Met a Chinese family swimming in the river and they asked me where I am from. I told them KL and they asked: “How on earth did you manage to find this place?”. They said even though they are locals, they got lost getting here the second time around.
Since it is a weekday, the place is almost deserted. I was told on crowded weekends, it is also visited by locals mostly. Nice that the locals have their own secret and very remote hideout for recreation and picnics. Maybe not (so secret) anymore.
I went to look for the hot springs on another side. It is channeled into a pool and inside was sweet Sheela with the coy smile, and splashing hot water Kollywood-style. She’s also a local and works in an office in Batang Kali.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f11, 1/400 sec.
The holes were located in a lonely but beautiful park in Serendah. Not sure if it was the threatening rain clouds or the mystery of the holes that made everything there very eerie.
Since the sink hole strainers are missing, do I dive into one of the ‘rabbit holes’ and will it take me to Wonderland? Apparently not; as further investigation revealed the water flowing into underground channels and released, like sewer, a little further down the cascaded river.
The place was very deserted at the time I was there and there was no one around to ask for info. Oddly, there were no information signboards, even though it is billed as a tourism attraction.
I found out two versions of its history and reason for existence from nearby villagers (subsequently). Originally, there were natural whirlpools in the river .
For some safety or silly reasons, a crazy British colonial administrator flattened the river and turned it into this bizarre man-made structure. It was called The Seven Wells of Serendah (Perigi Tujuh) .
Another local told me a more plausible but less romantic story. Serendah is named as such because it is very low-lying (rendah). It was also a tin mining area with many water canals.
Every time it rained in those days, the surrounding villages became flooded quickly as the river and canals overflow. The seven wells and water channels acted as part of a stormwater management system.
It is so hidden, isolated, relaxing and peaceful here, one will find many ‘ponteng” school students ‘lepaking’ here.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/1250 sec.
Not since Chamang Falls, have I seen a massive, roaring waterfall so accessible. One can literally drive to the edge of its drop pool. Unlike the one in Bentong, this Serandah drive-in waterfall is not far from the main road.
Photography Notes: Without ND filters and a tripod, I opted for the opposite end of the speed spectrum. Instead of using a slow shutter for a silky effect. I used a fast shutter to crystallise the droplets and spray.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 2500, f4, 1/8000 sec.