Malaysia // The east coast //

Tasik Kenyir

More than three hundred square kilometres in area, Tasik Kenyir (Lake Kenyir) was created in the 1980s by the building of the Kenyir hydroelectric dam across Sungai Terengganu. Much touted locally as a back-to-nature experience, the lake offers scope for fishing, waterborne excursions and wildlife-spotting – elephants are even glimpsed on the shore from time to time. It’s possible to swim in many of the waterfalls on the periphery, while in the hills to the south you can visit the limestone Bewah and Taat caves. The lake is also Terengganu’s gateway to Taman Negara, thanks to the park entrance at Tanjung Mentong at its southern end though this is so little used as to be practically moribund.

Sadly Tasik Kenyir remains a bit of a half-baked proposition thanks to poor transport connections, aggravated by the fact that the attractions are so scattered. Adding to the difficulties is the lack of accommodation; several places have closed in recent years. Unless you plan to stay at the upmarket, easily accessible Lake Kenyir Resort, your best bet is to book your visit through a travel agent in Kuala Terengganu. If you do arrive independently then you can book trips on a per-person basis from the resort, while the packages from the main jetty are aimed at groups so – for example – a trip to Kelah fish sanctuary costs RM450 for the whole boat.

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