Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Road to Mount Kota Kinabalu

Sabah is a truly amazing place, this is one of the best trip I ever had, lies in my own country.
The view from our hut at Laban Rata

We chosen the Mesilau Trail for way up and Timpohon for way down as advised by most the friends which said Mesilau has a nicer scenery than Timpohon, and you won't have the mood to enjoy the scenery during your way down.

We booked the package of 4 days 3 night through MyTravelkaki, with around RM800.
The package included:
1. Return Airport Transfer
2. 1 night stay in Mesilau Nature Resort (trail foot), 1 night stay in Laban Rata (Waras Hut) and 1 night stay in Marina Court (KK Town)
3. Meal:  Day 1 - Dinner; Day 2 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner; Day 3 - Breakfast, Lunch; Day 4 - Eat yourself

The track started from Mesilau Natural Resort, we had our breakfast and took our packed lunch before set off. The packed lunch is sandwich, apple, bananas and water (most of the people choose to give them back the mineral water as you can refill the water along the way)

Please start off earlier if you are allowed to. We wait until 9am and the tour guide still haven't come. We called the guide and told him girls in our group will set off first as we are slower. The guide agreed and we started our journey.

We only meet the first km with one hour and the rest is getting longer and longer.  The first 3km is easier, this is where you should try to be as fast as you can. The track was in good condition, no fallen trees nor big gap require jumping or whatever dangerous movement. It is just all steps, and steps, and steps......

Our guide and porter, Jomius is a really nice guy. He doesn't chase us to be faster and walk with us with his big backpack that load with ours. His words, "Biar lambat, asal selamat...". (Let it be slow rather than sorry.) He is 49 and yet with a stamina that none of us can beat.

I'm the slowest, always. I knew. Just wasn't prepared that it was that bad. When we reach 6km, the junction that join Mesilau and Timpohon, it was around 6pm. The sky is getting dark.

The last 2 km took us more than 3 hours walking in the darkness. The experience wasn't a good one at that time, but a good and memorable one at the time I'm typing now. It really wasn't easy to walk in a complete darkness. It was cold, exhausted, and desperate. My ankle was extremely pain, I stopped every half an hour to apply heat rub.

We took 12 hours + to reach Laban Rata at 8km, at 9:20pm.

After clean up and all, we sleep around 11pm. I'm not able to get up at 2am in the morning and ended up wake up at 6am where outside the room is already full of sunshine. My body recovered and I can actually do the summit push with the energy I had that time. However, we are not allow to do summit push without a guide.

We descend down at 10am, and reach Timpohon at 4pm. You should prepare food for descend as don't have any pre-packed lunch for you this time. We were sent back to Kinabalu Park for lunch. DO NOT FORGET TO TAKE BACK YOUR LUGGAGE AT HERE! Which is happenned to us and we spent RM80 to make someone go to the park and deliver our luggage the next morning to KK Town.
*p/s: Kinabalu Park is in 1 and half hour distance to KK Town.

Taking picture with our tour guide and ready to set off without our luggage... T_T

Looking at the picture now, I still feel regretful that I did not got up for the summit push. However, I feel like going again, although I said it gonna be the last and only trip I hike for Mount KK. I totally feel the charm that makes people keep going back.  The old forest which has been here for how many thousands years, the strong wind that blows everytime we climbed over the hill tops one after another, the whispering from insects and small animals... This is the picture that can only capture by our brain, not camera.

What shoes to wear? Click Here.

What to bring in your backpack?

1. Energy bar, fruits (Chocolate, cereal, biscuit and etc, energy level can be seen behind the packaging)
2. Heat Rub, Altitude Sickness medicine  (I couldn't find it anywhere in Penang, so my friend bought me from KL, named PRIMPERAN which I think it is not exactly for altitude sickness either, the pharmacist said it is for nauseous and dizziness, sounds like motion sickness to me. I didn't eat it at the end, not sure if it's working.)
3. Rain coat, cap, glove, sweater/windbreaker
4. Compact camera (comes in handy really)
5. DSLR (I brought it in my backpack and ended up bring it out not more than 5 times along the track, unless you have a DSLR pouch or you could just hang it on your neck for 8 hours, else, it's really a burden for you. But it does make a sacrifice if give it up.)
6. Head Light (If you know you going to be slow)

*The rest of the stuff you can give it to porter at RM10 per kg to and fro. You won't find this expensive after your hike.

Tips & Tricks:
1. Start off as early as possible, 7:30am if possible.
2. You should time your speed and try to meet 1km in an hour.
3. Go as fast as you can for the first 3km. The longer time you are walking, it makes more pressure on your leg and hurts the knees and ankles.
4. Grab some food or energy bar every hour. You won't aware you are hungry when you are moving. Rest not more than 10 mins every time you stop.
5. When you stop for rest, wear your jacket to keep your body warm.
6. Food like banana and apple is good for energy and hydration.
7. Exercise during weekend only is not enough for poor stamina people like me. Suggested exercises: 1 hike every weekend. 2 cardio exercises every week (swimming, jogging, yoga...), stairs climbing everyday
8. Make sure your sweater, glove and cap is dry or keep a spare for summit push. If you wet it on your way to Laban Rata, it not going to dry on next day.
9. There's no drinking water tap for every KM on Mesilau Trail like some said. It does have water tap in toilet if you feel like drinking from it.
10. The websites that provide very informative stuff and almost everything you wanted & needed to know:
The drinking water

I will come back for you, again...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Popular Book Fair 2012 - BookFest Malaysia, KLCC

The Annual Popular Book Fair is back! After a long waited year, finally it is coming~

I have been visiting the BookFest annually since 3 or 4 years back, never missed it! Driving all the way down from Penang to Kuala Lumpur to the biggest book fair of the year!

