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kuanten river in sijunjung – westsumatra – indonesia

May 18th, 2009

In the heart of Sumatra, a few km south of the Equator lies the KUANTAN river in some of wildest Jungles of Indonesia. The upper part of it’s valley is of incredible beauty with several hundred meter high limestone cliffs, caves and picturebook rainforest.

The river has been rafted about 10 years ago but seldom receives any paddlers due to it’s remoteness. Recently the regional government of SIJUNJUNG district improved the road along the river which eases access tremendously. The government wants to develop adventure tourism here and invited the most successful Rafting team ARUS LIAR ( ‘ wild currents’ in Indonesian – they are all nice guys, no liars…) to an expedition to Westsumatra. Their boss, Lody Korua , thought it might be a good idea if a kayaker would join them as kayaking is not yet populer in Indonesia but people usually get very exited if they see someone in a tiny boat to tackle some big rapids…
Thanks to sponsor ‘Mr. John’ , Pak Muchlis Anwar… and all the others who put their money and energy into the expedition – it was worth it !!! – We hope this area will get more visitors in the future !

Most of the rapids are not too difficult ( grade 3 ) but there are some big ones as well on Kuantan river:

above: bashing through a hole of PALUKAHAN rapid ( don’t ask me what PALUKAHAN means – even the villagers living close by don’t know – they say : ‘ that’s just a name ‘ )

Also the rafters from ARUS LIAR and the local team from SIJUNJUNG had their fun

To me the environment was even more fascinating than the rapids: there were huge trees full with flying foxes which reach a span of more than a meter here on Sumatra – once more than hundred swirled high above our heads and we felt as inmidst of ‘JURASSIC PARK’

We went into some of the caves along the river…

crawling creatures of the dark

…and visited some traditional MINANGKABAU houses with name RUMAH GADANG
Even an audience with the tradional Rajas / kings of the area was organized. These Rajas still have a lot of influence on matters of landuse, traditions and religion in their area.

above: a BANYAN tree – a strangling fig begins it’s life as a seed dropped by a bird onto any tree. From the seed some roots will grow down the hosttree. These roots get stronger and stronger until one day they strangle the hosttree to death and the strangling fig stands alone. It’s fruit is an important source of food to many animals of the forest; orangutans LOVE figtrees…
Let’s go back to the river !

It is possible to do a several – day expedition down the KUANTAN river, however, the lower section does not have much rapids and is not necessary wilderness anymore

How to get there:
From SINGAPORE or Kuala Lumpur ( Malaysia ) cheap flights go with AIR ASIA, TIGER AIR or VALUE AIR to PADANG – when I checked last time it was about 50 US$ one way.
From MEDAN ( Northsumatra ) I paid for my flight to PADANG 45 US one way –
From the airport in Padang Taxis can be chartered for 40 – 50 US to MUARO SIJUNJUNG ( 3 hrs drive ).
At Muaro Sijunjung the best Hotel is HOTEL BUKIK GADANG ( 20 – 40 US / night ).

or, – if You can speak some Bahasa Indonesia, call MUCHLIS ANWAR from the local government in SIJUNJUNG
mobile: + 62 81535200678
or PRIYONO, journalist and Nature guide in Sijunjung +62 – 754 – 21141, mobile: +62 – 8126765373
Now, if You can’t speak Bahasa, here comes ZUFNAL to the rescue, this fellow even speaks English, Dutch and German !!! his mobile is +62 – 81374646802


Entry Filed under: Adventure,Bumi ku,Kaba dari Sijunjung,Rafting,Sijunjung

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tirta Kusuma  |  May 18th, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Wow…wonderful trip….br /br /luar biasa keindahan /br /btw arus liar ya?ada yang bilang sih arus liar kurang mendukung potensi lokal dan hanya mementingkan bisnis….but who knows…

  • 2. Raffaell  |  May 19th, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Wah, informasinya details… thanks bro

  • 3. apvalentine  |  May 21st, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    @ rafael br /sama sama raffaell,.br /thanx jg dah baca post nya,.

  • 4. apvalentine  |  May 21st, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    @ tirta br /,.,.ia, mas.. mr lodi ketuanya,.br /ne waktu juni 08 kmrn pas archipelago sijunjung di metro Tv itu,.,br /,. ia jg se mas,..

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