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Title: Lush Greenery
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 11:56am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.5, ISO Equiv.: 200

Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve is one of the best managed tract in the world. The place is SUPER BIG! I spent nearly two hours exploring the entire forest at a moderate pace.

Title: The Root of the Matter
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 11:25am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.2, ISO Equiv.: 200

Rhizophora mangrove send out roots from their trunk and branches which arch down to the ground for extra support and air absorption.

Title: The Observation Platform
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 11:52am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.2, ISO Equiv.: 200

This platform is HUGE! It is located deep in the forest. A beautiful way to observe nature :)

Title: Mangrove Gree Lane
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 11:31am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.0, ISO Equiv.: 200

Enjoy a breezy, quiet and peaceful walk into the jungle. Occasionally, you'll bump into groups of monkeys, migratory birds or even a swarm of butterfly.

Title: Mangrove Swamp
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 10:53am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/3.5, ISO Equiv.: 200

Mangroves make many pneumatophores (specialised root-like structures which stick up out of the soil like straws for breathing) which are covered in lenticels. These "breathing tubes" typically reach heights of up to thirty centimeters, and in some species, over three meters.

Title: Straight Ahead
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 10:59am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.0, ISO Equiv.: 200

The wooden platform is VERY LONG! But, it's fun to walk along the pathway.

Title: Amazing Roots
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 10:38am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.0, ISO Equiv.: 200

This mangrove reminds me of the walking and talking giant trees from the movie Lord of The Rings :)

Title: Mangrove Seed
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 10:28am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.6, ISO Equiv.: 200

Mangroves have buoyant seeds suited to dispersal in water. The seeds germinate while still attached to the parent tree. Once germinated, the seedling grows either within the fruit or out through the fruit to form a propagule (a seedling ready to go), which can produce its own food via photosynthesis.

Title: The Oldest
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 11:42am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.6, ISO Equiv.: 110

A signboard to be erected next to the oldest mangrove tree in the forest. Refer to the next picture for the mangrove tree.

Title: Secure Perimeter
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 11:42am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.5, ISO Equiv.: 200

New wooden walkways are being built around this gigantic mangrove tree.

Title: A Wasp Hive
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 11:27am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.6, ISO Equiv.: 200

There were numerous wasp hives in the forest without the wasps :)

Title: Step on ME
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 11:37am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.0, ISO Equiv.: 200

CUTE wooden walkways with different colouration.

Title: Outgrowth
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 11:53am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/4.5, ISO Equiv.: 200

A big mangrove tree next to the wooden platform.

Title: Into the ABYSS
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 10:37am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/3.5, ISO Equiv.: 200

The walkway seems endless.

Title: Reached
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 11:21am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/5.0, ISO Equiv.: 200

Holding a mangrove tree.

Title: Walk this way
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 10:39am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/3.5, ISO Equiv.: 200

You can jump into the muddy soil for an UP, CLOSE & PERSONAL feel.

Title: The Crossing
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 10:49am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/3.5, ISO Equiv.: 200

No worries about getting lost. Brilliantly designed pathways for ease of navigation.

Title: Patrol Boats
Location: Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, Taiping, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 4 June 2009, 11:15am
Camera: Nikon D60 with Aperture: f/7.1, ISO Equiv.: 100

Patrol boats to monitor illegal smuggling.


I started my journey at 6:30 in the morning. As usual, I took the Sg. Buloh exit to North-South Expressway. It was still pitch black that morning. I was driving at max speed of 110km/hr. But, it seems lots of drivers were speeding beyond the limit. It was scary because the morning was still dark. I was wondering whether the drivers were able to control their vehicles if a puppy strayed into the highway.

I drove for at least one hour; attaining a total distance of 100km before stopping at Tapah’s Rest & Relax. There were loads of people! Most of them were families on vacations. I was searching high and low for an empty seat to enjoy my hot nasi lemak and milo drink. It seems everyone was booking their own table. Even a three family members hog the entire table meant for 6 people. I guess it's the Malaysia Boleh mentality.

