A Travellerspoint blog

Mossy Forest

Cameron Highlands


It has been an exhausting, both physically and mentally, yet the most rewarding, satisfying and fun hike in the mossy forest.

Our journey started from KL at 2.30am and we reached Brinchang around 7am. Five of us met up with the group and proceeded to the start of the trail of the Mossy Forest. Upon reaching the entrance, it was an unpleasant sight with plenty of rubbish strewn all over the place. From the bush in the parking area to the overflow of rubbish surrounding the rubbish bin, it was a sore to the eyes.


There was a briefing and a warm up session before we started the hike around 8.45am. At the beginning of the trail, there was a nicely constructed wooden pane bridge before the hike in the woods began. Although the height of the peak was only at 2110m, the journey up there was challenging.
Along the trail to the peak, we hiked through muddy peat moss, roots of trees and sometimes steep boulders which required us to climb with the help of the ropes tied there. After almost what seem like an endless climb, we finally reached 'Mini Irau', a place for us to rest ourselves.
We continued the journey up and finally reached Mount Irau peak around 12.30pm.
The peak was full of hikers by the time we reached but we found a spot to sit and savoured our nasi lemak (cooked and packed by Mak Aji, a member of our group). As the dark clouds was hovering threateningly above us, we quickly made our descend after our photo session. Not soon after, it drizzled and soon became raining cats and dogs upon us. With our raincoats on, we continued our descend through the even muddy and slippery trail. Four of us were separated from the group but we managed to catch up and follow another group of three along the trail. There was a guy who was extremely considerate; in the heavy downpour, he waited at a slope for us and pulled us up as he said it was high and slippery and hard to climb up without help. I am most grateful for his actions as any help at that time for us was like god send. Each step became heavier, we were challenged both physically and mentally, but somehow the rain finally stop and we managed to reached the end of the trail by 5.45pm.


Exhausted, dirty and tired but would I do this again in exchange for a comfy weekend in bed? YES, OF COURSE....
I'm not sure if anyone understand this feeling but I'm addicted to hiking and looking forward to my hike every weekend...whatmore with all the beautiful trails, mountains and hills available in Malaysia, I'll definitely never get tired of it and will hike whenever I can.

Cheers to those who love hiking too!

Posted by puileng 06:01 Archived in Malaysia Tagged mountains Comments (0)

Mount Kinabalu climb...AGAIN??



Yup, this will be my third time climbing this majestic mountain, the highest in Malaysia. This time I'm taking the Mesilau trail which is 2km longer than the timpohon trail. Initially there were three people climbing but one of my friend fell sick and left only us two in the journey. Although there were only two of us during the climb, we were enjoying the whole experience and definitely not lonely. Thanks to the friends we made along the way.


This time my journey was quite enjoyable with me taking photos along the way, meeting and chatting with the other hikers along the trail. Chatted with another guide who was showing me interesting photos and videos in his handphone whilst at the same time carrying a heavyload of about 25kg. Salute you la uncle...haha. Thanks to this uncle who made our journey fun with his lame jokes and interesting stories.


Lucky for us the weather was very good, however there were some water cuts at the accommodation at laban rata. Initially we were told that we were booked at Laban Rata for the night but upon reaching Laban Rata, there were some confusion and we were arranged to stay at Panar Laban Hut. I wouldn't mind staying at Panar Laban if I was told earlier. I could've bring some food up as I definitely would not be going down to Laban Rata for the 2am supper. Anyway, we bought some food at Laban Rata and climbed another 200m after our dinner that day. Luck was on our side as only the washroom at Panar Laban has water while Laban Rata has water cut. We were sharing the 6 beds dorm with three other young guys from Hong Kong. Chatted with them for awhile before turning off the lights at 6.30pm to sleep. They asked their guide to meet them at 2.20am at the hut whilst we asked our guide to meet us at 2.30am. As it turned out, our guide came picked us at 2.20am instead. We walked a short distance to the beginning of the trail to the peak next to Gunting Lagadan hut and met Chris, uncle Jag and uncle Mohan. We chatted for awhile before beginning our climb in the dark. With our headlights of course. After much training, I'm much better in stamina compared to my previous two climb. We made it around 6.30am to the Low's peak as we were enjoying the sunrise and view 200m below the peak while waiting for the crowd to take photo and climbed down. It was really crowded up at Low's peak. After our photo session with the famous board, both of us proceeded down back to laban rata. The weather was very sunny as we moved steadily down. At one point the uncle guide asked me to jump at a spot for photo. And I was like...huh, I'm dead tired enough to even walk down and you asked me to jump for photo taking...Anyway I obliged and jumped...haha

