FAQ for Endau Rompin

1. Where is Endau Rompin National park?
Endau-Rompin National Park, straddling the states of Johor and Pahang is Malaysia’s second largest national park after Taman Negara. The National Park is named after the two major rivers Endau River and Rompin River which flow through the park. The park is actually divided into two areas; Endau Rompin Peta and Endau Rompin Selai. Endau Rompin Peta covers the eastern half of the park with entrance near the town of Kahang while Endau Rompin Selai covers the western half of the park with entrance near the town of Bekok. As of now, we only organize trip to Endau Rompin Peta.

2. How do get to Endau Rompin National Park?
The nearest town from Endau Rompin Peta is Kahang which is about 2.5 hours’ drive from Singapore. From Kahang, you have to travel for 1.5 hours via 4-wheel drive on unpaved road to Kampung Peta jetty located at the edge of the National Park. A further 45 min boat ride down the river will bring you to the first campsite at Kuala Jasin. Thereafter you have to trek for 1.5 hours to the second campsite at Kuala Marong where you will be camping for your stay in Endau Rompin.

3. What is so special about Endau Rompin National Park?
Endau Rompin is considered to be one of the last remaining lowland dipterocarp forest in Malaysia. The park is rich in flora and fauna like tigers, elephants, sun bears, and is believed to be the last refuge in Malaysia for the highly endangered and elusive Sumatran rhinoceros. Endau Rompin is unique from a geological and ecological standpoint. Its landscape was shaped by volcanic eruptions more than 240 million years ago. Ancient volcanic rocks like ignimbrites can still be clearly seen on the ground surface at some of the waterfalls. Its mountains are flattish topped sandstone plateau massifs and isolated from the main mountain range of Peninsular Malaysia, as a result of which bears a number of endemic species like the Gollum’s toad.

4. When is the best time to visit Endau Rompin National Park?
The best time to visit the National Park is during the non-rainy season from late Feb to early Nov. The park is also opened to visitors during the rainy season from Nov to Feb. To avoid sleeping in waterlogged tents during the rainy season, you can choose to stay overnight in the Orang Asli homestay which we can help to arrange. However due to the limited homestay availability in the village, booking has to be made at least one month in advance.

5. Who are the Orang Asli?
Orang Asli meaning ‘original people’ are the aboriginal inhabitants of the Peninsular Malaysia. They are believed to have migrated to Malaysia from other parts of Asia about 6000 to 8000 years back. Their total population is about 14,457,300 representing a mere 0.8% of Malaysia population. There are officially 18 Orang Asli tribes, categorized under three main groups according to their different languages and customs. The Orang Asli who lived in Endau Rompin belongs to the sub-tribe of Orang Asli called Jakun. Unlike the Malay Muslim, the Jakun are most animism in their religious belief.

6. Will there be chances to interact with the Orang Asli?
Orang Asli are exclusively engaged as guides for treks within Endau Rompin National Park. The Orang Asli guides are generally very friendly and like to interact with their guests to share with them their intimate knowledge of Endau Rompin and its environs – the place where they called their home. If time permits, the guide can also bring you to the Orang Asli village in Kampung Peta for a short visit.

7. What are the chances of wildlife sighting?
The chances of seeing small mammals like wild boars, gibbons and birds like hornbills and eagles is quite high. However, it is not likely that you will stumble upon bigger size mammals like elephants, tigers, sun bears as they are usually nocturnal animals and shy of people. However, you will definitely be able to see telltale signs of their presence during the trek; elephant dung, camera traps for tigers and sun bear claw marks on tree trunks are a common sight.

8. What is the difficulty level of the trek?
On Day 01, you will trek for 1.5 hours on relatively flat ground from the trailhead to Kuala Marong campsite where you will set up tent for the night. On Day 02, you will trek for 5-6 hours to Buaya Sangkut Waterfall and back to the campsite. The trail is undulating with some relatively steep sections but scrambling is not required. For Day 03, you will visit Upeh Gulling and Tasik Air Biru which are about 30 min return trek and 20 min return trek from the campsite respectively. Thereafter you will trek for 1.5 hours back to the trailhead. On all days, you will need to wade through some streams and knee level deep rivers. The rivers are usually slow flowing and there are ropes set up across the river to assist your crossing. Overall this trip is not very challenging and is suitable for beginner hikers. However, please take note that your guide might take another route if the usual routes are not accessible. So always bring more water than you think you need.

9. Do I need a trekking stick for the hike?
A hiking stick is useful for providing extra stability and traction when going uphill and reducing strain on joints when going downhill. It is a good to have but not absolutely necessary for this trip.

10. What clothes should l wear for the trek?
Dri-fit long sleeve T-shirt and pants will be useful to prevent insect bites and scratches, but it is still a personal preference as many hikers like to trek in short sleeve T-shirts and shorts. However, please do not wear any military/camou style clothing.

11. What types of footwear are recommended for the trek?
A pair of covered shoes with good traction and ankle grip to protect your feet from sharp rocks. Sandals and sports shoes are not recommended. Do trim your toe nails before the hike as long nails might rub against your shoes especially when going downhill causing subungual hematoma which is also commonly known as “black toes”. As there are leeches at the park, anti-leech socks will be useful. You can also purchase anti-leech socks at the park.

