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

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 2: MOVIE WORLD AND GET CONNECTED.

Hey people! Welcome to Fadza & Nina backpacking blog! This is our second entry since our first post last week. We’re planning to keep on updating you crazy backpackers from time to time and hoping for you people to update & connect with @journeykita on instagram and share your crazy backpacking adventure with us. Follow us on instagram (if you haven’t) and tag us as many pictures as you like. Don’t forget to say Hi!

So, Seaworld done. Kebab done. It’s MOVIEWORLD now!

We did not waste our time that particular morning. Had breakfast, refilled our water bottles, went to the information counter to ask for the right bus number and directions to the bus stop &  jumped straight up on the bus to Movieworld. To be honest, I am not all excited to see cartoon characters. I wanted to be there so much because of the rides.

Took us about 40-45 minutes to Movieworld. Bus fare was about 18 Aud per ride for two which was quite costly to be honest but it was all worth spending because it was very convenient for us who refused to rent a car. Yes, you could rent a car if you want too at a very reasonable price.

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I must say that the scariest ride was ESCAPE. Second goes to Arkham Asylum. The rest are all baby rides for me. We spent about 3 hours or so there. Had our “All You Can Eat” buffet lunch and took a bus home. Good day. Good day.

Bus stopped us at Surfer’s Paradise and we had to walked back home to our apartment (as usual). On our way to our apartment, we decided to give Kate a ring as we had planned to meet her during our stay. Tried calling her few times when we reached Surfer’s, but apparently the line was not on our side. Managed to speak to her after few times trying and hey… what a  relief 🙂

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Below are some pictures captured during our first few nights in Surfer’s Paradise.

Enjoy 🙂

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“Go at least once a year to a place you have never been before”

 

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Hey! Fish & chips! Fish & chips everywhere!

It’s always sunny and packed with people. Just like Kuala Lumpur.

We found out that they had flee market / bazaar every Friday & Tuesday night. They sell things from clothing to cakes, fruits, accessories, arts, Australian musical instruments and such.

Street entertainers will entertain you while you take a walk at Surfer’s town.

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Let me just touch a little bit on what we think about Australians. We got treated pretty awesome by them. They were very much polite and approachable. Ask them anything, the will answer with a smile. They will “G’day” you before you get to “G’day” them. They don’t SPIT freely. YES, let me repeat that. THEY DON’T SPIT FREELY. They keep their country clean. You don’t get to see rubbish on the road anywhere. They will try to keep their public toilets clean. I’d say, cleanliness level 101.

Ok people, there goes our first few nights in Surfer’s Paradise.  We can’t wait to share with you on our beautiful night in Bangalow with Kate Holmes.

Keep in touch & thank you for viewing!

 

Written by Nina Zainorin
Photographed by Fadza Ishak
I: @journeykita