“Trekking with Rimbawi Geo Discovery”
Around the New Year 2014, I attended a yoga retreat with Yoga Now. I chose the yoga and adventure package, which is how I met Othman, his wife, his children, and got to experience the real Langkawi.
I spent two full afternoons with Rimbawi Geo Discovery. The first afternoon, Othman and I went on a rainforest trek. It immediately became clear that this would be no ordinary hike. I was in the presence of an international phenom. Othman is knowledgeable about not just plant-life, not just animal-life, not just the geological history of the area, but current events and conservation efforts, and he is deeply interested in connecting a community to preserve and showcase what Langkawi has to offer. We hiked for a little over 3 hours, and the knowledge that Othamn possesses made the hike a true experience. I learned so much. While trekking, we saw great hornbills traversing the canopy. The sound created by their flapping wings made it clear just how large these birds are.
At the end of our hike, we ate some lunch at a local spot, and then I met his wife and children at his home. It was there he showed me his 10 foot King Cobra. He handled it a bit, encouraging it to open its hood. It was completely intimidating, even while cowering near the door. It was obvious Othman knew what he was doing, but still frightening.
Then his children performed some of the traditional martial art dance, Silat – very graceful while exhibit flexibility and strength. We spotted a few more rare creatures in his yard before I was driven back home.
The next day, I spent the afternoon with Othman’s wife. We went on a mangrove boat tour. Before heading to the water, we stopped and bought some local food at a roadside stand. Delicious! The perfect snack during out boat trip, which included: a trek to a limestone cave full of bats, a visit to a kiln, a hike to see indigenous crystal. The day finished with a motorcycle ride back home.
I highly recommend Rimbawi Geo Discovery to anyone interested in seeing the exquisite nature of Langkawi.
Eschips via Trip Advisor
"Most amazing and educational tour I have been on thus far”
This couple are the most amazing tour guides. It was a nature tour with added cultural experience with meeting their 7 beautiful children, them cooking Malay food for me, and both being very knowledgeable in nature. Loved my time with them. Will remeber for a long time to come. Thanks guys.
"Did you know that Langkawi was gazetted as the region's first UNESCO World Geopark on 1 June 2007? Well it was, and we can now go for a boat ride along the Kilim River and explore the Kilim Geoforest Park. These are 5 hour excursions and lunch is thrown in. You are taken through protected mangrove forests, isolated white beaches and blue lagoons. You will get to see thousands of fruit eating bats in their roosting grounds. Marvel at the stalagmites and stalactites which took millions of years to form. The opportunity to see raptors (like eagles) feed in their natural surroundings will no doubt be the highlight of the excursion. Visit a floating fish farm. Enjoy a fish spa when you feed the fish with the bread crumbs between your toes! Along the way, you may also spot kingfishers, monkeys, snakes and otters! Check with your hotel for details of this day trip. However, if you want an excursion with a bit more to it i.e. you do not mind doing a bit of climbing and trekking, Rimbawi, will take you to some locations not covered by the regular operators."
"I wrote an article about Othman in my community paper last year. Amazing guy and one of our best nature experts. If anyone takes a tour with Rimbawi, please write a testimonial in Tripadvisor. I would really like to see them succeed."
"We joined Othman and his wife for a trip around the Kilim Geoforest. His depth of knowledge and attention to detail are noteworthy. He and his company are commited to sharing all the best that Langkawi has to offer in a professional and responsible manner. I would happily recommend Rimbawi to anyone planning on visiting Langkawi."
On 23 June 2011, together with 2 friends, we joined Othman Ayeb (Rimbawi) for what we now termed as 'Mat Chincang and Mat Raya Trail'. Our aim was to track the places associated with the legendary saga of Mat Chincang and Mat Raya, and understand how these places got their names as a result of the feud between these two great warriors. Starting our trail at Kuah, we moved to Kisap, then Belanga Pecah, onto Ayer Hangat Masin, then to Pasir Hitam, then Gunung Raya, Bukit Sawak and Gunung MatChincang (missed Tanjung Cincin dan Pulau Beras Basah) . At each place, our imagination went into active mode with Othman narrating the particular episode associated with the place name. All these episodes came together at our final destination, that is, Othman's own home. To our great benefit, Othman had already organised a drama team with his own children as actors playing each of the characters in the Mat Chincang and Mat Raya saga. The eldest son played Mat Chincang, the second son was Mat Raya, the third son was Mat Sawak. The daughter who played Sang Gedembai was in school, so a stand-in in the form of a much younger son was asked to dress up as Sang Gedembai. However, at the last moment, he must have stage fright and Othman himself became the Sang Gedembai. The fighting between Mat Raya and Mat Chincang looked 'real' as both the actors were qualified junior silat masters! There were also props with pails to hold them up, portraying the names of the places associated with the fight between the two warriors.
Othman as Sang Gedembai cursed them all to become stones and hence, we have the three giants at their respective stations: Gunung MatChincang, Bukit Sawak and Gunung Raya. Othman ended the drama with the moral of the story.
Terima kasih daun keladi to Othman, Rahayu and especially to Adam, Ikram and Amal, our budding actors, for giving us a memorable experience tracking legacy of place names associated with the Mat Chincang and Mat Raya saga.
Ong Puay Liu - UKM Bangi - Visited June 2011