Sunday, December 27, 2009


I went hiking to East Side of Bukit Tabur with my son today. As usual, East side is less popluar as compared to the west side. There were only three other groups that we came across on the way up and down. One Malay group of 5 people, a Chinese group of 3 people and one mixed group (Malays and Chinese). As compared to the west side, there were a lot of people. Easily there could be around 40 people there today.

We completed the trail with the last one being the 4 storey high rock face assisted by ropes. It took us around 2 hours to complete it.

The guys in the Malay group were all carrying their DSLR Nikon cameras and they were busy snapping pictures. Didn't get to ask them how many time they have been to Bukit Tabur. One of the guys told me that he just got back from Rinjani on his solo trip (respect you lah!). And it reminded me at the same time that I must get my DSLR too. Insyaallah, I'd buy my D60 soon.

On the way down, we met the Chinese group and it's their first time in Bukit Tabur and we had a good chat. We promised to contact each other again and a guy named Albert said he'd invite me to Kuang. He'd normally go there with Orang Asli as guides.

Look forward to joining them there.

Next week: A retreat to Broga Hill.

Friday, December 25, 2009


Other than Gunung Datuk on January 9, next year, I don't have any hiking activities planned as yet.

For Gunung Datuk, I am inviting my colleagues to come long. And so far, the response has been good. The regulars are excited and they have already said 'yes' to it.

I like it going out with my colleagues as the adventure doesn't end there at the mountain. There'd be follow-ups with pictures being uploaded in office for all to see and there'd be post mortems too. And one thing for sure there'd be complaints of body ache.

I am excited as it's going to be our first hiking trip for the year. And I have got a list of mountains to conquer this year, either to go for the first time or to revisit.

Anyway, hiking is really a weekend exercise for me these days and I never got enough of going to the same place again and again. Do I get tired of going to the gym, three times a week? No! It's boring, same routines, same venue, same music (at times) and I am always alone. But then, I can't be wrong when I say I am doing this for my heart! I can't live without taking good care of it!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Five Friends Who Lost Their Way In Bukit Tabur Rescued

December 19, 2009 23:19 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 (Bernama) -- Five friends, including three women, who lost their way for almost five hours while trekking in Bukit Tabur, Taman Melawati here were found safe on Saturday evening.

Chai Choon Yan, 25, Phua Shir Leng, 25, Chan Pooy Yee, 25, Yap Kian Fatt, 24 and Yap Aik Keong, 24, were found by a rescue team at about 6pm.

Civil Defence Department operating officer Second Lieutenant Sharul Kamar Mohd Johari said the victims who started trekking in the jungle via the Klang Gate Dam at 9am, lost their way due to thick fog and heavy rain.

"They entered the jungle without notifying the nearest police station. We only knew that they were lost after receiving a distress call at 2.40pm," he told reporters here.

He said, Aik Keong was found with a cramp, while the others only suffered from fatigue.

The search was mounted by a 30-member team including the department's personnel, police and Kuala Lumpur City Hall.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sabah's first and only Guinness record

Published on: Wednesday, December 16, 2009, Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah earned its first spot in the Guinness World Records through the via ferrata ('iron road' in Italian) built on Mt Kinabalu at 3,776 metres above sea level, which has been certified as the world's highest via ferrata.

The achievement, made by the via ferrata developer, Mountain Torq Sdn Bhd, is also Malaysia's 38th Guinness World Records certification.

A copy of the certification was officially presented by Mountain Torq's founder and executive director, Wilfred Tok, to Sabah Parks Deputy Director, Dr Jamili Nair, witnessed by Sabah Tourism Chairman, Tengku Datuk Dr Zainal Adlin, in a ceremony at the @atmosphere restaurant, Tuesday.

Mountain Torq's via ferrata is a route built using a series of steel rungs, rails and cables embedded into Mt Kinabalu's Panar Laban rock face.

This via ferrata was established in 2007 for climbers and hikers to experience a route that had previously been accessible only to veteran rock climbers and mountaineers with specialised equipment.

The via ferrata, which starts at 3,411 metres above sea level and reaches the highest point of 3,776 metres above sea level, enables climbers and non-climbers to experience the thrill of mountain climbing in complete safety, while taking in the spectacular mountain surroundings and summit views offered by Mt Kinabalu.

"This is an honour and privilege to be recognised by the global authority on world records. Since the inception of Mountain Torq, our team has been working hard to create a way for people to experience adventure differently on the beautiful and mysterious Mt Kinabalu," says Tok.

"Our via ferrata and mountaineering activities are based on internationally recognised service standards. We are also deeply appreciative to Sabah Tourism Board for their kind support and active promotional drive across Asia," he said.

He said they plan to build on this certification and create more exciting adventures on Mt Kinabalu. Mountain Torq began operations on Dec. 15, 2007 and since its inception some 5,000 people have completed the route.

The youngest climber was an eight-year-old girl from Kuala Lumpur who climbed with her mother while the oldest a 69-year-old Briton. There are more than 300 via ferrata routes worldwide, predominantly in Italy, Germany, and France, among others.

"The Guinness World Records took about six months to determine and access before deciding which via ferrata is the highest. We were notified about the results in July," said Mountain Torq's sales and marketing director, Wuek I-Gek.

The second highest via ferrata is found in the Italian Dolomites, called the Marmolada West Ridge, at a height point of 3,343 metres.

Mountain Torq's via ferrata on Mt Kinabalu fits well with an adventure destination with few equals and Sabah Tourism's philosophy to shine among the best as being epitomised by the globally unique highest via ferrata in the world and the first in Asia, says Adlin in congratulating Mountain Torq for the achievement.

"This recognition will be a value add both with respect to conservation efforts and tourism attraction at Kinabalu Park, Malaysia's first World Heritage Site," said Dr Jamili, adding Sabah Parks believes it will boost the attention and appreciation for outdoor lovers throughout the world.

