Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Maliau Basin Trekking

Part 2 Photo album contains activities at Maliau Basin Conservation Area (also known as Sabah's Lost World):

Day 5 (15 March 2017) – After breakfast at 7:30 a.m., drive to Maliau Basin; at Tawau, buy groceries for cooking at Maliau; arrive at Maliau Basin at 6pm; dinner and overnight at Maliau Basin resorts.

Day 6 – Transfer by 4WD to Agathis Camp; start trekking to Ginseng Camp (5 hours inclusive of eating packed lunch); relax at Ginseng waterfall; cook our dinner; overnight at Ginseng Camp.

Day 7 – Cook breakfast; pack our lunch; start trekking to Maliau Falls (2 hr 30 min); relax and eat packed lunch at the waterfall; trek back to Ginseng Camp; cook our dinner; overnight at Ginseng Camp.

Day 8 – Cook breakfast; pack our lunch; trek back to Agathis Camp; transfer by 4WD to Maliau Basin resorts; refresh at hostel toilet; at 3:15pm, drive back to Tawau town (4 hours); sumptuous seafood dinner; 2 hours of karaoke session. 

Day 9 – Free and easy at Tawau; fly back to Kuala Lumpur.

Do CLICK HERE to view photos (Part 2 photo album) courtesy of yours truly (KC Leong).

 All are ready for trekking to Ginseng Camp and Maliau Falls
 At the abandoned Agathis Camp weighing the groceries to be carried by the porters to Ginseng Camp, chargeable by the kilograms

Comparison between Danum Valley Conservation Area (DVCA) and Maliau Basin Conservation Area (MBCA):

The distance apart between DVCA and MBCA is almost a 10-hour drive, inclusive of lunch break at Tawau. Starting the journey at 8am from DVCA Centre, we only reached Maliau Basin resort at 6pm. DVCA is near to Sandakan while MBCA is near to Tawau, both towns are accessible by flights. DVCA is a smaller and more established park, and the waterfall is just a small one. There is much more wildlife here, and so are the abundance of fast and furious leeches. DVCA attracts many mat salleh visitors. 

 Taking a breather while trekking to Ginseng Camp by the only trail

At MBCA, we could not see any animal other than the in-house wild boar near to the resort kitchen area which looked amuse when it saw us. There wasn’t any other tourist/visitor. The edge of Maliau Basin is 1,700 meters high (higher than Gunung Nuang peak at 1,500m); many of the wild animals could not have climbed over the ridge (of the basin) other than birds or those that fly. The basin covers a much larger area; possibly, the wildlife is scattered and thus difficult to spot them. The trails are deeper into the forest and more adventurous, leading to the spectacular Ginseng waterfall and Maliau Falls. The Ginseng Camp – 9km or 5 hours of trekking from the trailhead  only provides the empty structures for dormitory, kitchen, toilet and dining areas. Bunk beds with leather-covered mattress and cooking utensils are available; but food, groceries and cooking gas are required to be carried in for cooking.

 |Arriving at Ginseng Camp and relaxing at the Ginseng waterfall which is about 10 minutes away
 Ginseng waterfall

Night Safari at DVCA – Other than the facilities and trekking activities, I quite like the night safari where eight persons were seated at the back of an opened-top 4WD with no-frill cushion seats. In front, a ranger will use a powerful light beam to shine swiftly at huge trees 100 meters away looking for wildlife. It was amazing that he could scan the trees at fast speed; possibly, he was looking at the reflection from the eyes of the wildlife. On a lighter note, if one could not see much wildlife, at least one can enjoy the cool night breeze for two hours.
Ginseng Camp showing the common toilet (left) and the dormitory ... photo angle from the dining pondok
 Chong's group for cooking the dinner ... with him are Abbie Foong, Choo, Sau Chein and Kertijah
Ervie Yeo's team for cooking the breakfast ... with her are Adrian Foo, Hooi Miin, Jack Oh, Elaine, (back) SC Yong and KC Leong
 A pleasant place for dining overlooking the entire campsite
 Getting ready to trek to Maliau Falls
 At Maliau Falls

Do CLICK HERE for Part 1 of the journey and photos.

