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A destination to fall for

I don’t know about you, but I love waterfalls, I don’t actually bathe in them but rather, I love to admire the beauty of the cascades and their surroundings of lush greenery and beautiful rock formations.

I know what you’re thinking; “Such a waste to go all the way to a waterfall and not take a dip in its pool.” But I suppose I am one of those people who prefer to admire things and not disturb them – I like to see but not touch, if you catch my drift.

One waterfall that has caught the attention of many of late is Jangkar Waterfall. This gorgeous water cascade is said to be the largest and tallest of its kind in Southern Sarawak. So big and tall in fact, that it can be seen from the road as you make your way to Kampung Jantan, where the journey on foot to this wonderful natural attraction starts. My trip to Jangkar Waterfall took place a while back, but memories from the visit there still linger in my mind. Surely I’d love to go back there someday, given the chance.

In any case, getting to the waterfall isn’t a walk in the park to be quite honest. But at the very least the drive to Kampung Jantan was fairly easy. Al you need to do is turn left at the bypass as you reach Lundu, heading towards Sematan. Look out for a sign that says Jalan Biawak. Turn left into Jalan Biawak and drive a further 10 kilometres or so until you reach the junction to Kampung Jantan on your right. Turn into that junction and drive for another five minutes until you reach Kampung Jantan, whose population is made up of Bidayuh Selako.

There are options for you to choose in terms of who you want to take you up to the waterfall. I visited Jangkar Waterfall with a friend from Kuala Lumpur. Our arrangement was with the Kampung Jantan Cooperative, with Mr. Rashidin as our person of contact. He assigned us a trusty guide to take us up to the waterfall. He was young and rather timid, but he was also experienced in terms of navigating the paths and doing what needed to be done to ensure our safety along our journey to and fro.

From the Kampung Jantan Cooperative base, we climbed into a car that took us further into the village. From there, we began walking with our guide leading the way. The first few minutes saw us trekking on any easy path through a cocoa plantation in the village and past a not-so-dense jungle. Soon we found ourselves surrounded by pepper vines as we began our ascent. That’s when the rain came down almost all of a sudden. But lucky for us, it only lasted about five minutes or so. It is important go note that going to the waterfall is not a good idea when it is raining, mainly because the journey involves climbing hug boulders. With some of them measuring about the size of a car, the boulders can be dangerous to climb when they are web. Therefore, hiking shoes are also highly recommended.

It took us about an hour before we finally caught sight of the first tier of the waterfall. The sound of roaring water gushing into a pool below got us all excited. All of a sudden the tiredness from having to climb the mountain to get to the fall disappeared. We mustered our strength and climbed the huge boulders that stood between the waterfall and us. Good thing the boulders were all dry at the time. We made our way up and over the boulders with surprisingly less effort than we had expected. Adrenaline rush perhaps?

Several more steps after the boulders and there it was… the magnificent Jangkar Waterfall. It was as breathtaking as how people had described it to be, maybe even more so. Both my friend and I agreed that it was definitely worth the climb. The water rushing down from the edges of the second tier was white as milk, turning clear again as it dropped into the vast pool below. The pool was bluish-green and looked like a perfect place for a refreshing dip. And the view from up there as jaw-dropping! it was an amazing feeling, standing there on the edge of the tallest waterfall in Southern Sarawak and looking out to the sight of magnificent mountains in the distance, enjoying the cool breeze and listening to the oddly soothing roars of the cascading water. I decided to take a short nap while my friend braved the tricky path to the second tier before we all enjoyed the kampung-style food prepared on the spot by our trusty guide.

As it was already a litter late and we were advised to come back before sundown, we did not go to the seventh tier of the 23-tier waterfall, which is said to be more breathtaking than the first tier. But there’s always a next time for that.

After a fantastic day at Jangkar Waterfall, we made our way back down to Kampung Jantan. Our guide was kind enough to carry some of our bags (our fault for bringing too many things on the trip) on the way down and thanked him before we parted ways. We also thanked Rashidi for a wonderful experience before we got cleaned up at the Kampung Jantan Cooperative and drove back to the city.

Jangkar Waterfall is definitely a destination to include in your list of places to go when you’re in Kuching or even if you are from Kuching. I know I will be going back there for sure!

Check out https:www.facebook.com/JangkarWaterfall to know more.

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