Wednesday, June 2, 2010


بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِي

Three words that sum up my Gunung Tahan experience. I Made It!

How did I make it? That's another story and the diary entries on my experience will shed some lights on the how!

May 27

After packing up everything in the backpack, we left for KL Sentral to meet with the others and to board the train to Merapoh that was scheduled to leave at 8.35pm.

The road was jammed as it was the peak time for people to leave their office. Nevertheless, we made it to the station at 7.30pm, enough time for us to have our dinner at the food court.

We lined up our backpacks near KFC

The train was delayed by half hour. We were all booked in 2nd class coach with sleeping berth. I chose the lower deck as I didn't think I could sleep at the upper deck. For this trip, I really had to have a good rest, especially so I wasn't fully recovered yet from my fever. I popped in panadol and piriton to help me to sleep and have a good rest.

May 28

The train reached Merapoh station at 8.30am. Everybody was excited and started snapping pictures the moment we saw Merapoh signboard. I believe everybody wanted to document their trip. I was told it's everyone's first trip to Gunung Tahan.

Breakfast was a simple nasi kerabu yet delicious!
Our guide and 4WD driver were already there waiting for us while we had our breakfast. There were two 4WDs for 16 of us. It was a short 7 minutes ride to Taman Negara Pahang office. Here we had to wait until 11am for the officer to settle our registration and for him to inspect our stuffs. We had to lay down on the floor all the stuffs from the backpack for him to inspect. Items that they were particular about including bottled drinks, plastic wrapped food items, batteries, cooking gas and clothing items.
My items were on the floor for the inspection

There were 16 of us including 2 ladies. Both ladies and another 3 guys were going for 9D challenge. As for 11 of us, we were going for 4D challenge, Merapoh - Summit - Merapoh. It's going to be 64km return trip of hilly terrains, steep slopes, river crossings and muddy trails! I guess everyone was ready for it. As for me, I was ready too, all the hiking trips for the past two years had already prepared me for this trip.
After the administrative matters were over, we were taken to the starting point by 4WD. It was a roller coaster ride through bumpy and hilly narrow road for about 17 minutes. On the first day of hiking, we were scheduled to camp at Kem Kor (750 meter asl), 13 km away from the starting point. There were two check points, Kuala Luis and Lata Luis.
Here I had the first taste of my heavy backpack of at least 15 kgs of rations, clothes and tent. I felt as though someone was strangling me from the back and it was so constricting. A buff that I used to wrap around my neck was such a heavy item too and I had to wear it on my hand instead. The 13km trekking seemed to take almost forever and the heavy backpack had really slowed me down.
We had to cross over the river four times and thank God, the water lever was up to 3 feet high only. I was told that the water level could be as high as 5 feet and it's there on video on You Tube! After crossing smaller river for another 3 times, we finally reached Kem Kor at around 5.30pm. That means it took us 5 hours. That's the average time allocated to reach Kem Kor. And of course, there were a few of us who made it in just 3 hours including the two iron ladies! Boy, they were fast!

The last river crossing

After resting for a few minutes, we quickly set our tent and prepared the dinner. Dinner was rice and chicken curry. After dinner, I popped in panadol and piriton again. I was really hooked onto the pills during my trip as that was the only way for me to have a good rest. Otherwise, I may end up having sleepless nights and and didn't have enough rest. For any camping trip that I have been, I could only sleep for less than 3 hours.
I also learned a few days later that another two hikers were also having similar problems and I had to share the pills with them.

I woke at 3am and managed to sleep again until 5.20am when I heard azan prayers. A group of students reached back Kem Kor from the summit the night before and I didn't notice it at all. I was told that they reached Kem Kor around 9pm! I took the opportunity to join them for subuh prayers.

May 29
By 7.30am the next day, we had to leave for even bigger challenges, going from 750 meter asl ascending to 1,943 meter asl.
Here at Kem Kor, we were advised to leave behind rations and some clothing items that we don't need for the next one night. It helped to reduce the wight of our back pack. As for me, I felt it was just as heavy as there weren't that many items that I left behind!

To be continued for Day 2, 3 and 4!


DrSam said...

very interesting trip this time, with load more of adventure.


Hi, u have very lovely pictures taken. I was wondering, can I copy a few of these pix as I'm a travel agent I would like to put the pictures in my Gunung Tahan photo album for my package rates.




hi, i like the pictures taken and I was wondering whether I could copy a few of the pix for my company album on Gunung Tahan?
I'm a travel agent actually, and currently just added Gunung Tahan hiking to my list.