Strategically located by the sea and the river, and surrounded by tropical rainforests, the town of Kuala Rompin in Pahang, Malaysia is blessed with an abundance of natural gems. The place retains vestiges of its roots as a fishing village, with many folk still making a living from the sea and the Rompin River. In recent years, the town has come to be known as a sailfish haven, drawing anglers from all over the globe during fishing season. It also makes a great base for adventurers looking to explore the Endau-Rompin National Park – one of the oldest rain forests in the world.
I was in town recently for a short trip, and while we weren’t able to visit many places, I’ve listed down some of the lesser known activities that you can add to your itinerary while in Kuala Rompin! 🙂
1 ) Visit an Orang Asli Village
Kuala Rompin is home to a sizable Orang Asli population, most of who make a living from agriculture and fishing. If you’re travelling in a group, you can make arrangements with some local hotels to visit a village and buy fresh produce/seafood. One of these villages is Kampung Deraman – which has its very own balai masyarakat (community hall) right next to the main road. The building is where the locals organise events such as weddings and celebrations. We were given a brief insight into the arts and culture of the Orang Asli during our visit, as they welcomed us with a traditional dance. A village artisan even taught us how to weave!
There is a compound in front of the village where visitors will find large fish tanks housing various types of fish, shrimp and udang galah (river prawns) – a local specialty – for sale.
A wooden shack sells fruits and forest produce.
2 ) Go Clam Picking
The Rompin River is the lifeblood of Kuala Rompin, cutting through vast swathes of land before flowing out into the South China Sea. Clam picking is a popular activity for tourists, with trips usually organised by hotels or tour agencies.
A boat from the jetty takes you to shallow parts of the river during low tide, whereby you can wade into the sandy riverbank and muck around for clams. A little luck is needed, as it is not always in season! Activities usually cease by 4PM, as the tide starts to rise. If you’re lucky you might even spot shoals of silvery fish ‘jumping’ on the surface of the water. This is also a popular spot for anglers and game fishing.
3) Go Firefly Hunting
Come night, you can take a larger boat from the jetty, to catch a sight of fireflies in the trees by the river bank. The trip is pretty long (approximately two hours) but worth it. The boat gets really close to the trees, so the fireflies are literally dancing around you, twinkling like hundreds of tiny fairy lights!
PS: Please do not be a social media whore and try to take flash photos so you can ‘show off’ to your friends – it kills the fireflies.
4) Chill by the ‘Mirror’ Beach & See… Dolphins!?
One of Kuala Rompin’s best kept secrets can be found within Lanjut Beach and Golf Resort. Book a stay and walk out to the beach in the evening to witness an incredible ‘mirror’ beach phenomenon, where the sand ‘reflects’ the sky and the clouds – blending seamlessly with the shoreline. The effect is really pretty, and wonderful for Instagram photos!
PS: The manager of the resort tells us that if you wake up before dawn and lady luck is on your side, you might even see dolphins frolicking in the water! Apparently the area is part of their territory.
5) Gorge on Fresh Seafood
Being so close to the river and the sea, it would be foolish not to gorge on the abundance of fresh seafood available in Kuala Rompin! River and sea side seafood restos aplenty, with the specialty being udang galah (river prawns). (Above) the seafood spread at Lanjut Beach Resort. I’ve never eaten so much sotong in my life, lol
Rompin Integrated Pineapple Industries Sdn Bhd (Rompine) is a pineapple plantation / producer that exports pineapples to places like Japan and South Korea. We all know how stringent they are with food quality, so you best believe that the pineapples at Rompine are fresh, sweet and tasty. The factory/facilities are usually not open to the public if you’re buying one or two pineapples, but if I remember correctly they do sell any extras they have for walk-ins, if you’re buying in bulk. The pineapples were indeed extremely juicy and sweet. They are primarily exporters, so quantities are limited for local consumption.