We always said the book price in Malaysia is averagely high. Now, you get to find the books you always wanted in a much cheaper rate. I usually bought my supply of a year in BookFest (and other smaller book fair too), that's how we enjoy reading in a more budget way. Let's join the reading culture wherever you are! Plan your holiday now~

Time and Location details, please find below.

BookFest @ Malaysia will be officially launched on 17 August 2012. Therefore, the exhibition will be opened from 10am-10pm from 18 - 26 August 2012, throughout the 9 days to the public.

Where is the venue?
Hall 1 - 5 (ground floor) and Grand Ballroom 1 & 2, Level 3.
Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, KLCC, Malaysia.

More info, visit BookFest Malaysia website here.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mount Kota Kinabalu - What Shoes to Wear?

The first thing that troubled me before even train for the climb was, what shoes should I wear?

I brought myself 3 pair of shoes to Sabah.
1. My comfortable New Balance Trekking Shoe
2. The Famous Kampung Addidas
3. Strap Sandal

At the end, only 2 of them are with me along the hike, the trekking shoes and Kampung Addidas, as I felt I've bringing too much stuff.

Want to know more about my Hiking at Mount Kota Kinabalu? Click HERE.

Hiking Up
I wear my trekking shoe on the first day of hike. The track is kinda muddy and wet most of the time for the first 4km. It make me a little worry of getting it wet. The last thing you want is to wear a wet shoe and socks under the cold weather like that. Other than that, the shoe did a really good job, comfortable, enough grip for hike up, it bring me all the way up to Laban Rata.

Summit Push
*Unfortunately, I didn't do the summit push on next day, however, I planned to wear the Kampung Addidas for summit push in fact. I bet it's good enough for that.

Hiking Down
On hiking down, I wore the Kampung Addidas as it is purposely bought for the Mount KK hike. The grip is definitely perfect! It works like charm even we are in a little running step, it doesn't give us a single slip at all. We wear it all the way down from Laban Rata to Timpohon Gate. My toes do hurt, but it's bearable. So do wear a thicker socks, but not too thick until stuffy.

Next time, I might try wearing my Strap Sandals for way down, probably. :)

Where to get Kampung Addidas in Bukit Mertajam or Penang?
There are several old shoes shop at Jalan Datuk Ooh Chooi Chong (Just go straight after passing hospital, those old shop lots on left before reaching the T-junction), at the old town of Bukit Mertajam that sell Kampung Addidas. Just tell them you want to buy rubber shoes (塑胶鞋), they will know what you want. I get mine at RM6 per pair.
For Penang, I heard that old shoes shop at Chowrasta sell it too, and also hardware shop.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lin's Cottage, Homestay in Melaka 马六甲民宿

朋友艾德琳最近在马六甲市区开了一家民宿 - 琳家民宿
My friend, Adeline has recently started operate her homestay in Malacca downtown - Lin's Cottage.

I hardly find a person who have a same interest with me in my friend circles. Adeline was one of the odd that I accidentally found out from Facebook.

民宿布置得非常漂亮别致。 正如我所相信的, 艾德琳的品味, 一定会设计出有性格的民宿。
每一个角落, 每一个小摆设, 或每一样用品, 我都看到了她在选购时的用心。
Lin's Cottage is tastefully renovated and decorated. As I always believed, Adeline who has the talent will surely come out with a one of a kind homestay. Every corner of the house, every furnishing, or every appliances, I see the diligent she had when choosing them.

Homestay, are meant for people who run the business with their heart.

期待很快可以亲身探班去! 加油!加油!
Hope to visit the place very soon~

*photos taken from Lin's Cottage Facebook~

羡慕啊... 羡慕艾德琳开始实践梦想了。 :)
我啊,还在原地打转, 才华少了点,资金少了点,人脉少了点... 可是我还是会努力冲啊...冲啊!!!

在这里祝福艾德琳,“生意兴隆” ! 哈哈!

Lin's Cottage
Contact Number: 012-956 6100
Address: 75 H Jalan Ong Keng Hoon, 75200 Malaka, Malaysia
Email: lins_cottage@yahoo.com
GPS Coordinate: N 2 12.258  E 102 14.650

(Promo Period from 24th May - 18th August 2012 - Flat Rate, weekday & weekend)
Double Room - RM50
Triple Room - RM75
4-Beds Room - RM 100
VIP Twin - RM60

OR Whole House which accommodates 11 Persons = RM285
* Extra Mattress charging at RM10 per mattress

^^ Single Traveler Friendly