Vespa goes Endau Rompin again... NOT!

My fifth time going to Endau Rompin, the second time with my Vespa. My scooter probably knew what was coming up and decided to give up on me at Kluang. (Fortunately not in the middle of the trail!)

My scooter suddenly died. I pushed the scooter to the side of the road, Cherie directed traffic away. Changing the spark plug and plug cap was futile. The spark plug was not firing in the first place! It must be the CDI or magnetic coil.

Just nice, across the road was a bike shop. I got the mechanic to look at it. After some examination using the CDI wires, it was pretty confirmed that it was the coil. Wei Jie, Benji and I pushed the scooter to another bike shop, a Yamaha dealer to see if there is any chance they have the parts for it.

At Yamaha dealer, a gentleman in his 60s got off his car and approached us, asking if we need any help. He saw us pushing the scooter while driving and he himself rides a Vespa. It is unlikely we can get any parts from the Yamaha dealer so he suggested to drive us to a shop to look for one.

He knows the shop owner who works with antique bikes. There is a higher chance to get the coil there. His grandson was inside the car. He was supposed to buy lunch for his grandchildren and yet he still took the time to drive us to the shop.

Feeling a bit guilt-stricken about delaying their lunches, I passed his grandson a packet of Milo from my bag. At the bike shop, I spoke to the shop owner and also my mechanic on the phone about the coil I needed. Unfortunately, he only has the one for 150cc model as it is more common in Malaysia. Mine is the 200cc model.

No luck in getting the parts. So, he drove us back to the Yamaha Dealer shop. In the car, I asked for his name. He is called Silva. Just before we parted ways at the Yamaha Dealer shop, Silva gave me his phone number and said if I need any help, just call him. I will visit him if I happen to be in Kluang again. He recommended us to try their popular Kluang Rail Coffee which was just nearby. Thank you so so so much, Silva!

Great man! I realised it is usually break downs on the road that leads you to meeting some of the most warm and helpful people, people who really go out of their way to help you.

So ok, I kept the scooter at the bike shop and arranged for a tow the next day. Like how it was 5 years ago, I rode pillion into Endau Rompin Kampong Peta but on Wei Jie's bike this time.

As usual, we had to get ourselves registered, insured and made payment at the headquarter office in Kahang before riding in.

Johor National Park Endau-Rompin (PETA)
11, Jalan Bawal 1, Taman Kahang Baru, 86700 Kahang, Kluang.
Tel : +607-922 2812

  1. From North-South Highway, exit Ayer Hitam.
  2. At the T-junction after the toll, turn right.
  3. Ride straight on Jalan Batu Pahat which will lead to a town called Kluang. (Last big town to get all your supplies)
  4. Around 8km after Kluang on Jalan Mersing, the next small town is Kahang.
  5. The Headquarter office is on the right. Look out for the green signboard.
  6. The entrance to Kampong Peta further down along Jalan Mersing, a dirt road on the left.

View Larger Map

From Jalan Mersing, it was another 55km of small road into Kampong Peta. The first section of the journey was plantation road. The bumps and potholes gave my buttock a good beating.

The last 15km of the road was paved with tarmac. It was heaven for my buttock and probably the bike suspension. The bridge across Sungei Mas has also been reconstructed.

Broken bridge back in 2011.

The new Bridge.

Muddy trails in 2008.

Now paved with Tarmac!
No more mud mayhem like below!

After two hours just to cover 55km of road, we arrived at Kampong Peta.

From left tor right, Andre, Cherie, Loh, Benji, Wei Jie and me posing with my imaginary scooter.

With Chris inside.
We informed the office of our arrival and also booked our guide. There are a few camping sites around that area, some require trekking. Kuala Jasin campsite is only another 15mins ride on broken, bumpy road and filmsy wooden bridges. I asked the lady if there was anything else to look out for.

"Elephants, sometimes they come out," she said. I want to see!!!!

To my disappointment, I saw no elephants but tolerated another good 15 minutes of trashing to my already sore butt.

And so we arrived at Kuala Jasin campsite.

Imagine waking up in the morning to this view.
Like the campsite at Selai, there are sheds, toilet and shower facility. There were even some chalets there. There is no phone reception there, so being there is a good way to cut out from civilisation and your bosses.

Chris on his KTM 350
Kuala Jasin, the confluent where two rivers meet.

The other river, you can swim here.
Our groceries had a good tumble in Cherie's topbox, a less efficient apple juice extractor.

Cherie performing the Egyptian water dance

Mermaid pose super fail except for the super duper long hair

Trying out some night shots on my Canon S100

Long shutter plus painting the rapids with coloured LED lig
hts from my torch.
Dinner was settled with outfield cooking with whatever food that survived the tumbling session in the top and side boxes.

