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New Website in the Making -

On: Saturday, October 25, 2014

Dear readers, I'm working on my new website

Do pay a visit and thank you for your continuous support!

Everest Panoramic Trek

On: Thursday, May 8, 2014

See my updated post

We planned for this trip a year ago and was trying to google for a reliable agent. His email respond was prompt and complete which is why we chose ANET over many others. As we were unfamiliar with the culture and environment, we had many questions. But kudos to Devi, he never hesitated to answer and clarified all our questions.

We had one of the most memorable trip and just catching a glimpse of the mighty Sagarmartha was an unforgettable experience. The expedition went very smoothly as per planned, aided by our experienced and friendly guide Kumar. From the start, he has been very helpful, always keeps a look out for us and ensure our stay is as comfortable as possible. He takes great photos as well and is a warm and funny guy. We thoroughly enjoyed his companionship and he must be one of the best guides here.

It was a very well-organized trip and we were even given the flexibility to customize it based on our needs. Thanks to our host Devi for his warm hospitality and dinner treat where we had a chance to sample his wife’s delicious home-cooked meal. The only regret I had was that our trip was too short. If we had another 1-2 days extra, we might have had the chance to trek all the way to Tengboche to visit the monastery.

But overall I would rate it a very successful and excellent trip. I’m glad that we had made the right choice and chosen ANET. Thank you for the wonderful experience! See you again for ABC.

10 Days Everest Panorama Trek

On: Monday, April 8, 2013

We'll be doing this in 3 weeks time :)

Everest panorama Trek Route is one the delightful trekking trail in Everest region. Everest panorama Trek is moderately easy walking path compared to some of other trekking package in Everest. Early morning you will flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and from here you start your uphill trek to Sherpa capital of Namche via colorful Sherpa village, Buddhist Monasteries, Chorten and Sagarmatha national park with wild animals, birds flora and fauna. Along the trails you cross deep valley, Himalaya (Milk river) up to Tengboche village which is famous for presence of monastery in the highest altitude (3,890m). Everest panorama trek passes through Sagarmatha national park which is renowned since it provides habitat for various wild animals and birds. Everest Panorama Trek pretty short but exciting walking route in Everest region of Nepal showers us with awe inspiring view of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, Thamserku, Ama Dablam and many others. During the whole trekking process you get to meet very friendly and culturally rich Sherpa people who are known for their skill for climbing mountains. Age-old people also can walk uphill without previous mountain experience.

Facts of the Trek

Average walking per day:5 hrs
Maximum altitude:3925m
Best Seasons:February- May, October-November
Type of Trek:Tea house
Duration of Trek:10days

Everest Panorama Trek Itinerary

Day 01: Kathmandu airport to Hotel
Airport you will be transferred to your hotel room. In the afternoon we will invite you to our office for briefing about the each day program. Today we will hand over your Sagarmatha National Park Permits and TIMS.

Day 02: Kathmandu valley sightseeing
After having breakfast we will do some sightseeing which includes Pashupatinath Swoyambhunath and Boudhanath.

Day 03: Flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and Phakding (2650m)
Enjoy the most scenic 30minutes flight to Lukla from Kathmandu. As you reach Lukla start the Everest Base Camp Trek to Phakding via Chaurikharka and Chheplung. Overnight at Phakding (2640m).

Day 04: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar
Early in the morning after having breakfast trek to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar(3435m) via Jorsale. From Namche we can see the first glance of Everest.

Day 05: Acclimatize at Namche Bazaar.
Today we may rest or hike through the village of Khunde and Khumjung. Khumjung is the largest village of Khumbu region. After having lunch we will hike back to Namche Bazaar.

Day 06: Trek from Namche to Tengboche (3890m)
The trail slightly goes uphill to Namche to Tengboche via Sanasa & Fungethaga. On the route you can see the captivating vista of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Gokyo RI and Island Peak. The main attraction is monastery situated at the highest altitude in the world. Overnight at teahouse.

Day 07: Trek from Tengboche to Namche Bazaar (3535m)
First part of the trail directly goes through Rhododendron forest and pine forest to Fungethaga. The trail slightly goes uphill to Namche via Trashinga and Sanasa village. Great view of the Khumbu Himalaya from village of Sanasa

Day 08: Trek from Namche to Lukla (2850m)
The trail steeply goes downhill through Rhododendron and Pine forest to Jorsale it will take about two hour and another 5 hour walk to Lukla via Monju, banker, Phakding, Ghats khola, Chaurikharka, Chheplung and arrival in Lukla and overnight at Guest house.

Day 09: flight from Lukla to Kathmandu
Early morning joyful flight from Lukla to Kathmandu and transfer your Hotel. During the day you will have rest after long journey in the Khumbu Himalaya and Evening fare well dinner with Nepali Family.

Day 10: Departure for your onward flight.


See my review of Adventure Nepal Eco Trek

Proper Acclimatization Guidelines

On: Sunday, March 31, 2013

Found this useful guideline for those attempting to hike / trek at high altitudes. It is always good to be well prepared.