Mountain Torq operates two via ferrata routes - namely the Low's Peak Circuit which is for seasoned climbers and the Walk The Torq that is designed for novice climbers and family groups with members aged 10 and above.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I received an email from a friend informing me that the Forest Reserve is now closed to public. Apparently there is a notice at the entrance from Jabatan Perhutanan Selangor prohibiting people from entering. If trespassers are found entering the area, they can be prosecuted and fined up to RM10,000 or one year imprisonment.

Alamak! There it goes my hiking place, the one that is close to home! I have been there twice so far and was beginning to like it as a weekend hiking getaway!

Personally, I feel it should be open to public. I know for a fact that it's a research centre for a University. However, it's more beneficial if it's shared with the community, just like Bukit Gasing where it has become educational recreational centre that is open to the public. The University can do their research out of the trails so that whatever that they are doing will not be disturbed. Or better still if they do their reserach somewhere else in the real jungle. Natural resources like this should be shared with the public!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Business As Usual

I'm back into blogging after a short hiatus for a few weeks. I had also changed my tag line to Diary of Small Hiker, if you haven't noticed it already!

I have also disabled the comments. If anybody would like to write to me, please email instead!

Anyway, I don't have much to write these days as there isn't any exciting hiking activity that I have been to lately. I am still doing my hiking activity over the weekend, it's all around KL area only. Last week I was at Bukit Tabur and Air Hitam Forest Reserve. And no picture to share too as I have no camera now.

Monday, November 16, 2009


I went to Bukit Gasing last weekend, it's my second trip there. This time around, I went there with three female colleagues and my children. I invited some other guys too but they all said No. That's okay with me. I'd still go on even without any colleagues joining me as I had already planned to do it with my children.
After a Roti Canai breakfast at Raju, banana leave resturant nearby, we went straight to the starting point. It was almost 8am and cars were already lining up both sides of the road, 50 meters leading to the starting point. So many cars and so many people. It felt like Pasar Malam. The weather was good, thank God, otherwise, we'd have just stayed at home, dozing off. In fact, in my invitation, I also mentioned if it rains, we'd cancel the plan. It's not worth it to go through the rain and there will always be next time.

True enough, it was crowded when we reached the Watch Tower, it was full of college students and they were very loud too, enjoying themselves, snapping pictures! Since it's my children's first time there, asked them to go up the Tower. Of which they did!

I borrowed a camera from my hiking buddy for this trip but I left it at home, completely forgot about it as I was rushing out, didn't want to be late meeting my colleague in PJ. So, I ended up taking pictures using my HP camera. I didn't include picture of the suspension bridge in my last post on the same subject. Here it is:

It was a very relaxing hiking trip, not tiring at all but I sweated a lot. It's not tiring as we were going rather slow, the ladies were not fit and so was my daughter. Everybody had fun and good exercise. So now, I got four four different spots around KL and PJ area to go for my weekend hiking trip, Bukit Tabur (East and West), Air Hitam Forest Reserve, Puchong and Bukit Gasing.

It started to rain when we were reaching back the starting point. After saying good byes to my colleagues, we drove back to Raju and had our banana leave rice for lunch.

My son pointed out to the statement in the restaurant that says "We have no quarrel with our competitors who charge less. After all, they know what their foods are worth". That said it for our hearty lunch for 3 that cost RM45. Well, I had no quarrel with the price too. I had good time with my children and I enjoyed our day-out!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 19, 2009 13:55 PM
Mount Kinabalu, Home Of The World's Highest Via Ferrata
By Sakina Mohamed

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 (Bernama) -- Ask the man on the street on whether he knows what is 'via ferrata' and it is highly likely that he would return a blank look and say "sorry, no idea".

Repeat the same question to a mountaineer or rock climber, you may get a passionate reply with some glowing experience on it thrown in.

The via ferrata, or 'iron road' in Italian, is a mountain path that consists of a series of steel rungs, rails and cables embedded into the rock face on a mountain slope. It opens up routes for the average hiker that were previously only accessible to experience rock climbers and mountaineers with specialised equipment.

This leisure mountaineering sport had its roots in World War I. The first via ferrata was constructed and used by the Italian military to move troops and equipment across the Italian Dolomites into to Austria.

Climbers can follow the via ferrata without needing to use their own ropes and belays, and without the risks associated with unprotected scrambling and climbing.

The via ferrata are found in a number of European countries, including Italy, Germany, England, France, Austria, Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, Norway and Poland as well as a few places in the United States, Canada and Malaysia.

Mount Kinabalu in Sabah has the first via ferrata, not only in Malaysia but also in Asia. Opened in December 2007, it is an alternative route to the top of Mount Kinabalu at 4,095 metres above sea level.

Located at Mount Kinabalu's Panar Laban rock face, the via ferrata is also the world's highest. It begins at 3,411 metres and ends at 3,776 metres above sea level. This was certified by the Guinness World Records.

The via ferrata is a four to six-hour hike from the Mount Kinabalu Park Headquarters.The company responsible for bringing via ferrata to Mount Kinabalu is Mountain Torq Sdn Bhd, a Kota Kinabalu-based entity that promotes adventure and mountaineering activities in Asia.


Mountain Torq's via ferrata is approximately 1.2 km long and traverses routes of varying difficulties. It thus caters to all levels of experience, from beginners to intermediate hikers and climbers.

The company's sales and marketing director Quek I-Gek said that this 'iron road' on Mount Kinabalu is suitable for almost all ages, from 10 years old and above.

"The via ferrata is devised to give people with little or no climbing experience the excitement of being above the clouds. You don't even need to be a seasoned or experienced rock climber or mountaineer," she said.

Families, school children and climbers of general fitness levels are particularly fond of one of the activities called 'Walk The Torq'. Measuring 430m long, participants can witness the beautiful natural scenery of Borneo and capture breathtaking shots during the two to three hours walk.

