BEHOLD THE EXQUISITE WATERFALLS AND GIANT TREES OF THE SELAI RIVER VALLEY
Established in 1993, the 48,905-ha Endau-Rompin (Johor) National Park is the largest protected area in the southern half of Peninsular Malaysia. This ancient rainforest realm in north-eastern Johor is a treasure trove of biodiversity, and a critical habitat so important for the survival of the country’s globally-threatened megafauna, including the Malayan Tiger, Malayan Tapir and Asian Elephant.
There are two official entry points to the park: the Peta entrance located along the eastern boundary in the district of Mersing, and the Selai entrance at the southwestern boundary in the district of Segamat.
The Selai entrance is named after the main river that flows through this park of the park. A local Orang Asli legend has it that long ago a celestial princess who possessed great body heat descended upon the earth. The scorching heat that emanated from her body caused the great river that flowed down from the mountains of Gunung Besar to be reduced to a mere trickle the size of a strip of rattan or in the local language, sehelai rotan (or “Selai” for short).
Smaller than the Endau and Jasin rivers at the park’s eastern entrance, the Selai river exudes a tranquil quality, with exquisite Pelawan trees that lean over the water’s edge, their foliage dappling sunlight onto stony islets encircled by aquatic life.
The local word for “waterfall” is takah, and Selai is indeed takah country. Some of its finest waterfalls are open to visitors; these form the focal points of pleasant, if not mildly challenging, day treks through the rainforest.
Top 5 Selai highlights:
Takah Tinggi – Feel the force while standing at the foot of this massive waterfall.
Tubing Sungai Selai – Use your strength and wits to conquer the rapids by tyre tube and paddle.
Takah Pandan – Savour the fragile beauty of the falls and the unique plants that adorn it.
Forest trails – Be captivated by all the little things that you spot along the trail, both in the daytime and at night.
HOW TO GET THERE
Bekok office: Taman Negara Johor Endau-Rompin (Selai) No. 8, Jalan Satria 1, Taman Berjaya, Bekok, 86500 Segamat, Johor Darul Takzim.
Visitors may drive all the way to the Selai entrance. However, the final leg of the journey entails about 6 km of rugged track, which is not recommended with a normal car. If you do not have a 4WD, you can arrange to leave your car at the Johor Parks office in Bekok and continue the rest of the way with a local transport provider.
To get to Bekok from Kuala Lumpur or Johor Bahru, exit the North-South Expressway at Yong Peng (North). Turn left at the T-junction after the police station and head north towards Chaah and Labis. Turn right about 4 km after Chaah town (follow the road signs) towards Bekok, which is another 15 minutes away. Drop by the Johor Parks office on the edge of town to register and park your car if you are using the park’s transport providers.
The Selai visitor centre is about a one-hour drive from Bekok. From the park office, follow the road signs towards the Sungai Bantang waterfall, which is 7 km from Bekok. Carry on past the turn-off to Sungai Bantang for another 20 km or so. The road will take you past an oil palm estate and five Orang Asli villages (Sri Tembayan, Kudong, Tamok, Kemidak and Selai). At the furthest village (Kampung Selai), turn left onto the narrow dirt road that leads into the forest. From this junction, it is a further 6 km to the Selai visitor complex.
By public transport
Take an express bus to Yong Peng, then hop on a local bus or taxi to Bekok. You can arrange for a transport provider to pick you up from Bekok or Yong Peng and drive you to the park.
Disembark at the Bekok railway station if you are coming by train. You can arrange for a transport provider to pick you up from the station and drive you to the park.