The heavily forested slopes of the undulating hills sweeping through The Nakawan Range is interspersed with sheer cliff faces, cool mountain streams and waterfalls to take your breath away.
The 500 million year old limestone hills that make up the 38 km of The Nakawan Range on the Thai border with Perlis is home to 616 species of flora and the forests are known as semi-deciduous whereby the trees shed their leaves between the months of December and May.
The fauna is just as spectacular with 68 species of mammal (including 5 primate species, 4 cat species, 32 bat species), 211 species of birds (including 6 hornbill species), and 35 reptile species (including 27 snake) species having been positively identified.
Many nature lovers visit the state park to see the Stump Tailed Macaque which although indigenous to SE Asia can only be found in the Nakawan Range in Malaysia, it may be a shy animal but it is not to difficult to spot a troop of these mischievous little red faced primates.
Perlis State Park
The northern part of The Nakawan Range has been gazetted as The Perlis State Park to help protect and preserve its biological diversity and allow the interested eco tourism visitors to marvel at nature at its most beautiful.
Covering a 50 sq km area the Perlis State Park is a fascinating Perlis tourism destination full of natural treasures such as the Bogak Perlis (Cycas Clivicola) which can be found only in Perlis, Langkawi and southern Thailand and whose origins can be traced back 250 million years.
The Perlis State park is also home to an extensive underground cave system including caves such as Gua Kelam and Gua Wang Burma.
Gua Kelam is unusual because you enter the limestone cave at Kaki Bukit via a wooden suspension bridge and 370m later you walk out the other side to the Wan Tangga Valley.
A second cave called Gua Kelam 2 is the 2nd longest surveyed cave in peninsular Malaysia and at 3.6km long it has 4 entrances with 2 high on the cliff face and 2 on the valley floor.
This cave has been mined extensively for tin leaving a mixture of natural chambers and a honeycomb of interlinked passages.
The Wang Burma Cave is one of the big tourist attractions within the Perlis State Park and is divided into 2 separate cave sections with the upper passages showcasing some majestic limestone formations and a collection of amazing stalactites and stalagmites.
The lower passages reveal some beautiful water worn sculptures that require you to be physically fit to see as you must squeeze through wet narrow passages and muddy tunnels, but it is a worthwhile adventure as you get to stare in wonder at how nature has sculpted rock into a work of art.
Bukit Ayer Recreational Forest
The southern portion of the Nakawan Range is home to The Bukit Ayer Recreational Forest that is proving very popular because of its natural cascading waterfalls.
The cool crystal clear water of the Batu Pahat River meanders throughout the rocky park and its high calcite content results in the formation of some magnificent limestone pools.
The park covers 3.72ha of Dipterokarp Forest Hill species, it is located a mere 13km from Kangar and is a fantastic spot for a picnic where you can take in the beauty of the natural surroundings just as nature intended.
Bukit Kubu Recreational Forest
The forested Wang Pinang limestone hills are host to The Bukit Kubu Recreational Forest that is known locally as the cave park. Located just over 1km from Kuala Perlis the park contains numerous caves that have formed through natural geological evolvement to reveal some photogenic limestone formations that are popular amongst tourists.
The forested karst hill formations are home to the impish Dusky Leaf Monkey. Although there are no chalet facilities in this park camping is allowed after permission is granted from the district forestry office.
Because of the close proximity to the Kuala Perlis Jetty The Bukit Kubu Recreational Forest is a great place to spend a few hours getting closer to nature before you take the ferry to Langkawi or Thailand.