100 days

On February 26 it was 98 days ago that Aric’s father passed away. In the Taoist religion there are several mourning ceremonies. An important one takes place after49 days, and the “100 day” ceremony marks the end of the official mourning.Food is offered to the ancestors and a suitcase is prepared with everything you may need in the afterlife. There exist special shops where you can buy clothes, foodstuff, all made from paper, cardboard etc. At the funeral ceremony itself, even a house, a car, a motorbike etc are burned.

Funeral pyre

Pyre at the funeral ceremony on 22 November 2012

Here is a collection of pictures taken during the 100 day ceremony. Note the credit card for the Otherworld Bank and the flight ticket for the Hell Airlines. After the burning of the suitcase, the roast pig is cut. Part of it is given to the village people, part of it is eaten by the family. After this closing ceremony the family can wear bright colored clothes again and visit the homes of friends.



Journal 18-2-2013

Let me start this journal with Bukit Lanjan. The construction/destruction of what once was a beautiful forested slope opposite our condominium, continues. Here is a view of the slope. Next to the ugliness a picture of beautiful fungus found along one of the few remaining trails.

Bukit LanjanFungus

I celebrated CNY with Aric’s family in Parit Baru. It was a nice family reunion, although of course the absence of Aric’s father was felt by all. .CNY dinner

Here are a few pictures I took during my stay. You may wonder what the pinkish “caviar” in the left picture is…:-) They are snail eggs! The flower in the middle picture is a kind of passion fruit flower. And in the right picture a couple of sun birds is building their nest in a tree just in front of the family house. It is less flimsy than it looks. Click here for a YouTube clip of the nest building activity.

Snail eggs IMG_5324Sunbird nest

On the third day of the CNY I drove to Teluk Intan, where I met Siang Hui for a waterfall trip. See the separate Ulu Licin blog.

Ulu Licin

Back home I was invited by my friend Khong for a CNY dinner cum karaoke party. The dinner was nice, the company pleasant, but karaoke is not my favourite pastime, so I left early…:-)

CNY dinnerKaraoke

The next day I visited the Nyangung waterfall. Also a separate blog, Waterfall Adventure. During our scramble down the slope to the waterfall I noticed the beautiful “tube” in the right picture. It’s not a fungus but the nest of a colony of wasps/bees. Because of my allergy, I kept my distance, but had to take a picture. So beautiful.

Admiring the fallBee nest

I will end this blog with another hill, Bukit Kiara, where I have my regular morning walk. Also under threat, see my earlier posts about the infamous fence. During a walk with my friend Pola, we came across this recently made (illegal) opening in the fence. Strange that the person(s) who did this, kept the upper part intact. The right pic shows part of the foundation. The fence has been embedded in the cement and will be very difficult to remove.

Fence destruction




Fortunately there is still much beauty to be found in Bukit Kiara. From left to right a Bat Lily, a tortoise and some unknown flowers(?) fallen down from a tree.

Bat LilyTortoiseUnknown flowers

Ten days full of variety…:-)

Ulu Licin

One year ago, on the third day of the CNY, I visited with my waterfall friends Siang Hui, Nick and Harry, an unknown waterfall in the Bubu Range, south of Kuala Kangsar. We gave it the name Lata Naga Air (Water Dragon Fall). Full report here . Sadly Harry died later last year, while on a (solo) waterfall exploration trip in Terengganu. Here is a picture of the waterfall with from left to right Nick, Siang Hui and Harry †

Lata Naga Air

This year Siang Hui suggested a trip to another waterfall, also in the Bubu range, near Beruas. Again on the third day of the CNY. I met Siang Hui and Nick in Teluk Intan, we drove to Beruas where we met Faye. She is contributing to my Waterfalls of Malaysia website, but I had never met here. She often joined Harry’s trips and is now organising trips herself for her friends.

Access to the Ulu Licin falls is easy. From the place where we parked our cars, we could already see the first waterfall. A trail leads to the upper falls. There are three more tiers. The second tier is a beautiful curtain fall. I am posing in the pictures below, so you have an idea about the height of the falls…:-;

Ulu Licin 2nd tier

Ulu Licin 2nd tier

Ulu Licin top tier

Quite surprising to find these relatively unknown falls so near the road. Their saving grace is that the access trail is steep. Here is pictorial report of our trip.

I have uploaded two short video clips to YouTube. One is from the curtain fall, the other one from the top tier

Visiting a new waterfall on the 3rd day of CNY could become a nice tradition! Why not name these falls Lata Ular Air, the Water Snake waterfall…:-)

Waterfall adventure

Yesterday I have revisited the Nyangung waterfall in Pahang. The Nyangung fall is a powerful waterfall in the Perdak river, near Telemong. Further upstream is the equally impressive Seminyang waterfall, which is more often visited. The trail head for Nyangung is not easy to find and it is a scramble down a steep slope to reach (which is unusual!) first the top of the waterfall.

Here my waterfall kaki Rani is standing near the top of the fall and in the picture to the right he is exploring the way to go down. For comparison, in both pics you see the same tree fallen across the river. During this trip I have made several short video clips. Click here to view what you see and hear from the top. Notice the same tree, and also, deep down, the bottom of the fall.

Top NyangungHow to go down?

Going down you have to be careful, rocks may be slippery, in which case it is better to keep right of the rocks and use trees and shrubs as a support. Luckily we had splendid weather. In the picture below you see Rani on his way down in an exposed position…:-) Imagine the thunderous roar of the falling water.

On our way

When we had arrived at the bottom of the fall, we could not see yet the fall in all its splendour. We had to cross the river for that, and the current was strong and turbulent. Personally I would not have dared to cross, but daredevil Rani wanted to give it a try and looked for a possible passage. Here he is exploring. He managed and even asked me to follow him. I did..:-)

Trying to cross

From the other side of the river we had a beautiful view of the fall. See the picture. And click here for a YouTube clip.