Posted by KC Leong

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Kinabatangan and Danum Valley

Part 1 Photo Album contains following activities (11 to 19 March 2017):

Day 1 – Arrive at Sandakan; free and easy; seafood dinner; karaoke session; overnight at Sandakan

Day 2 – Drive to Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) at Sepilok; visit Orang Hutan Rehabilitation Centre to see orang hutan and sun bear; have lunch; drive to Sukau; Kinabatangan river cruise to observe wildlife and habitats (we saw orang hutan, proboscis monkies, birds). Overnight at Sukau.

Day 3 – Trees planting; drive to Danum Valley; stop by Batu Tulug and Gomantong Cave. Overnight at Danum Valley Conservation Centre (DVSC) hostel.

Day 4 – See sunrise; jungle trekking at DVSC; night safari; overnight at DVSC hostel.

(stay tuned for Part 2 ... Maliau Basin trekking)

Do CLICK HERE to view photos courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong

 Arriving at Sandakan; free and easy activities
 Sumptuous seafood dinner at Sandakan
 Two hours of karaoke session to work on the throat
 Visit Rainforest Discovery Centre at Sepilok
 Visit orang hutan Rehabilitation Centre and see sun bear ... (left) KC Leong, Chong CY, Hooi Miin, SC Yong, Choo KW, Elaine, Sau Chein, Jack Oh, Ervie Yeo, Adrian Foo, Abbie Foong.
 Kinabatangan river cruise and observe wildlife and habitats (we saw orang hutan, proboscis monkies, birds).
 Just like when we were young travelling at the back of a 4WD
 Trees planting session
 Arriving at Danum Valley Conservation Centre where we put up two nights in the hostel here
 Trekking to the waterfall of Danum Valley ... well equipped with leech socks
 Danum Valley waterfall
 The entire trail to the waterfall is infested with fast and furious leeches. After the previous day's rain, they were waiting on the ground getting ready to attack. Certain leeches can jump off the ground and cling to your legs. And when they bite, the pain is similar to ants' bite! Lesson learn: wearing a leech sock is a must, and must bring insect repellent spray. 
Emerging from the forest ... we survive from the leeches attack

Do CLICK HERE for Part 2 (Maliau Basin Trekking)

Posted by KC Leong

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Celebrating Birthday at Bintang Hill

Celebrating birthday for five trekker friends – Vince Khor, Jenny Wong, Jason Lee, Hooi Miin, Adrian Foo – at Bintang Hill on Saturday evening, 4 March 2017 ... photos by KC Leong

Click at any photo for actual display size.
The wefie group photo at Bintang Hill
Busy preparing food and drinks
Group photo with the glittering light of the background
Birthday boys and girls ... (left) Vince Khor, Jenny Wong, Jason Lee, Hooi Miin, Adrian Foo
Night view of Desa ParkCity and Kepong (view from Bintang Hill). Bintang Hill is just next to Desa ParkCity.

Posted by KC Leong

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

A Wet Challenge at the Lost Waterfall Outing

The 3D2N trekking and camping at the Lost Waterfall of Jerantut, Pahang from 25 to 27 Feb 2017 was a wet and challenging outing. One way to the waterfall was about 4 hours of easy trekking but required crossing the same river five times.

With the weather that rained heavily every day, it was a good experience in camping. We learn best when in adverse conditions: after that event, we would know what extra gear is required to have additional protection in case of bad weather. 

The best part of this trekking: there was no mosquito and not a single leech despite the wet and damp conditions – no one in the entire group was attacked by leeches! And to add a bit of drama, a young lady was screaming at the campsite only to know that there was a cockroach in her wet bra.

Overall, it was a fun and challenging outing that we spent three days in the jungle quite comfortably with good camaraderie; reasonably nice and delicious food cooked by the kitchen crew. And we survived without any handphone signal.

Do CLICK HERE to view 123 photos courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong.

