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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sungai Sedim and Eno...

Sungai Sedim
Recreational Forest


Sungai Sedim Recreational Forest


Location :
In the district of Kulim, Kedah.
Coordinates of the park are 5°24′49″N 100°46′49″E
You can access the Google Map here.

Natural Heritage Status:
Sungai Sedim Recreational Forest is within Gunung Inas Permanent Forest Reserve of Lowland Dipterocarp Forest with valuable timber trees such as Meranti seraya, Meranti tembaga, Meranti melantai, Terap, Kulim, Bintangor and Keledang. Renowned for the cascading Sedim River and rich wildlife, it is also known to be a picnic spot of Kedah’s royalty. Sedim River has about 15 km of natural white-water suitable for rafting activities. It is also the starting point to the numerous hiking trails to Gunung Inas, Gunung Bintang and the Bintang range.


Entrance to Sungai Sedim Recreational Forest


At 950m, it is the longest galvanized steel tree walk in the world.

Gazettement :
Sungai Sedim Recreational Forest is located at compartment 15 within Gunung Inas Permanent Forest Reserve at the foot of Bintang range in the district of Kulim near Baling. Gunung Inas Permanent Forest Reserve with the size of 36.979 ha was gazette on 5 Nov 1937. Gunung Bintang is Kedah’s highest peak.

Accessibility:
To the park: Tarred road until the park. Coaches can now park at the new parking lots which was previously inaccessible to coaches.
In the park: Well maintained paths and bridges for easy accessibility in the park.

Affordability:
Entrance to the park is free.
Parking fee: RM2 for car and RM3 for 4WD.
Dormitory (Attached Bathroom)
10 person and above – RM20/person/day
Less than 10 person – RM200/room/day
Family Room – 3 bedded room (1 double bed and 2 Single Bed) – RM100/room/day
7 Bedded Room (Single bed + Attached bathroom) – RM160/room/day
Accommodation & Meal Package
Package inclusive of accommodation at Bintang Sedim Villa dormitory with 5 meals.
RM50/person/day (adult) RM40/person/day (children)
Camping
Camping site – RM3/person/day
Tent only – RM10/day (4 men tent)
Tent only – RM18/day (6 men tent)
Gunung Bintang Summit (1864m) – 3D2N Package price RM120/person (minimum 10 person).
Rafting adventure package
RM190/person/hour includes lunch, guide and rescue team (minimum 4 pax)
Tree Top Walk
Walkway opens daily except bad weather from 8.30 am to 5.30am
Entrance RM10 (adult) and RM6 (child).

(Price stated at the time of writing this report 6/2009)

Level of Development:
There are several villages surrounded by orchards with an estimated population of 1500 persons. One village known as Kampung Lindungan Raja was reputed as the village that gave refuge to the 25th Sultan of Kedah, Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah also the father of our first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, during World War II in 1941. The villagers protected the 77-year-old sultan until it was safe for him to return to his palace in Alor Setar (Zanina P, 2009).
The federal government developed the longest galvanized steel “Tree Top Walk” in the world at 925m in length and stands 50m at its highest platform costing RM6mil beginning 15 January 2004 and completed on 7 March 2005. The canopy walkway is handicapped-friendly and provides bird-watchers with a good vantage view of the birds in their natural environment (Shahariah, 2005).
New construction of the parking facilities and infrastructure to accommodate coaches and group tour has been built and expected to be completed at the end of 2009. Another chalet accommodation has been built across the present Bintang Sedim Villa.


Bridge over Sungai Sedim.


New development in progress – chalet, bridges and parking bays.

Popularity:
The park is popular among the locals as well as outstation visitors and tourists for its wild river and tree top walk. There were at least 2500 visitors during public holidays. Sungai Sedim Recreational Forest is also a popular base camp for hikers to Gunung Inas (1,454m), Gunung Bintang Utara (1,835m) and Gunung Bintang (1,862m) with average distance of 14km.
A well known destination for extreme water sports enthusiasts such as rubber tubing, kayaking and white water rafting. It is famed for the world class water rafting destination and has been crowned as the Lord of the Rough Garden with 17km of non-stop rapids graded from one to four. There are 24 rapids along the river, each with its own name, such as Salak Drop, Triple Rapid, Kasai Drop, Wall Drop, Lower Head Dam, Kawah Rapid, Jelutong Rapid, Rodeo Rapid, Slip Lip Rapid and Cyclone Hole. The Sedim River is listed as one of the best five rivers in the world for whitewater kayaking and water rafting (Star, 2005).
Other popular activities include birdwatching and strolling or trekking to the upstream of Sg Sedim or to Sungai Riau Waterfall.
Beside accommodation, the management provides team building and management activities including Flying Fox, Abseiling, River Crossing, Tree Top Walk, Obstacle Course, Talangtula, Trust Fall, target shooting and jungle warfare.


The newly developed Riau Waterfall at Sungai Riau within the park.


