Monday, May 8, 2017

Gunung Rinjani-Lombok Trip 2017 (Part 2)

Trailing from where I stopped.

We were fed with a hearty meals at our porters' residence at the end of our hike. Satisfying!
The week in Lombok is easily the week I had most Teh-O panas without sugar. Mild in taste but hot enough to keep our bodies warm. On the other hand, Mar Jie who tried their coffee said it's sandy and difficult to accept on the palate while Sophia liked it. You should try it yourself! :D It's as 'gao' as the kopi-o you get at kopitiams here I reckon.

Reached our guesthouse after sun set and reminded the guides to make sure the owners won't turn the tank tap off for the night! Needed to wash up thoroughly ^__^

Chilled at the common area at night before bedtime as per previous entry. Conversations were made and we got to know some local delights that we could try at the village area!
Berum (their rice win-either bitter/sweet) and some fungi out of the soil.
They too have tuak (mixture of ingredients, not rice only) and I forgot what's the other one! Oh gosh.
It was a funnnnn night! A night where most of us sat around and got to know each other a little better.
:D We couldn't do it over the hiking days cause the only place to rest is in the tent itself.

Departed to our next destination in the morning. Gili Trawangan. We took the fast boat from the pick-up point at the main island after a short brunch. It's easily accessible as there is a legit office whereby you could purchase your ticket from. Don't have to waste your time to get a good bargain with the locals, it's fairly affordable.

Just get your ticket from the office and off you go!

Been to that island during the previous trip as an island hopping spot, but that's not good enough!
You need to stay there. It's where the life of the island is! Not the main island, not the town, not the southern part (for the time being).
Thus, if you like to go to a happening part of Lombok, it's here in present time!
Something like Krabi/Phuket to describe.

As we reached late in the afternoon, there's not much time for beach activities.. We gathered only after a short rest due to a heavy downpour upon checking in. Walked to the infamous sun set point while cleansing our eyes :D

Note: The photos on the swing that you see a lot when you google image, you don't need to queue for one okay? We were doinks and did just that.. You shall walk further up, there's a few of them there.. Silhouette sunset photo? Yes, you can get them fine!

Mar Jie, me, Pick Yee, Jason, Sophia, Way Kit, Han Wei, Kah Heng, Lulu, Poh  Yee, Randa, Ing
Tadaaaa... the missing ones were busy shopping!
Colours, okay next time more colourssssss...
Sunset Point. Sun behind the camera :D
Stayed there till night falls and visited the mini night market for dinner. Grilled seafood galore you could savour on. If not, try a plate of their local mixed rice. Hit the right spot in the tummy!

The night ended pretty early for me after a few rounds of Berum at the common area back at the guesthouse, Sunset Lambung. It's probably best to sip it slow and make sure it's served chilled. Have it easy if not you'll end up going to bed early.
They played games ALL NIGHT LONG! roar.

Oh! Oh!! We were supposed to spend the last night at Mataram Town, thankfully our guides accommodated and changed the plan for us after majority voted to stay on the island wee bit longer. Of course, that happened back when we were at the base of Rinjani. Plan ahead to make it easier for the guides to make necessary arrangements.

Spent the 2nd day on a short snorkeling trip. We visited three snorkeling spots before stopping by Gili Air for lunch. It's more reserved and quiet at Gili Air. A good place to hang out for a short while. Tranquility with quality food on the table! I did note short while, okay? ^__^

I can't recall the other two points, but Turtle Point was definitely in the schedule. A few of them chased after the turtle in the water! Damnnnn... It was a so close yet so far experience for me unfortunately.
The snorkeling guide had to push me to see the turtle from afar when I was already in bad shape cause the snorkel gear wasn't functioning well... Pfft.. potong stim when I was there trying my best to breathe evenly! It broke when I was trying to tighten the strap cause water keep seeping in.
Moral of the story: Check your gear once you're in water(no matter how many times you've jumped into the sea at other spots) Once you swim further away, the boat might be just a little too far to reach. Had it fixed mid-sea by the guide but it wasn't a good fit. pffft...

Sharon has a really nice video on the turtle close up! So beautiful and demure, unsure of gender STILL!!!

