Friday, April 12, 2019

Trip to Imbak Canyon Day 3

Day 3 (25 March) in Imbak Canyon

I woke up at 5am in the dark and took shower then proceed with breakfast at 6am.

I couldn't slept well, I woke up several times due to my problem to sleep in new places.

As soon as I woke up, first thing came up in my mind, where should I go today either Kuli Falls or Maya Falls.

I'm not considering myself as hardcore hikers although I enjoy hiking more than jogging. But I love diving more than everything.

Back to decision I made, although I think I can't make it within cut off time but I decided to join Kuli Fall team.

Start our day with big smile..excited before hiking

There were 10 of us media and Petronas staff plus 2 ranjers. Kudos to Petronas staff for accompanied us throughout the trekking to thr falls. I think for the staff, they have to be fit as most of their projects located in rural areas like this.

Kuli Falls is 2.3km away. We start our journey by climb up the hilly trail.

Trekking for around 500m climb the hilly trail in early morning not a good idea. My body not ready for heavy workout plus its only 7am.

Along the way up, I feel dizzy till I thought I almost faint. Once I breath slowly, my heartbeat back to normal and we continue the journey slowly.

We stop for several times to take a break and for photo session. The forest itself look amazing so, its require times to capture beauty of the forest.

curvy tree in our way to Kuli Falls
pose at a big tree, forgot the name of this tree species
holding the rope to descend
We walk at the same pace to ensure nobody left behind. Its a small group so better to reach the falls together.

One of my team keep fell due to slippery trail but no one get injured during the trekking. Certain part of the trail have a rope to hold. We have to be very careful and ascend & descend the trail by holding the rope provided one by one.

We reach Kuli Falls at 9.30am. We arrive early than we expected. We arrive within cut off time (11am).

Deep inside my heart, I feel proud with myself as I continue the journey by not giving up half way.

Our 2 hour 30 minutes of trekking really worth it when I saw amazing scenary at the falls.
Kuli Falls -pics courtesy of Information Department,Sabah
The ranjer said during rainy season this waterfall have more tiers. During our visit it was only 2 tiers but the breathtaking view still amazed me.

Since we arrive early, we have plenty of time to take photo, enjoying the view and had our lunch pack without a need to rush.

simple food with great ambience

barefoot to blend well with nature

this tree located strategically for people to pose there

At 11am, we start our journey back to the research station.

Surprisingly when we go back, it took around 1 hour 30 minute to the research station because we didn't take stop for photo session.

One by one we reach the station with a big round of applause fron other group.

After take a break and had our lunch. I went back the our room for shower then pack my back. We were told to leave the research station at 2pm.

During the lunch, I felt itcy and notice something in my stomach. The leech manage to go up till my upper body. I spray it with vinegar spray brought by my friend. They said vinegar or salt the most effective way to stop the leech sucking our blood and fall by itself.

Journey to come out from the station begin. I walk fast to be in the front. See...I take a good advice seriously.

Without stop, we come out from the forest within 45 minutes. It was much faster than when we going in that took almost 3 hours to reach the station.

Back to ICSC, we had our dinner. Very tiring day most of us sleep early as the next day, we havr to do coverage for an official launching of the Imbak Canyon Study Centre (ICSC) by Chief Minister of Sabah.

Trip to Imbak Canyon Day 2

DAY 2-Imbak Canyon Study Centre (ICSC)

We start our day in this beauty place with a morning tour in ICSC that build on 27 hectare of land.

This study centre provide all facilities for research purpose including research lab, conference room, accomodation, hostel etc.
 group of media & Petronas staff
Research Lab in ICSC
The tour led by Manager of Environment & Conservation, Yayasan Sabah Dr Yap Sau Wai ends around 9.30am. Finish with the tour, we proceed to visit Imbak Falls which located 1.5km from study centre.

The journey to the waterfall by 4WD took us around 5-10 minutes.

