Secret Squirrel Spot 4: Ulu Geroh


Lying about half way between Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur and the popular tourist destination of Penang, lies a relatively unknown Orang Asli (indigenous tribe) village of Ulu Geroh. Although, it is less than half an hour from the main North-South Highway, it remains little known for now, although that may be changing soon. With the help of a couple of non-profit organisations, the local villagers have learnt how to become guides for tourists and have become protectors of their natural heritage instead of being forced by poverty to unsustainably harvest the forest for short term limited gain.What makes Ulu Geroh special enough to make it on to Squirrel’s Secret Spots? Well, here be the amazing Rafflesia flower, the exquisite Rajah Brooke Birdwing Butterfly, a traditional Orang Asli village with rich cultural offerings and also a beautiful forest waterfall and stream.

The Rafflesia is the world’s largest diameter flower. It is also special cause it exists as a parasite within a jungle vine and has no visible parts until it buds and flowers. Be warned though that smelling the flower is more likely to conjure images of Pepe le Pew rather than floral scents. This is because the Rafflesia is pollinated by flies and so smells of rotten meat to attract the flies.

Big Stinking Flower

The Rajah Brooke Birdwing is a beautiful butterfly and a favorite of collectors even though it is now a protected species. Ulu Geroh is blessed by the right combination of plants for the caterpillars and a number of mineral springs that attract the adult butterflies. The result is a high concentration of all sorts of butterflies and the Rajah Brooke Birdwing in particular.

Pretty Flitting Butterflies

A visit to the village will reward you with exhibitions of the traditional ways of life and crafts using jungle materials. If you are fortunate you may witness the Sewang dance or try a jungle feast – the traditional way.

The jungle trek may have left you hot and sweaty but that only makes dipping in the stream and standing under the waterfall even more rewarding at the end of the day.

To learn more about this place, you can visit http://www.mns.org.my. Visit it soon as it will not remain a secret much longer.

Refreshing Jungle Stream

Hot Jungle Disco

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4 thoughts on “Secret Squirrel Spot 4: Ulu Geroh”

  1. I love to hear about your secret spots Squirrel! There are so few left it seems. Great to hear that these people are not decimating their beautiful home but finding sustainable ways to keep it lovely while helping them economically. Those rajah butterflies are gorgeous! And I envy people for whom dancing is a natural part of life!

  2. Hello there,am a foreign student from Mauritius and am living in KL,I have a great interest for animals and plants(Mainly aquatic). It is really a pleasure to hear that they are actually preserving their environment instead of destroying it for money. I want to explore this place. A local tribe does hide a lot of secrets about the flora and fauna of a country in my opinion. They must be exposed to the world but yet be able to retain their original tradition and culture. One of my goals before leaving Malaysia is to see and photograph a Rafflesia . Looking forward to visit this place. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  3. Ramrekha,
    Glad to meet you over the internet. I do hope you are enjoying your time and your studies in KL. I am sure Mauritius is also very beautiful especially your marine life? Hope you will get the opportunity to see some of Malaysia’s natural beauty. There is much more to Malaysia than just KL.

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