Honeymoon in Dungun

A long time ago after me and my wife got married, I promised to her that I would bring her to a honeymoon in Rantau Abang, Terengganu. However since I didn’t have a steady job and generally piss poor at that time, we had to settle for a night somewhere near Bagan Lalang, Sepang. Of course I have brought her to several nice places after that but still a promise is still a promise and mine is worth its value in gold (plus the fact that my wife casually brought up that promise every now and then). So this school holiday we packed our kids to my in laws and head on to Rantau Abang just the two of us.

The journey from Tanah Merah to Dungun took us just slightly over 2 hours via the trunk road and the lovely LPT highway. I had booked the chalet/guesthouse about a week earlier and looking at the blog it’s not very fancy. Just a basic house with a few room and very basic facilities. Still, it’s the closet place I could find near Rantau Abang online with affordable rates so, yeah. The place that I booked was actually near Pantai Sura in Dungun but that’s close enough I guess. When we arrived around 4 o'clock that evening the host promptly brought us to the guesthouse. He immediately apologized because he can’t put us in the room as advertised online because it was overbooked. I was like what the hell? but relented anyway cause it’s school holiday season and Christmas day and the odds of us finding another vacant place is like zero to none.

The host gave us a small room in a beach front property and the rest of the house is a occupied by a chinese family organizing a family day or a get together of some sort. He apologized again for the chinese crowd though I don’t really care what race they are as long as they kept the noise down and respect our privacy. The benefit of a beach front property is well the beach is only a short away. We literally just have to cross the road and there’s the beach. The bad news is, it’s December and the monsoon season so the sea and waves were to dangerous for anybody to go in. We hang around the beach instead and managed to catch a very beautiful sunset by the beach.

Time-lapse of morning sunrise in Pantai Sura, Dungun capture with Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 smartphone

For dinner we looked up on Foursquare for some recommendations. We found a few interesting places with good reviews but unfortunately all of them are closed, yes all the top 5 restaurants in Dungun are closed. They are probably closed because of the christmas holiday despite the fact there’s like twice as much crowd during public holidays. In the end we just picked some random restaurant by the beach for dinner. Just our luck the food was far from delicious and if not for the lovely evening sea view we wouldn’t have eaten there. After that since the night is still early, we decided to look for some other place for dessert and just chill. We finally found a decent food court somewhere near Dungun with naturally a much better food than the last one. We had some very delicious calamari and arguably the best coconut shake this side of the country. After that after our tummy are full and everybody is tired we did what people usually do during honeymoons, you know, go straight to sleep ;P

The next morning we woke up early meaning to catch the sunrise. As always, a sunrise by the beach is always beautiful and breathtaking. It would be a crime if you just sleep all through the morning and miss the sunrise whenever you’re at a beach side resort. For breakfast I drove around Dungun looking for a nice place to eat. Again Foursquare was not very helpful because the 2 eateries with the highest rating were guess what, closed as well. However unlike the night before, we chanced upon a really good eating place in Dungun just by the beach. Sorry I don’t recall the name of the eatery but it’s called kedai makan tepi pantai (beach side food stall) or something. The nasi kerabu and nasi dagang we had were good plus they were dirt cheap too, about RM2.50 each. After that we returned back to our room watched some Netflix and chill and then stopped by Rantau Abang beach for some sight-seeing. No there weren’t any turtles laying their eggs in the middle of the day plus it’s not their egg-laying season at the moment. Probably next time maybe. We did stop by the huge Rantau Abang sign to take pictures. After that we head straight back home.

Personally I had quite a good time in Dungun and I’m sure my wife felt the same way too. Sure we could have had a better place to stay but that’s for another time (or year). Dungun has so much potential as a tourist attraction. There’s miles and miles of beach with a lot of guesthouses but very few resorts or hotel. They should really do something about those rubbish strewn all over the beach though. It is really an eyesore and I don’t know whether it’s the local or tourist to be blamed for them but the local council just have to do something about it. For starters how about more rubbish bin and better enforcement? Food price are not so cheap at restaurants and eateries by the beach but if you looked around hard enough you’ll find a few with reasonable prices. Would we return again to Dungun? You betcha.

