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Last weekend we went for a really super awesome trip up to Belum Rainforest Resort. For the uninitiated, the resort sits on Pulau Banting, an island formed from the creation of lake Temengor in Gerik, Northern Perak.

The trip was a showcase of modern Diesel technology with the combination of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics and the Dynamic Diesel from Petronas. Here are the 10 things I learn from the unforgettable 2-day trip.

1. Diesel cars are super efficient
efficient diesel

Lost in the big woohaa last September when the government made the switch from RON 92 to RON 95 petrol (with price adjustment, of course), was that the country also adopted the Euro 2M standard for Diesel fuel. Euro 2M Diesel has less than 50ppm sulphur, and are much cleaner for the environment.

With the new standard we can now take advantage of modern Diesel cars, such as the BMW 320d and BMW 520d that we used for this trip. None of the diesel powered 3 and 5 series we drove required a refuel for the entire trip, some 800 km in total. This is fuel efficiency I’ve never imagined, almost twice lower than my Toyota MR2.

2. Police escort is the awesomsauce
bmw drive police escort

It was my first time driving with police escort, felt like a real VIP. From KLCC to Mutiara Damansara, we were bullying our way through traffic, breezed through red lights and intersections. The cops were really pro and exhibited some awesome “standing on the bike and yell at drivers” as well as “cornering and pointing at cars” mad skills.

The escort service even managed to split the traffic jam at TTDI, everyone was looking at us with envy, it was priceless 😀

3. Ivan Khong has 3 arms and 4 eyes
ivan kong of bmw

Our lead car driver, Mr. Ivan Kong, must have at least 2 more eyes and an extra arm. This certified BMW instructor, who is also a former rally car driver was able to:

  • lead a convoy of 6 pairs of noob drivers
  • operate 2 walkie talkies
  • report all incoming traffic in details (eg: a green Suzuki Vitara coming, he’s wearing a songkok, don’t overtake now)
  • communicate with the support & sweeper car
  • looked at our every moves (eg: car 4 and 5, stop playing with each other)
  • and drive in excess of 120-180km on trunk roads

When I grow up, I want to drive like him. Thank you Mr. Ivan Kong for leading us on this amazing journey

4. Indulgence at Ipoh serves good food (mostly)
food at Indulgence, Ipoh

We stopped by Ipoh for lunch on the way from KL to Belum and back, on both occasions we went to Indulgence Restaurant, one of the classiest eatery you could find in this city.  The place is quite posh, and food was served in big plates with pretty garnish.

I had the cod on the first day, and lamb loin on the next. The cod was good, and the lamb loin was really one of the best lamb I’ve ever tasted. However, Gareth and Suan’s chicken on the first day was a let down, and so was Kim’s salmon on the second day. The scallop was a bit overcooked too, but the tiger prawn and the pohpiah appetizer were brilliant.

Indulgence is at 14, Jln Raja Dihilir, 30350, Ipoh. Tel: 05-255 7051

5. the beemers’ handling is phenomenal
bmw convoy

Not that anyone should try this, but we were doing in excess of 130 km/h around the bend on the road to Gerik, both the 3 and 5 series were fitted with Sports package and handled real well. The traction control came on a few times when we “tickle the throttle” a little too much, but it felt safe and it was exhilarating.

The photo of speedometer above, was taken by me when my partner in crime Cheesie was driving. Can I have a beemer please pretty please?

6. Belum Rainforest Resort is nice
belum rainforest resort

Situated on the island of Pulau Banting overlooking Temengor lake, Belum Raiforest Resort is nice, the room were big and nicely decorated. Bed’s a bit hard but I guess that’s just up to your personal preference. It’s a perfect blend of nature and comfort. The staff were helpful and friendly too. I would love to go back there again.

7. Bamboo rafting is a tiring affair
bamboo rafting at belum rainforest resort

The first thing we did on the next day was bamboo rafting. Now bamboo rafting is not very different from rowing a dragon boat, which was something I did during my high school days (we won 2nd place twice on state level, tqvm), but bamboo rafting with a hangover was quite a bit different.