By the way, I am so excited to announce that I was happy throughout the boat trip! NO MOTION SICKNESS.
All hail Veloxin! Thank you Lulu for providing them.
For the first time ever, I could stand and move around the floating boat. I didn't have the urge to be one of the first to jump into the sea and last to climb onto the boat.
For the first time, I felt good.
I know how it feels like to not experience giddiness or nausea in the rough sea while staying awake. Not too rough okay. ^_^
Novomin is too drowsy to the point that I could fall asleep in boat rides but this is just fine. I'll bring it with me forever :D

No photos for this part. Busy enjoying my fun time!

The whole snorkeling trip lasted till 2pm. A 5 hours trip covering three spots, pretty good deal.
It'll be too exhausting if it lasted longer anyway!

We got off the boat and swayed to the stalls to get ourselves bicycles.
Note: Do rent a bicycle to cycle around the island if you're there for at least two days.
Do it when the time draws near sunset, around 6pm. Your ride will be filled with an amazing nature touch! If not you could opt to stroll around on foot anyway. Maybe could cover the whole island in 2 hours.

Han Wei, Jason and I. Thank you for giving me bicycle ride.
Parted from the group earlier but had Han Wei to join us later in the evening
What a beautiful evening it was.
If it's possible, avoid riding on cimodo. I saw how they were treated and instantly felt bad that I went on one during my previous trip at Mataram itself :(

We splurged on street food at night, mainly bakso and soto ayam. Walk around and you'll see a few stalls selling them. Some are tastier than the others.. If you bump into one that you like, I encourage you to go for TWO BOWLS! :D
When you pass by stalls selling corns, you'll indulge in them too! The smell of burnt corn... ahh.....

It was our last night on the island and Lombok itself, most of us decided to enjoy the night out. We spent the first part of the night at the guesthouse to consume the last bit of Berum and then, headed out to the happening bars.

The game where all sort of sentences were form till one fail to repeat.
Sentences don't make sense? It's perfectly fine.
Innerself lai liao!

Don't know the name, don't worry. Just walk along the shops by the beach and you'll bump into some that's at least almost full house. As early as 10pm. Don't need no fancy clothes. One bar close? Just hop to another after the last bit of the music.
Danced, drank our night away and the rest is as they said, history.

Last photo of the night. Pizza before bedtime slurrrps!
It's okay even if you're flying off the next morning. That's your recovery period.
Sleep while travelling! ^__^

Spent the next day travelling back to where my heart is, HOME.

I wanna thank you guys for giving me an opportunity to crawl out of my shell, and am grateful for all the help offered. Be it to carry my bag or just a question on hows my blister. Drama much. Sobs.

I take everything to my heart and I must say I enjoyed my trip because of you guys!
Little details make me smile inside.

Thank you, Randa, for being such a dear guide nursing my wound. I couldn't look at it myself.
:D Thank you for all the effort in trying to minimise the pain I feel. HAHHAHA.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Gunung Rinjani-Lombok Trip 2017 (Part 1)

Last eruption on Sept 2016 didn't deter our plan to go for a hike at Mount Rinjani just last week.

My last hike that lasted for a few days definitely happened in 2014. That's three years back, somewhere around this quarter of the year also if my memory didn't fail me.
Fitness level deteriorated over the years, I made an effort to do a few short hikes before this big one (for me)! Maybe my fitness level didn't decline, but their fitness level increased throughout the years. *cough*

A few familiar faces this round. It is quite a big group of us (12 people) and introverts like me, finds it tough to blend in every time. I'm glad I met kind souls in the group! No cocky ones (or they remained undetected. LOL). Just us being us.

Prior to departing

The whole group finally gathered for dinner when the sun ceased on 26th of April (Sunday) due to flight delays. The batch that reached in the noon traveled down south of Lombok to visit Kuta Beach and also their infamous SADE Sasak Village, one of the oldest village where the aborigins resided. Also, where the tale and term of 'kahwin lari in Lombok' became familiar to others. They kidnap the girl they want, and marry them soon after.

The first batch that arrived.

In short,
Lombok=Kahwin lari.

We too hung around the Batu Payung Beach while waiting for the sun to set.
Not too touristy. Still the same as the year before, they are developing the whole area. They have really nice blue-greenish beaches to chill at. Then again, the waves at those beaches are probably more suited for those who are looking into surfing!