Sony Xperia Z1 Ultra review

Remember the time I got tired of using a 4 inch screen phones and decided to sell one of them? No? Well I did and I put it up for sell on Mudah and it got snapped up within hours. Who doesn’t want a perfectly good second hand 64GB iphone 5 on the cheap right? There I was, content with using one phone only.

Not. Ha ha.

You know I’ve got to have another backup phone since my iPhone can’t last the whole day without charging. So I looked around for my next smartphone, it’ll be an Android with at least 5" screen. After much research and reading reviews, I was set on Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 2 phone. It has a 5.5” screen, 16GB ROM and the design is quite nice. However as fate would have it, I decided to look around Mudah first before purchasing the Redmi Note. That’s when I caught my eye on the Sony Xperia Z1 Ultra, a massive 6.3” smartphone. Although second hand, it still looks good and the big screen is a major plus point. So I found one guy in Shah Alam wanting to sell his Xperia Z1 Ultra, we met up and before long I was a proud owner of a Sony Z1 Ultra. Or is it?

First impression: the screen was really huge. It barely fit my jeans pocket and I definitely need to use both hands to operate it. It has an SD card slot which curiously can support only up to 32GB. The first thing I did was attempt to root the phone so that I can move apps to the memory card. Unfortunately it seems that I don’t have much talent in rooting Android phones so after like a dozen tries I still didn’t manage to root the damn phone. So I gave up and resigned myself to use the standard Sony Xperia UI which is far from the best UI you can get for Android.

As I said the screen is huge so watching movies or video clips on the Z1 Ultra is a real pleasure. What else is good about the Z1? Hmm that’s about it. So why did I sell of the phone 3 days later? It’s the terrible camera. As you can see from the sample photos, terrible doesn’t even began to describe the pictures. When I first tested the phone, it was inside a restaurant and the lighting wasn’t that bright so I thought that’s why the pictures looked weird. However when I continued to use the phone’s camera for the next few days I came to the realisation that it’s not the low light, the Z1 just simply take shitty pictures. Either that or the unit that I bought already has a damaged camera module. I’m suspecting the latter.

A sight for sore eyes
Whatever it is I couldn’t bear the thought of using a smartphone with a wonky camera hence why I put it up for sale in less than 36 hours after I bought. To the poor fella that bought the Z1 Ultra, I’m sorry that you had to live with that crappy camera. If he’s wise, he’d sell it off just as quickly as I did. A few days later I ultimately bought the Redmi Note 2 phone. It’s a wonderful phone, miles better than the Z1 Ultra. So that’s the story how I bought and sold a phone within 36 hours. Do yourself a favor next time you plan to buy a secondhand phone - test the camera properly and thoroughly. Don’t make the same mistake as I have.

Malacca & Klebang trip

For this school holiday I brought my family for a short trip to Malacca. We booked a room at Bayou Lagoon Resort about 30 minutes from the city center. The hotel features a little water park adjacent to it and we get 2 free entry tickets for staying at the hotel. Since there are five of us, we had to pay for the remaining three but lucky for us Hana get to go in for free. There were several slides in the water park and a few play area. The water was only knee to waist deep so there’s not much swimming to do. The kids however had a really good time. They didn’t want to come out of the water until the siren is turned on when the rainstorm started.

