Monday, November 12, 2018

Northern Thailand Hiking and Sunrise

9D8N Northern Thailand Sunrise, Hiking & Photography Tour from 1 to 9 November 2018 with Mr Lam as the Tour Leader. He can be contacted at +6012-231 1837

Do CLICK HERE to view 80 photos courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong
 Mae Ya Waterfall in Doi Inthanon National Park
Doi Inthanon National Park viewing of sunrise 
 Rice Terrace homestay
 Rice Terrace homestay
 Doi Pha Tang 
 At Phu Chi Fa hill viewing of sunrise
 At Phu Chi Fa hill viewing of sunrise
 At Phu Chi Fa hill viewing of sunrise
 Sunrise at Gin’s Maekhong View Resort & Spa (at Chiang Sean)
 Mon Sone Viewpoint of Royal Agricultural Station, Angkhang
Mist and tea plantation in Royal Agricultural Station, Angkhang

Do CLICK HERE to view photos of my previous 7D6N Northern Thailand Sunrise and Hiking Tour from 28 Oct to 3 Nov 2017

Posted by KC Leong

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

ABC Journey_Part 3

Descending the mountains from ABC back to Kathmandu ... overnight at:
(a) Dovan ... that we saw the glow of Fishtail peak during sunset
(b) Jhinu Danda (after Chhomrong, we took another trek to return to trail head, different from Poon Hill trek)
(c) Pokhara ... token of appreciation to support crew; visit the Pokhara lake
(d) Art Hotel, Kathmandu; farewell dinner and receiving certificates of completing ABC.

This is the final album for the ABC trek.

Do CLICK HERE for photos courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong.
 Descending the mountains from Annapurna Base Camp

As I understand from the mountain guide, there are three types of packages when trekking in Annapurna Base Camp trek:

(a) Bed only (breakfast, lunch and dinner are paid as one eats);
(b) Bed and breakfast (lunch and dinner are paid as one eats);
(c) Full board (includes all meals, hot water drink and bath). 

All the above packages include mountain guide and porters services. Choice (a) and (b) would be the cheapest in term of package fees, but one has to calculate and pay every time when ordering food and hot water drink, which is inconvenience especially at high altitude that may affect the mental activity and thinking.
 Glow of Fishtail peak during the sunset at Dovan

On behalf of the team members, I would like to thank the following persons for providing the excellent services:
(a) trekking agent, Mr Cheban Devkota of Manaslu Adventure Treks (Pvt.) Ltd; 
(b) mountain guide, Mr Ram; 
(c) assistant guide, Mr Sunil; and
(d) the team of strong and handsome porters.

To contact Mr Cheban, just Google the company name above.
 The lodge in Dovan is equipped with TV (that can received BBC broadcasting), electric heater, and a refrigerator (not in the photo); electricity is generated by a mini hydro-power turbines nearby
 The longest suspension bridge of ABC trek near to Jhinu Danda
 Yeah, this is where the trekking ends
 Farewell dinner and celebration 
Presenting certificate of completing ABC by Mr Cheban

Do CLICK HERE for Part 2.

Do CLICK HERE for the highlights or summary of ABC journey.

Posted by KC Leong.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Annapurna Base Camp Journey_Part 2

The journey continued from Poon Hill to Annapurna Base Camp ... overnight at:
(a) Chhomrong
(b) Bamboo
(c) Deurali (that we experienced rain and hail bounced on the zinc roof)
(d) Annapurna Base Camp (having lunch in a lodge at Machhapuchhre Base Camp) 

Do CLICK HERE to view photos courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong.

Shopping along the trek
Having fun with the special swing in front of a primary school  
 Rain and hail at Deurali 
 Arriving at ABC 
 Group photo at ABC by mountain guide, Mr Ram
Enjoying the scenic landscape
Descending ABC

Do CLICK HERE for Part 1.

Do CLICK HERE for Part 3.

Posted by KC Leong

Annapurna Base Camp Journey_Part 1

This album contains photos from Kathmandu to Poon Hill: 
(a) arrive in Kathmandu, shopping and welcoming dinner; 
(b) fly to Pokhara; 
(c) bus transfer to Nayapul, trek to Tikhedhunga; 
(d) trek to Ghorepani, and hike to Poon Hill.

