The Buddhists have a saying, “when the student is ready, the Master appears.” This is very true indeed. Regardless of the length of my trips, every expedition brings deeper insights and sometimes, fresh perspectives. Be it a relaxing sun-sand-sea vacation or a grueling trekking session to see a dormant volcano; there always seem to be something for me to learn.
Day trips to time-starved Singaporeans are like instant noodles to a starving man. It offers a quick-fix to the withdrawal effects of wanderlust when one simply couldn’t get away (for too long) from work, family or whatever commitments one might have. Besides that, it also provides a change of scenery and works as a great outing idea for family, friends, couples, bored individuals etc.
Last Saturday, my friend and I went on a “1 Day Tangkak Durian Tour + Mount Ledang Waterfall Visit“. Motivated solely by the durian feast, we were looking forward to the durians(!) but not so the trekking part at Mount Ledang. Still, it turned out to be an awesome trip and we (the minority in our group) managed to see the waterfalls at Mount Ledang after an hour-long trek. Although it was just a day trip (15hours! inclusive of travelling time), I learnt a few things and I will share it with you along with the pictures.
Our journey began at the 168 Coffeeshop at People’s Park Centre. Small and unassuming, it faces Furama Hotel and (if I am not wrong) is a common “gathering” area for daytrippers. Serving the usual bread+kaya toasts kinda breakfast along with buns (seriously, it doesn’t taste good) and hot beverages, business is good merely because it is the nearest and most convenient cafe. We were supposed to meet at 7am but we probably departed closer to 8am? There were 2 buses – a 40-seater coach and a 10-seater mini van. In case you wondered, we chose the latter (for good reasons).
Size matters. Big is not always better. A mini van is preferred over the 40-seater coach because (1) smaller equates travelling faster and lesser waiting time (2) noise kept to a minimal meaning no undesirable snoring, crying kids etc.
After clearing both the Woodlands Checkpoint (Singapore) and Johor Bahru Checkpoint (Malaysia), we drove about 1/2 hour to have local breakfast on our own expenses. Food are relatively cheap, as compared to Singapore. Needless to say, taste was GREAT. The baby bloomers would probably love it, as these will remind them of the “old flavours”.
Tangkak is a district capital of Ledang, in the state of Johor, Malaysia. It is quite near to Malacca (about 1/2hour), so you can imagine our travelling distance (about 2hours+) after breakfast. This town is famous for their vast quantity of cloth shops, thus earning them the nickname of “Fabric Town“. Upon our arrival, lunch was served along with a wide variety of fresh fruits. The king of fruits and our main lead for the day appeared shortly (woohoo!).
In case you are not from around here and have never heard of “durians“, it is the king of fruits in Southeast Asia. Distinctive for its strong aroma (some calls it odour) and formidable spiky shell, durians call for an “acquired taste” not unlike the stinky tofu. This tour allows us to stuff ourselves silly with durians and other fruits. Take note though, the duration spent at the “farm” (more like open-spaced eating area) is merely 1hour+++.
After our sinful meal, we made our way to Mount Ledang. Commonly known as Mount Ophir or Gunung Ledang, this is one of Malaysia’s most popular mountain. Standing at 1,276 m (4,186 ft), it appears to be a great destination for nature fun, picnics, soaking in streams etc. It takes about an hour trekking to reach the main waterfall area.
Due to time constraints and a lack of stamina (mostly laziness really), my friend and I almost gave up quite a few times. Nonetheless, fellow climbers from another group (guide + seniors with minimum age of 60!) spurred us on. A 70-year old auntie later told us something along these lines, “you can succeed by going forward with small steps”. That’s very wise indeed! Beyond that, I learnt that motivating words can really work wonders. I secretly vowed to myself to be more positive so that people around me can benefit too!
After the tour, we visit an organic products’ shop before heading for dinner (which was a delicious spread included in tour). By the way, did i mentioned that we did not received the tour itinerary prior to our trip? We did not know what to expect but it is okie because the lack of expectations brings forth easy acceptance, allowing us to enjoy the present moment even more! Towards the end, my dear friend and I realised that we talked non-stop for 15-hours (others fell asleep the moment they board the van but not us!) What an awesome day indeed. We worked hard, we played as hard.
The above information has been complied based on various sources, including my own experience and should only be used as a reference. For more information on the destination, do check out http://www.tourism.gov.my/