At Batu Payung Beach.
Our guides are have decent photography skills. Plus point +++

Surfing with a beach body, NYUMS!

While waiting for sunset.

It took us about two hours after dinner to reach the northern part of Lombok where the base of Mount Rinjani is located at. Glitched on not having enough H20 for everyone to shower at the guesthouse after a sweaty day. Just made do with what we got and went to bed as we were going to hike on Monday itself.

There's two route to hike up Mount Rinjani too. Senaru/ Sembalun. You pick!
Just kidding! It's already pre-planned by your guides if you're attached to one.
I personally think our guides made an excellent route choice for us!

That is to start at Sembalun instead! about an hour of bumpy ride from the guesthouse to the base. I threw up twice on the way! No surprise to that, motion sickness reigned

All ready for the 3 days, 2 nights hike

We started hiking at about 9am. You're supposed to reach the Sembalun Pelawangan by 6pm. Probably could do it since one as slow as myself did! Group separation of ultra-hikers with mediocre ones like me who rests a lot occured along the way. Don't be discouraged if that happens! You'll meet and have a longer pit stop at POS 2 for lunch *grins*
After fueling your body, continue to POS 3 before reaching Sembalun rest area.
Probably could google the distance from one                                                                                           POS to another ;)

Horrible feelings surfaced when I was told I still need to climb for another TWO hours when we thought we were almost there! They actually told me another FOUR hours hike when I met them again T_T The blister was giving me signs. Guides were nowhere in sight cause they were left behind by us, enthusiastic ones,  to reach the rest area early. HAHAHA.

Another two hours and almost there. What a gap! Especially when you're gasping for air every 50 steps too soon! Made it anyhow! It's the goody good feelings you get from other hikers who you meet and greet with words of encouragement that kept you going just a little more. That little more matters because of this malay phrase, 'sedikit-sedikit, lama-lama jadi bukit'-that's how I shall earn my ring too! Ooopps.

You got the drift well. I've met a few Malaysians too. I like how united we can be without looking at the skin colour inside out. I love it when what matters, really is, humanity itself. I don't like how the media ruin that spirit for us. Ouh, off-topic.
You know you want that too anyway. Not just amongst countrymen, perhaps on the earth that we're living in. ^_^

Had my fair share of pain due to blister from friction between my ankle guard and low-cut shoes. I did wonder a lot of times, if I should just discard my ankle guard but past experiences told me to leave it on. It wasn't the best choice either! ;( The blister stings till today and bet it's gonna leave a scar! Urgh!)

I carried on by myself at my own pace with no pressure. "Small steps but don't stop!", Jason quoted. A quick rest after every 50 steps. I counted my steps! :D Did not meet my hiker-mates when I reached the supposed rest area. Still managed to reach before 6PM! One could do it with sheer determination, and that's what I had.

Our 3 men tent with 4 girls.
Me, Sophia, Kah Heng
I was taking a chill-pill, talking to one of the guides who could understand my bahasa. Too long to think I wasn't at the right spot, stood up and took the effort to walk on as there were other campsites further along, towards the peak as told.

Thank goodness I met our quiet guide halfway who told me to go back to where I was cause the others were too far ahead! TOO FAST if you don't get what I mean! hahahahaa The guide wasn't with them to put a palm sign up.

The peak in sight didn't look too far away nor too tough to conquer (AM SO WRONG ABOUT THAT). Tent was set up, the porters were dancing away in the kitchen making us dinner while we rest. TEMPE TEMPE TEMPE, so good!

PORTERS!!! A big shout out for them.

Some wear slippers, some went on barefoot!
A lot of credits for them for doing so much to accommodate us. They hiked up with their flimsy but powerful Japanese slippers with truckload of kitchen stuffs, tents and also some of our heavy bags. Rest a little along the way, and continue their journey cheerfully in a group throughout their journey. I admire that. The simplicity that keeps complexity away.

 After a long tiring day, they still have to prepare meals for us, spoilt brats! If we were to do the hard way, army style.. I think I'll just bid goodbye to my friends! XD

Witnessed a sky full of stars during the night. Reminds me of Lake Tekapo (New Zealand), but without whiskey to warm our bodies. Pick Yee got really nice shots of the blanket of stars! Too cold to stay outside of the tent too long :D

Had to force ourselves to get some rest cause the next hike starts at 2am to 'catch' the sunrise.
With minimal amount of sleep and heavy eye-bags, we went on with our journey wee hours in the morning after a light breakfast. Please, take heavier breakfast than bread just. You need fuel before this hike!

