Canyoning or canyoneering at Kawasan Falls

Cebu Island is a picturesque land that is surrounded by heaps of beautiful green mountains.  My trip to Cebu Island was definitely a remarkable and enchanting trip for me, most of the adventure activities progressed were the attributes that stamped a check on my ‘ Life to do list ‘. It felt like my life is complete, I managed to accomplish my wish list with ease !

Canyoning at Kawasan Falls

On the 21st of December 2019, around 2 o’clock in the afternoon, my family and I made our way out from the hotel. We were ready for our canyoning or canyoneering activity at Badian,  Kawasan Falls. Canyoning offers you a mixed of different activities going though canyons by walking, sliding, climbing up and down rocks and going through caves and jumping over waterfalls.  Before leaving, we were equipped with safety tools such as the life vest and helmet. Then, we got on two motorcycles to the place. For your information, three people were on each motorcycle. Next, yes, you might be wondering, is Kawasan Falls  attached to the canyoning starting area ? Well, absolutely. Kawasan Falls is the last fall that you encounter when you canyoning at Badian.

Pathway to the canyoning start point

The canyoning starting point is way on top of the hill, and to get down to the sky- blue river to start the journey, we were given two choices. First, to walk 1 kilometer on a hilly pathway till we reach start point, with no porter included. Second, to ride a 1 kilometer zip line to the checkpoint with additional fees.

For the sake of the adventure, we decided to take the first option, which was to walk with a distance of 1 kilometer to the start point. It was not that challenging, however if you carry a heavy load of goods, I recommend you to prepare a lighter weight bag, the back pain can be stingy. As a reminder, if you want to take beautiful pictures and countless videos of throughout the journey, I decisively advice you to bring your own waterproof camera, or GoPro. It will be a total life saver for you! You should tie the camera/GoPro with an empty plastic water bottle to ensure the camera does not sink or be easily lost. Every group includes an instructor/guide whom will be responsible for your well-being and safety. That also involves securing your belongings and assist in photography and videography. That way, there would be no difficulties in snapping your memorable photos there, in addition the guides are incredibly talented at taking photos and videos. The whole package is extremely reasonable as you get to comfortably experience the canyoning adventure while not worrying about the camerawork. Other than that, you must wear aqua shoes through out the activity, the rocks are slippery and covered with fungus.

The cave-like stones

During the briefing session, our guide explained about the falls and adviced us to consistently wear all the safety tools given such as the safety helmet and life vest. There were 7 activities in total throughout the whole canyoning adventure, consisted waterfall jumps of heights ranging from 4 meters to 14 meters and sliding down natural waterslides. If you are acrophobic, hakuna matata! The jumps are not compulsory. All activities are fully bound up to your own free will. However, if you decided not to jump, i must say, it would be a wasteful.

Upon jumping the first few cliffs, my anxiety level gradually arisen. The cold, glacial, chilly river water was really enjoyable. The river was partially covered by huge, beautiful cave-like stones up above, in that way, the temperature down below was cold. Some sunlight managed to penetrate the small gaps of the caves but most of the time it was chilly.

Iman hijab and black ultra top

I was wearing Nashata black ultra top and Nashata black iman hijab. If you are a hijabi, and require comfortable and suitable sports attire for this activity, i highly recommend you to consider  Nashata Products. If you are not a hijabi, rest assured, there are still so many fashionable and sporty products from Nashata  that you can take a peep at ! 😀

During the 4th jump, it was for 7 meters high. It may not sound that frightening but it was actually spine-tingling. The blood curling moment made me hold the line. It took me almost a good 10 minutes for me to finally muster all my courage and took that one inch leap into the midst of air. As my body splashed in the chilly water, a sharp pain started throbbing around my upper back leg area or scientifically called the biceps femoris. It felt more like a cramp but simultaneously felt like a harsh slap. But after a few seconds, the pain faded away, so it was all good. After this tremendous jump, I knew it was going to be way harder for the next few jumps. I expected it to be more challenging for the next jump, so I was mentally ready.

