Family trip to Kanching

For a long time there has been a plan to visit a waterfall with Aric’s family, but it was not easy to find a suitable date. As 10 October was a holiday, we decided to make a trip to the Kanching waterfall between Selayang and Rawang. When we arrived at the carpark, it became clear that we would not be the only visitors, it was full, we had to drive a bit further to an additional parking. Here we are ready to go, notice the many bags with food for the picnic 😉

There are 7 waterfalls (and 2 more far upstream). Here are the first and the second fall.

The third fall, the Kapor fall, is the most popular waterfall. Too crowded, so we walked further up.

Where the cemented steps end, a trail continues, we expected that less people would hike that far. And that was the case, but there were still many people at my favorite fall no 5. I managed to take a picture of the fall without people!

We found a suitable, more quiet place between fall 4 and 5, a big rock where we could enjoy our lunch.

There was a small cascade next to our rock, a perfect place to enjoy the cooling water.

A few of us went for a while to fall no 5 to take a shower.

During my waterfall hikes I always liked to leave a stone marker at the waterfall. Here there was no need to do that because another visitor had already built two ones. In the right picture Zhi Le is blowing bubbles..

Ready to walk back.

Two views from the bridge. Left the rock where we had our picnic ( of course we left no rubbish) and the small cascade . Right looking down to fall number 4.

The Kapor fall was even more crowded now. Near the entrance we met an ice cream seller, I could not resist the temptation to have a roti ice cream 😉

We were still hungry and decided to go to Restoran Tom Yam Serendah, where we had enjoyed nice food several times in the past. Then it was a small basic restaurant near the main road, but now it had moved to a new location, very clean but less atmosphere.

The food was ok, although the tom yam not as nice as before. Still cheap, RM 180 for 11 pax!

After our lunch we were in the mood for coffee, we decided to visit the World of Phalaenopsis , which not only has orchids, but also a nice café. However, here there was again a massive crowd, so we only walked around and bought an orchid to take home.

Driving back we looked for a kopi tiam, but we were not lucky. Finally we ended, almost home, in the DIB restaurant in Damansara Perdana. DIB stands for Deaf In Business, it is a relaxed, very friendly place, where we come regularly.

We had coffee, I was not yet hungry, had only a waffle with ice cream

it was a very nice outing, worth repeating (but preferably on a weekday)

Did Amelia Earhart land in Taiping?

In September 2019 I published two blog posts about Amelia Earhart, the American aviator, who flew over present-day Malaysia from Bangkok to Singapore on 20 June 1937. A mural had been created in Taiping, honoring her landing on 20 June at the Taiping Aerodrome for a refueling stop.

In my two reports, Amelia Earhart and Taiping and Amelia and Taiping (Part Two) I showed that Amelia Earhart never landed at the Taiping Aerodrome and not even had the intention to do so. I shared these reports with the Taiping Heritage Society (THS). Lukewarm response, no follow-up. A few months ago the Perak Heritage Society came into action: “She Never landed in Malaysia”  Amelia Earhart Mural In Taiping Puzzles Locals It will be interesting to see if now something will happen.

Here is a bit more information about how the confusion started./

In 2007 a Wikipedia contributor, Andrew Kidman, starts a topic Taiping Airport. He adds content in the following years, for example on 1 February 2009 :

” … The airport also achieved fame through the famous American aviator, Amelia Mary Earhart in 1937, when she was doing her world flight and stopover at the Taiping Airport for refueling petrol. Amelia Earhart was doing her flight route from Thailand to Singapore, her permission to land at Taiping Airport was allowed on 7 June 1937 by the then Resident-General of Malaya….”

The second sentence is correct, the first one is his own conclusion and erroneous. His last edit of Taping Airport was in April 2009, he is not active anymore, I have tried to contact him, without success.

Yes, Amelia Earhart received a letter on 7 June that she was permitted to land at the Taiping Areodrome. Does that make Taiping at least a bit special? To make clear that this was mot the case, we must keep in mind that in 1937 Malaysia did not exist, it was British Malaya, consisting of the Straits Settlements , the Federated Malay States and the Unfederated Malay States, Crossing the airspace of British Malaya, Amelia needed several authorizations. In my second blog copies of these letters are shown. Each gives authorization for a specific period (‘in or about June’) and mentions the airports where she is permitted to land. Here is the list, with date of the authorization letter and the airports. Kedah and Johore were unfederated states and had to give authorization separately.

  • 15 June Straits Settlements (Penang, Singapore)
  • .7 June FMS (Taiping)
  • 17 June Kedah (Alor Star)
  • 17 June Johore (Batu Pahat)

Taiping was just one of the five airports where she was allowed to land. But she did not , as is clear from the book Last Flight. In her report she mentions a few times Alor Star (We checked over Alor Star airport but did not stop, and headed for Singapore)

Amelia Earhart never landed in Taiping and had no intention to do so

Giant Joss Sticks

After Aric had heard that a temple near Kuala Pilah had built three giant joss sticks for an upcoming festival., he suggested that we should go there and have a look. Kuala Pilah, in Negeri Sembilan is quite far from KL and it took us almost two hours to reach the temple. The temple is located about 7 km sount of Kuala Pilah, along the road to Tampin. We were not the only visitors, there was a massive crowd. Well organised, we followed instructions to find a parking place.

We started our visit with the giant joss sticks. And huge they are, almost 20 meter tall. Visible from far away.

.The yellow ribbon left is a tape measure. Starting from 0 m at the top until almost 20 m at the bottom.

Beautifully decorated with dragons. Here are details from the three sticks

Left the top part of the center joss stick. Notice the many supporting cables in the right picture.

There is a lot more to see in this Si Thean Kong temple. It is a Taoist temple, dedicated to the Nine Emperor Gods. Originally it was located in the center of Kuala Pilah, but moved to this new location in 2015. Still not yet completely finished, there are plans to add a pagoda, but already quite spectacular.

The Nine Emperor Gods festival takes place in the beginning of the ninth lunar month, culminating on the ninth day. This year that will be on 4 October and that explains the huge crowd of devotees. On that day the crowd will be much larger. Usually the temple will be more quiet, see this YouTube video.

Here is a drone video of the temple complex, taken by Aric.

We walked down from the joss sticks to the main temple.

The main temple

Inside the temple you have to take off your shoes. Better remember where you left them, with this crowd it might be not easy to find them back. You can give a donation for the ongoing construction.

After visiting the temple we walked around. Well organised. Here a view of the monumental entrance arch. Tables and chairs for the visitors to rest.

And eat! There was a hall were free food was served, I had a plate of mee goreng , while Aric was busy droning. The right picture shows a contraption, where a waterspout would rise in the air when you blew in the horn. Not related to the Nine Emperor Gods, just fun for young and old.

I took a short video of the horn blowing.

Here is the monumental stone arch, the biggest in Malaysia and already in the Malaysia book of records.

View from the roadside. At the main event on 4 October, there will be a big procession, where the “boat” in the right picture will take part.

We made another round, climbing up to the joss sticks and down again to the crowd

Aric took another video of the temple complex.

The crowd had grown a lot

There was entertainment, left a traditional Chinese opera, right a modern light show.

There were also many food stalls, but with very long queues, so we gave up, walked back to our car and had a late dinner at a Malay stall in Kuala Pilah.

This temple will become a major tourist attraction in Negeri Sembilan and even in Malaysia. Many of my friends are not yet aware of this place.