Stuif's Adventures

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Ipoh & Taiping, November 2007
As webmaster of the Waterfalls of Malaysia website, I get sometimes email with information about 'new' waterfalls. In this case from Helena and Radek, living in Ipoh.

They invited me to spend the weekend in Ipoh and were perfect hosts, offering me a varied program of interesting activities.

We started with a visit of the Geruntum waterfall, near Gopeng. Along the access road we noticed big pipelines, probably used for the tin mining process, now derelict. At the end of the tar road we parked the car, and after a short climb we reached the attractive waterfall, consisting of several tiers. Locals were catching fish, using spears. And guides from a nearby resort were preparing an abseiling exercise, but canceled it when it started to rain.

Next destination were the Neolithic Rock Paintings of Gua Tambun. Without the help of my hosts I would never have been able to find this spot! High up the rock face, there are lots of rock paintings, mostly of animals. Fascinating.

The next day we visited Papan, a once famous tin mining town, now a scenic ghost town. Here 'war hero' Sybil Kathigasu had a clinic during the Japanese occupation. The house at 74, Jln Besar, is now a memorial, lovingly being taken care of by Law Siak Hong. He was our perfect guide, not only for the clinic, but for the town as well.

Just outside Papan there is a Hutan Lipur with some pleasant cascades.

After a banana leaf lunch, we went to another waterfall, near Simpang Pulai. It used to be a dam, but the catchment area has been completely silted, and at both sides of the dam, there are now quite impressive waterfalls. It was crowded on this Sunday afternoon, just after Deepavali. Not far from the falls, there is also a Hot Spring.

Then it was time already to leave my friends, and continue to Taiping. It is always a pleasure to come back to what probably has been my home town in an earlier life..:-).
Here George was my host.

The Lake Gardens were beautiful as usual, and George and I saw quite a lot of birds. Of course we enjoyed the Taiping food.

Some special events this time were a visit to the New Club, where George had recently become a member.

I handed over my donation for the crazy guy on a bike Tzuo Hann. I really admire that guy. Good luck Tzuo Hann!

And I managed to light a candle for a good friend of mine. Not that easy, as several churches were closed! Finally George suggested the chapel of his former school, St George's Institution. The friendly prinicpal opened the chapel for us herself!

Another pleasant and rewarding trip!

On our way to Geruntum

Broken pipeline

Dismantling the pipeline



Lata Geruntum

What are they looking at?

Spear fishing!

The catch

The main fall

Preparing to abseil

Better not! It is going to rain

Kids become friends easily!

On our way to Gua Tambun
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This is the plant...

and its flowers

Almost there

Impressive rock face

Boy & Nature

Neolithic paintings

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Painting of a tapir

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Main street

Sybil Kathigasu's Clinic

The garden

Relics from the tin mining period

The caretaker Mr Law

Interesting exhibits

Map of Papan

In the garden

Unexpected surprise

Ruined house



Traditional toilet

Sliding door


Another ruined house

Almost like Angkor Wat

Hutan Lipur Papan

Waterfall fun

Simpang Pulai dam

The left fall

The reservoir is silted

The right fall


Everybody happy

Weekend fun
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The hunks of the town

There are Hot Springs

Taiping, Lake Gardens

Romantic bridge

Water lilies

Caught by the rain!

White-throated Kingfisher

And its backside

Crested Serpent-eagle

Showing himself

And even 'flashing' :-)

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart


St George's Institution


Meeting the principal
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The chapel

Handing over the donation

A new member of the New Club!

Invited as a guest by George

The New Club Swimmingpool

George and his harem

Enjoying life!

Having dinner with friends

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
A most comprehensive account. Congratulations. /stephen

lightlingmk2 wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
You are not complete in your waterfall webmaster site if you do not include (1) the GI pool founded by Stephen and his gang and (2) the Devil pool by Kc and gang - way back in 1958 ?, at Kwangtung/Hokkien cementary,Taiping.

Kwai Loh wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
Where, where? Location details please...:-)

Dan wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
Very nice pictures this time Jan .... thanks for sharing them.

lightlingmk2 wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
Ask Stephen, he had taken a few pictures a couple of years ago.

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
What a memorable visit Jan! Strewn with varying aspects of rich in perspective...from neolithic rock paintings to wild ladies at the club....great falls too! What a wonderful life you have...the envy of many. You have not forgotten to give us nature as well...the Crested Serpent Eagle, which spreads its! Good on you, our scholar and gentleman....worthy to be a wira.

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
Thanks, Jan, for going through all that bother.

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
Yeah, but what about this plant? Give some indication. /stephen

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
This is a species of aroid. The genus name is probably Alocasia.

