Monday, August 31, 2009


I have never driven so much in a week in my entire life! Of course when I got tired or sick of driving, I asked my wife to take over. The most tiring routes are the ones going Fraser Hill and Cameron Highlands. Man, I will think twice to drive through those routes again. One of the steepest roads in Malaysia, we even encountered a vehicle plunging down the hill on our way down from Cameron Highlands. The firemen were at the location to use the stretcher to bring the victims up. Bukit Fraser road was a nightmare as it was incredibly steep and narrow. A moment of concentration loss will mean you going down the hill.

I will provide posts of the entire trip after I settle down. I am extremely exhausted. Luckily, I had my sunglasses with me which makes driving in the sun less tiring.

View 2009 August Trip in a larger map

Travelled Route:
1. Johor Bahru-Rawang-Batang Kali-Rasa-Fraser Hill
2. Fraser Hill-Kerling-Ipoh
3. Ipoh-Simpang Pulai-Kampung Raja-Kampung Trinkap-Berinchang-Tanah Rata (Cameron Highlands)
4. Tanah Rata-Berinchang-Kampung Trinkap-Kampung Raja (Cameron Highlands)-Simpang Pulai-Ipoh-Menglembu-Ayer Tawar-Sitiawan
5. Sitiawan-Kampung Koh-Kampung Cina-Kampung Acheh-Lumut
6. Lumut-Pangkor Island
7. Sitiawan-Teluk Intan-Kuala Lumpur
8. Kuala Lumpur-Seremban-Port Dickson
9. Port Dickson-Lubok Cina-Alor Gajah-Malacca
10. Malacca-Johor Bahru

Total distance covered: over 1,800km (average over 257km a day)
Total flat:hilly:seaside ratio covered: roughly 60:30:10
Total weight gained: easily 5 kgs
Total local food and drinks consumed: probably more than 5 kgs / litres
Most favourite place: Ipoh for the nice mix of good food and local climate
Most tiring drive: road up and down Bukit Fraser
Most satisfying drive: reaching the top of Gunung Brinchang, the highest road in Peninsular Malaysia at 2,000 metres above sea level
Most ugly scenery: rubbish hills at Cameron Highlands and Pangkor Island to the full glory view of the public and the amount of swiftlet farming in Sitiawan loaded with shit even next to the kopitiam / coffeeshop
Most beautiful scenery: top of Brinchang Hill and Palas Hill tea plantations
Most devastating moment: finding a dugong dead at Pangkor Island, accident victims at Kuala Lumpur highway and on the road down from Cameron Highlands
Most regretful moment: inability to find the exact Perak Democracy Tree
Most exciting find: the lighthouse and bald eagle at Port Dickson
Most hottest place: Pangkor Island, Malacca
Most coldest place: Cameron Highlands
Most greatest accommodation: Ipoh
Most lousiest accommodation: Sitiawan
Most exciting food place: Ipoh
Most interesting food: tiger nuts and preserved guava
Most sickening food: strawberry
Most lousiest food: strawberry cream cakes and scorns
Most boring place: Fraser Hill
Worst drivers ever: Express bus drivers who suddenly overtake in high speed when you are already less than 1 metre away trying to overtake it. I got used to it after a while, anticipating crazy overtaking whenever I am near a bus. Now I know why highway accident counts involving buses are high in Malaysia.
Worst overtakers ever: Sitiawan-Teluk Intan-Kuala Lumpur stretch of small single lane roads where you need to be on full alert to signal highlights whenever the opposite side is overtaking lorries and buses. They dare to do high speed overtaking eventhough you are less than 10 metres away. After a while, I gave up signaling my highlights because they didn't care and just drove slower and to the extreme left edge of the road to avoid them.
Most exciting purchase: MlesnA porcelain tea mug and loose Ceylon Tea

A word or phrase to summarize each place:
Bukit Fraser: birds watching
Ipoh: small chickens
Cameron Highlands: sour strawberry
Sitiawan: salted eggs
Pangkor Island: mighty waves
Kuala Lumpur: horrific jams
Port Dickson: oily beach
Malacca: Peranakan cendol

Now, I have to think of how to get rid of the kilograms. Since this is a leisure + food trip, it is not surprising that I had gained lots of weight.

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