After all the fret and jitters, the moment finally arrived, we reached the 10 meter jump. It was the second last jump, so i knew the adventure was already coming to and end. It was around 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Since the sun sets early in Moalboal, the guide adviced us to speed up. For your information, the sun sets at around 6 o’clock in the evening. There were no lights at night, although there were small stalls selling barbecue meat and some other snacks. That jump was the only “run and jump” type of a jump. At that hour, many people were already at that end of their expedition, therefore the place was slightly crowded, however still manageable. After witnessing a few of the other tourists and guides doing the jump, I managed to pull out the brave inner-self and finish the jump without hesitation. I must say, when jumping, the gravity pull force seemed 10 times stronger. It felt like someone was pulling you down, but of course that was just the gravity. When i hit the water surface, i felt the same cramp slap pain on both of my back legs. But this time, it was more intense, the pain started to sting. For a moment there after landing, I could not move my body, I was stiff. The guide quickly asked me to swim aside to let other people proceed with their jumps. Subsequently, I had to force my arms to push the water against the current and swim to the sides. The water current was amazingly strong.

The beautiful blue river water

 

Nevertheless, the stream was the most enchanting scenery ever. It was quite an eyeful. The turquoise, serene balletic streams of water shot me in the state of tranquility. In my opinion, even the best quality camera was not capable of capturing the astonishing sight. I had to snap the beautiful scenery with my own eyes and embed it in my memories. The water was so blue, it was like swimming in a fantasy water park. The compound was also upgraded with a man-made water slide by the small falls. It was simply amazing. The environment was also magnificently maintained.

In addition, there was also a tree rope jumping just like a tarzan, except you fall into a pool. Yes, the one with the long rope tied up to the tree trunks. The rope jump was extremely safe and fun. Basically you would just have to hang on to the rope, bend your knees throughout the jump and let go when you reach the middle zone. The guide warned us to not return back to the starting point once you had already reach the middle zone, this is simply because there is a high chance you would scrape your knee or injure yourself when you hit the starting rock. Frankly, you should just finish what you have started in one go.

 

Moving on with the journey, we reached the last stop, the final jump. It was an intense 14 meter jump. Some of the people ought to skip the last jump because they had enough of the cramp and adrenaline shock. Initially, I too wanted to skip the last jump, but after a long thought, I changed my mind. I knew I would regret the moment, it was a once in a lifetime experience. Where else could I find a majestic river like this? When would i be able to do this again? All those thoughts flushed my brain and subsequently, I decided to take the last jump. The last jump was on top of a fall, yes, right on top. It still gives me the heebie-jeebies every time I recall that moment. I stood on the roots of a huge tree, just a leap away from flying in the air. It was incredibly spooky. With the strong force of the waterfall, whooshing and splashing cold water like a giant creepy octopus, I closed my eyes and held onto my life vest as tight as i could. As soon as I made that jump, my throat voice started to squeak. It sounded like a mouse in the video. As usual, the pain was stinging. It hurt so bad this time, droplets of tears started forming from my eyes. Luckily, there was nobody in line, so i got some time for myself to endure the throbbing pain. After that, i swam to the side and reunite with my family.

 

Kawasan Falls

Considering we finished all the jumps, we finally made it to the last fall, Kawasan Falls. The falls was so pretty but half of it was marked as a restricted area. The guide explained that it was too deep, and there were a number of death cases due to that fall, because the depth was to deep and it was difficult to recover the person’s body. It was kind of scary after he explained that to us. At that stage, there were many stalls and benches. Most of the people who do not wish to do the canyoning would probably just pay an entree fee of about 100 pesos ( if I am not mistaken) from the entrance down below and enjoy that fall. However, I must say that I was grateful to have joined the canyoning from up above, it was more worthy and beneficial, we got to explore more gorgeous rivers and even managed to play  with the man-made entertainments. It was worthwhile.

 

It was around 6 o’clock in the evening when we came out from the park. The 6000 pesos family package also included a complete dinner meal by the beach, we even managed to witness the beautiful sunset by the sea. We got to the restaurant by a tricycle which was also included in the package. The ride only took approximately 5 minutes from the Kawasan Falls entrance to the restaurant.

Scrumptious foods

The food prepared included delicious prawns and a dozen hot mouthwatering spring rolls. You can also order add-on dishes but of course along with some additional fees. After that, we took another 5 minute walk back to our hotel. In a nutshell, it can be concluded that the canyoning activity was totally worth it, i had a jolly time although it was very an extreme sport. I decisively recommend that tourists should do the canyoning venture rather than directly going to the Kawasan Falls. In conjunction with that, the weather factors are crucial in determining the entry of any tourists. It rained on that night, so the next day, the staffs had to close the park due to slippery and dangerous sites.

