Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Of hiking up Mount Kinabalu.

The pride and joy of South East Asia.

It was a random shout-out to climb Mount KK last November by a group of enthusiastic friends, and friends of friends! But three good months passed so quickly and the weekend came to board the flight to Kota Kinabalu!
Everything was pre-booked. The tour package, thanks to May Hwa who for sure went high and low to search for a worthy trip. It's about RM900 per person (Amazing Borneo tour) including pick up and drop off at the hotel, buffet meals, accommodation and guides and a short break at the Nabalu Native Village!

A warmth photo of us at Nabalu Native Village! <3

There are two routes to Mount KK.
 1. Timpohon Gate nearby the HQ of Kinabalu Park
 2. The Mesilau Nature Resort

We picked the tougher Mesilau route cause we are awesome that way! Ahah! Just kidding.

Since it was our first time and we aren't regular hikers+climbers, we opted for the easier, less 2km route!
Ouh! Seriously although it's stated the easier route but heck!!! a lot of effort to hike up even to the meeting point at Laban Rata itself! That's 6km away from the Timpohon Gate..
I would say it's an interesting 6km trail though.. From flat land, to rocky, to orang-y sand + rocky trail.
Oh seriously, if you are so used to hiking without any baggages, do.. DO.. store it away or hire for portal services through your guide/s. It's taxing to the shoulders and body. Extra resistance! Unless you are up for the extra challenge!

This time around, didn't rush up at all..
For the first day. I hiked slowly with Vien and our awfully heavy luggages! Slowly, we got there together! How it hits me that I always think of the destination and try to get there as soon as possible. This time I had it real slow! And it's a nice change in me!
Not only that I enjoyed the sceneries, I sowed the seed of patience.
With that along, some views are breathtaking and somewhere along the paths surrounded by huge huge bonzai trees, I find peace. Serene. Beauty of nature..
Can spare a few moments just to sit back and lean closer towards the nature.
A quiet surrounding, earth creations and only your own heartbeat (and occasional chats!lol)
It was aweeeeeeeesome! And I exchanged that with the time taken (lol, like almost 6 to 7 hours! wooot) to reach our first destination, Laban Rata Guest house.
We had a lot of pit stopssssssssss.. A lotttttttttt of them.
But I don't regret any bit of it.
There to spare quality time with a dear friend.. To encourage and to do it together just..
Sometimes, the journey to our destination matters too..

And this weekend, I enjoyed the journey. :)
but then, can only say that for the first day.. LOL!

2nd day started a weeeeee-bit early.. We left Laban Rata at about 2.30AM to catch the sunrise on Mount KK, another 2.7km hike + climb.
P/s-Make sure you sleep early on the first day!
This is a rather different trail than the day before. A lot of stairs and rocks+ropes involved!
I must say I loveddddddddd the rope parts. Be it in the dark or on a broad daylight!
It was all good to hike in the dark cause you don't really see much, and just climb!

Waiting for THE moment
A few of us managed to hike up just in time for the sunrise and boy, it's a gift from nature!
Not just the sunrise, but the overall gorgeous views. From every angle you see, it's beauty!
Up above the clouds, that look a lot like cotton candy.. The sunrise, and the other little peaks amongst others!

An eye-opening-cum-amazing experience! Where you just wanna stay in awed and quiet for a moment, and wish those moments lasted longer.
But couldn't stay up there too long to think about another 8.7km hike down to Timpohon Gate.
I would recommend you to stay close the the guides as they know where to capture amazing parts of Mount KK! You surely don't wanna miss any, if you could, since you are up there!

Of course, we made a stop back at Laban Rata for breakfast and also to pack our stuffs on our way down. Dumped my luggage to the guide this time cause le-bone-next-to-the-ankle was already in pain. Thanks to the impact from every step and old injury. No, no thanks really.

Just follow the guides, they will tell you more on nice photos to snap! The tiny peak at the back of our id tag!
I detest those steep steps, really. Get a hiking stick! It helps to relieve some pressure on the knees when you are on your way down!
You need not worry about food, they have ample for you.. And it's a pretty good buffet each time! No complaints on that bit.
Forget about showering unless you are super OCD at Laban Rata. It's icy-cold water.
Just wipe your bodyyyyyy clean cleannnnnnnn with a wet towel, or some do it with wet wipes.

Got to know some enthusiastic climbers as well! Faster get the older version of RM1 note, what do you see??? :D

Oh the champ hiking shoes *drum rolls* goes to Adidas Kampung Shoes! Made in Malaysia. A pair of rubber shoes with awesome grip! But do get the right size, or thick thick socks cause it stings at some parts of the feet if it's not a perfect fit! and it's cheap! Less than RM10 for a pair.

After a 2am -2pm hike with breaks in between, deserves a celebratory photo! Before bidding goodbye to Timpohon Gate! <3

A little of the charges that are not inclusive in the tour package includes baggage storage, portal services.. and that's about it!
Though I paid like RM60 for a one way portal service (RM10 for each KG both ways), I wouldn't mind tipping the guides with the extras from that! It's really isn't easy.. Carrying NOT one but a few bags! And they can walk without much or any rather, complaint/s, like a boss! OR MORE than that!
They were very helpful too! Of course it's probably part of their jobscope.. but they aced it well!

Oh Oh OH!!!!!
The locals too, carry food and other necessities all the way up! Using their forehead to balance the weight of the goods! Amazed, and respect!

Each of us got the same T too! From
 L2R: MJ, Susu, May, me, Elise, Casey, Sharon, Vien
Interested? Leave your number here! Lol.
I am grateful for this trip, a lifetime experience.. Don't know if I will ever be up for it for a 2nd time.
Am grateful to have made a few more friends, and to spend quality times like these together.
As we grow up and work at different places, we still steal some time to gather and do amazing stuffs together, I am thankful for that.
To awesome friends, and more than that in life!


On another note, brought this up for V's bday! We could make it next time!
Happy Birthday babe! 

P/S: Photos from different sources! XD

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