "Wayside Trees of Malaya: Vol I", Malayan Nature Society, 4th ed., 1997 (p. 232-233: description, habit).
Some info about Pahang:
Before visiting the several Pahang Tourist Attractions, the travelers should make a proper itinerary to see different places in an organized way. Pahang is the largest state in Malay Peninsula situated in the Eastern coastal regions. Most of the places are covered with tropical rainforests. The travelers have a lot of things to see in Pahang including famous cities, hill resorts, sun-baked beaches, lakes, waterfalls and national park. Including a lot of things, Pahang Tourist Attractions offer memorable experiences to the tourists.
Pahang is dominated by tropical climate with average temperature of 21 to 32 degree centigrade all round the year. The travelers can visit the place anytime during the year. They can get into the state of Pahang from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore by air and road transport.
Here are a few exciting places:
1. Taman Negara National Park
Formerly known as King George V National Park, Taman Negara National Park, Pahang was established in 1938-1939. But after Malaysia achieved its Independence it was renamed Taman Negara National Park, Pahang which literally means ‘national park’. Governed by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, the Taman Negara National Park in Pahang is spread across a total area of 4,343 square kilometers.
The Taman Negara National Park covers three Malaysian states of Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu, each having its own legislation. Among the three, the Taman Negara National Park in Pahang is the largest. One of the most famous and popular eco-tourism destinations in Pahang, Malaysia, the Park features a range of geological and biological attractions. The most attractive feature of the Park is the Gunung Tahan, the highest point of the Malay Peninsula. But this range is not very popular among the regular travelers who prefer climbing the Kuala Tahan which is popularly known as Merapoh.
Taman Negara Park offers travelers, especially the adventurous ones, a never-ending chance to discover and understand the rich natural treasure of Malaysia featuring unspoilt jungles, rivers and mountains. Wildlife lovers will certainly enjoy their visit to Taman Negara National Park in Pahang as it houses few of the rarest mammals in the world. The rare species which can be found at the Park include Indochinese Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Malayan Gaur and Asian Elephant.
Along with the above listed mammals, nature enthusiasts are treated with a variety of fish species including the Malaysian 'mahseer', a type of game fish.
But the first aspect of the Taman Negara National Park, Pahang that impresses the tourists is the rich diversity and beauty of the plants and trees species that constitute one-third of all the flowering plants that are found in the country.
Tourists at Taman Negara National Park, Pahang can also indulge in canopy walkway bird watching or jungle trekking or simply sit by the flowing Tahan River enjoying the serenity of the place.
Prior to visitation, the travelers must get permits from the Department of Wildlife and National Parks. If one intends to stay at the National Park then no need to worry as there are quite a few quality hostels and hotels near the park satisfying the lodging requirements of the tourists.
Travel.MapsofWorld.com gives you detailed information on Taman Negara National Park, Pahang.
2. Endau Rompin State Park
Endau Rompin State Park, Pahang is considered to be one of the most beautiful and famous tourist spot that is available in the state of Pahang. It is the oldest tropical rain forest area where you will be watching some of the most rare and exotic species of tropical vegetation and animal species. Endau Rompin State Park, Pahang is known to be the second largest national park in the peninsular region of Malaysia. The area is bounded by the neighboring area of Johor and Pahang.
If you want to travel to this interesting and famous place of Endau Rompin State Park, you can come here by road availing a taxi, bus or rented cars. Or else, you can take a flight which will lead you from Kuala Lumpur to Kuantan. The total travel time taken by the flight is about forty five minutes. After you land at the airport, you can take a cab which will bring you in front of the Endau Rompin State park. There are guided tours arranged for the interested visitors.
The park is itself a very interesting place to tour and have fun. Still, there are many more things that you will get to explore as you come to Endau Rompin State Park in Pahang. There are many things that will make your tour interesting and exciting. Like, in the area known as Padang Tujuh, you can watch a wonderful assortment of Bonsai Trees. There are many other interesting places to explore. These are:
Sungai Kinchin and Sungai Kemapan: It is one of the best fishing places as mentioned in the Pahang Tourism.
Mahkota Waterfalls: It is the excellent place for picnic with the 50 feet waterfall forming a perfect backdrop.
