Endau-Rompin Selai | The plant hotspot
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.