Luckily lake Temengor’s water wasn’t too cold that particular morning. We had loads of fun and got sober up for the long drive back to KL ahead of us.

8. Aaron is a very good photographer
aaron - photographer for bmw drive

The photographer commissioned by BMW on this event, Aaron, was really professional and efficient. He worked tirelessly to get us all these awesome shots for two days, and we got all the photos in a tidy little 4 GB thumb drive at the 2nd last leg of the drive.

I managed to take a photo of him while he was taking that particular photo of me in car number 5. 😀

9. People at BMW held the best events I’ve attended
BMW Drive 2009

The level of luxury and attention to details throughout the entire event was nothing I’ve ever experienced. From the first day when our bags were tagged till we reluctantly bid goodbye on the second evening, nothing was left out, we had zero complain even if we try.

There was good food, awesome driving experience, good companionship, and even a few surprises thrown in (after dinner there were gifts left in all our rooms – external hdd and solar charger). It was amazing, I want to really thank BMW and Petronas for inviting us, especially Sashi who first contacted me.

10. Jenga is still the best party game there is
jenga at Belum Rainforest Resort

We had one of the best times at Belum Rainforest Resort, Gareth, Kim, Huai Bin, Robb, Michael, Sashi, Nadia, and I decided to play Jenga, the best party game. The person who causes the wooden tower to fall finishes a glass of drinks. Robb, as you can clearly see, didn’t do particularly well on that night and threw sick all over the balcony. Kim wasn’t in the picture cos she too, was completely knocked out after 2 glasses of champagne.

Other participant’s posts:

The BMW Eco Drive Experience – Diesel Rocks!
how a bimmer saved my life… twice
Tickling The Throttle (and other lessons learnt at the BMW Drive)
Eco-Bloggers Diesel Drive 2009 – The Diesel Myths
BMW EfficientDynamics – Day 1
Breakfast @ Mandarin Oriental and a police escort

Xpax Advert:

At Belum Rainforest Resort, Celcom/Xpax’s network service was still working very fine despite it being a rather remote location. A certain telco, however, did not provide data service at that area, but those of us who are with Celcom/Xpax still managed to continue updating our tweets. As a reminder, you have until the end of December to enjoy Xpax’s double bonus (up to 16%) when you reload, check it out here.

Discuss : 10 things I learnt from the BMW drive

  1. KY asked me to leave comment hereeee.

  2. Val,
    cis bedebah

  3. u caught robb sick buwahahhahahaha

    yeah, the best event i’ve ever experienced. wonder if this event management ppl can be hired for my wedding or something..

  4. whaha just saw the video. sashi epic mandarin and huai bin’s cantonese “de lap” wtf hahahahhahahhaa

  5. kimberlycun,
    Hahahha yah drunk dialects ftw!

  6. Nice 🙂 What was the solar charger for?

  7. Julian.: To charge the sun incase it runs out of energy to induce fotosintesis in plants.

    KY: Hey, the ‘what I learned’ post was MY idea!

  8. 800km is super efficient for such a big car. But was wondering, is Belum about 800km away? Or 400km one way?

  9. julian,
    Yess eyeris just replied to you 😀

    eyeris,
    Hahaha ideajacked!

    JD,
    1 way about 400 km 😀

  10. Wah, it’s quite long distance also. I think my car will surely need to fillup on the way back. Ok, next aim, get a BMW. Hahaha.

  11. It was all good!Can I have a beemer too preeze? And I didn’t get to take picture with Ivan the 4eyed-and-3-arms driving instructor! hahah….

  12. JD,
    Haha yah my car too at least 1-2 times refuel.

    eiling,
    I oso wantttt

  13. Yeah, it’s a fun car to drive. Awesome torque!

  14. when u pass by with police escort, it wasn’t envy.. it was angry… imagine u are in the traffic and you are required to make way.. squeeze our car to the road side to give way… all of us are road user… we are also stuck in traffic… we don’t give way.. cops smash our car.. not fair..