It started off pretty okay till the last bid of the hike before we reached the peak.
An eye-opening experience, it was! Tough. Very, Tough.
The path were filled with rocks, sand and pebbles! Your feet sink in with every heavy step you take.
Those who had it easy probably took light but quick steps to reduce resistance.
I wished I could do some kung fu moves where they slide through above water in a short period of time! Everytime I stopped and rest, my eyes closed wishing I could do so.

Wouldn't have made it if my quiet, knight in shining armour guide, Ing? didn't appear before me. (UPGRADED from quiet yo!)

I was actually surprised to see him cause how the heck they remember the faces of a group of 12 where everyone looks similar! All yellow :D
A little more, that's what he said. Had to hold onto him to go up. To be honest, he dragged me up. Fuh, so strong, so feisty. XD  I was just thinking about 'The Climb' by Miley Cyrus along the way.

Lean muscles all over perhaps? XD
Thank you is never enough.
That little more to reach the peak which could have taken maybe 15 mins dragged to 45 minutes long. Taking a quick rest after every 5 steps. So grateful to have such a patient guide to bear with the diva me.
I managed to catch a glimpse of the sunrise on my way up only. Nothing too spectacular, but hey that's the point of waking up and starting our journey early right! Didn't miss the sight of it, just maybe not from the perfect angle.

Sharon, me, Lee Lean, Way Kit
Reunited with a few mates (Sharon, Lee Lean, Way Kit, Kah Heng, Sophia, Pick Yee (the last 3 on their way down, ALREADY??) when I finally sat down and munch on some oreos. They never tasted better! Bahhhhhhh! You need to fuel up, I can't stress more!
The guide held on to Sharon's bag too, power of GoPro! The only means to capture some victorious moments.
Sharon and I. Sight from Sembalun Crater

Note: My Iphone did not work up there! The battery went flat even before I reached the peak. Apparently the cold weather and elevation played a role. Thus, bring better cameras/ phone buds!
Note: Wear a mask to cover your nose and mouth.. It helps to reduce the amount of cold air getting into your lungs. It helped in my hike for sure!

Stayed there for about 15 minutes to have a good view from the peak and we were on our way down again. I think the images on google are amazeballs. Maybe a bird's-eye view is picture perfect, not from my eye view.

Drone next round? I'm giving out ideas.

Persevere and you shall survive! Said the mountain monkey.
No, that's not Han Wei la!
Look at the stones!
Met Han Wei on our way down. Like the Last Man Standing in the group for sure! Pure determination to get to the peak, on his own. I would have given up long ago with sore ankles along. Major respect! That's why it doesn't matter whether you're fast of slow.. The destination and final goal is the same! The mind game is always, always stronger than physical strength.

and that's what I did! PERSEVERE! Look so photoshopped!
Note: Wear thick enough clothes too! Care for your hands and toes! GLOVES AND THICK SOCKS! The cool wind really took a toll on a few of us! Frost-bite like kinda toll. However, it was said that the wind was peculiarly stronger and colder than other times. We had it hard! It's good anyhoots!

Thank you CVien for your parka/down jacket! Kept me warm like you're giving me a hug! hahahahahaa

Had it slow on my way down too. The other three (S, LL, WK) were like gliders! I had moments where I zoned out to think I could slide/glide down as if I was skiing. Or the fact that I can do sand-boarding! YES, that's all in my imagination.
It did not happen that way.
Somehow the quiet knight appeared and managed to give a hand support to glide down faster.

Us with Ing
I was so thankful that I could give away 10000 hugs, but I'm just thankful in my mind like that :D

Strolling under the morning sun for a good few hours before dropping dead back at campsite. Just lie down and fell deep asleep until I heard Han Wei's voice who got back about noon.

We could be anyone we want to be. That day, I wanted to be beast in the jungle. I turned out to be a star! Lol. While taking short breaks on my way to the peak, people were asking if I could take a photograph with them. Diva moments yo! Panting much but obliged delightfully. Sometimes I'm hyper that way I guess. Eye bags game strong in most photos fo' sho' but who cares!