We reached Panar Laban, changed and packed our bags while Din waited and even fell asleep outside our hut waiting to carry our luggage down to laban rata. That was indication enough of how long us two ladies changed and packed our bags...felt sorry to Din who waited :p

After our late breakfast, we started to descend around 9.45am. After about one kilometer, our 17 year old porter caught up with us and I asked "mana tu abang lagi satu?" to which he replied was still up at laban rata. Oookk....Actually I've no worry as our dear guide was fast and caught up with us after two kilometres. We finally reached timpohon gate at 2pm. Had our late lunch at Balsam restaurant with our friend who didn't climbed and waited for us at the headquarters. Also met Chris and Uncle Jag at lunch while uncle Mohan was still at the trail.

We bid our farewells and went to Pine Resort for our night stay. The next day, we soaked our tired feet at the hot spring at Poring hot spring, visited the butterfly farm, desa cattle farm and the Nabalu market before going to the airport for our journey home.

Sometimes I feel that I'm actually blessed not to have made it to the peak the first time I climbed Kinabalu Mountain. Otherwise I wouldn't have climbed a second or third time and I wouldn't have met such wonderful people during my journey of adventure. Din, my favourite guide who was such a great sport and fun to be with. We became good friends and often keep in touch even after my climb. Dragon, my guide for my first climb, coincidentally we met again during my second and third climb without us planning for it. A funny uncle guide (didn't know his name) who I chatted with along the trail had many stories to tell. Will always remember the lame joke this uncle told us when we were at the peak. Uncle: "Do you know why your hands are cold here?" Us being curious quickly asked "Why ah? Why ah?" Then the uncle replied:"Because it's not hot!" Duh...haha...lame though as it is but we laughed and will definitely remember you uncle. Also met many other hikers along the trail, Uncle Jag, uncle Mohan, Chris who accompanied us along the mesilau trail, the three young guys from Hong Kong, Jess from Australia and many others. From second climb, the 70 plus uncle who quoted "it's not about the destination, it's about the journey" and Mom from Netherlands...Although I might never crossed path again with them all but I am glad that we once did.


Posted by puileng 06:57 Archived in Malaysia Tagged mountains kinabalu Comments (1)

Tabur East


I joined a hiking group to climb this hill on a sunny Saturday and it has been my most enjoyable hike for this year so far... Although knowing no one at first but in the end made a lot of friends. Didn't regret going to this hike alone as before I'm still undecided whether to join or not due to the early morning start and no friends to go with me.

Met up with the group at Masjid Al-Mardhiah at 6.45am and carpool to Jalan Melawati 4 to park our car. We started our hike by passing by the big pipes as written in most of the blog to Tabur East. That's the beginning of the trail. The hike is not that difficult until we came to a steep slope of rocks. Here, I need to climb up using all hands and legs to get myself up. Need to be careful here as one wrong step will get you falling down the hill.
Luckily I got some help from the new friends I made. Climbed up and we reached a flat surface which was the first check point...I think. I initially thought we had reached the peak until our guide pointed out to us that it is just the beginning and we had to climbed to the opposite hill...hahhh??!!! With jaws gaping at the faraway hill, we continued our journey by going down the hill and then going back up again, this time at a much steeper slope and with ropes to help along the way. Going up shouldn't be a problem by using the rope and pushing yourself up, however going down requires much more attention to where you are stepping. When we reached this area, we needed to wait for the people to come down first as there was only one way up and one way down. Abit of a traffic jam in this area. We waited until it's our turn to go up and it's the turn of the people up there to wait to get down. Once we were up, we were greeted by the almost 360 degree view surrounding Tabur East hill. The dam provides the most scenic view, with the sun shining down on its water turning it a vibrant blue contrasting with the green trees surrounding it. While we were enjoying the view and taking LOTSSS of photos and selfies, we were interrupted by the sound of a drone flying above us. A guy who was controlling the drone made a short video clip of Tabur East...nice touch.


