When there’s opportunity for us to bring Sox out to the jungle, we usually don’t say no. JC’s invitation to go visit Lake Chini, even for a 2D1N trip is a the first time for all of us. So, we stocked the car full of gear with Sox in her usual ‘I am excited to get out of the house’ mood on a calm Saturday morning.
We were told that it was going to be a long drive. We agreed to meet JC at one of the last R&R and from there follow JC’s lead towards Chini. Our plan is to stay at Rajan Jone’s place. The name is synonymous with Lake Chini. One of the best local guides there that has helped promote the place over the years.
It took us a good 5 hours to get to Lake Chini. It was a long drive, one that I would personally consider as ‘boring’ because for most part, it is just the long stretches of highway…yaaaawn.
By the time we arrive, we had lunch and took some time to look around. Rajan’s place consists of a ‘long housr’ with small rooms that can accommodate to a good 30pax. I personally find the place nice and very calming (despite the extreme heat on that day). Sox was especially calm here, not her usual overly excited self.
We wish we could have taken the leash off but there were way too many local villagers around and the kids especially seem weary of Sox. We knew Sox would not harm anyone but that does not mean strangers will not harm her. So, she was on the leash most of the time.
As for the lake itself, it somehow seemed much smaller than I expected. There’s a jetty near the chalets we were staying. There were obvious signs of rubbish at the water edge, probably been blown to that side of the lake from everywhere else. Saw a villager with his son fishing, just to spend the evening time together he said. I couldn’t think of a better thing to do myself with my kid in the future.
We slept in two chalets a distance away from the long house. I personally don’t mind the long house but for just the few of us, the chalets were definitely the more ideal choice. We set up mossie nets and bedding for everyone…Sox included of course.
I’d imagine there’s a lot more to explore and experience at Lake Chini. We had no time to go for a boat ride as we needed to head back home. But sitting around the chalets and on an open patch of ground nearby, we could tell there’s a lot ‘locals’ to appreciate. We just sat and curious eyes started appearing everywhere. I can imagine this would be an interesting place for some of my friends who are into bugs.
Nearby, we saw an old broken dugout canoe. It immediately reminded me of Lake Bera, our favorite place for holidays. It is probably one of the last few places left in Malaysia where the locals are still making and using dugout canoes. We were thrilled to learn that some of the local villagers at Lake Chini too are still using this traditional mode of water transport. It is somewhat comforting to know that such traditional knowledge and skill still lives.