Thursday, 5 July 2018


More than 500 tough men and women sweat it out and challenge their physical strength to beat the 10 obstacle laid out by the organiser of BDB Extreme Jitra Challenge 2018 on 30th Jun 2018.  While majority of participants are local Kedahans, the event also attracts those from other states such as Penang, Perlis, Klang Valley  and as far as Johore Bahru.

Bina Darulaman Berhad (BDB) host the event at the scenic Darulaman Lake in Jitra and were divided into four categories - Elite Open (Male/Female) General Individual (Male/Female), General Team of 5 (Mixed) and General Team of 5 (students/IPT). Participants has to complete all obstacle laid out and is dubbed as the first and only obstacle run in Kedah.  

The 10 obstacles laid out along the 8km route includes Monkey Bar, Tyre Flip, A Frame and Cargo Net, Tyre Wall, Commando Crawl, Balance Beam, Mud Hills, A Frame Wall Crossing, Lake Run and Ninja climb. All these obstacle test participants their physical limits, fitness level and mental toughness,

The course was laid out within the Bandar Darulaman Lake vicinity and also covers the hiking trail of Darulaman Hills. The 8km obstacle run also covers the beautiful and scenic view of the lake's jogging track.    

BDB Challenge Jitra 2018 is a sporting event that has the potential of attracting tourist to this northern part of Kedah and can be promoted as a state sporting event with the cooperation of Kedah State Government and Tourism Kedah/Malaysia in future.

 This years' event is the third organised by Bina Darulaman Berhad since 2016 and new obstacles are replaced from year to year to provide more challenging task for participants.  
 Top: Winners of Mens Elite 
Bottom : Winners of womens Elite
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Monday, 30 April 2018


Maybe I am late catching the bus. Vlogging has been around for years. According to Wikipedia, vlogging was started by Adam Kontras on January 2nd 2000. He posted a video alongside a blog entry. Then in November the same year Adrian Miles posted a video of changing text on a still image and coined the term vog referring to his video blog.

A video lbog or video log then has been shortened to vlog that is a form of blog but concentrated on using video to tell the story. A vlog often combines a few media output ; text, images and other metadata. Video shoot are either posted in the RAW form or edited to fine tune the story and then posted on the internet. You Tube has its vlog category and is becoming popular by day. Read more on wiki

I was interested in videography since the 80s. I use to borrow a video camera from a friend and go around shooting. But then there was no platform to publish the end result and all are just stored on tapes.

I had been blogging since 2006 and no it seems that blogging has been so saturated and for that reason I am switching to vlogging but still keep posting and updating my blog.

Frankly there are vloggers that inspire me to start vlogging and he is Mohamed Beiraghdary, a 23 years old Emirati whose vlog mo vlog has reached 5 million subscribers with a average daily income of USD 1650 (according to a vlogpost). 

I used to watch his vlog everyday and then switch to other vloggers. Among those are popular vlogger Casey Neistat (9 million subscribers). I watch him to learn his style of editing but I know I will not ape his vlogging style. 

I think its not too late to start anything as long as there's a will and inspiration to do it. Vlogging needs a working mind and some physical activity. Being in 60s I need to have some physical actions and force my brain to work to slow down the process of degenaration. Sitting down in front of the computer editing videos is not an easy task and might take hours. Before that I have to move around to capture footages for the video. And....................................................... that's why I start to vlog. 


Its my first experience setting foot on a vacation island when I had an opportunity to join a FAM Trip organised by Tourism Johor and  Travel Writers Association Malaysia (TRAM). 

Upon arriving Mersing town our entourage were greeted with the kompang performance, the traditional greeting custom for the Malays as to honour the visitors and followed by lunch at the Mersing Harbour Centre before being ferried by speed boats to Pulau Besar

Since our itenary involves both Pulau Besar and Pulau Tinggi, this posting will be related to what we were served during our 3 days 2 nights trip under Majestic Johor tour trip to promote the tourism industry in Johor.

Top : Islands that dotted the Eastern Coast of Johor

Taman Laut Sultan Iskandar (TLSI) located off the coast of Mersing, is made up of 13 islands in 6 island clusters namely Pulau Tinggi, Pulau Aur, Pulau Pemanggil, Pulau Besar, Pulau Sibu and Pulau Rawa, covering an area of 3,270 hectres made up mainly of Karangas Forest. TLSI has been gazetted as a Marine Park, is adorned by hill forest structure, mangrove and beach-side forest, apart from being a popular destination amongst divers and sea lovers.
Visitor can get to enjoy the beauty of the South China Sea as they stay along the various types of beach accommodation alongside some of the inhabitable islands.

