Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Fireflyman of Cherating

We had just clambered into a little boat that fits eight of us from Hafiz's jetty along the Cherating river. The boatman was taking us out on the mangrove river to observe the fireflies.

Earlier, we were briefed by Hafiz, the owner-operator of Hafiz Firefly Tour about the fireflies - the various species, its characters, habitat etc. In Malaysia, there are more than 29 known species from the 2,000 odd species worldwide. 

Hafiz hailed from Myanmar, married a local and decided to settle down at his wife's village in Cherating. An IT graduate, he chose to become an entrepreneur specialising in Fireflies tour as he thought that it was the ideal business to go into as his father-in-law owns a few boats and they live by the river.

By 8.45pm, all 5 boats carrying some 40 of us were already cruising along the river. Taking photographs with flash were not allowed, but even if it were, you still wouldn't be able to capture the images. It was simply almost impossible. 

Barely 10 minutes into our journey, we could see hundreds of glowing dots of lights appearing out of the darkness. It seemed as though the entire firefly colony along the river had come out to play. It felt like Christmas came early this year. It was simply mesmerizing!

Hafiz was seen 'calling' his pets from their perches in the mangroves. He did this by flickering lights, and the fireflies responded by actually coming to our boats! They are very friendly fireflies. I managed to catch and release them a couple of times, and I believed most of us managed to experience that. I just wished my kids were with me to share this rare experience. But then again, maybe its best if they don't come along, as they would have scared the hell out of the fireflies with their cries :)

I was with a group of media practitioners - mainstream and social media, invited to join this 3D/2N Cherating experience organised by the leading local travel mag, Santai and sponsored by the Legend Resort Cherating, one of the more popular beach resorts along the Cherating beach in Kuantan, Pahang.

I have to apologise for not being able to post much photos of the event, as it was almost impossible to photograph the fireflies in action, which is big enough reason for you to come and visit this place to personally experience (and hold) the incredible twinkling creature.

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