I Climbed My First Mountain, and It Changed My Life Forever

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By Gemma Wang

I have always been the type of person who loves challenges. I love to push my limit and see how far I can get, expand my comfort zone and generally, just continue becoming a better individual at any chance I can get. So naturally, when the opportunity came that offered me to climb my first mountain in 2015, I took the chance and said yes. It was one of the most amazing and memorable “yes” I made.

I wasn’t prepared for it. I was not specifically training to navigate rigorous and steep terrain, and who knows whatever challenges there are in climbing a mountain. So when dawn came that we had to start the climb, I was mentally telling myself “You can do this!” [Read more…]

Blog Release: Bus Rides to Malaysia

Johor Bahru - Train station

We are saddened to hear of the tragic events which occurred early on Christmas Eve morning. There were 14 people who were unfortunately killed in an accident at Km 137.3 of the highway at Kampung Jayor in Muar, Johor.

According to media reports, the driver of the bus lost control of the vehicle and this caused it to skid off the road, plunging into a 10-metre deep ravine around 3:40am.

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/christmas-eve-crash-kills-13-after-bus-plunges-off-cliff-in-muar

This accident follows one which occurred in July of 2016, where the driver of a tour bus was killed and 25 passengers, all tourists from China, were able to survive after the vehicle skidded and overturned at KM17.2 on Jalan Genting Highlands – Kuala Lumpur in the westbound direction. [Read more…]

17 Life Lessons Learnt While Hiking Bukit Tabur (A Pictorial Journey)

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#1 The start of any journey is a mixed set of feelings. Anticipation. Joy. Apprehension. No matter where the journey may take you, it’s that first footstep that is often the most difficult to take. This is because moving forward means you must leave something else behind. [Read more…]

Climbing G5 Gunung Chamah @ 2,171m.a.s.l

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By Lily Ho

This hike was initiated by an expeditor to celebrate his last G12 summit. He was unable to join the hike due to an unforeseen commitment, however, but we still continued with the plan. From a read-through of some blogs, this mountain was analysed as the toughest amongst G7 mainly due to its remote location. We would need to pass by few false peaks before reaching the summit of Gunung Chamah, a totally wild and less disturbed G5. [Read more…]

Hiking and Exploring In (and Around) Gunung Arong, Mersing – Here’s 6 Reasons Why You Should Go!

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Located in Mersing, the Johor state of Malaysia, the hike up Gunung Arong (275m) is simple by definition and offers intricate views and experiences for those who make the trek. Taking around an hour to get to the top, hikers will have plenty of time to take in the scene and enjoy the journey which is really what hiking is all about. If this isn’t enough to convince you to tie on the hiking boots and get started, here are 6 more reasons why you must explore Gunung Arong and its surrounding places. [Read more…]

G1 Gunung Tahan via Merapoh 4D3N (28/4-1/5/2016)

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Wide View from the Peak of Gunung Tahan

Story by Lily Ho, Puchong

On a usual night, a hiking friend paid a visit to our home and talked about his sad love story and some of the incidents happened in Gunung Tahan. But then, all of a sudden, he encouraged us to do Gunung Tahan, which is way beyond our dreams. Since childhood, I’ve heard a lot of hikers talk about Taman Negara, wild lives, and Gunung Tahan, which I’ve never have the fascination to do. One needs a very good strength/stamina to carry a big backpack by herself, which is something that is beyond me.

Yet with the encouragement given, we started to prepare the trip from planning the date, contacting the forestry office, inviting friends around, discussing gear to be brought (ladies are only carrying approximately 6-8kg, while gentlemen carry all the heavy stuff from tents, sheets, and rations) at approximately 18kg.

In a nutshell, this was a lady VIP trip. [Read more…]

Climbing G3 Gunung Yong Belar 2,181 m.a.s.l

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By Lily Ho

Since I started the hiking habit in Malaysia in 2014, I have been taught that there are 12 mountains at/above 7,000 feet in Malaysia, termed as G12. There are also 7 mountains at/above 7,000 feet in Peninsular Malaysia, termed as G7, which are worth to be explored too. It sounds like a wonderful challenge, but I have never had the wishful thinking to attempt a climb of each mountain. This is despite organising a climb to the seventh highest mountain in Peninsular Malaysia, G7 Gunung Ulu Sepat, two months ago.

G7 Gunung Ulu Sepat was climbed by 23 members (14 were from Singapore) was a wonderful project to me. According to our guide, G7 is the easiest climb compared to other six mountains. That doesn’t mean there weren’t any challenges that would need to be overcome on this trip. [Read more…]

The “Golden Grains” at Bukit Tabur – Trekking the Far East and Extreme Trail

 

TREKKINGThere is a Malaysian folktale about a young paddy farmer called Kassan. When the paddy was ripe, he would go to his hut to keep a look-out for pests so that the crops would be safe. One day Kasan saw his paddy being eaten by sparrows. He drove them away, but they kept on returning. He became worried and tried to think of new ways to get rid of them.

On his way home, Kassan met an old woman carrying a heavy sack of rice on her back and offered to help her. “You are a kind-hearted man,” she said. “Youth nowadays can only think of themselves.” 

As they walked on, the old woman noticed that something was weighing on Kassan’s mind. After much probing, Kassan shared with her about his problem at the paddy field and his plan to kill the sparrows. [Read more…]

Go When the Morning Shineth – A DIY Guide to Climbing Mount Kinabalu

DCIM102GOPROAh…The mysterious lure of Mount Kinabalu.

It’s the most famous mountain in Southeast Asia.  It is at an entry level to a hiker’s first 4000m, plus as an added bonus, the promise of a glorious sunrise at the summit. Standing at an imposing 4095m on the Crocker Ranger of Sabah, East Malaysia, whether the mountain intimidates or calls you on gently, Aki Nabalu remains one of the top climbing locations for hikers in this region and around the world.

Having first climbed the mountain in 2013 – the memories of coming down the mountain with cramps still makes me shudder – I did not entertain any thoughts of returning to climb Mt Kinabalu until a Facebook conversation with a local Sabahan climber. We spoke about the plight of the local mountain guides who were the unsung heroes of the 2015 June earthquake and I was inspired. [Read more…]

Get Over To the Other Side of the Road – Reflections from Penang

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When asked about the places to visit on Pulau Penang, Ms Rani, the lady who was manning the hotel check-in on my day of arrival, started to rattle on about the list of places which I had researched and jotted down in my journal before my arrival. Working as a service staff for the past 7 years at the seafront hotel situated conveniently at Gurney Drive, she must be no stranger to questions about places of interests from curious visitors.

“Whatever you do,” she said, pointing out to the vast blue sea opposite the hotel, “get to the other side of the road.” The hotel was separated from the water by a tarmac road no wider than 5 metres. [Read more…]