"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." ~ Jawaharal Nehru

Friday, November 8, 2013

A view unlike any other...

I'm sure most of you would have seen this as my cover picture on FB. A spectacular waterfall that cuts right across a river. However, few will actually know that this place exist in our own backyard. Rather, my backyard!

This natural wonder actually exist in a place known as LUSONG LAKU (LL). Where in the world is that? I tried googling to get a map but even that does not exist. LL is part of the Belaga district of the Kapit division. However, to get there one needs to travel via Bintulu. I do not think logging roads or paths connect this isolated place to Kapit, which is the administrative center of theis division. 

I made the journey there because a health clinic exist there. I believe LL is probably the Health Ministry's most rural/ isolated clinic. If you don't believe it, look at the map I found from our divisional office.

Once a KD, it's now a KK (Klinik Kesihatan)

Basically, LL is located right in the heart of Kapit division. Deep in the center of the Borneo rainforest. Although I think its is possible to get there by river from Belaga, I don't think it is a journey I would want to make. Furthermore, parts of the river has already been impounded for the Murum Dam.

It was possible to fly in via heli through Bintulu or Kapit but it would cost a bomb and would be weather dependent.  So the next best option would be to go by road and boy... what a journey it was!

First, I had to make my way from Bintulu to Sungai Asap. Thank God the clinic driver came to pick me up from the airport. The 3 to 3 1/2 hour journey is a bone-jarring ride. Although there are sealed roads all the way, the roads are now pockmarked by large craters no thanks to the heavy vehicles that ply it daily. Got to Sungai Asap safely, then spent a night with the clinic staff there.

Next morning, we loaded up our stuff in a 4x4 rented by the department.

We even had to carry our own fuel
Beneath the tarpaulin is our luggaged... all secured!

And fueled up on some carbs before making the journey. Nothing to heavy as  I heard the ride was vomit inducing!

Fueling up

Off we went! The road to LL took us through the Murum Dam construction site. There were tons of heavy vehicles along the way. The truck designs were unlike those I've ever seen. No recognizable brands such as TATA or HINO. Was told that the construction companies design and modify their own trucks to withstand the tough conditions they have to go through. Trust me, roads don't even exist in some places!

All lined up

However, was pleasantly surprised to find short stretches of highway-worthy roads.

Reminds me of the PLUS highway near Damansara

Was told that in the future, roads like this will lead all the way to the Dam. Alas, these stretches of proper roads were only present for maybe 5% of the journey. With the heavy vehicles plying this stretch, do not think these roads will hold up for long.

The journey brought us along mountain ridges and down into dense jungle filled valleys.

Sun in my eyes along one of the ridges

It was beautiful, cause there was mist or maybe clouds in the treelines (couldn't differentiate) as the treelines were at the same level of the roads.


Although the view of the virgin rainforest was hypnotizing, I couldn't help but pray as we went along. One minor lapse of judgement by our driver, we would have plunged into the green chasm! I shudder to think what would happen as mounting a search and rescue in such difficult terrain would be more than challenging. The forest is so dense here I doubt that any wreckage would be visible from the air.

At the fork which was to take us to LL, managed to see the inflow of Murum Dam.

These would be a Class 5 or the much debated Class 6
in rafting jargon

Because it had been raining, the water was the colour of 'teh tarik' from your friendly Mamak stall.

A few hours later, the dense jungle gave way to lalang. We then knew we were near...

Behind the lalang is the settlement of Lusong Laku. Settlement cause the only thing it contains is a school, clinic and church. No shops, no markets, not even a community hall or balai raya. Basically, the building with the red roof in the main pic is the school and the blue one is the clinic. Around it are either classrooms or staff quarters. This is one place where concrete buildings do not exist... come to think of it, I did see one or 2 - The OUTHOUSE or JAMBAN!

Wooden open walled church

But what's most spectacular is the LL falls or cascade. During my 2 days there, took evening walks after my clinics to photograph this spectacular wonder.

Amazing right? Never could believe there is a mini Niagara Falls here in Malaysia.

Stay tuned to my next post as it will feature true heroes of this isolated little settlement!

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