Do CLICK HERE to view photos courtesy of yours truly KC Leong.

Ten days of trekking at Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) from 14 to 26 October 2018 with trekking service provided by trekking agent, Mr Cheban Devkota of Manaslu Adventure Treks (Pvt.) Ltd.
 Shopping at Thamel, Kathmandu

Lodges and Facilities – Most of the lodges are either new or renovated. In accordance with the changing time, most of the lodges provide service to charge handphones at a nominal fee of about 200 Nepalese Rupee (about RM 7). As to the WIFI service, the data line-speed at many of the lodges was slow. The toilet walls are plastered with tiles that give a pleasant looking; they do have the squatting and sitting type.
 Welcoming dinner by trekking agent, Mr Cheban (far right)

Hot-water Bath – Most of the lodges use solar-powered heating elements to heat up the tank of water, and charged 200 Nepalese Rupee per hot-water bath. A few of the team members complained that the water was not hot at all for a comfortable bath at the end of a trekking day.
 Boarding the plane to Pokhara

Meals – There is a good system of standardizing the menu, consistently applicable to almost all the lodges. That would make ordering easier. Since we were not eating meat when trekking, ordering of food was mostly confined to noodle, rice, fried-rice, momo, vegetable, potato, pizza, vegetable curry or soup. The Korean instant noodle, which was very popular among the lodges, was really hot and spicy.
 ABC trek check-point at Nayapul, the starting point of ABC trekking

Lighting – all lodges use energy-saving light bulbs that lighted up the entire lodge and rooms. A few of the team members were puzzled asking me why there was headlamp in my checklist. Ten years ago when I went trekking in Nepal, we need headlamps to move around at night.
 First overnight in lodge at Tikhedhunga
Overnight at Ghorepani and hike to Poon Hill at 5:00 a.m. the following morning
 At Poon Hill
Sunrise at Poon Hill at 6:10 a.m.

Do CLICK HERE to view the highlights of ABC.

Do CLICK HERE for Part 2 of the journey.

Posted by KC Leong

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Annapurna Base Camp Highlights

Ten days of trekking at Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) from 14 to 26 October 2018 with trekking service provided by trekking agent, Mr Cheban Devkota of Manaslu Adventure Treks (Pvt.) Ltd. While two ladies were wary of the mountain sickness, eventually, they made it to ABC safely and back – so are the entire team. 

Do CLICK HERE to view photos courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong.

 Arrived in Kathmandu with a warm welcome from trekking agent, Mr Cheban (3rd from right), and mountain guide, Mr Ram (far right). 
 Flying off to Pokhara
 Sunrise at Poon Hill
(left, back) George Siew, Lim Hoe Yin, Jeffrey Low, Lim Teck Him, Lee Wai Yin, Lim Soek Yan, Ivy Wong, Ann Chua, Ram (mountain guide); (front) KC Leong, Karen Yeoh, Elsie Liew, Lana, Jayden Low, Moon, Mae Chan.
Sunrise at Poon Hill
 Passing by Machhapuchhre Base Camp en route to Annapurna Base Camp 
 Arriving at Annapurna Base Camp
 The lodge at the base camp is surrounded by snow/ice. Temperature reading at 7:30 a.m. the following morning while the sun is shinning is minus 3.3°C; in the wee hours, that could be much colder.
 Good weather the following morning at Annapurna Base Camp
Descending ABC
 Presenting token of appreciation by KC Leong, Team Leader, to support crew (main guide, assistant guide, porters) ... assisted by LimTH and Elsie Liew
 With the themed T-shirt from trekking agent 
 Farewell dinner hosted by Mr Cheban 
Presenting certificate of achievement by trekking agent, Mr Cheban

Do CLICK HERE for Part 1 of the ABC journey; 

CLICK HERE for Part 2; 

CLICK HERE for Part 3.

Posted by KC Leong

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Apek Hill Hiking

Hiking at Apek Hill on Saturday, 6 Oct 2018 ... Other than meeting at Saga hilltop station for tea, the other purpose is to have a briefing on the coming Annapurna Base Camp trekking trip from 14 Oct 2018. 

