In the middle of Sumatera island of Indonesia, there is a province called Jambi. Far into the thick forest of Merangin Regency, there is a hidden, unlisted on any map, mountain called Mt. Masurai. Above 2000 metres high, Mt. Masurai is covered with thick and humid rainforest, with a chance of leeches everywhere.
Some area around mountain feet is used by villagers as coffee plantation. Yet, the access is bad; it’s only soil path with no distinct trail. When rain falls, forest floor will be wet, sticky, and slippery. Tree branches crossing all over your head. Big dead tree trunks lying all over the forest floor, so you have to do big jumps here and there to pass the path.
Not many villagers visiting the top because of that bad access. Though, there is story among them that at the mountain top there is this beautiful lake, the water is so blue so they named it “Danau Biru” which means “Blue Lake” in english. Maybe the story was given by some villagers who could make it to the top.
It’s hard for me also! Haha. But… long story short, because of job duties, I must hike to the top. With supports from my colleagues who are all men, I finally can make it! Slowly but sure, it’s our motto. We took + 2 hours to go walking one-way (4 hours round-trip), it’s from the last point car could reach. From car last point, it still need another 2 hours to go back to the village. And the road is very difficult. Even the double gardan car must be carried by skillful driver. Btw, when we were climbing down the mountain, rain start to fall. I fell 3 times on those rocky-slippery-thick of muds forest floor, lol. (T_T)
The stunning colors
Hardly breathing because of tiredness, I look at scenery in front of me. I’m speechless. All of my tiredness was gone. I mean, look at the crystal blue! Who won’t be amazed!
The pictures use no filter at all. No effect, nothing. It’s the real color.
The clear water make it visible to see from top to the bottom of lake. The fallen trees on the bottom looked so real and seem very reachable (it’s not, btw).
The lake was once a crater where hot fluid of Mt. Masurai came out to the surface and flowed everywhere. Centuries gone, now the crater is a big hole filled by rain water until it takes a form of this beautiful lake. We’re still not sure about where does the fantastic blue color comes from. It’s not from the sky, by the way; the location is heavily covered with tree branches. Maybe it’s some algae. Or certain chemical compounds that reflect the lights in the range of blue wavelength.
How to get there?
Catch the flight from Jakarta, Soekarno-Hatta airport to Muaro Bungo airport (2 hrs). Then ride/rent a car to Merangin Regency (2 hrs). Stay a night because it’s a long journey already. The next day, in the morning, ride/rent a car towards Dusun Madras or Madras Village in english (4 hrs). Stay a night. Dusun Madras is quite beautiful, it’s also cold there so there are many flowers. You can look around the village while taking a rest. Read about Dusun Madras here.
The next day, in the morning, ride/rent off-road car. Fyi, some villagers own double gardan car because they need it to access their coffee plantations. The road heading to mountain waist is very rocky and slippery, it has difficult contour. After 2 hours, you’ll arrive at mountain feet, the last point car can reached. Then, the hiking is start. Prepare light raincoat and anti-slip shoes in case of rain. Better take a local guide from the village with you, in case of direction lost.
If you’re brave and strong enough, from the Blue Lake you can continue your hike to so said 7-levels waterfall. It’s very beautiful, people said. The path is harder, and you need to reconsider it if it’s rain. My team and I can’t take the risk to the waterfall because it’s dark and rain start to fall.
This place is very far away, so you’ll find it’s not really worth it you a have a tight budget and schedules, wanting to make this the main destination. Moreover, there is nothing else to see around, except tou like to study about culture. There is isolated tribe live around this area, called Suku Anak Dalam or Orang Kubu. Despite the modern era, they still live in the thick forest, and refused to build home as their shelter.
But, I must say… the Blue Lake itself (and waterfall) inside the top of thick forest is stunning. If you have extra time and not on tight budget and schedules, yes visit it. Take time to enjoy Dusun Madras along the way.