Banding Island is an ideal base for exploring Temenggor Lake and the Royal Belum Rainforest. It is definitely one of Malaysia’s most beautiful places.
Temenggor Lake is huge, over 70 kilometres in length, up to 5 km wide in places and as deep as 120 metres.
It is a man-made lake created in the late 1960s and early 1970s by constructing Temenggor Dam and flooding the valleys of the Upper Perak River and its tributaries. This accounts for its highly irregular shape. Banding Island would have been a hill-top before the valley was flooded.
The construction of the dam had two objectives – to generate hydro-electric power and to deprive the communist terrorists of one of their few remaining infiltration routes from their bases in southern Thailand at that time.
Temenggor Lake surrounded by the Royal Belum Rainforest, a vast stretch of 130 million year old virgin rainforest, one of the last refuges in Peninsular Malaysia for wild animals such as elephants, tapirs, tigers and 10 species of hornbill.
The Belum Forest Reserve is also home to the famous Rafflesia, the world’s largest (and smelliest) individual flower, and other rare plant species.