Sunday, March 22, 2015

Taiwan Holidays

Holidaying in Taiwan from 13-20 March 2015 with my office colleagues and family members.

The most memorable outing has to be the viewing of sunrise at the peak of Alishan Highlands. Taking a train ride – that packed to the brim – at the railway station which was only a stone’s away from the hotel, the team was donning thick clothing combating the cold at 11 degrees Celsius at 5:00 a.m. We were lucky that it was a fine weather for the sunset and sunrise – the view was spectacular.

Visit of night markets is a must when in Taiwan. We visited Raohe Night Market 饒河街觀光夜市, Ximending Night Market 西门町夜市, Leoho Night Market 六合夜市, and Shilin Night Market 士林夜市 (Shilin is the largest night market in Taiwan, and it is about 5 minutes’ drive from our hotel). There is one signature food that is common to all night markets: the stinky tofu 臭豆腐. To me, it really smells like "shit" :-) Wherever there is food, there is this stinky smell.   

The 8D7N Taiwan Tour is a specially arranged tour where we liaise with the regular travel agent in Kuala Lumpur, and they have the agents/partners in various destinations.

Do CLICK HERE to view photos courtesy of yours truly (KC Leong).

 Damper at 89th floor of Taipei 101 Building ... to produce a counterforce against the energy from earthquake that strike Taiwan often. This mega-tonne object is suspended by high-tension cables and maintains balance with shock-absorbers at the bottom.
 At Fisherman's Wharf
We were lucky to have with us a very experienced and responsible tour guide, Mr Ma. He is able to talk the whole day in the bus relating to us the historical events, geographical formation and latest happenings of Taiwan. While we were sitting comfortably, he stood and faced us when talking in a moving and swaying vehicle. Most tour guides would speak for 1-2 hours only.
 At Fisherman's Wharf
The followings are interesting comments by Mr Ma:

a. Alishan – most tour groups would rush up the highlands, do a bit of sight-seeing and rush down having lunch elsewhere due to limited choice of restaurants. So staying one night in Alishan would have more time with the jungle trail walk and viewing of sunset and sunrise. 

b. Sunmoon Lake – Mr Ma has led tours for 2-3 years but they never stay there overnight. Most tour would flee and not putting up a night there due to high prices of hotels; hence, it was very quiet and devoid of tourists in the evening. Because of the stay, Mr Ma actually took the opportunity to meet his old native friends at Sunmoon Lake.
 Queen's Head at Yehliu ... as informed by the tour guide, the neck of this rock formation is eroding by the days. People lining up orderly for photos shoot managed by a guide (not visible in the photo). Otherwise, there would be many rude tourists trying to jump queue :-)
 At Taroko National Park
 Fo Guan Shan ... the biggest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan
Mr Ma, the tour guide standing at left; as informed, he is not related to Ma Ying-jeou, President of Taiwan; or Ma Yun, Chairman of Alibaba Group in China.
 Comfortable stay with new design of the hotel room
 Nice ambiance in the bathroom … for the 8D7N stay, all hotels that we stay are of modern designed type; save for one in Alishan Highlands (as it was chosen because of close proximity to railway station and forest trails).
 The remains of an age-old huge tree at Alishan Forest Park … as informed by the tour guide, Alishan Highlands was first opened during the Japanese occupation. One of the reasons was to harvest the age-old huge tress and sent back to Japan. For transportation of the logs, hence, they built the railway lines.
 Flowers blooming every where at Alishan Highlands
 At Alishan Highlands – cherry flowers in full bloom

 Cherry flowers
 Sunset at Alishan Highlands
 Spectacular view of sunrise at Alishan Highlands
 Flowers blooming and sun rising
 At Sunmoon Lake
At Sunmoon Lake ... peace and tranquil in the early morning.

Posted by KC Leong

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Apek Hill Giant Tree

An outing at Apek Hill Waterfall and Giant Tree on Saturday, 28 February 2015 ... It was supposed to be the "Beauty and the Boar" trekking; instead, we could not meet the wild boar which was away roaming the territory. 

Miko Leea bought white bread and kaya, intended to feed the wild boar. Since we were also a little hungry, we ate part of the bread and kaya. 

