Friday, December 31, 2010

Sg. Chilling Waterfall - Misadventure & Beautiful Moments

Sg Chilling Fish Sanctuary

Located about 105km from Shah Alam, Sg. Chilling Fish Sanctuary is a popular picnic spot during weekends.  From Kuala Kubu Bharu, we had to drive towards Fraser's Hill passing Sungai Selangor Dam.  The entrance is located on the right side of the road about 200 meters after the dam.  It's hard to miss it especially if you reach there after 9am.  This is the only stretch before the exit to Fraser's Hill where there are a lot of cars lining up the left side of the road.  
My story
There were 5 of us including my son who was the official photographer for this trip. 

We reached the campsite early, at around 9am.  There were already tents being put up everywhere by overnight campers! 

We were told that we didn't have to wait for the caretaker to pay for the trekking permit to the waterfall.  So, we simply went ahead with our jungle trekking 15 minutes later.  We paid for the permit when we came back to the campsite. 

We had to cross the same river 6 times to reach the waterfall area and the first one was by using the suspension bridge.

My son was carrying our backpack that was half filled with tent, clothes for change and camera. And I carried the day pack that was filled with snacks, fruits, chocolate and nuts.

It was raining heavily the night before and it rained again a few minutes after we left Shah Alam.  So the water was not that clear.  However, it was so cold, it's chilling!

Due to the rain the trails heading to the waterfall was filled with water and it looked more like small stream.  

We missed the trail, instead of heading to the waterfall, we ended up on a hill in a middle of no where. It was a pleasant misadventure though as the surrounding view was stunning.  We spent about one hour getting lost and finding our way back.  We were told by the caretaker that the trails were the alternative route to Bukit Kutu.  Perhaps we will go to Bukit Kutu again using this trail!

Using the right trails later on, we met our friends from Port Dickson and Seremban mid way through.  The trail was quite flat after all with a few steep terrains that didn't pose any challenge at all. 

Over an hour later and after crossing the same river 6 times, we reached the waterfall area. It was a stunning view, with the water gushing down over two levels.  It could be 20 feet high! And the water at the bottom of the waterfall could be 7 - 8 feet deep!  Like the rest of the picnickers, I took the opportunity to jump into the water and I didn't get to reach to the bottom!   

The sanctuary is a protected area for kelah fish.  Over the years, the population of the fish has grown and the size of the fish has also grown.  Here at the waterfall, we could play along with 6 -8 inches long kelah fish.  There were so many of them.  It was such a nice feeling swimming and playing along with the fish.  Feeding the fish is prohibited and that didn't stop some people from doing that! 

We spent about one hour enjoying the beauty of the waterfall and playing in the water while taking a break enjoying our snacks as lunch every now and then.  When it was time for me to get back into the water I couldn't do it!  Oh God, I got my slip disc back and I could hardly stand straight due to the pain.  We had to cut short the trip and made our way back to the campsite immediately.  And I had to grab whatever stick that was close to me to use as my walking stick!  Luckily the pain was bearable. 

Upon reaching the campsite, while my friends continued to dip into the water and cleaning themselves up, I was busy doing my physio work-outs.   It helped slightly and gave me the confidence to drive back home. 

Six days have passed since the incident and I feel so much better now.  I thought of seeing my Orthopaedic again but I didn't as I don't want to go through the long physio sessions at the hospital.   

My son who also enjoyed himself during the trip is planning to go there again with his friends.  And  I don't dare to leave them by themselves.  Therefore, I am going there again this week!  I don't mind it all I am okay now and I really like the place! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

BUKIT KUTU - Lost & Rescued

Bukit Kutu
Bukit Kutu is located in Kuala Kubu Bahru and I must say it is an interesting place. Although it's called a “bukit” (hill), peaked at 3456 feet above sea level, it can be classified as a mountain. In fact, based on the challenging trails, I refuse to call it a hill.  The aborigines in the area called it Bukit Sekutu. It was renamed Treachers’s Hill by the British.  They built a bungalow complete with a cart rail to reach the peak.  Later on, a sanatorium was also built.  I was told that the place was bombed during the Japanese occupation.  These days the mountain is popularly known as Bukit Kutu instead! Or better still; Gunung Kutu.