Don't be discouraged by some of the negative comments on online booking websites. The hotel room was actually quite nice, apartment studio - very spacious. You could easily fit at least 7 fully grown people in there. And for RM137.24 (before 16% taxes) it’s quite affordable too. However there’s only two lifts for the entire building so there’s always a sizable queue in front of them all the time. The trick is to get a room on the lower levels like we did (1st floor). That way we can always take the stairs and avoid waiting forever for the lift. We looked around a good place to eat for dinner and found one called Asam Pedas Claypot near the city centre. It come highly recommended on Foursquare and the asam pedas really didn’t disappoint. The nasi lemak that I had was not so good though so you probably should stick with the asam pedas menu. The next day as always Adam and I drive around Bukit Katil to find breakfast. Since the free breakfast vouchers is only for two, the rest of us need to find our own breakfast. After driving for like 30 minutes looking for a decent place to eat, we finally found one right next door to the hotel (duh).

The water park tickets is only valid for one day so we need to buy new tickets should we want to enter again the next day. We decided to take a stroll around Malacca instead. First stop was the popular Malacca River Cruise attraction. Just our luck, it started to pour while we were boarding the boat. The next 45 minutes of our trip were in the pouring rain but we still get to see some interesting parts of central Malacca from the boat. I noticed they’ve painted some building along the river with murals. To be honest, I’d prefer they don’t because those murals somehow ruined the rustic beauty of some of the buildings plus the paintings were not really that beautiful. I also saw a lot of ‘don’t mess with Malacca’ slogan all over the city. What’s up with that? I for certain don’t feel very welcomed with the sign. It’s more of a threat than a greeting. Whoever thought of that is a bumbling idiot who probably stayed too long in Texas.

Next we went to Klebang beach some 30 minutes away. My wife is a big fan of the famous coconut shake there so she always try to have some whenever we’re in town. Me, I thought they all taste the same. Our original plan was just to visit the beach but when we saw the scenic sand dunes where all hipsters went to take pictures, we just had to visit it. There were some way to walk from where we parked our car to the sand dunes (actually just reclaimed land) but it’s all worth it. The scenery and view were beautiful, the kids had fun and I took loads of pictures. Be careful driving away from the place though, cause you car might get stuck in the sand. First I saw a car being stuck in the sand and then it also happened to us. So everybody got out of the car except for Linda and we asked several fellow visitors to help us push the car. After several attempts, we finally managed to get the car out of the sand and away from that place. I suspect the heavy luggage plus all the passengers caused the car to get stuck in the first place.

That concludes our short getaway to Malacca. It’s a nice change from the usual Port Dickson resorts. Maybe we should do it again some other time.

FZ 150

Let me tell you a story about all the bikes I’ve owned. Wait I’ve already did that in this blog post here. So I’m going to tell you about my latest bike instead. Ever since my old Krisstar broke down, I’ve been using a bike borrowed from my brother. Sooner or later I’m gonna have to find a new bike or at least fix my old Krisstar. After much consideration I decided against the latter because it might not be worth it to fix that old junk again.

At first I had my sight on the beautiful Kawasaki Ninja 150 RR motorcycle but they’re too expensive for my budget. A second hand unit will cost 7,000 ringgit upwards and a brand new one no less than 16,000 ringgit. So I switched my target on the next best thing in the market — the Yamaha FZ 150 bike. This one is a lot cheaper and I quickly found one on Mudah selling for only 5,000 ringgit. The Since I don’t have 5,000 ringgit lying around, I had to look for a loan from a bank somewhere. In a stroke of luck, I found out that I can do a cash instalment plan with my HSBC credit card which only charge a low 4.88% interest charge.

As always, I need to test drive the bike first before I can finalize the purchase which I did. The engine sounded pretty good and the bike’s pickup was nice. A few days later I paid that fella and now I’m the proud owner of a 2013 Yamaha FZ 150 motorcycle. As I said the bike is only 2 years old with only 19,000 kilometers of mileage. Compared to my last bike, the FZ is a massive upgrade. It runs faster, have much better pick up and acceleration and a joy to ride. I also has a massive tank that could hold 16 ringgit of petrol in one go. I only had to fill up the bike like once a week instead of every 2–3 days like before. For once, all the parts are working and I can ride long distance or at night without any worries. I can get to work and return home faster and save myself from further backache. But of course, a much bigger bike requires better maintenance and the spare parts and service will cost slightly more though I’m sure it’s worth it. I can imagine riding this bike for a long-long year to come. I got the feeling this is gonna be the best investment I’ve made yet.

