Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Nuang via Janda Baik Trail

Date: 27/04/2013 (saturday) 
Time: 5.00am – 6.00pm 
Location: Janda Baik, Pahang 
Altitude: 1439 m (4898 ft) 
Difficulty: Moderate to Hard 
Google map: Gunung Nuang via Janda Baik 

The Fact...

Gunung Nuang is the highest mountain of Selangor with the height of 1,493 metres (4,898 ft) and it is part of the Titiwangsa Mountains. This mountain is actually border of 3 states which is Selangor, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan. Hiking to Nuang’s peak can start from either Kuala Pangsoon Hulu Langat, Janda Baik or Kemensah (Gombak, near Kuala Lumpur). But of course, the most popular route is through Hulu Langat... the climb which involve a two hour hike on a very steep road, then an optional stop at "Camp Lolo", and after that there is a six hour push to the peak, and a four hour trek to the ground. (source)

My Story...

Hiking to Nuang is always being my dream since I started to like hiking. Hahaha but never got a chance cos so many story that it was very tough and require your full energy level & stamina if you want to make it in just one day thru Pangsoon, Hulu Langat. are willing to overnight at Lolo camp & continue hiking on the next day. Sounds like very difficult to make it in one day to people like me but not to the experienced hikers with good fitness level.

Actually, I’ve beed to Pangsoon Trail before, it was 2 years back. And that time, our target only up to Lolo Camp. Konon-konon nak servey dulu lah kan tengok dulu track dia macam mana. Anyway, until today no plan for hiking thru that track... hahaha.

I found out from my fellow trekkers that there is a trail up to this mountain via Janda Baik in Pahang. And I was informed that Nuang via Janda Baik is less tough and hikers can spend less time to complete the climb (up & down). With that in mind, I planned Nuang trip via Janda Baik and of course with my hiking group. We were told it'd probably take us between 3 to 4 hours of hiking to the peak.

Initially, my target was around 10 people but out of sudden it became a hot event... total of of 23 persons joined. And it was not so easy to handle a big group hiking with different fitness level.

Looking on the unpredictable weather lately, so, I planned to start the trekking early in the morning. So, on the day of event, we set out at 5.00am as our earliest meeting time. We met first at Masjid Al-Ridhuan at MRR2 to pick up & meet up with few members before proceed to Tol Gombak at 5.15a.m to meet with other member came from other places. After that, we proceed to Genting Sempah RnR to stop for suboh prayer & having a quick breakfast.

How to get here?
From Tol Gombak, Take the E8 Karak/Kuantan Highway. Immediately after the tunnel, take the exit to the rest area (Genting Sempah) and Janda Baik.

Around 6.30a.m, we headed to Kampung Janda Baik. It's fairly easy to find, just straight drive all the way. Look for the Institut Latihan Memperkasa UMNO (ILMU). .. the banners are everywhere along the way. And when you find the ILMU on your right, you are on the right track. We met with our guide here before proceed. After passing ILMU, you have to drive straight in front for about 2km until you come to a junction. Here is where the TAR road ends. You can park your car at the designated area. The trail to Gunung Nuang is on the right... just after you cross the stream.

Tips: Parking space is limited, thus, car pooling is advisable. If you come in a big group, maybe you can park your car at Genting Sempah RnR and shared cars before drive all the way to the starting point. 

Place to park your car

After a short briefing from our guide Uteh, we started our trekking and the first challenge was to cross the stream. It was still early in the morning and the water was quite cold. Hahaha, belum panas pon lagi dah start basah. 

Ist challenge... crossing the river stream

Walking thru Orang Asli Farm

Awesome farm view along the way

Along the way, you could see agri crops like bitter gourds, french beans, four angled beans etc were planted nicely by Orang Asli village’s farmers. We thought of picking up some... nak buat ulam for lunch lah konon-konon nye kat peak nanti tapi tak amek pon... hahaha.

Continue until you see Orang Asli House

Follow the farm trail for about 20 minutes until you see Orang Asli traditional house... further walk around 10 minutes will bring you to a junction, turn into slightly right up and finally, beginning of the jungle trail that leads to Cemperoh waterfall (another 30 minutes) where you need to cross the river stream again before straight up to the mountain. 

