Tag Archives: adventure

Hiking Maragang Hill Kundasang

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Maragang Hill, Kundasang, Sabah (2232m). April 11, 2019.

If you are in Kundasang, I bet that you would love to have a closer view of the mountainous Crocker Range surrounding the area but like me, the thought of rigorous hours and days of hiking scared the hell out of you.

And … if you could not resist the temptation to climb the gigantic Mt Kinabalu, then you should try climbing the 2 km trail of Maragang Hill instead, located in Kg. Mesilou, Kundasang.

Spend a total of 4-5 hours of your morning (4 km in total) to check out the gorgeous peak of Mt Kinabalu and the 360-degree view of Crocker Range from an open platform on top of Maragang Hill (2232m).

But, bear in mind that there is a high chance that the view would be overcast or hidden by thick mists and clouds.  Unless you are lucky or the weather is super good or you are there very early in the morning.

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My trekking buddies at 9.30 am – km 1

Nelly, Nazz and I, the 3 travelings Sumandak* started our journey from Kota Kinabalu at 5.45 am. Reached Mevoc (Mesilou Volunteer Club) admin registration office at 9 am. After registration, we then quickly jump onto our 4WD transportation to the hiking starting point and managed to persuade the ‘pakcik’ driver to drive us to the very last driving point of the trail (we saved 500m of our hiking energy 😝).

The Hike to Maragang Hill

As always, I need to enlighten you that I am not so into hiking but I always love the feeling of being surrounded by nature. I grumbled to myself as I walk on my first 500m while chewing on my apple. As I ascended the trail, the air started to feel very humid and fresh. Traces of mists still hanging on the air among the mossy trees.

Due to the heavy rain last night, the ground is wet and muddy. The air appeared gloomy and mysterious. Very refreshing.

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Mossy tree trunk

The climbing trail is surprisingly bearable for me. Yes, some 45-degree angle slops along the trails make it difficult to climb especially after the rain. I take my time and enjoy the fresh oxygen from the trees.

We reached the peak at 10.30 a.m and sadly could not see anything as thick mists filled the void areas around the mountains, hiding the gem. Sad but nature always has its own agenda, very unpredictable. I swallowed my disappointment silently. But yeay! this is not too bad … I could do this again on my next visit, In Sha Allah.

Nature lovers, this place is a must if you are in this area. Highly recommended!

Maragang Hill hiking package

They have 2 types of trekking trails that you can choose from; the normal trail and the loop trail, each with different package prices. We chose the normal trail package, the same trail ascending and descending (4 km) and for the loop trail, the same trail going up but different trail down (4.3 km). Our package cost is as follows:

1. Conservation fee rm10.00 per person
2. Guide [ 1 – 5 ] fee is rm70.00 per group of 1-5 people
3. Transportation cost rm30 

Contact details for further queries and updates :

Mesilou Volunteer Club (MEVOC)
Jumaidi Lasim, Chairman

T: +60 14 678 7136
E: maraganghill160917@outlook.com
Facebook: Maragang HILL (@MaragangHill)

But the good news is … there are no leeches here. Ahhh … finally, I can explore around the bushes and the tree trunks, peacefully. Nonetheless, you always need to be well prepared when you are in a jungle. My to-do checklist for this trip includes:

  • A guide is a must for Maragang Hill hike
  • Wear good hiking shoes or hiking sandals or any shoes with a good grip would do too. I wore my Teva hiking sandal for this trip.
  • Start the hike very early in the morning (4 am) and be at the top of the hill for the first light (as early as 5.30 am) until 8.00am to increase your chances of seeing a clear landscape view
  • Well powered handphone.
  • Food. I brought an apple, 1 bar of Sneaker, some snacks and my water bottle.
  • A small towel.
  • My small camera and a GoPro (optional)
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Photo credit to my friend Tazza

Would I do this again?

Absolutely yes! I am curious about how does the best view of this place would look like and I need to check it out with my own eyes. What do I like about this place?