But adventure-loving mountaineering enthusiasts who are craving an exhilarating, adrenalin-charged experience should opt for the hike up to Low's Peak, Mount Kinabalu's highest point at 4,095m.

This is a four to five-hour programme, with a length of 763m, designed for those with above average fitness levels.

Other highlights include walking on a 22m footbridge suspended at about 3,600m above sea level."

As long as you know how to climb a ladder and are still able to do so, you will be able to negotiate the via ferrata. All that is needed is a spirit of adventure, the average fitness level of a normal mountain hiker and no fear of heights," Quek said.


When it comes to enjoying extreme sports like this, safety standards are normally the prime concerns.

However, Quek said that it is the safest of all mountaineering sports including hiking, scrambling, abseiling, rock climbing and alpine mountaineering.Mountain Torq's via ferrata enables climbers and non-climbers to experience the thrill of mountain climbing in complete safety as it conforms to the highest international safety standards.

The via ferrata is able to withstand up to three tonnes of weight. It was constructed by a team of preeminent via ferrata builders from Europe.Safety practices developed and prescribed by the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) for mountaineering sports are also adhered to strictly.

All equipment used in the sport is UIAA-certified and participants are guided at all times by trainers who have undergone rigorous training, with regular skills upgrading based on a syllabus endorsed by UIAA.In addition to that, a continuous belay system is employed throughout the via ferrata route where climbers are hooked up to a guideline, making any deviation from the route virtually impossible.


Besides operating the via ferrata, Mountain Torq is also South East Asia's first mountaineering training centre, offering other mountaineering activities like sports climbing, rappelling and alpine rock climbing.Mountain Torq's alpine-style accommodation at Pendant Hut, located at 3,270m above sea level on Mount Kinabalu Laban Rata rock slab, offers its guests a cosy, eco-friendly hut with a combination of dormitory, VIP and private rooms.

From this location, it is a mere 15-20 minutes walk to the start of the via ferrata.Needless to say, Mountain Torq's via ferrata has played a major role in raising awareness on Mount Kinabalu among mountain climbers around the world.

With the availability of this mountaineering activity, one can confidently say that Sabah is now a world-class adventure destination with a myriad of ocean and mountain activities.More information on Mountain Torq's via ferrata is available at


Comments: can see via ferrata from the normal route. you'll need to do it on the way back after summiting Low's Peak, that's the low side of this attraction. after reaching the summit, you're just tired and want to get back to Laban Rata and have your breakfast.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Not many people know the existence of this Forest Reserve located in Taman Wawasan Puchong. It's the last piece of green lung available in that area under the purview of Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya and it's also a research area for Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
This area is not void of controversy either, the community has been protesting the plan by a developer to develop the area adjacent to the Forest Reserve with 137 bungalows, 324 semi-detached houses, one commercial plot and an office site.In the meantime, while the area is still open to public, let's go there!

How To Get There?
The entrance is located at Jalan Wawasan 5/1, Taman Wawasan Puchong. We passed Giant Hypermarket Bandar Puteri, Puchong before taking a left turn at the first traffic light after Columbia Asia Hospital. After that, take the first left at Laman Puteri 1 before taking the first right at Persiaran Bukit. The entrance is located right at the end of Persiaran Bukit.

My Story
Getting there
It's very easy to get there. From KL, after getting into LDP towards Shah Alam, we can exit at Pusat Bandar Puchong, aftr IOI, and follow the signboard to Speedmart 99.

First Check Point
I started hiking at almost 8am. It's an easy hiking, that's why it's a popular spot for families to go for weekend hiking. Along the way, I met several families, mostly Chinese and they were friendly enough to greet me. They must be Puchong locals.

I read in the sketch there were 3 different Check Points but I noticed there were only two. I didn't get to take pictures at the Check Point as it's full of people.
Second Check Point and The Pond

At the second Check Point, I met some groups of hikers there and they gave me direction to go to the waterfalls, which is on the right side. Here it's quite tough but simple, very good training ground for someone who are interested to take up hiking as hobby. I took almost 30 minutes to reach the waterfalls. I had a long stop at the pond taking my time to rest and to munch on breakfast bars. There were fishes in the pond and I shared my breakfast bars with them. It was very relaxing and the water was cold.

After relaxing at the pond and finished off the breakfast bars, I wanted to explore further and headed straight following the trail instead of turning back. I bumped into a group of hikers and asked them where did the trail lead to and was told it'd end at Bukit Jalil. Ooops! My car was in Puchong and I had no intention of flagging a taxi from Bukit Jalil, so I turned back instead.

When I finally reached the second Check Point, I really needed another rest. I took a rest for about 15 minutes and continued again after that following the exit signs. As usual, it's always advisable to follow clear and established trails instead of venturing out and making our own trail. The exit trails are clearly marked and I don't think hikers will get lost there.

Other than enjoying fresh air, just like any Forest Reserve, this place is laden with flora and fauna. However, to those who have been to a lot of other mountains, they must have already seen the same flaura and fauna before. Nevertheless, it's so enjoyable to be in a hiking place that is very close to home. So now, if I don't have any mountain to climb, I'd just do my weekeend hiking either at Bukit Tabur, Bukit Gasing and this place.

Finish Line
I completed the hiking slightly after 12 noon and at that time, it was already scorching hot. I took 4 hours to complete it. I must sya that I had fun time and it's always a good thing to share our experience in hiking a new place.

I'll be going for a Treasure Hunt, Damai Laut next week. So there will be no hiking activity for Small Hiker this week.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I am still eager to climb Gunung Belumut. My plan to climb the mountain this year has been hampered by the construction works taking place to improve the facilities of the park.

The usual me, this is just one of those mountains that can be covered in just a day.

