The beautiful waterfalls of Batang Kali

Batang Kali is the name given to a small town and its surrounding district in north-eastern Selangor.

The town is best known for an infamous event which occurred there in December 1948. The Malayan Emergency was still only six months old and the government was struggling to devise effective counter-measures to combat the murders and attacks by communist terrorists.

A patrol of 14 Scots Guards rounded-up a group of Chinese rubber plantation labourers who were thought to include communist sympathisers. It was claimed that they tried to escape and, after ignoring challenges from the soldiers, 24 of them were shot dead.

Newspapers at the time hailed this as a major success for the security forces but evidence subsequently came to light that suggested these unarmed villagers may not have been trying to escape and were actually gunned down in cold blood.

A commission of enquiry exonerated the army of any blame but suspicions remained that the affair, now known as the Batang Kali massacre, was hushed up by the government.

The controversy lingered and in January 2012, solicitors acting for relatives of the victims received some hitherto classified papers from the British government that was thought would support the relatives’ demands for an explanation, an apology and compensation.

Those events were many years ago and Batang Kali has long since returned to its normal state of sleepy anonymity.

There are many rivers flowing through the Batang Kali district and a number of them have waterfalls. The trail to this particular waterfall started somewhere near the Hulu Tamu Hot Springs.

The journey there involved driving along narrow potholed roads with numerous forks and junctions.

Walking to the waterfall meanwhile involved wading across a knee-deep river and hiking through a very pleasant orchard of pulasan, langsat and durian trees with the Titiwangsa mountain range (near Genting Highlands) in the background.

Incidentally, a ripe pulasan tastes somewhere between a rambutan and a lychee.

After crossing yet another river, the Pahlawan Eco Resort came into sight. This place describes itself as an Adventure Training Centre and its facilities seem to comprise a few chalets/huts, outbuildings and a campsite. A quiet place for a getaway?

From here on the trail becomes more overgrown and indistinct.

It did not take long however to reach the first waterfall – a fairly modest-sized one.

From here, you will have to pass through more thick bamboo forests, while remembering to keep the river on your left at all times.

When climbing up the river bed itself, be prepared to scramble over fallen logs, and very slippery rocks, as you try to avoid spider webs. Keep an eye out too for potential nasties lurking in the dense undergrowth.

There are a lot of leeches too – so you have been warned. At an Orang Asli hut in the vicinity, nobody was home apart from a dog and her puppy.

The second waterfall was close by. It took about an hour of hiking to get there (seemed longer).

The spot is perfect for a refreshing dip and a power shower under the chilly falls.

If you’ve brought food, take a restful break and lunch here before heading back.

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