Monday, September 19, 2022

Gunung Liang Hike 2022

Hiking Gunung Liang on 17 Sept 2022  ... We started the hike at 6am and only return to trail head after 12 hours. This is a tough mountain to tackle, tougher than hiking Gunung Nuang peak. It was a gloomy day but only started to drizzle at around 5pm after we have crossed the river at Lubuk Hantu campsite while returning to the trail head. Surprisingly, there was not a single leech on the trails, especially the first part (from trail head to Lubuk Hantu campsite). The first part of the trails is clear and wide. 

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

A group photo at Lubuk Hantu before crossing the river

I have a packet of Kembara outdoor meal - Chicken Masak Merah with Tomato Rice - balance from the Gunung Ledang hike. For a change, instead of eating buns at the peak, this time, I have a delicious meal.

My previous hike at G. Liang was on 10 Oct 2017, a lapse of 5 years. During that time, it was raining almost the whole day. When returning to the river crossing at Lubuk Hantu, the water level rose and we were stuck for almost 2 hours. Do click here for the posting (with timing, trailhead GPS, survival tips for crossing river).

Crossing this river is risky especially when the water level rises
Awesome natural sculpture of moss
Group photo at Liang West, the mossy forest 
From 7/E campsite to the peak, a lot of muddy trail just like the condition above

Posted by KC Leong

Friday, September 02, 2022

Kedah Hiking _Keriang_Jerai Waterfalls_Pulai

A 3-day non-stop, action-packed and adventurous hiking trip at Kedah. For two nights, we slept for 3 hours only each night.

Day 1 (27 Aug 2022) - Gua Keriang cave exploration, Gunung Keriang hiking for sunset view;

Day 2 - Hiking Gunung Jerai for four waterfalls;

Day 3 - Climbing up Gunung Pulai (toughest mountain in Kedah) for sunrise view. 

Do CLICK HERE to view 189 photos courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong.

If you are interested to try the journey, the itinerary and contact persons are at the end of this posting.

Gua Keriang cave exploration
Gua Keriang cave exploration
Gunung Keriang for sunset viewing
Gua Keriang cave exploration
Day 2 Jerai first waterfall
Day 2 Jerai second waterfall
Day 2 Jerai first waterfall - yours truly posing with Ah Kwang (in black T-shirt), the mountain guide. He is a serious and pro trail runner; he trains alone by running around in the Jerai mountains, and he chanced upon the waterfalls hiding in the mountains.
Day 2 Jerai third waterfall
Day 2 Jerai third waterfall
Day 2 Jerai 4th waterfall
4th waterfall shoot from inside the waterfall; this photo courtesy of Tata Yam ... model by Josephine Lee
Day 2 Jerai 4th waterfall - synchronization in flexing the muscles
Day 3 sunrise view at Gunung Pulai ... ... this is a rock-based steep mountain; 90% of the terrain is rocky and only 10% flat land. One has to use both arms to pull oneself up the rocks. This is something like the long version of Bukit Tabur in Melawati.  
Day 3 sunrise view at Gunung Pulai
Day 3 sunrise view at Gunung Pulai
Day 3 sunrise view at Gunung Pulai
Day 3 sunrise view at Gunung Pulai ... The Wall; the lower hill covered in clouds is Gunung Baling. Posed by Josephine, photo courtesy of Tata Yam. 

Above is the updated itinerary to reflect actual timing and also containing important contact persons and handphone numbers. Click on the image for actual large file size.

Posted by KC Leong

Sunday, August 07, 2022

Gunung Hitam and Gua Jepun

Hiking Gunung Hitam and Gua Jepun on Saturday, 6 August 2022 ... Team Lead was Lee Wai Yin. This is a good and challenging mountain for training as the trails keep going up and up (not for beginners). 

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

One way to the G. Hitam peak is about 4 hours; Gua Jepun is about 500 meters further away. While there is no view at the peak of Gunung Hitam, the Gua Jepun is a fascinating sight to behold: the biggest boulder was resting on three smaller boulders. 

Permit is required to hike this mountain; trailhead car park charges RM10 per car.

Gunung Hitam:

Maximum elevation = 1,220m;

Trailhead elevation = 98m;

Difference = 1,122m;

Distance one way = 6km. 

At trail head of Gunung Hitam, Hulu Langat
At Gunung Hitam peak ... no view here; just an empty space area
At Gua Jepun
A good shelter under the boulder
Smooth surface on the underside of the boulder ... Josephine
A fascinating sight to behold: the biggest boulder was resting on three smaller boulders. 

