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Bristol Brigand RH755 Crash Site Lenggong Perak

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

Lenggong, an unpolished gem just towards the east of Taiping was named Malaysia's 5th UNESCO Heritage site in 2012, yet so little is known about it as compared to the others in its league, Kinabalu Park, Gua Mulu Sarawak, Melacca and Georgetown.


There a few archaeological discoveries in the cave system of this lush valley dating as far back to 2 million years. It was a pity that we didn't have time to explore the archaeological history of this mysterious land despite passing GUA HARIMAU several times. However, our quest was to hunt and hike to the crash site of a Bristol Brigant bomber plane up in the hills of Kampung Danglang in Lenggong valley.


The Trailblazers lead by Kelvin and Kabir gave us a brief intro at the parking right on an islet on Tasik Raban before hitching on a 4x4 to the trailhead. The valley was surrounded with mist-shrouded mountains and lakes connected with clear flowing streams. The morning scene of Lenggong so remote and mystical, it could be a thousand miles from anywhere!


......the briefing so interesting it managed to capture the attention of 2 curious cats


Starting point: Private orchard land

Hike Duration: 4 hours max depending how long you cool down at the waterfalls. Appx 8km return, with moderate 400m ascent.

End Hike: Backtrack

Hike Difficulty: 2.5/5, but at certain parts slippery

Scenery Rewards: PLANE CRASH INVESTIGATOR


WHAT TO BRING

What to bring


  • Basic first aid stuff such as disinfectant, ankle guard in case you sprain your ankle, band-aid.

  • Walking stick

  • Raincoat and Poncho

  • At least 2l of water

  • Change of clothes

  • Good pair of hiking shoes is absolutely necessary

  • Gloves

  • Leech Alert

  • Check the weather forecast


Start hike and multiple stream crossings


The trailhead was at a cul-de-sac road that lead to a durian orchard. Part of the hike is through private land and therefore a permit is needed to enter or we might be mistaken for durian poachers.

The first 400m was on a concrete path through the orchards, crossed a broken fence, small waterfall, more durian orchards before we hit the hill.

The grounds of the orchard were littered with mini durians that didn't quite make it to maturity.



The concrete path disappears and merges with the rugged jungle trail.

The trail is a slight incline that follows the contours of the mountain side giving clear views of the stream at some parts. It is a pleasant and picturesque.



Mid-trail


The trail continues to wind through lush rainforest, pass waterfalls and streams, giant teak trees. For most part of the trail you would hear the river's murmur. We passed a crater on the side of the trail assumed to be caused by a dropping bomb, a tree that looked like it was hit by rounds of machine gun fire. You could surely let your mind imagine and unfold the events during 1952 when Malaysia was battling communism!

It is like a walk in an open museum, until upon close observation, you can see huge infestations of leeches.

They were hungry and instinctive and due to the huge number of them, it was unavoidable to contribute to their meal! This adds drama to wild beauty!

The Dettol spray that I had initially showered with, did not help this time. ( I have a leech phobia. I am sure if it happened to you it will be fine)


crash sites in malaysia
Giant trees on the way to the crash sit

crash sites in malaysia
Looks like machine gun shots!

Right before reaching the crash site, it was a steep climb on very loose topsoil. There were no ropes to aid, so be extra careful.


The first piece of debri you will see is part of an engine. According to villagers, the fuselage of the plane was found hanging on a tree at the crash site in 1952.

Further up the slope, you will see the propeller. It spans about 6 foot wide, while one propeller is buried in soil, one missing, but 2 still intact with paint works in place.

Deeper in the forest what is believed to be the aircraft machine guns rests there. About 20m from the machine gun, you can see cylinders from the plane, perhaps oxygen cans.

You'll find parts of debris scattered around this 300m area.


Local lore has kept this crash site a secret over decades due to superstitious belief to the general public. However the recovery team excavated the wreckage and identified as Bristol Brigand RH755. All 3 crew perished when their wing broke off during the mission.

The crash site is not a place you would ponder for long as there are creepy crawlies everywhere, thick thickets buzzed with bugs and bees, and the swaying trees echo the cries of otherwordly dimensions of hundreds of years ago.
Engine part of the Bristol Brigand RH755

The Bristol Brigand was a British anti-shipping / ground attack / dive bomber aircraft, developed by the Bristol Aeroplane Company as a replacement for the Beaufighter. A sad reminder of the dedication and sacrifice of Flt. Officer Basil Conhrane, sgt. Navigator J.B Amstrong and A. C. ID Kaywho died carrying out their duty on that fateful day in 3 May 1952.


Plane propeller relatively in tact

It is rather strange no preservation affords were made to document this event, and how the pieces of scrap metal just strew on the forest floor, with the hope that nature would preserve it for another decade to come! #ww2planecrashhikes




Habitats


The shrouded hilltops with mist and clouds around Lenggong valley locks a lot of moisture in the forest and humidity is extremely notorious.



WATERFALL STOPS


Lenggong valley has a complicated systems of streams, river, lakes and cave intertwined together to produce one of the biggest mineral water brands in Malaysia. It is also known for their spectacular waterfalls, pristine and unpolluted, few of them are sights to behold!

Trailblazer team had 2 waterfall sites in the plan, we hurried through the first one at Lata Kekabu and quickly made way to the famed majestic waterfall at Lata Puteh! The beauty so gargantuan and immense, you will be lost for words when you look up, as you arrive!



From a distance you will think that this waterfall is exclusively for fairies


We parked at a small empty plot land next to the electric station, crossed the flowing steam and walked into the wooded path towards the wall of water. The 600m path is extremely steep and loose gravel, but not one leech in sight! The gushing water from the falls thundering as we soldiered up fearless full of excitement and anticipation.


Waterfalls for faires. It felt like I have entered a parallel dimension!

We did not venture up the falls, and the accounts from the rest who did, did not have much superlatives to describe it. The photos would never be able to capture the spectacular majesty of the vertical fall spanning about 80m across. You will have to be there to experience the magic! #lataputeh #malaysiawaterfalls


Reflections


Lenggong trip is best done with one night stay either in Taiping or Lenggong so you won't exert yourself, as it is about a 3 hour drive from Klang valley. So little is published about this UNESCO heritage site, rich in archaeological and cultural heritage, lush forest and gateway to the Titiwangsa, backbone mountain range of Peninsular Malaysia and geopark.


Big thanks to Trailblazers, Kelvin and Kabir for organizing the memorable trip, and putting together a great team together. I look forward to more adventures and discoveries together!



Date Visited: unforgettable MOTHER's DAY 8th May 2022