Rock Climbing in Tabur East

Tabur East, from a no-expert-hiker’s point of view, is one scary hike coupled with rock climbing. I have no proper training on rock climbing, thus scary. What made it scarier during our hike were the falling loose rocks and pebbles from soft surfaces. But there is nothing we can’t conquer, right. It does not require that much endurance but is risky with its steep slopes and vertical drops. You will depend on the ropes for most of the tough parts of the hike. They are the lifelines on this trek. You get to rest a little bit longer as you take turns using the ropes, so you will like stand or sit there for a while staring on someone’s butt as he makes his way to the top.

But seriously, there is no time for butt-staring as you will be more focused on the technique on how he climbs up so you’ll do the same or even better.

For safety reasons, it is advisable to stick to the trails no matter how expert you are. Do not be in such a hurry to reach the peak, stay with your group and most important of all, do not overtake your guide. If you happen to encounter falling rocks, give a heads-up to the people behind you.

Sometimes, it just feels crazy to go through these dangerous and brutal paths for the sake of a nice view. But then again, it is worth the effort and worth the risk.

Tabur East, by the way, is located in Selangor Malaysia, close to Kuala Lumpur. Permit is required before embarking on this trek. Once at the peak and on a clear day, you will get a panoramic view of the Klang Gate Dam and of Kuala Lumpur. We set foot on a hazy day so we got the haze as our backdrop.

Essentials: Gloves, knee pads, first aid kit

We are heading there.

We are heading there.

Just imagine a beautiful dam & parts of KL in the backdrop.

Just imagine a beautiful dam & parts of KL in the backdrop.

Enveloped in haze.

Enveloped in haze.

See what burning forests can do.

See what burning forests can do.

ctto

Photo ctto.

And it's a wrap. Photo ctto.

And it’s a wrap. Photo ctto.

Mt. Datuk

Mt. Datuk or Gunung Datuk is located in Rembau, Negeri Sembilan in Malaysia and has an altitude of 870 meters.

Climbing Mt. Datuk can be compared to the board game Snakes and Ladders. Like in the game, in order to reach the finish line, one must have to deal and survive snakes, ladders and boulders. We really have not encountered any sneaking snakes there but according to one hiker, he did saw one on his previous hike on that mountain. Well it is a forest and a mountain so expect some. As long as you stay on the trail, you’ll be fine. If you have to get off the track to do your business then better have a stick to shoo away whatever creature you have disturbed.

Your speed and movement, however, unlike in the game, will not be determined by rolling a die and following the number that you’ve rolled. This will obviously depends on your fitness level and your stamina. It is quite a challenge with a few steep trails and will take about 2-3 hours for a beginner to reach the peak. The first 2 hours for me was very brutal that right at that point I started to regret joining the hike.

The peak is a big rock formation and you have to use  a series of steel ladders that were tied on the rocks. For safety reasons, hikers should queue and take the ladders one at a time. Same is through when descending. So while waiting for people to ascend and descend the ladders, please help yourself and just enjoy the view around you.

The objective of both the game and this hike is obviously to reach the finish line or the peak. The difference is, in the former, you aim to be the first one to finish. While on the latter, it does not matter if you finish first or last cause at the end, you get to enjoy the same reward.

Once you are at the peak, you get to enjoy a view of the Strait of Malacca and have a feel of the cool breeze.

My regret during the hike instantly fades once I made it to the top. I must say it was worth the effort.

All hikers need to register individually

All hikers need to register individually

Snickers kept me going

Snickers kept me going

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Second to the last ladder

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Last set of ladder

Same ladder for ascending and descending to and from the peak

Same ladder for ascending and descending to and from the peak

It's a cloudy kind of day

It’s a cloudy kind of day

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We-fie

We-fie

Selfie

Selfie

Broga Hill, A Beginner Trail

Broga Hill is located in Selangor, Malaysia and has an altitude of 400 meters. It is mainly covered with lalang grass and palm trees.

For people who are into hiking, it is a beginner trail although it is quite challenging reaching the first peak as it is a bit steep. But fear not for there are ropes that you can hold on to. Depending on how fit you are, it can take about 30 to 45 minutes to reach the highest peak. The more photo stops you take, the longer it takes to reach, obviously. There are 3 peaks and they offer different views.

