May 01 2013
Although Langkawi is well known for its beaches and rainforests, the island’s four main waterfalls are also worthy of checking out — they’re picturesque, romantic and best of all free.
Several waterfalls and clear, cool pools are tucked away within Langkawi’s rainforest, but Seven Wells is undoubtedly the largest and most popular. Located on Jalan Telaga Tujuh, it’s just past Oriental Village in Pantai Kok. A small cluster of shops and food stalls mark the can’t-miss-it entrance and the long climb of stairs that lead to the lower and upper falls.
The falls can slow to a trickle at the end of the dry season but most of the year the water is plentiful and flows through the seven wells (or pools) at the top. The lower falls are about half way up the 503 steps that ascend to the upper falls, and the spectacular 25-metre fall drops into a few lower pools before making its way down the mountain.
At the top you’ll find the seven wells, which are sculpted from centuries or longer of cascading water. Legend has it that the area is populated by fairies who possess supernatural healing powers, so the waters here are said to have curative properties. Please note that the rocks can be extremely slippery and dangerous, so pay attention to the posted signs.
North of Telaga Habour and on the side road to Datai Resort brings you to Temurak Falls. These falls are tucked away in a steep canyon and are only a short hike from the main road. The water falls 35 metres down a sheer rock face into a series of lower pools beneath the surrounding forest canopy. A few benches and pavilions are scattered downstream, offering a place to sit and enjoy the tranquil sounds of running water and jungle life. The pools are good for wading or swimming and while they can get crowded weekends and holidays, other times you’ll likely have them practically to yourself.
Coming north from Kuah is Durien Falls. Similar to Seven Wells, there’s a small ‘village’ at the entrance where one can find local crafts, clothes, food and drink. A cable suspension bridge leads to the far side of the river and to the stairs that climb to the uppermost falls. It’s not as spectacular as Seven Wells, but Durien Falls has its own charm.
The upper pool is the best for wading and swimming, with a series of smaller falls that drop down to the suspension bridge. The climb only takes about 10 minutes and the jungle draws back from the upper pool to expose a large area of smooth rock for those sun lizards to dry off after a cool swim.
Kampung Buku (Book Village) is in the centre of the island next to the Agro Technology Park, about 20 minutes from Pantai Cenang. A countless number of pools of various depths and sizes slowly climb up the side of Gunung Raya; though more a series of small cascades of water than an actual waterfall, the river that flows through the now defunct Book Village is a favourite spot for locals on holidays and weekends.
The walk along the river to the uppermost accessible pools takes about 20 minutes and is a mini-jungle adventure unto itself. A small village of pavilions at the base provides barbecues, tables and toilets for planned or impromptu local weekend and holiday gatherings, but you’ll have the river to yourself during most of the week, plus or minus the possibility of a few fairies, of course.
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