- Ever heard of whitewater rafting? If you know and heard of it, or even seen it on movies or over the web, will ever consider trying it
? Desmond-t seriously recommends this extreme sport to those who are willing to face endurance challenge and mind-boggling drops at various levels of creeks.
In Malaysia, we are blessed with a handful of places where you can enjoy whitewater rafting. Many of you may have heard of the one in Taman Negara Pahang, Sg. Kampar (Gopeng, Perak), Sg. Padas (Sabah) and many more in East Malaysia. For us up in Northern Malaysia, Sungai Sedim is the perfect place for beginners, intermediate novices and even experts in whitewater rafting.
So, what makes Sg. Sedim so outstanding for whitewater rafting? It boosts for the best rafting experience for different level of difficulties, so it’s suitable for various groups people. Unlike other rivers in Malaysia whereby the water is brown in colour (just like Teh Ais colour!), the rapid water in Sg. Sedim is crystal clear!
It depends on the raining season and the water volume of the river actually varies the level of difficulty. This is my second time here and this time around, the water level is much higher compared to my previous visit. In short, it is gonna be a more challenging ride, a faster raft speed, more dangerous drops and above all, more excitement! If the water volume is low, you’ll be expecting more rocky bumps and slower raft speed. Kinda frustrating though.
Off we go to rafting now! As you can see, the raft guides are gearing us up with protective gears like the essential life jacket, helmets and pumping up the raft. Each raft actually costs around RM15k and it fits up to 6 rafters.
Before we start rafting, a basic “water confidence” test was conducted whereby every rafter must jump into the deep shallow creek from the rocks about 2-3 meters high. You must be able to face the fear and most of all avoid yourself from being panic and be able to float and swim yourself to the river side. Rescue rope was thrown at us and we were drag to the river bank.
Briefing was given by the skipper of each raft and we were taught on how to raft correctly and how to save ourselves from potential danger. Everything seems easy before we stepped into the boat. All were still in joyous mode. I knew deep in my heart that today is gonna be a very bumpy ride!
Look at how fast the water flow, my adrenaline already began to pump up!
Off we go to the first trial before we venture downstream. The skippers trained our three rafts to control the raft manoeuvre. “Forward!… Backward!…” were the common command lines. ”Boom!” means it’s time to slip ourselves inside the raft and hold on the raft tightly. It is not easy especially to raft against the stream and going upstream.
Soon, all three rafts were prepared for the “real deal”. Boom! we went down and everyone has got a very unpleasant first drop. From the third raft, Mr. Smallface fell out of the boat and from the first raft, it was a close call from hitting onto the rocks. Everyone’s alert now. Danger ahead. From my first rafting experience, not much pictures were taken mainly because we don’t have a photographer with us.
But this time, we got one of the budak kampung, who is also a “pro” raft guide with us by the riverbank. He went all the way running throw the jungle and slopes to capture our moments.
After “Boom” and “Booms” and “BOOMS”, here we reached the Level 3 Elbow Falls - the first major drop of the adventure ride. As we were still beginners, we’re all going down without our paddle as it might seem too dangerous if we misplaced our paddles at your friends face when you’re out-of-control!
Thanks to our cameraman, we got all 3 videos of the massive drop well documented. This time, I finally made a perfect drop, without CAPSIZING our raft (I had a wonderful experience we my raft capsized previously). Frankly speaking, the water level is so high that the drop seems to be less “high” thus lowering the level of difficulty from Level 4 to Level 3.
From the picture, you may say this is pretty easy. But if you are standing at the rocks up there, I bet your balls would shrink by the minute. Water’s so cold, knee’s weak and arms are heavy…
All of us celebrated our successful ride, without realizing how much danger was in place for us next. The Kiss Drop - Level 3.5 follows suit. We were all in high spirits and “Naaaahh…Just bring it!” we yelled. It is called the “Kiss Drop” because upon going down the river, the boat would inevitably “kiss” a hug rock in the middle of the drop, thus rendering the raft to go sideways and a very high chance of being capsized.
Team 2 we down first without any problems. They were straight on the mark and all of them shouted for joy. Unluckily, my raft had a different story.
As you can see, Swee Heng lost his control when our raft hit directly on top of the huge rock. He delivered me a knock-out blow and both of us fell into the rapid water. You can see my head (wearing the blue helmet) and myself struggling to hang on. But a 500N force is a lil bit too much and of I went for another adventure.
The river is so rapid that I can’t really find my way up and gasping for air. Seriously, in the water, all I can see is bubbles and bubbles only. Gripping tight to my paddle and I slowly kicked myself up to the river side. Thank God both of us are save and the budak kampung were already anticipating us at a lower point, just in case any accidents happen. I’d rate it overall… still safe for a fun ride!
Not long after that, we’d reach the end checkpoint and all the rafts were toppled and rafters overthrown into the water. It is a nice place for picnic, simple water activities like tubing and jumping off the bridge. We did jumped our way of the bridge platform and performed silly poses.
Overall this rafting adventure last slightly more than 2 hours, as compared to my previous 3 hours adventure. If you are looking for more fun, there’s another full package which costs around RM250 for a 6 hours adventure plus this 3 hour adventure as warm-up. A worthy deal considering it is inclusive of a night stay at the camping area with food provided.
You must be looking for contacts and more info right? Here you go.
My package is a simple 3 hour rafting which usuall cost RM120 with lunch and certificate provided. (If you are lucky, you may get a RM100 deal) For my case, I considered myself lucky already since we used their facilities to camp a night there with them providing generator’s electricity and their kitchen facilities. What’s more when we were given a FREE tubing course! All for RM120, after I bargained down from RM160.