Sunday, May 31, 2009


Yesterday, while we were at FRIM. I made a promise to my daughter that I'd take her to buy a new book since she has finished reading the last one. And the promise was also meant to motivate her to complete the trekking.

As expected, she bought the third book in the Twilight Saga, Eclipse.

She has finished reading the second book, New Moon. Since it's school holiday and I don't plan to go anywhere for holiday, I hope the book will keep her occupied.

The funny thing is she hasn't read the first book, Twilight, as yet. Since she has seen the movie, so reading the book is no longer a must. Anyway, she may buy it soon as we know it reading the novel is a completely different experience and feel as compared to watching the movie.

As for her Papa, I haven't seen the DVD of the movie as yet. I bought it a month ago and I still don't want to spend the time to watch it. And I wonder what the hype is all about the movie and the book. She watched all Harry Potter's movies but has never been interested to buy the novels. Maybe it's time for to watch it!

Talking about DVD, I think I have around 5 titles that I bought a month ago that I haven't watched as yet.


This is serious already!

All the while, I was wearing my jogging shoes for outdoor activities. Yesterday, while accompanying my children to buy her novel, I stopped over at Bata and bought these shoes. Murah je, since it's at Bata. And it's meant for hiking! Look at the sole! Built for Good grips!

My only hope is for the shoes to last a while, at least 6 months. Otherwise, I may have to invest in a more expensive brand. And with this, I also hope that my hiking trip will not stop after Mt. Kinabalu in August.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


These are some of the pictures taken when I went to FRIM two weeks ago. It was in the afternoon and a very short trip. Half way through, it was raining. As mentioned, I am going there again with my children tomorrow.

It's a nice place for picnic and jogging amidst the tropical rain forest. I don't know, I feel so at peace when I am in the jungle. Maybe it's because the body is discharging all the negative ions and absorbing the positive one provided by the environment?

This is the trek leading to the canopy walkway that was closed for maintenance repair.

It's rather steep but it was only like 100 meters of walking!

This giant "keladi" plant can be seen at the starting point of the trek.

This picture was taken near a "masjid' where I started the jungle trekking!

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Gunung Belumut Oh! Gunung Belumut!

It seems so hard to find directions on how to go there. I am planning to go there on Jun 27, 2009. And until now, I have no idea on how to go there except for the fact it's located in Kluang. That's all that I know! I am not from Johore, so how to go to Kluang, I have no freaking idea! I saw pictures of the place and I like it. And I just can't wait to to see the mossy mountain (that's where it got its name) and Batu Mahkota (Crown Rocks!)

I called the contact numbers that I found on somebody's blog like En. Rosmal of phototrek. He's very helpful. Unfortunately, the contact person can't help me.

And I contacted Abang Syam and Abang Yem (numbers from the net too!). Abang Yem told me that the Hutan Lipur Gunung Belumut (park) is now closed for trekkers and visitors. They are renovating the chalet now! It should be open soon! He asked me to contact him again in mid-June. At least, now I know a little bit on how to go there. From south bound PLUS highway, exit at Ayer hitam. Head down towards Bandar Kluang. From there, go towards Mersing. The park is around 26km from bandar Kluang. I'd depend a lot on signboards!

I was also told that to go there (for camping or just a day trekking), you must write to Jabatan Perhutanan Kluang for permit. It'd take 6 - 8 hours to complete the climb. Just what I need to prepare myself for Mt. Kinabalu!

People say climbing Mt. Kinabalu is not challenging at all, it's about walking, walking and walking! I don't want to underestimate it, it's about endurance and the cold weather could be very challenging!

I'll definitely write some more about Gunung Belumut!

In the meantime, Gunung Angsi, Here I come..... June 6, 2009!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I went up to Bukit Tabur, it's the second time this year. This time around, I am taking my eldest son with me. I was leading our colleagues, for some of them, it's their first hiking activity after so many years! There were 13 of us.

Bukit Tabur is located behind Taman Melawati, near a dam of SYABAS. It doesn't sound familiar? How about Bukit Melawati at Taman Melawati? The place where two paediatricians died? Yes... that's the one.

How to go there?

We are using MRR2 Highway and exit at Taman Melawati. From there, we passed BHP Petrol and shop houses and reached a roundabout. We took 3 o'clock turn and drove through until we reached another round about. Here, we took 12 o'clock turn. when we reached a T-Junction, we turned to the right and another right turn immediately after that. We passed behind some house and big bungalows on the left until we reached the gate to the dam. We gathered there!

