Sunday, July 25, 2010

Medang Falls

It's been so hot these days during the afternoons that one shouldn't waste the glorious sunshine at home. I made the effort to explore a recently discovered waterfall nearby Selangor. Besides the enigmatic Chilling Waterfalls in Kuala Kubu Bahru, there were no other dramatic waterfalls left in the Selangor region. So, finding this waterfall was necessary for a salubrious mind.
Cascades along the way

Green pools

Practising my macro photography skills

The journey was fairly easy I might say except for a section where the ascend lasted for a good 30 minutes. Once I surmounted that labourous task, I was greeted by a charming mini waterfall with a mini pool surrounded by crsytal clear mountain water.

After a 30 minute break, it was short trek via the river and you will be presented with one of the most dramatic waterfalls 3 hours from Kuala Lumpur. Shock and awe is what I would best describe this waterfall.

Marvel at the height

Lower part of Medang

Firstly, this splendid art of nature is one of the most tallest waterfall I've seen with an intense volume of powerful water gushing down.

Secondly, there is a wide enough space behind the waterfall curtain that I was able to squeeze into and relive the waterfall scene from the movie "Last Of The Mohicans". YOU STAY ALIVE NO MATTER WHAT OCCURS I WILL FIND YOU.

Watch videos of me :

1. Entering The Waterfall Curtain And Being Clobbered By Crashing Volumes Of Water Scene

2. Behind The Waterfall Curtain Scene

3. Exiting the Waterfall Curtain And Being Clobbered By Crashing Volumes Of Water Scene


Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Waterfall To Call My Own

I took advantage of the long weekend to fulfill an innate and inborn affection of mine which is to discover an undiscovered waterfall and name the natural wonder after my name. Once in a while, the need to be self absorb is inevitable. Waterfalls are my kind of obsessions/fixation - second only to satellites.
As I peered into the map and calculated the distance, I realized that it would take me at least 6 hours to arrive at my purported destination.Furthermore, the map I was using was possibly 7 years old. All that did not matter to me because I was glad to be outdoors after 2 weeks of being bombarded by Blackberry emails. Imagine replying emails through the wretched device while watching the movie "Avatar" in a cinema.
No Blackberry emails here

Dawn is the ultimate best time to start any journey. In front of me laid a long beautiful stretch of mountain river with rocks on both banks. The awesome part about these rocks is that if you're agile and your hand eye coordination is excellent, you can actually move swiftly by hopping and stepping on the rocks as you go along. Of course, you must have shoes that has a grip like an eagle's talons in order not to slip.
Refreshing dip

On the move at dawn

For the guys at Action Asia magazine

Fished a little to mix it up

The sun was already high in the sky and so was I. The great part about river trekking is, whenever the sun becomes unbearable, a jump into the cold river water would just do the trick.

Salvatore Dali was here

Long walk ahead

Deep Pool

Thank God I'm a good swimmer because at two points, I had to swim across to the other bank as there were no path further ahead. Trying to swim against the river current with a heavy backpack actually took me 40 exhausting minutes.
Fast forward to the arrival of the waterfall after 6 gruelling hours.
Here are the pictures and videos.
Discovery of Aun Falls

Finally made it

Scrambling to the top

Tiny speck at the top of the waterfall


Check me out at the top

On the way back, I stumbled upon a double whirlpool. Very interesting.
Double Whirlpool Video

My temporary campsite. I did not like the canopy hovering above me

I camped overnight and the skies open up heavily by 9pm. My campsite was on a sandy island surrounded by boulders. Fears of a flash flood made me constantly check on a measuring pole but I've experienced camping by the river and heavy rain before so I wasn't too worried. Because of that, I slept like a baby until 430am when I was awakened by the luminosity of the pale moonlight. I love a pale moonlight.
My second camping site. Taken at 5am with the pale moonlight

My camp's backyard

Time to head out. One last dramatic David Caruso in CSI Miami(without the shades) glance

First ray of light bathing the rocks

Goodbye Tranquilodge

What an adventure!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

No Wildlife Falls

I only reconnect my ASTRO when the satellite TV company is showing new seasons of Man Vs Wild. That was what I did last week because Mr Bear Grylls has a new season coming soon as promoted by The Discovery Channel. When I watch an episode of Man Vs Wild, I am sure to be outdoors during the weekend. This bloke just knows how to stir the core of my heart.

