08 August 2011

Bukit Shahbandar

The forest trail at Bukit Shahbandar, quite close to the UBD campus, is one of my favourite places for a hike. It's good exercise up and down the hills, and there are some splendid views over the South China Sea.

Just recently they installed some signs, showing how far the next pondok ('hut') is. Very helpful, except they are seriously flawed. Take this sign near Pondok 3. How far do you think it is to the exit?It is not 23 metres. My guess it is about 800 metres, which is rather different!

In fact, some of the signs can be seriously misleading. Take this one at Pondok 6. It offers an alternative route to Pondok 8, apparently a nice gentle stroll for 538 metres.Well, I have taken that alternative trail from Pondok 6 to Pondok 8, and it is rather a lot more than 538 metres. It is quite strenuous, and it is almost certainly closer to 2 km.

In fact, at Pondok 8, at the other end of that path, you find this sign:Now, how can the trail from Pondok 6 to Pondok 8 be 538 metres, but the same trail from Pondok 8 to Pondok 6 be 1775 metres? It is the same trail, for goodness sakes!

These signs seem to have random numbers on them. Not only is that confusing, it is downright dangerous: I can imagine quite a few people setting out for a nice easy stroll on the alternative route from Pondok 6 to Pondok 8 and getting into serious trouble when they find it is far, far longer than 538 metres.

People who provide public information have a duty to make sure it is accurate.