Some of the participants who participate in the Hammock Camping Gathering at Lubuk Yu recreational forest in Maran, Pahang. Pix by Luqman Hakim Zubir

MARAN: Lubuk Yu recreational forest which was deserted after leptospirosis claimed six lives and infected another 83 in 2010 is set to make a comeback and attract nature enthusiasts.

Tourism and Culture Deputy Minister Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin said various activities would be held to bring back visitors and turn Lubuk Yu into one of the most visited places in the state.

"The place used to be an ideal picnic site not only for nature enthusiasts but the whole family.

"However, the unfortunate incident and bad perception later on have since deterred people from visiting the area.

Some of the participants who participate in the Hammock Camping Gathering at Lubuk Yu recreational forest in Maran, Pahang. Pix by Luqman Hakim Zubir

“With ongoing efforts by the state government to rejuvenate the place, the image of Lubuk Yu will be restored to become an attraction for tourists," she told reporters after the launch of the first Hammock Camping Gathering at the site yesterday.

Present at the event were state Women and Family Development, Communications and Multimedia Committee chairman Datuk Shahaniza Shamsuddin and Tourism Pahang general manager Datuk Ishak Mokhtar.

Mas Ermieyati said Lubuk Yu was one of the oldest tropical rainforests, with rich flora and fauna. Activities like hammock camping would encourage more people to come to the area.

"I was informed that this site could cater to up to 1,000 campers so I hope the programme can be held annually," she said adding that the ministry would continue to give its support.

There were 150 hammock camping participants in today’s gathering. Programme director Laili Basir said hammock camping was not new in European countries and Indonesia but could be considered new in Malaysia.

"In Malaysia, only nature enthusiasts and people who love outdoor activities are familiar with hammock camping.

"By organising this, we hope to encourage more nature lovers and others to join the hammock camping movement."

He said the hammock style of camping caused less damage on nature as people only needed trees to set their camp up, which was better at protecting the environment.

"The normal tent-type camp needs flat ground, which is clear of brush, rocks and roots."

Laili said during the two days event many activities had been planned include flying fox, swimming and rescuing demonstrations, a tree climbing clinic and sharing of knowledge on smartphone photography.