Monday, May 14, 2012

Gunung Berlumut, Kluang

Was informed about a climb to G. Berlumut about 1-2 months ago. Since then, been trying to look up from internet about this mountain. Then, I couldn't find much blog about this mountain. Thus, make me decided to try to take some picture and blog about it when I climb this mountain.

There were 19 of us on this climb. Those from Seremban were told to meet at McDonald at Tesco, S2 at 4am. And Karen from JB will meet us at Kluang. Dr. James led a team from IMU and we have another team. All 3 cars departed from Seremban shortly after 4am. It's about 2.5 hours drive from Seremban to Kluang. We arrived at Kluang Railway station kopitiam slightly earlier than the business hour (7am) for breakfast.

The Kluang Railway kopitiam operates from 7am - 2pm daily and close on Thursday.

Food for breakfast and energy to climb. Milo + 1 nasi lemak + 1 roti bakar (keping) + 2 half-boiled eggs. All were super yummy. I think I could eat more but decided not to.

Then, it's another about 30 minutes drive to the base. We need to submit our names to the police station (permit applied), and a guide needed. It's not a very cheap climb.

All were ready and excited to start the journey after some stretching and briefing by Peter.

The climb started after we crossed a hanging bridge and few cemented steps. The trail was quite flat or very minimal incline. There were many fallen trees throughout the entire climb. We have to cross or go on top of the tree trunks to get over to continue the journey. There were parts where ropes where prepared to help the climbers.

We could see signboard indicating how far have we walked/ climbed from base till KM3. Apparently, there was a trail run from base till KM3 few weeks ago.

At CP1, I was 'kissed' by vampire on my neck. Thank goodness Peter saw it and able to get rid of it, it was still small then. But, managed to leave a mark on my neck.

Another interesting thing that I found was the many roots in this mountain. Roots can be an aid as well as danger too.

At KM3, we saw rock which looks like jaws (gigi). It's only halfway. From there on, it's quite a steep climb all the way. It just get steeper and steeper. Some parts are literally 90 degree.

oh... my buddy.. We are suppose to walk with buddy system. Because my buddy is a young and energetic gentleman, I have actually told him to go ahead as I know it can be quite torturing to wait. While I like to enjoy the journey, took pictures, look up, look down, left and right. So, I ended up partnering with Edwin and Karen. We took turn to lead which was great.

As we moved higher, we crossed many hourse back. Some really narrow. If one fall to either side, will just go down to the slope. And also times where we just walked on the cliff.

As we reached CP3, there is where campers could overnight there. The guide shared his oranges with us. Wow... the sweetest thing on earth at that moment. :)

Vegetation started to change from CP3 onwards too.

More 90 degree sharp climb as we passed CP3. There are parts where we need to use our hands to help to pull ourselves up. Then, En. Roslan (our guide) told us not far.. not far.. walked further infront where we will see the Botak/ false peak. It's an open area where we can see the peak is on the other side.

Then, we have to go into the bush, to go through a moss forest. It's another another 20-30 minutes and reached the peak.

Overall, I have spent 4 hours up. It was stunning view up there. Total height of the mountain of 1010m. :) I was glad that my buddy who have a choice to descent earlier decided to spent time at the peak with me. Took some pictures and we descent together. But, he sped off with Peter halfway through. hahaha...

So, I actually did my job of being a sweeper ascending and descending. ;)

If not because of the mist, we should have even better view. Quite a lot of climbers up there, a large number of them from Singapore.

As we have to turnaround and go down by 2pm. So, we started our journey down.

My camera also ran out of battery when I arrived the top. Edwin said surely as I kept taking pictures all the way. Also partly myself didn't get the fully charged battery.

The going down was not as difficult as we thought it would be. There were parts where I just turned around and face inward to go down, it makes it easier for descent.

After CP3, a climber who is also a marathoner, Lau, fall. He was right in front of me, but, I couldn't be able to save him. He felt a few steps with his face down. If not because of a tree which stopped him, I would think he will continue to go down. Thank God, he only bitten his own lips and no major injury. I was truly shocked of that.

Overall, I used 7 hours for the 12KM climb. And my legs were very tired.

As much as we wanted to eat in restaurant, it was packed with people due to Mother's day celebration. So, we opted for street food which was alright too. :)

We reached back to Seremban at about 10.30pm. Indeed a long, tiring and rewarding day.

Asked if I will go back again? I will though the terrain is not as interesting. It's still a nice place to climb. Just that it's a bit far from Seremban.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Japanese Food

It's been a long time that John T has asked me to go dinner. Today, we have Laurence to join us as well. Japanese food was what we were thinking about. As John T has a night meeting at 9.30pm and not wanting to go so far, we have decided to go to the Kura Japanese Restaurant at One World Hotel.

The food was fabulous... I ordered the wagyu steak that costs RM150. The most expensive food. Very tasty scallop miso soup, dragol roll. Others ordered sashimi...

yummm.... the bill came out to be RM530+ for 3 of us... :p

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Gunung Angsi via Bukit Putus

Another G. Angsi climb. Initially I wanted to join the Mt. K team for training by climbing. But, Fong told me that we will have separate team as we have quite a number of people too. So, same mountain, different teams. :)

We arrived at the base of Bukit Putus at about 7.30am and started the climb at 8am. Altogether of 18 of us with adults and children.

It rained the day earlier and so the route was rather muddy, still, I think it is good training. :) Regardless that I have been here recently, I still enjoyed taking time to enjoy the nature.