Admiring the fall

While crossing we had left all our barang behind, but there were nice sunny rocks on this side, a perfect place to have coffee and our lunch. What to do? I will go back, said Rani and get the stuff. So he went back, and daredevil as he is, he took a slightly different route. I followed him on video, click here. Notice how relaxed he is, even smoking a cigaret..:-) The second attempt to cross back, was successful..:-) That was actually the same way we came over.

When Rani had collected our lunch, coffee, water, put it in my watertight bag, he came back, again trying a different route. Click here to see what happened, and you may understand how I felt when I saw him suddenly being swept away! But I did not panic.

Because I trusted him to come back and he did! Safe and sound. Click here. But of course it gave me a shock. If this would have happened to me, I would not have survived. So we had our coffee and our lunch, but after that I suggested Rani to cross over, the safe way, and have a more relaxing time at the other side. Which we did…:-)

This was really an adventure for me, in several ways. Quite a few “What if” questions too.

Added 20-2-2013

Rani still had pictures of our first visit, almost 4 years ago. Left picture shows the situation in April 2009. I have marked corresponding points with red crosses.

In 2009In 2013

In retrospect I think it was too risky what we have done.


This weekend the Chinese Year of the Snake will start. As usual I will send a digital New Year Card to family and friends, so I was looking in my photo archive for a suitable picture of a snake. Not so easy, because I don’t meet with snakes that often. Here is a collection of my encounters with snakes during the last ten years.

I am not afraid of snakes (as long as they don’t bite, haha). Here I carry a python in the Penang snake temple. Not really an animal you want to cuddle, the skin feels a bit clammy

Me and python

I had only one encounter with a python on a jungle trip. Actually I almost stepped on it, as it was resting just besides the trail. It didn’t move at all, first we thought it might be dead, but when I touched its head (ok, with a long stick, not my fingers, lol), it opened an eye. I think it must have eaten recently.

python in the jungle

Here is another “lazy” snake, a cave racer, no idea why it got its ‘fast’ name. It feeds mainly on bats and it did not mind that its picture was taken. This was in the Dark Caves below the famous Batu caves,

cave racer

One of my first encounters with a snake in the wild occurred in Endau Rompin National Park. After a waterfall trip and a bath in the Selai river, I was relaxing near the river with a book, when I noticed that less than one meter away a beautiful snake was doing the same (without a book). Moving slowly I stood up and walked to my backpack to get my camera, hoping the snake would stay where it was. It did.


To be honest, I had one encounter with a snake which could have ended unpleasantly. It happened at Upper Chiling fall. I was carefully crossing the river, when I saw not far from me what I thought was a stick. But the stick was waving and at the same time my friends shouted, look out, snake! Within a split second I was back on the bank of the river! It was a black spitting cobra and clearly not pleased with my presence. The main danger with this kind of cobra is that they can spit accurately in your eyes, causing blindness.

Spitting cobra

During my usual walk in Bukit Kiara we quite regularly notice green whip snakes resting on the ferns. To be more precise, I don’t usually notice anything until my friend Robert spots one, he is very good at it. Beautiful snakes, only slightly poisonous, it seems. In the picture to the right Robert shows that you can take the snake by its tail.

whip snakeRobert in action

Here is a picture of another whip snake, also taken in Kiara, isn’t it beautiful?

whip snake

During a trip with the Kiara Bunch, a few years ago, we had a remarkable encounter with a snake which had managed to get its head inside an empty Guinness beer can! The poor creature could not get it out, so of course we (Robert, that is, haha) rescued the snake from an untimely death. I think this is a (harmless) rat snake.

Alcoholic snakeFree

That’s about it, regarding my experience with snakes…:-)

By the way, for those of you who believe in astrology (none, I hope!) the Snake zodiac is not a bad one. Although for me, a Monkey, it may become a turbulent year. Hm, as if the last year was not turbulent enough already!

You may ask, did I find a suitable snake picture for my New Year wish?  Yes, I did! It’s a temple snake in the Penang snake temple. When you enter this temple, at first you may ask, why do they call it a snake temple? But when you look more carefully, you will find snakes all over the place.

Here is our card. May the year of the Snake fulfill your wishes, and bring you happiness.

Happy New Year

Journal 1-2-2013

You could say that my life here in Malaysia is a continuous struggle between gaining weight (nice dinners) and loosing weight (my daily exercise in Bukit Kiara and jungle trips). Last week was a good example.

One week ago I had a nice dinner with friends in restaurant Thong Kee, in Seapark. Famous for its barbecued “dinosaur” pork ribs.

Thong Kee

The food was good and the company pleasant…:-)!

Pat and me

A few days later I went for a waterfall trip. One of my friends, Edwin, had told me about nice waterfalls upstream of the Lepoh waterfall in Ulu Langat.
Here is a picture report of the trip.

To reach the top tier, we had to scramble up the lower tiers. At first I decided that I was too old for that, but my friends convinced me I could do it. And I did. Here is a video clip of Edwin and Eng Hoe coming down from the top tier. It was really a fun experience.

Intermezzo: parking in a shopping center can be a problem when you forget where you parked your car. Solution is to take a picture of the location with your smartphone, LOL This is the 1 Utama parking in PJ.

1 Utama

On weekdays I walk in Kiara before having my 1 Ringgit breakfast in IKEA. There has been a lot of rain recently, causing several (minor) landslides in Bukit Kiara

Landslide Kiara

IKEA has also become my alternative living room where I meet my friends..:-) Like today a (Malaysian!) friend from the Netherlands. We walked in the Curve and had lunch in the mamak restaurant near the Curve.

Rain in the Curve

It was a nice week.