A brief history of my bikes

Let me tell you a short history of all the bikes that I’ve owned through the years. When I was in college, my first bike like so many up and coming Malay students at that time was a red Yamaha RXZ. It was (naturally) a second hand bike bought for cheap. 2,000 ringgit at that time I think. It should have been 500 ringgit more as the market price at that time but since mine had a huge dent on it’s tank (probably from an accident or two), I got the 500 ringgit discount. Anyway I had a fun time modifying and looking after that bike during my time in college. It was not the fastest bike in the block but I managed to get into a street race or two .Lost all of them naturally since I didn’t tinker with the engine much and I wasn’t exactly a moto GP rider or anything.

My second bike was a major upgrade, a Honda NSR RR. It was a big thing to be riding an RR back then. I could just snap my fingers and girls would be riding at the back. Ha ha you wish! I didn’t have many girls riding tandem on my bike although my girlfriend then (now my wife) spent a lot of time there. She has known me since my RXZ years really so it wasn’t about the bike. After a year or so the second hand RR was acting up a lot. I spent nearly a thousand ringgit fixing it, a problem after another. Until one day I got fed up with it all and trade in the bike for my 3rd bike ever - a second hand blue Yamaha 125Z.

The 125Z was a quite popular bike of choice for teenagers back then. It was 2 stroke and it was lightweight and fast. I had that for a few years until I got married in fact. Then as always with all my previous second hand bikes, the 125Z started acting up as well and after a good 2 years or so of using the bike I traded it in for a brand new Yamaha Lagenda bike. The Lagenda was the first brand new bike that I’ve ever bought. It was 4 stroke, light on fuel, not so fast but it was very reliable and got me places.

I used the Lagenda for a few years until I bought a second car for my new job, during which I didn’t use the bike much. In fact it just sat there under my apartment for months at a time. So I got the bright idea to sell it to my brother in law who just got himself a job in the city. It was perfect timing. I didn’t have the need to use a bike for a year or two until I got myself a job in downtown KL. I drove myself to work in my first month but then I had to wake up at 5:00 in the morning and leave home before 6:00 or else be caught in a terrible jam and be late for work. After a while I realised leaving for work so early every day is no way to live my life. Eventually I thought about getting a new bike for myself except that I don’t feel like paying for another expensive long term instalment for a brand new bike. So I thought I’d get another second hand bike on the cheap instead. My fifth bike was a beat up Modenas Krisstar. It had problems from day one but it was only around 2,200 ringgit and the shop agreed for my 3 months instalment proposal so I didn’t think much about anything else then. I was desperate and didn’t have much choice.

I used the bike for 2 months before the problems started getting more numerous and serious. One day the bike didn’t have much acceleration at all so I sent it in for a repair at a workshop in Equine Park. A few days later I was 800 ringgit poorer after doing the overhaul for the engine. I managed to use the bike for another 2 years before the engine started acting up again. One fine Sunday afternoon, I was making my way to Pandan Indah in KL to buy some IT equipments for my customer on my bike. My bike is not exactly in tip top condition. The engine sounded terrible and the piston is making this loud knocking sound whenever it’s running. Why don’t I fix it? Well the cost naturally. Last time I did an overhaul of the engine it cost me over 800 ringgit. Therefore as you can see, I dread the thought of spending another 800 ringgit fixing my bike just to do it again 2 years later. So I kept delaying and postponing doing something about my bike until that fateful Sunday afternoon when it died on me somewhere in the middle of Pandan Jaya.

