OUR country offers much to avid outdoorsmen.
Malaysia boasts natural heritage sites such as Taman Negara in Pahang, where the forests are believed to be 130 million years old, making it one of the oldest tropical rainforests in the world.
Our valleys, rivers, mountains and forests are ripe for the avid explorer to discover, be it through camping, trekking, off-road driving, mountain biking and more.
Having said that, most city folk rarely enter Malaysia’s forests, preferring to sip lattes and teh tarik indoors in one of our ever-expanding malls.
As such, StarMetro started the Metro Adventure Club column in 2015 to inspire readers to venture forth into the great outdoors.
Over the years, the column has grown and our writers have travelled all over Malaysia, and even around the world, to find interesting stories of outdoor pursuits.
The column has also grown in number as it welcomes three new writers this year.
Veteran fisho Eddie Chua will be joining its ranks this year, offering readers his close to 30 years’ experience of fishing in our country’s fine waters.
An ardent outdoor photographer, Chua is also set to take readers on a visual adventure that starts in the forests and ends up in the Milky Way!
Jacobus Raj, on the other hand, loves the thrill of following unmarked paths and will be bringing our readers on a mountain biking adventure in the Klang Valley.
First, he will be exploring the various trails Selangor has to offer. And, if you’re riding solo, he will introduce you to a few groups out there that will help you get into the groove with a bunch of like-minded people.
The other newcomer to the Metro Adventure Club team is none other than sportswriter Lee Chen Yoong.
Lee plans to head out into the wilderness this year to tackle stories on herping (the study and photographing of lizards and snakes in the wild).
He also plans to take readers on an expedition into the bowels of Malaysia and explore the country’s wide network of caves later this year.
Metro Adventure Club stalwarts Christina Low, Jarod Lim, Vincent Tan as well as this writer will also be returning.
Low will again be hitting the trails and the open road as she participates in runs around the country.
She will also be exploring little-known paths around the country on foot.
Low has not got over running yet. She has participated in numerous distances from 10km runs to half-marathons locally and abroad.
Lately, she has discovered a new love for trail running, thanks to the interesting terrain and chance to experience lush greenery while challenging herself.
Lim, on the other hand, will continue to seek new adventures to get his adrenaline pumping.
His stories will focus on camping and pioneering (using ropes and wooden spars to create structures tied together with knots and lashings).
Meanwhile, keen knife fan and traveller Tan plans to cover stories on survival skills and tools.
He has gone on a variety of outdoor activities from obstacle courses to kayaking and mountain trekking and is a self-confessed gear head.
Tan will be talking to some outdoor personalities this year while also covering a variety of outdoor topics.
And maybe there will be an adventure trip or two.
Finally, this author plans to take readers on an expedition of Borneo.
A trip up the mighty Sungai Rajang by longboat is in the works, as well as a 4WD journey deep into the Kelabit Highlands, so stay tuned!
There are also several events in the pipeline for readers to look forward to this year, notably two camping trips for outdoor fans.
Metro Adventure Club and its partners are currently scouting out several areas to pinpoint the ideal location for the trips.
In previous years, we organised several trips to Janda Baik, Pahang, as well as a retreat to Hulu Langat, Selangor.
Also returning this year is the ever-popular coupon with our partner, Universal Fitness and Leisure Sdn Bhd. This edition, we are giving 150 readers a Cool Gear Rigid 32oz bottle as well as a sleeping bag for free. Together, they are worth RM178.
All in all, 2018 is looking to be an excellent year for adventurers so make sure you follow us on this fortnightly column on Fridays.