HIMALAYA NEPAL: Part 4. Making it and Homebound.

We have come to the final post of Nepal. Although it has been a year since we stepped foot in Nepal, we are still talking about how wonderful it was to experience the beautiful nature made by God. Not everyone is as fortunate as us. We are planning to conquer Annapurna soon. As you all know, we went up Poon Hill at 4am just to witness the beauty of sunrise in between the Himalayas. Just look at what Fadza managed to capture. Breathe in, breathe out. Now go.

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Going up in the morning wasn’t easy at all. Lack of sleep due to fever & cold added another barrier to succeed. Nevertheless, once we’ve reached the top of Poon Hill, all the pain disappeared. Like magic. Going down wasn’t as hard as going up (obviously). As soon as we reached Ghorepani we immediately had breakfast, packed, rested our legs for about an hour and started climbing up & down again. This time is to go home.

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Here’s us & our potter Jaget with beautiful mountains behind us.

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This was taken at one of the stops on the hill. What you are about to see is the Himalayas from the other side of the world. People went crazy. We did too. Rested our legs for about 10 minutes, had a few sips of water and continued our journey down the hill.

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Gandruk Village

After walking for about 4 hours, we finally reached Gandruk village which was our last stop before reaching Nayapul, where we first started. We stayed a night at the Guesthouse facing the beautiful Dhaulagiri. After all the walking, all you basically need is a good hot shower and and and… a comfy clean bed.

I slept right after dinner & Fadza had a date with his camera, Dhaulagiri and the stars that night. He managed to capture beautiful pictures of our last night at the balcony. He plans to have them printed in his book which he is now compiling & we’re hoping to have the books in our hands by 2016.

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Our experienced up to Ghorepani was the best for 2014. I couldn’t believe my eyes that I’ve stepped foot there and survived. From reaching Kathmandu, trying their local food, staying at few Guesthouses, meeting a friend, making new friends, climbing up & down

and last but not least, the Himalayas.
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Our experienced up to Ghorepani was the best for 2014. I couldn’t believe my eyes that I’ve stepped foot there and survived. From reaching Kathmandu, trying their local food, staying at few Guesthouses, meeting a friend, making new friends, climbing up & down and last but not least, the Himalayas.

Note: Some of the photos in here (square format) was taken via iPhone.

Re-Narrated by Nina Zainorin
Photographed by Fadza Ishak
I: @journeykita
fadzaninatravel@gmail.com for any collaborations or any offer for our humble journey 🙂

HIMALAYA NEPAL: PART 3 UP THE TRAIL

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Nayapul, Nepal.

Took us about 30 minutes or so to reach Nayapul by taxi, which is the starting point of our climb to Ghorepani. The journey to Nayapul was the eye opener of the trip. We saw the himalayas from down below. We were stunned by the beauty of the mountains & for a while, we couldn’t believe that we are about to start hiking. First, we saw the amazing Fishtail. We find it hard to fix our jaws.

When we finally reached Nayapul, we met tonnes of trekkers & hikers getting ready their backpacks, adjusting their walking sticks, filling water in their water bottles, fixing their hiking shoe laces, some girls got their hair bun perfectly & porters busy bundling up backpacks to be carried on their backs.

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Once we had our stuff & porter ready, we prayed to god for our safety & started the climb. We had to pass by some villages on our way up. Most of them are very shy, especially the women. They smiled & some friendly ones even greeted “Namaste”. Nepali kids are the cutest. They go “Namaste… Chocolate.” They were just too cute to be ignored.

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The weather in Nayapul was pretty hot. The heat from the sun made us finish a bottle of water in split seconds. Our advise is to wear something comfortable and spare another extra bottle of water + 100plus or revive. Pack also energizing food such as chocolate bar, banana & energy bar. You might need it.

It took us about 20 minutes to reach Birethanti, the tourist checkpoint. We came across a bridge with colourful flags & snapped some pictures. Well… Its a must. Looking down to a green coloured water stream forced us to take off our clothes & just dive in the water. Unfortunately, we had to control ourselves from doing so. Water was rough & said to be dangerous. We didn’t see anyone near the stream.

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So the hike begins. After 30 minutes of normal flat land, here comes the hill. Up & down. Up & down. Not to forget the heat. We got burned. I could feel the heat burning my skin. But, the show must go on and so we walked… And walked… And walked… And walked… Up & down the hill.

There is a stall on your way up selling fruits run by the locals. We bought bananas and continued our journey.