The great scene behind

Another landmark on the trail, an Orang Asli traditional house

We rest for about 5 minutes before proceed

Further walk until you see a junction... take slightly right up

Beginning of the Jungle Trail

You need to bend to get thru this fallen bamboos

The muddy trail... maybe last night hujan lebat kot

Reached mini waterfall... 1st person yang sampai

Finally reach our 1st checkpoint... Air terjun Chemperoh, Almost 1 hour to get here
So irresistable

Chemperoh Waterfall

What I noticed, there were no check point, rest hub and proper sign at the junctions. However, after we crossed the 2nd stream (Chemperoh waterfall), plastic ribbon tied on trees can be spotted along the way, but it is better to follow the guide closely as there were few points that can easily get confuse. 

The trek getting tougher after the Chemperoh waterfal

Buah Rotan... exactly looks like Kuih Buah Rotan

Beautiful Fungus after the rain

The trail

Here the terrain was quite rough. We had to pass thru some thick bushes, several fallen trees and thru a bamboo trees. A few times we practically need to bend underneath some massive fallen bamboo trunks & trees. 

Don’t be surprised as there were so many leeches along the way. Alhamdulillah, none interested with my sweet blood. Maybe after tips given by Mom & Mariam, soaking the socks (you will use later) inside the water with tobacco and then dry it. Tips orang dulu-dulu ni, anyway it works.

Try to hide from me

The rocky trail

Entering the mossy forest

 A bit cold & more relax track... meaning you almost there

One of the less tough challenge

The beautiful mossy forest...

Finally... reached the peak

My lucky day... 
buat stock seminggu lah until the next week hikers coming

We reached the peak about 4 hours later... around 12.30pm, but only quarter of our group. The rest still at the back. There were already few hikers when we reached there and majority of them were using Hulu Langat trails. As expected, the veteran group & 2 chinese guy that overtook us along the Janda Baik trail also already there. We’re the first to start but they reached the peak first... cannot compete their stamina... huhuhu.

Alhamdulillah, I did it

Antara yang terawal sampai

Trying hard to let it go
Awesome view from Nuang's peak

At 1439 m (4898 ft) altitude... almost every trees covered with mosses

Congrats everyone

For those reach early, we spent almost 2 hours on the peak... waiting for the rest of the member (yang baru sampai) taking time for lunch & rest. Just then, we started descending. 

Descending is fairly easy on Janda Baik trail, you can enjoy the forest environment and take time to descend with relax. My friend Steve & Mariam took only 1 & half hour to descend to Chemperoh waterfall from peak without the guide. Lambat kata nye menunggu yang lain... It’s ok, as long as you safe. I was the 3rd to arrive after follow my guide Fairuz and Hazwan running all the way to the waterfall after halfway descending.

We took 1 hour break at Chemperoh waterfall before return to our starting point
We spent about 1 hour at Cemperoh waterfal. While waiting for the remaining team to descend, Some of us spent time soaking into the refreshing water to clean out dirts, solat, makan-makan & taking pictures for the last time at Cemperoh waterfal. Around 6 p.m, we started to descend to the starting point and managed to reach before 7pm. 

Air Terjun Chemperoh really calm your mind & soul

Kewajipan dimana saja & dalam apa jua keadaan

Chemperoh waterfall... every angle of it was so refreshing

Cleaning our dirty shoes before get into the car

Track thru Janda Baik is definitely a more decent trail, enjoyable, mossy environment on last half an hour to the peak, refreshing waterfall, farm view and well located river stream at the end of the hike where we can clean our dirty shoes before get into the car. Janda Baik trail is much easier compare to track thru Pangson (cakap macam pernah naik thru Pangson jer... cheh). 

To me, even if you're unexperienced hiker, you can hike thru this Janda Baik trail provided you have a good fitness level. Physical fitness is indeed a prerequisite. However, if you're looking for fun and challenging trails, I think trail thru Pangsoon Hulu Langat is the answer. Maybe, I should try before retired... Insyallah.

Summary of our hiking trip

0515am • Meeting point @ Tol Gombak 
0545am • Stop Solat @ RnR Genting Sempah, quick breakfast & drive to ILMU @ Janda Baik 
 0700am • Meet with guide @Institut Latihan Memperkasa UMNO (ILMU) Janda Baik & drive to starting point 
0730am • Safety Briefing & Start hiking 
0840am • Reach AIr Terjun Cemperoh (30 min rest) 
1230pm • Reached Summit 
1430pm • Start descend to Starting Point. 
1645pm • Arrived at AIr Terjun Cemperoh (rest for 1 hour) 
1845pm • Safely arrive at Starting Point. 
1900pm • Expedition End.