12. What is the accommodation like during the trip?
You will be camping in tent throughout the trip. It is also possible to stay in Orang Asli homestay instead of camping. However due to the limited availability of homestay in the village, booking has to be made at least one month in advance.

13. What are the camping equipment provided in the package?
2-man tent (~2 kg) with groundsheet and portable gas stove (< 1 kg) for cooking are provided in the package. As porters are not included in the package, you have to carry them up and down the trail yourselves. These equipment will be collected from the guide before your hike.  We do highly recommend you bring along your own tents if possible. The tents are provided by the park and we cannot guarantee their quality.

14. What other camping equipment should i bring along?
You should bring along some lightweight Aluminium mess tin (for cooking dinner and/or boiling water) and cutlery (forks and spoons). Sleeping bags and mats are good to have for added comfort but they are not an absolute necessity. Night temperature at the campsite is cool but not cold. Thicker or extra clothing can be worn to sleep to keep warm in lieu of sleeping bag. The camping ground is flat and non-rocky.

15. Where can I buy sleeping bag and mess tin?
Sleeping bag and mess tin can be bought from Army Market in beach road (http://armymarket.sg/), DG online (http://www.dgsoldiertalk.com/), Decathlon (https://www.decathlon.sg) or from outdoor supplies shops in Velocity @ Novena Square (http://www.velocitynovena.com/)

16. Do I need any specialized equipment for the trek?
This is a relatively straightforward trek along well defined path. Except for a good pair of covered shoes and headlight, you do not need other specialized equipment for this trek.

17. Will a packing list be provided to the participants?
A comprehensive packing list will be provided by us upon trip confirmation.

18. Are porters available for hire at the National Park?
Porters can be hired to carry the camping equipment and/or personal belongings from Kampung Peta jetty to Kuala Marong campsite and from Kuala Marong campsite back to Kampung Peta jetty. Each porter can carry up to 15 kg. The weight carried by the porter can be shared among the group. It cost SGD 50 to hire a porter for the one way trek between Kampung Peta jetty and Kuala Marong campsite. Therefore it cost SGD 100 for a two-way trek from Kampung Peta jetty to Kuala Marong campsite and back.

19. Will meals be provided during the trip?
Meals are not provided during the trip. You would have to bring your own food from Singapore. Trail food like bread, energy bars, biscuits, apples, nuts and raisins will be good for breakfast and lunch. Food to be cooked like instant noodles, spaghetti and canned food like sardines and luncheon meat will be good for dinner.

20. Are there portable water source along the trail?
There are no portable water source along the trail except at Kuala Marong campsite where there is clean tap water for drinking. According to the National Park, the water is piped from spring water source in the mountain. However, as the water is untreated, we recommend you to boil or treat with water purification tablet before consumption.

21. Are there shower and toilet facilities at the campsite?
Cold shower is available at the campsite but you would have to bring your toiletries. We strongly recommend you to use only biodegradable shower foam and shampoo so as to reduce impact on the environment. Basic toilets are also available.

22. How many guides will be provided for the trek?
We have a maximum guide to trekker ratio of 1:8. For example, 1 guide will be provided for group size of 8 pax; 2 guides will be provided for group size of 9-16 pax etc.

23. Does the Orang Asli guide speak English?
The Orang Asli guides are able to speak and understand conversational English.

24. What is the Rubbish Deposit?
Each trekking group has to pay a refundable rubbish deposit of 100 MYR to the National Park HQ before the climb. This deposit can only be paid in cash on the day of climb. Every hiker is also required to fill in a rubbish declaration form at the National Park HQ to declare the personal items that he or she is carrying up the mountain. After the climb, the national park officer will check the items that the hikers bring down to ensure that nothing (no trash) is left in the mountain. The deposit will then be refunded in full if the items declared tally with what the trekkers have. Otherwise, the deposit will be confiscated by the National Park HQ. It is every hiker’s responsibility to take care of the mountain by not littering and carrying their rubbish down.

25. How much tips is appropriate for the guide?
Tipping is highly encouraged especially for good services. A ballpark figure would be around 80-120 MYR to each guide for the whole group.
Is there mobile reception in the National Park?
There is no mobile reception in the National Park. Take it as a good opportunity to part with your phone for a while.

26. If I do not wish to camp, are there accommodations and meal options?
Yes, full board is available at Kampung Peta where there are family chalets and meals  will be taken care of. For the chalet option, you will still have a chance to take the boat ride to visit Upeh Guling and Tasik Air Biru. Other activities include tubing, animal traps and blowpipe demonstration. However, you will not be able to visit the Buaya Sangkut Waterfall as it is a long hike and only suitable for the camping itinerary.

27. Is travel insurance provided in the package?
Travel insurance is not included in the package. We strongly recommend you to procure your own travel insurance before embarking on this trip. You may also procure travel insurance through us: http://iwannatravel.com.sg/world-nomads-travel-insurance.