Oh, oh, oh!!

That wasn't the only hike for the 2nd day! We adjourned to the opposite side in the noon, inner base of Senaru Pelawangan. Not too long of a hike, and mostly just decending with a little ascend. 3-4 hours just?

Standing: Jason, Han wei, me, Way Kit, Mar Jie, Pick Yee, Sharon, Sophia
Sitting: San Jie, Lulu (amazing sisters bond), Lee Lean, Kah Heng
Location: Some random bridge on our way to Senaru.
For the first time throughout the entire hike, I didn't part with the group! hahahhaa... Everyone took it a little slow due to fatigue, or maybe cause the main guide, Randa Vespa, was there to slow the others down. Thank you! For that, we managed to snap group photos along the way.

Lake, volcano, and sulphur sipping into the stream.
Amazing creation. 

I was in awed when we reached the campsite. Right next to a pretty lake, Segara Anak. I wanted to jump in and swim like what you see in the movies. YOLO. Too much movies *cough*
That didn't happen. Instead, we took a short walk to the waterfall (where somebody died in two days ago) and dipped ourselves into small hot spring pool.
The good feeling where we can finally clean our sweaty bodies. Not that we're really dirty anyway. We used a lot of wet wipes throughout!
Way Kit even dipped himself into the cold stream. brrrrrrr....

It was a perfect evening! The only thing missing at night was the campfire and maybe mat or stools to gather everyone around. Too much to ask from the porters please! It was chilly and most of us just stayed in the tents to rest. We needed that.

Not many stars in sight from this side of the hill. But the view was spectacular. The feeling the nature oozed out just filled my heart and sight with contentment. Like, I don't want to be anywhere else.. just laze here for a week or two.

Sophia. The hyper-bunny!

3rd morning, which was our last day of hike started as early as 8am.
8 hours hike. 2 up 6 down estimation. My blisters were already screaming their lungs out.
I kept telling myself on how the heightened arousal when I start hiking shall surpass the pain and it shall be numb. With that, I dumped the idea of tossing my ankle guard away.
The day started with a lot of swearing cause each step hurts.
Hurts more than a broken heart. haha.

My idea was well absorbed and I didn't think much about the blister after sometime. Definitely slowed my already slow pace, but it doesn't matter. It was my only way out of the hills and I can't be saying, "No, I can't do this."
I whispered to myself what my yoga instructor told me ample of times. Treat each part of my body equally the same, no different.

Take a slow and deep inhalation everytime it feels a little tougher.

Top of Senaru Side. Make love when everyone is busy dabbing! ^_^

Like I said I like how our guide planned the hike route. This route was more gentle to the leg muscles after a two hours rocky ascend. It rained a little, but that didn't stop us from going. We reached the exit earlier than expected. Yahoooo!

I'm not too detailed on the hours we took for the hikes from one stop to another. Lost track of time. Barely took my phone out. Ape? Surely got ask people for the current time to know when should we sleep, okay?

Each day you'll hike about 8 hours +- You burn a lot of calories while admiring the nature, and that's all that matters.

Done with Part 1.
To be continued!
We ended the day back at the guesthouse with some classic Berum and magic mushrooms!
Lotsa inner-self showing thereafter!

Credits: Photos are from a few of them. :D

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Sanitary napkin- partner theory.

1. You hit puberty, first period! All bloody for the first time..Usually, your mother will be the first to pass you some sanitary napkins.. Probably the brand she's accustomed to cause she knows the brand in and out.

Like how your mother have a goodie good feeling about a guy and wants to introduce him to you cause she thought she knew him well enough. She THOUGHT.


2. When you use a particular brand, and gets comfortable with it. Ignore other brands available in the market. Don't even bother to try or look for other.. Just reach for the same damn sanitary pads on the shelves, EVERY SINGLE TIME. So loyal. Apparently!

It's like how you get to know a guy, be in a relationship and got used to the whole idea and just sticks your butt around him. Nothing else matters. No other guy is as appealing as the one you are with.. So loyal.


3. The fact remains, there are other brands out there.

Never try, never know!
Either that or like a friend of mine quoted, "You've given up on life." :D

C h e e r up!
And don't take what I said seriously! :D

Monday, August 1, 2016

Gunung Datuk, Rembau, Negeri Sembilan

The plan to go JB for a short weekend break fall short.
I joined my ever-so-loving friends to hike on a Sunday instead.

