Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bragging Rights Falls

After our first successful waterfall exploration which includes an unmistakable good rapport and partnership between us, Lim and I embarked on another challenging exploration and we wanted it to be special this time. We administered an exhaustive research and we came to a conclusion of a probable hidden and possibly unknown waterfall that exists somewhere in the remote jungles of Northern Malaysia.
Throughout the days, we made contact with the Orang Aslis and this time, I thought I'll bring along some used clothes and shoes for the Orang Aslis which meant I had to lug a 6kg bag for at least an hour for this gesture.
Lugging a 8kg bag for almost 2 hours

Arriving the Orang Aslis village entrance, we were greeted by a huge petai tree and clear blue skies in the background. The whole place just seem so peaceful.
What a view

The two chinamen then proceeded to meet with the head of the Orang Asli. After presenting to them my used clothes and shoes, we then asked permission to trek further in to find the alleged undiscovered waterfall.
Donation exercise
Mix breed of tiger and dog

The Orang Asli village (probably around 18 Orang Aslis) headman was reluctant to bring us there as he fears that we Chinamen will act exactly like.... Chinamen. He informed us that his reluctance to bring us further in was because of unscrupulous outsiders that have time and time again cheated the Orang Aslis of their land as well as spoiling their natural secret beauties. But he could see the sincerity in Lim and I that all we wanted to do was explore this unchartered region and that we won't attempt to bring outsiders into their peaceful surroundings. With our stronger than cengal wood promise, he commanded 3 men to escort us into our exploration.

This was harder than we thought. We had to walk on ledges as narrow as your laptop screen width. Trudged through bushes with torns and worst of all, haul our way hrough forest and forest of bamboos. A word of advice. Be extra careful when going through a thick forest of bamboos as their shoots are extremely sharp. I got sliced by one just nicely above my shoulder.
Bamboo slice on my shoulder

We finally reached a nice pool after 3 hours of bush wacking trekking. We decided to rest and our guides went on with their spear fishing activities. There was a full bright hot sun but the water was super cold. I could only submerge myself for 3 minutes.
A nice pool

The Orang Aslis, with their home made spear would dive underneath boulders in cold shivering waters and within seconds, out comes a speared fish.
Spearfishing with the Orang Aslis

Catch of the day

Strange plant.Smells awful though

We continued not much further and we finally arrived at our unexplored waterfall. According to the Orang Aslis, we were the first non Orang Aslis to set foot in this waterfall and they hope we'll be the last to do so.
We're naming this BR Falls as in Bragging Rights Falls

After spending 2 hours exploring the region, we left this charming part of the forest and thanked our guides as well as vowing again to not expose the waterfall to the outside world. We came back to the city with a sense of an accomplished mission and of course bragging rights.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Maiden Exploration

Me and my trustee Lafuma pole

I love hiking alone. I love the sense of adventure and most importantly, I am able to engage nature at a personal level. Although at times, it can be scary when you're walking alone and then suddenly, you hear an uncommon noise coming from the nearby bushes or when you stumble across a couple of wild boar footprints or worst, feline type footprints.

Recently, I met with a fellow hiker who, also like me, enjoys travelling alone. But I believe he's a bit more daring than me and might I add, a bit crazier. For example, if I come across a junction trail in the forest, I would just turn the hell back. Mr Lim (that's his name) will just push forward and if the trail leads nowhere, he'll return to the junction and use the other trail. For that, he has my respect.

During our blind date, he proposed to look for an unknown waterfall deep in the jungles of our country and assured me that this waterfall may be known only to the Orang Asli community and few local residents. I snatched up this offer and went back to watch Man Vs Wild Season 3 to get myself all pumped up.

Last Saturday, we left for our maiden exploration together. Our trekking first lead us to a stream with large boulders and a clearing that spans downstream with lush jungles on both sides of the river bank. This was heaven to me and Lim. If I was travelling alone, this would be my final destination and I would be contented with it. That's because I would not have the balls to go deeper into the wilderness alone. Hey, I'm no Bear Grylls. I'm just Ah Beh Teoh from Kelate.
I wish I had boulders for balls

An hour into the trek, we came across two bridges that spanned the river. These bridges can be called the crooked bridge because it is crooked on one side. And instead of concrete and wood, the two bridges are made out of vines and bamboo shoots. Yes, vines. And it had the Penang bridge cable lookalike as well. It was exciting and thrilling as we crossed the precarious bridge, A vine or two snapped, the bamboos creaked and the roar of the river down below you can't even hear yourself talk. Now, that's adventure.
After an exhausting 3 hours, we arrived at a mini waterfall with a gigantic pool to dip our tired bodies in. What an amazing place this is.
Awesome mini waterfall


Just imagine something out of a Brokeback Mountain scene: secluded, quiet and private. This is Lim, by the way


After a pleasant rest, we trudged on to our destination and after another hour, we arrived at our destination. A pristine, immaculate, untouched waterfall.
Nice right

S Waterfall

Deep pool