Imbak Watefall is a must visit attraction for those who come to ICCA. The waterfall is about 30m wide that formed by 750m carving of Sungai Imbak (River).
one with the pretty boy of Petronas Sabah
Imbak Falls -picture courtesy of Yayasan Sabah
We spent almost one hour for photo session in this particular area including do our work by interviewing the ranjers who led and guide us during the trip.

Then, we continue our visit to Big Belian Tree (huge Ironwood) that includes 100m of trekking. This giant tree is a 1,000 year old tree that stand tall at more than 250 feet. To measure diameter of this giant tree, it need around 6-7 people about my size to hugs the tree. We did try measure the tree by hugging it ourselves.

Once the tour to Belian Tree complete, we proceed with lunch at ICSC & pack our bag for overnight trip to Gunung Kuli Research Station that situated in the middle of the forest.

Our ride to the starting point of Gunung Kuli Research Station begun at 2pm and we arrive there around 3.30pm. It took us almost 2 hours from ICSC due to gravel road. Our car driver drove slowly around 30-50km/h.

When we almost reach the starting point, the convoy leader inform all the drivers to stop at certain point due to limited parking space down the hills. So, only 3-4 vehicles allowed to go down the hilly route.  They need to go up for several times to fetch and send us to the starting point.

The process to going up and down took times. So our trekking begun at 4pm for 2km. The trail ups and down the hill. We cross 3 small streams. Adidas kampung is a right shoes for trekking in Kuli Station. I didn't bought Adidas kampung so I just using my standard sport shoes for jogging.

Oh car driver advise me to stay in front or at the back when trekking to avoid leech (pacat). Dont stay in the middle. I think its a good advice since he was a ranjer in Danum Valley before. I'm not sue how its related..but since I try to stay at the front all the time, its work. No leech on my feet and body in this first day of trekking. The next day the leech climb up to my upper body and suck my blood till its full.

Although I'm not phobia with leech like how I traumatize with cockroach but I don't want to take a risk till its going up to my upper body.
Start trekking with big smile
Since I took the advice seriously, I stay at the front, I walk faster than other media friends. At that time, I told myself I want to arrive at the reseach station before dawn. I don't want trekking in the dark.

Good for us because all of us reach the station before dawn. Me and other 5 media friends were the first team to arrive. We reach Gunung Kuli Research Station around 5.30pm, after 1 hour 30 minutes of trekking.

After we arrive, we took a break for minutes before jump to the Kengkawat River to refresh ourselves with cold water. Our tiring body feel fresh after staying in the river for almost 30 minutes while waiting for last group to arrive.

Kengkawat River..less water sue to dry season
The best part after long journey of trekking
couldn't dive more for #mayakarinchallenge
The facilities in Gunung Kuli Research Station complete with proper accomodation in rooms, surau, dining hall and toilet.

We were informed only two research station in ICCA complete with proper accomodation while other 4 stations didn't have basic accomodation, just a shelter and hammock to sleep. At the moment Gunung Kuli and Batu Timbang research station have the basic facilities.

A power source in Kuli station is using generator that operate for few hours. They shut it down at 12.30pm so, we use our own torch or handphone light when go to the toilet in the middle of the night.

During room distribution, me and other 6 female media friends took a small accomodation while other female friends took the nearest accomodation next to dining hall. Our accomodation is a house with 3 bedrooms for 8 people with 1 shower & 1 toilet. It was 6pm when we started bring our back to the house. Power not yet on.

After rest and shower, all of us gathered at dinning hall waiting for dinner. It took sometimes for them cook the rice by using cooking gas. They try cook it with electrical rice cooker at first but energy power can't support the rice cooker.

While waiting for dinner, discussion on the next day trekking took place.

Due to exhausting and tiring journey to enter the research station, most of us don't have enough mental and physical strength to continue the trekking to Kuli Falls.

According to the ranjer, difficulty level of the trail to Kuli Falls is 3 out of 5. It take 3-4 hours of trekking for one way trip.