Items to bring along 
1. Water (minimum 2L each) – bring enough water since Cemperoh is the last water source. 
2. High Energy Food (Dried fruit, Kurma, Chocolate, Energy bar etc.) 
3. Breakfast + lunch (Self Provided) 
4. Good hiking shoes or Rubber shoes for the climb 
5. Disposable Raincoat / Poncho 
6. Small towel 
7. Personal First aid Kit (Minyak Angin, Plaster, Panadol, Oral rehydration salt etc.) 
8. Emergency gear: Flashlight/Torchlight, whistle, knife, lighter, 1st aid kit 
9. Small bag pack (for climbing)

- Hiking Stick 
- Knee guard/Ankle guard 
- Insect repellent 
- Leech protection (highly recommended) 
- Extra clothes (both shirt & pants), can leave in car 
- Plastic bags for dirty shoes/clothes, can leave in car 
- Extra slippers to change into afterwards, can leave in car 
- Camera

See on the next Hiking trip to Berembun - Jersah - Perdah...

The END...

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ho Chi Minh Day 5: Last day @ HCMC

Monday, 1st April 2013 
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 

Today is our last day at HCMC. Since our flight back to KL scheduled to be at 1.35 p.m. so, not much we can do other than preparing to go back, make sure all things are already in the baggage and packed. And for the last time we're having our breakfast at Hajah Basiroh. And aku for the last time makan "Pho" (popular street food kat HCMC) as for my breakfast, yelah lepas ni mana nak dapat makan macam ni dah.

With friendly receptionist yang sentiasa tersenyum melayan kerenah kami

After breakfast, we headed again to Ben Thanh market for the last time. Nak menghabiskan duit yang masih ade & menemankan orang yang berkenan sangat dengan beg sulam yang aku beli semalam. Aku tak beli apa-apa pun. Macam tak tahu pulak nak beli apa dah padahal duit masih ada lagi. Kami tak lama pun cuma around 1 hour and returned back to Hotel. Kami dah minta staff Thanh Thu dapatkan Vinasun Taxi at 11 a.m to Airport. Nanti ade extra 10,000 Dong you need to pay to the driver sebab service pick up from Hotel. Aku rase lah, sebab dia minta extra kat kami dengan tunjuk kan ticket... hehehe. 

My Budget & Tips...
  •  AA Ticket Promo - RM227 (return) except luggage - RM 80 untuk 15kg (pergi) dan 25kg (balik) ....hahaha nmpak sgt nak bershopping kan.
  • Hotel - RM178.50 (5D/4N) - Thanh Thu Hotel. Superior Room dia sangat OK & toilet bersih & luas. Hari-hari ade housekeeping. Staff dia pon sangat friendly. I booked thru Agoda, a month before our trip, penting ni sebab hotel nearby with Ben Thanh market memang cepat sold out. Booking thru Agoda pon boleh buat free cancellation, 7 days before check-in. Let say, tiba-tiba trip korang cancel last minute (7 days before) dapat refund.
  • Makan - Roughly RM30 (Restoran Mahal e.g. Vietnam Delights, VN Halal & yang sewaktu dengan nye) and  RM10 (Hajah Basiroh)

Mekong Tour Package

USD14-USD20 (Full Day Tour) - kalau amek yang Islamic package Tour mahal skit (USD25-USD30) tapi better aku rase sebab termasuk dengan makanan yang Halal. Macam kami ni terpaksa tapow makan dari Restoran Hajah Basiroh sebab package kami ni confirm tak Halal walaupun lunch included.

Pakcik Karim yang aku kenal di Night market ade membuat Islamic package tour for Mekong. So, kalau nak servey-servey herge boleh lah try contact or email as per below detail:

Pak Karim
Mobile: +84 12441 77706

Aku rase biasa-biasa jer Mekong tour ni, takde yang special... cantik lagi Sungai kat malaysia ni. Tapi kalau korang rasa nak kelainan tak salah pun nak mencuba. Kalau nak amek Mekong Tour with Floating market make sure bus bertolak seawal 6 pagi. 

Chu Chi Tunnel Package 

USD7 (Half Day Tour). Normally not included with lunch. So, bring your own food (yang simple jer before return back to your Hotel) & water.