I am refreshing the idea and have been contacting one guy from the net by the name of Ami The Great. He replied my email while he was oversea saying that the park has been re-opened to public quite sometimes. I really appreciate his reply. Other than that he's also saying:

1. climbing the mountain is easy as there are clear trails. The trails are marked with red paint?
2. it's advisable to report to Balai Polis Kg. Gajah before climbing
3. he's not sure whether there are foods at the park. The nearest place to buy foods is at Felda Ulu Dengar / Felda Kahang Timur.
4. the access road is tarred, so moving about is easy

I will definitely include Gunung Belumut in my hiking activities next year. This year is really coming to an end for my hiking activities. From this week onwards, I'll be very busy and would have to work over the weekend until middle of December. Maybe working 7 days a week, putting in 14 hours a day... that's how busy my year end is going to be...

Saturday, October 17, 2009


I really don't have any outdoor activity planned as yet for the rest of the year. Been reading other blogs where the owners are busy arranging for hiking trips here and there. Reading the time that they have allocated for each trip, it really impresses me. They'd spend more than one night, camping on the mountains. Depending on the mountains, some would spend 3 or 4 nights, sleeping, eating and resting in their tents in a thick jungle in the middle of nowhere!

The longer they stay, the heavier their backpack will be, stuffed with food items, utensils and portable gas burner. Not to forget, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, tent and change of clothes. They'd need to load up all these in their 60 liters hiking bag. That's really heavy!

Personally, I have been doing my climbing the executive way and all the while it's been day hiking too. I don't carry heavy back pack, like in the case of Mt. Kinabalu, I got the porter to carry it to to the top.

Day hiking is easy. You don't have to carry heavy stuffs and you don't have to spend time sleeping in the mountain and preparing your own meals. And I guess it's less fun too! That's why I am thinking about joining all those groups in their more-than-2-nights hiking trips!

As for the preparation, other than physical preparation, it's just as important to have good hiking back packs (can be costly!) and of course the tent, sleeping bag; the whole gamut!

Due to that, I will only be ready for that next year. In the meantime, I'd spend my weekends, hiking Bukit Tabur (my favourite) , Bukit Gasing, Gunung Datuk, Pine Tree Hill, Gunung Nuang (via Janda Baik!), etc.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Saturday October 10, 2009 – The Star

Going up Tabur

Here are some safety tips for first-time hikers:

>Always go with someone who knows the trail well, and never hike alone. Visitors' movements are not monitored in Tabur, unlike in state or national parks. In the doctors' case, their badly decomposed bodies were only found three days later, when one of their cars was spotted near the trailhead.

>If you're scared of heights, you should give Tabur a miss. A friend of mine with acrophobia was scared stiff during our hike in Tabur. It spoilt her outing.

>Start out early. Not only could you catch an amazing sunrise, you can avoid the scorching sun due to lack of shade on the exposed ridge.

>Dehydration or fatigue causes disorientation. It's easy to stumble or lose your footing when you're groggy. Keep yourself hydrated and get in shape. Tabur is not the place to build your stamina due to its rugged terrain. Use flat, easy trails or the gym instead.

>Bring some energy bars or snacks. You never know how long you may end up on the trail, especially if someone in your group is unfit or gets hurt.

>Bring along your mobile phone. In the past, lost hikers have managed to call the police from their mobile phones.

>Avoid hiking after nightfall. You might step into a "bottomless" pit or get hopelessly stranded. In 2003, 13 hikers out of a group of 20 went missing while trying to get down the hill at dusk. They were rescued eight hours later.

>Missing hikers are not uncommon in Tabur. Try not to stray off the path unless you're GPS-equipped or highly experienced.

>It's prudent to register your name at the Melawati Police Station — Tel: (03) 4108 1222 — before your hike. It'll help speed up rescue operations or evacuation should the need arise.

In the websites of outdoor gear retailers like Corezone and Lafuma, you will find groups advertising hikes to Bukit Tabur.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Bukit Gasing – Gotong Royong

1MALAYSIA: Gotong-royong the way to go

2009/10/09 - NST

DELREN TERRENCE DOUGLAS, Selangor Youth Information Bureau, Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia

LAST Saturday, Malaysians of all walks of life, from the very young to the very old, irrespective of race, took part in a gotong-royong at Bukit Gasing which was organised by Friends of Gasing Hill and Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya.

The event, which was to plant 350 trees, was directed by PJ councillor Derek Fernandez.

The gotong-royong was undertaken after a forest fire in early May wiped out certain parts of the forest.

What I cherished most about the tree-planting event was that it was done voluntarily by Saturday morning joggers and trekkers out for their weekly excursion.

Everyone chipped in to carry a plant or two from the gathering point into the forest.

The event brought a sense of oneness, camaraderie and smiles between strangers all out to do a common good.

There was also a mother with her two young sons between the ages of 4 and 6 who not only took time to explain to them the reason for the tree-planting but also got both boys to carry a small plant each into the forest.

Those who took part in the event would have also felt a sense of pride at being Malaysian. It gave the volunteers a break from the nitty-gritty of daily life, and from politics that forces us to choose sides.

More such gotong-royong should take place to bring Malaysians together. If anyone wants to know what 1Malaysia is all about, then last Saturday was it.

The Federal Government should emulate Friends of Gasing Hill and MBPJ.

They not only managed to bring the people to come together but also taught them to love nature and help the rehabilitation of the forest.

Politics or affiliation to any political party was not mentioned, thus bringing people from both sides of the political divide together in the gotong-royong.

Syabas indeed to the organisers.

To those who missed last Saturday's event, there will be another round of tree-planting gotong-royong tomorrow at the entrance of the Gasing Hill jungle trail.

What better way to exercise and sweat it out while doing a good deed at the same time.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


A very short entry... and no picture...