Our guide finally came over and arranged for a time to go trekking the next day. The next morning, some of us got up before sun rise to start packing and preparing breakfast. We decided not to trek because it was too rush. The tow driver is coming to pick up my scooter at 12 plus.

Chopped onions for?

Solid fuel the old school way. Taking forever to boil water.

And there is the MSR Dragonfly Stove to heat up things real quick. Fueled by petrol.

Chef Chris at work

A hearty breakfast of Macaroni Pasta.
Our Orang Asli guide, Kini greeted us in the morning. We told him that we will not be trekking anymore and so we just talked. Orang Asli mean aboriginal people. They live in the remote inland forest or highland. There are around 18 tribes in Malaysia.

Kini, our 29 years old Orang Asli guide. He lives in Kampong Peta.
Our previous guide in Selai, Jeffery could not speak English so there was a bit of difficulty in communication. Kini, having worked in cities like KL and even Singapore was able to converse in English. He shared with us their way of life.

They hunt animals deers, tapirs, boars and elephant. The Asian Elephant is an endangered species. They cannot really stop Orang Asli from hunting as it has been their way of life for centuries. To prevent excessive hunting, the Orang Asli are restricted to hunting for their own consumption, they are not allowed to sell the animal parts.

"My uncle ever hunted down an elephant," he said.

"Did you all eat elephant meat?" I asked.

"Yes, we use everything."

"How does it taste?"

"It is very nice!"he exclaimed.

Loh brought up about a rainforest tree which the wood is very expensive. In Laos, he saw a field of all these trees being chopped off.

Kini said it is can be found here in Endau Rompin. They have a small one planted nearby. 1kg of wood from this tree sells for RM45,000!

Kini introducing the tree

Gaharu aka Agarwood. The infected tree produce a dark aromatic resin that has a very distinct smell. Rare and highly coveted, that explains for the steep price.

Kini burnt bits of the bark and let us smell it. It smelt like pandan.
As the Orang Asli are very versed about their forest, Kini has helped the Wildlife Conservation Society in tracking and studying of animals in the area. There are around 17 tigers in the area we are in. They do not usually come out to where people are. In the past, there were tiger attack but now, no.

He also shared that he was once lost in the jungle for 7 days. With the help of trees and bioluminance on the ground, he managed to find his way back to the river. The trees have tendencies to grow leaning toward direction of the river.

I recalled Richard telling us about a very good trekking shoes the locals wear. Jeffery also wore it. Locals had won international climbathons competition with these shoes. I asked Kini about his shoes. A pair cost only RM7 and it is called.....

Adidas Kampung. Waterproof, quick drying, good traction.
We had some beers that we could not finish the night before. Instead of carrying it back, we wanted to give Kini. From what I know, Orang Asli usually are not Muslim, they practise animism. But we asked just in case.

"Are you Muslim?"

"No. No. And that is a big problem for me."

He told us that the government has been trying to convert them, even paying RM2,000 to RM3,000 if they convert. The Orang Asli cannot attend public school unless they are Muslim. They had to attend private schools instead. And in light of the recent election, he went to tell us his dissatisfaction with the government and an upcoming protest from the Orang Asli. The newly paved tarmac road is a way to win over the Orang Asli.

Acceptance of a religion should be done in own's will and in one's revelation. Witholding benefits and using monetary baits to get one to convert is all for the wrong reason.

We did not trek but I managed to learn interesting things from Kini. I got his phone number so next time I could look for him. There is no reception there so I reckon that is his house number.

Other geological site around that area.
On our way out, we spotted elephants..... evidence of them....

But also by elephants

to dump their feces
Back at Kluang, I followed the tow truck driver back with my scooter while the rest went for lunch. When we were at Gelang Patah Shell station for refuel, I received a call from Chris.

"My bike broke down!" Chris said.

If the call came a few minutes later, we would have already cross the custom. Chris gave us his location and we drove 60km back to pick him and his bike.

The next day, my long-distance Vespa riding kaki, Weng called me. He rode up to Malacca that weekend and knew that my scooter was towed back

"Eh, why didn't you call me? I brought two coils with me leh! I'd rather you treat me dinner with the amount you paid for towing."

 "I did not think about it."

"I also have contacts of Vespa riders at Kluang. We call them the Kluang Boys, they can come and help you."

Aiyah, money paid for lessons learnt. My next ride to Koh Samui, I will bring CDI, coil, piston block, whatever that need to keep the scooter moving.


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