Gunung Liang has everything to put you off a hike. The distance (just under 20 kilometres round trip), a minimum 5 hour trek up to the peak, and a 1 1/2 hour drive there (2 hours if you’re driving from Putrajaya).
Sometimes all it takes is a single image. The spires of the Sagrada Familia, the crumpled silver folds of the Disney Concert Hall, the gleaming onion shaped domes of the Ubudiah Mosque. It was the latter that sent me on a quest to Kuala Kangsar.
The haze had become oppressive, and Matt and I desperately needed to escape it. To do that we’d have to fly somewhere, but there was no chance of that. Matt’s schedule meant that we had one night away at best. Ma-Ni Thai Cuisine (and Villas) just outside of Tanjung Malim on the Selangor side of the Sungai Bernam divide is one and a half hours from KL, so we headed there instead….
I was pretty excited when Otherfest was announced. A celebration of Old Town Ipoh’s history and arts and food culture organised by Kakiseni, it was due to go down October/November. But work had started to trickle in and I was beginning to think my chance of discovering new things about Perak’s capital would pass me by. And then Saturday opened up…
In Ipoh for Vasantha’s wedding, Matt and I were there for less than 24-hours. Which isn’t much time for two people who hate rushing around. Fortunately Ipoh is a remarkably compact city that’s easy to get around. Aside from catching up with friends, we managed to squeeze in a stay at Weil Hotel, eat brunch at a family-run kopitiam, and have our heart strings pulled by (the late) Yasmin Ahmad.
They say if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Hafiza, Vasantha and I had completed our hike up Gunung Irau by way of Trans Pass and Yellow Pass but as far as deeming it a success … we exited in the dark, tired, cold and disappointed in ourselves. It was 2012 and we were noobs that had bitten off more than we could chew. Next time we’d be ready. Next time came 2 years later….