2D1N Kukup family trip

Recently, we hop onto a 2D1N Kukup family trip. The Kukup 龟咯 itinerary is simply eat-relax-eat trip 🙂

Strangely, we are more familiar with Malaysia East coast (Desaru itinerary), compared to the South-West. This is our virgin Kukup exploration.

Instagram post below, swipe left for the photos.

 

Kukup road trip is only 60km from Tuas, head towards Kukup Jetty direction (GPS 1.324911, 103.441122). Road signs will initially point towards Pontian and Kukup.

If you do not have time to read finish this post, jump to our photos on  SengkangBabies Fanpage.

 

 

Referring to Google Map below, some landmarks for your orientation.

01 Legoland
02 Pekan Nanas (GPS 1.508333, 103.509444). A small town, with food and souvenirs, I suspect this is the last main town before we reach Kukup or Pontian. Those who hike Gunung Pulai (point 03) will likely settle their meals here.

05 Kukup town

04 is Pontian, but if you are heading to Kukup, you will likely detour after Pekan Nanas and drive South West on service road

* Take note this service road is very bumpy, no pot holes. If it rains, expect flooding

06 is our chalet ” 爱自由度假屋 Love Freedom”, (GPS 1.321389, 103.443889)

 

Map to Kukup

As we wait for our ferry, we noticed the water is dirty.  There goes our swimming plans.

Visitors can either walk 15 to 25min to their chalet or take a ferry. Our stay package is inclusive of ferry ride.  Most chalet staffs will meetup and pickup your luggage here. They will deliver your luggage via motorbikes.

Kukup is a small fishing village.

You will see kelongs and houses on stilts along the coast. There are many chalets in Kukup. Can you spot the mangrove nature reserve?

 

Spotted some police fast crafts, our neighbourhood is safe 🙂

Arrived, walk along the planks to our chalet.

Our Kulup chalet package is Sgd $95 and Sgd $80 per adult/child  respectively, per night. This is inclusive of accommodation, meals, facilities and ferry (from Kukup Jetty).

Read on and tell us whether the “buffet-like” meals and activities are worth it 🙂

Kukup chalet package

Our rooms are spacious, kids are always happy with bunk beds. Take note chalets are not known for solid sound-proofing, so choose a room further away from Karaoke room if possible (or find travel kakis who can really sing well).

We did noticed most Kukup chalets will let shower water flush straight down, this is sad as you can imagine all the chemicals flowing into the river system.  (fortunately WC matters have a drainage system)

 

Feature wall, freedom 🙂

Kukup family trip
Kukup family trip

During low tide, spot the crabs and mud skippers dance. There are also a lot of rubbish floating in with the tide. We did not encounter a lot of mosquitoes.

The endless food and feasting will let you remember Kukup for a long time. Forget about seafood restaurants near the town centre, our chalet home-cooked food are delicious, with unlimited toppings 🙂

What can you do at Kukup chalet? Mahjong, singing, cycling and exploring the small town area.

Or massage, RM60 for 60min. I would recommend choosing a female masseur. The guy attending to me use brute  strength not-technique and it was an excruciating experience.

Kids enjoyed their electronic addiction and we found a basketball court too (so many kids joined in the game)

After our lunch, we took a leisurely stroll and ended near the jetty area again. This is the town center.

More snacks souvenirs and desserts and bubble tea awaits.

Photo below, is the entrance to another Kukup cluster of chalets.

Some recommended food in Kukup, jelly and coconut, both provide cool respite from the heat.

It can be hot during the afternoon. Look out for zipping bikes and motorbikes along the pathway, they are skillful and fast (maybe too fast ).

Some walkways are narrow, we did not chose cycling as I was worried that kids might be bumped off the walkway onto the muddy sandbank :p

You will see a few seafood restaurants, but Marrybrown is the only fast food restaurant. We did highlight earlier that our chalet’s meals are similar if not better than the restaurants’ 🙂

There are at least two carparks at the town area. You will see them before reaching the Jetty.

Kulup carpark

 

Ice cream, pancake, more snacks.

Tea break at chalet, the prawn cracker is famous and have another bowl of cheng-teng.

Did I mention you will enjoy 5 to 6 meals a day at chalet!

As the sun sets, you will get a glorious orange view from some corners of Kukup.

Then Glorious dinner again and BBQ!   Fortunately, we are only staying 2D1N, otherwise sure put on weight 🙂

Every Kukup family trip should be like this, what a sumptuous spread!

