By Dian Hasan | September 5, 2009
For those in the know, Asia is a fantastic travel destination in every sense of the word – covering a myriad of interests, ranging from FIT, MICE, Medical, Business Travel, Sports, Showbiz, Shopping, Gourmet, Cultural, Wellness, to the more smaller fine-tuned travel niches of Adventure-, Eco-, Humanitarian– and even VolunTourism. In short – Green Travel is here. The Asian travel landscape has evolved dramatically. And virtually all countries across the massive Asian Continent are waking up to the tremendous economic potential of Tourism. Albeit each country may have a different approach. What’s clear is that every country wants to taste the success of China, India, Singapore, Bali, Thailand, Malaysia, The Maldives & Nepal. Even the last totalitarian regime of Myanmar is looking into Tourism as a attractive economic sector to pursue.
Which takes us back to Adventure Travel, that part of travel that exudes exploration, expedition, exhilaration… and excitement galore. Laced with adrenaline, enjoying the dwindling Asian landscapes that are changing fast… from pristine to precariously threatened. So let’s look at Malaysia, one country that has successfully placed its tourism products and services in the minds of travelers, via its catchy “Malaysia, Truly Asia” tourism campaign. Extreme Kayaking anyone? Selangor River awaits (as originally appeared in Playak) .
Less than 2 hrs by train from KUALA LUMPUR / Malaysia there is a world class creek : the SELANGOR RIVER with rapids up to grade 4. ( below: ‘Second Canyon’ )
To get there from KUALA LUMPUR is easy and cheap by commuter train to RAWANG, there change train to KUALA KUBU BHARU. From train station KKB take a taxi for 5 M$ to town or directly to the put in a bit below the SELANGOR dam.
It always feels like a timewarp when I come from Sumatra ( the ‘Wild West of Indonesia’ ) to PENANG or KUALA LUMPUR in Malaysia for my visarun every 4 months or so.
Especially the island of PENANG is an interesting place to travel, a melting pot of cultures, peoples and traditions. The city of Georgetown has the best maintained chinatown in Southeastasia, lots of simple backpacker accomodation and great food at low prices.
As usually I stayed at HOTEL NOBLE for about 7 US/ night – those guys have now the first Visa- service for Indonesian visa (cost: RM20 which is about US$5 extra to the normal visa costs RM170 for a 2-months visa )
They also sell ferry tickets which are RM220/return ticket (a return ticket is required to apply for Indonesian Visa).
After the visa was done in a bit more than a day I went to Kuala Lumpur, stayed the night at friends place and left the next day to KUALA KUBU BAHRU. – This little town on the way to Frazer’s Hill is now easy to reach by train from KL, costs just a few M$ and one is there in less than 2 hrs.
Marge and Karin from TRACKS ADVENTURES fetched me from the train station. – They told me SELANGOR waterlevel was perfect after all the rain of the last days and weeks ( so global warming has some good sides here and then ).
SELANGOR river was damned a few years ago – of course the local ( paddle ) communities, environmentalists etc. could not prevent a Mega Monkey project at a time when Kuala Lumpur and the entire KLANG valley suffered from drinking water shortages ( due to waste and leaking pipes – to change the pipes and attitude may have been the cheaper AND more environment friendly solution but there was money to make for investors after all…)
However, after years now paddling is possible again on Selangor river, – it a great creek just 1 – 2 hrs north of KL
For further info about Selangor and Kayaking / Rafting tours on other rivers in Malaysia contact Marge or Karin firstname.lastname@example.org
Location of SELANGOR and some other good rivers in Southeastasia