Sitting by the edge of the cliff and taking photos was indeed very beautiful but it was also scary nonetheless. Not for those with fear of heights. Doing so must take all the precaution that you can take, otherwise one wrong step and you will reach the bottom of the hill in no time.


After much satisfaction of being able to reach the top of Tabur East and enjoying the nice view it has to offer, we proceeded down the hill. This time waiting again as another group of people were making their way up the hill. We followed another route down after the rope section, through the forest and down at the settlement of a few villagers there. Quite a contrast as once you are outside the settlements, there are big and modern houses there. We reached the bottom of the hill at about 11.30am. Some of us relaxed under the shading trees while we waited for everyone to get down. After we got down, we chatted and enjoyed our ice cream in the hot weather before we parted. Till we meet again troops...

Aerial view of Bukit Tabur East. Video by Fong YeWin

Posted by puileng 02:52 Archived in Malaysia Comments (2)

Anyeong Haseyo Korea

Busan Jeju


Four of us booked a midnight flight (AirAsia RM750 per person return trip) from KL to Busan (6 hours) on 31 October 2014. We couldn't sleep much on the flight. Arrived at Gimhae International Airport at 8.30am (Korea time). After we got our luggage, we headed to the Light Rail Transit to get to Ssanyang station and change line 1 to Seomyeon station, where our hostel, Blue Backpackers Hostel was located. We come out of the subway greeted by drizzling rain. We stood in front of the Lotte Department Store to check the map for the location of our hostel.
Our hostel was very warm and cozy with the staff friendly and helpful. The staff showed us on the map on where to go for our lunch and street food. During the whole Korea trip, the haddeok (Korea pancake) that was the best that we tasted was the stall located next to the Lotte Department Store. Very yummy and others that we tried couldn't beat that one. For our lunch, we walked along the streets in Seomyeon and decided to tried the BBQ beef ribs in one of the restaurants. After that, also in Seomyeon area, we eaten Jajangmyeon, some street foods and also snacks in the convenient store. We found the JaJangmyeon shop by chance actually. I downloaded a photo of the Jajangmyeon shop from some blog i read in the internet and we were looking for the shop in the area stated in the blog. I asked a lady standing in front of a shop of the directions and it happened to be the same shop that she was working for and ushered us in. Still in doubt, I went over across the street and saw the signboard similar to the photo that I had downloaded. Talk about coincidence...

With a full stomach, it's time to do some walking. We then took bus no.90 to Beomeosa Temple. It was still drizzling when we reached there and this weather actually make the scenery more stunning with misty clouds shrouded above the trees at the hills there.
At night, it was dinner at a small family restaurant nearby the bus station. There was only one aunty who cooked, served us our meal and cleared our table. The menu was translated into English by the aunty's child. How do we know that is because at the bottom of the menu, there was a message thanking us for visiting his / her mother's restaurant. 20141105_182437.jpg

