Thursday, January 18, 2007

Kuala Gula, Perak

Have you heard of Kuala Gula? It's in Perak. That was my other holiday with my Mom, my niece and my eldest sister, after Jakarta, Puncak, Bandung in 2006. Kuala Gula is about 4 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. That is if you drive not exceeding the speed limit. From Kuala Lumpur we can take the PLUS Highway from Jalan Duta. You can exit at Changkat Jering at follow the direction to Kuala Kurau. When you reach Kampung Selinsing, you'll see a signboard to Kuala Gula on the left side.

Kuala Gula is famous for its migratory birds. The Kuala Gula Bird Sanctuary is located in the northern part of the ecosystem. During the migration season between August and April every year, more than 200,000 migratory birds representing some 50 species stop over here. They come from many parts of the world like Siberia, Australasia etc.


KSSE 9th Charity Convoy has taken 31 participants (18 motorbikes and 4 cars) to Kuala Gula, Kuala Kurau, Perak on 10 – 12 February 2006.

Participants departed from EM new building loading bay at 8:30 am. We took the road to Batang Kali. Heavy mist while climbing the road to Genting Highlands made us felt like we were in the “twilight zone”. From Batang Kali, we took the PLUS highway through Tanjung Malim toll.

We arrived at the children’s home (Rumah Kanak-Kanak Sultan Abdul Aziz - RKSAA) at 2:00 pm. We were about one hour behind schedule due to a motorbike breakdown on the way there. RKSAA is a home for 135 children including babies up to 18 year old teenagers. But for boys teenagers, there will be transferred to a Boys Teenagers Home when they are above 12 year old. We received a warm welcome by Puan Zabibah, Encik Sulaiman and a few other staff at RKSAA. We could not meet the RKSAA Principal, Ci k Yusnita because she was on leave. We have our lunch there together with the children and RKSAA staff who were around during that time. The local Perak dishes were delicious! (Many children were not around because they have to attend their extra curricular activity in the afternoon).

We brought some souvenirs for the children ie. pencil, colour pencil, toys etc. We also extended our sincere contribution of RM260.00 being a collection from EM employees. Thank you very much for your donation, may Allah bless you!

If you go to Kuala Kangsar, it’s not complete if you do not buy “labu Sayong”! (vase made of clay). We stopped at one clay pottery factory nearby the RKSAA. At the first place, it was only me who wanted to buy the vase, but before I step out of the factory, many participants have also bought some vases as souvenirs for their family and friends!

We arrived the Chalet Peranginan Kuala Gula at 6:00 pm. We were freshened up with tea break welcome by the resort. Everybody took a rest at the dorm after the tea break. For the enthusiastic anglers, they already started fishing!

The next day after breakfast we were given a briefing by an officer from Jabatan Perhilitan Kuala Gula (Waterbird Conservation Centre) about the local and migration birds. Kuala Gula is a famous Mangrove Forest Reserve ranking at no. 6 in the world and is an important bird sanctuary for almost 200 species of birds that come over as far as 24,000 km from Siberia and Australasia etc during winter from September to April every year. Among the species found here are Egrets, Milky Stork, Heron, Terns, Sandpipers, Lesser Adjutant etc. We also learned about the importance of mangrove forest to protect the wetland habitants and the river eco-system in our country. Therefore, it is vital for us to protect our inheritance!

In the evening we took a boat ride cruising the mangrove forest reserve while watching the birds, monkeys and other wild life, also fishermen’s floating fish ponds along the river at Kuala Gula. This is the first time experience for all of these convoy members. This is not just a convoy but we are also doing charity work and learning new thing!

That night we have a karaoke session, where all the participants got a luck draw prizes sponsored by organizer. No body comes back empty handed. Three participants wont the karaoke prizes 1) Azlan Ramly 2) Suhaimi Muhamad 3) Mohd Farhuud Atar. We were also being entertained by Kuala Gula “Ziana Zain” who’s name is Rina. Chalet’s Manager, Encik Jailani also sang two songs for us.

The 3rd day, we departed the Chalet Peranginan Kuala Gula at 9:00 am. We stopped by at the Lata Kinjang waterfall at Kampar, Perak. The water was so cooling and refreshing when you wash your face with it.

We arrived back safely even though it was drizzling once a while throughout the journey and twice the motorbikers have taken the wrong junction. The team spirit is always very high in every convoy we organize every year. We arrived EM at 7:00 pm though there was a little accident during descending the Genting Highlands highway due to the slippery road caused by the rain. Whatever it is, everybody arrived back safely!

See you again next year, if God willing!

Translated by: Norlia Jaafar

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