Lucky for me the bike went dead just next to an LRT station. So I slowly pushed my bike aside and parked it near the station. Since it’s near Kampong Pandan I had only one person in mind to call — my good friend Fadzir Aziz. I didn’t have any luck the first 5 times calling him though cause he didn’t pick up the phone but as I was mulling leaving my bike overnight at the station and picking it up later, my call got through and Fadzir came to the rescue. He pushed my bike with his to his place and then drop me off at another LRT station. So now I’m left without a transportation mode to work. Lucky for me my brother just got posted to teach in Sabah again. He was kind enough to lend me his Honda Future bike for me to use for a while until I figure out whether to fix my damn Krisstar or just buy another bike. Guess what I did in the end? Tune in for my next blog post to find out :)

Gunung Yong Yap hike

Having done gunung Tahan the highest mountain in the peninsular it is only natural that I will have the dream to attempt all 7 of the highest mountains on the land. G7 or the seven mountains above 7,000 feet are Tahan (7,186 feet), Korbu (7,162 feet), Yong Belar (7,156 feet), Gayong (7,129 feet), Chamah (7,210 feet), Yong Yap (7,110 feet) and Ulu Sepat (7,089 feet). There are a lot of trips to one of these top mountains every month so you can just pick any one of the events that are organized by one of those outdoor companies that you fancy. But to me, as much as I’d like to go to all of those trips, my time and resources are limited so I had to choose the one that suit my schedule and budget. Since I have a family, I can’t simply hop onto a four-wheel drive vehicle and climb one of those mountains cause these trips usually take 3 days or more. There’s leaves to be taken and family matters to consider.

Gunung Yong Yap is situated near the Perak-Kelantan border. But you need to drive through some part of Cameron Highlands and then start off in Lojing, Kelantan. In fact you need to apply the permit to climb the mountain and enter the surrounding jungle from the Kelantan forestry department. I stumbled upon this trip while browsing for hiking events on Facebook. Yes you can actually find quite a number of hiking events every month to many mountains inside and outside the country there. Previously I would only join trips that are organized by familiar hiking groups like HACAM or SovoKL but they don’t make that many trips nowadays or the ones that I actually want to to join so I can’t really depend on them. That’s why from now on I’ll just join some random and completely unknown group whenever I want to hike a mountain or another. The one that I joined for Yong Yap was organized by Ohana (meaning family in Hawaiian) group. The lead or gogo (go to person) Nik Hanif does such trip as a part time gig aside from his full time job at an O&G company. Nik is known to organize very affordable trips to many mountains around Malaysia and he’s a really good cook too.

We settled on the transport arrangement a week earlier. I was lucky to get to hitch on Alan’s car a member of the trip from Bangi. He picked me up near UPM where my wife and kids dropped me off. As usual we met up near Gombak LRT station at the same restaurant that serves tasteless drinks every time. And as always we left KL really late, nearly midnight towards the north-south highway. We stopped at Tapah R and R for supper and to buy breakfast for the trip the next morning. At around 4:00 am we finally arrived in Lojing which is situated next to Cameron Highlands. Since they’re at the same high altitude you can imagine the freezing cold temperature that I had to endure. Must be below 18°C at that time at the Lojing mosque. I got like an hour an a half of sleep before Subuh prayer was called and a few minutes more of shut eye after that. At around 7 we were already handing out rations to members of the hike, all 22 of us while the lead cooked lunch. The 4WD vehicles arrived an hour later and we boarded them to get to the trailhead which is about 40 minutes from the mosque to the trailhead near an orang asli settlement. We found several orang asli kids playing near us and watching us curiously. Although I’m sure they’ve got used to all the hikers walking through their village en route the mountain.

After a little briefing we started our journey through the village. First we need to pay some entrance or registration fee to the village head at 30 ringgit per group. The first part of the journal was pretty straightforward with gradual climb to the first camp. We crossed a lot of streams that day, at least 7 or 8 if I’m not mistaken. As always I took off my shoes and socks before crossing all of them. However after the millionth stream crossing, our guide started to grumble how we’re never going to reach the summit on time if I keep doing that. While I’d like to be pissed off at him, it occurred to me that he might be right. There’s going to be a dozen more stream to cross tomorrow and it’s not really practical for me to be taking off my shoes every time. Plus I’ll probably slow down everybody and myself if I insist. So I swallowed my pride and wade through the water like everybody else. Funny I could keep my feet dry climbing Tahan but not the sixth highest mountain on the land.

