Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Trip to Kampar

On Christmas eve, my friends and I went to Kampar, Perak for a trip. We went there separately, setting off at 6pm, 7.30pm and 8pm. All reached before 10.30pm, in time for our late dinner of steamboat. We stayed at Vincent's aunt house located at Mambang DiAwan, about 5-10 minutes away from Kampar. It is a place of serenity and bliss, without the troubles of city. Well, that's what you call a trip isn't it? 

Carpool! (Left to right) Kok Leong, Stephanie and her brother whom also my best friend, Adrian. Sorry for my blinding flash :P

The journey.

Left: Arrived at Kampar before heading left to Mambang DiAwan, right: Arrived at Vincent's aunt house.

Adrian and Ci Jue off to Fruit Ninja action with Xbox 360 Kinect brought by thoughtful Vincent :)

Left: Su Ching amazed by the actions, right: Steph can't resist the temptation.

Left: Joyful moments, right: Tan can't resist the temptation as well.

Steamboat time!

Left: Hong 'kor', right: Old man.

Vincent, Adrian and me were among the last remnants, LOL.

Then it's back to business.

After the game, all dozed off and left us clean the table. Tan and Steph helped wash the dishes later.

SC showing off her dancing skills from Fitness First while Shuk laughed off.

Left: Shuk's turn to challenge the dance, right: Hong showing off his yoga skills for yoga game.

We ended the day with Christmas wishes, more Xbox Kinect sport games and poker. The next morning, we were woken up by Tan and Vincent fairly early, so we could arrived in time for the last slot of Gua Tempurung Grand Tour (by 11am). It is the last and most challenging option offered there. We were advised by Vincent not to bring anything there, not even camera, phones and wallet as we need to climb, crawl, swim and slide in the cave. So in the end, I did not snap any precious pictures while on the expedition. So you will have to make do with pictures I nicked online. 

Heading off!

At the entrance, we were greeted by spectacular view of Golden Flowstone cavern and flight of stairs (1104 steps if I remember correctly). Pictures by Bojeng.

At the Top of the World, the highest point of the cave, before descending into complete darkness to continue of expedition by going off the track. Pictures by Bojeng.

As pictures shown, there were 10 resting platforms among the flight of stairs. As we were expecting something more challenging than these, we can't help but asking why can't we bring camera? This is nothing! The challenge arrived pretty much 20 minutes later when we descend from the Top of the World. It was quiet and the ranger (guide) brought us out of the fenced track onto the gravel. There we headed off into the darkness, walking on unpaved road. We had to light the trail using our torch-lights along the journey as there were no light available. While climbing around, I opted to stay the most back to light the people in front. As I switched off the torchlight and turned my head back, I was greeted by cold air and total darkness. Yup, can't see a thing at all.

The so-called tour was exciting, as we were amazed with a number of natural cave formations, dripping waters from stalactites onto the stalagmites, deep pits, and coconut shell-like caverns. The tour is 3.8km long; the first half of the tour is rather interesting. We had to climb on slippery surface of up to 80 degree inclinations, and also slide down multiple times until we reached into the underground stream. Then we were led walking and even duck-walked across the narrow caves with our feet under cold water. 

During the journey, it is important to stay calm and be patience as teamwork is significant. However, as the darkness creep into you, panic ensues and you wouldn't understand why you acted weirdly. Such is an example when Adrian can't stop cursing at me for reason that I walked and jumped in the cave like an experienced caveman. Ci Jue also grown impatient and started shouting at Steph for being slow. I had to both be shouted at and maintain the calm on these two fella, whatthehell. At the end of the first half, we sled down a narrow slippery cave, walked along the stream in the darkness and alas, light.

At the exit of first half of the tour, where the underground stream meets with river in the jungle. Picture by Eat First Think Later.

The second half of the journey follows the stream back to the entrance of the cave. This is where we were thrown in the midst of narrow and dangerous climbs, lengthy rock-slip-around, through multiple slippery slides, muddy (read: Guano aka bat shits) crawls. I moved to the front most during this journey to light Su Ching and her sister, while waiting for the others at the back. Even with my good grips, I fell 3 times into a 6-7 feet hole in the dark because of the slippery guano-glazed surfaces and my shoes. Luckily I lighted the area before making my footsteps so I know it is safe to fall. Stephanie screamed maybe because she thought I was going to die LOL. She screamed a lot anyway, meh.

The tour became more and more hard as we need to crawl under the stream because of the limited spaces, and sled down near 4-storeys high. It is scary during the crawl when I'm in the most front, and the ranger gone way ahead, and I had to put the torch to my back to light the people coming. I faced near complete darkness, dripping waters and lots of gooey stalactites around me. This is not for claustrophobic person as you will be encased within chambers of stalactites and feet high of water.

Left: One of the slides (picture by IbuIka), right: One of the crawling.

At the end of the journey, we have to agree that we never like sunlight as before. We were drenched, tired and some even bleed. I like this tour, might be coming back too! But of course with submerge-able camera, flash light and better gripping shoes. 

Group pictures when we got out; Vince was holding one of SC's torn shoe sole.

The girls demanded to go back immediately as they did not bring clothes to change, therefore Kok Leong and Hong brought them back leaving us here to wash and change at available bathrooms. Then Vince brought us (Tan, Adrian, Shuk and me) to Foong Mun Kee for ais kacang and Yao Kee for the famous Kampar bread curry chicken (min bao gai). No pictures again cos' I didn't bring my phone. 

Back home!

Back home, we showered and soldiered on with multiple Fruit Ninja challenges and sport games while the girls take a nap. Then we head out to Kampar new town for dinner! And, we also found out that Haji Ghani's Ghani special roti canai is so tasty! It's roti canai with sugar, egg and sweetcorn fillings by the way. 

Hong plays the iPad while waiting for his turn on the Xbox.

Left: The day was ended with poker, again. Right: Grouped the presents.

The next morning, we woke up early again to rush home as Tan need to go for Sungai Lembing expedition while Adrian and Steph got family trip. We gathered for presents exchange and then breakfast. Then off back to KL!

Left: Unwrapping them, right: Vince and I chose presents from Adrian and Steph.

Unrelated: SD Gunplas (Gundam O and OO) in Hong's car.

 Deprived of sleep, waiting for our breakfast.

Packing back.

Overall, this is a good trip to ease our city life. Cheap food and fun adventures available. Many thanks to everyone for making this happen, especially Vincent and Tan and also Kok Leong for driving us around. I am looking forward for another trip again. 

For more pictures and information regarding Gua Tempurung, click the following links:

Good bye.

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