Takah Koksun Photography Expedition 2012
Endau-Rompin Photography Expedition 2012 (Part 2)
This falls is called as such for a special reason. Since Yap Kok Sun's discovery of it in 1991 along with the Orang Asli who brought him and his small group of adventurous team at Sungai Taku, it has not been properly named or labeled. That was also despite several subsequent visits whilst he was managing the office in the State Park. Yap fell in love with this fall at first sight, and to date, he could still remember vividly the falls and how to get there, after more than 20 years' interval of not re-setting foot back in this vicinity of Endau-Rompin both state and national parks.
photo taken in 1991 on film (photo credit & permission to use: Yap Kok Sun)
This takah (Malay word for waterfall and is predominantly used in the state of Johor) is not an undiscovered falls. In fact, the OA knew of its existence long before Yap's numerous trips.
Why Takah Koksun, one may ask? Just like Sir William Hood Treacher, once the Resident of Selangor, who had a mosquito species named after him (Anopheles Treacheri) when it was discovered at Selangor's Bukit Kutu (previously Treacher's Hill - see Notes: https://www.facebook.com/notes/jimmy-oddstuff-chew/remembering-treachers-hill-bukit-kutu/10150563027191434), the Begonia koksunii species was named after Yap at its discovery in Belum forests (news articles: http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2005/4/12/features/10486565&sec=features & http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2006/2/25/lifefocus/13476269&sec=lifefocus). And for Takah Koksun, Yap knows the falls in and out. In 1991, he called it Twin Falls!
This waterfall has been evasive for so long possibly for a couple of reasons - (i) the non-realisation of its significance and beauty, and (ii) access. The OA we met only knew the falls by the foam ("sabun" in Malay) it creates at the bottom of the falls and which flows out along Sungai Taku blob by blob. The organic surfactants that created the foams were supported by the abundance of algae on "craters" and "crevices" plateau higher up above the falls. The twin falls are so picturesque despite a low height of 10 metres and with straight fall at moderate flow over vertical walls. The environment is pristine with clear waters all the way to the riverbed at waist-deep height. Along the way, birds, frogs and small fishes were sighted. Our boatmen claimed they saw one adult serow whilst waiting for our return in the late afternoon. We all saw deep elephant footprints over shallow waters across the huge Sungai Endau; that was before the rain. Trekking difficulty is easy-moderate, and with rocks lining across the river shortly after turning in from the bigger Sungai Endau where boating is no longer possible and one needs to trek up about an hour up a distance of less than 2 km but without any great differentials in gradients; however, one needs to be careful of slippery, underwater algae-surfaced rocks. As the water is clear, things that appear like two feet below are actually an extra foot deeper, so one needs to tread with caution especially if he or she carries camera equipments. Bordering Sungai Taku, where the falls are, on the North-West side is the less-visited Guntung Keriung, whose peak lies at about 438 metres. Accessibility via Guntung Keriung is moderate-difficult as bushwhacking is required on generally consistent, steep slopes for about 2 km. At this point, it is not exactly known which type of barrier is more -- the bamboo, the rattan, or the "resam" i.e. ferns, but possibly either a BW3 or BW4 rating. The falls with its cascades in this location are not frequented, and thanks to that, we spotted not a single item that is inorganic. Yap's team who were there (including the German exploration team on scientific research at one time in 1991) during the early nineties left no evidence of rubbish and truly adopted the "leave nothing but footprints" saying.
Thanks to all the expedition group members, who are all coincidentally the members of Malaysian Nature Society, we all had fun on boat and off boat!
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