Friday, June 19, 2009

Solo Kayaking Down Sg Chukai

The Sungei Chukai has its source somewhere near the Ibuk/Paman area. In the bad old days when there was no roads linking to this interior outpost, this river is the only link with the "outside world". My father in law who served in the Police Force in the 1960s used to tell me of their trips to Kg Ibuk to investigate some outlaw activities was by Police motor launch. and it was a long journey. Today you can drive from Chukai to Kg Ibuk just in 20 minutes. The river is navigable from Kg Yak Yah down to Chukai town. I have "played" in this river many times ..both kayaking and by power boat. Today is the start of my 3 days off from flying. The kids have their activities lined up so I thought I will make a kayaking trip and later a cycling trip for the day. It is easy when the equipments are available just behind the house. This yellow fibreglass single seater kayak was purchased for RM 500 second hand 25 years ago. I named it LANUN 1 and it has seen quite a bit of action!

Arrival at Yak Yah launch point. This is the spot where tourist are taken down for a fire fly watching trip at night.

A slipway is available and this river is famous for its Udang Galah so on weekends a lot of weekend fisherman come and try their luck.

I launched my kayak here as well.

The river is clean and the only thing floating down the river are these flowers. Quite alot of it all along the way. Being swamp based, the water is blackish and I have always been reminded that there are crocs around as there is an abundance of prawns here

Due to the recent climatic changes, GREEN APPLES are now found on the banks of Sungei Chukai. The monkeys do not eat these green apples so I am not going to touch it as well!! When I enquired from the orang kampong, they told me this fruit is called Batu Kambing (Goat's testicles))

A lot of these white flowers are also found drifting on the river.

More Green apples

This jetty is part of the Kemaman Zoo. Very soon you can fish from here.

Trying their luck!

I took a short cut through this channel.

The vegetation changes to that of nipah palms on the lower parts of the river

Long Beans ......any takers?

The roots of the swamp trees are "raised" naturally to allow breathing.

This is a bunch of fruits from the Nipah Palm. Tastes like lychee but with firmer flesh. No cholesterol too.

No sweat!

Fish farms are found on the lower parts of the river. This area is the spawning area for a lot of fish esp the sea bass .

Can anyone spot the monitor lizard in this picture

This channel leads to my house. At low tide now.

Journey ends here. Total distance is 20 km and it usually takes me 2 hrs 30 mins of relaxed paddling.

The kayak is washed and stored ready for another trip. Anyone interested for a trip?Just drop me a line. After a shower, I will be peddling my bicycle to bring my truck home


  1. This report is meaningful to me. I have eaten the batu kambing. There is a special way to prepare it to remove the poison. It is like eating ikan buntal or puffer fish. I've not heard or seen the fruit since 1955. So with this report I now know where to reacquaint myself with it. I've also been to the Yakyah jetty to see the fireflies when a Swedish family came visiting about a month ago. Your unadulterated enthusiasm for the trip mirrors mine. Especially the combination of cycling and kayaking. Sor how far do you have to cycle from your house to Yakyah to retrieve your 4WD?

  2. Ref to the Batu Kambing fruit, my orang kampong told me that if animals eat the fruit they will be patah tulang belakang. Yes ..they taught me how to take the seeds and have the edible portion but I do not like it to be published as edible fruit for obvious reasons. I think this is the same as jambu golok fruit. If you eat it wrongly you will suffer!
    Cycling from my house to the jetty is only 10 Km so it is nothing to shout about.

  3. Hi Wong,I am from Paka, Terengganu and plan to kayak the Kemaman River followed by going along the coast to reenter the Cukai River and paddle up stream as far as I can go. How far is the Kak Yah's launch site from the estuary at the floating cafe along the main trunk road.