The lost well of Mat Chincang
By Eric Chong
Seven Wells is the place where seven fairies turned into seven wells after a misunderstanding with their boss or so the tale goes. Having been there countless times since my childhood days (the only access then was from the beach where Burau Bay and Berjaya is now), I have always wondered where the fourth to seventh wells were. Many hikes and many miscounts later, I located the fourth well. Ironically, the trail was actually pointed to me by some Mat Sallehs1 on their first visit a fair illustration of how well-versed some of us locals are with the place.
At the first three wells, theres usually quite a number of people hanging around ogling at you while you do your wild slide into the wells. Its a natural water-slide with many spectators.
Little do these people know that theres a bigger and more secluded pool tucked away further upstream. Its only fifteen minutes away from the main Seven Wells pool and its never crowded (that was before this article was written). To get to this "lost" well, look for the point where two small streams meet. Take the path along the right stream. There are paths on either side of the stream. Both trails lead to the "lost" well. Look for red markers painted on the trees. These markers will help guide you there. After about a kilometer of walking through the primary rainforest, look for a trail leading uphill. There are no more markers at this point to help you locate this uphill trail. However, it is quite easy to spot as the trail is well trodden. This uphill trail goes on for about 100 meters before it tapers off. About five minutes from here, you should come to a right branch in the trail. This trail goes slightly downhill. Fifty meters onwards, you ought to come to the hidden well. Bear in mind that you should be able to hear the stream the whole time you are on the trail. Should you go out of hearing range of the stream, it is most likely that you have taken the wrong trail. If this is the case, backtrack and follow the stream instead. The hike from the main upper pool to this hidden pool should not take more than 25 minutes.
The hidden well is about 15 to 18 feet in diameter and it is from 10 to 15 feet deep. The water is amazingly cool and refreshing. The water visibility is only limited by the amount of light which hardly penetrates through the lush canopy of the surrounding rainforest. This unpolluted mountain water tastes even better than any bottled mineral water provided one of your so-called friends isnt upstream answering natures call. Theres a nice overhang about six feet above the pool which makes a great diving platform for those who wish to show off. I myself have learnt the reverse Frosberrys Flop here, landing on my stomach and splashing everyone nearby.
Whether it is an ego deflating trip or just for a nice cool soak, this "lost" well is definitely gem worth discovering. Where the fifth, and sixth and seventh wells are, I am not sure. It just depends on how you count I guess. I for one am glad to have located this "fourth" well.
In keeping this hidden well truly pristine, we hope that all of you would-be visitors take back whatever you have brought with you plus any other overlooked items of previous visitors.
1. Local (Malay) slang for white foreigners.
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