Sunday, 11 March 2018

7 Day Road Trip Malaysia – Last Day of Mini Adventure and A Near Miss Adventure

Last day was rush day to get back to KL as soon as possible so I could go down to Singapore the following day and not miss my own Elder Brother wedding. Well who’s to know what will happen it was a long drive from Gua Musang to KL anyway. 

Nothing much to note about the drive but the road was marvellous new and wide big double lanes newly laid and amazingly quiet with no cars around. That was the stretch from Gua Musang to Kuala Lipis. There was also nature crossing bridge and much of the overspill from Taman Negara was evident. Not too bad a drive actually … peaceful but boring nonetheless. 

Quiet Drive from Gua Musang to Kuala Lipis - At the Fringe of Taman Negara
Kuala Lipis was stop for lunch going all the way to the central town parking and even walked around for 20 minutes. Nothing of note again … I guess the last day was that sort of trip …. Loss of energy and the sad feeling that the road trip is going to end

Kuala Lipis Town - Malaysia

By the time I reached Bentong just before merging with the main Karak Highway I saw the detour … old road to Gombak and instinctly I veered towards the potential adventure. The roads were small windy with no road sideguards and almost thrilling to drive through full speed and slamming the brakes at corners going as fast as I dared till I almost collided with another on-coming car doing the same shit. 

The car skidded as I slid the rear tire off the tarmac and onto the grass but not before regaining control. The 206 now looked like a rally car, mud splatter and dirt ridden …. I drove on more mindful now that even if I keep to the lane, some other idiots might not. Radio reported massive accident at Karak highway and re-routed people to the old road. More cars appear and thus end my peaceful journey in old road as it become a main one. 

Reaching KL I went home first then with Kim & Bijan confirmation got out to Puchong to finally meet the two riders who travelled round the world for two years straight. Kim & Bijan, unbelievable that they actually gone to south Africa, travelled Mongolia, ride all out in South America and seen much more things than I ever have. 

Alas I have ran out of stories till my next adventure …. 

Next plan is ........ :P  
I’ll leave a link for Kim’s & Bijan adventure for those that are interested in their story :)

Kim & Bijan Travel Memoir
They also published a book which I highly recommend …. Sure did sooth my travelling itch for a few days … but then after … the withdrawal is so so much worst … ( it’s written in good Bahasa Malaysia thou )

Saturday, 10 March 2018

7 Day Road Trip Malaysia – Gua Musang, The Hidden Temple at Kampung Pulai

Gua Musang town is a very small town with not much to do. I resorted to wikitravel to see what there was to explore around the area and in a tiny map somewhere shows a 400 year old temple at Kampung Pulai a short drive from Gua Musang town. 
Temple Inside the Rock - Kampung Pulai
I found the temple overseeing a beautiful lake. Walk towards the lake and I saw the huge rock sticking out in the middle of a plain of trees and I could see some man made structure going up to the caves and on the top left a Chinese character in bright red.

It was beautiful but it was across the lake. Saw a mini stay wire bridge and walked across to find a grave path kind of road going both left and right around the lake. Figured right was shorter and I took a walk.

Mini Stay Cable Bridge To the Lake - Kampung Pulai
A Walk Into the Woods

I had time I figured and slowly took a 15minute walk toward the rock. Walking in I realised I was in a rubber tree plantation. It was serene and reaching the base of the rock I could see the majestic of the structure hanging onto the rock. 
A Walk Pass Rubber Tree Plantations

Rubber Tree Tapping - Kampung Pulai

Almost there ... Mini Shrine Along the way

Two locals was chilling out and as I approached the staircase going up, one of them told me that the old caretaker was no longer working so the temple is now closed permanently. I climbed up the stairs anyway but could not get pass the iron grill. The view was a gem forgotten in time. You could even see that it connects inside the caves and out to pockets of holes around the big rock. 

The Base of the Huge Rock at Kampung Pulai

Entrance to the 400 Year Old Temple at Kampung Pulai - The Bright Red Chinese Character was what I saw from A Far

Temple in a Rock - Kampung Pulai, Gua Musang
I may not find Gua Musang or pay my respects to the temple but just seeing the temple forgotten in time is a joy that I have found a gem off the beaten track.
Travelled on : Nov 2016

Sunday, 7 January 2018

7 Day Road Trip Malaysia – Kota Bahru To Gua Musang and a Traffic Offence Ticket

The drive from Kota Bahru to Gua Musang brings me through one of the few roads I have never travelled in Peninsular Malaysia, highway number 8 – Central Spine Road …

Along the Central Spine Road - Nasi Kerabu Stall Everywhere
So a drive down the central spine road of Malaysia and traffic was heavy surprisingly yet enjoyably boring of sorts. Nearby Kuala Prai and I was in a tail line behind this very very slow truck that hogs all the way up front. 

Central Spine Road - Malaysia

Cant See Sh*t tailing a Lorry behind .... - Central Spine Road Malaysia
Cars after cars slowly overtake the truck but I notice every time they do the opposite flash lights came up. My mind dismissed it as danger warning flashes as the cars overtaking were quite dangerous. A few more cars overtake and again the flashes and my dismissal. Finally only one car in front of me and the truck ….

