Malaysia is home to a lot of waterfalls (186 in national parks and forest reserves alone, to be exact!), and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get to one. Even if you’re not the outdoorsy type, no one can say “No” to a beautiful waterfall. If you ask us, the cascading waterfall, the cool breeze, and the feeling of dipping your toes into the cool waters seem like the perfect respite from a hectic city life.
If you’re up for a drive out of the city and an adventure, take a breather and check out one of these waterfalls when you’re in the east coast states of Pahang, Terengganu or Kelantan. Choose between one that is slightly easier to trek to, or with the more difficult trail. Either way, you’ll come back rejuvenated, we’d guarantee!
For beginners: Rainbow Fall
The Rainbow Fall can be easily reached from Sungai Lembing, once known as “El Dorado of the East” for being a town rich with tin reserves. This former mining town, just 40 minutes’ drive from Kuantan, is usually packed with tourists during the day, many of whom are there to see the waterfall. The water and light dispersion from the cascading waters and morning sunlight would form a rainbow above the calm pool of water underneath, hence its name and popularity. Head there by dawn so that you’ll catch this phenomenon.
How to get there: To reach the fall, it’s an hour’s drive from the town to the trail head. From there, it’s about 45 minutes of easy trekking to the fall.
For the adventurous: Lata Berembun Waterfall
Lata Berembun is located near Raub, in a village called Kampung Sungai Chalet. The picturesque waterfall is located on the slopes of Mount Benom, the 10th highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia. The waterfall is a starting point for one of the most challenging hikes in the country, and can only be reached via 4WD. Hence, it makes more sense to only get there if you’re planning to hike up to the summit.
How to get there: Take the old trunk road to Bentong from Kuala Lumpur, and head towards Raub. Follow the signboards towards Berembun and you’ll arrive in a small town called Kampung Klau. From there, you’ll find signboards to the fall. If you’re lost, don’t be shy to ask for directions from the locals!
For beginners: Lata Tembakah
If you love getting up close with nature but don’t want to spend hours trekking, this one’s for you! The multiple falls of Lata Tembakah are located about 20 kilometers south of Jertih, and clear signs directing to the falls make it easy for navigation without a guide. The large pools at the bottom of the falls are perfect for wading, and the flat boulders in the surrounding area are natural picnic spots!
How to get there: The waterfall is easily accessible from Jertih. Just follow the road signs until you reach the Lata Tembakah Forest Park entrance.
For the adventurous: Jeram Penitih
Located in Bandar Seri Bandi, about a 30-minute drive north of Chukai, you’ll need a 4WD vehicle to reach the end of the Penitih stream. From here, you’ll see a clear trail that follows the river, which you have to cross several times. It’s a 15-minute walk to the first waterfall. The trail gets a bit more challenging going towards the second falls and it’s another 10 minutes of trekking to the third falls. If you have more time, you may continue your journey up to the fifth falls!
How to get there: Follow the road signs for Bandar Seri Bandi and there’ll be a signboard that leads you to a road passing through oil palm plantations towards the point nearest to the waterfall. Road conditions may be bad in some parts of the journey, so it’s best to get there with a 4WD.
For beginners: Lata Berangin, Kelantan
Lata Berangin makes a great spot for family outings! This waterfall is located about 20 kilometers southeast of the nearest town, Kuala Krai. Lata Berangin is less crowded and easier to reach compared with another waterfall nearby, the Lata Rek. The best part is, you don’t even need to hike to reach the falls. The large pool where the waters gather is great for swimming, but it is advisable not to try to climb to the top of the waterfall as the rocks are slippery.
How to get there: From Lata Rek, follow the same road until it leads you to the carpark and from here, the waterfall is already within sight!
For the adventurous: Stong Waterfall
If you’ve driven from Kuala Lumpur heading towards Kelantan, you’ve probably seen this waterfall from the roadside in Dabong. Stong Waterfall, or also known as Jelawang Waterfall, is the tallest waterfall in Southeast Asia with a vertical drop of 160 meters tall! Located in the Gunung Stong State Forest Park, the waterfall is an impressive sight, with cool, refreshing waters cascading down rocky cliffs. You can either trek to the top of the waterfall or admire its beauty from below.
How to get there: From the park, follow the cemented steps and cross the bridge before following a trail that leads to the top of the waterfall. It’s a 1.5-hour steep hike with some climbing involved at the beginning of the trail.
These waterfall spots are perfect for your Instagram feed and you might be inclined to pose for a selfie or two. But, do remember that safety comes first! So, be sure to observe basic safety precautions such as wearing proper hiking shoes and bringing food and emergency supplies. Have a fun and safe trip!
All photos are credited to Waterfalls of Malaysia.
Have we got your wanderlust tingling for an escape? East Coast trip, here we come! Book your flights and hotel(s) on Traveloka now!