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Wednesday, 27 February 2019

How to Import GPS Tracklog (in GPX format) into Google Maps

Prerequisites
You need the following ready:

  1. A Google account.
  2. Be online.
  3. A desktop/laptop.
  4. A browser.

Steps
  1. Upload your tracklog file (.gpx) at https://mygeodata.cloud/converter/gpx-to-kmz.
  2. After the file is uploaded, tick the checkbox "Merge output files" under Output Data column.
  3. Click "Convert now!" (green button) and download the file (in .zip format).
  4. Unzip the file to extract the KMZ file.
  5. Go to your Google Maps account. 
  6. Click Menu (3 lines) and select "Your places".
  7. Click "MAPS".
  8. At the bottom, click "CREATE MAP" (a new tab or window will open - starting with "Untitled map").
  9. Click "Untitled map" and give it a name, then click "Save".
  10. In the same box where the name is displayed, click "Import".
  11. Upload the KMZ file. Your tracklog will be displayed. 

Notes
  1. Besides the above format conversion, other formats are available.


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A Poem on Langsir Falls (of the popular CBL)

Langsir Falls


I haven't really told many people that Langsir Waterfall in Terengganu's famous trio location Chemerong-Berembun-Langsir (CBL) is my number one camping spot with water source.

In 1998, a monk, Reverend Sujiva, attributing his love for Langsir Falls,  wrote a poem, as follows:

Those grass green waters
Fresher than the freshest I have seen.
O how they rush and pour
Down steep rock faces.
O how they splash, fall and tumble
Over steps green with moss.
And the joy, O the pure joy
Of swirling mists and sprays of water,
And the cool freshness of wakefulness
O how with joy it dances in my heart
So alike the pure joys of a Noble One
Lost in ecstasy.

He went on to comment:

People have told me about how nice this place is, and having been here, I agree It s the place for you if you want to be with Nature and have all the space and water you want. They have even labelled the trees.
We came at the right time when the guests were few and so, there were much quietness and solitude.
I have had one ecstatic moment here — that was when I was standing right in front of the Langsir waterfalls. The light around the place seemed so brilliant, the air extremely fresh and the waters were blue green. This was supplemented by the fresh green leaves all around the area. Its freshness, quietude and sprays of moisture brought about an extremely fresh kind of wakefulness that I seemed to be aware of all around me with great clarity and joy.


Poem source: Wind In The Forest by Venerable Sujiva, 1998
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Wednesday, 6 February 2019

A Look-Back at Bukit Permatang Resam (NKVE Lookout Point) 4+ Years Ago


"Zero traffic" for a moment! 

Above is the main attraction of one of the popular peaks in Klang Valley - the NKVE expressway, whose viewpoint is roughly East-Southeast of the peak. By the way, above photo is edited - very unlikely you will see zero traffic even during 3-4 am...

Puncak Denai Tiga Puteri  was adopted by A. Adnan and family while Unity Peak was sponsored by PPB Group Berhad - they are located at the same height about a hundred meters from each other. Both are named by KDCF Society - names more friendly and better-sounding than Permatang Resam. Personally, I like to call it NKVE Lookout Point, which is the main thing.

Below are a few photos that I had from my successful bushwhacking recce trip on 21st Sept 2014. Trail cut done with Carl Dunford. 


Grass vs barren landscape

No path vs clear hiking trail

No path vs erosion (note: Soil is healthy - see width of tree trunk)

Event logs

From time to time, people asked me the history of the peak's finding and I have a hard time giving them the links to see, so I'd decided to document them here once and for all, for easy reference.

First, casual recce (5th Sept 2014)
With wife. "Today was the first attempt to locate the peak of Bukit Permatang Resam -- a casual recce. Peak identified but not reached coz had to fetch the kids from school. We're just about 150 meters away; resam kaciau!"

Facebook link: Bukit Permatang Resam Recce


Second, hardcore recce (21st Sept 2014 - completed)

With Carl. "Today's trip was a 100% success for 3 reasons: (1) Reached the peak of Bukit Permatang Resam that has a lookout point overseeing Subang/Shah Alam bound New Klang Valley Expressway, (2) Connected the trail from Taman Rimba Riang and from Kota Damansara Community Forest, and (3) Completed the loop hike-and-walk from TTR-peak-KDCF-road on Section 10-Section 9. Survey trip completed in 6 hours.

Lone joiner: Carl Dunford -- thanks for coming!

Video 360° from peak: http://youtu.be/AMPT0O25aTc
"

Facebook link: Bukit Permatang Resam Survey Trip cum NKVE Lookout Point


Third, official visit (15th Nov 2014)
With TRAKS. And Carl...

Facebook link: Bukit Permatang Resam with TRAKS


Fourth, normal hike (7th Dec 2014)
With KDCF Society. And kakis... "19 went. No rain. Slippery trail from yesterday morning rain. Rest and photography at peak. Paper trail format at Taman Rimba Riang Section 9 KDCF. Trail summary: Harmoni-Unity-Resam-Unity-Harmoni. 


Leg 1: Easy trail from TTR trailhead till end of Harmoni Trail where the shelter and benches are. [easy]
Leg 2: From Unity Trail till forked-trail to Fern Ridge route (via false peak) and Sahabat Trail from KDCF Section 10. [easy]
Leg 3: Trail gets raw; not-so-clear at some areas -- recce/retrace required. Crosses a faint stream. Ran out of tape markers. Trekked around the not-so-noticeable false peak (at 180 m asl). This route is South-side of false peak. [easy-moderate]
Leg 4: From spur enter into saddle, trekked the shrubs, headed up to fern route under the sun. Scrambling required. Trampled on fern; some leveling automatically done. [moderate]

Precautions (with reminders and suggestions on what could be done):
1. Obscure trail: More tape markers required for trees in Leg 3. Be mindful of trekking back on Unity Trail where the forked trail to Sahabat Trail is.
2. Loose soil on fern patch: Thread with cautious. Grab fern stems to draw support -- test first before pull to support.
3: Edge on retainer wall at peak: Avoid standing right at the edge.
4. Slippery mud along Leg 1 and Leg 2 trails: Trek in small steps. Leverage on momentum instead of constant braking.

