GREAT ADVENTURE: KTM Malaysia’s Ride Sakan to Gopeng
The Best KTM Malaysia Adventure Yet!
- Shooting down river rapids
- Caving in Gua Tempurung
- Charity call at an orphanage
- 90 participants
6th and 7th May 2017, Gopeng, Perak – KTM Malaysia has been organizing convoys for the enjoyment of KTM owners for many years now and these rides are what many look forward to.
Although Gopeng isn’t synonymous with other tourist destinations such as Penang, Melaka or Genting Highlands, to name a few, modern-day Gopeng does offer some beautiful attractions for eco-tourism and extreme sports. By the way, Gopeng was the most important tin-ore mining town in the Kinta Valley up to 1890.
Hence, that was why KTM Malaysia chose the sleepy town of Gopeng during the 6th and 7th May weekend for this ride.
This convoy also marked a special occasion where the winner of the KTM Malaysia – iMotorbike.com contest winner, John Chong, had the opportunity to not only test ride a KTM motorcycle for the first time, but also experiencing a KTM ride and activities.
The ride started with almost 90 participants congregating at the Gopeng Toll Plaza, off the North-south Highway, before we headed to a small restaurant nearby for lunch. The dishes may appear simple such as ayam masak merah and ulam but they were surely delicious, what more for those who are undoubtedly hungry after riding a long way from Kedah, Penang, Perak and Kuala Lumpur.
We headed to a BHP petrol station to fill up afterwards. The police escort was also standing by to lead the way to the Natasya Riverside Resort in Kampung Jahang.
The “rooms” in this resort are fashioned after shipping containers and could fit three beds in each. Facilities included a television, air-conditioning and a large bathroom. But more importantly, the entire resort was clean.
Soon after, the majority of participants headed to the nearby river to shoot down the rapids on large tyre floats. A few rode into town to discover more about Gopeng. As for John and myself, we were dead tired after much travelling before this ride, so we took a leisurely stroll through the countryside to the village’s “Starbucks” for some coffee and time to catch up.
BBQ dinner was served after Isyak prayers, followed by a karaoke session.
We woke early the next morning to board two lorries to Gua Tempurung (Tempurung Caves), just 2 kilometres away. However, since the road was unpaved, the going was slow to provide ample opportunity for everyone to witness the natural beauty surrounding this area.
We were briefed of our ensuing activities in greater detail when we reached Gua Tempurung.
A few packages were offered. The most basic package or also called the “dry package” provided an easy guided walkabout to two sections inside the caves, while the most advanced package takes the visitor to the deepest (and most extreme) regions.
A few of the ride participants opted for the dry package while most took up the wet package. Those who chose the latter had to rent helmets and carry torchlights. There was a shop that sold torchlights of every kind just outside the entrance, so you could purchase one should you forget yours.
Participants of the wet package were also strongly advised by guides against bringing in expensive gadgets such as DSLR cameras, due to the challenging nature of the “expedition.” Those who wanted to go ahead with their phones for photography were advised to carry them in dry bags.
The guides brought us to the different areas of the 400 million-year-old cave system, stopping by at each one to explain on the features carved out by the forces of nature. There were rock formations that “mimicked” an elephant’s head, a goat’s head, Snoopy’s head and also a t-shirt.
From here it was a tough climb up some 600 steps of the staircases and platforms built into the cave. This was why the guides asked if there were those who suffer or suffered from heart ailments, asthma or injuries before we entered.
We were close to being out of breath by the time we reached the highest point in the cave, dubbed Top of the World, which sits 125 metres atop a dark chasm. It was downhill all the way from this point, and it also marked the last point where the cave was lighted by spotlights. We then started our descend down another set of steel steps, lighting our way with our own torches.
We were faced with a rock slope which we had to slide down. The guides showed us the correct and safest way to do so and positioned themselves at the bottom to catch us. There was also a female guide to assist the female participants.
Now that we’ve reached the floor of the cave, or so we thought, we had to squeeze through a 1-metre hole into the underground stream underneath. It was alike a large grotto where we could stand up to our full heights with fast-flowing water running over our feet.
As we progressed further, spaces started to become more confined, and there were points where we had to crawl in the water with the cave’s ceiling just centimetres above our helmets, just like in documentaries and movies. Now I know why I was stopped from bringing the camera inside.
It would’ve been a scary experience to wade into a dark, claustrophobic space with water up to your neck but the happy voices and lights shone around by the other participants made it a happy adventure.
We exited after more than two hours inside to harsh sunshine and were thankful that no one got hurt. In fact, we were grateful for the sunlight. Who would’ve thought.
But it was also time to come to terms with harsh reality as this author found his pouch inundated, destroying the contents of his wallet and phone (which had the pictures shot inside). A KTM Malaysia employee found water had seeped into her dry bag and damaged both her iPhone 6 and 6 Plus!
Whatever, there a “basker” band playing some awesome blues tunes in a pavilion. The lead singer who was also the lead guitarist played on a steel guitar and blew on a harmonica.
We headed back to the resort to freshen up for lunch, before checking out in the middle part of the afternoon.
The convoy then headed to an orphanage called Pertubuhan Kebajikan Anak-anak Yatim/Miskin Dahikmah to bring joy to the less fortunate children. KTM Malaysia had managed to raise a fund RM 1,056 for the school, which was handed to the principal.
From here, it marked the end of an awesome ride and adventure. There were those who decided to ride up to Cameron Highlands while others decided to ride home.
This KTM Malaysia convoy had to be the best one yet thus far. It not only provided an opportunity for the owners to hang out with each other, but also delivered an experience that will surely stay with them for a long time. Everyone went their own way with a grin on his/her face, and surely a hope that more of these activities will ensue in the future.
Please follow KTM Malaysia’s official Facebook pages for future programs and exciting updates!