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Tasik Bera

 

dugouts or perahu jalur used by the semelai hunters

The Semelai hunters search on reed beds for their favourite food item : the turtle. Giant Turtle meat is a much sought after delicacy among the Semelai people and is definitely a must-have at important festivals. The only way to flush them out is to set the reeds on fire. Sometimes the fire gets out of control and singes patches of the screwpines and other areas. This practice indirectly helps control and keep some parts of the lake vegetation free.

 

 

 

Birds, Snakes and other Animals..

Leaving Just before entering into the river valley we see beautiful white water lily and pink lotus gardens. Reed beds spread out from the forested areas so thick and compact that if we were to step off the boat onto the reeds we would seem to be standing in the middle of a prairie. Although the lake is shallow, between 2 and 5metres during the dry season (February to April, June to August), The water-level can rise another 3metres during the Monsoons (April, May and September through to January). The depth of the lake wasn't the worry- not knowing what lurks beneath the surface was a little more unnerving. The Malayan False Gharial, various blind snakes, pipe snakes, water snakes and vipers are quite often seen in such swamps. The Malayan Giant frog is a resident of the lake, often tipping the scales at 1 to 2kg. Closer to the plantations live the large reticulated pythons that can grow to a length of between 4m and 5m.

Semelai women out on the lake fishing.Photo courtesy of Bera Resort

Selling pythons used to be a supplementary source of income for the Semelai community. The snake hunters claimed that they could trap as many as 17 pythons per week, placing nets in the river channels. The nets are of a certain size that allows the very large and the young to escape whilst trapping the rest. Although selective hunting is good but the large number of pythons caught has greatly reduced its population and if it continues, their survival would be seriously threatened.

Chugging slowly into the river channel, we passed Semelai people out on their perahu jalur (dugout canoes) fishing in the little inlets or laying out their fish traps baited with tapioca and palm oil fruits.

 

Tasik Bera Information Centre

Nests built on the rasau plants along the way

The Tasik Bera Tourist Information Centre has a museum and some brochures providing general information about the lake, the lake people and the importance of wetlands to the economy of the region. The brochure states that there have been sightings of a large variety of birds and apart from the commonly found ones, there are the Black-naped Monarch, the Grey-breasted Babbler, the Siberian Blue Robin, the Lesser Adjutants (burung botak kecil), the Crested Fireback (ayam pegar), the Malayan Peacock Pheasant (Merak Pongsu) endemic only to Peninsular Malaysia and various species of woodpeckers, kingfishers, hornbills, eagles, bulbuls, spiderhunters, parakeets and parrots.

Although the lake is host to over 200species of birds, we found birdlife at Bera extremely difficult to spot. Apart from the Grey-Headed Fishing Eagle flying away in the far distance, a number of pied fantails frolicking in the screwpines and pacific swallows, we saw little of anything else. Perhaps the loud 'brrrr' of the engine frightened them off.

But the number of waders and other waterbirds is extremely low; over hunting by people being the main reason. Large predatory fishes are also blamed. There are large fishes in the lakes such as the adult giant catfish that weighs more than 30kg. One wonders if, a few large predators in the water could cause the demise of the many bird species living and feeding there. Food for thought...

Semelai and the Keruing tree

Resin from the Keruing tree used to be a major source of income for the Semelai. This resin(damar in Malay) from the Keruing tree contains high essential oil contents which also give it a balsamic fragrance. In the early centuries, it was a prized commodity sold at the Melaka port . The oil extract was sold to be used as a base for perfume; as a sticky paste to trap birds; as varnish and as sealant for boat-building.

more on tasik bera story...

 

Accommodation and Packages to Pahang ~ Janda Baik, Cameron Highlands, Taman Negara, Kenong Rimba Reserve, Fraser's Hill, Cherating, Pulau Tioman, Kuantan, Tasik Bera and Surroundings

Accommodation:

Bentong

| Caravan Serai Private Exclusive Villas | Tras Mutiara Hotel Bentong |

Cameron Highlands

Tanah Rata ~ | Budget Inns - Seah Ming Hotel | Orient Hotel | Kavy Hotel | Daniel's Lodge | Twin Pine Chalet | Cameronian Inn | Hillview Inn | Hotel BB Inn | Father's Guesthouse | Motels - Rumah Rehat Sri Pahang | The Cool Point Hotel | Shahzan Inn | 3 star hotels - | Casa De La Rosa | Century Pines Resort | Hotel De La Ferns | 4 star hotels - | Strawberry Park Resort | Heritage Hotel | 5 star hotels - | Cameron Highlands Resort | Colonial-styled homes & Inns - | Ye Olde Smokehouse | The Hilltop Bungalow | Bala's Holiday Chalet | Apartment - TM Resort |

Ringlet ~ | Colonial-styled homes & Inns - The Lakehouse | The MNS Chalet & Longhouse |

Brinchang ~ | 5 star hotels - Equatorial Hotel | 3 star hotels - Rosa Passadena | 2 star hotels - Rainbow Hotel | Apartment Hotels - Star Regency Hotel & Apartments |

Fraser's Hill

| FHDC Bungalows | Puncak Inn | Fraser's Hill Bungalows | Jelai Highland Resort | Fraser's Silverpark Resort | Shahzan Inn | Fraser's Pine Resort | The Gap Resthouse | Ye Olde Smokehouse |