We were supposed to catch the sunrise, but unfortunately we arrived late. Nonetheless, the climb was still worth it for we had a breathtaking view as we reached the top. It was so refreshing because the view is almost all green. From the top, you get a panoramic view of the landscape, the plains, the nearby towns and the plantations. The hike may be short but is very rewarding.

I just love the feel of early mornings

I just love the feel of early mornings

And the sun is up and shining

And the sun is already up and shining

And the photo ops begin...

And the photo ops begin

Ascending...

Ascending

Oh so green

The green green grass of Broga

Lalang grass

Lalang grass

Don't you just love this view

Don’t you just love this view

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Start them young. I heard them say a few times during the hike

Start them young. I heard this boy said “I can do it” a few times during the hike, every time his parents tried to hold his hands.

Descending...

Descending…Hope to be back

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That ends the hike. And what better way to relax after a hike? Well, nothing beats a foot massage.

I Left My Heart In Borobudur

A month before my 28th birthday, I have decided that I must do something memorable and different on that day to celebrate my 28 years of existence. And so, I have decided to travel alone. Sounds boring to go solo? Well, not for me.

So, without much hesitation, I booked my flight bound to Yogyakarta. The main purpose of the trip is to visit the Borobudur temple at sunrise. Borobudur Temple is located in Central Java in Indonesia and according to Master Google, is the world’s biggest Buddhist monument.

Exactly on my birthday, 12th of April at 4:00 AM, I left for the temple on a motorcycle with a tour guide. Availing of the sunrise tour is worth it because there are only a few tourists, so that would mean less crowd, better photos maybe, and you do get to appreciate its beauty in peace.

The moment I reached the top of the temple and while waiting for the sunrise, no exaggerations but I really felt at peace. I was so mesmerized by the breathtaking view and the place itself that no matter how many photos I take, they won’t give justice to its beauty. This place has to be experienced and be seen by the naked eye. It just felt so good standing on that temple merely watching the sunrise and observing the sky changed its color every single second.

Here comes the sunrise!

Worth the early wake up call

I so love this shot.

Buddha statue at the temple’s top terrace

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Sunrise + Temple + Quiet = Simply Magical

The Stupa

The Stupas

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The Stupas and Mt Merapi at the background

You are looking at the sleeping Buddha on that mountain (as per the tour guide).

There is a formation of a sleeping Buddha on that mountain

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Tourists are requested to wear sarong which are provided by the Borobudur staff. This is to show respect and protect the dignity of this holy place.

Ladies & gents, I present to you the Borobudur Temple. Looks just like any other monuments but go and explore the place and you'll see how amazing it is. And oh, much better if you visit at sunrise. =)

Ladies & gents, I present to you the Borobudur Temple. Looks just like any other monuments but go and explore the place and you’ll see how amazing it is. And oh, much better if you visit at sunrise. =)

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I'm really amazed.

Moments that count.

Something to remind of this place

Something to remind me of this place

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Wish I could show all the photos here, but as I’ve said earlier, they don’t give justice to this magnificent place.

So moving on…I had no other plans aside from the temple tour but the tour guide suggested a visit to the Merapi Volcano theater on the same day where I watched a short documentary on the eruption of the said volcano. I saw how damaging the eruption was and on the middle of that show, I got so scared I want to fly right away from Yogya, fearing for another volcanic eruption. I got a bit emotional and pitied those who have been affected. Outside the theater was the view of the volcano itself. The volcano is so beautiful in a perfect cone-shape and surrounding it are the beautiful villages that were once affected by the calamity. I just wonder how these people still get to stay in that place after such disaster. I hope and pray the volcano would stay dormant for a long period of time.

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Merapi Volcano

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Nearby villages

On the next day, another very early wake up call to catch the sunrise in Puntuk Setumbu as suggested by the guesthouse staff. It is overlooking the Borobudur temple and is indeed another sunrise-worthy place. And what better way to enjoy a sunrise than having a cup of coffee. No hassle carrying your coffee with you for there is someone selling hot drinks right at that spot. Felt so glad to see other fellow sunrise-lovers there. Moments like this is worth waking up so early.

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And last but not the least, a village tour to end the trip.

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So that’s it. A birthday gift to myself. Amazing experience, an emotional one even. Wish I could have stayed longer. I guess I can say, I left my heart in Borobudur.