GamCheong village was on our next day itinerary. We took a taxi which dropped us at right in front of the village entrance. I got an English map at the information counter for 2000 won. It is interesting to follow the map and get all the stamps from each station as I wouldn't have seen the different and interesting places if I didn't insist on getting every stamps from the different stamp counters all around the village. We took a slow walk and saw a lot of interesting architecture and arts displayed on the walls and buildings of the villages. Really really have to slow down or you'll miss some path which could lead to the viewing path or down to the villages below. That day, I have to ask a few people there before I could even find the stairs leading to the places that I wanted to go. The stairs were so steep and small. Even the entrance to some of the stairs were small and could easily be overlooked. All along the main pathway, we bought street foods and there were also some food which were given free. Along the way, we bumped into a group of Malaysians which was quite a relief after speaking broken Koreans languages or sign languages to the people there most of the day. They were getting ready to leave the village after a cup of tea in the community center there. We chatted and they recommended we go to the SpaLand at Centum City which in the end we didn't due to time contraints. We left Gamcheong village around 1pm and we took a taxi to TaeJongDae Resort Park which is about 30 minutes away.

There were a lot of restaurants in the area in front of TaejongDae entrance. We dropped by in one of the restaurant for our lunch.

Inside the TaeJongDae Park, we took the Danubi train (2000 won per person), and went around the park. After getting off at the same drop off point, we walked to the first station nearby to enjoy the scenery of the seaview.
As the sky was getting darker, we didn't have enough time to walk to the next few stations. Got back to the entrance where we took another taxi to Yongdusan Park. Here, there are a lot of shopping stores and food stores. Somewhere in the middle of the street, we took a escalator up to the top which leads to Yongdusan Park and Busan Tower. The night view there was great, an overview of Busan. Got back down to the food street below and chose to eat in one of the restaurants which served Samgyetang, ginseng chicken soup, one of their famous foods.
It's delicious too, could not ask for a more satisfying dinner after a tiring day. Took the subway back to our hostel after that. So much food that we wanted to try and although we were still full from the last meal, we still pack some pork knuckles for our supper. Nearby our hostel, there was a famous restaurant selling pork knuckles which were always full of people and queue. Got some other snacks and drinks from a convenient store and voila...another full supper eaten at our hostel's dining area which we have all to ourselves. I couldnt' resist opening a cup of maggi cup noodle which was left in the basket of free food from previous customers. yumyum.

We spend our third day having breakfast of grilled fish at Jagalchi market and snacks at BIFF Square. There were a lot of handprints of famous stars (mostly Korean and some international ones) on the walkway at BIFF. After a walk there, we dropped by Angel-In-Us Coffee (a franchise which you'll see in many places in Korea claimed to be selling the world best coffee) for a cup of coffee.

Later of the day, we took the Korean airlines to go to Jeju island. Once we reached the airport of Jeju, we headed to the rent-a-car counters available just before the exit door. As all the English language GPS has finished, we got no other choice but to take the Korean language GPS. We don't understand Korean but we somehow managed to know enough to use the GPS and find our way around Jeju island. 3 days of renting a car costed us about 182000 won excluding the gas. There's a bus from the airport that took us to the rental car office where we got our car and then finding our way to Yeha Terminal guesthouse. It was a left hand driving and totally different from driving on the right. Once we reached the hostel, we checked in, and got back out to the Black Pork Street for our dinner. It was very very windy that night and we were shivering walking outside the streets.

Second day in Jeju island. We went to the Jeju Arts centre which was still closed as we were too early. Still, we walk around the open area there before visiting the Jeju Loveland next to it. Entrance fees to Jeju Loveland costed 25000 won per person. It covers a large area with a lot of scupltures depicting the various forms of sex activity, some exhibition hall and a souvenirs shop.

CheongJeYeon Falls was next. Beware that there will be a lot of stairs and walking to visit all the three waterfalls there. I'll skip this next time. Entrance fees to CHeongJeYeon was 22000 won. We had lunch there before heading to JuSeongJeolli Cliff. We parked near the Seaes Hotel and Resort and walked along the sea heading to JuSeongJeolli Cliff. It's a very nice walk along that place.
JuSeongJeolli Cliff entrance fees costed 2000 won. After the visit to the cliff, we headed back to the Seaes Resort and enjoyed some snacks and hot drinks facing the ocean and a fantastic view of the setting sun. We left when it got dark and try our luck to see if the Glass Castle was open. When we reached there, it was just about to closed. No luck there. Went back to our hostel and walked to a restaurant nearby for our dinner.