I saw the road opened up but it was kinda like a turning opening not a double lane yet in country road no people takes turning or rarely one does to an even more secluded road … car in front gave the signal and begin overtaking and I tail behind …. Immediately after overtaking the slow ass truck I regretted my decision. A police road block ahead and all of us was flagged to the kerb of the road. 

Did you know you overtake on a double line ??? 

I could only scratch my forehead …my blemish look and surrendered my driving licence. Nothing else was said and I was issued a ticket for dangerous overtaking …. Carry on the police said after returning my licence plus a ticket, focusing on catching more drivers 


So the drive to Gua Musang was boring as hell with a ticket behind my mind all the time. I reached Gua Musang at 130pm … was ahead of schedule since there was no detours this time and checked into the Airbnb home stay. After check in it was off for a town drive to explore. Driving around the new town of Gua Musang I saw the JPJ (Road Transport Authority) office and decided to stop and get the ticket offence over and done with. 

Police Station - Gua Musang
Wrong department the guy said … Balai Polis behind and next road he said. A short turn and into the police station where everyone was so friendly. RM 150 Fine and I paid it with heavy heart. Thought that RM 150 should earn me some information I proceeded to ask about the actual caves in Gua Musang .

Behind the old railway station the officer said and you need to hike a bit and there is no trail and it takes hour and hour or so. Malaysia need to promote eco-tourism better and not just all the shopping shit I feel. First Ipoh and now this. Sadness in my heart for my country.

Old Railway Station of Gua Musang

Gua Musang -  I have no idea where the actual track is to visit the caves
Travelled on: Dec 2016

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

7 Day Road Trip Malaysia – Banjaran Titiwangsa

Woke up in the morning and had a chat with the Royal Belum Resort hotel manager and he gave some suggestion on where to stop by along the way to Kota Bahru. Started driving and immediately detours after 200 meters when I saw the sign public jetty. Jetty was not accessible by car but driving to the end I saw a rubbish dump being attacked by wild pig and her piglets. That was a sight worth detouring. 

Belum Lake
Back on the Grik highway and it was not as I remembered. Those crazy drops and amazing scenery are not there anymore. Most parts covered by trees and roads not as windy anymore. 

A Quiet Drive .... Watch out for Wild Elephant Crossing - Grik Highway

Titiwangsa Reststop - Grik Highway
I stopped at Titiwangsa rest stop as suggested by Andrew and the Belum staff and it was a great view .. the highest point of the Titiwangsa Mountain Range in Malaysia they say or at least by driving. Also the tasty lunch of Ramly burger was worth the stop.

The Virgin Tropical Forest of Malaysia - Banjaran Titiwangsa

Me at Banjaran Titiwangsa

A work of Art - Ramly Burger
Back on the road again and no detour till I reached the border of Thailand … Rantau Panjang. So this part of the border town it was a duty free zone and I drove pass in ave that this would be the way to go next time into Thailand if I manage start my 2 year road trip around south east Asia. 

Scenic Drive - Northern Malaysia

Logging Activity .... - Malaysia

Entrance to Border Town of Malaysia - Thailand - Rantau Panjang

Border Town - Rantau Panjang

Entering Thailand ..... ( ... but I did not go in ... no passport ... cries ... )

Bus Stop at Rantau Panjang - All you need tickets & Insurance vice versa
All the way to Kota Bahru … nothing of interest but the drive was relaxing if not tiring … almost 5 hours on the road and I decided another two to get to Kuala Terengganu would not be a good idea.

Travelled on: Dec 2016

Sunday, 3 December 2017

7 Day Road Trip Malaysia – Kota Bahru

Day 5, Woke up early at 8am and I was eager to get out of the grimy house / makeshift bed and breakfast. Visiting Kota Bahru was refreshing, I could not remember the last time I was here and everything seems weird. Almost familiar Malaysia yet sublime difference. 

One thing I remembered today in the morning was that I could not communicate with the locals. Trying to buy the first “Keropok Lekor” I saw and I asked ‘berapa ??’ And I got the answer ‘leper’ …. I figured it was eight such as ‘lapan’ and it was true but it took a while to click and after that every time I try to ask something it felt like I was in south America again learning a new language, trying to not stick out. 

Felt weird referring them as the locals, as it was Malaysia and I am Malaysian yet thou it seems like another culture and country altogether. 

Kota Bahru is a vibrant town, as I walk around everywhere visiting markets, streets and even old Chinatown in the city you see a blend in culture comparable to Penang and even Malacca.

Town Centre - Kota Bahru

Handicraft Market - Kota Bahru
I learned to appreciate the little things in life observing the locals around yet as a city boy finding tranquillity in Kota Bahru, I can only wonder how many of them felt trap and wishes to migrate to a large city like KL. 

Big Bazaar Market - Kota Bahru

Kota Bahru Streets

Hokkien Community in Kota Bahru

Mural & Street Art - Kota Bahru

Streets - Kota Bahru

Deep Fried Chicken - Malaysia Style
Some parts of the old palace and monumental buildings were open to the public … taking full advantage as a Malaysian … for once I only had to pay the customary fee of RM 2 instead of the tourist price I had to fork out visiting places throughout my travels.

Traditional Long Boat - Kota Bahru

Travelled on: Dec 2016