So, Yayasan Sabah and Petronas staff had tough job to decide whether or not we proceed to Kuli Falls when there is an option going to Maya Falls where the trail more easy and it take less than 1 hour to reach at the waterfall.

They named it Maya Fall when actress cum WWF ambassador Maya Karin took part in expedition and discover the waterfall in 2013.

After hours of discussion during dinner, the organizer YS-Petronas decided give 2 option for Kuli and Maya Falls. Voting session begin and only 10 out of 35 participants willing to go Kuli Falls.

For Kuli Fall, ranjer set cut off time at 11am and the trekking start at 7am sharp.

Which trail did I took? Kuli or Maya Fall? Read in my next entry on Imbak Canyon.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Trip to Imbak Canyon

Living in Sabah is a blessed as we have an oppurtunity to visit island, beach, mountain, hills & waterfall within few kilometers from city centre.

However, it's not easy go to the gazetted areas like forest or Island due to the certain permit we have to obtained.

For Imbak Canyon Conservation Area,it was gazetted as Total Protected Area (TPA) in 2009.

With an opportunity given by Yayasan Sabah dan Petronas for media visit to Imbak Canyon, I would definitely say YES for the invitation.

For me its one in a lifetime chance to visit our First Class Forest cum last virigin forest gazetted as TPA in Sabah.

The media trip held on 23-26 March in conjunction with the launching of Imbak Canyon Study Centre (ICSC).

Before heading to ICCA, Tongod -picture courtesy of Information Department, Sabah
It was my first time in Imbak Canyon. With a little information I know about this pristine forest that located in area of 27,599 hectare, this place really worth for visit. Even for short vacation to be away from city. Its located in a sub-district of Tongod, Kinabatangan.

Our journey to Imbak start from Kota Kinabalu with a team of 35 people including staff from Yayasan Sabah dan Petronas.

The convoy from Kota Kinabalu begun at 9.30am by using 4 Wheel Drive (4WD) vehicles. The distance is about 300km from the capital city.

Along the way, the journey was smooth untill we enter gravel & muddy road where 2 of the vehicles stucked.

I think it's normal for vehicle to get stuck in muddy road esp when its a raining season. Although our visit to Imbak Canyon during dry season but a day before our trip was raining.

Imbak Canyon Study Centre -picture courtesy of Yayasan Sabah

We arrive in ICSC at 6pm and straight for registration procedure, take key of our sharing room. We divided into 2 house for men and women. There are 8 rooms for 2-3 people. We stay at Doringin 2.

At night after dinner, we attended a briefing on Imbak Canyon Conservation Area (ICCA) by Acting Manager of Environment & Conservation, Yayasan Sabah, Dr Hamzah Tangki.

According to him, ICCA is a home for 600 species of tree, 82 mammals, 26 endangered species and 242 species of birds.

A lot of tthings and information we learn during the briefing but I don't have to eleborate more since information on ICCA can be found in their website.

-ends Day 1 in Imbak Canyon.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Office trip during CNY holiday

Every year we organizing an office trip during Chinese New Year holiday.

This year is our 4th year going for a road trip wih our colleagues. Some of them my close friends and some a newbie. Although, not all of our colleague can join for the trip because some of them celebrating Chinese New Year.

Its the only time our company shutdown for 3 days, we work for Chinese organisation.

Our first road trip was in long house in Kudat. I would say, its was our best trip because a lot of my officemate join the trip.

What make its more memorable, there was no internet connection during our stay in long house. So, no one was busy playing with the phone, either to update Facebook, Instagram or Whatsapp. 

We spend most of the time playing traditional game called 'batu seremban', doing a magunatip dance (dance with bamboo sticks), its a traditional Murut dance in Sabah.

At midnight we were busy talked about any office related stories. Sharing jokes and everythings, lastly we talk about ghost stories. Sharing ghost stories at midnight definitely not a good decision.