After about 2 hours of hiking, we reached a small rest place where you can relax & order food. We only stopped for 10 minutes to catch our breath & also to snapped some pictures.

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Here’s us in front of the small rest place taken by Jaget our potter.

After 10 minutes of catching our breath, we started walking again. This time around its all about going up. Fadza had fun & me… I struggled a little bit. My advice is to train your legs before even thinking to hike up. A 30 minutes jog everyday would definitely help on the stamina.

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So we met some harmless friends. Instead of using manpower, donkeys are used to carry food & other supplies up. There were many of them everywhere. They poop everywhere too. So mind your step when walking.

First day journey stopped when we reached Thikedunga. Checked in at a tea house where they served food, drinks & rooms for hikers to stay overnight. We had our legs rested for about 30 minutes, then we went for a quick shower before having our late lunch. We both had a decent plate of chicken fried rice each & hot honey ginger lemon tea.

We stayed in a room facing a beautiful waterfall. We saw hikers dipping in but we were too tired from the long hike. So I took a short nap while Fadza goes around taking pictures & making connections with the locals.

We also had dinner at the same place. We asked for Dhal Bhat cos we decided to have something that could gain energy for tomorrow’s hike. Jaget told us its all about climbing thousands of stairs & hills again. So consuming proper food might help us with the climbing. We went to bed as soon as we finished our meal.

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Second day begins.

The sun’s up & we are ready to climb after our breakfast. Everything’s packed and we’re ready to start. Started of by crossing another bridge. Then the climbing starts. As usual, donkeys everywhere. So whenever you see them coming towards you, you must give them way.

The scenaries started to get more beautiful on the second day. Beautiful mountains, villages, people & not to forget a beautiful wonderland waterfall.

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After about 4 hours hike, we stopped for lunch break at the Hungry Eye Restaurant in Nangethanti. We had our lamb fried rice and our usual hot honey lemon ginger tea. Rested our legs for about an hour or so and continue hiking.

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Our final stop for day 3 is Ghorepani. Took us about 2 hours to reach Ghorepani from Nangethanti. By the time we reached the top of Ghorepani, its about time for sunset. We checked in at Kamala Guesthouse & again we got the best room with the best view. We freshen up, changed & went for a stroll around the area. It was freezing cold & we checked the temperature it was about 0 degrees.

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Had dinner and mingled a little with some hikers from Macau, Brits & their porters. We exchanged experiences and mostly talked about our way up to Ghorepani. By the time we finished our hot ginger lemon tea, its about time to rest for tomorrows hike up to Poon Hill. We need all our energy pumped in cos tomorrows hike starts at 4am. Yup that early cos Poon Hill is all about sunrise.

Here are some pictures taken by Fadza just by our room window. It was freezing cold but we melted looking at the amazing Himalayas.

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Our next post will be our final post for our trip to Nepal. If you wish to know the cost of our trip, wait for the post. Give us about 2-3 weeks to come up with our final post. We know we are so late in updating. We are flattered to know that some of you are still waiting for it. We hope we didn’t disappoint all of you. LOVE! From us.

Photographed by Fadza Ishak
Re Narrated by Nina Zainorin
I: @journeykita
E: fadzaninatravel@gmail.com

HIMALAYA NEPAL: PART 2 KATHMANDU – POKHARA

Kathmandu – Pokhara

4 October 2014-5 October 2015

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Hello again backpackers!

How are you doing? Share with us your latest location. We are here waiting for the right time to fly and explore again. You don’t know how important it is for us to fly and document. As for now, Fadza is busy with FIAP & Capra Hircus capturing moments in life of other people & I am here busy designing kids clothes I call Kidd Company.

In this post, I will tell you how beautiful it was the journey to Pokhara and Pokhara itself. We literally had our eyes glued to the scenery.

But first, I’m going to tell you a little bit more of what we did in Kathmandu before we left to Pokhara.

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So we met a Singaporean friend of ours who at that  time was working on his assignment with Singapore Museum to achieve the Gurkhas who is also very familiar with Nepal to take us around Thamel. By familiar, he knows places in Nepal and he speaks basic Nepali language. Boy we were amazed.

First stop, OR2K Restaurant. Located at Mandala Street, Thamel to be exact. They served scandinavian-middle east food and we tried OR2K Special Breakfast For 2. One word, satisfying.

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We simply love the environment and ambiance. The crowd were mostly Europeans. Some of them looked tired which we bet they just got down from hiking and some of them are pretty normal energetic people.

