Thursday, September 17, 2009


Assalamualaikum wbt.

Wish you all a happy Hari Raya. Maaf Zahir Batin. To all road users, drive carefully and be tolerant.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Bingka ubi vs Kuih Jagung
From Tasik Banding I drove all the way to Kuala Kangsar...still have no idea where to stay that night. We reach KK around 4.30pm and made a tour around the town to find hotel. Wow, Kuala Kangsar is a very nice and beautiful town. No's a royal town. We found a hotel in the middle of the town but didn't feel really comfortable to stay there. Then we found a homestay signboard but unfortunately both of the houses were fully booked. Lastly, we found a rest house and made an enquiry. They offered a very low rate i.e. RM150 for a triple deluxe room (1 queen size and 1 single bed) but they asked us whether to look at the room first and I agreed. Soon after I entered the room...I immediately confirmed because the room was very big..I think can squeeze 10 persons inside. They also offered buffet package for 'berbuka puasa' at RM12 per pax which we took since we felt tired enough to look for place to break our fast at that time. Soon after I found my bed, I landed my body and my sored eyes immediately shut. I woke up just before Maghrib and went straight to the cafeteria. Well, the food was good enough for it's price. After maghrib I continued sleeping until sahur time.
View from the KK Rest House... where we can see the Sayong bridge.
At 4.30am, Nazir woke me up for sahur. We hadn't decided where to take our sahur, so, we just gambled. I drove the van to find a place to eat early in the morning in a town that is dead at night. We're not sure of our luck. Lucky enough we found a stall. After subuh, we continued sleeping.
At around 10.00am we checked out from the rest house and still blur where to go. Some of us suggested to visit the museum!!!...haha. I finally decided to go to Taiping (about 20km from KK) since I've not been there for long. Faizol and Had also attended their secondary school there. In my mind I can only think of Bukit Larut(Maxwell Hill) and Taman Tasik in Taiping. SO, we went straight to Bukit Larut. Actually, I've been to Bukit Larut during my secondary school for a trip (for history subject) to Kuala Kangsar and Taiping but I almost forgot about everything of Bukit Larut.
To go up the hill, we cannot use our own vehicle eventhough there is a road leading straight up (about 10km). SO, we have to pay RM6 for a return ticket of a 4WD provided by the authority. But, the next trip is at 2pm. We still have an hour to kill. So, we just made a tour at the Taman Tasik.
Down the memory lane.
We have to park our car here. We can walk up the hill or pay RM6 for a return fare.
Buy your return ticket at the left hand side building.
At 3.45pm, we were already at the Bukit Larut...waiting for our trip. The journey up the hill was quite challenging. That's why they don't allow public to use their own vehicle. There are too many sharp and steep bends along the way and the gradient is almost 45%-60%...I guess. Normal car will not have the power to climb. Along the way we can see a lot of people especially Chinese were jogging and there are a lot of resting places. The view at the top was very nice and the weather was very clear on that day. SO, we can see clearly the Taiping town from above. One thing I was wondering, why they call it a hill since I think it deserves to be called a mountain because it is 1036m above sea level. Maybe I don't know what's the criteria to be a mountain but it is very high...higher than Mount Datuk at Negeri Sembilan.
4pm, we went down and headed straight back to Melaka and stopped at Tg. Malim to break our fast.
The 4WD used to climb the hill. A lot of steep and sharp bends. No wonder own vehicle is not allowe.
At 1036 m, I think it deserves to be called a mountain...Mount Larut, not a hill.
View of Taiping town from the hilltop...(not really the hilltop...almost). The weather was so wonderful that day.
Fasting faces of 'The Underestimates'. ..tired but lucky.

1. Bingka ubi jangan disangka kuih jagung.
2. Kalau dah ada rezeki tertulis kat tempat tu, suatu hari kita pasti akan kembali.
3. Fasting never stop us from doing the unexpected.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tasik Banding & Belum Valley: The Story of Langsat

Assalamualaikum and Happy fasting to all fellow muslims.

Last weekend, I had the chance to do some surveys for places to conduct a few upcoming student programs. Actually, I ran out of ideas of places to conduct those programs especially the coming SRC Induction Camp. It was like a burden for me to think about the suitable place to make the program more interesting. Furthermore, I have some good ideas or concept of activities for the program that need a suitable place for it to be implemented. So, I need to go for recce eventhough it is in the month of Ramadhan. I still remember, I was in Cameron Highlands doing the same thing last year in Ramadhan.

I was supposed to go to Pulau Pangkor since SRC had decided to conduct the program there. But, I was quite familiar with Pangkor and I think it is not a suitable place for my new concept. So, Pangkor is my last resort destination this time. Eventually, due to health problem (i.e. acute conjunctivitis, according to the doctor), I did not go to Pangkor. Instead, we went to Tasik Banding.

