Location : Penawan Waterfalls Eco Park, Lawas District, Limbang Division, Sarawak, Malaysia.
The drive to Kampung Pengalih from Lawas town was pretty straightforward which took us about 10min. Joseph the manager of Penawan Waterfalls Eco Park (PWEP) was waiting for us at the junction with his 4×4 vehicle for the off road drive to the park which was a community based tourism project.
With his 2 young assistants tagging along there were 6 of us in his Hilux slowly maneuvering through the rough and rocky terrain. The drive was about 15 min and along the way we learned that Joseph had to quit his swimming instructor job in Kuala Lumpur to help his village folks initiate this park. There was much urgency as the villagers were in constant fear of the loss of their ancestral land to land grabbing politicians, a fear very much justified for those who know Sarawak politics well.
The park was a lot better planned than I had anticipated. The first block was the function/activity hall and next to it was the lodge with the huge and airy deck overlooking the crystal clear river flowing nearby. The kitchen and dining place was pretty well equipped. There was another open air deck right next to the river.
Since our trip was just a day trip, we hurried to check out the first 3 tiers of the 10 tier Penawan Falls along Mount Bugoh. The first tier was just a simple 3 min walk from the lodge. Joseph left us with his 2 assistants at this point to prepare our lunch.
There was a slight drizzle by the time we got back to the lodge and lunch was almost ready, all single handedly prepared by Joseph. What a chef! By the time we moved out of the park the drizzle turned into a heavy downpour.
3 straight days of nonstop rain since we arrived in Lawas. Well guys, if you ever pass by Lawas and have to stay for a night, do check out this hidden paradise in the jungle built by villagers to help their own community through tourism. Big thank you to Joseph and his gang for sharing this with us.
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