In spite of housing myriad tropical geographical features, Malaysia’s numerous waterfalls – Earth’s natural playgrounds – have yet to be showered with the adoration they deserve. Flowing against the words of girl group TLC who sang, “Don’t go chasing waterfalls” in their 1994 hit, it’s time to start appreciating these natural, cascading beauties right in our backyard. Read on to find out more about the eight coolest local waterfall sites to hit:
Rainbow Waterfall, Pahang
It’s all in the name when it comes to this majestic sight that’s truly one to behold: Rainbow Waterfall. Located in the sleepy old mining town of Sungai Lembing lies the limited opportunity to witness the band of colour form within the mist, right when the water perfectly catches the light. In favour of catching a glimpse of this phenomena, it’s best to begin your journey before the sun sets or early in the morning after a rainfall. Although the entry price is quite expensive (about RM50 (approximately USD12) for transport, guide and insurance), the Insta-worthy view is sure to make it all worth it.
Kanching Rainforest Waterfall, Selangor
If a swift getaway from the concrete jungle is on your to-do list, then head on over to the Kanching Rainforest Waterfall that’s only about 30 minutes away from northern Kuala Lumpur. Set in a forest reserve within Rawang, it’s best to get your sturdy footwear on as you’ll need to hike up the rainforest to dive into one of the seven planes of falls and pools. There’s a clear cement footpath leading up to the first four while the more daring can try hiking out the trickier remaining pools. Whichever you choose, this waterfall is certainly a crowd-pleasing favourite among city dwellers – just beware of the wild monkeys!
Sekayu Waterfall, Terengganu
On the occasion that you are travelling towards the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, it would be imprudent to bypass the chance to take a dip in the mesmerising pools of Sekayu Waterfall. In the heart of the Sekayu Recreational Forest in Kuala Berang rests the waterfall’s seven stunning cascades. Although the ones located at a higher altitude require some extra elbow grease (or knee grease in this case) to get there, the view and privacy granted definitely leaves no room for complaint.
Jelawang Waterfall, Kelantan
Grandiosely positioned within Western Kelantan’s Gunung Stong State Forest Park is the magnificent Jelawang Waterfall; aptly perceived as it is the tallest waterfall in Southeast Asia. Casual visitors can simply revel in the picturesque views at the top of the waterfall or wade in the plunge pool below while adventurous trekkers can satiate their thirst for challenge with the seven climbable peaks available. If you’re lucky, you might even have a close encounter with the Rafflesia – the world’s largest flower – within the park.
Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls, Kedah
Embark up north to Kedah to immerse in the unrefined winsomeness of the Telaga Tujuh Waterfalls, also referred to as the Seven Wells thanks to the seven interconnected natural pools supplied by seven isolated cascades in Mount Mat Cincang. Overseen by the Berjaya Leisure Group, this Langkawi must-see is home to an abundance of extraordinary flora and fauna. Whether you choose to take a leisurely stroll to enjoy the sights or simply dive into one of the upper pools, a marvellous time is guaranteed. A word to the wise: monsoon season is the best time to experience these waterfalls in all their splendour.
Buaya Sangkut Waterfall, Johor
Stumble upon the oasis that is Buaya Sangkut Waterfall (Sunk Crocodile Waterfall in English) that’s positioned within the vast Endau Rompin National Park. With the help of an experienced guide, get ready to commence an onerous odyssey beginning with a boat ride from the main entrance of the Orang Asli settlement of Kampung Peta to climbing Semanggong Hill for roughly three hours. It may be quite a trip, but upon your arrival, you’ll be richly rewarded as you get to feast your eyes on glistening earthy grey hues and palpable gushing falls.
Mahua Waterfall, Sabah
If you’re keen to discover a hidden gem nestled between luscious green flora within a narrow valley affectionately dubbed as the ‘Switzerland of the East’, or locally known as Tambunan, then Mahua Waterfall is your best bet. Once you reach the entrance of the Crocker Range Park after taking an approximate two-hour drive from Kota Kinabalu, walk for about 500 metres through the rainforest along a wooden pathway and you’ll reach the plunge-pool cascade that stands at least 17 metres tall. Be sure to take in the idyllic sights and keep your eyes peeled for tropical birds and butterflies along the way!
Kubah Waterfalls, Sarawak
Lying deep within the flourishing boscage of the Kubah National Park is the geographical wonder that is the Kubah Waterfalls. Situated an estimated 20 kilometres outside of Kuching, it’s the perfect place to head to for a dose of nature once you’re done exploring the city. Resting in the midst of three mountains, you’ll have to endure a slightly arduous journey of roughly 90 minutes to reach there via the Waterfall Trail, so be careful of the steep and slippery slopes. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of this marvel is its cluster of four cascades tumbling into one pool of chilly, crystal water. Nature is just pure perfection!