How to get there
It's quite easy.  From Kuala Kubu town, head down to Fraser's Hill.  We passed Empangan Selangor and immediately after the bridge, we turned to the right at Kg. Pertak, it's a settlement village for the aborigines.  From far the village looks like a resort!

The Trails
We underestimated the trails, just because the name is a hill and a bungalow was built at the peak, we thought how tough could it be?  We were wrong, we all agreed it's rather tough with steep trails almost all the way up.  The trails could be confusing at certain stretches, therefore it's advisable for first timers to have experienced hiker along.

It took us approximately 1 hour 30  minutes from the last stream to reach the most popular check point before reaching the peak.  It's the gigantic rock formation that provides shelter to hikers.  I was awed by the sheer size of the rock.  With the top of the rock formation jutting out from its base, it must have looked like a mushroom from a bird's eye view!

From this check point it took us almost 1 hour to reach the peak after passing through some 'bamboo traps' and some slippery trails. The hill is not that high so there is not much change in temperature!  It's slightly cooler at the peak!

My Story
I have been wanting to go to Gunung Kutu for quite some times and the last time I was supposed to go there I had to cancel it at the last minute due to health problem.

I heard that the trails can be confusing at certain stretches so when I planned to do it again, I prefer not to venture out on my own.  I asked around from my fellow hikers in Facebook and my friend Lucas agreed to lead us there. 

There were supposed to be seven of us but only 5 turned up on the event day.  Four of us left in two separate cars from Shah Alam and stopped over for prayers and breakfast at Rawang R&R.  Breakfast was home cooked Nasi Lemak prepared by Azinda.  Thank you, and I really enjoyed it.  We met Lucas in Kuala Kubu Bahru town at 7.15am.  

It's Lucas' second trip to Bukit Kutu and when he was there the first time, the group got lost and couldn't find the trails to the peak.  I really couldn't blame Lucas when he was lost again with us!  We spent almost two hours looking for the right trails.  

At one time his leg got caught in the trap being put by the aborigines for fowls, was it meant for wild boar instead?   Luckily he wasn't injured!

We almost gave up and wanted to change the location to Sg. Chilling waterfalls nearby instead. 

However, when we were ready to make the move we saw a big group of recruits from Fire & Rescue Department heading to the peak.  After exchanging greetings, we took the opportunity to join them.  Thank you, they didn't know it but they rescued us!

Gunung Kutu, unlike its name, you'd never see lice there.  However there were 'dancing queens' and they were were everywhere.   Each one of us got at least 5 bites from these leeches! 

We reached the peak 2 hours 45 minutes later.  I must say this is one of the most satisfying hiking trip ever and intriguing too!  I wanted to know more about the place and I searched for more info in the web about this hill.  I even went into the website of Arkib Negara to look for more info! 

We spent almost 1 hour at the peak and to those who are not acrophobic, they can go up to the top of the rock and have a stunning 360 degrees view of the surroundings including Selangor Dam.  Be careful, the big rock is not that stable and at any one time it can accommodate up to two people only!

We were ready to leave when suddenly we met Ah Fatt, a fellow hiker that I met at at Gunung Besar Hantu.  He led us to what he said a fortress which was 15 minutes away from the peak.  However, I believe it was a sanatorium. Thank you Ah Fatt, this was really the icing on the cake, we enjoyed the historical ruins of the sanatorium.

As a summary, I really enjoyed the trip, it was challenging and tough (I still have my slip disc!) but it was worth the effort.  I don't mind to go up there again and when I go I know what to expect.  As it was, we underestimated the 'hill'!  

Sunday, December 12, 2010


I was in Penang two weeks ago and I must say that I enjoyed the trip.  Top in my list, I enjoyed the food, mamak food at Line Clear, hawkers' food at Gurney Drive and Batu Ferringhi!  I can't forget the steamed calamari with dipping at Gurney Drive and mixed fruit pancake at Batu Ferringhi.  Other than the foods, I enjoyed the only hiking activity that I did there.

