Lakes of Malaysia

lake timah-tasoh in perlis, malaysia dam on the river for reservoir creating a lake tasik melati in perlis, malaysia

Exploring Malaysian Lakes

The lakes of Malaysia are of interest not only to sports, casual nature and adventure lovers but also to naturalists, botanists and zoologists.

This is because the lakes (or "tasik" in Malay) happen to be the habitat of a plethora of flora and fauna, with some more species just waiting to be discovered.

The large lakes found in Malaysia include the verdant and placid natural lakes of Tasik Bera and Tasik Chini in Pahang, the amazing ox-bow lakes that swell during the rainy seasons in Sabah and Sarawak, and Tasik Kenyir, the largest man-made lake in South-east Asia.

While the natural lakes of Malaysia and their surroundings are also homes and livelihood to many indigenous people, there are also many more recreational lakes and lake gardens that are created from past tin-mine pools.

Some of these water bodies were formed when reservoirs and hydro-electric power generators were constructed and several rivers were deliberately dammed for the purpose.

In fact, the National Lakes Information Database of Malaysia, compiled by the National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia (NAHRIM) lists about 90 lakes, both natural and man-made, found in Malaysia.

What is a "lake"?

A lake is defined as a substantial body of water, and it can be natural or man-made.

A pond, on the other hand, is normally referred to as a small body of water, usually man-made.

But what exactly constitutes small and what qualifies as substantial is not clear-cut and quite subjective.

Uses and utilization

These pools of clean water are mostly utilized to provide water supply for homes and industrial uses, and so are important and critical to humans.

But besides being a source of water for consumption and domestic uses (after the necessary filtration processes) the lakes of Malaysia are also used for other purposes.

Some are utilized for irrigation, silt retention and flood control -- necessary to the country especially during the rainy seasons.

And some of them are utilized for hydropower, others for recreation, and also as sources of natural supply and farming of fishes, etc.

Usually the lakes that are transformed into recreational areas, like water-parks and theme parks, are former tin-mining pits, abandoned when the mines are no longer economical to run, due to low demand for tin and depletion of the lodes.

Unlike a natural lake, the waters in abandoned tin mines are usually contaminated with metal, making it quite uninhabitable except for the strongest of fishes. So they are better utilized for recreational purposes especially when they are located near towns and residential areas.

canoeing in recreational lake in malaysia fast boat on a lake in malaysia boardwalk at tasik melati in perlis, malaysia

Some Popular Lakes of Malaysia

The following are some of the more popular and bigger lakes in Malaysia, found in the states mentioned, and they are utilized for many different uses :-

  • Tasik Bera (Pahang)
  • Tasik Chini (Pahang)
  • Tasik Ulu Lepar (Pahang)
  • Tasik Bintau (Pahang)
  • Tasik Chereh (Pahang)
  • Tasik Pedu (Kedah)
  • Tasik Dayang Bunting (Kedah)
  • Tasik Temenggor (Perak)
  • Tasik Chenderoh (Perak)
  • Taiping Lake Gardens (Perak)
  • Tasik Raban (Perak)
  • Tasik Bukit Merah (Perak)
  • Tasik Banding (Perak)
  • Tasik Kenyir (Terengganu)
  • Tasik Puteri/Bukit Besi (Terengganu)
  • Tasik Melati (Perlis)
  • Tasik Timah-Tasoh (Perlis)
  • Tasik Putrajaya (Putrajaya)
  • Tasik Perdana (Lake Garden) (Kuala Lumpur)
  • Tasik Titiwangsa (Kuala Lumpur)
  • Klang Gates (Selangor)
  • Langat (Selangor)
  • Tasik The Mines (Selangor)
  • Bukit Pancur, (Pulau Pinang)
  • Ayer Keroh (Melaka)
  • Loagan Bunut (Sarawak)
  • Tasik Biru (Sarawak)
  • Ox-bow lakes of Kinabatangan River (Sabah)

exotic plants found near lakes in malaysia butterfly found at lake kenyir in malaysia green plants growing at lakes of malaysia

Activities In and Around The Lakes

The lakes of Malaysia are not just places to go fishing or boating. As mentioned, there is a great variety of wildlife and nature in and around them, that are of interest to every nature and wildlife lovers, and scientists doing research works.

You can go bird-watching, or mammals spotting, study the local flora and fauna, and in some areas, like Kenyir Lake in Terengganu, you can even go spelunking or caves exploring after your angling trip there.

There are many rare plants like ferns and exotic orchids, and birds like kingfishers, hornbills and eagles, and other interesting, beautiful and exotic wildlife, that live and grow around the water bodies.

Natural lakes of Malaysia such as Tasik Dayang Bunting in Langkawi, Kedah and Tasik Chini are also great places to swim, have a picnic and relax.

Tasik Dayang Bunting has its own interesting legend, where locals and the Malays believed that if a barren married woman was to bathe in its water, she would soon be pregnant.

That is why it is also a favorite spot for newly married couples.

And Tasik Chini in Pahang is believed to be inhabited by a dragon that lives in its deep waters, coming out once in a while to force heavy floods during the wet monsoon season.

And beneath its waters, legend has it, lies the remnants of a former great Khmer kingdom.

scarlet minivet bird seen at malaysia lakes white squirrel around lakes in malaysia orange-bellied flowerpecker bird seen at natural lakes in malaysia

Lake Gardens

Some lakes are also Lake Gardens such as the Titiwangsa Lake Gardens, the Perdana Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur and the Taiping Lake Gardens in Perak.

There are lakes in Malaysia that are established for hydro-electric installations, such as Tasik Kenyir, Tasik Chenderoh and Tasik Temenggor.

Though man-made, they have grown 'wild' over the years and a variety of birds, insects and fish have inhabited the areas, making them popular for birders, wildlife and nature lovers.

Some lakes are also Lake Gardens, and they are popular spots for locals to go for picnics, exercise and jogging.

And a few of these places even have fun water-activities for families such as boat-rides, kayaking, canoeing and water-cycles.

Place To Recharge Your Body

view of lake kenyir from chalet at resort

The placid and serene surroundings of especially the natural lakes will make you forget the stress and strains of daily life in towns and cities, and will surely rejuvenate you.

Because when you surround yourself with nature’s negative ions that are in abundance around the big bodies of water and surrounding forests, you’re neutralising (or anti-aging) your body, recharging it. Get set for a new YOU.

So check the travel brochures, take a vacation and visit these wonderful lakes of Malaysia.

Take care of the environment.


› Malaysian Lakes

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