SH went to Bukit Tabur last week and it started to rain when he's half way down. What to do, he had to stop at a pondok nearby as he didn't bring poncho. He particularly doesn't like rain during hiking activity as the surface turns out slippery and it's cold too. He has to be extra careful when it rains.

It was only raining on the east side of KL and it was dry on the west side. From Bukit Jalil to Shah Alam, there wasn't a drop of rain at all. Monsoon season is starting soon, that's when the sky is overcast in most days and the temperature is cooler. When that happens SH would really hang his hiking shoes until the monsoon is over.

He noticed the following day that he had blisters (is it really as it contained pus as well?). There were four spots, in between the big toe and the second toe and on the smallest and second smallest toes. They didn't get to dry up under the skin but they ended up bursting leaving the flesh open with no skin. It's painful when he put on socks. For two days at the office, he ended up wearing slippers. It may continue for a few more days.

SH went to see his in-house doctor and she gave him crystal like medicine to be dissolved in warm water. And he had to soak his foot in that warm water of which the color turned out dark purple. The whole idea is to accelerate the drying process of the infected area. Or else, it'll not be easy to recover.

He had to cancel his outdoor activities including jamuan raya. SH hopes to recover soon so that he can continue with his hobby. Hiking!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


SH respects those super fit people who continue with their hiking activities even during Ramadhan, fellow bloggers, you know who you are. As for SH, he took a month break and he resumed this hobby on Saturday, 7th day of Raya.

Where to go? The location is none other than Bukit Tabur, West side. He went there with a friend at around 6.30am. While it was still dark, he had the torch light on and started the hiking immediately. As usual, he was not the first, there were 3 groups ahead of him.

It's the second time around that he completed the hiking going through Peak 10 and coming down at a fruit orchard nearby. It was quite fast as we completed it within 3 hours as he didn't take that many breaks to rest and take picture. His hiking partner, it's his first hiking experience, was very fit and never complained at all. SH was glad that his partner enjoyed it as well.

Up on the hill SH had the pleasure of meeting two fellow hikers. One of them is a regular there and he goes up to the hill every Saturday. SH met him several times and always greeted him with the standard hi-how-are-you thingy. Not knowing that he is a Muslim and a Tuan Haji for that matter. Minta maaf Tuan Haji, all the while SH thought he was an Indian. Apparently, he used to participate in marathon. No wonder, he seemed to be at ease going up and down the hill on regular basis.

Can see Batu Cave clearly from Peak 10.
SH also met another hiker, a Malay guy that he thought was Chinese. He looked very Chinese and at first SH was impressed that he spoke Malay fluently and he was also in a group with other young Chinese guys. We promised to keep in touch and been trying to locate him in Facebook but couldn't find him. Anyway, SH met him again at the parking area and was surprised that he injured himself on the way down. He said somehow he felt his knees were weak on the way down. It reminds SH that accidents can happen anywhere and to be very careful in my his hiking activities!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I had it all planned, to 'balik kampung' two days before Raya and with that I'd still have two days to 'buka puasa' with my in-law's family in Kelantan. And when the news came out a few days before Raya that there will be free toll at Karak Highway and Lebuhraya Pantai Timur (LPT), I couldn't change my plan. On the last working day, I had meeting with a client in the morning of which I couldn't cancel.

So, at 2am on Friday, we left for Kelantan with the hope of having ' KFC sahur' before 5am in Bentong. Two years ago, we did exactly the same thing. The children were excited as this would be their only KFC sahur this time around.

Along the way, we noticed that the traffic was unusually heavy for that wee hours and we anticipated there would be jam along the way. After passing through two free tolls, we were supposed to exit to Bentong. Much to my horror, the jam was already starting a few meters before the exit. Unlike two years ago, I could still drive through Bentong with no hassle.

We changed our mind and decided not to take the exit. I was thinking of using the highway all the way until Kuantan and exit towards Ulu Terengganu. That was the only other routes that I know. I was told after that there were other alternative routes instead of taking that Ulu Terengganu route that was much longer. Anyway, to make the story more interesting, I had never used the highway going to Ulu Terengganu before. And true enough, I never noticed the exit and instead I ended up using the coastal road to Kuala Terengganu, which is a lot further than the Ulu Terengganu route. All in all, I drove for 654kms for almost 11 hours. The only consolotions are I heard from a friend that it took him 13 hours from KL to Machang, much shorter distance and I experienced no traffic jam along the way!!

Instead of having the 'KFC sahur', we ended up having Maggi cup noodles and potato chips at Gambang R&R. All the hawkers were running out of rice and no 'mee goreng' or what so ever! This was really a case where the hawkers didn't plan properly and were not able to cash in on the big crowd that night.

It's really a balik kampung misadventure. I also lost my compact digicam as it was soaked in hot water on the 2nd day of Raya. I put it in my car boot together with a thermos that wasn't closed properly and when it fell, the water came out. That's it.. my camera was gone... Alamak. tak tahu bila lah nak dapatkan replacement!

I had the plan of upgrading to DSLR early next year but not now. So, for the time being I am cameraless. A loss is a loss but I am not going to let it spoil my Raya mood. Other than that, I had great time with my family. I ate a lot, slept a lot and relaxed a lot! What a Raya holiday!


Tue, Sep 22, 2009
The Star
Asia News Network

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA: A 51-year-old man who went hiking at Bukit Tabur, Ampang, slipped and fell 30m but was saved when he landed on some bushes yesterday.
The hiker, who only wanted to be known as Lim, was stuck there for more than six hours before the authorities rescued him at 6.30pm.

Ampang Jaya Deputy OCPD Supt Amiruddin Jamiluddin said the man, who was from Tanjung Sempat, started hiking in the morning but he was unfamiliar with the terrain.

"He realised he was lost at about 12.30pm," he said, adding that the victim slipped while trying to find his way out. Lim called his family for help on his mobile phone at 3.30pm.