Posted by KC Leong

Friday, July 01, 2022

Gunung Ledang Hiking and Camping

Gunung Ledang hiking and camping from 24 to 26 June 2022 (3D2N) ... 

do CLICK HERE to view 135 photos courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong.

A group photo in front of the Park Office

Day 1: Declaration and inspection of personal items at Park Office; hike to Pasir Panjang campsite at 11am , journey took 2 hr 15 min; visit Twin Waterfall at 4pm. 

Day 2: Hike to Gunung Ledang Peak at 8:30am, lunch is Kembara meal package (just need 200cc of water to heat up the food); return to campsite at 3:30pm;

Taking a breather at Check-Point #1

Day 3: Leave campsite at 10am; return to trailhead Park Office at 12 noon; inspection and tallying of personal items; have sumptuous lunch in Tangkak town.

The campsite is superb: flat and bright, complete with clean toilet and tap water from the adjacent stream; the Kolam Gajah rapid, just 50 meters away from campsite, is enjoyable for bathing at end of day.

This kolam (pond) is huge, and maybe elephants were sighted here last time; hence, the name, Kolam Gajah

Team Lead = Chan How Nean.

Some of the hikers were carrying heavy load of backpacks:

Chee Eng Hooi (organizer) = 18.5kg;

Loh CW = 18kg;

KC Leong = 17kg;

Gillian Ong = 16kg;

Pearly Tan = 16kg;

Chan Wen Shen = 16kg;

Michelle Wong = 16kg;

Teh Wei Ee = 15kg.

The campsite at Pasir Panjang

The campsite is flat and bright

There is even a clean toilet nearby

Visits to waterfall at 4pm on Day 1

Time for cooking dinner ... Michelle Wong and TehWE

There is even tap water from the mountains; the stream is just next to the campsite

Day 2 on the way to Ledang Peak ... passing by Gua Kambing. This is the same main trail for day hike.

The famous rope climb area ... the correct method is to climb with the rope is in between the legs. 
Group photo at the peak of Gunung Ledang; could not see the surrounding as there was a lot of clouds

Back to Kolam Gajah for bathing at the end of day, a distance of about 50 meters from the campsite

Day 3 morning

Final group photo at the campsite before descending the mountains at 10am

Posted by KC Leong

Monday, June 06, 2022

Gunung Tahan Hike 2022

Being a Malaysian, one must try hiking up Mount Kinabalu – because it is there. Likewise, if one has the enthusiasm, one must challenge oneself by hiking up Gunung Tahan. Standing at an elevation of 2,187 meters, it is the highest peak in Peninsular Msia, or G1 of the G7 mountains. This mountain is considered by many to be one of the toughest treks in Peninsular Msia. From Merapoh side, one has to cross a total of 8 streams/rivers, climb steep rooted paths, step on muddy puddle to arrive at the destination. 

Do CLICK HERE to view 220 high-resolution photos courtesy of your truly, KC ... in this photo album, it also contains photos contributed from the team members. 

Declaration of personal items at Sungai Relau Park Office ... Shu-Lin, KC, Sabrina.

Gunung Tahan trip from 28 May to 2 June 2022 (6D5N) itinerary

Day 1 - drive to Merapoh; overnight in a hostel;

Day 2 - declaration of personal items at Sungai Relau Park Office; 4WD transfer to Kuala Juram trailhead; camping at Kem Kor (750m);

Day 3 - camping at Kem Kubang (1,406m);

Day 4 (31 May) - arrive at Kem Botak (1,943m); ascent to summit; viewing sunset; camping at Kem Botak;

Day 5 - descent from Kem Botak to Kem Kor; final camping at Kem Kor;

Day 6 - return to Kuala Juram trailhead; 4WD transfer to Sg Relau Park Office; inspecting/tallying of personal items; returning to Kuala Lumpur; dinner in Bentong.

Journey of a thousand miles starts here 

Team members (15 hikers)

KC Leong, Chan How Nean, Ong Soon Aun, Cheng Li, Leong Kee Wai, Sou Kuan Yin, Wey Tyng, Ng Lay Keong, Josephine Lee, Shu-Lin, Rachel Thang, Felicia Hew, Sabrina Lim, Dr Kogulan, Terence Phuah. 