We basically sat there for hours just to get our spirits on by throwing questions to our Singaporean friend, Zakaria Zainal about hiking up to Ghorepani.

After the long Q&A session, we took a stroll at Thamel street for the last time before we head down to our Guesthouse and rest for the long bus journey to Pokhara the next day.

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We stumbled across our first Stupa at Naghal Tole. It wasn’t the biggest Stupa but it is still something we haven’t seen before and we find it interesting. Colourful flags , pigeons everywhere and locals praying. How amazing?

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Did we mention that the locals are pretty cool? Every time Fadza had his camera up, they’ll be posing and smiling for the camera. We bet they are used to it.

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So here we are back at Thamel Street. We were both hungry from the long walk from Durbar Square with Zakaria and we had coffee together too at the Himalayas Coffee near the Square.

Chick ‘N’ Falafel

Don’t you just love street food? Here we tried their chicken wrap and fries just for the sake of trying everything we could while in Kathmandu. You should do too if you come across this one.

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Kathmandu at night.

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Journey to Pokhara.

Woke up at 5am and walked to the bus station where we took an 8 hours bus ride to Pokhara. We left Avalon Guesthouse accompanied by Jagjit, our “Superhuman Nepali” a.k.a porter. He guides us from Kathmandu to Pokhara and up to Ghorepani.

We stopped somewhere in the middle of the Prithvi Highway for lunch and guess what we had? We had our power booster Dhal Bhat. Consist of white rice, vegetarian dhal, vegetarian curry & poppadom (Nepali call it “Pappad”).

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We saw a stall opposite the road and thought of trying something new. So we tried the Nepali Bread. It was delicious. Looks like a doughnut tastes like miracle. Never ever miss the chance to try it when you come across it in the future.

So here we are in Pokhara. A peaceful town full of hikers. It’s chillier here in Pokhara than in Kathmandu. The air is also cleaner than Kathmandu. It’s a beautiful place to relax and unwind before the torture of climbing the mountain begins.

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We arrived at approximately 4pm and the first thing we did was walked straight to Baba Guesthouse and checked in. After checking in, we took a walk to the famous Pokhara Lake. The scenery is to die for. There were people canoeing, relaxing and simply there to enjoy the view.

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Load shedding is a must in Nepal. We had a few load shedding time in Kathmandu at 6pm as well in Pokhara. We asked the locals why is this still happening? They just said that Nepal is big and they don’t have enough power to supply electricity 24/7. At 730pm, the generator kicked in, and Pokhara is lighted up again.

We had our early dinner at the Guesthouse and went straight to bed. We needed a good rest before tomorrow where the hike starts.

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Our next post will be on our hiked up from Nayapul to our first stop Thikedunga. We hope you enjoyed this post. Sorry again to keep you waiting. We promise to work on the next post as soon as possible.

For those interested to share your journeys around the globe, do follow @journeykita on Instagram. Tag us or hastag #journeykita and we will say Hi.

p/s: Fadza is still working on his book on Nepal.

 

Photographed by Fadza Ishak
Re Narrated by Nina Zainorin
I: @journeykita
E: fadzaninatravel@gmail.com

Aside

Himalaya Nepal: Kathmandu. Part 1.

Kathmandu, Nepal
3 October 2014.

Greetings backpackers! As you all know, Journeykita landed in Kathmandu in October for few days before proceeding up to Ghorepani. First of all, we had a great week in Nepal. Although we weren’t at our best health condition, we still made it to the top.

However, this post is mainly about Kathmandu. We spent 2 days  in Kathmandu before we headed up to witnessed the Himalayas.

Upon our arrival at Tribhuvan Airport, we had to fill in the forms for VISA and it took us almost two hours to reach the Immigration Counter. Our advise is before coming, make sure you take a day off to the embassy and apply your VISA as it will help you save time and energy.

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Upon our arrival, we were greeted by the staff from Avalon House as we exited the arrival gate. He was there standing holding a piece of paper with our names written on it. He then quickly put his hands together and said “Namaste”. How wonderful?

The weather was beautiful. Windy and clear blue skies for an evening walk around Thamel.

Tribhuvan Airport – Avalon House, Thamel.

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Avalon House, Kathmandu.

As soon as we reached Avalon House, we settled down and straight went to meet Saput who was the owner of Avalon House to help us with our trip up to Ghorepani. Before we made our decision to visit Nepal, we stayed connected with Saput. Basically, he helped a lot in making our budget trip worth while.

Saput took out his map and showed us the routes to Ghorepani. He then suggested to go on the 5 days hike up to Ghorepani with a guide + porter.