Do CLICK HERE to view photos courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong.

 At the start of the hiking 
 Annapurna Base Camp briefing in progress at Saga hilltop station
Another group photo before we leave Saga hilltop station

Posted by KC Leong

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Jungle Experience at Kuala Tahan

Imagine a white sandy campsite located just next to a riverbank, and next to the campiste is the edge of the millions year-old tropical rainforests. We were camping at this unique campsite for the 3D2N, back-to-nature experience at Kuala Tahan in Taman Negara from 22 to 24 September 2018.

Do CLICK HERE to view photos courtesy of yours truly, KC Leong.
 Arriving at the campsite

The Kuala Tahan experience was really an enjoyable one. I told Encik Adi, the friendly organizer who speaks fluent English, that we would come back again during dry weather, with a bigger group. It is a lot of work for the organizer who would undertake to set up the community tent and cook for the team members. He also planned and synchornized with the boatmen to take the group to the various parts of the national park. Encik Adi can be contacted at +6011 3756 2106.
 The community tent set up by Encik Adi (left) and for cooking use

Activities and experiences:

a. Camping  a wonderful and peaceful experience camping at this nice campsite;

b. Canopy Walk – strolled along this long suspension bridge on the treetops high above the ground, termed as one of the world's longest and highest canopy walks;

c. Bukit Teresek – hiked up one of the trails where one can see Gunung Tahan;

d. Dark-brown reflection of the water – a unique sight of Tahan River;

e. Boat cruise to Lata Berkoh – exciting boat journey where the boatmen would steer the longboat to avoid hitting the huge rocks and big fallen tree trunks submerged under the shallow water; 
 Getting ready to visit the Taman Negara national park

f.  Lata Berkoh cascades – relaxed in the water and enjoyed the rapids while having our tea and snacks there;

g. Kelah Sanctuary Lubok Tenor – feeding the many big fishes at the sanctuary area; 

h. Visit Bateq Tribe orang asli settlement – watched demonstrations of traditional hunting methods using blow pipes, and setting up fire the nature way. The orang asli speak Bahasa M'sia; they have dark skin with short and tight curly hair, and live a nomadic lifestyle in Taman Negara;

i. Swimming in the river – anytime of the day for a true jungle experience.
 The canopy walkway ... (left) ChongYF, Kenneth, ChuahTK, KC Leong, Jennifer, Adi  ... not in the photo: Josephine Hoh

Hornbills – it was a rare experience witnessing hornbills flying high above us, even higher than the tallest trees. First, we could hear the unique and loud chirp even before they arrived. Looking into the sky, we could see the three birds flying in a straight line, almost of the same distance apart. In the evening around 7:00 p.m., the three birds would return home by flying in southward direction; and at 7:00 a.m. the following morning, they would fly in westward direction – exactly of the same flight path. We quipped that they were going to office to work in the morning, and flying home in the evening guided by their in-built GPS navigation system.
 Group photo at Bukit Terisek with two Cambodian ladies (left, 4th and 5th)
 Chong YF taking a dip in the river at Lubuk Simpon
 Visiting Bateq tribe orang asli settlement
 The flat and sandy campsite with a commanding view of Tahan River
 Preparing BBQ dinner by Adi and Jennifer 
 The trees in this national park are huge
 Getting down from the boat for a short walk to Lata Berkoh
 Just like in a drawing
 Lata Berkoh cascades
We met Laura en Janita and sister who are from Nethelands. After the Taman Negara trip, they would visit Cameron Highland en route to Langkawi.
Kuala Tahan jetty ... for overnight stay in the park, it is advisable not to park the cars here as the area may be flooded after heavy rain
For those who would like to visit Kuala Tahan and see the wonders of nature, one can stay in Mutiara Taman Negara, a 3-star resort, which is opposite the river. Crossing the river by boat is RM1 per person. Alternatively, one can also stay in the many hostels or homestays on this side of the river.

Kuala Tahan Jetty GPS Coordinates:
4°23'00.9"N 102°24'04.3"E
4.383582, 102.401194

Travelling time from Kuala Lumpur to the jetty is about 3 hr 30 minutes; nearest town to the jetty is Jerantut which is one hour's drive away.

Posted by KC Leong