Endau-Rompin National Park, Johor, Malaysia

It is not often that I go overseas, no matter how short a trip, with such a large number of enthusiastic like-minded people sharing the same *passion in photographing the macro world. I was privileged to be accepted at the very last minute. I was, still am, working on a project and had not had much time for macro or any kind of photography. I am also not blogging as much as I like to. I used to do that daily but still, one has to work to put food on the table 😉

This macro kaki group that I went to Endau-Rompin National Park consisted of 15 (including me) hobbyist and professional photographers. Although macro photography seemed like a hobby, there is a critical albeit minute difference between hobby and passion.

A hobby is a quest outside one’s regular occupation; a recreation engaged in especially for relaxing entertainment.

*Passion, on the other hand, is never relaxing! Whether you have time for it or not, passion doesn’t leave you alone; it is embedded in you and when you ignore it, it’ll gnaw you at your very core until you give in to it, like an addict succumbing to weakness. Passion can and often does take the edge off and drive the sting into you simultaneously, the very definition of “pain and pleasure is a fine line”. Many a times, I had wondered if those passionate in the genre of macro (bugs, in particular) photography are masochists 😉

Passion is something we can’t help but obsessed about. It is an overwhelming feeling of adoration and intense commitment that is so exacting that even when we suffer, we never seem to mind paying the high price, for our allegiance is pledged to it.

Rompin Trip

The meeting time at Marsiling was changed to 4.30am

Restoran Ah Piaw Wanton Mee

We had a hearty breakfast at Restoran Ah Piaw, Johor, Malaysia.

Macro Rompin 13 Sep 2014

We were originally assigned 4 persons to each vehicle but since we were late, one of the 4-wheel had departed with other guests.
In the end, we had 3 vehicles on standby for us instead of 4.
From left to right: Chu Chen, Benson (standing left), Andy (standing right) and myself.

Endau-Rompin National Park is the second designated national park in Peninsular Malaysia. And rightly so, as it contains the one of world’s oldest rainforests and the volcanic rocks there date back 240 million years. Its name is derived from the two rivers through the park; the Endau river in the south in the state of Johor and the Rompin river in the state of Pahang in the north. It also has some unique flora and fauna, including the endangered Sumatran Rhino. It has some of Malaysia’s best waterfalls namely **Buaya Sangkut, Upeh Guling and Batu Hampar all within 2 hours trek of each other. Also you’ll get a chance to meet the indigenous peoples of Peninsular Malaysia, known locally as Orang Asli. The major tribe that call the park home is the Jakun.

A proper trip to see all the major highlights of Endau-Rompin National Park should take 3 days. Of course it’s not hard to spend a week to get lost amidst the breathtaking rivers and forests. Unless you’re an experienced jungle trekker, it’s best to stick to the packages offered – the Johor National Parks Corporation organises the most reasonably priced ones. – Wikitravel

Macro Rompin 13 Sep 2014

A group photo for the members of Macro Garden who participated.
From left behind, anti-clockwise: Siew Yian (blue shirt), Nikki, Joanne (front row left), Gin, Peter, myself, Lynn, Daniel, Chu Chen (second row behind Lynn), Long Su (behind Daniel), Andy, Siow Leng (green top), Benson (behind Siow Leng), Joanna and Desmond (with glasses).

Macro Rompin 13 Sep 2014

The single person steep track seemed treacherous and we had to be extra careful.

Macro Rompin 13 Sep 2014

Joanne lost a footing and fell earlier.
She had badly scraped knees (pants were torn) and bled but her gungho spirit was not dampened.
We carried on with our trekking into the jungle.

Macro Rompin 13 Sep 2014

Everyone was always looking out for someone and help was rendered whenever needed.

Macro Rompin 13 Sep 2014

Daniel with his victory sign, motivating us to carry on with the narrow and winding tracks.

The very subject that we made this trip for was the Lantern Bug:

Endau Rompin National Park

Lantern Bug (Pyrops pyrorhyncha), sometimes referred to as Laternaria ruhli.
All lanternflies feeds on plant sap (from longan and lychee trees, among others).
Its long, slender proboscis is used to pierce tree bark to reach the sap.

20140913 Lantern Bug (Fulgoridae - Pyrops pyrorhynchus) 1339

The head of some species is produced into a hollow process (structure), resembling a snout, which is sometimes inflated and nearly as large as the body of the insect, sometimes elongated, narrow and apically upturned. It was believed, mainly on the authority of Maria Sibylla Merian, that this process, the so-called lantern, was luminous at night in the living insect. – Wikipedia

Lantern Bugs (Fulgoridae)

Lantern Bug (Zanna Terminalis).
This is quite a rare find and I am very happy to have seen it.

The Orang Hulu (Indigenous people) of the area tells a story of an old crocodile that lived in the pools above the waterfall. One day it floated downriver and got itself trapped between the boulders where its body formed the cascades of the fall. (buaya = crocodile, sangkut = trapped). Another less popular story but entertaining all the same tells of a family who lived by the banks of Sungai Jasin. The father dreamt of his son’s death in the jaws of a crocodile that lived in the river. He took it as a warning and with that, moved his family upstream. The recurring dream drove the family further upstream pass the waterfall. True to the premonitions of these dreams, the crocodile had followed them. On climbing the fall, the croc lodged itself between the boulders and the father took this opportune moment to kill it. He made a drum from the leather of the crocodile and hung the drum high in the house. One day as the son was playing below the drum, it fell on him killing him instantly. – Wikitravel

Macro Rompin 13 Sep 2014

We were all tired after treasure hunting for Lantern Bugs and in the end we had to forgo the waterfalls.

Macro Rompin 13 Sep 2014

Second guy on far left next to me was our guide into the Endau-Rompin National Park.

Endau Rompin National Park

The river flowing behind our last group shot pic shown above.
Thanks to Siew Yian who showed me the technique on how to take photos of a flowing river with silky effect.

The exacting high price some of us paid were scraped skins, facial rash due to heat, equipments broken, hunger and thirst, leech bites, etc… etc… BUT we all had a wonderful time.

To summarise our feelings at the end of this trip…

Respect is earned…
Honesty is appreciated…
Trust is gained…
Loyalty is returned!

Endau Rompin National Park

“Many an opportunity is lost because a man is out looking for four-leaf clovers.” – Anonymous
I have to start opening my eyes and appreciate what’s around me instead of chasing that illusive dream.

Selai Endau-Rompin Johor National Park
Address: Kg. Kemidak, Bekok,
86500 Segamat,
Johor, Ta zim.

Tel: +607 9222875 / 607 9222976

Open Daily: 8am – 5pm

P.S. You need to pre-book a transport operator to ferry you into the base camp of the park.

Peter Lee has been photographing since 1987 and is currently conducting macro workshops, you may contact Peter at (+65) 9634 0805.

Click here to see my very first encounter with macro photography.

Photos without my watermarking belonged to the respective owners, members of Macro Garden, who had generously shared with me for this blogpost. Thank you all 🙂

Lookout for my upcoming posts on our wanton mee brekkie and dinner in Johor, Malaysia.

Happy Sunday 🙂

5 Responses to “Endau-Rompin National Park, Johor, Malaysia”
  1. What a wonderful experience… and a good philosophy, don’t look, see …
    Love, hugs and a healthy passion… ME and the Boss

  2. wow, such a fun adventure!!
    you made me jaealous once i look forward to my hectic clinical schedules….

  3. daniellajoe says:

    very lovely!!! Sam where is the Like button??

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