Closing remarks: From my observation, this trek (despite rated at 1-3 for difficulty) proves a little tougher than usual for some due to (i) the stamina that is required of this trek especially on legs 3 and 4 and (ii) the obscureness of parts of the route, also legs 3 and 4. This trek is a good route for those training for longer day trips. General positive consensus on viewpoint from the peak; also OK for "picnic". For some of us who can recognise the trail can do a revisit and/or lead on their own. The peak is right now free of rubbish, please promote the cleanliness of the area."

Facebook link: Selfie @ Bukit Permatang Resam aka NKVE Lookout Point



This map was done in 2014 - certain elements are no longer valid - do not use this!

A significant part of the initial hardcore trail (via Section 9 Kota Damansara or Taman Rimba Riang) is now a big part of the official route from the first trailhead - thanks to KDCF Society, TRAKS and the orang asli for having it built/leveled into a hiking-friendly path but it is still by far the most-raw of all trails (from Section 9 and 10) to the peak.

With regards to the map and hiking routes, please follow the latest trail updates provided by Kota Damansara Community Forest Society and observe the guides therein.

YouTube video (21st Sept 2014)


Feel free to follow my documentation using the opt-in located at the top-right corner of the blog.



Saturday, 1 December 2018

Bukit Baginda - what's the speciality of this hill?






Bukit Baginda (local folks read 'Bagindo') basically has a number of boulders but only two with specific attractions - first with adventurous appeal and the other with photographic proposition.
My preference: Definitely the 'adventurous' boulder! Additionally, this boulder also offers photography opportunities all around 360 degrees, and top and bottom.

The final boulder, the "Wave Rock" (450 m asl) is not climbable without technical skills. It has the finest 'chiseled' rock wall unmatched by other boulders before this. At a glance, it looks like a clamshell.

It takes about an hour to reach the top and 20 minutes less on the descend trip. With photography build in, we took 2 hours just to get up and spent a good 45 minutes there before descending back to base (car park). We adjourned to Jeram Tengkek to wash up.

Some additional points:
  1. Mosquito - yes
  2. Leech - no
  3. Sandfly - no
  4. River crossing - none
  5. Any downhill climb? No - straight up after first boulder

Trip Photos

Trailhead cum car park
Quite a hefty sum just for this 2 km trip. See Facebook (< opens new window) for the write-up about the charges. 

Friday, 2 November 2018

RFID stickers... finally, my turn

Detection test.. passed (for my sticker on windscreen)
No. After online sign-up does not mean you are immediately registered for the fitment (installation). At least in my case. That was more than two months back after the rejection mail stating full at that time.


Not what I was expecting

I thought the centre is somewhere inside Kepong Village Mall, Bandar Menjalara. I practically rummaged the whole building only to find out it is located at the car park outside the mall, and that was after I asked a real person. Repeat: I had to ask...

This moving centre (truck) will remain here till end of year unless a new directive is given.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Malaysian Chinese Museum... Some Quick Pointers



Entrance to Malaysian Chinese Museum located at 1st floor

Some Quick Pointers about the building, Wisma Huazong, and the museum

  • Huazong represents Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia.
  • Wisma Huazong is built at RM80 million.
  • The museum opened in May 2018. 
  • Wisma Huazong is located about 10 minutes away from The Mines. Petronas petrol station is just next to it.
  • Hua Xia International School is located in this building.
  •  The building has 12 storeys (pic below) and the museum is located on the first floor - it is accessible via the escalator. Get your tickets on the first floor itself.
  • The hall on ground floor, Dewan Tan Sri Dato' Seri (Dr) Yeoh Tiong Lay  accommodates 1,500 people (pic below).
  • Outside the hall displays the list of donors and also the photos of patrons of Wisma Huazong.
  • Sunway Group chairman and founder Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah sponsored the construction of the museum (see pic above).
  • Guarding the building are two lion statues are gifts from the Chinese government (pic below).
  • Besides the usual exhibits located on the floor, a 5-minute video presentation precedes the tour; augmented reality (AR) is also a feature, in which the visitor can use the app on the smartphone (pic below) to get enriched experience of the history and visual effects!




List of donors



To experience AR during the tour, download this app


Laksamana Cheng Ho

Monday, 30 July 2018

The 'Four Sights' from Ken House

Ken House fa├žade of Tudor design


Before Ken House, this privately-owned bungalow was known as Socfin Bungalow. It was sold off to Ken Holdings (date unknown). And before it was called Socfin Bungalow, it was Villa Adrien Hallet, named after the Belgian agricultural engineer who arrived in Malaya in the 1910s to plant oil palms. It is located along Jalan Mager, right after Kingswood Bungalow and before the turn-off to Methodist Centre.

I and my family had the opportunity to stay there twice! Thanks to Jeff, who invited us to experience the atmosphere at this villa.

Ken House has a very large and picturesque compound. With 5 rooms, it can accommodate 20 occupants comfortably. It also has a platformed-gazebo on its 3 o'clock and the peak of Mount Ulu Semangkok can be seen right across. 




Garden
  
The huge garden with a gazebo on top of a small hill. This was during a misty morning. The surrounding landscape is populated with assorted plants which are well taken care of by the gardener.