After a quick and detailed research on Google Earth, I set off to find an elusive waterfall in the wilderness. Nothing thrills me more than to discover a waterfall that is only known to the local Orang Aslis.
Mini waterfall

Loving the ruggedness

This time, I brought along a pair of binoculars . Spurred on by my wildlife abundant trips to Danum and Sukau, there were hopes of me catching a glimpse of wildlife or two in this Peninsula Malaysia secondary forest. It was a sunny and perfect day. No indication of rain nor storm approaching so in within 2 hours, I had passed through a couple of mini waterfalls.
Another mini waterfall

Nothing beats river trekking, the gush of rushing water through brooks, the clickety clack sounds of rocks when stepped on and the occasional gibbon calls.
Far more better than looking for a car park in Sunway Pyramid on a weekend no?
Cruising for a bruising

Finally, she revealed herself from a distance away - the waterfall that was featured blurrily on my Google Earth screen.
Arrived at the waterfall

To add to my satisfaction was a deep pool that was perfect for wading and swimming. In my opinion, a waterfall is not a waterfall if there's no pool to swim in.
No Wildlife Falls video

I cooked my lunch there and climbed up the waterfall to reach another mini waterfall.
I suspect a mega waterfall after this one

Seeing that it was quite tough to clamber over the slippery rocks, turning back and heading home became a preferred choice. Furthermore, my Timex watch indicated that noon was looming. There is most definately another waterfall beyond and from Google Earth, it is a mega one. Plans are underway to reach the mega waterfall with Malaysia's Ranking No.1 Waterfall Expert, Mr Lim Siang Hui [Check out his website] . Not to mention the Godfather Of Waterfalls, Mr Jan Stuivenberg [Check out his website], Malaysia's Version Of Ray Mears, Mr Keong Lye Choon [Check out his website] and the Godmother of Waterfalls [Check out her website]

For now, I will name this waterfall, the No Wildlife Falls for the obvious title

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

After Sukau


Believe or not, Langkawi is not the only place to have the mystical Seven Wells. A small town in Sabah by the name of Kunak has a similiar one. I went there very early in the morning because all the hotels in Kunak and Semporna were full due to the Regatta Lepa Lepa festival. Let me tell you this, sleeping in a Perodua Viva was not pleasant. I was sweaty and needed a bath so my destination to Kunak's Seven Wells in the early morning was very timely.
Calm and serene

The natural wells are located inside a palm oil plantation and there are no signboards leading to the place. You just have to ask whoever that's awake at that time.

The pools were positioned on a slight incline of a hill so when you get in one of the pools, you pretty much have your own infinity pool that overlooks a part jungle part plantation scenery.
I wished that my camera's timer had a 30 second option as opposed to 10 second otherwise you wont see the ripples.

After the refreshing dip, I went to the town of Tawau for some seafood breakfast. Only in Tawau you eat seafood for breakfast. My intention was not just consuming seafood for breakfast but also to enquire about Teck Guan Falls. Teck Guan Berhad is a cocoa plantation conglomerate and apparently, a 15 metre waterfall is located inside their cocoa plantation. When I arrived at their office, I was told I had to pay a sum of RM100 to enter their property because it was part of a tour to visit their cocoa museum and cocoa factory. Who in god's name wants to see a cocoa museum??
Despite my pleas to just view the waterfall, they ignored my request. Dissatisfied and irritated, i drove to their cocoa plantation and negotiated with the guard who manned the huge fortress like wooden gate.I tricked the guard into allowing me in by telling him that the tour manager couldn't join me as she was in Sunday church that time and had asked me to go on my own. I used God's name for my selfish benefits all for a waterfall.

