2015 - Ranting Waterfall, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia

Ranting Waterfall Expedition
Maxwell Hill, Taiping
17th May 2015

Team members (L-R): Koay Bee Lee, Ching Neng Bin, Yeoh Sam Heng, Ucon Liew, Choo Min Yee and Boeng Leong.
As a member of the Teluk Batik Hikers, Sitiawan, I was duly invited by the founder Mr Yeoh Sam Heng to join him in his 3rd expedition to the Ranting Waterfall in Taiping. Without hesitation I said yes, and on 17th May 2015, I drove from Ipoh to meet them at the Bukit Larut car-park at 8am. As I arrived early, I spent a moment at the Taiping War Cemetery along the road and also witnessed a car suddenly went into the drain. Two passed-by and myself helped to pull the car out. At the car-park I met the team members and as well as our Taiping guide Mr Chuah Chong Fu, a founder member of Taiping Road Runners (TRR). Mr Chuah, we would like to thank you so much.

It was my dream come true to have trekked up to see these beautiful waterfalls. When I was working in Kamunting, Taiping from 1983 to 2004, I used to see the waterfall from far and during that time nobody knew how to get there. I always tell myself that one day I would trek up to see the fall. It was just lately that the Hash House Harriers (HHH) found a route to the waterfall. Thank you and well done, HHH!

The Taiping War Cemetery is the final resting place for allied soldiers who died in battle during World War 2, comprising Australian, British, Scottish, Gurkha, Chinese and other local forces.

The picturesque Taiping War Cemetery. A cross being perched on a small stone altar, overlooks the War Cemetery at the eastern side. I had a Moment of Silence here remembering my late father, Ching Chee Ming, for he was also a soldier at the young age of 19 in 1944, he joined the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army (MPAJA) for 2 years after a class mate of his was killed by the Japanese Forces.

A view of the northern side of the cemetery that evokes a sense of tranquility.
This Malay driver on the left and spouse were trying to do a reverse parking at the cemetery when its left front wheel went into the drain. Two passed-by and myself helped to pull the car out.

At 8.10am out trail started from here at the foothill of Bukit Larut walking on tarred road towards an Hindu temple.

The hill monkeys playing on the cable.

This particular male monkey followed us to the Hindu temple.

Crossing this bridge is the Hindu Temple.

The Hindu Temple.

The Hindu Temple.

The steep jungle trail started on the right side of the road beside a small stream after passing Hindu temple about 30 meters away.

The first part of the trek is very steep and on very steep slopes, ropes were tied by members of Hiker's Teluk Batik on their previous expeditions.
We arrived at this first T-junction - on the right is the track to the Reservoir Waterfall, and on the left is the track to Ranting Waterfall which is on a higher elevation. We took the left track which also leads us to a Water Treatment plant.
On approaching the water treatment plant we followed the wire fencing on the right side up the slope, and for about half an hour it was easy-going as we trekked along the water pipe.
We noticed a large hole on the trail caused by water erosion.
We took a water break here and also to catch those bloody leeches.
It was here that we did a 90-degree turn to the right which led us into thick virgin jungle and steep slopes. We experienced the harsh reality of this very difficult track to climb 60-80 degree gradient slippery slopes.
A couple of trees had fallen across the trail and a detour was needed. Soon we reached the edge of the ravine of Sungei Ranting. The sound of its rushing waters was comforting knowledge that we were on the right route. We trekked carefully along the side of the ravine, following the river upstream.
Guess what this is! It is a beehive that looks like a stick, sticking out from a tree trunk. This is the weirdest beehive I have ever seen.  The hive proper is actually inside the hollow tree trunk and the thing sticking out is just the extended entrance tunnel for the bees to get into.

It was a 2 hour trek to arrive at the Ranting Waterfall at about 350 metres above sea level when the jungle suddenly opened up to reveal a spectacular waterfall of at least 12 storeys high.

A view of Ranting waterfall in the midst of the luxuriant greens of Bukit Larut taken from Taman LakeView in Taiping with a zoom lens camera.
I have just bought my 4th camera (Olympus OMD EM10 Four Thirds System M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens) for my traveling photography at RM2,500. It comes with a 150mm 1:5.6 zoom lens and is the most expensive I have bought since 2004. Normally I use the lower range of RM400 to RM699 compact DC.
The majestic Ranting Waterfall featuring an impressive series of water cascading. When you are coming in to town from Simpang and look towards the hills, this waterfall is very visible.
The Ranting Waterfall is formed by Sungei Ranting running over a 60-80 degree granite rock face. 
It was a lovely place to take our lunch here with the waterfall as the backdrop.
“Mou Mou” or thousand-layer peanut pau for lunch with complement from Mr Yeoh Sam Heng. This Foochow pau can only be bought in Sitiawan and it is my favourite. So next time when you are in Sitiawan, try to look for it.

For a long time the Ranting Waterfall was not explored due to the difficult terrain. Only recently members of the Hash House Harriers (HHH) found a route to this place.
Our Taiping guide Mr Chuah Chong Fu, a founder member of Taiping Road Runners (TRR).

The volume of the waterfalls was small as it had not rained for a few days. However, the cascading falls created a cloud of fine cooling spray that encircled us as we rested and had our lunch at the base of the waterfall. 

The Ranting Waterfall is very clean as there is no garbage around. The water was cold and crystal clear. Members of the expedition were barred from bathing or washing here as the water flows further down into another intake pipe of the water treatment plant and the Taiping Reservoir. 

Look at my bloody feet bitten by a voracious blood sucking leech still sucking. In total I had about 16 bites, however, it was nothing compared to more than 100 bites during my trek from Gopeng to Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands in 2010.

On our way back at a lower elevation, we arrived at the T-junction where turning right is another majestic waterfall known as the Reservoir Waterfall. Getting there we had to cross a long narrow metal bridge over a deep hidden ravine below.

On the bridge we had a panoramic view of Taiping town.

The 6-storey high Reservoir Waterfall on Maxwell Hill.

Water cascading down the Reservoir Waterfall on Maxwell Hill.

The water of the fall is collected in a small reservoir, from where pipes lead to the treatment plant below.
A sign warns that visitors should not bathe or swim here, because it is part of the Taiping water supply.

Water cascading down this six-storey high Reservoir Waterfall makes an impressive sight especially after a heavy downpour.

Waterfalls are beautiful places but they can also be dangerous! Every year accidents happen, because visitors neglect to take care about their safety. Rocks near the waterfall can be slippery. It might be inviting to dive in the pool below, but there might be strong currents. Flash flooding can result from a downpour upstream. When this stream is temporarily blocked by logs for example, this flooding can occur amazingly fast. Avoid the water when there is a thunderstorm. Even when the lightning strikes far upstream, surface currents can be dangerous.

This was indeed a refreshing weekend trip for the mind and the body. And to have really reached at the Ranting Waterfall, was a wonderful discovery and achievement for me.