“Ah, at last we are here!” said my wife Jane as our flight landed at The Sultan Ahmad Shah airport. We have been keen on visiting Malaysia after our stay in London for 2 weeks. Our busy lives in New York have made us lethargic and now we were making the best out of our tours. A friend of mine in London suggested us to visit Pandan waterfalls and the surrounding places. He knew that I loved waterfalls very much. So we took a direct flight from London to Kuala Lumpur. We came out of the airport after collecting our luggage and it was so serene and beautiful that it kept us looking around and checking it out. “There we go Peter, we are in Malaysia”, I said to my 10 year old son. “This country is so modern just like ours but my friends told me that Asia has only forests and snakes and wild animals”. I and my wife had a hearty laugh.
We drove for hours in an air-conditioned taxi we took at the airport to reach Kuantan, the capital city of Pahang Darul Makmur. Though it was a bustling town with modern look of a developing country it had its joyful cultures and traditions everywhere. As we proceeded to our hotel we noticed that it was inhabited by Malays, Chinese and Indians mostly. We got refreshed in our room and enquired on how to get to Pandan waterfalls.
We came to know that it was 25 kms away from Kuantan and that there were only 2 options – taxi or bus. We opted for bus transport. The guide explained that Pandan River makes these waterfalls previously called as Panching falls, in the Sungai Pandan Forest Reserve (“Hutan Lipur Sungai Pandan”) that spread across 25 hectares. We could not help notice the lush green abundant forests around us that were simply awesome. The bus got on to the Kuantan – Kuala Lumpur main highway and after crossing the Malaysian Air Force base on to the right, we took a right turn at the traffic signals. We reached the Panching caves. They were unique and intriguing. Then after 5 km we entered the forest reserve and took a left. There were oil palm plantations on both sides of the quarry road. Then we kept going for 3 more kms in a two-lane road to reach the destination.
“Daddy, we are at the waterfalls!” my son was very excited and so were we. I was enchanted by seeing their grace. It was a series of cascading waterfalls, about 8 in number which was around 200 meters tall. The water was slowed down by the cascade, and it ended in a large beautiful pool. This flowed into various small pools around in which small children were playing as they weren’t too deep. Adults were swimming and relaxing in the main pool. There was a bridge hanging over the river after the cascade which seemed to challenge adventurous people to use it. The rocks in and around the falls were too steep to climb.