Ade package tour lain juga... e.g. Saigon city tour, Siem Reap tour pun ader tau from HCMC, tapi aku rase 2 hari berjalan pon dah cukup. Sebab shopping jer dah makan masa banyak... biasalah.

  • Vietnam Silk bidang 60 - RM40-RM55 (tengok type) - Type 1 mahal skit & quality lagi OK. Vietnam silk tu kalo quality OK, both side boleh guna.
  • Telekong Vietnam Silk - RM35 - RM60 (tengok sulaman & quality silk)
  • English Cotton - RM20-RM25 (quality sama jer cuma kena tgk kedai mana yg offer lagi OK)
  • Cotton sulam manik - RM50 (Night Market), USD18 - USD23 (tengok beads design & quality cotton)
  • Chiffon sulam manik - USD 20-USD 30 (depend on the beads design) - lagi complicated lagi mahal 
  • Shawl - USD3-USD5 (Night market) - memang range ni je herge dia kalau tak dapat juga blah jer cari kedai lain... hehehe. Confirm nanti ade juga yang kejar kasi herge yang kita nak. 
  • Handbag Sulam - USD3-USD5 (depend on bargaining skill) 
  • Tudung Halfmoon yang ade beads - RM20 herge yang kami dapat (kuality lebih kurang yang macam kat Masjid Jamek yang jual sampai RM80 ke atas tu) and design pon cantik-cantik. Tapi aku tolong belikan untuk orang lah. Sebab kalu beli pon tak tahu nak pakai bila... meriah sangat, hahaha.
  • Fridge Magnet – depend on bargaining skill too (aku dapat USD3 untuk 10 Vietnamese couple with national costume at Night market) 
  • Dueter Bag - Memang murah-murah kat area Ben Thanh & Saigon Square tapi not really original. Tak sure lah kalo ade kat tempat lain lagi. Ade sumber yang menyatakan, sememangnye kilang Deuter ni kat vietnam tapi manufactured hanye untuk pasaran luar sahaja. That's why korang takkan jumpa yang original punye kat area sini.
  • Vietnam Coffee - Boleh dapat RM5 for 100g kat Ben Thanh market. Kat Night market tak servey plak. Kalo Pak Karim dia jual RM15 for 500g yang dah siap packing (kopi dia tak sama yang macam jual ikut gram tu)  and dapat free kopi filter lagi. 
  • T-shirt – between USD5 to USD7 at Night market (range ni jer herge dia). Quality dia not so OK. Aku beli sebab ade orang pesan jer.

Sebenar nye ade macam-macam benda lagi boleh beli kat HCMC ni. Tapi yang aku listed above cuma yang aku beli jelah, itu yang aku boleh buat range price for each.

Conclusion nye....semua pun kena tengok kedai mana yang offer lagi best, so, survey sangat penting. Sebab bila compare quality lebih kurang jer tapi vietnam silk tu memang boleh rasa lah beza quality kain dia. Kalau lagi mahal memang lagi lembut lah. Tapi bila survey-survey ni pon dah banyak buang masa & tenaga sebenarnye... sampai waktu dah malas nak fikir dah, redha jelah. 

Aku bawa RM1K tapi tak habis pon. Total budget spend RM800 (Shopping+Makan+Tour+Extra). Agak-agak nye kalau baju sulam manik dia kat sini ade size aku, confirm tak cukup RM1K tu... size XS pon agak besar kat aku, huhuhu. Maybe ade hikmah nyer.

My last Vietnam Coffee
Sempat lagi tapow tu sementara tunggu taxi... hehehe, memang terbaek lah

Other tips...
  • Waktu di Ho Chi Minh lewat 1 jam dari waktu Malaysia.
  • Driver seat kat Vietnam sebelah kiri yea. Jangan silap masuk plak :-)
  • Sediakan duit tukar sebanyak mungkin. Sini macam banyak guna VND. RM & USD pon ramai jer accept. Kalau beli kain rasa nye lagi jimat pay in RM. Makan, tour package & taxi lagi save pay in Dong. No coin money, OK.
  • Nak lintas jalan kat sini sangatlah mengharukan sebab banyak sangat motor, so, be extra careful.
  • Exploring the city is best to bring along the hotel name card & map. In case you need a taxi to take you back (lepas penat berjalan), at least you know the address or phone no. which you can call. Hotel kami ade provide free map :-) 
  • Bawa universal adapter sebab sini pakai 2-pin socket.
  • Kalau boleh guna taxi Vinasun (taxi bermeter) and better pay in Dong. Kalau bayar in USD, afraid that no return money :-) and kalau ade pon rugi je kot. 
  • Kalau korang kaki shopping, better book hotel yang dekat dengan Ben Thanh market. Senang jalan kaki jer & tak perlu naik taxi. 
  • Masa kat airport nak check-in & baggage drop, kalau boleh dapatkan printed boarding pass dari kaunter check-in even korang dah ade yang printed copy senndiri punye sebab nanti jadi case macam kawan aku Hezrin yang terpaksa patah balik ke Kaunter check-in sebab Vietnam Imegression takmo yang dia print sendiri. Sengalkan... habis apa guna ade kaunter self check-in & printing boarding pass tu. Bukan tujuan dia nak mempermudah kan urusan ke. Macam Hampeh.