Remember how I always become tired and grumpy whenever I don’t get enough sleep or food before a hike? Well this one was not any different. Obviously since I didn’t pack any rice the night before, I only had a couple of cream breads and sausage bun for breakfast (when will I ever learn). Apart from that did I mention I barely had enough sleep on the way to Lojing? Yes I could probably doze off in the car but sitting next to the driver, I had trouble sleeping. I was torn between getting a rest and keeping the driver company. In the end I didn’t get to sleep much until we reached the Lojing mosque. Naturally I was extra tired after a few hours hiking but not as tired as the last time when I climbed Rajah. Like I said, the incline was gentle and there were not much climbing to do before the base camp. That said, I did became the last person in the pack to arrive, walking slowly at the back with the guide snapping on my heels. Usually I would be in the middle of the pack if not at front but my ego took a beating that day when I didn’t have the drive to walk as fast I normally could. Still the first day’s hike was quite challenging because there was a lot of crouching to do with all the bamboo plants criss-crossing our paths. There were several parts of the trail where we had to crawl on all four commando-like with mud all over your clothes, hand and face in between the bamboo trees. Not that I’m complaining or anything but that’s what made me extra fatigued on the first day.

And then disaster struck when I was about 30 minutes away from base camp when I ripped my pants near my crouch while trying to climb over a log. The best thing was, I didn’t bring any extra pants save for a pair of shorts that I meant to wear while bathing in the river. So I continued my journey with my ripped pants and all and since nobody brought any needle or thread I climbed the rest of the mountain in my shorts.

Our base camp was named Kem Agas or sand flies camp. They were not kidding about the sand flies though, it didn’t take me long to get my first taste of the itchy sand flies bite. And they were merciless. I got bitten during the day and especially at night, non-stop all the time. To make matter worse, we were sleeping under a fly sheet so the sand flies were virtually having a feast on us throughout our stay. I can clearly see the tiny terror hanging under our fly sheet ready to pounce on us. How I’d wish I’d brought my own tent or something. But I didn’t so even after lighting up some mosquito coils I get bitten all over my body from my leg to my neck. In retrospect, I consider the sand flies as part of the challenge of climbing Yong Yap although I swear I’d carry my own tent whenever I read about sand flies at our hike.

Sand flies and shorts apart, everything else was fine and dandy with my hike. As I said, Nik Hanif was a pretty good cook and we had several good meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We packed ample food everyday before our journey so everybody had enough to eat throughout the hike. On the first night I slept early due to my fatigue, sand flies or not. We started off rather late at half past 9:00 and didn’t reach the summit until well after 2:00. Unlike the previous day, I was fresh and ready for the day hike to the summit. This time around I had my newly purchased 10 liter dry bag ready with enough water supply to last the return hike, packed lunch and my camera, that’s all. Hiking light does has it advantages because I can walk and climb faster and I didn’t get exhausted too quickly without those excess load (as I did for Rajah). So it was little surprise that I was amongst the first in the bunch to reach the peak instead of making up the rear like the day before. Climbing to the summit of Yong Yap felt a lot like Tahan minus the rocky parts. One thing that’s special about Yong Yap is the mossy forest that’s more numerous and beautiful than Irau found just before the peak. If you’d like to see the mossy forest like Irau but can’t since it’s closed for now, why not try Yong Yap ha ha!

