Monday, March 06, 2006

Hiking up Bkt. Larut (Maxwell Hill) Taiping, 18-19 Feb. 06

18 Feb 06 - Day 1

Travelling companions: Lai Teck Chye & his son, Sam, Loke Eng Wah, Tan & Neal.

12pm. Lunch Teochew Porridge at Lighthouse Sea Food, 10 Jln. Cina, Matang Tel:05-8475408/8475649, h/p 012-4030783.
This restaurant serves very delicious fresh seafood, plenty of prawns but pricey, food bill came to about RM100 for 8 of us.

At a nearby kampung was the jetty to take the boat cruise ride along the coastal mangrove forest.

1.00-1.30pm :
Took off from jetty
Boat ride along coastal mangroves
Visited floating fish farm
Visited Kuala Sangga/Kuala Sepetang traditional fishing village

3.00pm: Visited bakau logging
4.00-4.30pm : Back at jetty
5.00pm: Visited Mr. Chua's charcoal factory at Matang
5.30pm: Kuala Sepetang (Port Weld) for Mee Udang at Malay Stall
6.30pm: Cool down in a 'natural' & fresh mountain water catchment fed swimming pool (about 40 minutes journey). Pool is maintained by the caretakers of the Chinese cemetery nearby.
9.00pm: Dinner at Restaurant Bintang Laut.

Matang Mangrove Forest, 40,151 hectares, is the largest single mangrove fully gazetted forest reserve in Peninsular. About 95% is tidal swamp. Commercial thinnings are carried out when crop attains 15 years and 20 years. Rhizophoraceae species provide 140-200 tonnes of greenwood per hectare. Restocked through artificial planting. Rhizophora apiculata & mucrorata are continuously propagated in Matang. Rhizophora trees average girth 115 cm. total height 28m. Matang mangrove forest is the roosting area of Milky Stork (Myceteria cinerea) population. Supports mammals - smooth otter, leopard cat, wild pig, long-tailed macaque and silver langun.

Industry from mangrove: silviculture - since 1930 & poles production

Stayed the night at Neal & Joyce's house, near the Lake Gardens and Bkt. Larut.

19 Feb 06 - Day 2

7.30am - Breakfast Rota Canai & packed Nasi Lemak for lunch.
8.30am - Started trekking from base along jungle trail.
9.05am - reached end of jungle trail, came to paved jeep road at about 2.5km.
11.10am - reached Beringin height 1012m. temp. 20 deg.C. Time taken for ascend : about 2 hrs. 40 mins.

12pm - Lunch
Tulip nursery at Cendana Hut, Sri Kayangan at 1128m.
Did not join Teck Chai & Wah Loke to Telekom Tower, another 3km. distance away.

2.55pm - Started descend, all the way along paved road.
4.35pm - Reached base. Time taken for descend: 1 hr. 40 mins. Total distance : 20km.

This hike could have been more interesting if the jungle trail were to continue all the way to the summit. The jungle trail came to an end at the 2.7km milestone of the jeep road. For the rest of the way to the summit, another 7.3km, the hiking was on hard paved road. Fortunately, it was not too hot because of the shade provided by the tall trees along both sides of the road. There was another trail which lead to G. Hijau, pointed out by Teck Chai and Eng Wah, which is prominently displayed by a signboard when they were hiking to the Telekom Tower.

We enjoyed the 20km. hile, it was a satisfying trek though not very challenging. The trail to G. Hijau is inviting and awaits us on a return trip.

Boat - RM250
Neal's fees -RM150 (reduced rate).
Food & Transport (carpool) - RM475
Per person - RM175

More photos of this excursion can be seen at:

Further info on the Nest - a rustic private bungalow located more then 1000 metres up on Bkt. Larut

Managed by a caretaker/manager.
Cost for accommodation (bedroom dorms and double beds) and meals (including a BBQ) is RM130 per person + RM5 return per person for the jeep ride.
Check in at 4-5pm on Day 1
Check out at 9-10am on Day 3.

Nice to hold a fun getogether in a cool (colder in the night) and enchantingly forested surroundings.

The Nest has got a nice open-on-one-side dining area with a games room, karaoke facilities and hot shower inside.
The view from the Nest of the mountains, countryside and Taiping town is fascinating while the atmosphere up the hill is serene, calm and peaceful - far from the maddening crowd!

Day 1: BBQ on the 1st night and talk grandfather stories
Day 2: Birdwatching, joywalking, tree and plant identification and identifying medicinal plants.
On both nights we can karaoke away to our hearts content.
Day 3: after we come down to the foothill, swim in one of Taipings many waterfall areas.

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