As you make your way from the capital of Negeri Sembilan, Seremban, towards the heartlands of the Minangkabau of Kuala Pilah, Rembau and Sri Menanti, you will find, to your right, after clearing the elevated roads up the mountain leading out from Seremban, the Hutan Lipur Ulu Bendul or loosely translated as the Ulu Bendul Recreational Park.
At first glance, it does not look like much especially when the first thing you’d see are the rows of stalls selling souvenirs and tidbits (fried fritters, fried yam, and other tidbits of the fried kind as well as other typical Malay fare are the norm here), and the sight of cars and buses sometimes parked haphazardly at the parking area.
But a stopover at the park would not hurt and you might be surprised at what the park has to offer.
After having taken a whiff of that cool fresh air at the Ulu Bendul Recreational Park, take in the sights and sounds of Ulu Bendul Recreational Park and it will dawn on you that many would stop there to enjoy the various recreational facilities on offer at the park (trekking, camping and a wading pool) while some would make a pit stop at the park, just to take a break from the tiring drive out of Seremban or the heartlands, and enjoy a bit of fresh cool mountain air whilst some would make a pit stop just to grab a bite before continuing on their merry way.
For those whose curiousity has been piqued, a venture beyond the entrance to the park would inevitably lead you to the cool streams of the Ulu Bendul Recreational Park.
Just follow the sounds of fast running water and having found the streams, a dip of your aching feet in the clean and naturally cold water (which actually originates from the mountains in the background) will soon relieve your aching and tired limbs, to be replaced eventually by an icy cold numbness.
Hunger pangs can also be taken care of here. For those who are hungry and had come unprepared to the charms of the Ulu Bendul Recreational Park and what it has to offer, there’s a café where you can grab a bite of either the local Minang fare (which can be a bit spicy but thoroughly enjoyable and filling) or the more normal Malay fare, in addition to the tidbits on offer at the many stalls mentioned earlier.
The park is especially busy during school holidays. Parents with kids have the option to either have their kids play at the newly constructed wading pool or at the streams itself.
Shrieks of laughter as they dunk each other and the many splashes from kids having fun can be heard a distance away.
However, kids being kids, it goes without saying that its prudent to always keep an eye out for them. As always.
As I mentioned, there are quite a number of recreational activities on offer at the Ulu Bendul Recreational Park.
However, for me, a simple sit down at the café, sipping hot coffee at one corner of the café, breathing in fresh cool air and watching the crowd would suffice, for it never ceases to amaze me how relaxing ‘looking at nothing’ can actually be.
Date : 6 May 2016