Third day in Jeju island. First on our itinerary was the Jeju Stone Park.
I've never even thought of visiting this place but once you are inside, you wouldn't want to leave. the scenery there was so breathtakingly beautiful and the place so vast, I feel very comfortable just sitting there. Entrance fees costed 5000 won.

Next we went to Samgamburi Crater, entrance fees 6000 won and Seongsan Ilchubong, 2000 won. Seongsan Ichulbong involved about an hour of ascending the stairs (depending on your fitness level). It's one of the world heritage site and it definitely live up to it.

At night, we went to the restaurants near the port for some fresh seafood dinner.

Day four in Jeju island. We went to the Eorimok hiking trail at Mount Hallasan and tried out the trail for about one hour before turning back.
Stopped by in the middle of somewhere for our lunch and headed to the Hyopjae Beach. Enjoyed our cup noodles bought from a convenience store facing the crystal clear sea.
We drove along the cliff road until it's time to return our rented car. At night we took a cab to the Dong Mun shopping street.

The early next morning, we departed from Jeju island back to Busan. We stayed at the Popcorn hostel in Haeundae area. The worst hostel among that I've stayed in the week in Korea. They don't have maps of Haeundae, their computer is not functioning, the bathroom door lock was not working and they don't even understand what I meant when I requested for an earlier breakfast the next day.

Anyway, luckily I managed to find a map that I borrowed from my friend. We walked around the area nearby searching for something to eat and we found this nice BBQ Korean house. After a full stomach, we walked to the bus stop to catch a bus to the Yonggungsa Temple. Took bus no.181 and reached the stop for the temple about 20 minutes later.
The Younggungsa Temple is situated on a cliff facing the sea. After walking around the temple and eating the street snacks they sold there, we took the bus back to Haeundae and went to the beach.
At night we took the subway to the world's largest department store, the Shinsegae Department Store. It's definitely a large department store and as the things they sold there is so expensive, we didn't linger for too long. We went back to Haeundae Market for our dinner before calling it a night.

Last day, we took a cab to the airport, stuck in the morning rush traffic jam for a while but managed to witness an amazing sunrise among the buildings in Busan. We also done some last minute shopping in the airport. It's much cheaper than to buy in outside of the airport.

Back home to Malaysia around 4pm.

Posted by puileng 23:51 Archived in South Korea Comments (0)

Hello Sri Lanka!


Have not even thought of going to Sri Lanka until I joined my company trip there recently. Albeit some hiccups here and there in the tour, our group of 19 people enjoyed it nonetheless. In fact I think only our group out of the 10 groups enjoyed the trip the most. Contributing factors maybe because there were a lot of fun personalities and jokers in it :p

Our trip started when our captain of the group gave us all a morning call at 4am to reach the company on time. The bus was scheduled to depart to the airport at 5.30am. ... yawn ... Reached the airport and met with our tour guide, checked in and off we go on a 3 hours flight to Sri Lanka on Sri Lankan Airlines.

We reached there around 10.30am (Sri Lanka time) and were greeted by our Sri Lanka guide. They welcome us by giving each of us a fresh flower garland. Outside the airport, the weather was hot, similar to the weather in Malaysia. Along the highway, it felt quite similar to the sceneries along the highway to the north or south of Malaysia. Felt like home except for the difference of food and people there.

We stopped at a local restaurant 'Lemongrass' for lunch and started our city tour immediately after. We passed by some...no... a lot of Buddha statues around the town. Not too surprising since 70% of their population are Buddhist.


Went to the Independence Square and passed by some other buildings, monuments and Pettah market. Pettah market somehow feels similar to the Masjid India or is it Majid Jamek in Kuala Lumpur. A lot of cheap stuffs can be found here. Some shops I saw, they are selling saris, household goods and toys. After our city tour, we checked in to our hotel for the night, Global Towers Hotel. This hotel has an amazing view of the sea and railways beside it. Dinner was buffet of a variety of Indian dishes, curry, dhal and other food cooked in spices.