I took the opportunity to go to Penang National Park, located in Teluk Bahang, about 4 km from Batu Feringghi.  It's the smallest national park in the world covering an area of 9.9 square miles and it boasts a 
collection of habitats not found in other national parks in Malaysia: meromictic lake, wetlands, mangroves, mudflats, coral reefs and turtle nesting beaches! 
There are eight beaches in the park and due to the fact that they are not easily accessible,  these are some of the beautiful beaches in Penang.  Most of the beaches can only be accessed via hiking for about 1 hour or so or via boat from the park's management office. There is no admission fee to the park.  However, you have to pay RM5 if you opt for the canopy walk. 

I planned to go to both destinations in the park; Muka Head (with light house and beaches as attractions) and Pantai Kerachut on the other side (with meromictic lake and other beautiful beaches as attractions).  However, due to the weather condition, I managed to go to Pantai Kerachut only!  Even then, we had to rent boat to go back.  True enough, it started raining when we reached the park's management office.  

The boat ride was an experience by itself and the friendly boat operator showed us around and pointed to rock formations in the form of turtle and crocodile head! It cost us RM80 per boat for 15 - 20 minutes ride. 

This is the starting point for any hiking activity in the park. 
This is the view of fisherman's jetty located next to the entrance of the park.  The boat ride ends here and if you're lucky you can see the catch of the day by the fishermen!   

We came across small waterfalls in the park, on the way to Pantai Kerachut.  We were advised not to drink the water here just in case it was contaminated.

The bridge connecting the trail area to the beach with meromictic lake running beneath it.

Meromictic lake was the highlight of the trip. It's my first time seeing meromictic lake. There are not many of such places in the world. In Asia, it is only here in Penang and in Palau! It's called meromictic because both fresh water from the river and salt water from the sea do not mix. The low density of fresh waters layers the top of the high density of salt water.

The fresh water from the meromictic lake goes into the sea here at Pantai Kerachut.  it's one of the beautiful beaches in Penang. I don't fancy the idea of swimming at Ferringghi beach.  But not here!  It's crazy to miss it.  I was not prepared to come here for swimming.  What the heck, I went in with my hiking pant!  I had to cut short the trip as it was about to rain.  I missed the canopy walk on the other side of the park; of which I had bought the ticket earlier.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed the hiking experience at Penang National Park.    I'll definitely come back!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


We had the company's annual dinner last Saturday.  I must say I enjoyed the shows being put up by the organiser.  Instead of paying professional singers to entertain us, the organiser chose to have a talent time show with participation from the employees.

I participated in the talent time contest as a friend/colleague asked me to join his group.  Originally we were supposed to sing a medley of two or three songs that include a song by Radiohead and Muse.  However, before we even turned up for the practice, my friend had a better idea.  Why not we play snippets of songs that use up to 4 chords only!  With that concept, we ended up choosing the final selection of 22 song snippets.  They include songs from Journey, John Denver, 3am, Muse, Lighthouse Family, Elton John, U2, Michael Jackson, etc! 

It was tough memorising the sequence and the lyrics and we turned up for the audition with lyric sheets in hand.  We were lucky as the management team selected all 7 groups to advance for the final during the annual dinner! 

Small Hiker on stage with his colleagues!

As history had it, we were the 2nd runner up winners that walked away with RM2,000 cash for 4 of us.  I had an enjoyable time performing for my fellow colleagues and I knew they were cheering us up and gave us standing ovation!

After the dinner show, I didn't wait that long as I needed to rest for the next day's hiking at Angsi via Bukit Putus.  And as I promised I met my fellow hikers the next day at the foot of Mount Angsi. 

I must have been tired from the excitement of the annual dinner as I felt exhausted going up the easy mountain.  This is the mountain that I'd choose to climb if I want to have a retreat but today I felt it was rather challenging.  Nevertheless, we reached the peak within 2 hours. 

On the way up, we were lucky to see this scorpion and all of us took the pic for our own collection! 

I was wearing a new t-shirt that I bought from John, the pathfinder!  And I still owe him the money!  I like the t-shirt as it's dry fit, suitable for hiking activity.

On the way back, we stopped over at the nearby orchard cum restaurant to have our cold drink.  As for me, my favourite at this restaurant was ambarella juice.  It had slightly bitter taste mixed with the sour taste from dried plum (asam boi). I enjoyed the drink!   

And we left immediately after.  As for me, late lunch was waiting for me at home! 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reading Habit - The Lost Symbol

Phew!  It took me such a along time to finish reading the novel.  It's a very fascinating read but then I always have other distractions, most notably going online.  Unlike a close colleague, she can finish a book in just one night!