Supt Amiruddin said it took about three hours to locate the hiker. "He suffered light injuries and was sent to Hospital Kuala Lumpur for treatment," he said.

-The Star /Asia News Network

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Tour operators unhappy with Mt Kinabalu Management

KOTA KINABALU: Tour operators yesterday took to task the management company in charge of accommodation on Mount Kinabalu.

The operators said many climbers reported reaching Laban Rata, near the peak of Southeast Asia’s tallest mountain, only to be told by Sutera Sanctuary Lodges (SSL) that their pre-booked accommodations were not available.Several tour operators also reported having booked accommodation at Laban Rata but Sabah Parks had run out of climbing permits.Tour operators raised these issues at a dialogue between the Sabah chapter of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents and the Sabah Tourism Ministry.

Sabah Parks director Paul Basintal said the discrepancy was because his agency and SSL did not have a uniform booking system.“If the Ministry of Finance can implement a proposed computerised system it will be a lot more efficient so that everything will be updated online for everyone,” he said, adding that the park issued 149 climbing permits daily.

Basintal said it was a policy that climbers first obtained permits before making bookings for accommodation.The permit fee per person is RM30 for Malaysians and RM100 for non-Malaysians. Tour operators also complained that they were made to sell a three-day-two-night package by SSL.The package is much more expensive and less popular than the traditional one-night option.

Tourism, Culture and Environment permanent secretary Datuk Susannah Liaw said the problem actually lies with the package and not the climbing permits.“The problem lies with SSL's packages that are inconveniencing climbers, so I think SSL must work with tour operators and look at how to solve the problem so that its a win-win situation for both,” said Liaw.The dialogue also discussed the 120 diving permits a day to Sipadan island, which has to be divided between 12 diving operators.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mount Kinabalu climber slips and falls to his death

Mount Kinabalu climber slips and falls to his death

KOTA KINABALU: A climber slipped and fell to his death when trekking up Mount Kinabalu.
Tan Tzu Hau, 31, from Inanam here, was found dead 5.5km from the Mesilau trail at about 2pm on Monday by a Sabah Parks porter.

Ranau district police chief Deputy Supt Suhaimy Hashim said that Tan was part of a mixed group locals and peninsular Malaysians trekking up the mountain through the Mesilau trail when the incident occurred.

''Tan was trailing behind the group when he apparently slipped and fell. No one knows exactly how he fell but a porter who was behind spotted his sprawled body beside the trail," Suhaimy said.

He said the incident occurred near the Panar Laban rest house at the height of 3,270m of the 4,101m mountain.

''His body has been brought down to Ranau and we are waiting for the post mortem to be conducted, he said, adding that police did not suspect foul play as they believe it was a case of misadventure.

Masilau trail is second but tougher route to the mountain as compared to the more popularly used Summit Trail or South Ride Trail.

Accidental deaths among climbers on Mount Kinabalu is relatively rare though they have been a few incidents with the last reported incident occurring in Aug 2001 when a British teenager Ellie James lost her way and was found dead on the mountain nearly a week after she went missing.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


It's my last weekend of puasa in Shah Alam before leaving for Kelantan for Hari Raya on Friday. I'd like to wish everyone, Selamat hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Maaf Zahir Batin. Let's be careful when driving. It's time to celebrate after a month of fasting. However, I'd try not to indulge too much with the Ketupat, Rendang and Nasi Dagang this time around. I intend to eat moderately so as not to put back whatever weight loss during Ramadhan in just 3 days! Another reason for doing so, my cholesterol reading has increased again. I'd blog more about this later!

I don't make Baju Melayu for myself this year. That happens once in two years when I celebrate Raya on the west coast, where people are proud to adorn their new Baju Melayu complete with samping songket. I still remember years ago when I celebrated raya for the first time in my in-law's kampung, I was the only one wearing full suit of baju Malayu!

I really hope that I'd not get stuck in the jam like what happened two years ago. I left my house at 2am and reached Bentong in time for sahur at 4.15am. By the time, I left Bentong, traffic started to crawl and at certain stretches, it came to a halt as people started to stop over for Subuh prayers. It took me almost 11 hours to reach Pasir Mas!

This time around, I am going to leave on Friday morning, still at the same wee hours. Since Raya is on Sunday and I hope the balik kampung exodus will only begin on Friday night. I hope I am right! Or else, there it goes, I'd get stuck in the jam again, in the middle of nowhere from Bentong to Kuala Krai.

Selamat Hari Raya!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

6 Tips on How to Reduce Debt Completely

Quite a number of us find it difficult to manage our personal finances, there are bills to be paid, car loan and mortgage to service, credit card charges to be paid, so on and so forth. There are so many debts to be paid monthly. Sometimes, we feel that we need to hire personal finance consultant to put our house in order?

The tips below will tell you how you can reduce your debt. They are just tips and ultimately, it depends on our discipline to ensure its success. I put it down here as a reminder for me as I sometimes got overboard with my credit card spending, etc.

Tip #1

If you have credit cards with outstanding balances, you can do the followings:

1. Cut up all your credit cards, except 1 or 2. We still need the plastic money every now and then. So, better not cut all of them.

2. Any new charge you add to the 1 or 2 cards you now have must be paid off every month. Do not incur any further long term debt.

Tip #2
Come up with RM150 to 200 extra per month. Do a very tight budget and squeeze the extra money!

Tip #3
Apply the additional RM150 – 200 to your monthly payment of ONLY ONE of your credit cards. You will now pay the minimum plus the RM150 – 200 on that one credit card.

Tip #4
Once the first card is paid off, then apply the total amount you were paying each month on that card to your next card. You are now paying the minimum amount due on the second card PLUS the total monthly payment you were paying on the first card.

Continue this process with all your credit cards and other consumer credits.

Tip #5

Once all your credit cards and other consumer debt are paid off, now continue with your car and mortgage payments.

