Pahang is the largest state in Malaysia, rich with lush rainforests, highlands and beaches. Think Taman Negara, Cameron Highlands, Genting Highlands and Tioman Island, which are flocked by tourists from around the world. However, these popular attractions often overshadow the natural gems hidden amidst the quieter villages.
Kampung Sungai Klau is a traditional village located roughly 2 hours away from KL and ½ hour away from Raub. It owes its name to the Klau River, which was incidentally named after the kelah fish inhabiting its rushing stream.The charm of the village lies in its classic kampung vibe, reinforced by its pristine natural attractions and array of outdoor recreational activities.
In fact, here are 5 things you can do at this underrated village of Pahang.
1. Start your adventure on a 4WD
Deep in the rainforest near the village is a picturesque waterfall accessible via a 4WD. The meandering dirt road leads you pass hillside plantations and the gentle slopes of Mount Benom.
But don’t let this serene picture fool you! The exhilarating 40-minute ride challenges you to hold on tight and dodge branches along the steep terrain. It’s Temple Run in real life.
2. Surrender to Nature at Lata Berembun
After braving the bumpy obstacle course, you’ll be greeted by the Lata Berembun waterfall. Since it is still unknown to most tourists, the waterfall is clean and unspoilt. The chilly water crashes down from at least seven cascades into a deep pool, framed by the thickets of the rainforest.
Lata Berembun is a perfect spot to swim, meditate or have a picnic on the rocks. City dwellers can immerse themselves in the art of forest-bathing, a Japanese practice that involves taking in the forest atmosphere to enhance health. If the weather is alright, you can trek to a higher part of the waterfall to speed down the natural water slides.
3. Wander around a historical cave
Gua Kechil is an ancient cave and local treasure of Raub. Once a hideout for Japanese soldiers and the Communist, the cave boasts writings that piece together fragments of Malaya’s history.
The passionate guide there is happy to show you around Gua Kechil to explain the stalagmite and stalactite formations, the diverse ecosystem and other little details that add to its mystery.
4. Eat home-cooked Guang Xi food
Kampung Sungai Klau has a large Guang Xi population, so families there often incorporate this style in their cooking. Homestays in the area usually prepare home-cooked food to give guests a taste of traditional Guang Xi dishes, such as steamed chicken with ginger sauce and stuffed tofu with minced pork. Leaves a warmth in your heart too, don’t you think?
5. Experience the kampung lifestyle at a local homestay
Staying at a local homestay lets you experience what it’s like to live in a kampung. For those who grew up in a traditional Chinese household, this would definitely be a trip down memory lane! You can even hire a bike to explore the village at your own leisure.