I am known as an insomniac, the other end of insomniac, I wake up very early in the morning and never go back to sleep until the next evening.  Just imagine, I am already awake at 2am and never go back to sleep the whole day and by 7pm, I'd really get sleepy and it's so common for me to sleep at around 9pm!  And then, I'd sleep for about 4 hours and the biology clock wakes me up automatically!  Therefore, it's not unusual for me to sleep during day time over the weekends!  It's payback time.  I have my ideal weekend when I exercise in the morning, to be followed with 3 - 4 hours of sleep!

Reading is a very good 'sleeping pill' and I always go back to sleep after reading something for about 1 hour.  The novel did that for me at one time and I felt so good when I wake up in the morning, it was  already 5.30am.  However, the same trick didn't work at one time too, I got so engrossed with the reading and I did it from 2am until 5am, non-stop.  It's okay I guess as I don't read Dan Brown's novel all the times!

As we are coming to the year end soon, I must say that I don't reach my target of reading 8 books this year.  I'd end up with 3 books maybe.  I am now reading a book on Coaching.  It's related to my work as we're going to transform the company towards embracing he coaching culture from next year onwards.  It's also part of my preparation towards becoming a coach!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve - The Trip

As planned, we went for jungle trekking at Ayer hitam Forest Reserve yesterday.  There were ten of us including John.  Missing was Azinda, who really wanted to join but was sick on that day!  Perhaps next time! 

We met at Giant Bandar Puteri at around 7.45am.  When I reached there, the early birds were already chirping away and having their worms!  We had to wait for others but not long as the last car came in soon after that.  We drove in convoy to Taman Wawasan,a 7 minutes drive away.

We started trekking at 7.50am and reached the first checkpoint 30 minutes later.  There were 10 of us and I guessed they were very fit, when we reached the first checkpoint, they were not there, very much ahead of us! By the time we reached the 2nd checkpoint, we had trekked for more than 1.5hours. 

At the second checkpoint, we had to decide whether to go to the pool that was 45 minutes away or to complete the round trip back to the starting point.  We decided to go to the pool.  And it was all worth it.  For the first timers, they realised there was still such a place in KL area.   

We stopped here to enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the surrounding area.  It's beautiful and made the trip well worth it.  I always enjoy feeding the fish here and it was therapeutic looking at the fish feeding on my sandwich bread.   

Darah manis!  dancing queen's bite!

Someone testing his waterproof camera!

We left the pool area 40 minutes later feeling satisfied.  I believe if we skipped the pool, some of them may not return to this area for jungle trekking anymore as there was really nothing to look forward to!

We completed the trip within 4 hours.  After resting a while under a shade, we left separately feeling satisfied.  As for me, I'll definitely come back to this area for my hiking activity as it's so close to home. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I think I have fully recovered from my long fever.  When I first got the fever about two weeks ago I was given antibiotic as I also had sore throat.  I didn't take it as I thought it was too early to be on antibiotic.  And when I went to see the doctor again three days after that I was lying to the doctor telling him that I had taken all the medicines.  In fact, I took it just for one day and I thought my fever was gone but I was wrong it came back the next day.  The doctor gave me antibiotic again.  Just like the first time, I didn't take the antibiotic. 

Last week I went to another clinic near the office and this time I asked for antibiotic.  Now I'm taking it for 4 days already and I feel so much better.  I hope I'd not get the temperature again.  Why didn't I take the antibiotic when I got it the first time? How about the second time?  I got the excuse for the first time as my sore throat wasn't that bad and I ran out of excuses when it happened for the second time!  I guess I got tired of taking medicines!

Due to my fever, I missed the chance of leading my colleagues for their hiking trip to Bukit Gasing on Deepavali day.  I cancelled it one day before and I don't think they'd have problem in finding the place and there'd always be big crowd there, they wouldn't get lost as well!

I really felt better today, so early in the morning I went to the park near my house and did my brisk walking. I felt good but at the same time weary as I could feel the temperature was coming back.  I simply ignored it. 

