An Overnight Camping Trip at Kongkoi

An Overnight Camping Trip at Kongkoi

Every now and then, we join up with a group that we had not been on a trip with. This was one of those trips. The place we were headed to was a spot at Kongkoi, located in Jelebu, in the state of Negeri Sembilan.

We had never been out with this group before, but we knew two in the group, and one of them had joined us in a trip before. A chance to get to know more off-road camping enthusiasts and their style of off roading was an opportunity we always welcomed.

We met up with one of the guys at a restaurant in Petaling Jaya. After breakfast, we headed for a location in the old part of Ampang. The rest of the group would be meeting up at a coffee-shop there. My group consisted of me and my wife, a brother and one of my sons, in 3 4wd vehicles. We arrived at the meet-up point early, so we had to wait for the rest. By the time the last vehicle arrived, it was almost 12 pm, so we decided to have lunch before going in to the campsite. All in, there were 11 vehicles, most of them were stock-standard. Some were even using highway terrain tires. From this, we gathered that the trail was going to be an easy trail.

We had to pass a logging camp on the way in. After that, it was an old trail that appeared not to have been used in a very long time. The entrance to the trail head was partially concealed and the trail itself was almost reclaimed by the bushes. We could hear the branches scrapping the sides of our vehicles. We felt sorry for the guys who were driving relatively new vehicles. One of the vehicles was just two weeks old.

Further up the trail, we came to a slope that led to a river, with another slope on the opposite bank. As the weather had been dry, crossing this obstacle was easy, even for the stock-standard trucks. After about 10 minutes from the river, we came to the end of the trail. This was the spot that we were supposed to make camp.

The place was just wide enough for two vehicles, with a little space for walking through. There were a lot of bamboo growing there. This spot was located on high ground and the river was about 20 meters down a steep slope. To get to the river, we had to tie a rope at the top and drop the line down. You needed to hold on to the rope to get down and then back up again, as it was too steep.

We unloaded the vehicles and set up our tents for the night. Next, we began to prepare for dinner. Dinner was chicken curry with bread. I had already cooked the curry paste at home and frozen it. Now all I had to do was put it in a pot of water and boil until the paste dissolves. Then I added the chicken pieces and potatoes. In about 20 minutes, dinner was ready.

While having dinner, it started to rain heavily. Fortunately, the ground was hard and the bamboo formed a sort of shelter from most of the rain, saving the campsite from getting muddy. Looking down at the river, we saw that the water level had risen and the water flow was fast and strong. There was no chance for a night swim. After the rain, the group got together for drinks and some jokes. A while later, we heard a voice on the walkie. It was coming from a friend of the other group who had driven alone from Seremban. A few guys left in one of the vehicles to meet him at the river.

At about 1 am, the guy who arrived on his own had to leave. His buddies made sure that he crossed the river safely. While the rest continued with their drinks and laughter, a few of us headed down to the river to wash up.

It was cold that night and we all enjoyed our sleep. The next morning when we woke, we had an unpleasant ordeal with sandflies. They were everywhere. The only way we could keep them away was to light fires with lots of smoke. Fortunately, we managed to enjoy our breakfast without too many bites.

After breakfast we decided to do some exploration to see where the old trail led. After cutting our way through the bushes and vines, we gave up after about 30 meters. The old trail was gone. The ground was completely covered with vegetation and hid any traces that vehicles had been through that area before. We decided to head back to camp and start packing up.

The other group decided that they would head to a town known as Titi which was famous for Hakka Dishes. We decided to join them there for lunch. So, as soon as everyone had finished packing, we turned the vehicles around and started heading out. When we got to the river, we found that the banks on both sides had turned muddy. The vehicles that were not equipped had problems getting up the slope on the opposite bank. Fortunately, three of the more experienced drivers had already crossed and were winching those that were having problems. Fortunately, we did not have any problems getting up.

Would I come back to this place? Well, considering the sandflies and the location of the narrow river at the bottom of a steep slope, I don’t think I would ever be coming back. My group prefers a place that has some challenges on the track, as well as camping in a spot that has a nice river that we can soak in most of the day.

The other group was a fun bunch of guys. We would be glad to join them on another trip someday.

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