At the organizer's bungalow for parking our cars and taking the 4WD to the campsite 

Brief Schedule:

Day 1 – The group drove from Kuala Lumpur to Jerantut; parked our cars at the organizer’s bungalow (with a big lawn); took 4WD to the campsite; set up tents; dinner and campfire programme. However, it was raining heavily from 4:00 p.m. and we could only have some light activities under the community tent.
 Another 50 meters to the campsite ... with the daily rain, the ground is soft and muddy. The red Ford Ranger, supplying the food, has been stuck there for a day.

Day 2 – The group started trekking at 9:30 a.m. after breakfast. The mission was to visit Lata Lebah Waterfall and The Lost Waterfall. In order to arrive at the waterfalls, the group crossed the same river five times. The rain came at 4:00 p.m. again while we were trekking back. The group returned to campsite by 6:30 p.m., just in time before the sky was dark. We have a hearty dinner with BBQ chicken and grilled fish. It was raining heavily at mid-night and lasted for many hours.
 Excitedly pitching up tents

Day 3 – Many of the tents were wet inside due to the heavy rain. After our breakfast, the group was excited getting ready to start the trekking to visit another three waterfalls. But the challenge was to cross the river next to the campsite. After the guides have tied the safety rope, KC and ChongYF managed to cross despite the strong current and the rise in water level; at certain spot, it was chest deep. We decided to abort the mission for safety reason. We started to pack the tents early; have our lunch and transferred out of the campsite in a convoy of 4WD again.
 The campsite with the river view

Lessons Learn

Top flysheet – it is good to have another layer of bigger flysheet above the tent for extra protection. When it rains, water is not dripping near to the tent; besides, one can place the bags outside the tent. 
 The campsite view fronting the community tent 

Tent flysheet – this is the upper sheet that come with the tent and mounted on it. This type of construction would allow more surface area for netting and thus offer better ventilation.  
 Time to have a nice bath in the river

Crossing river – it is good to a have a Throw Bag (a bright rope tie to a bag at one end) during rescue operation when one is swept away. Someone at the lower end would throw the Throw Bag for the victim to catch and pull back to the shore.
 Campfire activity under the community tent ... campfire director is Jason Khoo

Maintain visibility – when trekking in a long convey of trekkers in an unknown terrain and not-so-clear trails, the chain of vision must not be broken. A slower trekker must be conscious to allow the faster one to overtake, and close the distance with the group in front. 
 Day 2 morning ... before the start of a long journey to the Lost Waterfall

33 Team Members

Adrian Foo; Berdych Tan; Cheryl Tham; Chong YFook; Choo KSwee; Chris Chan; Chuah TK; Elaine Lee; Elfreda Ong; Eng QJun; Ervie Yeo; Hooi Miin; Ivy Wong; Jack Oh; Jason Khoo; Jennifer; Johnson; KC Leong; Kellie; Kristy Chew; Lee MYee; Lee SFun; Henry Lin TY; Maan Li; May Gie; SC Yong; Sharon Tan; Sim KSen; SK Khoo; Tai KWone; Wong SMei; Yap E Eng; Yong Fei. 
 Wading through the river water cautiously in ensuring safety 
Trekking through not-so-clear trails  
 Arriving at Lata Lebah waterfall
 At the Lost Waterfall
 The Lost Waterfall ... outflow of water is not visible
 The kitchen crew cook nice and delicious food 
 Delicious dinner ... BBQ chicken and grilled fish
 Celebrating Chris Chan's birthday 
 Day 3 ... the group need to cross this river in order to visit another three waterfalls. Water level rises due to heavy rain.
A final group photo with the kitchen/support crew and the drivers of 4WD

Posted by KC Leong

Monday, February 20, 2017

Gunung Nuang Hiking

Trekking up Gunung Nuang on a fine day, Saturday, 18 Feb 2017 ... finally, after months of daily rain, the weather is getting drier. And it is good time to trek bigger mountains. For a start, we have chosen Gunung Nuang as it is the best training ground within Kuala Lumpur. According to the ranger at the registration counter, there were 300 plus persons went up to Gunung Nuang on that day.

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

 A group photo at the trailhead of Gunung Nuang
 At Kem Lolo area ... many campers enjoying themselves with the camping activities 
 At Kem Pacat ... it was windy that morning
 Group photo with the signature tree
Relaxing in the stream at Kem Lolo area during the descent journey

Posted by KC Leong