So this week, if everything goes as planned, I'll be taking my group to Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve in Puchong.  The last time I went up hiking there with a friend, we were shown a notice that the forest reserve was a restricted area and RM10,000 will fined for trespassing.  Prior to inviting my friends to join me there I did my recce and found that people went up there again!  And from the news, I read that the state government has gazetted the area as education and forest research area.  Amongst the reason why people are not allowed to go up was they tend to mess up with the research being conducted there where the trees were labelled and special parameters were erected! 

I hope I will not disappoint the group and we will be free to go up!  Insyaallah!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Orienteering - Birthday

This is a report on the orienteering that I attended on my birthday.  First of all, I knew it'd fall on my birthday but knowing how I celebrated all my previous birthdays, I'd like to do something different.  Not much different though except I was away on my birthday.  I liked it despite the displeasure shown by wife!
We left in two cars from the office on Friday afternoon at around 2.30pm.  The road was clear but it rained after we exited PLUS highway.  There was a stretch along the Simpang Pulai - Cameron Highlands road where it was very foggy especially after rain.  It's no difference this time around and I really had to be careful.  I was telling my colleagues wherever possible I'd speed as I'd need to slow down most of the time to tail other cars!

We met our colleagues from the other car around 8.00pm at Brinchang's pasar malam. I and several others decided to go vege for our dinner.  Therefore the dinner was fried kimcan (day lily's buds), grilled corn, steamed sweet potatoes, sweet potato balls and not to forget strawberry ice cream for RM1, the best we ever tasted for that price!  We cut short the shopping at the pasar malam as it started to pour again.

We reached the apartment an hour later.  Thank you to another colleague for arranging the accommodation as it's a lot safer, comfortable and not to forget it's affordable too (nak sembahyang pun senang!).  For six of us, we had to fork out for RM25 only for.  After short pleasantries and teasing other colleagues, I retired at around 11.30pm after popping in n pills for my fever.  I woke up 2 hours later when my HP rang.  I didn't pick it up but I found out the next morning it was John who called and asked us to be at Parit Falls at 7am the next morning. 

We were ready by 6am and with a lot of grumbles we left for Parit Falls nearby at around 7am.  Much to our displeasure, John wasn't there and we were told that it'd only start at 9am.  Since most of us didn't have breakfast, we left for Tanah Rata for breakfast.  We had roti canai and nasi lemak there.  When we came back at around 8.30am, no participants had arrived, except us.  And we really had to wait for another 1.5 hours for the event to start.  People who were punctual like us were punished and had to wait a long time as the organiser delayed the event to 10am!

Yup, the pic above was me pointing to the date, 30 October, 2010.  It's my birthday that day!

We were in the second group that was flagged off at 10.25am.  Right from the beginning, we didn't plan to win.  I personally decided to participate as I wanted to learn to read compass and of course to support the activities of our friend, John.  However, we did plan to enjoy the trip regardless!
In the end I didn't use the new compass as the direction in the map was already sufficient, starting from the gate of Parit Fall campsite.  The other participants were really for it and dashed off immediately after the flag off including our younger male colleagues.  We had to keep up with them and finally we decided not to tail them.  We decided to venture out on our own and stopped over at strawberry farm operated by a Malay entrepreneur. We tasted their strawberry jam, fresh strawberry coated with chocolate fondue and more strawberry ice cream! 

It didn't stop there.  We went to their vegetable plantation and asked the helper to pluck fresh cabbage, English gourd, buah cinta and lettuce! I will never miss buying buah cinta (don't know the English name, is it tomarello?) and this time around I got it for free.  I plucked it myself!  I believe it's from brinjal family as the tree has some similarities!  We reached back the starting point at 12noon, one hour earlier!  We didn't wait for the lunch and left 2 hours later to the fruit and vege market!  More shopping to do!

On the way to the market, we stopped at the roadside to eat Cameron's durian.  Five us had two durians, it wasn't really a great taste.  Since it's off season, therefore it's quite expensive as well.   And we noticed that the durian was cold, as though it was refrigerated.  Welcome to Cameron Highlands! A place of temperate weather in the tropic!
As planned we had fun, having free & easy activities, much different from the usual weekend hiking trips.  I was tired yet satisfied when I reached home later!

Next activity is jungle trekking at Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve in Puchong.  I can't wait for this as i haven't been there for almost a year!