At first, only Faizol, Azmir and I agreed to go but two other new members i.e. Had and Nazir accepted our invitation. As usual, The Underestimate never prepare for their, the victim this time were none other than Had and Nazir...hehe. We departed form MMU at around 11pm but we stopped at Xtreme Gear ( at Cheng to pick some camping equipments. We planned to stop at Sg. Perak for sahur but due to sleepiness, we stopped at Tapah R&R. After sahur and Fajr prayer, we proceed to Tasik Banding. We took the Kuala Kangsar & Gerik exit. Tasik Banding is about 150 km away from the toll. Anyway, the road leading to Tasik Banding is very straight forward. We just follow the Gerik direction and after reaching Gerik, just follow Banding direction. The view was very beautiful in the morning. Unfortunately, our cameraman was so busy sleeping to have the chance to capture this wonderful view...hehe.

Do you know what's the different between Tasik Banding, Royal Belum and Belum Valley? I also didn't know. The journey was felt very long until we reached Belum Rainforest Resort. Here, we thought we're lost already. But, we proceed until we saw the bridge that becomes the landmark for Tasik Banding. It was around 9.00am. The boat operators were still not operating. There were not many people there at that time and we didn't feel like to ask due to sleepiness. I jusat wandering arounfd the jetty to look for some information about Belum. There was a big signboard about Royal Belum at the jetty. It's stated there that Royal Belum had been gazetted as State Park and is just 1 km away from the jetty. A few minutes later, one boat came and took a family of two to somewhere across the lake. And then, a few more boats came. I asked one of the pakcik about some information about Belum. He said that the lake infront of us is the Tasik Banding(Banding Lake). Royal Belum and Lembah Belum are located there.However, to go Royal Belum, one has to get a permit first from the authority. Unfortunately, it was Saturday and the office was, we couldn't go. However, he said we can still go to Lembah Belum (Belum Valley) which has not been gazetted yet but still has a lot to offer to the visitors.

The landmark bridge at Tasik Banding
Some info about Royal Belum

I asked about the package offered to go to Lembah Belum and the price as well. He quoted RM300 per boat (can accommodate 7-8 people) for 5 hour tour around Tasik Banding and Lembah Belum. I nego with him and he agreed to charge us RM250. Among the activities offered inside the package are viewing rafflesia flower, visit to orang asli (aborigines) village, viewing a unique insect called ketombak (hopefully it's correct) and visit to waterfall. I didn't take the visit orang asli package since all of us are already like orang asli at that time(nobody had taken bath). Furthermore, we have to buy some groceries and sweets or chocolates to be given away to the orang asli and our pocket didn't allow us to take it. But, before the boat ride, the boatman asked me..."depa posa tak?" I said yes, we're fasting. Why? He said, "kalau tak posa boleh amik langsat buat makan dalam bot"...Hehe, terfikir plak dalam hati, seronok gak bulan2 posa ni org lain sibuk posa, kita dpt makan langsat...pastu kat akhirat nanti kena belasah cukup2...ishhh, tak berbaloi.

Nazir tgh makan langsat ker?

First, we went to see the rafflesia flowers. It is claimed that, more rafflesia can be found here than any other places in Malaysia including Sabah. However, we were not very fortunate to see the rafflesia blooming this time. Then, we proceed to see the "ketombak". The journey was very far and some of us were sleeping inside the boat. Finally, we reached the place and fortunately there were four "ketombaks" ready for viewing there. It's quite unique. Then, we proceed to Sg. Nam for waterfall visit. We had to trek for about half an hour before we reached the real waterfall. The view here was very nice. Interestingly, Faizol, Azmir, Had and Nazir didn't take the chance to swim at the waterfall eventhough they have not taken their bath. Azmir and Nazir were enjoying the fish spa and Had and Faizol were sleeping. I swam a little bit and then 'layan' the fish spa. Then, we proceed to Pulau Tali Kail. There's nothing there except empty resort and training facilities. We thought we had enough this time and we asked the boatman to return to the jetty.

The Belum Blooming Rafflesia... everything is belum.(belum means not yet in English)
The "Ketombak"...dengar macam cotton bud.
The beautiful one wanna miss the chance to go here.
But, my photographer was sleeping here..hehe.
The empty Pulau Tali Kail.
We reached the jetty at around 3pm and we were too tired. The only thing in our mind is to find a resting place anywhere. Yes...anywhere. I don't mind.

As a conclusion:

1. If you are a real nature's lover and know how to appreciate nature, Belum is the right place for you.

2. If you are a real photographer who has the passion to capture to Belum. You'll find no time to rest. If you are not, you will sleep in Belum...hehe.

3. If you're not any of the above, then make sure you're not sleepy when you reach belum. Otherwise, you'll sleep in the boat, at the waterfall and definitely at Pulau Tali Kail. Nasib baik tak gi kampung orang asli...kalau tak, mesti ada yang minta izin ngan tok batin kat situ untuk pinjam umah dia nak tumpang tidur jap. Kalau tak pun dapat gantung hammock kat tiang bawah umah tok batin pun jadik...hahahaha.

To be continued ...trip to Kuala Kangsar and Taiping: Bingka Ubi Faizol in the next posting.