The minute we settled with Saput, we went up to the roof top to for a quick view at Thamel’s street and mountains as background.

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The street of Thamel, Kathmandu.

When strolling on the streets of Thamel with the objective of bread hunting, we discovered that there are more than breads to hunt. There are stalls selling sort of taco along the streets. Made with egg + vegetables + seasonings wrapped with pita bread. It costs us NR30. A little salty for me but hey, when you’re travelling somewhere you’re not sure if you’re ever gonna come back… you must try everything you come across.

Besides hunting for Nepalese tradition foods (which I’m going to tell you more later), we came across shops selling hiking gears. Some will work around your budget and some will fight for their price. They sell hiking shoes, walking sticks, backpack, thick jackets, hiking pants and all the things you need to prepare before you hike.

We managed to find a Stupa (a dome-shaped building erected as a Buddhist shine) hidden somewhere on the streets of Thamel. Took some pictures and headed back home for dinner on the rooftop overlooking magic.

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First night in Chilly Kathmandu.

We consider our-self lucky to be in Nepal on the night they celebrate Dashain Festival. As explained by Saput, Dashain also spelled Dasain is the celebration of victory of good over evil. This festival symbolize that good always prevail after the bad. The locals stayed close to their home and the night was quiet at certain places.

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We ended our first night just chilling with Saput. He shared ideas on places to visit in Kathmandu, Nepalese traditions and also the story of The Nepal Royal Massacre. Fadza had the idea of interviewing a local about The Nepal Royal Massacre before we flew and he basically nailed it this time.

Anyway, Fadza is on the verge of printing a book about our visit to Nepal. He will include the interview in his book.

That’s about it for now. Here are our brief costing for day 1 in Kathmandu.

– Avalon House: MYR44.00 p/n/p plus airport pickup.

– Visa: USD 25/person for less than 15 days visit

– Food: Bread (we had a bad one for the first night) MYR3.00

– Mineral Water NR25.00, Street food NR30

– Getting around: We walk every where. Almost.

Next post, we will tell you more about the food we tried the next following day, the things we saw that we didn’t see the first day and a Singaporean friend we met in Kathmandu.

Last but not least, for those who waited for this particular post to finish, thank you very much. Follow us on our Instagram @journeykita and share your travelling experience with us.

Photographed by Fadza Ishak
Written/Re-narrated by Nina Zainorin
I: @journeykita
E: fadzaninatravel[at]gmail.com

Chapter 6: Backpacking through Sabah. Route KK-Kundasang-KK

KOTA KINABALU, SABAH

8 January 2014-11 January 2014

The History.

Kota Kinabalu formerly known as Jesselton, is the capital of the state of Sabah, located in East Malaysia. It is also the capital of the West Coast Division of Sabah.

The city is located along the northwest coast of Borneo facing the South China Sea. The Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park lies on its west and Mount Kinabalu, which gave the city its name, is located towards the east. Kota Kinabalu has a population of 452,058 and, including the adjacent Penampang and Putatan district, the metro area has an estimated population of 628,725.

Kota Kinabalu is often known as KK within Malaysia and internationally. It is a major fishing destination and a popular gateway for travellers visiting Sabah and Borneo. Kinabalu National Park is located about 90 kilometres from the city and there are many tourist attractions in and around the city. Kota Kinabalu is also one of the major industrial and commercial centres of East Malaysia. These two factors combine to make Kota Kinabalu one of the fastest growing cities in Malaysia. – Courtesy of Wikipedia.

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JourneyKita was in Kota Kinabalu recently for a quick getaway from the hectic city life in Kuala Lumpur. We managed to walked around the city and explored few interesting places during our stay. My favourite? I must say the Philippines Market or the locals call it “Pasar Philippine”.

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From colorful bags and batik to beautiful saltwater and freshwater pearls. The Philippines Market is known for their cheap & nice souvenir. We managed to bargain our way in buying a few souvenirs in form of pearls and clothing there. Remember to bargain! It is best that you could just browse around first before making any decision to buy anything from the same person. This is actually an advice from the vendor there, after Fadza be-friended him and asked him tonnes and tonnes of questions.

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Picture above shows that you can do alterations. They’ll do it for you in just few minutes.

Taxi ride. One of the taxi driver there said it is hard to get taxi here as most locals move around via bus, motorcycles and cars. He said the best way to get a taxi is by getting in-touch. When you are in the car with a driver, it is best for you to get his name card or his handphone number. This way, if you decided to take a taxi, all you need is just to call him. Well we did took his card, its obvious we’ll call him again. Not now, but next trip maybe?