Seven rivers/streams to cross before arriving at Kem Kor; after Kem Kor, there is only one stream to cross, that may not get the shoes wet


(1) Merapoh - peak - Merapoh = 32km x 2 = 64km;

(2) Merapoh - peak - Kuala Tahan (Trans Tahan) = 32km + 55km = 87km. 

For journey (1), the returning is mostly downhill; for journey (2), there will be more mountains to ascend, deeper rivers to cross en route to Kuala Tahan. If you have not tried this Gunung Tahan trails, don't ever think of doing Trans Tahan in your first attempt.

Three flavours of Gunung Tahan journey

(1) Merapoh - peak - Merapoh (32km + 32km = 64km);

(2) Trans Tahans (32km + 55km = 87km);

(3) Kuala Tahan - peak - Kuala Tahan (55km + 55km = 110km). 

Lunch break after crossing Kuala Luis river

Tahan Personal Porter Services

Each porter would carry a 15kg net weight from the hikers that engage porter service. It is best to share a porter, say, 1/3 share (5kg), or 1/2 share (7.5kg) among hikers. The items for porters to carry must be protected in plastic bags to avoid getting wet; a simple big shopping bag, say, from Ikea or Decathlon would be good to contain all the necessary items when handing over to the porter. The porters would then stuff all these items individually into their own rucksacks.  

Located just by a stream with clear water, Kem Kor is the most beautiful campsite throughout the entire journey ... OngSA and NgLK

Backpack Weight

This is a tricky consideration. If one is carrying a few extra kilograms of weight above one's comfortable level, the backpack would weigh one down. Hence, one must seriously test the actual load of the backpack, and for a few continuous days of local training. Allocating 5kg of personal items for porter to carry would ease one's load considerably. I was carrying all stuff myself with a total weight of 15kg. Though I could handle the load, the additional weight from the backpack altered my centre of gravity and threw me off-balance a few times.    

At second campsite - Kem Kubang; here, space is limited, and water source is 10 minutes away

4D3N or 5D4N

Most hikers would take the 4D3N journey thereby from Kem Kor to Kem Botak (Day 2 of the hike) is completed within a day. This choice is tough as the distance is 16km, and there is almost 1,200 meters of elevation gain; not forgetting one has to carry the heavy weight of backpacks. Most hikers would take 10 to 12 hours to hike from Kem Kor to Kem Botak. For an additional day (5D4N type), the journey involves extra camping at Kem Kubang, and the journey is less strenuous. With extra day, it is possible to summit from Kem Botak within the same day, enjoying the sunset; and leaving next morning to have direct descent from Kem Botak to Kem Kor.   

Good weather and lots of blue sky ... at Bonsai areas (left) Cheng Li, Sabrina, Wey Tyng, Josephine, Shu-Lin, Rachel.


Not all training grounds are the same: for close to Gunung Tahan conditions, one has to train at the stretch between Kem Pacat to False Peak of Gunung Nuang. This part of the terrain is steep and steps are wide, require to use both the arms. While training, one has to carry almost the same amount of intended weight of backpack. With sufficient training, one would enjoy the journey of this Gunung Tahan trails.  

Meandering through the trails of Bonsai areas ... ChanHN, Wey Tyng, Cheng Li.

Handling Covid-19 New Norms 

Before the group departure on Sat 28 May 2022, all team members must perform RTK Covid-19 self-test on the morning of 28 May, or one day earlier, and published the results in the chat group. Also, five days prior to 28 May, all team members must observe SOP (distancing, masks, etc) to avoid contracting the virus and only developed symptoms after the group had started the journey. Once this process was done, we only have to focus and tackle the tough journey and not be bogged down with the worry that agonize us for the past two years. 

Between Bonsai area and Kem Botak ... Wey Tyng, Cheng Li and Josephine

At Kem Botak ... as the name indicates ... it is barren and bright at this campsite

Yours truly, KC Leong, with the Kelty Salida 1-man tent

Continuing the journey from Kem Botak to the peak

Yeah! We finally made it to the peak of Gunung Tahan!

A group photo with the mountain guides, Wan Adham (right) and Rosni Mamat (Left 3)

Vibrant sunset viewed from Kem Botak campsite

A unique view with the clouds hovering so near us

Finally, with the certificate of completion/achievement

A schematic diagram illustrating the entire journey (click at image for bigger view). 

Trekking Agent ... 

Green Trekkers Sdn Bhd;

Ms Wong; +6016 2898 260 / +6013 3365 628

Posted by KC Leong