End up, most of us sleeping at the corridor of the long house instead of sleep in the room provided. Since, there was no other guest at that time, the whole balcony & rooms belong to us.
took this memorable picture before we check out from the resort

We stay at Bavangazo Longhouse for RM50 per person including dinner & breakfast.

It was a good experience for the kids to experience kampung life, staying at bamboo long house without televisyen & tablet in their hand.

My colleague bring their kids during the trip. They had fun during the 2D 1N trip in Kudat.

After Kudat, we went for a trip to Mahua Waterfall, Tambunan & last year was in Manis Manis Rooftop of Borneo Resort, Banjaran Crocker.

Enough with throwback story of our first office trip in Kudat. This year, we went to Dragon Pearl Beach Resort, Kota Belud.

Its located 1 ½ hour drive from Kota Kinabalu. The resort is a private beach that belonged to local people in Kampung Mangkabar in Jalan Kampung Pituru Laut.

The whole long house cost us RM639 for 12 pax excluding food.

The resort offers different type of house including tree house, long house & beach hut. The beach scenery & accommodation is good.

the kids enjoying themselves playing with sand

My nephew very shy with a camera

Unique Tree House

The only problem with this resort is their rule for not allowing guest to make a noise after 10pm.

I know they don't want other people to be disturbed especially foreigners who stay at the resort, but this is a place where people want to enjoy their holiday.

Implementing such rules prevent us to stay outside and barbecue till late night.

I’m not complaining about their rules, I just stated my opinion as a guest.

Despite the rules, we do have fun while staying and enjoying the facilities & accommodation in the resort.

Among other activity for guest including diving, snorkelling and banana boat ride.

I did not dive during that trip because of some difficulties at that time.

Overall it was a great trip with new people joining in. Hopefully this trip will be our tradition.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Hello Busan

BUSAN (17 April 2016)

Agak lewat masukkan entry ni. Anggap sahaja 2016 agak sibuk untuk blogging.

Busan adalah destinasi terakhir yang kami singgah sepanjang trip ke South Korea pada April 2016.

Terlupa untuk menitipkan sedikit cerita mengenai perjalanan kami di Busan untuk penutup cerita di Korea.

Tujuan utama kami ke Busan sudah tentu untuk lawat Gamcheon Cultural Village yang famous tu.

Penerbangan ke Busan menaiki Busan Air seawal 8.25 pagi dari Jeju dan tiba di Busan 9.25 pagi. Tiket ni kami tempah awal dengan harga 57, 040 won per person.

Sampai di Airport Busan, kami terus menaiki subway menuju ke Busan Popcorn Hostel Nampo yang berhadapan dengan BIFF Square. Turun di Jagalchi Station dan jalan kaki sekitar 5 minit.

Hostel ni juga dekat dengan Jagalchi Market, pasar basah yang menjual pelbagai jenis hidupan laut di bahagian bawah dan restoran di tingkat atas.

Hostel ni terletak di tingkat satu Ediya Coffee Shop. Harga 60,000 for a night for 3 persons.

Kami tiba di hostel sekitar jam 11pagi sebelum waktu check in (3pm), jadi kami minta permission untuk letakkan beg sahaja sebelum keluar menuju ke Gamcheon Culural Village.

Tengahari buta tu la kami menapak rumah budaya yang berwarna-warni di Busan tu.

Jika di Seoul kami beli pass subway T-Money tapi di Busan kami hanya guna 1 day pass dengan bayaran 4, 500 won.

Kami naik subway dan turun di Toseong Station, exit 6 dan tunggu bas ke Gamcheon dari situ. Tempat tunggu bas tu berhampiran dengan hospital Busan Cancer Centre. Dari situ ambil local bas no 2 yang akan terus naik hingga ke Gamcheon Village.

Kebanyakan orang dalam bas tu memang akan turutn di Gamcheon jadi ikut ja turun bila ramai orang turun. Bas ni untuk orang local tau, jadi memang banyak berhenti untuk turunkan penumpang.