Tips #6
Now that you're completely debt free, take the monthly amount you were paying on your last debt, and put that money towards investment. Build your asset column.

It sounds simple, however it's not easy as it requires a lot of discipline and may be to a certain extent it requires a lifestyle change. I always use this principle of paying off the card with the smallest outstanding balance when I got my bonus and I cut off credit cards too. However, the challenge is to resist other debts and credit cards when your finance are back to black.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


During Ramadhan SH doesn't stop his gym activities. The only difference is he reduced the routine by almost half. Normally, he'd spend 30 mins on treadmill/ X training machine. However, during Ramadhan he'd just do 15 minutes. For the sit-up, instead of doing 3 sets of 15 reps, he'd just do 2 sets, so on and so forth.

SH doesn't believe in taking a break from work out activities during Ramadhan. Somehow, he believes it's the right time to lose more of those belly fat. It's a lot easier to lose weight as he was no longer taking 3 meals a day. The only problem is whatever that he lost during Ramadhan he'd gain it back by the 3rd Syawal! Anyway, SH doesn't have that much of weight problem.

Which gym that he goes to? SH doesn't subscribe to commercial gym outlets outside there. He only goes to his in-house gym in the office. It's very convenient as after bath he could just take the lift up to his office. It's very cheap and it has all the basic facilities that he needs. He likes it a lot as most of the time, he's alone in the gym. SH is normally there at the gym at 6am, not many people can have the discipline of waking up early in the morning, so there you go, SH has the gym to himself. He'd just blast off his favourite fast songs from his mp3 player and kick off!

Want to know how to do simple calculation on your ideal weight? Very easy, just subtract 100 from your height (in centimeter) and that's your ideal weight in kg. For example, my height is 172cm, subtracting 100, it becomes 72. That means, my ideal weight should be 72 kg. Simple right? I use that guide to watch over my weight. The only problem is SH's scale at home is broken and so is the one in the gym!

Until a few months ago, SH jogs a lot and it's a must routine to do treadmill at least 30 mins. These days, he doesn't do treadmill anymore. His knees have started to ache due to the high impact of jogging or the production of glucosamine that is necessary for joint cartilage has reduced! Anyway, instead of treadmill, he does X training. Instead of jogging he does brisk walking! I find that X training is low impact and it's suitable for people who are into hiking activity as the movement is like going up steps. It's just as strenuous as treadmill and by the 10th. minutes, he'd start sweating!

SH also does a lot of weight training in the gym. When he started going to the gym, his intention was to do cardio on treadmill and not much of weight training. However, he read that weight training is very effective in burning belly fat. Studies have found that weight training increased the amount of belly fat burned, not only during exercise, but also 40 minutes after working out! It builds lean muscle tissue that burns belly fat even when you're not working out! After all, since he's going to the gym why not have that muscles as proof!
How to lose weight effectively? No myth about it. However, he doesn't believe exercise alone will help much for working people! How much can we exercise? Two hours a day? That's how long it takes to burn 600-800 calories. The answer lies in the combination of low calorie intake and exercise. When he notices that his weight has increased, he'd diet and reduce calorie intake. Instead of having full serving of rice, he'd ask for half. And he'd take light dinner too! Anyway, dinner is the least important meal of the day!
SH sees some over weight people going to the gym. They have the discipline, but for a short while only, for about 3 weeks. Then he doesn't see them at the gym anymore, like chipsmore biscuits, now you see, now you don't! So another rule to lose weight is to exercise regularly. Make it a habit!
When SH first started taking up exercise seriously, he did his exercise in the evening. Then he found out that he could not form the habit as there were always excuses for not doing it, very tired lah, so many things to do lah, got to join friends for dinner lah, the list goes on. That's why he changed the timing to morning. He's an early riser, always waking up around 4am (he never misses his sahur, Insyaallah) so it makes sense to do his exercise in the morning. So, every Mon, Wed and Fri, he'd leave his house at 5.30am to head to the gym straight way. After his subuh prayer at the gym, he'd put on his gym gear and put on his favourite fast songs of the month and start the exercise!
And by 8.00am, he is ready for breakfast before clocking in to the office at 8.30am!

Monday, August 31, 2009


Last week, SH was on outstation trip to JB. It's a business trip that he needs to do once in two or three months to meet up with his clients located in JB area. He has this love and hate feelings on outstation trip. He loves it as it takes him away from the office pressure for two or three days. He hates it as it's very tiring and the work pressure is still there when clients from KL call for updates on issues!

He always takes the flight to go to JB. However this time around, he decided to drive as he had to include a visit to a client in Pagoh that he had just acquired. So, I left immediately after Subuh armed with an overnight suitcase.

Along the way, after passing Tangkak he was excited as he saw Gunung Ledang from the highway. He pulled over and took this photo. It was only two weeks ago that he climbed Mount Kinabalu and he told himself that he was hanging the hiking shoes until next year. However, he must say that he misses his hiking activity and he just can't wait to resume it after Puasa.

Gunung Ledang from PLUS highway
This is really a mumbo jumbo entry and this blog has become a diary of of all SH's activities instead of hiking activity! Well, what to do, no outdoor activity during puasa month. He still does his exercise though , however it's restricted to gym work outs and he normally halves the routine. Instead of doing 30 mins of treadmill, he'd do 15. Instead of doing 3 sets of 15 sit ups, he'd do 2 sets, so on and so forth.
Anyway, SH finished his appointments early but he was so tired and not really in the mood to buy any 'juadah' for iftar. He decided to have his iftar with fast foods as below. A can of Milo drink, potato chips, chocolate and a bun from Deli France.

As for my dinner, SH went to Tepian Tebrau located near the new Thistle hotel. It's his third time coming to this hawkers centre. The funny thing is he always goes to the same stall, the first stall next to the signboard to have my ikan bakar.