Satay and chicken wings, the stingray is delicious too.

The best dish for me, 扣肉 kong4 bak3, succulent soft and goes well with the mei2 cai.

Fireworks or 孔明灯 (Kong3 ming2) lanterns anyone? Fees applies but these are very affordable to bring on smiles for everyone.

Yup, you cannot do these stuffs in Singapore 🙂

Our fireworks are more like sparklers, the neighbouring chalet released some LOUD real fireworks, but they cost almost RM200 ! (someone please confirm the price).

Kids still had fun with their mini sparklers 🙂

Chalet is expanding.

Breakfast, local variety with noodle or porridge. The oneh oneh (coconut) and soon kueh is good.

Final item on our Kukup family trip itinerary is a trip to the kelong. We heard archer fishes performances are available. I had assumed these fishes are only found in inland fresh water.

Horseshoe crabs for photo opportunity.

We could only stay a while as the clouds turn dark quickly.

 

Our groups, with 大舅 and family.

We would not mind visiting Kukup again. We would prefer to drive and explore more of Kukup’s neighbourhood towns, maybe even hike Gunung Pulai.

The package price of Sgd95 is really value for money, with everything in. I need to mention the endless food again (LOVE!)

Beyond the food and attractions, Love Freedom chalet and staff treat all guests like VIPs. Splendid hospitality and friendly service, thumbs up.

You can contact “爱。自由度假屋 Love Freedom Kukup Resort” on their Facebook or +60 12-752 5134

We have uploaded our Kukup family trip photos into our Fanpage album (here).

—Shoutout for Pontian 笨珍 —

If you are driving to Kukup, do pop by Pontian before you head home to Singapore. It is about 20km North of Kukup Jetty.

We might have heard of Pontian Wanton Noodles, this is the real deal 🙂

Another old town, our friend JohorKaki has some good recommendations and attractions for Pontian. Just visit http://johorkaki.blogspot.com and search for “Pontian”.

-Coffee at Kheng Guan Hiong 瓊源香 (GPS 1.476322, 103.392390)
-Wanton noodle at 笨珍昭意雲吞麵 (GPS 1.490221, 103.393240)
-Sin Kee 新记云吞面 (GPS 1.482607, 103.392368)

 

 

Fun hiking at Pelepah Waterfalls Gunung Pelepah

Some call it Pelepah Waterfalls. Some call it Gunung Pelepah or even 水晶山瀑布. It is different from Kota Tinggi Waterfalls which is more for tourists 🙂

Pelepah Waterfalls was my first waterfall hiking too.  Unlike normal hiking, 30% to 40% of our journey is on water!

Best thing about Pelepah Waterfalls is there are so many ponds and waterfalls for you to jump into! Imagine trekking through the forest and seeing a waterfall in front of you!

 

As an estimate, it is about 2 hours up, and 2 hours down.

Me acting cool at the last Waterfall

I kept imaging how my kids would have enjoyed themselves at Pelepah Waterfalls, a pity they “were underage” (Hello organisers :p )

Checkout out our Waterfalls adventures at Chiang Mai (sticky waterfall) and Kota Tinggi (too touristy). I thought Pelepah Waterfalls was easier than Gunung Panti.

This trip was organised by Anchorvale Youth Club (Yes, I am not that old yet), and SGTrek (guides  Vijay and James). There were about 40 of us, including four local guides from Malaysia.

Pelepah Waterfalls trailhead (GPS 1.826111, 103.835556) is near the entrance of Kota Tinggi Waterfall entrance.

(Photo below) Gate is locked, hikers had to go under the bridge and wade one min behind the gate. This would be called trespassing in Singapore hee hee, but online references indicated this is ok 🙂

From the first min, our shoes and socks were never dry. Yeah!

Do wear socks, to minimise sand and pebbles bruising your toes. Seasoned hikers swear by Kampong Adidas.

 

Palm oil seed, shoes soaked

For first time hikers, permit and guides are strongly recommended. The tracks are well marked but you can still get lost or injured. I would recommend going with someone experienced.

Fyi, follow the red/white tape and keep to the track.  I noticed these white patches on the palm oil estate ground. Follow them on the way back (like Hansel and Gretel) and you will find civilisation again.


We can actually wade in the stream to our destination, but the meanderings will take up precious time. That is why we trekked through the estate.