The following are recommended to achieve acclimatization:

1. Ascend Slowly. Because it takes time to acclimatize, your ascension should be slow. Taking rest days will help.

2. Do not overexert yourself. Mild exercise may help altitude acclimatization, but strenuous activity may promote HAPE.

3. Take slow deliberate deep breaths.

4. Climb high, sleep low. Climb to a higher altitude during the day, then sleep at a lower altitude at night.

5. Eat enough food and drink enough water while on your climb. It is recommended that you drink from four to five liters of fluid per day. Also, eat a high calorie diet while at altitude, even if your appetite is diminished.

6. Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other depressant drugs including, barbiturates, tranquillizers, sleeping pills and opiates. These further decrease the respiratory drive during sleep resulting in a worsening of altitude sickness.

7. If you begin to show symptoms of moderate altitude sickness, don't go higher until symptoms decrease. If symptoms increase, descend.

8. If you do not feel well, do not try to pretend you are fine and mask your symptoms and say you feel OK. Only with accurate information can best treat you.

Itinerary for Nepal Trekking Trip

On: Friday, March 29, 2013

Looking forward to our Nepal trekking trip in 4 weeks time. :)

Flying route:

PEN → KUL → PEN (by AirAsia)
KUL → KTM → KUL (by AirAsiaX)
KTM → LUA → KTM (by TaraAir)

Itinerary in Brief:

Day 1 : Penang (PEN) → KL-LCCT (KUL) → Kathmandu (KTM)
Day 2 : Kathmandu (KTM) → Lukla (LUA) → Sagarmatha National Park
Day 3 : Sagarmatha National Park
Day 4 : Sagarmatha National Park
Day 5 : Sagarmatha National Park
Day 6 : Sagarmatha National Park → Lukla
Day 7 : Lukla (LUA) → Kathmandu (KTM)
Day 8 : Kathmandu (KTM) → KL-LCCT (KUL) → Kuala Lumpur
Day 9 : Kuala Lumpur → KL-LCCT (KUL) → Penang (PEN)

Krabi Cycling and Rock Climbing Adventure

On: Monday, July 25, 2011

Please excuse my laziness for not updating my blog as often as I had liked. But then again, I haven't been to any adventurous trip for quite some time till Krabi lately.

Had been planning for this trip for quite some time but just had the opportunity to do it since my packed schedule allowed. Managed to burn some calories and YES! am feeling 2-3kgs lighter now.

This was a short 4D/3N trip and much time was spent on the road. 8 hours journey back and forth from Penang to Krabi really took its toll on me but I survived it. Cramped like a sardine inside one of those vans (mini bus), it's gonna take a hell of a good trip to make it all worth-while.

My first day was supposed to be relaxing and spending time familiarizing myself with Krabi town, visiting some nearby attractions like the Tiger Cave temple, Wat Kaew, Vogue and the walking street. But it was more than what I had expected as the 1,237 steps up to the top of the hill at Tiger Cave temple was quite a challenging one.

The second day was a full day Krabi Eco Cycle tour. It was a new experience for me to cycle and visit a place at the same time. But indeed it was really a good and cheap way to visit places and get a cardiovascular workout at the same time. We visited a traditional latex processing house, the emerald and blue pool at Khao Phra Bang Khram Nature Reserve, had wonderful Thai lunch then end our journey at the Hot Spring Waterfall at Klong Thom district. All in all it was about 20km of cycling and plenty of chances to cool-off by dipping in those pools except the blue one. Our guide Wut was very proficient in English and had provided many insights to these places.

The next day was the highlight of the trip as I had my first hand at outdoor rock-climbing. What better place to get a first taste than Krabi, the world renowned place for rock climbing. As it turned out, rock climbing is actually quite a graceful sport, relying more on balance and leg muscles rather than the strength of arms as many perceived. But of course a great upper body strength and strong fingers would give you an edge in this competitive sport. I learnt a few terms as well like "climbing", "climb on", "falling", "down", "tension", "slack" which are frequently uttered between the climber and his belayer. Wonderful time, wonderful experience and I can't wait for more. I'll get the 6A next time.

Look out for King Climbers!

Goddess of Mercy Pagoda at Tiger Cave Temple

Colorful joss stick for each day of the week

1,237 steps to get to the peak

Beautiful view of the surrounding plains around Krabi at the peak

Big Buddha statue greeting travelers at the peak

Wat Kaew at Krabi town

Dragon sculpture adorning the entrance to Wat Kaew

The rooftop bar along Chao Fa road at the KR Mansion

The rooftop bar along Chao Fa road at the KR Mansion

Sunset view of Khao Khanab Nam from the rooftop bar

Maharaj wet market, opens from 3am in the morning

Chinese dim sum located opposite the Maharaj market. Serves excellent congee.

Comfortable ride to the starting point

Our guide Wut explaining the  process of producing latex

The emerald pool is cool to swim

The blue pool, not advisable to swim

Relaxing dip at the hot spring waterfall

This is where the hot spring waterfall meets the cool water of this stream

The best view of Ao Nang beach at the Ao Nang seafood rest

Rock climbing @Railay beach

Some damage done but that's not gonna deter me

Shaded spot at another part of the beach. Grade 5A - 6C

Photos Gallery of Mt Kinabalu Trip 2011

On: Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Here are the photos from our recent Mt Kinabalu trip. Thank god, we were blessed with perfect clear blue skies although it was raining heavily the previous afternoon. Thoroughly enjoyed the trip and looking forward to Mt Rinjani, Lombok next. 

