This story about the rainbow waterfall in Sungai Lembing, Pahang and other useful tips like hiking as well as museums is written by one of our contributors, Natasha. Some parts of the article may have been edited for length and clarity.
As an avid hiker, I’m in constant search of unique places to trek. On a fateful night in 2018, I rallied my hiking troupe and headed to Sungai Lembing for an unforgettable weekend getaway. Sungai Lembing is an old mining town in Pahang which is known for its nature. From KL, we took a 3-hour drive on the Karak Express to Sungai Lembing, with breaks and stops in between.
1. Getting to the Rainbow Waterfall
The Rainbow Waterfall is one of the most prominent landmarks of Sungai Lembing. It's been named "rainbow waterfall" because the sun reflecting on the waterfall in the morning (around 9/10AM) produces a rainbow.
Our four-wheeled drive picked us up at around 6AM in the morning for breakfast. On our way to the waterfall, our ride stopped on an open hilltop, for us to enjoy the sunrise. The view was simply spectacular.
We continued the journey on a dirt road and stopped by Lubuk Beruk. There were portable toilets in the area too. From here, we were required to trek for a good 45 minutes to reach the waterfall. You could rent a pair of rubber shoes at this checkpoint if you don’t want to get your shoes wet as you tread through small streams and rocks.
We had to wait for the rainbow to appear and decided to take a splash in the pool while admiring the waterfall.
Our patience was rewarded with mini rainbows. We took turns with other visitors to be near the rainbows.
Our guide told us that the best time to witness the rainbow was in October. But we’re still grateful that we could be this close to a rainbow. We packed up and started our trek to the trailhead around noon.
P.S. Check out these 12 incredible gems in Malaysia you should visit!
2. Hiking in Sungai Lembing
There were few activities that we did in Sungai Lembing besides visiting the Rainbow Waterfall. True to our nature, my hiking troupe decided to climb endless flights of stairs up Bukit Panorama. It was not a difficult climb, but you will be awarded with a panoramic view of clouds at the end of your trek. Come as early as possible to avoid crowds and enjoy the sunrise too. Make sure you have proper shoes on and don’t stray away from the track.
We also chased sunset at the aptly named Sunset Hill. Following Waze, we passed by a number of guest houses until we reached gravel roads leading up to Sunset Hill trailhead.
We then walked for a good 5 minutes and waited for a bit. The serenity that comes with seeing the sun hits the horizon is a moment to remember.
P.S. Love hiking? Then you'd love these hiking spots in KL and Selangor!
Did you know that Sungai Lembing was dubbed as El Dorado of the East because the tin mining activity here was the largest and deepest in the world in the late 1800s? If you are interested to know more about the history of the town, head over to Muzium Sungai Lembing. The museum was a repurposed old bungalow that used to house British mining manager and his family.
As the museum stands mightily on a hill, you could take a breather by the slope and enjoy the greenery. The entrance fee is RM2 per person.
Another landmark that we checked out was Sungai Lembing Mines. We went into old mining tunnel on a tram then continued exploring a series of tunnels on foot. With original paraphernalia as exhibits, we caught a glimpse of how a miner lived and worked back then. This may be the one and only old mine tunnels network that you can safely explore in Malaysia. The entrance for a Malaysian adult would be RM15. The souvenir shop here also has a number of mementoes to remind you of your trip. I bought a few postcards and sent one to myself. There’s a post office in town if you’d like to use its service.
In Sungai Lembing, there's a range of accommodation that suits everyone’s budget. The famous one would be the Time Capsule Retreat
! Do check out Casa Hill Resort
, Xcape Resort
and The Backpacker’s Village.
Since the Rainbow Waterfall is the main attraction of Sungai Lembing, do check with your accommodation if a trip to this waterfall is inclusive in their package.
My friends and I stayed at The Backpacker's Village and the whole package (room + trip to Rainbow Waterfall) was RM123 per pax. It is a humble hostel with complete facilities. You can check them out on Facebook (Sungai Lembing Recreation)
5. Other IG-worthy experiencesBig treeCredit: Ryan Cheng on Facebook
Take a photo with the iconic big tree in the middle of the town. The tree is as old as the town itself (since early 1900s)!
The hanging bridges
There are four hanging bridges across Sungai Lembing but if you only have time to visit one, I recommend visiting the Jambatan Gantung Kolong Pahat.
6. Useful Tips
Please bring as much cash as possible since the town does not have ATM machines. Also, don’t forget to fill up your petrol tank to the brim because the nearest petrol station is quite a distance, depending on where you are heading next.
Being a small town on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, a trip to this sleepy town is pretty affordable. Sizeable expenses would be for accommodation and trip to Rainbow Waterfall that will set you back around RM35-RM50, depending on the operator.
You can find out more about Natasha's travel adventures on her YouTube channel
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