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Now moving on to the wet market.

They say, Sabah is known for their seafood… especially lobsters.  And yes, it’s true. Boats coming from every corner delivering fresh sea creatures for them to sell. From fishes, tiger prawns, crabs and their famous lobsters. They also have various fresh vegetables together with fruits for you to choose.

At night, they have Philippines Night Market where they have stalls open for you to sit & dine. What’s great about it is that, we get to choose the seafood we want FRESH and the chef will cook for you on the spot. This culture is popular among the tourists especially the Europeans.

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THIEN THIEN RESTAURANT

This is where you can get amazingly delicious HALAL Chinese food with reasonable price. We couldn’t get our eyes away from the menu as there were too many to choose from. Seafood, all kinds of noodles, chicken rice, all kinds of fried rice you name it.

I ordered something instant because I was too hungry and I wanted something fast. I chose Chicken rice and it was nice. Fadza ordered noodles and he was happy. The restaurant is located in the middle of Kota Kinabalu town. Below are the details.

Thien Thien Restaurant
No.57, Jalan Pantai,
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Tel: 088251805

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EN ROUTE TO KUNDASANG, SABAH.

The journey begins after lunch and it took us about 1 hour 45 minutes to reach the top. The weather was on our side and the journey are filled with the magnificent view and scenery of Mount Kinabalu.

We rented a car in Kota Kinabalu and drove 86.7km from Kota Kinabalu to Kundasang. We have several option about car rental here. It is advisable for you to book with anyone of them before you reached Kota Kinabalu. Because they could arrange for your pick-up at the airport and you can just drive straight to your hotel/hostel yourself.

 

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Going up, we met a local Kadazan Dusun. She just got back from her daily routine of gathering paddy. Fadza managed to talked to her and ask what are actually that she carried. She told us that they owned a terrace paddy field just below where we were standing. We didn’t expect that at all. Fadza decided to take a portraiture of her carrying her bag-like containing paddy that she had harvested earlier. She was actually climbing up the hill going back home from a plantation at that time and kind enough to answer a few questions. A sweet, shy and friendly native.

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Mount Kinabalu (Malay Gunung Kinabalu) is a prominent mountain on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. It is located in the East Malaysia state of Sabah and is protected as Kinabalu Park, a A world heritage site. Kinabalu is the highest peak in Borneo’s Crocker Range and is the highest mountain in the Malay Archipelago. Mount Kinabalu is also the 20th most prominent mountain in the world by topographic prominence. – Courtesy of Wikipedia.

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In 1997, a re-survey using satellite technology established its summit (known as Low’s Peak) height at 4,095 metres (13,435 ft) above sea level, which is some 6 metres (20 ft) less than the previously thought and hitherto published figure of 4,101 metres (13,455 ft). – Courtesy of Wikipedia.

We stop at almost every point to get the feel of the scene. We clicked every 5 seconds on average with our camera.

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Mount Kinabalu includes the Kinabalu montane alpine meadows ecoregion in the montane grassland and shrublands biome. The mountain and its surroundings are among the most important biological sites in the world, with between 5000 and 6000 species of plants, 326 species of birds, and more than 100 mammalian species identified. Among this rich collection of wildlife are famous species such as the gigantic Rafflesia plants and the orangutan. Mount Kinabalu has been accorded UNESCO World Heritage status.

Low’s Peak can be climbed quite easily by a person in good physical condition and there is no need for mounteineering equipment at any point on the main route. Other peaks along the massif, however, require rock climbing skills. – Courtesy of Wikipedia.

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It seems that they knew that some tourists will come unprepared. So for those forgotten their jackets behind, there are few stalls selling nice bundle jackets, windbreakers, blazers and sweaters that suits your style.

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KUNDASANG, SABAH AT NIGHT. 

We didn’t expect that it would be really cold at night. Besides getting all stunned by the beauty of the scenery we were also stunned by the cold weather although we came prepared. That night we decided to drive to the town for a quick dinner at one of the restaurant. When we reached there, about 5-10minutes drive in thick fog, a random guy came to our car and asked “Bang kau mau ka KK ka?” (Brother, are you heading to Kota Kinabalu?). We realised that, actually he’s a hitchhiker looking for a transport to get to Kota Kinabalu. As pictured below, the same person trying to hitchhike in the fog.

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THROUGH FADZA’S EYES.