Tree Top Walk was officially opened on 5th Mac 2009 by Sultan Negeri Kedah Darul Aman.


Tree Top Walk – a popular tourist attraction in the park.

Accommodation:
Chalet and campsite within the park are managed by a private company. A new resort along the western bank of Sg Sedim scheduled to be completed at the end of the year. Other private accommodations along Sungai Sedim at the fringe of the park offer reasonable packages.


Bintang Sedim Villa within Sg Sedim Recreational Forest

Threats:
Garbage: The biggest threat of the park is garbage disposal. Rubbish was seen along the picnic area along the river.
Development: Over development and mass influx of tourist in the park could threaten wildlife in the park.


Common sight - Littering in the park.

Mitigation:
Enforcement by the park authority and provide more rubbish bins at strategic areas. Development should be control to minimize erosion and exploitation of natural heritage.

Conservation:
Sungai Sedim Recreational Forest is surrounded by fruit orchards. There are huge dipterocarp trees and other non-dipterocarp species including a tree known as Kulim (Scorodocarpous Dorneensis). The park within Gunung Inas Permanent Forest Reserve serves as a rich biodiversity for large wildlife to variety of uncommon insects.
A RM6mil “Tree Top Walk” known to be the longest in the world at 925m was added to the park for visitors to have a closer look at the canopy of the rainforest with the whitewater rapids gushing beneath. It is well known among bird-watchers to congregate at the park for a wide range of some 160 species of birds found in the forest.
Mammals seen during our visit include Agile gibbons, White-handed gibbons, Long-tailed macaque, Dusky leaf monkey, Plaintain Squirrel, Civet cats and elephants (dung seen on the upper reaches).




You will be amazed with the flowering plants.


A bird-watching paradise. Surprisingly, huge trees with nesting hornbills and honey hives are suitable for conservation as a national park.


Rare lizards are common.


Rich biodiversity of frogs too.


Moths and butterflies filled the air.


Wildlife aplenty ranging from gibbon, dusky leaf monkey and squirrel (photo) to tapir, deer, civet cats and bears and others.

Benefits to Local Communities:
The influx of visitors to the recreational park had a positive spillover of jobs for the villagers who enjoy brisk business selling food, fruits, chalet accommodations and ecotourism. Local entrepreneurs benefited from ecotourism business along Sedim River.
Favorite picnicking spot for the whole family at the recreational park with basic infrastructure and facilities such as public toilets, food stalls and sporting activities.



Numerous advertisements along the road to the park. Local entrepreneurs doing well in ecotourism business along Sedim River. Choices for visitors for other accommodation packages along Sungai Sedim.


Rubber tubing at Sg Sedim.

How to Get There
From North South Expressway NSE (E1) exits at Seberang Jaya (Butterworth) to Butterworth-Kulim Expressway BKE (E15). You will pass through Kubang Semang Tol and Lunas Tol on E15 heading to Grik. Exit to Kulim Hi-Tech Industrial Park. About 3rd traffic light from E15 (with a right junction to Kulim), turn left on K115 (heading towards Karangan) then K166 and K174, following the numerous signboards to Sungai Sedim Recreational Forest. It is about 1 hour from Butterworth.


Map to Sungai Sedim Recreational Forest

Important Contacts
Pegawai Hutan Daerah Kedah Selatan
09000 Kulim, Kedah Darul Aman.
Tel. : 04-4903760

Majlis Perbandaran Kulim
09000 Kulim, Kedah Darul Aman.
Tel: (604)4906522 Fax:(604)4901443
Website: www.mpkk.gov.my

Unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri Kedah
Tel:(604)7744370 Fax:(604)7330908
Email: upen@kedah.gov.my

Jabatan Perhutanan Negeri Kedah
Tingkat 8,
Bangunan Sultan Abdul Halim
Jalan Sultan Badlishah
05000 Alor Setar
KEDAH
Tel : 04-7333844
Fax: 04-7310610

http://www.kedforestry.gov.my

Bintang Sedim Villa
SP Azam Travel Sdn Bhd
15C, Bangunan PKNK, Jln Tunku Abidah,
09000 Kulim, Kedah
Tel: 04-4901588 / 04-4910641 Fax: 04-4919588
Website: www.treetopwalk.com.my

Rapid Fire Adventure Sdn. Bhd.
ECO Camp Sungai Sedim,
486, Lorong 7/2, Taman Semarak, 08000 Sungai Petani,
Kedah, West Malaysia
www.rapidfire.com.my
Tel: 012-6200483 / 019-5413321

Kem Rekreasi Sg Sedim (Kerekss)
Contact: Mohd Nazri
Tel: 04-4059496 / 019-4660311

Pusat Rekreasi Sungai Riau
Tel: 019-4748176 / 019-5684711 / 013-4828960


References
Department of Irrigation and Drainage (1989), Waterfalls of Malaysia, Design Dimension.
Plus (1996), Guide to Peninsular Malaysia, Tourism Malaysia.

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