  • The gorgeous front-seat view of Mt Kinabalu peak, they said. I need to confirm this with my own eyes. 😝
  • The trail is bearable, not too difficult
  • Our encounter with MEVIC personnel was very pleasant. Our guide, Azwan is well experienced and very polite. For travelers, meeting up with a genuinely kind and polite person on our journey is always feels heartwarming.
  • My travel mate Nelly and Nazz are superb companions. Nothing would feel gruesome when you have a good companion.
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A pose after the hiking with Azwan, our guide

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The night after the hike, we slept like a baby 

Have you been to Maragang Hill?

If you have, please share with me your story or tips. I would love to repeat this trip again soon.

Thanks for dropping by.

Cheers

MM

PS —} *’Sumandak’ means young lady in ethnic Kadazan-Dusun dialect.

And we, 3 very curious Sumandaks (Nelly, Nazz and I) traveled together and explored some parts of Sabah in 12 days.  Traveling solo is cool, trust me … as I have tried traveling solo before. But traveling with curious and same minded traveler friends is way cooler. It is absolutely true that traveling can either strengthen or weaken a friendship.

A special way to deepen friendships as travel will remind you why you became friends with them in the first place, and how good it is to spend focused time together. I would share about places that we went to during our 12 days journey in Sabah and share them here, in my blog. In Sha Allah.


Circling KLCC by flying Paramotor

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KLCC from my angle, 1000 feet up above the air

“If you can dream it, you can do it”

I guess my theory is right, that u can just be anything and be anywhere that you want to be with a camera in your hand. I had another unforgettable moment just recently, circling Kuala Lumpur city centre particularly KLCC and KL Tower on a flying machine, the lightest and the slowest aircraft ever … a paramotor.

It was totally unplanned.

My flying partner and I saw an opportunity and we decided to grab it. Our second time flying tandem together in a crowded city centre while our first experience was quite scary. We were new and inexperienced at that time while we took up a flying job to circle around Petaling Jaya area, a crowded highly populated city centre in the heart of Petaling Jaya.

We always wanted to fly circling Kuala Lumpur particularly KLCC, once was the tallest tower in the world. Who doesn’t want to do that? Had a goosebump though when we started our flight that morning. I smell fear.

Curiousity will conquer fear even more than bavery will

Flying in between congested building area is not easy. Wind in between tall buildings is unpredictably strong due to the funnel effect and obviously dangerous for a light flight aka paramotor like us. Yes … fear of the unpredictable.

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View of the city from the Royal Selangor Golf Club

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I love this!

We started with a good vibe.

The weather was good with a zero wind condition at our takeoff site, it added great confidence to both of us. We made our usual safety test while on air before heading to KLCC and KL Tower, we circled a few times around the Royal Selangor Golf Club and as we gained our confidence … we then proceed to the city centre airspace.

Uhhh … after years of taking photos at high altitudes while flying, I still had that ‘gayat’ or vertigo feeling especially if we were flying close to buildings. Scary but worth it!. Both my flying buddy and I love flying so much that little hurdles or challenges while on air so far couldn’t kill our spirits.

I set my camera at ISO 800 and put it on S mode and start framing my visual composition. Instead of my usual D810, I opted for a mirrorless camera with an equivalent of 24-70mm lens. For safety reason, I am looking forward to changing my photography gears to another lighter option.

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The other side of KLCC

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Wefie on air while cruising at 1000 feet up on the horizon

This experience honestly inspired me to dream further.

I want more experience like this. Am adding a few more things to my “to do list before I go senile”… a dream of flying across the pyramids in Egypt, flying across the beautiful landscape of Yemen and exploring the airspace of the City of Dubai. In Sha Allah, if Allah permits.

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I like!

I hope that I would never get bored of this.

Maybe my life is not as perfect as the rest of makcik and pakcik bawang out there at the kitchen corner safely curling in their comfortable nest. How I choose to live my life might look a bit weird compared to the rest of the so-called ‘perfect’ people … but so far I feel alive, contented and blessed with whatever presented by the Al-Mighty to me. I don’t give a damn … It’s my life, I’ll have it my way.

Good night!

Cheers

MM


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