If one is lost, just follow the stream.

This image is taken on the “return” trip

15 to 20 min easy trek through estate.

After 20 to 25min, you will see this bridge. From here onwards, we will be trekking in the forest.

Checkpoint 1 at 30 minutes mark.

At around 40min point, you will see the first pond.

Our guides told me this is Japanese Garden or Rock Garden, I forgot the sequence, but both landscapes are enchanting.

If you are going to Pelepah, help me confirm with the local guides ok.

Climb over the small boulder and another landscape awaits 🙂

水晶山

Pardon me if there are too many selfies, I love Nature and Pelepah Waterfalls trekking had been amazing thus far!

Our guide told us nicer waterfalls is just ahead WOW!

This steep 80 degree wall is our first obstacle.

The view behind is worth the climb 🙂

Our FIRST WATERFALL, although a small one, is enough to keep us happy. Take note the water can be 2 to 3m deep at the other end.

We were more reserved and shy at the first pond, but everyone could not wait to jump into this pond! We spent almost 20 minutes here.

The cool water washed away our fatigue. Invigorating!!

Found another waterfall model :p

Everyone was soaked inside out, the next segment was the most beautiful along the entire trek.

We waded through a “narrow corridor”. Water is waist deep (90 to 100cm), and we were flanked by two walls.

The rocks can be uneven and slippery, be careful when you are taking photos. I saw many folks stopped for wefies 🙂

This path is dangerous during rainy days as flash flood can sweep us away. Look out for incremental weather.


Everywhere we hike, we heard the sound of water streaming, more water FUN beckons.

Around another corner (15 minutes from first waterfall), we spotted our SECOND WATERFALL!

If the water is emerald, you might believe I am in the Philippines :p

Personally, this is the best Waterfall for me. We spent another 20 minutes here, showering and taking more photos and jumping jacks too.

 

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Modeling at #PelepahWaterfalls 😆 Invigorating and refreshing trek 😍👍 #kotaTinggi #pelepah #gunungPelepah #sengkangbabies #skbHiking

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#PelepahWaterfalls I must bring the kids along next round, so much 🚿 FUN 😊 #kotaTinggi #pelepah #sengkangbabies

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Chilling and powerful cascades of water soothed our shoulder and joints. Shiok lah!

Pelepah Waterfalls
Pelepah Waterfalls

Be careful of the hidden logs and stones underwater, I can understand why many would like to dash under the cooling waterfall haha 🙂

This is the same reason why “cliff or log” jumping might not be recommended.

Google indicates some folks do abseiling here too 🙂

Our guides had a hard time peeling us away from FUN haha. The last waterfall is 10 mins away.

Video (YouTube link):  Water Fun, I would do Pelepah again 🙂

The THIRD WATERFALL looks majestic but less fun then the second one, and it is very slippery too.

Waterfalls are super cold but our adrenaline and body heat (from hiking) meant we got to enjoy the cool dips!

The waterfalls tiers might offer a good spot for group photo but keep body low and on all fours (if necessary) to navigate the rock face.

I slipped and fell on my bums at least twice. If someone at the top slips, Domino Effect!

We had our packed lunch here.

Do take note that return trek is along the forest path and minimum water crossings. We will not u-turn along the same path, so NO more ponds and waterfalls 🙁

We did spot a few campers at Checkpoint 1.

Hiking and Swimming at Pelepah Waterfalls was a good workout for my body, my muscle still felt a bit numb on the second day 🙂

If you love adventures, do checkout all our Gunong hikings in Malaysia (Belumut, Panti and Taman Nagara )

Our Waterfalls adventures are here (not all are hiking). Three images below credit YEC and SGTrek 🙂

More photos can be found on Facebook Anchorvale YEC and SGTrek .

Additional tips :

-REMEMBER to waterproof your belongings, especially passport

-Malaysia Waterfalls listing – http://waterfallsofmalaysia.com/24pelapah.php

-Waterfalls can be dangerous, slippery rocks and careless photographers. Be vigilant and exercise caution. SAFETY First.

-Do take note of these emergency contacts:
a) 999 or  112-This will activate Police or Ambulance

b)994-Bomba (Emergency Rescue)

-Try not to ingest too much waterfall waters, especially if water is static. This helps city folks avoid stomach upset or even rat urine poisoning

-We did not encounter any leeches but I suspect I got some minor sandfly bites. For leeches, just spray saltwater to detach