Perjalanan dalam bas ni boleh feel macam naik roller coaster sebab banyak sangat selekoh dan ruang jalan pula agak sempit. Kalau drive sendiri tidak tahu la macam mana. Perjalanan naik bas dalam 10-15 minit sebelum tiba di Gamcheon.

Bas akan berhenti betul-betul di bus stop di luar Gamcheon Village. Jadi kena menyeberang jalan untuk mula explore perkampungan yang colourful ni. Tapi sebelum mula meronda, kena la beli maps yang dijual dengan harga 2, 000 won. Untuk menjimatkan masa sebelum tersesat di kampung orang.

Hiasan unik pertama akan dijumpa sebaik masuk ke Gamcheon Cultural Village
 Walaupun tiba di perkampungan ni jam 12.20 tengahari tapi disebabkan cuaca Spring yang masih terasa sejuk, tidak la terasa berpeluh masa pusing-pusing perkampungan budaya ni.

Lokasi wajib kami jejaki di Gamcheon Cultural Village ni adalah lokasi penggambaran variety show-Running Man. Sanggup tahu meredah setiap lorong untuk sampai ke rooftop lokasi dimana Running Man bersama Choi Ji Woo main game.

yeay jumpa jugak lokasi penggambaran Running Man pada 2012 di sini

Colourful sangat pemandangan belakang aku ni

belalai gajah pun jadi hiasan tau..kreatif sungguh mereka di sini

Perkampungan ni sangat besar jadi kami pilih tempat yang kami rasakan penting sahaja untuk bergambar. Terlalu banyak spot bergambar yang disediakan.

Kami luangkan hampir 2 jam di Gamcheon Village ni sebelum kami mencuba nasib melihat tapak festival canola flower di Busan.

Lepas tu, kami terus menuju naik subway menuju ke Gangseo office-gu station, exit 2 dan berjalan 15-20 minit ke Festival Canola Flower di Nakdong River.

Tapak festival ni agak jauh jadi perjalanan naik subway hampir 20-30 minit untuk sampai ke Nakdong River ni.

Kami sampai tapak festival kira-kira 3.30 petang. Ribuan manusia membanjiri kawasan Daejo Ecologial Park dimana festival tu diadakan. Habis canola flower dipijak ribuan manusia.

ladang Canola Flower ni lebih luas dari padang bola
 Jadi kena pandai cari sudut yang terbaik supaya gambar tidak di photobomb oleh orang lain.

Sebenarnya dalam itinerary tiada pun festival ni masuk list. Tapi bila terjumpa seorang Malaysian masa di Jeju inform pasal canola field yang besar di Busan, kami terus google untuk cari cara untuk ke festival ni.

Sebab di Jeju agak kecewa bila kawasan Seopjikoji tidak ditumbuhi dengan Canola Flower seperti yang dilihat melalui gambar.

Rupanya rezeki untuk melihat canola flower field ada di Busan. Siap dapat sertai orang tempatan meraikan festival bunga tu.

Sepanjang laluan pelbagai jenis makanan seperti fish cake dan sosej yang dijual tapi sebab tidak yakin, terpaksa la telan air liur sahaja.

Niat untuk luangkan masa yang lama di Festival Canola Flower ni terbantut sebab seorang travel buddy kami ada emergency untuk ke tandas. Jadi lepas cepat-cepat bergambar dimana sudut yang kami rasa terbaik, kami balik ke subway station semula.

Rasanya kami di tapak festival tu hanya 30 minit sahaja. Boleh la tangkap puluhan gambar untuk kenangan.

Dari tapak festival, kami kembali semula ke Jagalchi Subway Station untuk check ini hostel dan berehat.