Green rocks at Kawasan Falls making the colors of the water turquoise green.

For some extra guidelines, during any falls or jumps, do ensure that you cross hold your vest and jump with maintaining a straight leg posture, this is to guarantee no injuries. Never try to attempt a cannon ball posture because this would only slap your lower leg with more pressure and leaves you with non-stop pounding of pain and discomfort. You should also bring a waterproof bag, and place your mobile phones and other gadgets in an air-tight plastic bag. Please note, that every tourist behooves personal belongings to assure that there are no loses or any possible damage.

Preparing for Gua Tempurung Adventure

Spending four hours at the historical and majestic Gua Tempurung in Gopeng gives you a fresh perspective of adventure. You get to climb, crawl, wade in a river and admire captivating artistic formations on the walls.

Wear bright colors and reflectors for caving

How much time do you need to explore Gua Tempurung? It ranges from 40 mins to 4 hours depending on the tour you choose. There are 4 types of tour; Golden Flowstone (to the Platform #3), Top of the World (until Platform #5), Top of the World & Short River Adventure, and the Grad Tour. The price for an adult ranges from RM6 – RM22. Malaysians get to enjoy discounted prices with myKad.  No advanced booking is required. The tours start at 9am till 4pm, but if you are planning for Tour 3 or Tour 4, be there before 11am.  Details about the tours can be found  here and  Gua Tempurung Outdoor Camp. Last year, they were closed for a few months for renovation so do call their office or check their info/social sites to get updates of their operating  hours.

My sharing is based on my experiences at Tour 3.

Essentials to bring

  • Headlamps  (must bring as it is pitch dark in the cave)
  • Gloves with grip for Tour 3 & 4 (useful when you crawl in the river)
  • Knee pads (you need to crawl in a river with gravels underneath)
  • Waterproof bag
  • Waterproof camera
  • Extra clothes and slippers/shoes to change to after the Tour

You do not need to bring helmets as they are provided.

  • The Stairs and Climb at Gua Tempurrung
  • Before you reach Platform 3 : Golden Flowstone
  • Sunglasses at Platform 4 - the Wind Tunnel
  • Low ceiling upon reaching Platform 5 - Top of the World
  • Beautiful canopy from Platform 5 - Top of the World

 

What to wear

  • Water-friendly clothing for Tour 3 & 4 cause you will get wet. Long sleeves are good to avoid being grazed by sharp edges.
  • Sports shoes for Tour 1 and 2, but if you are planning for Tour 3 &4, wear rubber shoes or aqua shoes with good grip.
  • Long pants are better for Tour 3 and 4 if you want to avoid grazed by the sharp edges and stones. You’d be sliding down a 9 meter cliff.

Tips:

  • Use lockers to keep your car keys and important belongings. You cannot rely on waterproof bags. Water can leak into the bag and can damage electronic devices
  • There is a toilet and shower area at the entrance. You need to pay 50 sen and RM1 respectively.
  • Tours are managed in groups and you will be assigned to a guide
  • You don’t need to bring too many things with you.
  • Bring water or snacks if you need
  • If you are bringing young children, they will enjoy the adventure in the dark.

What to expect

A canopy of beautiful arts

  • Dried-up Spring at Platform 4, Wind Tunnel
  • Snoopy on the wall, among others
  • Watch out for extra eyes watching you
  • Crystal-shining surfaces at Platform 2
  • Tools from the old mining days in Perak at Platform 2
  • On wet days, water from Spring water flows down the rocks at Platform 3
  • Spring pathway Gua Tempurung
  • The path to the river is through this hole

 

Crawling in a river of cool water.

  • Aqua shoes are useful
  • Keep headlamps out of water
  • Low ceiling of stalactites throughout
  • Nashata Luke Top suitable for wet activities
  • Water flows down through these stalactites into the river

 

 

My family and I enjoyed the adventure and would definitely go again. Afterall, it is only a half day affordable yet captivating adventure. I loved the fact that I could bask on the rocks, with water flowing on my back, and I didn’t have to put on the sunblock. The water was super clean and the rocks were non-slippery. Cave tourism must expand further!