It's about a quarter over an hour drive from KL toll. Exiting Pedas Linggi toll, you'll have to brace through tiny trunk roads to reach the base of Hutan Lipur Gunung Datuk. I'm just kidding, it's not tiny.. quite big for a small town in fact!

As with all other hikes, always prefer the morning! Not that early to catch sunrise kind of early (Ok, maybe once in a while), just not facing the scorching hot sun kind of early to avoid sun burn and stuffiness in case it's a long hike. Just a good amount of vitamin D for me!

I am not sure if we're too early but it is certainly not as crowded as Bukit Kutu, thank goodness!
Started around 7.20am for the day.

An hour and a half hike up, depending on your stamina, I think MJ and May Hwa reached the peak slightly over an hour only.
90% of the time you are training your thigh muscles! Ascending 90%, flat land maybe <10%. Pwoarrrr!

I was pretty much alone after awhile cause the two energizers hopped through all the way :D while the others were a little behind.

At one point, as the sound of nature (more of crickets and birds) got louder, I hear thumping sounds ringing in my ears! I thought someone was pacing and running up! Turn around, nopeeeeee! NOBODY!

That sound wasn't going away, wasn't tuning down.. was there and it felt like eternity!
thump thump thump thump
Then, I held my hand on my chest thinking..

Oh crap! It's my own heart beat! -___-
For the first time, I can literally hear my heartbeats ringing in my ears! It's either cause it was too quiet or my heart was working extra hard! :D But anyhow, it was pretty interesting albeit scary.
Sounded like it was going to pop out any minute and nobody was around!
Sounded like I was in sync with nature too, listening to sweet nothings of my heart beats.

But it got annoying after awhile I wished it would stop! not stop beating.. just stop playing drums in my ears.
Reached the peak.. yadaaa yadaaa yadaaa..
Oh there are flights of ladder you'll need to climb to get onto the rocks at the peak. Not to worry, practice climbing ladders at home first :p No, don't do that!

Got up the peak with May showing me this awesome photo of MJ and herself!

The many reasons why if you were to go in a group for an outing, put on colourful clothings!
If your face can't make up for the photo, least the colours will! I don't mean it in an ill way, in case you were thinking about it!
I mean we'll all be sweaty, sticky and not with our best appearances.. (If that occasion involves perspiration, yeah)
Plus, colours make people happy and smile in glee! :)

At 2900ft peak

Met new people too! I must say I'm very bad with names, especially chinese names.. and chinese pronounciations but it shall get better with a little hardwork in learning them well!

Overall, it wasn't a crazy kick-ass hike but a good work out. The view was incomparable to our backyard at Taman Melawati :p I would love to do it more often but maybe doing that little makes me learn and appreciate more instead.

Maybe that's why sometimes they say less is more.

Sepet v1.0

Where to go for a weekend hike?

Entrance fee: RM5 per person. No guide (don't need one either)
Pretty steep for a toilet that irks the eyes.
Could do a better job, I'm sure! Hmph!

Taman Sri Watan Pan Mee

If you're around the area, it's definitely worth dropping by one of the gems in Ampang!

Pan mee here, pan mee there, pan mee everywhere.. Almost every hawker stall you visit has a pan mee stall.. BUT, this is a bowl filled with traditional pan mee goodies!

The delicious, I mean DELICIOUS anchovies broth and generous amount of fried anchovies, minced pork and sweet leaves.. ahhhh.. leaving one wanting more (Yes, to the point that I go there so often of late!)

Just can't get enough. I've tried just this and not others though!

The picture doesn't do any justice as my photography skills aren't on par with those you usually see in food blogs. Give it a go when you're around the area!

Of course, varieties hold great values when it come to food in any shop! They do serve other types of pan mee. Not to forget little cakes, and the good old kopitiam drinks if not red bean soup. :)

Steaming hot bowl of red bean soup
However, do note that it's quite hot in the shop. Thus, choose your time wisely!

A good bowl of pan mee range around RM5-7
You could visit their facebook page for opening hours too.

Sunday, May 4, 2014


sometimes, just sometimes..
you just wanna ask..

"Do you remember me?"

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