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I will write more about Kundasang in our next post. The place we spent our nights and places we’ve visited.

Feel free to drop us a comment if you want to know more because the reason we are here is to share our backpacking / travelling adventures 😉

“WE TRAVEL NOT TO ESCAPE LIFE, BUT FOR LIFE NOT TO ESCAPE US”

Photographed by Fadza Ishak
Written by Nina Zainorin
Instagram: @journeykita
Contact: fadzaninatravel[at]gmail.com

CHAPTER 5: TIMECAPSULE RETREAT TRAVEL REVIEW IN SUNGAI LEMBING.

TIME CAPSULE RETREAT, Sungai Lembing.

1 May 2014 – 3 May 2014

Recently during Labour Day, JourneyKita visited Sungai Lembing in Kuantan for a quick review on the newly opened TIMECAPSULE RETREAT. Nested just behind “Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sungai Lembing” where it is easy to find. You can find shops & food stalls nearby at the town. I’d say 2 minutes drive & 10 minutes walk.

There are 2 concepts of stays where you can get comfortable in. 1 is the capsule & 2 is the cottage. They have 8 capsules all together & 4 beautiful white rooms in the cottage. Capsules are built only to rest & relax with separate bathrooms. Where else, cottage’s rooms are attached with bathroom. It is recommended to stay in the cottage  if you’re planning to take the whole family.

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See that hole? You could actually stargaze if you’re lucky enough. So don’t forget to get your binoculars ready!

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SUNGAI LEMBING TOWN.

Like I mentioned, you can find places to eat & junk foods to munch here in their very own little town. It takes only 15 – 20 minutes walk from the beginning to the end of the town.

There are also ATVs & bicycles for rent. The guide will take you places you need to see.

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Look out for this random little petrol pump in the middle of the town.

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We did a very brief interview with Ms. Tan about the retreat owned by her & her husband Mr. Tan. It seems that the cottage was built ages ago & they bought the place over. The idea of rebuilding the place to make it as a retreat came right after they owned the cottage. I must say that the family is brilliant! They are in the midst of making the place more exciting. We shall wait!

When asked “So what can we do here besides getting to enjoy the capsule?” Ms. Tan shocked us with her answers.

Here are her suggestions.

  • 1. Panorama Hill
  • 2. Rainbow Waterfall
  • 3. Sungai Lembing Underground Tin Mines a.k.a The El Dorado of The East (The deepest tin mines in the world)
  • 4. Jambatan Gantung
  • 5. Stream near the hot spring
  • 6. Sungai Lembing Deer Farm
  • 7. Sungai Lembing Museum

And as for food;

  • 1. Sungai Lembing’s delicious Nasi Kukus Ayam Dara
  • 2. Sungai Lembing’s Stuffed Meat Steamed Tofu 
  • 3. Sungai Lembing’s Coconut Biscuit

So besides getting to experience the capsule, you get to do all the things listed above.

We managed to climb the Panorama Hill, experienced Sungai Lembing Underground Tin Mines, dipped our legs in the Stream and tried the delicious Nasi Kukus Ayam Dara and Stuffed Meat Steam Tofu. Both are must try.

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If you’re thinking of having a bbq bonding session with family & friends in the woods surrounded by nature, I highly recommend Timecapsule.

Below is the stall selling Nasi Kukus Ayam Dara.

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An old chinese lady approached us while we were having our plate of Nasi Kukus Ayam Dara. “Nasi Kukus sedapppp” she said. We managed to interview her and she was extremely friendly. She’s 87 y/o and she never left Sungai Lembing since she moved there at the aged of 7.

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Timecapsule Retreat at night.

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THE MORNING HIKE TO PANORAMA HILL.

Woke up at 5am and started climbing at 5.30am. We started early because we wanted to see the sunrise. Was told that some prefers to start climbing as early as 3am.

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It wasn’t easy. I stopped for a sip of water every 10 minutes. Wasn’t ready for a hike.

Going up, you can see houses lighted up as time ticks by. The view… beautiful.

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Here we are on top of the Panorama Hill. It took us 45 minutes or so to reach the top. We reached the top right on time for sunrise. The view was breathtaking. We just couldn’t take our eyes away from the view.

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We spent nearly an hour on top enjoying the magnificent view we can’t get in Kuala Lumpur & later took the thousands steps down the hill for our next adventure.

We experienced a sound walking down with us during our way down the hill. More like an animal in the bush following us taking a step after another. We reckoned it was a monkey or maybe a wild cat. But we when got down, a friend of us who happened to be our guide told us that there used to be panthers on the hill. Unfortunately, lately they don’t get to see any. They must have shifted somewhere safer & quieter.

