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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. 

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.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Citrus on Conifer Trail (Guling Gantang & Sempah)

Click to view video on YouTube (new window)

Some quick notes

  1. As advised later by someone in the know, they are not lemons as the shape of lemons are generally ellipsoidal and not round. Without the leaves to confirm the exact fruit, this fruit is presumed to be Citrus macroptera, or jeruk hutan (for now until corrected); it has many other names as well.
  2. There are no trigonometrical stations at the peaks of Guling Gantang and Sempah. However, at Sempah peak, there is the stone marking the Pahang-Selangor border. 

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Teluk Segadas Revisit (and Last Visits)

The last I went was in 2015. This round with more kakis. A stay of 3 days 2 nights is more than sufficient.

Getting there

The pickup point
Medan Ikan Bakar Teluk Muroh (searchable in Google Maps) is a common pickup location for those who charter the boat to Teluk Segadas. Parking is big enough for many cars and each car is subject to a payment of RM15 (2018 rate) for the entire duration (meaning ~RM5 per day). More at the Closing section below.

Loading and onboarding
Personal stuff, food catering boxes and water go to the front and passengers take the centre and back. Depending on number of joiners and boat availability, your event may require two trips or more.

Reaching the secluded beach

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Refined Tebing Gila Trail

The vertical cliffs of Tebing Gila

This revisit was to refine the Tebing Gila trail since our last visit in February. We rerouted at the beginning part - without going up the steep hill but along the riverbank, having passed by an old, abandoned shelter.

Old, abandoned shelter

Tree with humanly figure - butts!

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Tebing Gila, Batu Gila... How we fared in the recce?

 Batu Gila Recce (Tebing Gila)

Our target was the cliff arch at Hulu Gombak Forest Reserve, or Hutan Lipur Sungai Tua that many know. This rock formation is located Northwest of the famous Sungai Pisang Falls, along the narrow, treacherous and cliffy Tebing Gila. Both Batu Gila and Tebing Gila are unofficial names. In the RSO map, such names are absent.

We traced an old route immediately after the tunnel over Karak Highway, on the West side of Sg Pisang but not the whole route as we diverted to use a flatter route to the start of the cliff. 

Route to Batu Gila cliff arch

Note: The route from beginning to the high cliffs and till the cliff arch are over raw terrain. We did not traverse the entire cliff. In fact, we entered the cliff ridge only from midway, not from the start of cliff. From there on, the trek was all along the narrow, treacherous ridge. Our team affixed a permanent rope to assist with climb to the top of the ridge.

Rock wall at start of cliff

Saturday, 27 January 2018

KDCF Peak Solo Relax

Edited Relive video

Edited the original Relive video - not sure exactly how to make Endomondo place the photos more carefully into since the photos are time-stamped with GPS location. I've changed the app settings to allow manual update so hopefully that works.

Taking a break upon reaching Unity Peak...

Monday, 22 January 2018

Bukit Unyang Recce 14th Jan 2018

Trig Station at Unyang Peak

Brief notes

  • Bukit Unyang is located Northeast of Kanching Waterfalls, in Hutan Rizab Kanching.
  • Trailhead towards Bukit Unyang is located after Level 7 of Kanching Falls.
  • Some old tape markers left by earlier explorers exists along the trail.
  • We did most of our bushwhacking works independently of the markers but somehow we stumbled upon them from section to section.
  • The last section at the false peak before crossing the saddle over to the Unyang peak is the toughest.
  • At the false peak, we could see Bukit Bunga Buah, Bukit Boyan and Bukit Tunggul.
  • All of the three primary obstacles are there - bamboo, thorny palm trees and thick ferns.
  • The overall distance from trailhead to the peak is about 2.5 km. Time to hike is about 3 hours.
  • The altitude according to RSO map is 730 metres.
  • After the last river crossing post level 7, there are no more stream crossing.
  • Leeches are present along the way until before the false peak.
  • Good to know - the waterfall/river that flows down is Sungai Chul Tinggi.

Bukit Unyang track

Photo gallery on my personal website:

In Facebook, and for discussion: 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Trekalogue: The Highlands Eco-Challenge II 2017

Long Tanid in Long Semadoh, Sarawak

Last July, Forum Masyarakat Adat Dataran Tinggi Borneo (Formadat) organised once more the highlands eco-challenge right at the highlands of Borneo spanning Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan. This is the second in the series whose inaugural event was conducted in 2015. The event is supported by World Wide Fund (WWF) Sarawak since inception. Alicia Ng of WWF Sarawak, who was on the field to coordinate the event, quoted a few challenges in organising such events, especially being new, is how to create and heighten the awareness of ecotourism in the Borneo Highlands, as well as how to generate more publicity for more participation by enthusiasts, forest lovers and trekkers alike. In supporting Formadat in their long term objectives, she hopes WWF will achieve more mileage in the coming years by helping Formadat to guide the local communities to manage a bulk part of the ecotourism and to promote cultural diversity.

Overall programme of Highlands Eco-Challenge II

This round, two eco-challenge trails were featured, the short 5 days 4 nights ‘Jungle Exploration’ trail and the highlight of all trekking packages, the 10d9n ‘Heart of Borneo Experience’ whose journey combines four-wheel drive and traverse trekking from Sipitang in Sabah through into Sarawak with a couple of days spent in Kalimantan villages. The entire journey was enveloped within the highlands of an average of 1,000 metres above sea level, which guaranteed an overall chilling experience for all. I took the short trip which covered locations Kota Kinabalu-Sipitang-Long Pa’ Sia’-Long Semadoh-Lawas. The extended trip has Ba’ Kelalan-Long Bawan-Long Layu-Ba Siuk-Pa Dalih-Bario added. In addition, the latter bears the transboundary triangle that covers the key village for each of the states. Participants for this trail gets to experience a different culture and get additional stamp on their passports!