The Treks

We started climbing at 8.00am. At the the beginning, the slope is steep and we passed typical rain forest area but it's not very thick. A few of us were already complaining saying it's too steep and they were not prepared for this outdoor activity.

There'd be a little bit of rock climbing. It could be dangerous, so be very careful. It's not advisable for children below 13 years old.

8 of us reached Peak 9, our target. The final challenge was going up through the rope to go back to Peak 9. Had to help the two ladies in our group to go up. We all enjoyed the trip, of course.
It took us slightly more than 3 hours to complete the climb up & down. Luckily, it was a cloudy day, it wasn't that hot at all. For me and my son, we finished 1.5 liters of isotonic drinks.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Located in Rembau, it's one of the highest mountains in Negeri Sembilan. It's 880 meters above sea level. Some people will not even call it a mountain. According to history, it's here in the 18th century that Penghulu Rembau signed a pact to join forces against the Dutch.

1. Use KL-Seremban highway heading south towards Melaka.
2. Exit at Pedas Linggi (Exit 223).
3. After paying the toll, drive towards a T-Junction and turn left.
4. Drive along the road until reaching a roundabout, take a 3 o'clock turn.
5. Drive along until you reach a T-junction with traffic lights, turn to the right, you will pass a set of traffic lights and be on the look out of the signboard of Hutan Lipur Gunung Datuk.
6. Hutan Lipur Gunung Datuk is on the left side of the road.


Before starting your climb, you need to pay the fee of RM1 to the ranger/caretaker at a makeshift counter. It's a popular spot, you can expect to see 50 - 70 people on a weekend. Be there early or else you will not find parking spot!

The treks are challenging with steep slope almost all the way up, with occasional flat stretches. To those with weak knees, coming down is very challenging. Hiking stick will help.

You can do your pit stop as and when you like it. As the forest is thick you don't feel the scorching sun above you. A liter of drinking water or isotonic drink will definitely help. Don't forget to bring small towel, it'll be very handy to wipe off your sweats. You'll be sweating a lot!

The peak is just rocks! And you need to do a little bit of rock climbing! Don't worry as you can see, metal steps are already there to help you to ascend to the peak! The view from the peak is breathtaking. Even though, no tall trees to cover the sunlight, you don't feel it at all. It's cooling as the cold sweeps through every now and then. it'd remind you of some other highlands!

This is the place for you to have your snack, in may case, an energy bar! of course, please avoid to litter the place. It's sad when I see disused mineral bottles here and there! The trip to the peak is all worth it. You'd forget the price (tough climbing) that you paid instantly!

On a clear day, you can even see Straits of Melaka from here! We didn't see it, of course!

What are you doing with your EPF funds? Why?

This was the Question of the Month in Issue #93 of Personal Money Magazine. And below were the letters published:

Best Letters #1, Quah Su Boon. Selangor
My first priority has always been to reduce my home loan as soon as possible. I applied for monthly withdrawals from Account 2 to reduce my flexi home loan. In doing so, I am on track to reducing my loan tenure from 30 years to less than 10 years. In addition, I made use of some of the Quarterly Withdrawal Option from Account 1 to invest based on the ringgit cost-averaging concept in the middle of last year. I selected equity funds as most battered down 20% to 30% and it was an opportunity to accumulate on recovery in the next three to five years!

Best Letters #2, Tarzo, Selangor
Nothing. Although there several withdrawal options available, I do not intend to take advantage of them. The EPF money shall form the cash portion of my retirement portfolio as it gives better returns than fixed-deposit rates, yet has lower risks. Funds held in the EPF account are risk-free as they are government guarantee while bank deposits are only guaranteed up to RMN60K by Perbadanan Insuranse Depost Malaysia (note: the mini budget has lifted the ceiling amount until end-2010). Once you withdraw any amount from EPF, you annot “re-deposit” it.

Letter 3, Hew Foo Lim, Pulau Pinang
The EPF is currently the main source of retirement income for Malaysians. How can we enhance our EPF funds, apart from the dividends (averaging 5%) that EPF pays annually? I have been withdrawing from Account 1 to invest in unit trusts, which is the most ideal investment instrument to generate potential higher returns in the long term. I practice dollar cost averaging as I withdraw the money quarterly to invest with reputable fund houses.

The question remains, so what do I do with my EPF money? With so many advices and tips around, how do I make the choices? Most importantly, set your objective, know your risk profile and equip yourselves with the basic financial knowledge, and make your own decision!

The question remains, so what do I do with my EPF money? With so many advices and tips around, how do I make the choices? Most importantly, set your objective, know your risk profile and equip yourselves with the basic financial knowledge, and make your own decision!