A famous Sungai Lembing attraction is the Rainbow Waterfall, thus named for the promise of a rainbow appearing by the fall at certain hours in the morning. You need a 4WD to get there, which you can easily book (for the next morning) once you’re in town, about RM40 – RM50 per person.
If you’re solo or in a small group, you get to make friends with fellow nature enthusiasts.
The itinerary is straightforward, pretty much the same for everyone. You’re advised to get some food at the hawker centre at 5.45am. At 6.30am, you get into the 4WD, and it’s an hour journey to the hiking trail.
This trip to Sungai Lembing was in 2015, at the tail end of the haze crisis. We didn’t know if we’d see the sunrise at Panorama Hill, and we weren’t sure if there’d be a rainbow waiting for us at the waterfall.
The only constant was the logging.
Don’t know the story behind the land clearing, so can’t comment on it. One can only wish that there are no plans to clear out the entire forested area.
Once you reach the start of the hiking trail, you will need to cross a stream. Then it’s a 45 minutes easy hike to reach the waterfall.
I say easy, but some parts could prove challenging to those with knee or balancing problems. You have to navigate through some massive rocks, and little streams in between. Be sure to wear shoes or sandals with a good grip.
And watch out for the damn leeches.
Before long, you’ll see a tall waterfall. Unlike Chamang Falls, the water does not come roaring down. Instead, it comes down as a spray, like a shower with super low water pressure, hah. The spray maketh the rainbow, which you’ll see later.
Take picture first.
The gathering spot is not big. Get here early to get first dibs on the best seats for the optimal view.
Pro-tip: avoid visiting Rainbow Waterfall during public/school holidays and weekends. Not if you value peace, quiet and space with Mother Nature.
The pool area seems shallow and easily navigatable. I’d advise you to check with your guide on the water conditions, and get some tips on which pool spots to avoid before going all out to the middle of the pool.
But that’s me, Ms ‘Extra Careful’ and ‘I Love Being Alive’, because I know that waterfalls can be sneakily dangerous.
The rainbow would usually appear between 9.50am to 10.45am. You might see it, you might not. If the sky is grey and the sun hidden, chances are, no rainbow for you. If it rained the night before, chances are, no rainbow for you (because it would impact how much and how fast the water comes falling down). Rainbow science dictates that you need light and water droplets to create a rainbow. This spray potentially makes rainbows:
But there was still a mild haze in the air, and we were mentally prepared not to see a rainbow that day. Well, what can you do? You can’t force Mother Nature to choke one out, can you.
It was still a treat to be there, sitting on some stones, watching the waterfall, taking in the glorious view.
Then, we got lucky.
A small one, but so beautiful in my eyes. A reminder to be grateful for every blessing we receive.
At some point, your guide will feed you cup noodles and coffee, using water sourced from the waterfall. I didn’t take photos of the food and drink, because I was too busy watching the rainbow.
What an amazing place! You should absolutely make a trip to Rainbow Waterfall and see it for yourself. Just remember to keep the place clean, take out your rubbish with you 🙂
Also, a final helpful reminder to plan your trip during off-peak season. Feel free to search for photos of Rainbow Waterfall during school or public holidays, and you’ll see what I mean 😉 Even though there are new rules in place to limit the number of visitors, lower density is always better when it comes to these sort of outdoor activities, eh.