The top of the mountain is similar to Nuang where you are surrounded by tree shrubs and there’s no 360 view to enjoy. Although like Nuang there’s a patch of clearing where you can take a peak of the surrounding. I had my packed lunch and then proceed with the customary photography session with the guys (and girls). To be honest I was feeling a bit awkward taking pictures with my shorts on. It’s no surprise that most of my post Yong Yap pictures don’t have me in it except for one which I edited to cover my knees. The ascent took about 5 hours and the descent another 4 hours or so including walking in the pouring rain after sunset. If you think walking in the jungle at night is hard, wait until you do it in the pouring rain while crossing a dozen streams. There’s strong current and also finding your footing in the pitch darkness is no easy feet. There’s always the danger of being swept away by the water. I managed to get myself safely to camp but not before bumping my head into a few tree branches along the way. I thought the rain would stop after a while but it went on until well past midnight. Since it’s too cumbersome to cook in the rain, we didn’t have much dinner that night save for the one that we cooked individually. Me I just had a couple of spare bread that I bought earlier and a cup of coffee. It was freezing cold that night and I didn’t had much sleep first because of the sand flies and second, the rain was so heavy and so long it flooded our campsite. Well not exactly flooded in 5 feet water flooded but my carry mat did got wet as well as half of my sleeping bag. Imagine sleeping in a half-wet sleeping bag. It’s no fun I tell you.

The rain finally stopped when I woke up the next morning. We had breakfast and by 10 o’clock cleared our camp for the return hike. Since it rained the night before, our path was muddy and slippery much of the way. Still I managed to walk and keep up with the leading pack. We stopped for lunch somewhere at Kem Sungai Y and then reached the trailhead about an hour before sunset. The pickup truck arrived a little while later and I was freezing my balls off for the final 40 minutes of the trip to the Lojing mosque because I had nothing but my t-shirt and shorts on. After cleaning up and praying at the mosque, we decided to have dinner together somewhere in Ipoh. I don’t know what’s so special about the restaurant or who picked it but the food tasted rather ordinary. We said our goodbyes at the restaurant and make our way home shortly after that. This time it was my turn to drive from Ipoh to KL. It was late at night and needless to say I was exhausted and sleepy. Had to sing myself awake in the car for much of the journey.

This Yong Yap trip is memorable to me in a number of ways. First since it’s G7, the elite category of mountains in peninsular Malaysia. There’s the ripped pant case and then hiking with just my shorts on. I had to hike with a wet feet and sand/pebbles in my shoes until I had blisters all over. Then there’s the horrible sand flies leaving itchy rashes all over my body. It took me a week to recover from that. Even took an MC the day after the hike. Last but not least, I finally took a dump in the bushes for the very first time. Gross I know, but it’s an important milestone for me. Lucky for me it happened near a river so I had no problem cleaning up afterwards. Since I started hiking I have always wondered when that day will come. It finally happened during this Yong Yap trip.

I learned some very valuable lessons from my Yong Yap trip. Although I’ve read about sand flies at Yong Yap, I didn’t know they’re going to cause so much pain to me. Next time I will come prepared with a tent or at least ample amount of mosquito coils. Next, bring some spare clothes! I know I survived Tahan with only one pair of pants but I can’t always be lucky like that. Shit does happen and having an extra pair of pants with you could really come handy. I know I always wanted to pack light but from now on, I’ll make sure I have at least another pair of pants in my backpack just in case. And as always I made tons of new friends. Complete strangers who quickly become good friends. Gunung Yong Yap could be amongst the toughest mountains that I’ve attempted so far. Not so much for difficulty in height or steepness but the other challenges that come with it. If you're planning to climb this mountain next, I would recommend that you bring your own tent or at least lots of mosquito coils. Pack extra clothes in case shit happens. And remember the return 4WD journey at night is very cold so get your sweater ready. My trip lasted 3 days and 2 night for the single mountain. Some people also prefer to do 3 mountains at once - Yong Yap, Bubu & Tok Nenek which are situated next to each other. That trip is much more challenging and you'll need to have a really good stamina and endurance to climb all 3 mountains in the short span of 3 days. Not to mention the horrid sand flies. Maybe someday I'll do the trans YYBTN trip but probably after I finished the rest of the G7 mountains. 2 down, 5 more to go.