It is Chinese New Year's time, eating kaya should be good feng shui and auspicious: kaya means rich.

Do CLICK HERE to view 46 photos courtesy of yours truly (KC Leong).
 At the gym station of Apik Hill
Lana, Shu Lin, Ann Chua, Miko Leea; KC Leong and Lee WY.

 Yeah … It is confirmed that membership fee is waived

 At the waterfall area of Apek Hill

We meet another group of outdoor enthusiasts at Saga Station of Apik Hill: Yew Fei, Dan Pang, Zoey Chow, Sammie Sim and Audrey Tan

 Ann Chua, Miko Leea and Shu Lin … helping ourselves with the bread and kaya meant for the wild boars
 At Station 6 of Apek Hill … Shu Lin refilling water from the water dispenser; the water is brought up by the volunteers.
 Lana At the 500-year Giant Tree of Apik Hill ... it is huge!
 Lana, Ann Chua, Shu Lin and Miko Leea.
This is an amazing huge tree ... yours truly

Posted by KC Leong

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Trekkers CNY Annual Dinner

Trekkers CNY Annual Dinner held at Jaya Palace on Saturday, 28 February 2015 ... organized by Joseph Yong, it was a fun and joyous gathering for the trekker friends reminiscing the experiences and outings of past one year.

Do CLICK HERE to view 59 photos courtesy of yours truly (KC Leong).

 Fruity yee sang prepared by Joseph Yong
 "Let us have a selfie ..."
 The effect of year-long trekking ... slim and beautiful  
 One of the table group photos
 Stand-by for loh sang
 loh ... loh ... loh
The higher we loh, the higher shall be the mountains we trek 
 Karaoke time ... ChongYF, Kelly Hoh, Sharon Tan
 Cheers! and Yum Seng
Great legggggggggs!

Do click here to view photos of 2014 Annual Dinner.

Posted by KC Leong

Sunday, February 22, 2015

FRIM Chor 3 Jin Wan Outing

Gong Xi Gong Xi ... a joyous Chor 3 Jin Wan outing at FRIM Kepong on Saturday, 21 February 2015.

Jin Wan in Cantonese means to energize one’s luck in the Lunar New Year. Many years ago during Chinese New Year, I was running around Salem High Country (in FRIM) with a few trail runner friends. After exchanging auspicious greetings to two uncles there who were doing their morning walk, they suggested to me that it is good to “jin” (go one round the foothill of Salem High Country), signifying Jin Wan. When I was small, jin wan means my mother would bring me along to a temple to pray during Chinese New Year. So for trekkers and trail runners, we have to sweat it out to Jin Wan.

To make things more challenging, we have the trekking and trail running groups both started at the same time but from different locations. Led by Lee Wai Yin, the trekking group started from Taman Botani Kepong. The trail running group was led by ChongYF and yours truly from the FRIM Clubhouse. The two groups eventually met at the foothill of Salem High Country before we Jin Wan together.

Do CLICK HERE to view 51 photos courtesy of yours truly (KC Leong).

 The trail runners from FRIM Clubhouse
(left) … KC Leong, LimHY, Rothman, Mun Yi, Wai Ming, Miko Leea, Ann Chua, Gan, Elsie Liew, Karen Wu, ChongYF.

 Passing by the Orang Asli hut

 At Steroid Hill area … with Mr U.CH

 Flying quite high … Girls power

 Guys power

 Gong Xi Gong Xi … wishing all good heath, great wealth and happiness in the Lunar New Year. Trekkers and trail runners together.

 At the peak of Salem High Country

Showing the power ... Elsie and Karen :-) 

Posted by KC Leong

Sunday, February 15, 2015

FRIM Kepong Time Trial

FRIM Kepong Trail Running and trekking time trial on Saturday 14 February 2015 and Saturday 7 February 2015 in preparing for CNY chor 3 "jeen wan" run/walk.

Do click here to view trail running photos courtesy of yours truly (KC Leong).

Do click here to view trekking photos.

(left: ChongYF, Karen Wu, LimHY, KC Leong, Josephine, Kelvin)

Photos below are taken on Saturday, 7 February 2015 with Lee Wai Yin, Lana and SuWF:

Posted by KC Leong