Friday, 20 October 2006

Gunung Rinjani 3,726 m

Date: 20 Oct 06 - 30 Oct 06 [10 days]
Location: Lombok Island, Indonesia
Altitude: 3,726m ASL
Difficulty: 8.3/10 (
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC
Filter: Hoya CPL
Post editing: PS CS2
Organizer: Dan
Members: Ewe Cheong, Lilian, Sam, Lucy, CS Law, KL Tan and Andrew 
Guide: 1 local guide + several potters [for the Rinjani trek only]
My reason to go there: GoogleEarth! Yup, I’ve found Rinjani via GoogleEarth. I was just casually scrolling over the geography of Java, then Bali and then Lombok….. when I found this big lake. I later learned more about it via Google that it is actually a crater from a huge huge volcano, so I’ve made a trip there to see it for myself.

My dream come true trip .... few months of planning and gathering the rite gang, and I've made it there and back in one piece, most importantly everyone came back in one piece as well ..... 
I can't believe I went backpack with 7 other person, as we all know backpack trips are always uncertain.. if you ask me to do this again, hmmm I will probably not do it again. All in all everything was relatively smooth, we got our accommodations, meals, transportation  guide, hiking, island hoping pretty smoothly ... except for some minor glitches here and there..

Ok we flew from Penang to KL, from KL we flew to Bali ... stayed one night there, the next day we got a van to transfer us to PadangBai, we got onto the huge metal ferry and off we go  .. it was a 5 hours slow ride to Lembar, Lombok. The ferry was made of steel .. over crowded, quite messy, low class looking place ... but we are ok, we enjoy sitting amongst the locals and have a feel of what was it like to travel like that.

At Lembar we got on to the van and headed to Sembalun Lawang where we meet our pre-arranged guides and porters. I guess that is the only pre-arrangement I have made for the trip. I was surprised to see 11 porters and 1 guide. These men will be hiking with us for the next 4 days..

About the hike

Day one - I remember the sky to be super blue, super clear, and the view of the entire Rinjani mountain was perfect ..... the hike was on flat savana land for the first hour, then it was up up up all the way to the camp site of Pelanwangan 2 Crater RIM at 2639m ASL. When we got there it was already dawn, while waiting for the porters to setup our tent, we wonder around, taking pictures .. .the view was amazing, other than Nepal I have not seen another prettier place than this.. we got into our tents soon after that, and it started to rain, strong wind and it became really cold, seriously cold . .all the other guys came to my tent and we could not move out from the tent for dinner, so they brought us our dinner ... fried rice with vege, eggs and fruits. I am not sure what was the temperature that night, but I guess it was easily <10c

Day two - We woke up at 2:00am and had to start hiking at 2:30am ... it was freezing !!! A quick snack and off we go .... the reason we started so early was because we want to get to the summit before or during sunrise. The trail was brutal, it was really dusty, steep and grainy(I meant loose with volcano sand/stones) ...every step forward, it will be half a step backward, tough hike! Anyway most of us reached the summit just around sunrise and managed to see the magnificent 360 panoramic scenery of Rinjani from there. The descend was quick, it was almost like skating down ...  when we got back to the campsite, brunch is served. After that we broke-camp and headed down into the crater of Rinjani ... the next campsite was beside the crater lake within Rinjani.... the trail down was nice, superb scenery, lots of pictures and we got there just before dawn again, the porters setup camps, and cooked our dinner. ..while we where busy bathing at the hot springs nearby, taking pictures and some busy digging holes to do their big business, lol.

Day three - Originally we planned to hike all to the crater rim and camp there, however we reach the campsite very early, so we had a discussion whether to push and complete the trail 1 day early or just camp there and continue our hike as planned. After the discussion we decided to push and complete the hike at the same day, that is to reach Kg. Senaru before dawn, so everyone was on turbo after lunch .... vrooom we go and we got to Kg. Senaru before dawn, the porters found a nice place in the Kg. over looking a valley for us to setup camp, from the camp site we could see Sindang Gile waterfall, there is no river above... water just shoot out from an opening at the side of the mountain ... really cool.

Day four - The reason why we have decided to complete our hike 1 day earlier was to be able to have a day to explore Senaru, to visit Sindang Gile and Tiu Kelip waterfall ..... they are breath taking, the water 19c freezing cold and super clear. After the waterfalls we visit the local wet market and had some really good mee bakso ..then we visited the house of our guide, had tea there, etc etc 

After Senaru we went to Kuta, south of Lombok for the beach .. Kuta has some really nice and long beach, very popular with Australian surfers .... for me, it is like a huge aquarium, I spent hours wondering the beach during low tide .... there were a lot to see, nudibranches, crabs, seahorses, octopus, seaweeds, etc ... we rented bicycles to cycle around too. 