Tepian Tebrau
Yummy ikan bakar and iced longan
And here too that SH discovered baby crab. It's served deep friend coated with flour. Very nice and crunchy. For the first two occasions, he ate it with the company of a friend/boss and this time around he ate alone and he ordered the same serving of baby crab. After having too much of it, he felt as though he was eating 'cekodok' with crab favor. He He He!

Baby crab

Friday, August 28, 2009


One day before Puasa, we went for an office picnic to Hutan Lipur Sungai Tua, Ulu Yam. Located 20 km from Batu Caves, the Hutan Lipur is a beautiful place suitable for weekend picnic. The place is clean and well maintained. The attraction is the stream with its clear cold water. There is also trail for hiking. I didn't go for it due to constraint of time.

We had games in the morning and the limited time in the afternoon after Friday prayers was filled with 'fun in the water' with colleagues.

We passed Batu Dam before reaching the place. All four of us in the car was screaming with joy when we saw the lake. It's beautiful and very scenic. What else, we stopped for photo shots.

Batu Dam - it was early in the morning and it looked misty

Batu Dam - I took this pic using my friend's DSLR cam

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Day 3
I had a good sleep and rest in our private room facing the mountain. The mountain remained a mystery to me. Mid-way through my sleep I woke up realising that the room was getting warmer. The heater was working and I had to remove my jacket and socks. The heater started at 8pm as per the notice in the room.

I woke up at 1am, very excited to resume our journey to the summit. I knew it then that the mountain especially the peak would no longer be a mystery, in just less than 1 hour we will uncover and conquer it! Yes!

We went down to the cafe for our supper. We had to wait for a while before it was served. While waiting we noticed there were a group of Malay guys and girls (we knew they were Singaporeans on the way down from Laban Rata later on) looking ready for the final push too. By the way, I never mentioned in my previous posting on Day 1 & 2, being at Laban Rata especially the cafeteria was like being in a foreign country. It was full of foreigners especially Caucasians of various nationals. I got acquainted to a couple from England (having a trip around Malaysia that included Endau Rompin and Beserah beach), Austrian couple who spoke good English and a Scottish at the peak who was taking a six month leave touring around globe!

The gate opened at 2.30am and we left immediately after supper at around 2.25am. For the final push, we changed the climbing gear, in my case I wore three layers of clothing that included sleeveless singlet, thermal shirt and windbreaker. Not to forget I also put on winter cap with headlamp strapped to my head. Not sure about the weather at that time but it was very cold, it must have been less than 8 degree Celsius.

At first we had to walk up endless wooden staircases until we reached the rock surface that was strapped with big rope as our guide. Since it was dark and we were not familiar with the trail, the rope helped a lot and we never trailed far from it.

The picture below was taken one hour after leaving Laban Rata. It was raining a day earlier, so the trail was wet.

I must say that it was very challenging for me to ascend to the peak as I felt it was very steep and I was panting and had to stop like every 5 minutes. The weather was getting colder and the oxygen was getting thinner. At times, I could hear my heart beating faster pumping oxygen to the rest of my body. And I could also feel that my brain gaping for more oxygen. I was asphyxiated! When that happened, I stopped and asked my climbing buddies who were ahead of me at times to stop and rest. We must have made a lot of stops, even though we were the first to leave the gate but there were like 15 Caucasians overtaking us with their long and consistent pace.

The rope was used as guide only as you can see from the picture below. I didn't use it to climb the rock surface. At this time, I realised what a good pair of hiking shoes were for. Good shoes must have good grip or else the rock surface could be very slippery. From behind I saw a lot of moving lights, they looked like fire flies, these are the other climbers trailing behind us. Half way through I was lucky enough to see a shooting star. It was very fast and I couldn't take out my camera to snap the picture though. The moon looked so bright and beautiful too! Indeed it was going to be a bright day and I thanked Allah the Almighty for that.

We reached the KM8 around 4.45am, 2 hours 15 minutes after leaving Laban Rata. From here onwards, we were already far ahead and no more super fit Caucasians overtaking us. There was another 0.5km to reach the summit and I was getting more and more excited. However, I must say that it was the longest 0.5km ever in my hiking experience!

We made it to the summit at 5.30am, completing the journey within the average of 3 hours. By the time we reached Low's Peak (4095.2m asl), it was full of people who were ahead of us resting with their sleeping bags on. Ciss!! They were really blocking the way for other climbers who reached later to get their picture taken with the summit signboard.
Yes! Yes! Yes! I reached the peak of Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in South East Asia.

We managed to squeeze in amongst the crowd to take picture as proof that we had reached the peak and found good spot as well to wait for sunrise. The sunrise was spectacular and beautiful.

We took picture of some of the other peaks too. The peak that attracted me the most was St. John's peak. It looked like a skull anticipating for more deaths! It looked so scary.

Below is the picture of the peak from another angle. There were still climbers up there at the peak and in fact there were other slower climbers who were reaching the summit then! Congratulations to all! And congratulations to me and my buddies too!

On the way down, what looked so scary and challenging earlier looked a lot easier as the day was getting brighter. While others were rushing back to Laban Rata, we had fun time relaxing and taking more and more pictures.

We made it back to Laban Rata for breakfast at around 8.30am. After having a short rest, we were ready to descend to Timpohon at 10.00am. It took us 3 hours to reach Timpohon gate.

As a summary, we enjoyed the trip, as far as the the climbing is concerned, it was tiring but very satisfying, it gave us a sense of achievement when we reached the top. All five of us reached the summit. All the hiking preparations prior to Kinabalu was worth it. The magnificent view and the cold weather were just perfect!
The question is, what's next? I have no idea as yet. Gunung Tahan is too grueling for me and I can't imagine myself wandering in the jungle for 6 days in a row. I may change my mind though, who knows!!