  15. Huai Bin,
    Yahh I miss it already!

    yt,
    Hahah it’s a fine line, envy/angry, and life is not fair anyway 😛

  16. walaoeh, how much did you guys drink?? :p the question is, did sashi finally end up speaking mandarin or not?? *suspense*

  17. wah…got police escort…some of yeng-ness

  18. beetrice,
    Hahaha too much la, sashi spoke some mandarin, it’s awesome. 😀

    nikel,
    Hahaha yah, was a luxury!

  19. im here looking for ipoh nga choy kai n this the first post on the page, OMG I CANT BELIEVE THE BMW DIESEL IS FINALLY HERE.

    like seriously finally. about almost a year ago magazines were raving about diesel cars in the europe lol.

  20. I LOL-ed at the “When I grow up, I want to drive like him.”
    Drink more Brand’s chicken essence, might help you to grow up faster.

  21. Mr Ivan is awesomesause!!!!!!

  22. cheez,
    Yah, been a while, but we finally got modern diesel cars! 😀

    haha,
    Hehehe, yess I love Brands!

    Cheesie,
    Oh no doubt!

  23. Eh, I really like the rafting pictures. Damn cun. (You too, dahling)

  24. Lyrical Lemongrass,
    Yess rafting pictures were taken by the talented Aaron, not me 😛

  25. i vant bubbly.. and, and .. oh , of course.. i will need a BMW to go with my drink , yes, uh huh.. that would be right. 😛

  26. LOL I want champagne!
    why all nice placest have to be so effing far????

  27. 800km/tank?? Cool…

    btw, it’s Khong. Family of racing car drivers.

  28. wuahghghg people with police escort drives other ppl crazy!

    anyway, awesome trip n cool car!

  29. ciki,
    Hahahah yah make it happen!

    JaCJaC,
    There are some nice places nearby also maaa

    tl,
    Yess, very good fuel economy, I was amazed!

    fx,
    Hahahah yahh, awesome 😛

  30. 3 arms and 4 eyed Khong

    All: Tq Tq Tq…. You guys crack me up la! We need to do this again, sometime soon I hope!

  31. Ivan Khong,
    Hahaha sure!

  32. Hi all, its good to know that everyone had a great time and wonderful experiences… and observed all the ‘small’ touches that we put together to make it more experiential.

    Everyone from Orcavie had a great time pampering all of you too…

  33. Aris,
    Thank you thank you for sweeping us! 😀

  34. wow bro…luxury leh driving and sitting in a beemer.

    i remembered when drove a 530…took 35 mins from puchong to alor gajah toll (melaka) … of course above 200km/h in a very early morning.

    thou u speed at 160-180, u dun feel much actually….very stable as when u speed, the tyre angle wheels will crub in like the F1 one!

  35. vialentino,
    oOoo that’s fast! 200 km/h is a bit crazy hehehe

  36. kelvin_1983

    hogging the road just because of some promotions, selfish and rude. everyone was lining and someone proudly tell the whole world how proud they are to drive through redlights and etc.

  37. kelvin_1983,
    I’ve been at the short end of the stick for way too many occasions and it’s nice to be at the other side for a change, even though it might be the only time in my life. I said it was awesome, didn’t say I was proud, get a grip yoo

  38. with bmw is ok, u feel secure…if drive proton at 200kmh, then it is scary…

  39. vialentino,
    but 200km/h to 0km/h in 2 seconds is still gonna kill no matter what car you’re on it.

  40. […] super early, earlier than my usual work day. BMW had it all over planned yet again (just like my BMW Drive experience), as we were getting close to Sepang International Circuit, there were already signs ala Malay […]

  41. […] off we went on the North South highway with the help of police escort service (I last had this at BMW drive, it was a […]

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