Lunch at Round Inn, nearby Poring Hot Spring. Very touristy, place was fully booked and we had to settle for a table outside.
Meow! Poor cat begging for food
Rock Pool. The only cold bath at Poring hot spring
Hot baths. Each can have their own private bath.
Group photo at the spacious living room of our Nepenthes hut at Kinabalu Park. Too bad  we only had a short stay and don't get to fully enjoy the amenities.
Hall where we had our pre-climb briefing
Balsam cafe @Kinabalu Park where we had our dinner, breakfast & pre-packed lunch prior to the climb. The dinner buffet was awesome!
Our VIP dorm at Laban Rata "Buttercup 3"
Fully packed cafeteria @Laban Rata resthouse
Beautiful sun set as viewed from Laban Rata resthouse
At Low's peak 0545am
Group photo with St John's peak as background
Awaiting the sun rise at Low's peak - 0608

St John's peak as viewed from Low's peak
South peak amidst a sea of clouds

Hikers making their way down with South peak and St John's peak in the background
Signboard at KM8, the final one before Low's peak
An unidentified peak captured on the way down
The sea of clouds and rocky terrain is simply magnificent
Donkey ears peak
Some vegetation still able to flourish in this harsh environment
Hikers still making their way up the peak
A pool of water forming the previous day's shower
Another peak on the way down
Amazing terrain, the weather was perfect with clear blue sky

Mountain Torq's Via Ferrata "Cliff-Hanging at 3,776m"

On: Monday, February 21, 2011

This is my 2nd trip to Mt Kinabalu, the 1st dating back in 2008. We decided to do something different but the thought of cliff-hanging via ferrata seems quite disturbing at first. I've seen photos of people attempting it and it was pretty scary at a glance and there was the weather too. Gutsy winds and freezing temperatures would surely add to the excitement if not exhilaration of this attempt.
So we reached Laban Rata at noon and made our way to the Pendant Hut for the Via Ferrata registration and familiarization session. We were introduced to our friendly trainer Joe who had also gave us the compulsory briefing and demo session. There were 2 routes to choose from, the shorter "Walk the Torq" and the longer and much challenging "Low's Peak Circuit". My cousin Jeremy just grabbed the form and signed it without hesitation while the 3 of us read through the fine prints. Walk the Torq or Low's Peak Circuit, we decided on the latter eventually. Traversing the mountain via Walk the Torq normally takes 2-3hrs while Low's Peak Circuit would usually take 5-6hrs, depending on fitness levels. Both routes eventually meet towards the ending section. We knew what we were up for but at the same time it just gives us extra impetus to reach Low's peak which was our next challenge on hand. Praying hard that the weather would be kind to us as bad weather would definitely force the Via Ferrata off. Refunds are provided for bad weather but not withdrawals. We were told that once we were hooked up to the harness, there was no turning back.
We reached Low's peak at about 5:30am just in time for the sunrise 30mins later. The cold weather and gustling wind didn't allow us to stay for too long as we made our journey down to the meeting point of Via Ferrata some 30mins away. Waiting for us was our trainer Joe who gave us final instructions on the harnessing methods and safety measures. There were only 3 groups on that day including us. One group has just started their descend while the other one miss the cut-off time at 7:30am.
We were quite intimidated at first hanging by the edge with only ropes and harnesses. We were hanging 3,000m above sea level and everything below looks like an abyss. Of course it is very safe and we were hooked to the harness at all times but the thought of falling keeps us at our feet all times. We were 100% focussed on our task of swapping the harness to the next line as we made our way down. It was totally an awesome experience. My top highlights of the route are the suspension bridge at 3,600 asl, the mini jungle, the 2 & 3 tight-rope walks and the vertical cross-over.
The best part of the Via Ferrata is anyone and everyone can do it without any technical mountaineering experience. You can test your limits without jeopardizing your personal safety. You just need determination, guts and a lot of adrenaline. What I loved about it is the photos and memories I brought back from this experience which I can share with the whole world. Enjoy the photos. Via Ferrata!

Our gear being prepared for us

Final preparations...

All geared up and ready for the plunge

Our trainer Joe so casual and relaxed

Look at the awesome blue sky

Our view of the sea of clouds 
Never look down
100k man, Mr Jeremy Tan enjoying himself
Group photo at 3,887m
I love this photo. It's going to be my facebook profile pic for some time.
We spent ~2hrs scaling down these rocks
50m into the climb and still looking good
A photo of the footholes which we understand could hold up to a tonne in weight
It's just like climbing down from a ladder. This is the favourite part for Kazuo.
Another treacherous part of the descend
The mist is forming fast and we are still very early into the journey
The suspension bridge is swaying all the time

Traversing the 3-line tightrope
Finally reached the Laban Rata resthouse, totally exhausted but feeling awesome! Still a long way down to Timpohon gate