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OUR FRIEND IS ALSO A GUIDE!

He goes by the name “Apai”. He is Sg.Lembing’s local. You can find him if you need a guide to go hiking or trekking deep in the jungle. You can contact him at +6017 928 8985 . His rate starts from MYR300.00 per person.

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Apai took us to a stream near the hot spring. We didn’t go to the hot spring because it was said to be destroyed by the authorities. They tried to dig in deeper & bigger but it got worst instead. They should have just left it alone. Destroying nature is something we are against.

One more thing that we are against is LITTERING. We were quite disappointed when we reached the stream. The water was cold, the rocks were awesome but.. the rubbish aren’t cool. It wasn’t really pleasant looking. We found used polisterin, diapers, plastic bags, disposable forks & spoons, paper cups & plates you name it. It crushes our hearts instantly. There were rubbish bins provided but still, some citizens aren’t aware of how to normally use it.

Signs like “DILARANG MEMBUANG SAMPAH MERATA-RATA“, “SILA JAGA KEBERSIHAN” and “NO LITTERING” just doesn’t work anymore. It’s like those signs are hanged for no purpose. We need to have more of those Public Awareness Workshops instead of cutting down trees for human eyes and suffers the animals.

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TIMECAPSULE RETREAT. The Cottage Interior.

In case if you’re wondering how does it look like in the cottage, below are some pictures for you.

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After spending our morning climbing the Panorama Hill and dipping our legs in the stream, we went for a decent malay cuisine meal at Sg. Lembing’s town. 2 plates of rice, fried chickens, vegetables, curry gravy & 2 drinks costs us about RM12. Affordable & delicious when you’re hungry & tired.

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THE GREAT MINES, SUNGAI LEMBING. El-Dorado Of The East.

I still have the brochure with me. It’s written in Bahasa Melayu. I’m not good in translating it to English so what I’ll do is, I’m going to copy some useful information &  interesting facts that you need to know from the brochure.

Here it goes.

“Sungai Lembing merupakan bandar yang terkaya pada masa dahulu kerana terowongnya adalah lombong bijih timah ke-2 terdalam selepas Bolivia dan terbesar didunia. Sungai Lembing pernah menjadi pengeluaran bijih timah utama Negeri Pahang dan mencapai kegemilangan pada tahun 1940-an hingga 1950-an dan lombong tersebut tidak lagi beroperasi selama 26 tahun sejak 1986 sehingga sekarang.

Ia juga mempunyai kolong-kolong yang terpanjang sehingga 1400 kaki ke 2000 kaki jika dibandingkan dengan lombong-lombong bijih timah lain yang terdapat di Asia Tenggara.

British menerokai Sungai Lembing pada Februari 1888 sebaik sahaja Almarhum Sultan Ahmad Muadzam Shah 1 telah bersetuju dengan cadangan sebuah syarikat bijih di London untuk menubuhkan Pahang Consolidated Company Limited di Sungai Lembing (P.C.C.L.)

Terowong Tabeto yang juga digelar “Tai Pei Tong” oleh penduduk tempatan. Lombong ini mencapai kedalaman maksima 500 meter. Bijih timah dihasilkan oleh Lombong Mayah yang terletak 4 kilometer jauh kedalam terowong.

Laluan masuk ke terowong yang diterokai 700 meter. Pergi dan balik berjumpal 1.4km.

Sewaktu era kegemilangannya lombong ini dikenali sebagai El-Dorado Timur bersempena nama lombong emasyang termashyur di Alaska. Ianya telah memacu pembangunan pekan perlombongan dan komuniti pemduduk di Sungai Lembing.”

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“LUBANG SEJUTA”

“Didalam terowong terdapat “Lubang Sejuta” dimana proses penggalian secara haram oleh penggali terowong seramai 20 orang yang memberontak akibat tidak dibayar gaji pada satu ketika dahulu. Hasil daripada penggalian berjumlah RM2000 – RM3000 untuk satu malam dijual dipasaran haram. Kesemua jumlah yang diambil dianggarkan RM100 000. Ini yang dinamakan Lubang Sejuta.”

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“LUBANG TIKUS”

“Lubang Tikus pula adalah lubang yang digali dan ditinggalkan kerana tiada bijih timah yang terdapat didalamnya. Setelah galian buat sedalam 30 meter.”

