Here is a brief summary on our trip to Lake Temenggor from 6-8 Sept. 2015.
Many friends have been asking me how many hornbills had the group seen? How was the feel from the houseboat….? Oh….. more questions had been asked?
Just look at the photos and you will get your own answers!!
First day –
We were told the houseboat would arrive at 12 noon at the jetty. Our small group of 14 people waited patiently with much excitement for the small houseboat to receive us. Captain Steve Khong and his assistant Sanjay arrived punctually and he greeted us with his wide smile. Finally after we had transferred all our luggage onto the houseboat and group photo taken, we started our journey (1) to Steve Khong’s island. From the jetty to his island it took us about 40 minutes. As we sailed across the lake we enjoyed the breeze and the beautiful scenery on the lake.
As we got closer to the small island we could see the chalets and other buildings (#2, 3 & 4) which were going to be our ‘big family’ home for 3 days. Before the houseboat could be anchored, the three faithful dogs of Steve were already waiting for us anxiously and greeted us with their excitement by barking and wagging their tails to welcome us.
Arrangement was made for us to stay on a bigger houseboat (4a) parked near the chalet for two nights. Our meals were all being served at the chalet’s coffee house facing the panoramic view of the lake. From the houseboat where we lived we had to walk up many steep steps to reach the coffee house. After having our buffet lunch, a short briefing was given by Steve at the open air coffee house (#9).
We had some rest before we started sailing out at 4pm to Pos Chiong hoping to see some hornbills flying past the village. Weather was not so good because of the haze. Our first sighted flock of 7 Plain-pouched Hornbills came around at 5.30pm. Then it was followed by few more small flocks. After 6pm Steve told us to return to the chalet because a heavy storm was looming. We could not escape from the storm in time and we waited for the heavy rain to get over for about 30 minutes. Even though our hornbill sighting was interrupted by the rain we were still happy because at least we managed to see some small flocks of hornbills flying past Pos Chiong. In total we counted 42 hornbills.
Second day –
Next morning we went back to Pos Chiong trying to look for more hornbills passing by the village. We left the island early at 5am with the same small houseboat. It was really dark but we managed to reach Pos Chiong before 6.30am. We had light tea with biscuits and cakes inside the houseboat (#16) before reaching there. The houseboat was anchored near to the land (#20). We divided ourselves into three groups: one group of die-hard birders was taken by a small boat to land on a small uninhabited island and the second group was sent to another island with a small orang asli settlement up the hill (#17). The last group consisted mainly of casual birders preferred to stay back and watch the birds from the deck and to relax and enjoy the surrounding lake view (#19).
Weather was no good as it was both misty and hazy in the morning. Slowly the sun came out but we only had the first sighting at 7.23am. Eventually more small flocks were sighted but unfortunately all were very far away from us. We assumed those were Plain-pouched Hornbills. By 8.30am we did not see any more coming in. We estimated the counting was less than 100. We also saw many small and large flocks of Large-green Pigeon resting high up the hills and flying past our area (#29). We estimated the counting was less than 1000.
Well it was time for us to return to the chalet. On the way we saw some resident hornbills and eagles. When we reached our chalet we were served with proper breakfast then later buffet lunch again. We took some rest before we went out by speed boats to enjoy the beautiful lake scenery and some bird watching from the boat. Few of us chose to stay back and enjoy fishing. They caught 2 big fish (#23 & 24). The chef steamed the fish for us as additional dish to the dinner. It was so delicious!
After our dinner, a 30 minutes documentary “The Lost Temenggor” was shown to the group including some guests staying there.
Third day and also our last day –
Our morning was relaxing. After our breakfast we had two groups on a speedboat for sightseeing and hoping to see resident hornbill nearby the chalet (#27 & 28). Another small group stayed back hoping to catch more fish. We were told by Steve the Helmeted Hornbill had been nesting near his chalet before. We wish we could see this unique hornbill or at least hear their characteristic calls. But luck was not with us.
Then it was time for us to pack and leave this beautiful place. We knew the memory would stay with us for a long time.
Please see some old images taken during my previous trips (a-f).
Note – even though I had made more than 20 trips to this magnificent Lake Temenggor, it is never boring for me to return back.
Thanks and regards,