After a short break, I drove my car for another one hour and stopped at the nearest R & R. I decided to explore Taiping first. So, I asked around for the nearest exit. The traders advised me to take the Changkat Jering exit. It’s pretty easy driving in Taiping. Lots of signboards. If you lost your way, just park your car at the side of the road and ask for directions. The kampong folks were more than happy to assist you. There is a saying in Malaysia “Malu Bertanya, Sesat Jalan” (Translation: “Scared to Ask, Lost Your Way).

My first destination in Taiping was Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve. It is the largest and oldest mangrove forest in Malaysia. The place was gazetted as a forest reserve since 1906. That’s a whooping 103 years of protective status! According to AsiaExplorers.com “Covering an area of more than 40,000 hectares, the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve is one of the best managed tract of mangrove forest in the world. 80% of the forest is still used for the production of mangrove woods including Bakau minyak and Bakau kurap, on a sustainable yield basis. Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve forms a crescent strip along the northern coast of Perak state, stretching 51.5km from Kuala Gula to the north to Bagan Panchor to the south, with a maximum width of 13km.”

The place sounds so GREEN and INTERESTING to me! I’ve been to the mangrove reserve in Kuala Selangor Nature Park and I LOVE the lush greeneries over there. So, this Matang reserve must be a great place to explore. The mangrove forest is located on the right side of road (if you’re coming in from Taiping). Look for a huge entrance with a yellow coloured signboard advertising the place as Pusat Eko Pelajaran Hutan Paya Matang (Translation: Eco Education Centre Matang Mangrove Forest). At first, I was not sure whether this is a learning centre or a mangrove forest. So, I parked my car at the ranger's office and went in to enquire. An officer directed me to see a senior ranger. I was given a polite reception. He informed me this is the right place and gave me an informative brochure (downloadable at the bottom of the post).

Upon entry into the forest, I was transported into an unknown GREEN HORIZON. It was breezy, peaceful and quiet. I can hear migratory birds chirping away and the calls of monkeys deep in the forest. Butterflies were everywhere!

The wooden platforms were creatively designed to cut through the forest. The walkways can be curvy, straight or even zigzag on certain stretch. You can always get off from the walkways into the muddy patch for a short detour.

There are lots of informative and illustrative boards explaining the type of mangrove trees, the growing processes and the mangrove ecosystem. The place is SUPER HUGE! I took two and a half hours to explore the entire forest at a moderate pace. At the end of the forest, there are some nice and comfy chalets for rent. I strongly recommend a visit to this place if you are visiting Taiping. A great place to enjoy nature and learn everything about mangrove trees.

Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve & Eco Learning Centre - Getting There:

The Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve is located in the Larut Matang District, in Perak, Malaysia. To get there, exit the North-South Expressway at Exit 146 Changkat Jering if you are coming from Kuala Lumpur, and Exit 148 Kamunting/Taiping if you are coming from Penang. Take the road towards Kuala Sepetang (Port Weld). Ask for directions if necessary. The Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve is about 2 km from the pekan of Kuala Sepetang.

Room Type
Standard Chalet: RM30.00
VIP Chalet: RM50.00

Camp site
- Less than 10 people RM10.00
- 10 to 30 people RM30.00
- More than 30 people RM50.00

District Forest Office Larut & Matang,
Jalan Muzium, 34000 Taiping, Perak Darul Ridzuan.
Tel: 05-8072762/8075324
Fax: 05-8067743

More info?

Read these articles before you travel:


Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve & Mangrove-Charcoal Factories – Maps & Manuals:

Click here to view all places of interests in Taiping:

Download Matang Mangrove Forest Research Official Brochure. [PDF File, 2030kb]:

YouTube Video - Matang Mangrove Forest & Charcoal Factory:

12 comments

  1. Mike Yip Says:
  2. Nice sets of photos. Keep it up, would be fun to pay a visit there some day.

     
  3. shloke Says:
  4. @Mike Yip,

    Thanks!!! It's a nice place to explore.