Once in, I drove through the maze of cocoa plantation to reach Teck guan falls. Thankfully, there were signs leading to the waterfall.

Like all sabah waterfalls, Teck Guan Falls was just simply astounding. With foliage on both sides of the waterfall opening gap and suspended high in the air, Teck Guan Falls has just written herself in my top ten waterfall list.
Teck Guan Falls

Video of Teck Guan Falls

Because it was in a private property, there were no less than 5 people there that day and they all were the guard's marauding youth friends.
Always with my Moleskine

Wild Orang Utan encounters, wildlife in Sukau, Seven Wells infinity pool, seafood breakfast, swimming in Teck Guan falls - Just priceless.


I was in Sukau way before Sukau became a global tourist hit.
Circa 2002

April 2010

My accomodation was in Greeview Resort along the mighty Kinabatangan River.This resort was by far the cheapest among the other resorts. Their room was RM45 a day and the river cruise was Rm35.00. The rest of the resorts wanted to emulate Mt Kinabalu type charges which was the equivalent of Kryptonite to Superman. The river cruise started right after I checked in and within 8 minutes of the cruise, somebody spotted a crocodile. Everybody went "Where, where" , "Wo, wo[German]" "Ou, ou[French]", "Dove dove[Italian]""Mano gak nate tu [Kelantanese]"

There it was, with it's head on the same level of the water but when we came close, it submerged. We gasped in total amazement. We continued our river cruise and stopped by to see macaques or in Malay language, beruk.

Back in metropolitan Subang Jaya where I live, I can see macaques from my window and also in Putra Heights 5 minutes away. Macaques to us Malaysians are somewhat a pest. They steal your Raybans, snatch your bag, bite a toddler's leg and ransack your room. So, to be sitting in a boat for half an hour watching macaques was utterly unbearable to me. I understand that the US and European continent do not have the monkey/simian species but to stop at 4 different macaque locations was like being forced to watch Basic Instint 2 or Dean Cain hosting Ripley's Believe It Or Not.

Bro, I was bored looking at you too

Macaques eating grass

Macaques at third stop...let's go!!!

However, it's different with the endemic Proboscis monkeys Unlike macaques, Proboscis monkeys are way much cooler than their theiving cousins in terms of looks and the way they hang out.
Awesome view of Proboscis monkeys


Ex gymnast proboscis monkey

I had a Sir David Attenborough moment when one of my videos caught this proboscis monkey leaping from one branch to another

Hornbills of different species were flying constantly too. Watching them glide through the air was just breathtaking.
Hornbill perched on treetop

On the way back, we stopped by the river bank because we saw another boat with the engine turned off. They have just spotted wild orang utans in the canopy. Everyone was excited when they saw movement behind the canopy but I was totally composed because I had already spotted 2 wild orang utans in Danum Valley the day before. Yes, wildlife snobbery and superciliousness do exist.

I saw eagles, snakes and many more
Reticulated python which I tried to dislodge from the tree but was stopped by the guide

Yellow banded krait snake.No dislodging attempts

Orang utan

White belly eagle

After the boat ride, I checked out and headed to the Gomantong Caves 10km away for my purported biblical shaft picture.
As I was driving in, I saw :

What are you blokes looking at?

and they were looking at
Baby and mother orang utan

That meant that I HAD SPOTTED WILD ORANG UTANS IN 3 DIFFERENT LOCATIONS!! It was absolutely phenomenal but phenomenal as it may be, I had no one to share that moment with. Ladies, my number is 0132044720.

The most memorable one from Sukau would be :
Sukau sunset

Sukau sunset taken from a speeding boat.Nerves of steel