For my second post for the Blogging A to Z Challenge, I am writing a piece on Bukit Gasing, which is a favourite hiking place for residents of Petaling Jaya.
In the Malay language, ‘bukit’ is the word for ‘hill’, and ‘gasing’ means ‘spinning top’. So, directly translated, Bukit Gasing is Spinning Top Hill! Indeed, if one is not familiar with the paths that go round, and criss-cross all over the hill, that would cause one’s head to spin like a top, and the unfortunate person(s) would spend the greater part of a day there. 😉 Therefore, it is best that visitors and hikers new to the area embark on their hike with friends who are already familiar with the paths and terrain therein.
There are lots of little paths and tarred roads in the Bukit Gasing area, offering difficulty levels ranging from easy walks to challenging steep climbs. A new friend told me he had started hiking there over 40 years ago! He said it was quiet there at the time, and there were few visitors to the area. Often, he and his friends had to use machetes to make their own paths.
Nowadays, Bukit Gasing attracts hikers by the dozens. During the weekends, large groups can be seen waiting outside the main entrance at 7am to have a healthy group activity together. Sometimes, groups of schoolchildren can be seen. At other times, there will be groups of working adults, and even senior citizens who look like seasoned hikers.
However, the issue of safety has been in the news headlines in the past few years, as robberies and snatch theft cases have been reported every once in a while. We hope that hikers will leave their valuables at home before coming for their hikes and the relevant authorities will help to keep an eye on the security of the area for our peace of mind. Last but not least, please don’t hold your shiny new iPhone or Samsung Galaxy smartphone in your hand while you are hiking. Keep it out of sight in your bag, pouch or pocket. There was an unfortunate case last year of a lady’s phone being snatched from her hand!
I shall end my post for today with a haiku:
Hikers throng the hills
In search of fresh challenges
Test of strength and will
Khor Hui Min
2 April 2016