Upih Guling Falls: It is a legendary fall which has a tragic story behind it. It is said a person, known as Upih died in this place and the fall derives its name from the victim.
Buaya Sangkut Falls: You will be amazed to watch the spectacular show of this great waterfall, which is 40 meter high.
Kelapa Gading Cave: It is a cave which is about twenty five meter high. This cave is situated in the middle of a waterfall.
3. Lake Chini
Lake Chini, Pahang is a must-visit destination located on the banks of the Pahang River. The captivating beauty of Lake Chini, Pahang along with the serene environment will surely enthrall the visitors who come to spend some time with family and friends.
Also known as Tasik Chini, the lake has become one of the frequented tourist attractions in Pahang, Malaysia. Located at Chini Town, the Lake Chini is approximately 100 kilometers south west of Kuantan. One has to travel via road to Kampung Belimbing and then by boat through the Chini River. Another traveling option by road is via Segamat Highway through the new Chini town. The palm oil estate roads of Chini will ultimately lead the travelers to the site of the magnificent lake.
Lake Chini in Pahang is a series of 12 inter-connecting water bodies. Comprising of over 200 hectares of water and 700 hectares of freshwater swamp and swamp forest, the Lake Chini, Pahang features a range of lotuses and water lilies. Turtles, especially the Asiatic Soft Shelled Turtle and Spiny Turtle are commonly found in the waters of the lake. The surrounding fauna is rich in wildlife. Tourists can view a number of forest primates such as the Banded Langur, White-handed Gibbon, Long-tailed Macaque and the Pig-tailed Macaque. Bird lovers will be slightly disappointed but few uncommon birds like Blue-eared Kingfisher and the Grey-headed Fish Eagle can be viewed rarely.
But what will impress the travelers is the different species of fishes at the Lake Chini, Pahang. The lake serves as an important breeding ground for 144 species of fishes.
According to legends, Lake Chini in Pahang is the site of an ancient Khmer city which lies submerged in the waters of the lake and is guarded by a mythical dragon.
4. Kenong Rimba Park
Kenong Rimba Park, Pahang is located in the valley of Kenong, which is situated southwest to Taman Negara. It is a beautiful place which is considered to be the home to various Batek aboriginal tribes. The place is covered by many mountain brooks and showcases uncountable exotic and unique species of plants and animals. The net area covered by the Kenong Rimba Park, Pahang is approximately one hundred and twenty one square kilometers.
This place can be termed as a paradise for the nature lovers, who want to get rid of the tiresome monotony of life. The spectacular lush greenery that surrounds you as you come to this popular tourist destination known as Kenong Rimba Park is definitely going to give you mental refreshment and drive away all your worries. This is basically a tropical rainforest area, which is reserved and called as a restricted place in order to preserve the plantation and to ensure the ecological balance.
If you are wondering as to how to reach this beautiful place, here is the easy route for you. You have to start your journey from the town of Kula Lipis which is about one hundred and seventy one kilometers from the main city of Kuala Lumpur. It is approximately about 250 kilometers from the town of Kuantan. You will get both bus and taxis to reach the place. Also, railway services are available from Kuala Lumpur to Kuala Lipis.
As you step inside the Kenong Rimba Park, you will get lines of giant and tall trees which are abundant in numbers. Some of them are of quite rare types. Some of the vegetations that are quite rare to find anywhere else are Tualang or “Koompasia Excelsa”, ficus tree which is popularly known to be “Pokok ara”, a type of water lily which is pink and white in color. Moreover, to increase the beauty of the place, there are various types of orchids which grow clinging round the trees. Also, in this forest visitors are going to study on insect-eating plants (Pitcher Plant).
Coming to the animals' category, there is lots of wild life that you can observe as you go on an expedition in the wilderness of Kenong Rimba Park in Pahang. You will be watching the roaring tiger, elephants, deer, prickly porcupine, various types of flying lizards, rafflesia, swooping squirrels, dung beetles, lantern bugs and many more peculiar insects and moving species. It is a best place for the birdwatchers too. According to the information available in Pahang Tourism, there are large varieties of birds that you will be watching here in this reserve forest. There are dove, merbah red eye and Copysycus malabaricus. In addition to this, you will be getting chance to watch several complex networks of caves.
Thanks for reading.
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