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
I am surprised the drawings are still in good condition. I wrote a story about in when I was in Ipoh (with the NST) in the late 1960s on the lack of action to preserve the rockface and the paintings. Now your picture shows that the people then should not have worried. /stephen

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
That's my paternal grandparents home town before WW2. Remains of relatives still in the cemetery.

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
Come on, don't bull. That's the five-foot-way, a feature of all pre-war (WWII) shophouses, for pedestrians to get out of the sun and rain. /stephen

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
Nice photo.

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
That's now disused and as can be seen is a store of sorts. Also, note that the opening through which the bucket is pushed in and removed has been cemented over. But, really, those toilets were something, especially if you were using it and the bucketmen were at work. The pong was enough for you to forget all modesty and want to rush out. Those of my generation will know what I mean. /stephen

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
When I was a kid in the 1950s, our parents used to threaten us that if we didn't study hard, we would end up being night-soil carriers. That was no empty threat as I saw the night-soil man ( who wore shoes similar to our present adidas kampung) coming every morning to carry the bucket away. How I would jump out of his way!

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
This one was not too bad. It had an opening at the back for the night soil carrier to empty the bucket. The shop-houses in Jalan Kota Taiping opposite the old clocktower has no back lanes and my uncle had to awake in the wee hours to open the front door for the night soil carrier to empty the bucket.
It was quite a feeling when I had to do business and the bucket was not positioned properly. Had to use a stick (kept in the toilet at all times) to reposition it first.

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
Just look at George! Happy as can be. /stephen

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
One more reason for Taiping being your favourite Malaysian town?? ;-)

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
Yes, you brought that feeling of George out in the open.

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
Whose underwear is that? /stephen

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
This is just a grotto. The chapel used to comprise of two-classroom space with rows and rows of kneeling pews. George could have taken you to St Louis Church where there is also an external grotto back-to-back with the HIJ Convent. /stephen

lightlingmk2 wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
Although, I am not a christian, I used to pray in the school chapel every day. This is not the chapel I used to know.

Kwai Loh wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
We went there, but the church was closed. A Catholic church should be open all day!

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
Is the chapel still there?? Mission schools are fast losing their identities.

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
Nice for a teacher to meet another teacher.

wrote on Nov 18, 2007:
All this without a wah-wah?

geetee wrote on Nov 19, 2007:
About the old school chapel..yeah such a disappointment.. from what we knew it to be. Like Lightlingmk2, I am not Christian too, but that peaceful sanctuary used to be such a comfort to us students when we were anxious or had problems in those days. This time around, two boys just blinked when Jan and I asked them whether the chapel was still there. They probably didn't even know what it was. And Jan..bless you for lighting a candle for your friend, also for your generous cash contribution to worthy causes via the "Crazy guy on a bike" campaign. But you forgot to mention in your travelogue that we both photographed all the named headstones at the War Cemetery..more than 330 out of a total of 867 graves, mostly of unknown young men, 18 and 20 year olds among them, who lost their lives during WW2.

lightlingmk2 wrote on Nov 20, 2007:
"Sixtyoversexyficent "
The older timer ( we are the old timer) called it " Fut Lo Hau " (cantonese).

"867 graves, mostly of unknown young men, 18 and 20 year olds among them, who lost their lives during WW2."
These people fought for Malaya, I fought for Malaysia during confrontation, we were the forgotten, unsung heros.

wrote on Nov 20, 2007:
Boon Chee,
You sure love this one!

Liz wrote on Dec 6, 2007:
Yes, its Alocasia. I'm always taking photos of these leaves, usually with someone standing under them!

Liz wrote on Dec 6, 2007:
The path to Gua Tambun is now a luxurious highway compared to the several times I've been there in the past!!
On my most recent visit, I was amused to see the horses inside a cave at ground level, see Cave>>Cave fauna

Liz wrote on Dec 6, 2007:
Yuck, modern graffiti spoiling the prehistoric ones. I have the same photo!

Liz wrote on Dec 6, 2007:
Where is the tapir, I seem to have missed this. But you don't have any pic of the dugong which is usually considered the most famous painting.

Liz wrote on Dec 6, 2007:
Interesting to know that Stephen wrote about Tambun in the 1960's. I've also written several pieces, e.g. , as well as pieces in Star and NST.

Liz wrote on Dec 6, 2007:
I had an interesting time when I was there, as there were about 200 Malaysian Air Force cadets there for R&R. They were very surprised to see a few mat sallehs arrive and spoil their peace!!!

Liz wrote on Dec 6, 2007:
Strictly speaking, this is the right fall, as you always determine left and right bank of a river looking downstream, not up.

Liz wrote on Dec 6, 2007:
Wow !

wrote on Dec 10, 2007:
I beg to differ..:-) The reference point here is not the river, but the dam. And the fall is on the left side of this dam.

lightlingmk2 wrote on Dec 11, 2007:
I am amazed of the term left and right falls. I learned something new.

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