When an Ipohite is quizzed about natural attractions around Ipoh, he or she would respond with the usual Gua Tempurung, cave temples and pomelo orchards, to name a few. After all, Ipoh is better known for its gastronomical delights rather than its natural beauty.
A visit to Tasik Cermin (Mirror Lake) could change all that, especially for those who think little of Ipoh’s natural charms. Located next to Gunung Rapat, this gem of a beauty is sure to astound nature lovers, skeptics included.
The journey to the site is difficult without a 4WD vehicle. What greets visitors upon arrival is a quarry where huge machines rip apart the limestone walls, processing stones and pebbles for the construction industry.
The rape of the pristine limestone hills aside, a short hike of about 250 metres leads visitors to the entrance of the lake. It is a little strange for lakes to have an entrance but this one sure does. The tunnel, carved through the hard limestone rock and emerging on the other end, brings you to Tasik Cermin.
For those who do not appreciate the beauty of nature and the calming effect the still waters of the lake bring, this place is definitely not for you. The vista looks very much like a scene from National Discovery television series minus David Attenborough doing the narrating.
The lake, a favourite with quarry workers, is still untouched. A makeshift steel jetty at the water edge provides a likeable platform for visitors to enjoy the panoramic view. Known only to a handful of Ipohites, it was deserted when I arrived there one recent morning.
From the lakeside, limestone structures appear to blend in with the green surroundings further enhancing the scenic beauty. The placid waters of the lake reflect the sun’s rays providing a glistening effect on the trees and shrubs, lending credence to its name of Tasek Cermin (Mirror Lake).
Like similar places all over Malaysia, Tasik Cermin is not spared the destructive forces of humans. Styrofoam packets, plastic bags and empty cans are strewn around the area. It goes to show the mindless attitude of these litterbugs. The walls of the tunnel leading to the lake are filled with very uncreative graffiti, ranging from names to vulgarities.
It is a miracle how this lake has managed to survive with an active quarry within its midst and the actions of the mischievous few who have little or no love for nature. It certainly deserves the respect and care from every discerning Ipohite.
With all the delicious food Ipoh has to offer, what we need is a place to relax and unwind while waiting for the food to digest. Tasek Cermin is the place.
Tasek Cermin is off Jalan Dr Nazrin Shah about a kilometer down the road from Sam Poh Tong cave temple and near the Isuzu building. GPS coordinates: N 4° 33′ 33.01″ E 101° 7′ 10.47″. On Google Maps it is at: 4.559169, 101.119575.