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“BUKIT KIEW”

“Bukit Kiew sebenarnya adalah lif simulator Lombong Tabeto yang dipanggil Kiew. Terdapat 14 aras dalam Tabeto. Terdapat kod deringan untuk menaiki lif ini. Setiap kod deringan menentukan jarak bergerak dan muatan untuk mengelakkan kemalangan.

Disini juga terdapat “Tramp” pengangkutan untuk pekerja dan juga untuk membawa bijih timah naik dan turun. Setiapa kali perjalanannya hanya 6 orang sahaja dibenarkan naik. 

Simulator digunakan untuk membawa dan menurunkan pekerja ke tempat bekerja mengikut tahap-tahap yang telah ditentukan. Ianya seakan-akan lif asal yang membawa pekerja.

Terdapat juga pelbagai peralatan-peralatan yang digunakan untuk menggali bijih timah seperti cangkul, tukul, pahat, dynamit, kereta sorang dan lain-lain.

Kejadian Stalaktit adalah sangat lazim didalam gua dimana air yang turun di syiling membentuk stalaktit.”

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“APA YANG ANDA DAPAT LIHAT DI DALAM TEROWONG”

  • – Patung pekerja
  • – Lokomotif
  • – Papan kenyataan
  • – Lubang sejuta
  • – Lubang tikus
  • – Bukit kiew
  • – Tramp
  • – Simulator
  • – Peralatan-peralatan yang digunakan
  • – Kejadian Stalaktit
  • – Gambaran sebenar operasi perlombongan
  • – Tayangan video

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“WAKTU OPERASI”

“ISNIN – AHAD / CUTI UMUM

9.00 pagi – 6.00 petang”

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The sun slowly begins to fade. We headed back to Timecapsule Retreat and freshen up for dinner.

I also managed to finish the write-up for Australia here at Sungai Lembing. 

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So there you are, Sungai Lembing. We will definitely be back for the rainbow waterfall & more of those stuffed tofu & ayam dara.

Do drop us a comment if you want to know more.

Below are ways to contact Time Capsule Retreat;

Here is a little costing we made for you.

Food: RM5 – 7  (per person/per meal)

Timecapsule Retreat: Kindly refer to details stated above.

Hiking / Trekking Tour: RM300 (Apai)

Sungai Lembing Underground Tin Mines: RM15/person

 

 

Photographed by Fadza Ishak
Written by Nina Zainorin

Connect with us: fadzaninatravel[at]gmail.com
I : @journeykita

Chapter 4: Backpackers in Paradise, Peninsular Dr. (Final Australia Backpacking Adventure)

Our last night in Australia. Backpackers In Paradise, Gold Coast, Australia. Hey you! This will be our last post about Australia. We took a bus from Byron Bay to get here. The bus dropped us at Surfer’s Town & we had to walk about 10 minutes to reach our backpacker’s lodge. I must say, the rates are affordable. From AUD 19 per bed! I’ve attached Backpacker’s In Paradise’s website below for you to check this place out. It is about 10-15 minutes walk to the beach. It all depends on how fast you walk. Image Image Image Image These are some of the facilities available for you. Wifi is AUD5 perday.

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So there you are, Australia. We will be back for more. Do drop us a comment if you want to know more.

As promised, http://www.backpackersinparadise.com/ and here is a little costing we made for your information on our backpacking journey Goldcoast-Bangalow-Byron Bay-Goldcoast:

Food: AUD8-10 with drinks for Kebab, Subway and such. AUD10-20 for standard meal.

Convenient store: Prices are as much the same as our 7-Eleven in Malaysia. E.g. Milk AUD3-5 bread from AUD3-5.

Getting around: You will charged depending on your distance of destinations. Goldcoast cabs will charge you from AUD10-20 per head. Travelling by buses are much likely more convenient and are mostly on time. You can expect AUD12-15 per person from Surfer’s Paradise to the theme park and AUD16-18 to Currumburin Wildlife. You take the shuttle bus from Coolongatta Airport from AUD25 onwards. Byron express will be from AUD25-30 from and to Byron Town.

Suntower Apartment: from AUD 350 per week for 2 bedroom apartment a toilet, washer machine, dryer etc.

Sourveniors: Put Aside AUD150, you’ll get more than what you imagined. Hope this guide will help your trip to be more organised. We packed our own food though. Remember to declare all food items at the check point yea. Cheers!

 

Photographed by Fadza Ishak
Written by Nina Zainorin

Connect with us: fadzaninatravel[at]gmail.com
I : @journeykita