The Sungai Pisang (Pisang River) waterfall is an approximately 20 meter triplet vertical fall along Sungai Pisang which is the greater part of Sungai Gombak near the Karak Highway. The entrance point to this hike typically begins at the Recreational Centre off Jalan Gombak after the Jabatan Kemajuan Orang Asli (JAKOA) museum.
I’ve been to 3 or 4 waterfalls in Malaysia, how could I have overlooked Sg Pisang? Shame on me because this is a beautiful waterfall, moreover, it’s only about half an hour drive from the city centre. What do you get when there is a beautiful sight which does not require you to go out of your way to see it? That’s right, you get crowds of people. Don’t get me wrong, having few crowds of people around is perfectly fine, but when there’re too many around it feels like a jungle party and you’d lose that ‘Zen’ feel.
We reached at 8am sharp and were the only cars there at that point in time. I understood that parking costs RM2 beforehand so I imagined that there’d be proper parking lots for visitors, but reality was quick to set in and I found myself parking at the side of the road. To get to the start of the trail, walk towards and beyond the barricade, the trek would begin with a slope heading down on the left-hand side.
After the tunnel, follow the stream for another 30 minutes and you should just about arrive at the falls of Sg Pisang.
It was 9pm when we reached the peak of the falls. Shortly after, we were divided into groups where we had our safety briefing and off we went!
Harness… checked, safety clip… attached, courage… found it! As I leaned over the edge in preparation to abseil, it was quite difficult at first to break the mental barrier in placing my life in between my groin area in the form of a harness and a rope. But as you’re able to sit comfortably in mid-air it feels as if it was like sitting on a hammock and that also means you’re all set to go. Looking at the pool 20 meters down, it’s not very high up, but the challenge comes with cold water gushing down and slapping your face constantly. Imagine the weight of the water dragging you down whilst you steady yourself, anchoring both feet 90 degrees to the wall and steadily abseil, because one mistake, one slip and you’ll find yourself crashing against the rocks with no mercy from the chilly waters. I’ve abseiled from a height of about 30 meters previously but this is more happening for sure! The best part of this was plunging into icy cold waters as you make your last jump to touchdown.
All in all Sg Pisang is a great place to visit even if it’s just for relaxation purposes. There were many groups of people chilling by the waterfall site having a great time and some also did a barbeque, got to try that some day! As for my first time abseiling down a waterfall, it was a terrific experience and one of the most memorable moments was seeing mini rainbows as light refracted off the water while I was roping myself down. A taller waterfall next time?
What to bring/wear?
Since we had a guide/instructor, all our equipments were provided for.
- Food, energy bars and electrolyte drinks
- Camera/Action camera
- Extra change of clothes
- Proper shoes are important for safety reasons (Adidas Kampung also works well)
Jo’s ratings (ratings are subjective and biased towards participants’ experience)
- Accessibility: 9/10 (Entrance to the recreational forest reserve is obvious, but the road may be slightly narrow thereafter)
- Difficulty: 4/10 (Apart from initial fear of heights, all participants’ managed to pull-through)
- Rewarding Experience: 6/10 (Abseiling down a waterfall changes the dynamics of simply roping yourself down a piece of rock. The risk of slipping is there but at the same time it’s so refreshing)
- Overall Rating: 6/10 (Sg Pisang is a great place to try waterfall abseiling as its height is only 20 meters tall and generally safe. Suspending midway between a vertical waterfall and feeling the force of water smacking against your body was totally priceless)
GPS Coordinates (Decimal Degrees): 3.304917 101.736026
- Get onto Jalan Gombak and head North towards Bentong
- Once you’ve passed JAKOA on your right, the turning is about 2-3 km from the centre
- You should be able to see a brown signboard indicating ‘taman rekreasi…’, turn left
- Park your car along the side of the road (parking costs RM 2)