Pulau Mensirip is one of a few dive paradise for diving enthusiasts. There's another little Johor down there under the sea. While not a diver, me and a few of my friends followed the boat trip to Pulau Mensirip to witness by ourselves the scuba diving activities. Its my first trip with scuba divers on their diving mission.

It was so lucky that I did not experience any motion sickness at sea while staying on the boat floating on the naturally chopping surface.   

Top: Pulau Mensirip as captured on Google Maps


Our entourage were also taken to Pulau Metinggi off Pulau Tinggi for snorkeling activities. It was also my first experience snorkelling, We were told that there are Nemo around the area but too bad I did not see it with my own eyes. However its so overwhelming to see small fishes swimming within reach.

Of course I did use the snorkel to feel the experience but many times I did swallow some amoung of sea water, LOL.

Some of us swam further out to see beautiful corals.

Photo by this blogger

Video by this blogger

We landed on Pulau Tinggi on the first day and was accommodated at the Bayu Lestari Resort where we spent a night on the secluded and seems to be an island in her virginity state.  

Bayu Lestari Resort is made up of chalets and villas is very calming aside the sound of sea waves and chirping birds. Its a resort away from resorts, Uh!, what does it mean? Well, A resort is usually a bit noisy and not very peaceful, but Bayu Lestari is not. Obviously calmness and peaceful atmsphere can be really felt especially during the night. If you are looking for a holiday retreat or honeymoon, it is a great idea to visit Pulau Besar especially Bayu Lestari Resort.

Photo Credit : was posted on SWA TV Facebook page. Jetty to Bayu Lestari Resort

 Photo Credit : was posted on SWA TV Facebook page. The villa

 Photo Credit : was posted on SWA TV Facebook page. One of the A hut at Bayu Lestari Resort

Photo Credit : was posted on SWA TV Facebook page. Interior of the Villa

Besides Bayu Lestari Resort, there are two other popular resort on Pulau Tinggi, D'Coconut Beach Resort and Aseania Beach Resort. All these resorts are located on the western shore of the island and away from the open South China Sea and hence safe from the monsoon when South East Asia experiences the North East Monsoon.

Top: Pulau Besar as captured on Google Maps.


We moved from Bayu Beach Resort to Pulau Tinggi on the second day and stayed overnight at TAd Marine Resort. It provide two types of accommodation, the individual chalets and double storey hostel like individual rooms.   

TAd Resort contact information is listed below


Another way to see the beauty of Johor Islands is through island hopping. Feel the excitement of the speed boat gliding on the waves and the Captain manouvering the 12 seater boat on the waves.

On Pulau Besar, visitors can hike the hills behind TAd Marine Resort to a  beautiful waterfall in the forest.

Photos published on this post belongs the the respective owner of the member of the trip unless otherwise mentioned. I have lost the information of who own these photos. If you want to be personally credited please contact me.


The islands of Johor is reachable by road from any parts of peninsular Malaysia. Visitors for island getaway outings can take the express coaches or taxi from either Kuala Lumpur or Johor Bahru to either Mersing Jetty or Tanjung Leman jetty, depending on which island you want to visit. 

Express bus service is available from Kuala Lumpur to Mersing. One of the coach service operator is Transnasional Express (Tel: 603-2070 3300). Buses leave at noon and about 8:30 at night for about a 6 hours ride.
Chartered taxi service with reasonable fare is another alternative of public transportation to get to Mersing.
The fastest route is via the North-South Expressway. Exit through Ayer Hitam. From Ayer Hitam, continue your journey to Kluang and from there you can go to Mersing. The main entrance to Mersing Islands is through the Mersing Jetty or Tanjung Leman jetty in Johor. There are scheduled ferry services daily to all the islands. Journey to the islands will take hours depending on ferry or spedboats and the condition of the sea.

Tourism Johor
Suit 3-24, Johor Tourism Information Center (JOTIC)
No. 2 Jalan Air Molek
8000 Johor Bahru
Tel: +607 2234935 / +607 2249960 / +607 2242432
Fax: +607 2237554
Website : www.
E mail :

Pusat Taman Laut Mersing
+607 7991161

Bayu Lestari Resort
Lot 4, Pulau Babi Besar, 86800 Mersing, Johor
Phone : 07-358 3399
Telefon013-645 4450

TAd Marine Resort
Tel & Fax: +60380239009
Website :
E mail :


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