Janda Baik

| Cherengin Hills Convention & Spa Resort | Seri Pengantin Resort | Suria Hill Country House | Wadi Samrah Janda Baik |

Jerantut

| Wau Hotel & Cafe | Felda Residence Tekam |

Kuala Lipis

| Appu's Hotel Lipis | Centrepoint Hotel | Hotel London | Hotel Jelai | Rumah Persinggahan Kuala Lipis (Kuala Lipis Resthouse) | Rumah Rehat Tanjung Lipis | Lipis Inn |

Temerloh

| Hotel Seri Malaysia |

Taman Negara Kuala Tahan

| Nusa Holiday Village | Tembeling River View Chalet | Woodland Resort | Rainforest Resort |

Taman Negara Merapoh

| Park accommodation |

Cherating

| Eastern Pavilion Cherating | Holiday Villa Cherating | Impiana Resort Cherating | Legend Cherating Resort | Residence Inn | Sanctuary Resort | Suria Cherating Beach Resort |

Pulau Tioman

| Salang | Salang Hut | Ella's Place | Salang Indah | Salang Beach Resort | Salang Pusaka Resort | Salang Sayang Tioman Resort |

Panuba Beach | Panuba Inn Resort |

ABC | Bamboo Hill Chalets | ABC(Air Batang Chalet) | Nazri's Beach Cabanas | Tioman House | Johan's Resort | Mawar Beach Chalets | My Friend Place | Nazri's Place |

Tekek | Peladang Inn | Pesona Island Resort | Babura Seaview Resort | Swiss Cottage Resort |

Genting | Japamala Resort | Minang Cove Resort |

Paya | Paya Beach Resort | Tioman Paya Resort |

Juara | Manana | Bushman |

Dive Packages Salang/ABC | B&J Tioman Dive Centre |

Kuantan

5 star | Hyatt Regency |

4 star | Seasons View Hotel | Swiss Garden Hotel & Spa | The Zenith Hotel |

3 star | Grand Continental Kuantan | Vistana Kuantan | Hotel Sentral Kuantan | Duta Sands Beach Resort | Duta Village Beach Resort | Mega View Hotel |

2 star | Hotel Seri Malaysia |

Boutique Guesthouse | Riverside Boutique Guesthouse |

Beach Resort | Black Stone Resort |

Bukit Gambang

| Bukit Gambang Resort City |

Rompin

| Hotel Seri Malaysia |

Tasik Bera

| Tasik Bera Resort |

Tasik Chini

| Tasik Chini Resort | Rajan Jones Guest House |

Trips and Packages:

Kuala Gandah Elephant Centre

| Elephant Sanctuary Day Tour |

Taman Negara ~ Kuala Tahan

| Mutiara Taman Negara Resort ex Kuala Lumpur | 2 days 1 night Fullboard Package | 3 days 2 nights Fullboard Package | 3 days 2 nights Free & Easy Package | 4 days 3 nights Fullboard Holiday Package | 4 days 3 nights Fullboard Explorer Package at Mutiara Taman Negara Resort | Fullboard Adventure Camping Trail Mutiara Taman Negara Packages |

Mutiara Taman Negara Resort ex Jerantut | 3 days 2 nights Fullboard Package at ex-Jerantut | 3 days 2 nights Free & Easy Package ex - Jerantut |

Mutiara Taman Negara Resort & Elephant Centre ex Kuala Lumpur | 3 Days 2 Nights Fullboard Package |

Mutiara Taman Negara Resort ex Singapore | 5 days 4 nights Fullboard Package |

Local Village Resorts ex Kuala Lumpur | 2 days 1 night Fullboard Package | 3 days 2 nights Full Board package | 3d ays & 2 nights Fullboard Nusa Holiday Village Package | 3 days 2 nights Free & Easy Package | 4 days 3 nights Full Board Package | 4 days 3 nights Fullboard Nusa Holiday Village Package |

Local Village Resorts ex Jerantut | 3 days 2 nights Full Board Package | 3 days 2 nights Free & Easy Package | 4 days 3 nights Full Board Package |

Local Village Resort & Elephant Centre ex Kuala Lumpur | 3 Days 2 Nights Fullboard Package |

Local Village Resorts ex Singapore | 5 days 4 nights Full Board Package |

Taman Negara Inner Jungle ex Jerantut /ex Kuala Lumpur | 3 Days 2 Nights Taman Negara Inner Jungle Adventure | 4 Days 3 Nights Taman Negara Inner Jungle Adventure |

Mountain Trekking | 9 Days 8 Nights Gunung Tahan via Kuala Tahan Trekking Package |

Taman Negara ~ Merapoh

| Mountain Trekking | 5 days 4 nights Gunung Tahan via Merapoh Trekking Package |

Combination Trips

Nature/ Highland/ Island

| 7 Days 6 Nights Peninsular Malaysia Nature & Island Trip | 9 Days 8 Nights Peninsular Malaysia Highland, Nature & Island Trip | 7 Days 6 Nights Peninsular Malaysia Animals , Nature & Island Trip |

 

Malaysia Lakes

Lakes in Peninsula Malaysia

| Tasik Bera | Tasik Chini | Paya Indah Wetlands | Tasik Pedu | Temenggor | Tasik Kenyir |

Lakes in Sabah & Sarawak, Borneo

| Batang Ai |