After Kuta ...we explored Sengigi, and did some island hopping at The Gili Paradise Islands of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, did some snorkeling .. .we could see green turtles, and bumpheads !

Later on we explored Mataram, the capital of Lombok on Cidomo(local horse cart)...

And finally got our-self a domestic flight from the airport back to Depansar where we connect back to Malaysia 

To describe this trip .....
Food: very sedap, mee bakso especially ... nasi campur, ayam taliwang, perincih kangkung...
Places: very beautiful, very natural ... especially the Rinjani region, Kuta and the Gili Islands... and the most beautiful waterfall I have ever seen -> TiuKelip Water
Transportation: we've experienced almost everything .. hike for 4 days, walk walk walk, crawl, taxi, motorbike, van, A.Asia, Domestic flight, Ferry, Boat, Cidomo....
People: Interesting culture ... friendly, but the road side vendor can sometimes be a bit annoying, hai cari makan susah... 


Saturday, 30 September 2006

Gunung Stong 1,433m

Date: 30 Sep 06 - 01 Oct 06
Location: Gunung Stong, Kelantan
From: Mount Stong State Park, Dabong, Kelantan
Altitude: 1,433m ASL
Difficulty: 4.8/10 (
Hike duration: Day trip to Strong [2D/1n a Baha's camp]
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC
Filter: Hoya CPL
Post editing: PS CS2
Organizer: Doreen
Members: Dan, Kean, Lucy, Lynn, Kah Fai and KL Tan
Guide: local guide from Baha's camp
Reason of my visit: Since I've done Gunung Ayam, I might as well do Gunung Stong too. They are like twins.

A trip Gunung Stong  .... 2nd time to BAHA camp..... ... BAHA camp is a camping group 450m ASL and the foot the Jelawang waterfall, said to be the tallest in south east asia, but I don't know how true is that... like Mount Kinabalu is said to be the tallest in SEA, but it is actually the 5th tallest after 1. Hkakabo Razi 5881m, Burma, 2. Puncak Jaya 5030m, Indonesia, 3. Trikora 4751m, Indonesia, 4. Mandala 4701m, Indonesia.

To go to BAHA, you need to first goto Jeli or Dabong at Kelantan, from there you can ask the locals how to get to BAHA....

We camped at BAHA for 2 nights and did a day trip up to Gunung Stong, I think it tools 4 hours to reach the summit. Nothing particularly nice up there, however like all mountains in Malaysia, vegetation is abundant and interesting. If you are lucky you could see hornbills flying above you ... 


Sunday, 24 September 2006

Bukit Tabur 450m 2006

Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bukit Tabur(West), Selangor
From: Taman Malawati, Selangor
Altitude: 450m ASL
Difficulty: 1.5/10
Hike duration: Day trip
A.K.A.: Bukit Malawati
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC
Filter: Hoya CPL
Post editing: PS CS2
Members: Dan, Sam and Lilian
Guide: Sam and Lilian
Reason of my visit: Seen some really nice picture from Tabur before, so wanted to photograph it myself.

Bukit Tabur at KL, standing at approximately 450m is errr ... not that hard to hike up, but it can be really dangerous if you are not careful ... here are some pictures from Tabur......
TO the untrained eye, Bukit Batu Tabur is a not too high a hill in the form of something like a pre-historic animal's backbone guarding the congested Ulu Kelang and Gombak residential neighbourhoods.
More serious climbers and adventurers look at its nine bulges and ragged cliffs as training ground for a more challenging tilt at Gunung Tahan, Mount Korbu or Mount Kinabalu.
The limestone ridge is actually a favourite weekend hideout for Klang Valley's climbers, joggers and nature lovers. In a claim to some distinction, it has also been touted as the longest quartz ridge in the world.
Be there in a weekend morning or afternoon and the usually quiet place will come alive with its regular visitors performing their favourite physical rituals after a hectic working week.
With its unique physical feature of a long outcrop, Bukit Batu Tabur has only two choice of trails – both start at each end of the rock.


Monday, 21 August 2006

Permatang Pauh in B&W

Date: Aug 2006
Location: Padi field beside (BKE-Butterworth Kulim Highway), Seberang Perai
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC
Filter: Hoya CPL
Post editing: PS CS

Experimenting with some black and white landscape techniques, I'm not sure if they are acceptable ... anyway these are my best shots, any suggestion will be good .. do give comments, thanks...