Apa lagi ek... rasa nye itu jelah kot untuk dikongsi bersama. Sekian.

Thanks to Aunty from Surabaya for the cough medicine... rimas agak nye tengok aku batuk bagai nak pengsan kat dalam plane, hehehe

End of my HCMC trip. Insyallah kalau ade next AA offer rasa nye macan nak ke sini lagi.

To be continued on next trip.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hiking @ Air Terjun Lepoh

Location: 15 km north of Ulu Langat, near Kg Pangsun, Selangor 
Meeting Point: Masjid Batu 14, Hulu Langat 
Coordinates and map: N03° 15.03' E101° 51.94' 
Accessibility: Trekking 

Another awesome trip on Saturday morning. My special thanks my friend, Mariam, who has start and stuck with this plan. Actually our initial plan was to Perlus Waterfall but out of sudden the people that suppose to bring us here not available on that day. So, Mariam decided to proceed with the plan to other waterfall trekking, Lepoh... although she could not remember the trekking path at was 2 years back since her last trekking. 

Lepoh Waterfall was located at Hulu Langat, near Kg Pangsun. Just before reaching this Kampung, there was a signage “Asli Adventure Base Camp” where you need to turn left. This small road ends after a few km at a place where you can park your car. We arrived to the starting point around 7.45 a.m and parked our cars at the designated parking area near the entrance. There’s no one when we reached there. So, I guest, we’re the first group. 

We parked in front of this base camp

From here you need to cross a stream and two small bridges. This is a region of Durian orchards and bamboo forest. Just after that you will enter the forest where the real trekking is begun. 

When you reach water pipeline, you should know that you are on the right way. The track follows more or less the pipeline until a water catchment basin is reached. From here it is not far to the waterfall.

Generally the track is clear & not so hard to follow. Like us, luckily we had Mariam to guide us. 

Crossing the first bridge

The second bridge

The track is clear and easy to follow
Entering the rubber estate... one of the way you need to pass thru

The extraction of latex from the rubber tree

The trek is going uphill all the time but not in a strenuous way. It will take about two hours to cover the 4 km to the waterfall, but I think we did less than 2 hours. 

Calm & easy track

Just follow the available route

Beautiful creature

The hiking route

Pipeline marked the right track

Take five kejap

Huzz & Amy... 
sebenarnye nak tunjuk panjangnye pipe kat belakang tu :-)

The beginning of hard path

The Green Forest

The roots

The white mushroom

You will see this resting area, perhaps, otw to Lepoh waterfall but looked like abandoned house

Apa nama ntah

Putih & suci

After 2 hours of climbing, we came upon the waterfall, found spot for ground site, put our bags and started enjoying the waterfall. I don't know how to descibe how happy I am at that time. Yang heaven nye, tak ade sorang pun kat atas ni masa kami sampai.

Finally, we;re here... Lepoh waterfall
 Attractive waterfall, with a deep pool for swimming

The trail ends here. If you want to reach the top of the fall, you will have to scramble up at the right side of the fall. 

So irresistable

Kegembiraan kami digugat dengan kehadiran pelajar-pelajar diatas

Kami beralih ke sini selepas ganguan di atas

Air Terjun Sungai Lepoh

Kami habis mandi-mandi around 11.30 a.m and started descending after that. Time taken to reach down was about 1 hour. On the way back to, kami jumpa few groups yang nak ke lepoh waterfall juga. Luckily, we're the first to come. If not, then, tak enjoylah cause too many people.

p/s: Waterfalls can be dangerous !! Always take care about your safety.

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