webpage : www.kenyirlake.com
It spans over 260,000 hectares (or some 369 sq km), fed by 30 rivers with 25 waterfalls and at least 25 known species of fish swimming in this man-made lake. The 340 islands in the lake were once hilltops and highlands before the area was inundated by water. Kenyir Lake on the map is just like a drop of water that splits into irregular drainage shape on the ground, but turns into a big piece of jade or green stone with smooth surface when it comes closer to you.
As you jump off from the car and stand in front of the Tourist Information Center in Gawi Jetty, no other colour but only green that comes into your vision. The unique fragrance from plants will cast your tiredness away after 45 minutes drive from Kuala Terengganu.
There are ways of exploring this lake. In a houseboat or on ‘bus no. 11’, you foot. But any of this, your journey should begin in either Gawi Jetty or Pengkalan Utama.
Gawi Jetty is a busy jetty in morning time. Boats anchor at the jetty to load and unload passengers and goods. As most of the chalet and resort are built beside the lake, visitors will be transferred to the resort by boat. Of course it is not the idea to get off from the boat and sit in the room but do nothing.
Water and water everywhere... what else but swimming and water sports. Boating, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, water scootering are some of the fun things to do in Tasik Kenyir even if you only wish to stay but yet wondering on what you can do.
Exploring by boat is the most common and easiest way. Some travel agencies offer 2D1N or 3D2N package tour in double decks houseboat. Journey will begin right from the jetty. These wooden houseboats will move during day time. Grey colour branches stand out from the water. They were once branches of trees before water has introduced into this area. Parasitic plants and birds resting on the branches bring surprises to the eyes. During raining time, rain drops on the water, together with these branches both have supplementing each other in adding to the mysterious of the lake.
Houseboat will stop at waterfall points in every evening. Passengers will have their good time stretching their body and have a real cold shower in the waterfall while waiting for meal to serve their hungry stomach. Where else can you find a place for candle lit dinner with insects singing as your table side violin player? At night, if you choose not to sleep in the boat, just bring your blanket and pillows and have a place in the little hut at the jetty where the boat stops. In the morning, you will wake up with bird singing from the jungle and perhaps the fish in the lake has eaten the baits you gave a night before.
There are many things to do in Kenyir Lake. Hundreds of species of freshwater fishes are found in Lake Kenyir, such as Kelab, Toman, Soberau, Kelisa and Lampan etc. At least 25 species of fish for the hard core anglers. Toman (snakehead fish) gives the most fighting time to anglers. Estuaries are the best places for fishing. Watch out for the SObarau chasing the young Toman. You should cast your line to get the Toman as the bigger Toman will be selfishly protecting the young ones. Some of the good and popular fishing are Soak, Cacing, Pertang, Leban, Petuang and Sungai Terenggan. Fishing permit is required from the wildlife Department is you need to fish in National Park area.
For the adventurers, you can hike to Gunung Gagau inside Taman Negara, the second highest mountain after Gunung Tahan in the National Park. Book a guide from travel agency or the Jabatan Perhilitan at Kuala Berang for 3D2N's adventure.
Ample nature trails to the many waterfalls found in Tasik Kenyir. Being part of the National Park, Lake Kenyir has so much to offer in its lush tropical rainforest. You will be rewarded with crystal clear mountain streams flowing into the lake after a long trekking journey. Trekking in this huge jungle is never a boring and lonely thing because Kenyir Lake is not merely a piece of jungle. It is home for more than 8,000 species of flowers, 25,000 species of plants and trees and 300 species of fungus, 800 species of orchids, 100 species of butterflies, 370 species of birds, 200 species of animals……surprise? Or I will rather say, ‘unbelievable’.
Camping beside the waterfalls is an experience not to be missed. At night, you can listen to all the strange noises of the forest. Lay down on the ground and gaze at the open sky for the stars and galaxies are the only natural heritages that are yet to be polluted!
Three caves found in Kenyir Lake: Tok Bidan, Taat and Bewah. Among these, Tok Bidan is submerged under water. Cavers will have a delightful time exploring the Bewah Cave and the Taat Cave situated at Pulau Bewah. Bewah Cave is known for the many artifacts, Neolithic axes, flints and human skeleton of some 3000 years of history while wall painting and signs are found in Taat cave which can be seen when water level is at its lowest. There are also caves racers, spiders, crickets, bats and other creatures of the dark. Exploring the cave can have even more fun if you can get a guide who can tell you how the fairies help the villagers in their festival time.
If nothing interest you above, then laze around the chalets and gaze at the distant speeding boats. Listen to the breeze and hear the ripple of the waves. At least you are away from your monotomous and hectic chores for a while.
Do not forget to obtain permits from the Wildlife Department at the Tourist Information Center at Gawi Jetty (Saturday - Wednesday : 9.00 am-5.00 pm, Thursday - Friday : 9.00 am - 1.00 pm)
RM 1.00 (entrance) | RM 5.00 (camera) | RM 10.00 (fishing) | RM 1.00 (camping)
Getting there : Kenyir Lake is approximately 55 km from Kuala Terengganu. Gawi Jetty is the main gateway to the lake beside Pengkalan Utama. It is completed with Tourist Information Centre and Wildlife Department and a parking place for most of the houseboats.
Self Drive : There are several alternatives to access to Kenyir Lake. If you travel in car from Kuala Lumpur, head to Ajil through Karak Highway to Jerengau-Jabor Highway then onwards to Kenyir. Another alternative will be taking the coastal road through Kemaman, Dungun, Kuala Terengganu and then Kenyir Lake.
By Bus : There is one direct bus Kenyir Express departs daily from Kuala Lumpur to Gawi Jetty. Bus leaves Hentian Putra at 8.00pm and fare costs RM 25.00.
By Air : Both Malaysia Airline (MAS) and Air Asia operate regular flights to Kuala Terengganu. Air Asia offers attractive promotional ticket, do check out for the latest promotion fare.
By Taxi : Taxi services are available from the airport in Kuala Terengganu direct to Gawi Jetty. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes.
By boat : It is close to not possible to enjoy the tranquil scenery and atmosphere of the lake without a boat. There are a number of boat operators parking their fibre glass boats as well as double decks houseboat at Gawi Jetty. Prior booking is advisable. Some travel agencies offer package tours inclusive of activities arrangement. Call and check for more detail.