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Less than 2 weeks ago, Suan organized a day trip for us, and specifically for the hot chick to the Chiling Falls. This waterfall that is sitauted less than an hour’s drive away from PJ is listed as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Selangor. Together with ST, Kim, and FA, we had a great time two Thursdays ago.

More pictures at my flickr set

Chinese Temple, guardian lion
the guardian lion, temple at Rawang

We engaged a guide for this tour, which turned out to be an excellent decision as our guide, Yen, turned out to be very good at what he is doing. After meeting at PJ, we drove to Rawang and first stopped by a Buddhist temple for some prayers and photography opportunity.

Buddhist Temple at Rawang, Selangor
Buddhist Temple

After that we stopped by the small town of Kuala Kubu Bharu for a heavier breakfast before proceeding with the journey. The small town reminded me of the Penang of yesteryears, very peaceful and simple. We had some really good wantan mee there.

Just before heading to the waterfalls, we also stopped by the Selangor Dam.

Kuala Kubu Bharu
stopped by Kuala Kubu Bharu for breakfast

The Chiling Falls is actually located quite deep inside the jungle. To reach there, we had to track the jungle for over an hour through pretty thick growth in the jungle.

walking the jungle track
jungle tracking for over an hour

The trail was pretty challenging, we had to cross the river on 5 occasions and the water could be up to chest high. Luckily our guide is very experienced and came prepared with safety ropes. I had to pack the camera in waterproof plastic bag, and hence denied the opportunity to captured some of the more interesting moments whilst crossing the river. It was quite an experience.

crossing the river
hot chick crossing the river

The river falls under government protection and absolutely no fishing is allowed. The river is actually packed with a lot of native fresh water fish that are absolutely fearless to human. We fed them with some bread Yen brought with him.

The guide was a lot more prepared than I thought, he actually had a stove set and made some hot drinks for us from boiling the water from Chiling river. I made a joke that it would be perfect if he had a hammock as well, and to my utter disbelieve, he ACTUALLY have a hammock with him (sans the ropes to tie it around the trees)!

fish feeding at chiling falls
feeding the fish with FA

After hanging out at the main waterfall for over an hour, it was time to make the return journey. On the way back FA actually lost her shoes in the rapids and had to walk over half an hour barefoot. The guide also picked up some trash (such as broken shoes) that were left from the other irresponsible tourists. We then had a very late lunch at Ulu Yam before returning home dead tired.

Chiling Falls, Selangor
The magnificent chiling falls

It was quite an adventurous trip and certainly a very enjoyable one. Perfect for a weekend getaway that does not involve going to the shopping malls. Yen can be contacted at happyyen at gmail.com or 017369 7831. He charges RM180 for a group of 2 to 8 person and will supply more guide if you have a bigger group.

One one of the last days in Myanmar, we decided to take some time off and visit one of the very few tourist attractions in this once vibrant South East Asian City, the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar
an alternate childhood

There is a US $5 entrance fee for foreigners, but interestingly, the local currency is not accepted. There was no guide books or brochures given, all you get is a place to place your shoes (no shoes allowed in the pagoda) and a sticker to indicate you are a paid “customer”.

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar
the main pagoda

The main pagoda is 98 meters high, and is at least over 1,000 years old, with some believe that it was actually built before the death of Lord Buddha, some 25 centuries ago. There are multiple structures and probably hundreds of statues, some with gold plating.

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar
gold plated Buddha statues

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar
roof of the gallery from main road

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar
the Singu Min Bell

The pagoda was filled with quite a lot of pilgrims and visitors alike, with many monks as well.

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar
monks and pilgrims

It was a gloomy and rainy afternoon that makes for a very miserable condition for photography. The fact that I only had the camera for a few days didn’t help the matter either. The photos you see here do not give justice to the magnificent structure that is Shwedagon Pagoda, a place really worth visiting.

Since my mom and siblings have never been to the historical town that is Melaka, I decided to bring the family down for a short day trip during their brief visit to KL for Chinese New Year. We drove down there during the 3rd day of CNY.

Melaka Trip, St Paul's Church
St Francis Xavier with his missing right arm at St Paul’s church

After arriving there, we had a quick brunch at Donald and Lily’s corner (another post on another time) and then proceeded to the must-visit spot that is the old St. Paul’s church. You might have noticed that the statue of St Francis Xavier has a missing right arm, this is not an act of vandalism but rather sculptured on purpose to show that the body does lack the right arm. Apparently the pope requested that the arm be severed from the corpse of St Francis 62 years after he died.

Melaka Trip, St Paul's Church
Inside St Paul’s Church

After that we walk to Jonker Street (Jalan Hang Jebat), where my sister bought some souvenirs. We also stopped by the same Chendol place I visited last time around, Jonker88. Can’t get enough of that gula Melaka.

Melaka Trip, Jonker Street, Jalan Hang Jebat
Jonker Street (Jalan Hang Jebat)

There’s still quite a lot of trishaws in Melaka. Over here, they are decorated heavily with plenty of fake flowers, and many of them come equipped with loud stereo systems churning out the latest Fifty Cent’s tune. Unlike the trishaw in Penang where the passenger is seated in front, the trishaws here have the side by side configuration. Slightly less thrilling I think.

Melaka Trip, Mini Malaysia
There isn’t really anything much at mini Malaysia

Before heading back to KL, the four of us then went to Mini Malaysia at Ayer Keroh, just a few kilometers from the heart of town. Initially I had though that the park has many miniature buildings and landscape representing the whole of Malaysia, but it turned out that there were merely 13 traditional houses representing the different states. Not exactly worth the RM 12 per person we had to pay to get in, and miles away from the value for money you’d get visiting KL’s bird park.

Melaka Trip, Mini Malaysia show
worst costume ever

However, we did get there just in time for their cultural performance. Basically it was just a lot of traditional dance routines. It wasn’t half bad, but the costume was something else.

Overall it was a relaxing trip, though we did not manage to go to many eating places nor were the tourist attractions that great.