I saw life from the deadwood/ fallen trees. Reminds me of survival and hope in everything. If God takes care of every living thing, what more us? He will surely take care of us so long as we have hope and faith in Him.

We have different view up at the moutain. We spent 2 hours up and about 2 hours down.

Overall, a good hike. :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Holiday in Bangkok

Mom has been telling me for quite awhile that she has not been to Bangkok. So, I have been thinking to bring her there for a short trip. Not that I am familiar with Bangkok. I have been to Thailand for 3 times, work and mission related, but, in Bangkok itself, have been there for a day or 2 each trip. Now that I have a friend who is working in BKK and has a place to stay, with Air Asia (though not the best deal), I have decided to take mom on a holiday, and also as a birthday present for her.

Well, as I was expecting my friend to be the tour guide, ended up that I have to do it as my friend as some domestic issue that needs to return to Malaysia. So, I was busy looking up at google, tripadvisor, contacting local friends to meet up, etc.

My dear friend has been very thoughtful to arrange a driver to pick us up from the airport upon our arrival. So, we checked-in to the apartment, rested and headed to Central Plaza for a simple dinner. Did our ladies shopping in Isetan too. :)

Next day, we met up with Sukree (a local Thai friend). He took us to Grand Palace. Foreginers will have to pay for the entrance while it's free for Thai. And we were not aware on the outfits restrictions. Otherwise, we could have prepared better. So, no worries. :) We still can rent a piece of cloth for BHT200 which will return to us upon returning the cloth.

It's quite challenging to walk with 'skirt' and under the hot sun. It was about 40C or higher that day. And the palace is huge. The art work itself is so amazing. All the details part are well taken care of.

Too bad that not all buildings are open for a look.

Then, we went for lunch. Khun Sukree took us to this place, Roti Mataba, located at Thanon Phrat Athit. Wow!!! I actually saw a review on this place and wanted to try out as it's quite highly rated. It's a Halal place. The restaurant itself is quite narrowed and good that they have upstairs with air-cond. :) I didn't tell him that I wanted to try this, it just happened and it was good. We ordered roti canai, it's a mini version compared to what we have at home. :) Green curry chicken, mutabak, nasi briyani chicken. All were so yummy. I would like to come back to this place, only that it's a bit far.

As we still have the time, Sukree said we should go to visit another palace (Vimanmek Mansion) which build by teak wood since the ticket we purchased have included that. Here, we couldn't rent the cloth. We were told to buy. hmm.... But, it's very strict as we enter into the wooden palace. No camera and handphone are allowed. They really check. And all bags are to store in the locker. I must admit that the building itself is so magnificent.

After a long tiring day, Sukree sent us back to the apartment. Mom took a nap. Then, we head to MBK via BTS (sky train) for dinner. As I have not been there too, and read that there is a foodcourt to get some nice food. The Fifth Avenue is located at the 5th floor of MBK. MBK quite similar to our Sungai Wang here in KL, I reckon. The food in Fifth Avenue. There are many choices, one will get the card upon entrance, present the card to the counter when you ordered the food. Then, you will pay or settle the bill before exit, like postpaid system. I called it credit card. We ordered so much food. Vienamise, tom yum soup, coconut drink, mango rice without the rice. Everything is kinda possible, you just have to ask. :)

Day 2. Since Chatucak (JJ) market is a signature visit in BKK. We went there in the morning. It's so huge that we kept walking. And the weather was so hot. A normal size of coconut drink could just finished by me within second. I reckon, it's higher than 42C that day. We didn't buy a lot of things. Went back. And I was attacked by a severe migraine that I almost throw-out, never like that before in my life.

Instead of exploring the night ourselves and tired of walking. I called Khun Amphon to fetch us to Terminal 21. This is a new shopping mall at Sukhumvit. All the floors are designed with different cities. It's really amazing. So, our aim is to look for food. Level 4 (if not mistaken) is where they sell all the local food. The price here is quite reasonable. People here cannot really speak English as those in MBK as this place is more of catering to the workers at nearby offices, so, the price is better too. Over here, the system works like debit card (prepaid) instead of credit card. One will buy the card and told them the amount. Then, the amount will be deducted. You could return the card at the end, and get the balance or you could choose to keep the card.

Most of the time, I just point at the picture or the menu to place my order. It's quite fun. And yes, I ate a lot too. hahaha.... The bread with local kaya was very nice. Very soft bread. :)

Day 3. We went to Ayutthaya to meet up with Warunee (my another local friend). It's about 1 hour drive from Bangkok as it's still school holiday. We experienced the ride on elephant. It's quite exciting sitting on top of the elephant. :) And we get to view the old mansion. It's beautiful to have different view.

Then, we went to floating market. Not the real orginal but more of for tourist. Even not the foreigner tourist, but, to local tourist. We had our local seafood lunch here at a very cheap price. And it's very nice. The fish, the tom yum soup, the mango salad. Yummmm..... And there's a show of war between Thai and Myanmar too (free).

We headed back to BKK, did a few last minute shopping before met up with Sukree for dinner. We had dinner at Deen Restaurant at Silom 15. It's another Halal place. The food, very delicious! :) There's where Sukree reminded me of our long unfulfilled trip to come back and we will travel out of BKK the next time. :)

It has been a very rewarding trip especially time spent with friends and catching up though the weather has been the hottest in the year. Not a lot of shopping done, yet fruitful in another way.

Thank you so much for hosting and the thoughtfulness that my friend has put up while staying in the apartment. Really appreciate that.