One Bukit Shahbandar Two Families

The night before yesterday morning’s Bukit Shahbandar, my family and I were having dinner at Nur Wanita when a former classmate who’s back from Taiwan to visit his family asked if I would be hiking Shahbandar any day soon. It didn’t take much for me to quickly discuss this over the dining table including shooting a quick text to a regular hiking buddy on the opposite end of the country if he was up for it the next day. Everyone on this side of the table was confirmed to go. Fast forward 12 hours to the next day, the morning was met with scattered showers with some parts of the country experiencing heavy rain. Rain quickly stopped while the weather remained overcast — we went ahead with the trip, reached Shahbandar in time to greet a car full of regulars: Eric Pui and his whole family who came on very short notice. For personal reasons my former classmate couldn’t make it so the 10 of us went ahead with our hiking plans.

The mandatory group photo at the Lookout that’s backdropped by forest canopy covering a large part of the 3 km extended trail.
The trail remained dry despite morning downpour and the breezy weather made our hike so much more enjoyable.
The four of us reached the peak of the notoriously steep Pondok 6 first so a quick photo op before we’re joined by the rest of the group.


Eric’s family including wife, two kids and sister in law, Yii Zhu, who is now a “9 hills” trail regular.
One of my favourite locations to stop for a photo is the rocky trail that connects Pondok 6 to Pondok 7.
Eric is bestowed the fatherly duty of carrying an exhausted Isaac. “Porter training” jokes Eric recalling his experience with the amazingly fit porters of Mount Kinabalu.
Ryan hangs on to the rope while tackling this tricky descend.


A nervous Yii Zhu crosses the wooden bridge (one of the better constructed ones in the forest) that leads to the steep rocky trail where Pondok 9 is located.

Additional photos not published here can be viewed in Facebook Comments

The average time it takes for a leisure hike along the same trail is typically 1 hour 15 minutes. Taking up to two hours to complete is not uncommon especially when there are long and frequent breaks. This hike burns 1,251 Calories, a step closer to my first 200,000 Calories milestone!

Escape Room Miri: The Real-Life Puzzle Game

Jan Shim:

If you have recently visited or shopped at Permaisuri Imperial City Mall in Miri, you might have noticed that intriguing black and yellow building right across the road — the one that I that I mistook for Caterpillar’s office. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Escape Room . Lot 15, Jalan Merpati . Miri . Sarawak 98000 . Malaysia

As it turned out, that’s an international entertainment franchise ESCAPE ROOM that has opened in Miri. Cyril’s blog and his captivating images offer a peep inside Sarawak’s newest and unique attraction. Are you ready to level up?

Excellent coverage, Cyril! :)

Originally posted on CYRIL'S CANVAS:

One of the popular activities that is catching up in Miri is the real-life escape rooms.  There are already some misconceptions associated to these escape rooms that has hindered many to experience what could be a fun-filled time for them.   Some of these common misconceptions includes “Eee.. don’t want.. I’m scared”, or “Aiyaaaa… only for kids la”, or “Safe or not oh?”.

Generally, the escape room is all about teamwork and working together to solve puzzles that comes in many forms (number locks, key locks, jigsaws, deciphering codes, and many more).  As you progress, solving one of the puzzle will bring you to many other puzzles, essentially bringing you to the last puzzles which will lead to your final escape from the room.  Sounds fun and easy?  To add to the already challenging puzzles, you are given a 45 minute time limit…

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Hiking Shahbandar and Photographing Tapak Kuda Roll Had Me All Crabbed Out!

Last week, I had one incredibly productive day like I sometimes do when schedules go haywire! But this time it was planned that way — a bit ambitious maybe — it wasn’t impossible to pull off, it was just be incredibly exhausting. The morning began with a drive from home to Bukit Shahbandar along the way picking up my cousin and hiking buddy Daniel at his Lumut residence. Drive took slightly over an hour, got there in time to meet our guest hiker for the first session at 8 AM. Daniel and I had two hikes that morning starting with short (warm up) hike with Lili Yong, owner of Lili Lingerie (she said to take things easy first before attempting longer ones).

6.50 AM: Left Seria to reach Shahbandar by 8 AM
8 AM to 9 AM: Bukit Shahbandar Hike 1

A beautiful scenic landscape taken at the shorter trail right after the seismic station. We finished the short 2 km trail in 55 minutes (I allocated 60 mins) in time to meet the second group for the 3.3 km trail with friends, old and new.

9 AM to 11 AM: Bukit Shahbandar Hike 2

Photo at the Lookout backdropped by forest canopy that covers most of the extended trail. Click on photo for larger version.
Daniel took this photo using his Samsung Galaxy S5 before we reached the Pondok 7 and Pondok 4 split.
You know when someone has a towel covering their head that’s usually indicate of a hot day. For our new friend Wane, it’s all about the new experience hiking Shahbandar for the first time!
As a result of land slide and erosion, a rope has been installed for the safety of hikers at this steep descent.
Photo ops make for a good opportunity to slow down and take a breather. Here we are on the concrete steps after Pondok 9, the last leg of the hike before we said our goodbyes.
Two sessions of hiking logged a total of 5.52 km burning 1,630 Calories. It’s time to grab lunch and Daniel and I were in the mood for Thien Thien chicken rice before my next assignment — photographing Mr Baker’s new Tapak Kuda Nutella roll.

11.30 AM to 3:00 PM: From Thien Thien takeout after hiking to Mr Baker’s Residence for lunch and Tapak Kuda photoshoot before an hour’s drive home to Seria

After a satisfying Thien Thien chicken rice lunch followed by not one but two shots of coffee, it was time for Mr Baker’s Tapak Kuda shoot. We cleared the living room coffee table for this shot after two hours of meticulous adjustments made to ensure the presentation was mutually agreeable.

3 PM to 4 PM: An hour’s drive home to Seria from Kampong Katok with only an hour to shower and rest) before leaving Seria at 5 PM for Pondok Sari Wangi’s crab feast.

Though we’re invited for Pondok Sari Wangi’s Sungkai Buffet the main attraction for me were the “KK” crabs and that’s all I had for dinner. I was more exhausted from the commute than I was hungry for food.
It was great meeting up with the gang even if it’s only once a year! Thank you Ridwan for hosting us and also for this memorable photo.

By the time we reached home after an hour’s drive (for the second time), it was close to midnight and my eyes could barely open. What an eventful day!