Ikan apa ntah, main tunjuk menu ja...masakan nampak simple tapi sedap

Pajeon tu sahaja yang diorder, yang lain ni semua side dishes
begini la suasana tempat makan di Aras 1 Jagalchi Market, boleh duduk bersila juga ya

Kami memang plan mahu makan seafood di Jagalchi Market for last day. Sebelum pulang ke Malaysia keesokan harinya, kami kena la merasa makanan Korean kan.

Lepas berehat, mandi dan selesaikan tuntutan agama. Malam tu kami keluar jam 7 malam untuk dinner dan shopping di BIIF Square.

Untuk dinner, kami tidak rajin untuk memilih ikan di aras bawah. Jadi kami hanya memesan sahaja hidangan yang ada di gera-gerai tingkat atas. Kami random pilih sahaja gerai yang ada lepas tu tanya jika mereka ada serve daging ke tidak. Bila yakin memang semua yang dijual di gerai tu seafood, terus order satu lauk dan pajeon (pancake Korea). Harga semuanya sekitar 100,000-130, 000 won. Tidak berapa ingat sudah exact figure.

Biarpun order dua tu sahaja tapi side dishes yang dihidangkan bersama dua jenis makanan tu penuh satu meja ok..side dish yang wajib adalah kimchi. Dari kimchi kubis hingga kimchi lobak ada.

Terus terang, aku tidak berkenan sangat dengan kimchi yang bahan asasnya kubis sebab terlalu masin. Kimchi lobak lebih sesuai dengan selera orang Sabah macam aku.

Overall makanan yang kami order tu memang sedap dan berbaloi la untuk buang hampir 100, 000 won untuk makanan sahaja. Bukan setiap hari belanja banyak untuk makan sepanjang di Korea. Jadi kira ok la.

Siap makan, kami terus menuju ke BIIF Square kononnya mahu cari souvenirs Busan sekali sampai, banyak gerai sudah tutup. Nangis!!! Masa tu baru mahu masuk jam 9 malam pun tapi pasar sudah tutup.

Jadi kami hanya ronda deretan kedai yang ada di sepanjang tu. Ada juga la barangan untuk dibeli macam aksesori dan produk make up.

Usai ronda apa yang boleh, kami kembali semula ke hostel. Masa balik ni terpaksa pula tunggu pintu hostel dibuka. Tersadai juga dekat pintu almost 15 minit gara-gara tunggu orang yang jaga hostel tu tolong buka pintu.

Ada 2 katil double decker dalam bilik kami  

Hostel ni macam dijaga oleh pelajar foreigner yang duduk atas hostel ni. Masa check in pagi tadi sempat sembang dengan seorang yang berasal dari Hong Kong. Kerja sambil study agaknya.

Ok selamat masuk bilik, kami pun sibuk mengemas backpack sebab esok pagi kena berangkat ke airport untuk balik ke Malaysia. Tamatlah pengembaraan di Bumi Kimchi selama seminggu.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Dive in Kuraman Wreck, Sabah

Active in diving activity give an advantage for me to be the first team in the world to dive in a new dive site in Kota Kinabalu.

The Kuraman vessel sunk at Taman Tunku Abdul Rahman (TARP) Kota Kinabalu on November 2016. The vessel was used by Malaysia Maritime Enforcement for 52 years before it sink at the TARP for tourism purpose.

We become the first group of public allowed to dive in this new diving site that still close for public. We were given an opportunity to do a test dive to look into the marine life around this shipwreck.

Surprisingly after a year, the shipwreck become a home for various species of marine life.

We only allowed to dive around the shipwreck not inside it because most of us still new to diving world. 

I think we need to get an Advanced Open Water before we can enter this shipwreck that located around 18-22m depth.

To divers who like to explore new dive site in Sabah, get yourself ready to explore this new diving site that expected to be open this year or in 2019.

Trip to Imbak Canyon Day 3

Day 3 (25 March) in Imbak Canyon I woke up at 5am in the dark and took shower then proceed with breakfast at 6am. I couldn't slept...