The next morning, we departed from the hotel to Kandy, a lovely town about 3 hours bus ride away. Along the way, we stopped by at the cashew nut stalls, fruits stalls and a spice garden. Their coconut drink is nice.


After lunch, we went to the temple of tooth. There was a cultural performance with the attraction of it was the part where they performed with fire and walk on hot fire walkway.


Then the beginning of our nightmare when we went inside the temple to catch a glimpse of the sacred tooth. The sacred tooth was kept inside a small room and only open for viewing for a certain period of time. By the time we went in there, the place was packed to the brim filled with all kinds of people waiting to catch a glimpse of the sacred tooth. After a minutes of pushing and waiting, me and one of my colleague decided to get out of the place not wanting to wait for the tooth any longer. Luckily for us that we got out early as I heard from my other colleagues who waited for the viewing of the tooth that the people started pushing when the sacred tooth door open. All wanted to see the tooth but some were not able to as the container that contain the tooth was so shinning bright in gold that all they could see was a shinning gold thing. The viewing we waited for was at 7pm, so if you do not intend to see the tooth, you can come at an earlier time to avoid the crowd. Entrance to the temple was at 1000 rupees. After an eventful day, we checked in to our hotel at Oak Ray Regency. This hotel rooms are spacious, even the corridor between the hotel rooms are spacious. One could even do a somersault across to the other rooms...no kidding.


Early the third morning, we started our day by shopping at 'Isini Gems' just across our hotel. These gems are really beautiful and most of my colleagues had bought something in there. I didn't bought anything as it was too expensive. Price range from 50 USD and above. My colleagues bought one blue sapphire for USD1000, one pink sapphire for USD1200. There are also colleagues who managed to bargain the price for 38USD for 4 different gems. It all depends on what type of gems and quality that you want to purchase.
The wood carvings is right next to the Isini gems store. We almost spent half a day in these shops alone. Only after that we departed to the tea plantation at Mackwoods.


Along the way we stopped by for lunch at Tea Rhamboda where there is a platform with a great view. Be prepared as the roads are winding. At the tea plantation, we were given a briefing on the processing of the tea leaves. We were treated to a nice cup of tea and moist chocolate cake amidst the cooling weather.


Next stop was Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka 'Little England' as they say. We went for a boat ride on the lake there. The weather was very cold there. After that, we began our arduous journey of 6 hours back to Colombo. The road was winding on the way down and some of my colleagues felt unwell. Luckily no one in our group threw up. However, on some part of the journey, some were even energetic enough to sing songs and DANCE in the bus! Entertaining it was, I dozed off amidst the loud Hindi songs and their dancing in the narrow walkway of the bus. The bus stopped at a shop along the way for us to buy some foods to fill our hungry stomachs. Finally reached our hotel in Colombo at 11pm (Sri Lanka time) and had our late late dinner.


Our last day in Sri Lanka was filled with more shopping. Went to the 'Barefoot' which sells hand woven products, another gems shop, Noritake shop and lastly a shopping mall there. 2014-09-01_15_23_08.jpg We even had the chance to experience the tuk tuk ride there which was scary as the tuk tuk manuevered its way through the other vehicles on the road. Finished all money and finally we departed to the airport for our flight back home. Even there was a lot to shop in the airport. After the imigration, the shops there only accepts currency in USD. So better be prepared in hand some USD currencies or you'll be like me who need to borrow some USD from colleagues to shop...

Overall for my trip to Sri Lanka, I felt blessed that I was put in this Group E, we had a great Sri Lanka tour guide, Mr Asangka and our Malaysian tour guide Ms Jocelyn. Thanks for the tour guides patience in managing us and trying your best to accommodate all our wishes. You did a great job! Wonderful memories of this trip and can't wait for the next one! Stuti (which means thank you in Sri Lankan) and Ayubowan (May you have a long life in Sri Lankan)

Posted by puileng 22:30 Archived in Sri Lanka Comments (0)

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