Sunday, 13 August 2006

Little Things - Butterfly Farm

Date: 13 Aug 2006
Location: Butterfly farm, Penang
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Lens: Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 (Di) Macro 1:1
Filter: none
Post editing: PS CS

My first time using the Tamron SP90 ... boy it is not as easy as I thought, learned a thousand lessons that day. Well I have deleted more than half of the pictures took .... these are the few ok ones. I have actually tried some daring composition and err...other stuffs, hope you boleh tahan the crazy stuffs eh..

Sunday, 6 August 2006

Kanchanaburi, Thailand

I got the cheap cheap AirAsia flight ticket from Penang to Bangkok(RM135.00 for 2 ways), so I went there for 5-6 days and wondered into the heart of Kanchanaburi for some fresh air, away from the Sumatran haze and my alarm clock.
Kanchanaburi is a beautiful state, contains a lot of greenery, rivers, waterfalls, national parks and gentle+polite Thai people.
And of coz I spent a day and night at Bangkok for some finger licking good food and just a little shopping….

I would describe this trip as:
- Refreshing.
- Yummy – Everything tasted good here, I had 5-6 meals every day.
- Cheap – 200-400 bath per river raft… and Khaosan of coz is cheap too.
- Happy – Met some really nice Thai people, they are real whole hearted people.
- Happy – Tigers… wow …
- Happy – The waterfalls are awesome !!!!
- Happy – Got myself a 2nd day pack for 500bath, 20 lit LoweAlpine with Net-Airflow
- Seen a lot – train rides, local buses, tuk tuks, motorbike tuk tuks, taxis, bike, walk walk walk….

- I actually took some pictures with Tigers ! wow..


Saturday, 8 July 2006

Gunung Irau 2,110m 2006

Date: 08.Jul.06 - 09.Jul.06
Altitude: 2,110m ASL
Difficulty: 4.6/10

These are unsorted, unselected pictures from my Cam..... everything's here.
Gunung Irau 2110M is located at Cameron Highlands, uphill trek takes 3-4 hours.
On Gunung Irau the starting point is already so high that we were among the moss immediately. The trees here are literally covered in moss. It grows in great, green, cushiony clumps, as wet as unsqueezed out sponges. Fringes and curtains of moss hang among the trees and little beards of it sway in the breeze. It's impossible to count how many different shades of green there are, or describe just how brilliant the green is sometimes. It's really magical, like walking in a fairytale forest.

Aside from the magic, there is mud. All that water in the moss is right there in the ground too. Some of the ground is so soft that it sinks like a mattress when you stand on it. The rest of the ground is so soggy that the mud will come over our boots if we step on it.
Then there are all the fallen trees and tangles of exposed roots which block the path and have to be clambered over. Some parts of the path are almost vertical and we have to climb up using roots as handholds. This is one of those treks where arm muscles ache as much as leg muscles the next day!


Monday, 3 July 2006

Gunung Ayam 1,504m

Date: 03 Jun 06 - 04 Jun 06
Location: Gunung Ayam, Kelantan
From: Mount Stong State Park, Dabong, Kelantan
Altitude: 1,504m ASL
Difficulty: 6.5/10 (
Hike duration: 2D/1N
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC
Filter: Hoya CPL
Post editing: PS CS2
Organizer: Kenny Sin(AH) - they were also there, so we trailed them
Members: Dan, Lucy, Ewe Cheong, Kah Fai and KL Tan
Guide: NIL
Reason of my visit: Heard it is nice up there, wanted to try hiking with full load

Gunung Ayam 1,504m is located in Kelantan, 5 hours drive from Butterworth, Penang. 
From Grik to Jeli then to the base of Jelawang waterfall is where we started the hike up to this very beautiful mountain. It takes approximately 1-2 hours to hike from the park entrance to Baha’s camp (the base camp) and another 5-6 hours to the summit of Gunung Ayam. We camped at the false peak and visit the summit the next morning.

Most of the trekkers will set their base camp at the top of Jelawang waterfall to have a easy journey. The junction to G.Ayam 1,504m & G.Stong 1,433m at one hour distance after the Base camp. The trek to Gunung Ayam is more challenging and arduous than Gunung Stong trek because take about 3 hour to the summit of Gunung Stong but 6 hour to the top of Gunung Ayam.

These pictures were taken at Gunung Ayam Kelantan during my hiking trip there. Gunung Ayam has these very unique Ferns(蕨类植物的叶子) growing near the summit region, I have not seen these type of fern else where so far...