I had my days off twice and at both times I ended up at Bukit Kinding Resort. I went there for the first time to attend Ecoteer’s first meeting. It was a nice and tranquil place, surrounded by the nature, not the sea but mountains. Every morning I woke up to fresh and cooling air! My first visit in February, I stayed there for 5 days, tried most of their outdoor sports – golf (drove a golf car too!), flying fox, kayak and aqua skipper.
The second time I went there was in May. I had one week off and I wanted to spend time at home with my family. However, my parents told me they needed to attend a meeting in Ipoh and most probably my brother was going to drive them there. I decided to follow, since I was going for a company retreat at Serendah (near Rawang). That was when I decided to visit Pavin and the guys for a day. He had a group of students from Convent School Ipoh. When we reached there, they were about to play paintball. We managed to shoot around a bit, no real battle though. Although we only stayed a night, it was good!
My third time there was with Andi. She planned to visit Ipoh and have a look at the activities as her boyfriend wanted to apply to be an instructor there while she would work at Perhentian. I was just someone desperately in need of a break from work who went along with her plan. We first got to Penang and headed down to Ipoh from there. It was really nice to see Pavin and Amirthan and be back at Bukit Kinding again! I have been near the sea for so long that I actually miss the forest and mountains! My plan was to stay a night and go back to my hometown. However, I ended up staying for 3 nights! I reached there on Monday night with a plan to leave on Tuesday night. Plan changed and I was supposed to leave on Wednesday night. That didn’t happen as well. Last option was to leave on Thursday morning and when that didn’t happen, I bought a bus ticket to leave on Thursday night. Part of me felt responsible to go back to work but a bigger part of me said I should stay and relax. I almost didn’t have a bus back that night when they told me there was a mistake with the booking and the bus was already fully booked. I did not really know how I felt. Initially I thought how great! I could possibly join them on a road trip to Pengkalan Ulu, the border of Thai, the next day but at that same moment, I felt strongly inside, no Seh Ling, it’s time to go back! Good thing they sorted out my ticket and before I realised, I was on my way back!
Even so, I really enjoyed my stay there. The first day was spent almost doing nothing except sleeping and eating. The room that we were staying in was fabulous! Andi and I were really enjoying the spacious room and having a double bed each with air-cond and hot showers, something we don’t get in the village! However, I woke up when my handphone rang shortly after 8am. Looking at the screen, it showed Charlotte. In my head, I was thinking, don’t tell me my volunteer overslept and missed his dive course. I called Jason and got him to make sure Ian gets to Universal Diver for his course. I was wide awake after a few phone calls and texts. However, it did not feel right to be awake so early during holidays so I went back to sleep. I only woke up shortly before noon. Pav took us to Sami, one of the best Indian food in town, for lunch. Damn, delicious, delicious! All the hard work did not pay off with all the food I was consuming! For dinner we went for Western food! It was absolutely too much food for the day! We went for a drink after that. It was the usual place Pav always brought us to. This time we even had a VIP room for karaoke. I’m not a singer but I enjoy watching people sing.
Since I extended my stay and did practically nothing on my first day. I thought I shouldn’t sleep late and waste my day. I woke up after 10am, carried my laptop and stuffs to the restaurant (the only place with better wi-fi). I discussed with Andi about her appraisal. Beisdes, even though I had my days off, it was still common to receive calls and emails regarding work. Once I finished what I thought was urgent, I dipped myself in the swimming pool! It felt good to be in freshwater, no fishes or things to look out for, just swim and relax. David got me lunch and we were supposed to go biking after. However, Andi and I went swimming and sunbathing instead. Pav told us we could go for flying fox later. We thought we could get a ride from the guys but they didn’t have the key to the car so we ended up cycling to the base of the flying fox. We walked uphill to the launching site. They told us it was a 20 minute walk and I got confused, thinking how far would that be? It wasn’t that far actually. I tried flying fox when I first came and this was my second time. I couldn’t remember what Pav told us to do the last time when we were about to reach the end. When I hit the tires, I remember he probably had said bring your head closer to your knee with both of your elbows covering your head. The best part of going down the zip lines was the scenery! The view of Ipoh is breathtaking! We cycled back to the restaurant and did some other water activities. I went on a kayak but got bored. Andi and I went zorbing. Damn! Never thought running around like a hamster could be so exhausting! We weren’t even moving forward, it was more like moving on the spot! Turning around and falling helplessly inside was hilarious! It makes me wonder now, did the exhaustion actually come from all the laughter! We showered and went for buka puasa at Ito’s family! The food was delicious! They even had sweet corn for dessert! We even bought cornetto ice cream for another round of dessert! We wanted to play pool/snooker but I guess Pav was really tired as he decided we would just go back to Bukit Kinding.
I was supposed to leave the next morning but when I couldn’t get a bus ticket to Jerteh in the morning, my only choice was to buy a night bus and so I did. It was good to know that I have another day at Ipoh. We went for breakfast, tasty curry mee! Yum yum!! Then we chilled at Bukit Kinding while waiting for Amirthan to bring us to a waterfall. We did not expect that wait was an hour long! Pav allowed David to go with us. He even got the staff to pack us lunch. Amirthan went to the bank to do some transfer and we headed to Ulu Chepor Waterfall after that. I was feeling sleepy already by that time. I was really excited in the morning but after waiting for hours, I just wanted to sleep. However, the feeling changed when we reached the waterfall! It reminded me of my final thesis project where I studied the quality of streams by collecting aquatic insects. I actually miss the waterfalls and I couldn’t recall when was my last visit to a waterfall! We hiked up a bit until we reached a nice spot! We put down our stuff and dipped in the cold water. It was refreshing! We even went behind the rocks under the fall!! Amirthan, David and I even slid down the rocks! Andi refused to do it. Sigh! She’s really a cold-blooded animal. She was probably in the water not more than 10 minutes and she was already searching for a spot for sunlight, like a lizard sunbathing to increase the body temperature. We played a bit more and had lunch. We left after being there for almost 2 hours. The journey back like jalan-jalan cari makan! We stopped a few places to buy kuih and drinks! I love Malaysia for its delicious food!!!
I showered and changed after we got back, packed my bag (again!) and slept a bit while waiting for dinner. We had a dinner with all the staff , really felt like a reunion dinner. Amirthan and Andi sent me off at the bus station. I was lucky to have a bus back!!! The ironic thing was there were definitely not more than 10 people in the bus. Hence, I did not understand why they said the bus was full!