There 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.
“You paddy is the result of your honest labour,” she said. “You are young, strong and blessed with a big piece of land. What is wrong with giving to others? The sparrow is also a creation of God. Let the sparrows have a little.”
Kassan was jolted by the old woman’s words and decided to abandon his plans to kill the sparrows.
The next morning, Kassan went to the fields. The sparrows were eating his paddy, but instead of feeling angry, Kassan was gratified that he is able to share his food with the birds. Suddenly he noticed some paddy stalks glistening in the sun. He went closer and realized that the stalks where the sparrows had eaten were bearing golden grains.
It is indeed blessed to give to give to nature and receive the rewards, both seen and unseen, in hundred folds.
Bukit Tabur is a prominent hill in Selangor, Malaysia. It is a part of Klang Gates Quartz Ridge and can be spotted as far as from Kuala Lumpur. Hikers usually gather at the quiet town of Taman Melawati for a quick breakfast before proceeding to the various starting points to the 500 m Quartz Ridge range.
Within Bukit Tabur, there are three popular trails: East, West, and Far East, although Extreme (not included in the list) is considered one of the tougher ones to navigate. I read some blogs about a seemingly new trail called the “Tabur Extra”, however not much of information is available online.
Interesting Facts about Bukit Tabur
- It is one of the oldest and longest quartz ridges, say Geologists.
- Bukit Tabur comes under the jurisdiction of Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) and Selayang Municipal Council (MPS), but is maintained and managed by Selangor Forestry Department.
- It is quite close to the city center, which is a reason it is a hit with hikers.
Hikers usually hit the trail at Kampung Klang Gates, which is about 50 meters from Klang Gates Dam’s gate, behind Taman Melawati. It is a 3 – 4-hour hike.
Starting the Far East trail and views of KL can be seen along the hike
Though there are three trails, the West trail is for hikers who want to witness the stunning scenery. It is also the most crowded trail, closely followed by East, which is one for experienced climbers and has a rocky terrain for the most part. The Far East trail is the most unforgiving and arduous. Only fit hikers, with a guide (preferably if you are new), should venture there.
Tabur Far East is part of Klang Gates Quartz Ridge, Hulu Kelang. The trail is about 2 km, and the highest point is 357m. If you go from West – East, the peaks that come after Tabur East. You can see Tabur Extreme peak further from it. The peak that is further from it is called Tabur Extreme.
Tabur Far East and Tabur Extreme are fairly close. In fact, you could hit the Far East first (turn left) and then take a detour to the Extreme trail (turn right) as they’re two different trails from the same junction.
Soft plants and mosquitoes are quite common on the Far East trail. It is a good idea to dress comfortably and make sure you soak up a lot of mosquitoes or bug repellent cream on your skin.
Though the Far East Trail is not a common route, hikers use it often enough. But Tabur Extreme is a different story altogether. The route looks unused, and you don’t see a lot of signs put up. The trail has boulders and large roots along the path that could hinder or hurt you. Also, there could loose spots on the ground, so venture carefully – going in with all your might could collapse on soft grounds!
Both the trails are quite challenging, and there are a lot of rocks along the way. Tread with care.
Flora and Fauna
Bukit Tabur has endemic flora and fauna. You can hear birds humming, insects hissing, and needless to say – mosquitoes buzzing – in your ears! It has a spattering of rain forest vegetation, and you could see long-tailed macaques, rock pigeons, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, etc.
A mosquito or bug repellent is a must to keep mosquitoes and insects at bay! A supply of emergency medicines, hiking supplies like flashlight, emergency kit, water, and light food should be packed to ensure you have anything you may need, including sustenance!
As mentioned earlier, Bukit Tabur is an unforgiving trail and more suited for fit hikers. Don’t go with normal trek shoes. You need ones that offer better traction. It is a rocky, and rough terrain and simple mistakes could lead to serious consequences.
Always, hit this trail as a group and take a guide. Both these routes are dangerous and may not be too physically challenging for unfit hikers..
There is beauty everywhere, but only if we’re willing to see the extraordinary events that surround us each day. Sometimes what we believe to be a problem is actually the first step in our journey toward the greatest reward possible. Maybe there won’t be golden grains at the end of that journey, but a beautiful sunrise at the summit of a local peak can be just as wonderful as any grand trip around the world.
Sometimes it is difficult to see this truth with our own eyes. We need the wisdom of our elders, the knowledge of Mother Nature, and a willingness to be open to new ideas instead of being stubborn and uncompromising. We are all part of the cycle of life, and we each play an important role.
The next time you take an adventure, whether local or to someplace new, think of the sparrows. When you do, there will most certainly be a reward to be found.
Additional Trail Info (thanks to AK)