    Cheers!
    mylo

     
  5. xplorer Says:
  6. Your style of reporting is like a reporter.You should consider being one.You got talent man. Can't wait for the mee udang posting

     
  7. shloke Says:
  8. @xplorer,

    I always wanna be a reporter... perhaps with The Star Paper (got 2 months annual bonus there). But....my English sucks...sob :(

    Since fellow xplorer is waiting eagerly for Mak Jah's Mee Udang Special....I'm gonna OT another post.

    Cheers!
    mylo

     
  9. Did you see any unusual animals in the mangrove?

     
  10. shloke Says:
  11. @1ondoncalling,

    Welcome to my blog! Unusual animals?? Hmmmm....there were some monkeys, butterflies, migratory birds and some bugs.

    You can visit Taiping Zoo (about 5km away) to see some really nice collection of animals.

    Cheers!
    mylo

     
  12. fufu Says:
  13. wow a great trip you had!! you have different sense in exploring all these stuff =p which i like to read through... why the malay boss only earns 500?? still the chinese can count better =p anyway nice pictures!! wish i was travelling with you... damn we gotta make it next time :) i am serious one...not play play wonder if you wanna let me join or.... *q*

     
  14. shloke Says:
  15. @fufu,

    Thank you for looking and reading. Actually, the Malay guy (age 40 over) is not the boss but a worker. It's sad to know he is still earning RM500 per month :(

    It will be an honour and pleasure to travel with fufu. I'll always admire your travel experiences and coverage. I would love to travel with fufu!!! I'm dead honest here :)

    Cheers!

     
  16. AdeYing Says:
  17. unusual animal?i went there like 4 months ago- the mangrove swamp and i saw this two meanie-looking otter staring at me nearby the end of the walkway at the riverbank there ~_~

     
  18. shloke Says:
  19. @AdeYing,

    Thank you for sharing! You must be a nature lover :)

    Cheers!
    mylo

     
  20. peter Says:
  21. Good post mate, Matang is by even many Malaysians not seen as a serious place to visit. Too bad.

    You wrote a solid article but one thing you should do next time, get one of the local boats (forget the officials, they don't do anything) and go into the swamps. There you find the real beauty. The small park is nice but it's inside the forest you want to be.

    I've been inside several times (7, 8. 9 times? I forgot) because we offer an ecology camp with Matang as a learning day. Is really cool.

    It shows that ecology and economy CAN go hand in hand. Or as my friend Mr. Chuah from one of the charcoal factory once told me, if we don't save the mangrove forest, my children won't have a business.


    http://www.pulau-pangkor.com/charcoal-factory.html


    Keep up the good work but if you are serious about your writing, forget the blogging and do your own website (contact me if you really want to know why, no sales talk, I don't work that way)

    Peter

     
  22. shloke Says:
  23. Peter van der Lans

    Welcome to my photo and travel blog! I totally agree with you! Very few Malaysians visited the two beauties in Taiping - Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve and Charcoal Factories. Perhaps....lack of publicities? There is a locally made documentary (Majalah 3) about this place. It was shown in TV3 about a year ago.

    Thanks for the compliment :) I would LOVE to see the real beauty of the swampy mangrove forest! I'll be visiting Matang again! It's a nature paradise!

    Hey Peter, that's really COOL! I always wanted to work full time as a facilitator for nature camps and learning activities. Any vacant position?

    I definitely want to have my own domain. I'm still working out the finer details. I'll let my one year old bloggie to be hosted in blogger for now.

    You have a very informative site! Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.pulau-pangkor.com/index.html

    Cheers!
    mylo

     
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shloke
Traveling & photography are the most rewarding & enriching experiences in my life. Photography is all about discovery, enjoying myself, having adventure, learning people & nature. The greatest experience for me is the connection I felt with NATURE. If you haven’t seen Malaysia, you haven’t seen the world! My photography works are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.
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