Tasik Cermin – Ipoh’s Hidden Oasis
Literally translated as “Mirror Lake”, Tasik Cermin is a pristine oasis that’s mysteriously tucked deep within one of the clusters of limestone hills in Ipoh (my hometown), a city 2 hours north of Kuala Lumpur. If you’ve not already known, Ipoh is famous for its widespread karst formations throughout the city, thus rendering it the nickname “Guilin of Malaysia”. I chanced upon this lake almost a year ago while hubby and I were searching for a unique place within Ipoh to have our pre-wedding photo shoot. Just one glance at the pictures on Google was enough to impress me. Next thing we knew, we were already on our way there to recce the place. What didn’t particularly impress me was the quarry company that was licensed to rape the beauty of the limestone hills which surround the lake, perhaps attributed to the greed of men.
I must admit that it wasn’t easy to find as Google Maps and Waze would only bring u somewhere nearby but not to its exact location, which is still about a kilometre inside. You might want to try these coordinates (4.559169, 101.119575). To make things worse, there aren’t any signages pointing to its location and not many Ipohites are aware of its existence. Thankfully, we managed to locate the lake with the help our photographer who happened to have done several photo shoots there himself. Indeed, we were tremendously satisfied with our photo shoot session at Tasik Cermin.
Almost a year on and we wanted to return to this hidden gem to experience its serenity and to simply take our minds away from the worries of the world just outside the limestone hills, which encompass the lake. On top of that, this time we decided to guide you to the lake with our pictures.
Ipoh is famous for its widespread karst formations throughout the city, thus rendering it the nickname “Guilin of Malaysia”.
It was only 5 minutes drive from where my parents live – Bandar Seri Botani. But if you’re driving along Jalan Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah from Sam Poh Tong (oldest cave temple in the state of Perak) towards Simpang Pulai, look out for the signages that show “Tokong Da Seng Ngan”, which are aplenty along the road.
Turn left at the junction once you see Jun Tyre Auto Service. You’ll then pass by Tong San Chan Distributors Sdn. Bhd. on your right. After this, the tarmac ends and you’ll continue on an unpaved road surfaced with gravel and laterite. This might pose some problems if you’re not driving a 4WD but it’s still not impossible to drive your car all the way in.
Continue to follow the signages of “Tokong Da Seng Ngan” until you reach a fork that points “Tokong Da Seng Ngan” to the left.
Take the road to the right instead and continue driving till you see a white bungalow that presumably functions as the quarry office.
Don’t be dissuaded by the signage which says, “Private property, no trespassing” as the quarry workers are very used to seeing visitors to the lake driving through their property and they would even show you its direction. So, just drive through it but be careful of lorries coming in and out of the quarry.
You’ll soon arrive at the entrance to the lake. This where you should park your vehicle and continue the rest of the journey on foot. The entrance that greets you is the mouth of a tunnel which was bored through the limestone hills that guard the lake for centuries. For this, credit has to be given to the quarry company, without whom this beautiful gem would forever be hidden from the world.
From the mouth of the tunnel, you can see light on the other end which opens up to Tasik Cermin. The best time to visit is when the sun is not at its zenith. The placid waters of the lake would then exhibit its magical reflective property, lending credence to its name. Occasionally, this may be disrupted when there’s a gust of wind, but you just have to be patient if you want to capture its reflection on your camera.
Another credit goes to the quarry company for constructing a steel platform for visitors to enjoy the scenery at the lake. Besides, you can just sit down, close you eyes and listen to the sounds of nature, making it a perfect sanctum for meditation. Highly recommended for nature lovers. One word sums it all up – surreal!