A friend of mine, Ali or famously know as dR Ali organised a special photo outing to Buaya Sangkut Waterfall in Johor National Park. He has been to Kuala Jasin & Upih Guling last year with a group of local artist (painters).
To go to Buaya Sangkut (literally mean Stucked Crocodile), we have to enter via Kahang near Mersing, Johor. Then using 4WD for about 50 km to reach Kuala Jasin where there are good chalet & nice facilities. However beyond Kuala Jasin, one have to trek for 45 mins to reach Upih Guling waterfall. Just over Jasin River, is Kuala Marong campsite, which is about 10-15 mins trekking from Upih Guling. From Kuala Marong, we need to trek another 3 km to reach the last official campsite, i.e. Batu Hampar. From Batu Hampar to Buaya Sangkut is another 4 hours grueling trekking with so many hills to climb. Usually tourist camp at Kuala Marong & do daypack travel to Buaya Sangkut because the facility at Kuala Marong is good. Apart from trekking to Kuala Jasin & Kuala Marong, we can also ride the boat from a nearby village, Kampung Peta.
For us, we camp at Kuala Marong in Day 1. The campsite is very good with proper toilet, cooking area & clean water from gravity feed system. The very next morning, we went to Upih Guling once more, then at about 10AM, we trek to Batu Hampar, then continued to Takah Kunyit. Takah Kunyit is not a designated & proper campsite. But since we have Mr Fakhrul & Mr Herman, the big bosses from NERC, a research centre under Johor National Park Corporation they allowed & guided us to camp at Takah Kunyit, which is about 1 hour trek before Buaya Sangkut. Personally, with load of 25kg (mainly camera gears), the trekking from Kuala Marong to Batu Hampar to Takah Kunyit was hell for me. The not so ergonomic 45L f-stopgear Tilopa worsen the situation. Plus, when we trek from Batu Hampar to Takah Kunyit, it was raining. I can remember how many hills we need to climb and how many river we crossed. In many places, we need to use the ropes to ascend and descend. We started trekking at 10AM (after visited Upih Guling for the 2nd time) and arrived before 3PM. I was the last to arrived to Takah Kunyit.
Once arrived at Takah Kunyit we set the tent immediately…..True enough Takah Kunyit is not good for camping. Uneven surface, not many clearance and far from water source. The river bank fill with huge & slippery rocks. It was indeed tiring to go even to wash hands. That night, almost all of us ate very little & slept early. I slept like baby that night.
Day 3. This was D day! We planned to trek before fajr, but almost everyone was tired. Nevertheless by 6:30AM, we started trekking. Mr Fakhrul said, we need 2 hours to reach Buaya Sangkut. With only my D3, 14-24mm lense & a tripod, I managed to reach Buaya Sangkut in less than 1 hour. The trek still horrible. In fact even worse than Batu Hampar-Takah Kunyit trek, but since I carry a lot less load, the journey seems tolerable.
Buaya Sangkut is beautiful!
We spent almost 2 1/2 hours there. The sun was already high & slow shutter was already impossible. The guides prepared milo & instant noodle. We ate & chat. I snapped only few pictures and was not brave enough to cross the river to get better angle like few of my friends.
At about 9:30AM, we trekked back to Takah Kunyit, dismantled the tent, cleaned the area & by 11AM, we were already trekking back to Batu Hampar, then to Kuala Marong then finally to Kuala Jasin. I stopped many times. The journey was definitely so painful & full with leeches.
Again, I was the last. Arrived when many of my friends were already showed & ready to ride 4WD back to Kahang.
We reached Kahang at about 7:30PM. We bit farewell to each other & went straight home.
Buaya Sangkut is magnificent but the journey is tough. For anyone who wish to go there, be prepared mentally & physically. Go lightweight.
A friend of mine also blog about our trip. Click here to go to his blog.