Wednesday, December 11, 2013

12D Epic Trek of Annapurna Basecamp, Nepal (4130m) 31Oct - 12Nov, 2013

On the way to Annapurna Basecamp (the background of Annapurna South 7219m)

The reflection of mountain at ABC (4130m)
Can't believe I have been coming to Nepal for the past 10 years and had stepped into this land for 7 times, did twice trekking and keep coming back. It has been always my own personal dream to one day to reach on one of the basecamp. However it remains as a dream for many years.

For many reason, Everest Basecamp (EBC) and Annapurna Basecamp (ABC) sound very challenging to me. Instead of doing it alone, it’s always good to share your dream and achieve together with group of friends. Achieving your own dream is happy, but bringing others accomplish their dream is more joyful.

How it started

My leisurely trip to Nepal last Dec in 2012 had brought dream into a reality. Due to winter season I didn't do any trekking during that time but just did a short simple trek to Sarangkot. I met with a few foreigner on the trip where they shared about their memorable experience trekking to ABC had amazed me. Then I started to collect information, asked my guide and set my mind that I will definately come back in 2013.

Even before I returned home (Malaysia), from the photo i posted on my facebook has attracted some interest from some of my international friends and wanted to join me for my next expedition. Without thinking much I set a date that I will be doing ABC on 30Oct, 2013. 

From one single dream and a single Facebook post, it was expanded to my friends from 5 countries - Singapore, Laos, Thailand, Brunei and of course Malaysia. Finally 11 of us started this epic journey to ABC....

Why Annapurna Basecamp

Many knows about Everest but not many know about Annapurna. Unless you are a regular trekker. 

Along the Himalaya range,  the Annapurna Sanctuary  is well-known as one of the most scenic trek. There are several trekking trail that suits individual fitness. The basic trail will be Ghorepani, the moderate trail will be Annapurna BaseCamp (4130m), while the extreme and longer duration will be the Annapurna Circuit (21days) that reach over 5000m.

ABC trail will be suitable for trekker with moderate fitness, while 1st timer who have done Mount Kinabalu trek or some small trekking trip in China or South East Asia can consider this trail.

Choosing the route to ABC was reviewed  few times and finally  a custom made itinerary was ready after consideration of our team fitness, our time spent and also weather. End October was chosen to avoid peak season which is between Sept-October, we wanted to avoid the crowd (where guesthouse at MBC and ABC will be occupied by other groups). And instead of doing a day trip from MBC to ABC, we wanted to spend night at both basecamp.

The scenery from MBC to ABC was truly breathtaking and took only 2-3hours. You can spend the rest of the afternoon relax, walking to nearby viewpoint, enjoying the marvellous mother nature and with 360degree of snow mountain view. 

Training and preparation

The whole planning and preparation started almost 11months, It stated since January 2013. My last trekking trip was in 2008, therefore I need to train up gradually. Some started training on their own since March 2013. Early physical preparation is essential to build up some muscle and  allow our body be ready for long trekking hours. Some started hill climbs, some started stairs climb, some train in gym room, some went to Mount Kinabalu. Somehow  some started only 2 months before the trip.  We can only train our physical fitness but not high altitude fitness.

Packing list 

1.Get yourself a good pair of trekking shoes 
It is the most important gear in  the  trip. Not advisable to  wear newly bought trekking shoes. Do  wear it very frequent prior to the trip. And not forgetting to have a good soft trekking socks.

2.Get a good quality windbreaker and downjacket
Invest in good quality one, because a good one will makes alot more different when it come to extreme and unpredictable weather during the trip. 

3.Get 2 walking stick 
2 better than 1. It helps alot to balance your walk, to rest your leg when tired. 

4.Essential layer of clothing
Different altitude require different layer of trekking outfit. 
Example : Thermal Wear, Fleece, Goretex Waterproof pants
Brand : Uniqlo, Columbia, North face 

Nepal an adventure haven

Boudnath Stupa, Kathmandu
Nepal has not much change since I first stepped on this land 10years ago. Especially the international and domestic airport. The domestic airport somehow looks more like a fish market to me. Where there seems to be no system, somehow they manage to fly thousand for locals and trekkers to many parts of the cities smoothly everyday. Sometimes it’s best to not know how it works, and it will work out well.

Flight delays are common in Nepal. Therefore you don’t see frustrated passenger show tantrum to airlines staffs. Everyone seems to adopt to the local culture and wait patiently. No wonder Nepal has this famous quote N.E.P.A.L (Nepal Everlasting Peace And Love).

I specially give due respect to Nepali Pilot. I think they are the best pilot, because flying with unpredictable weather condition really require very good skill. Whenever I fly domestically in Nepal, I will always thank the pilot when we landed safely. 


Phokara is the 2nd largest city in Nepal and one of the most cleanest and beautiful city compare to Kathmandu. All trekking route to Annapurna region will need to fly to this city as stopover. Throughout my 7times in Nepal for the past 10years, there has been some good improvement such as :-

1.No frequent power cut. In the past, power cut of 4-5hours a day is very common. 

2.WIFI everywhere. This is a big improvement, where there is WIFI everywhere although not all Hi-Speed

3.less street beggars.   

4.No cows lying around everywhere in the middle of the streets.

5.Living standard among the local has improved. 

Our trail 
We chose a more relax trail ascending and descend via the steep and challenging trail.

Our trail
Ascending : Nayapul - Birenthati - Grangruk - Chomrong - Doban - MBC - ABC
Desceding : ABC - Bamboo - Jhinu Danda - Syauli Bazar - Birenthati - Nayapul 

The Trail - Killer Steps of Chomrong and Jihnudanda
Thousand steps of Chomrong
These 2 checkpoint given us a cold sweat.
Chomrong  is where we have to walk through thousand steps, uphill and downhill. Average took us 45mins to complete.

Jihnu does not have thousand steps, but the steepnest is enough for a challenge. It’s steep and short obviously no flat place to land your feet. Even the fittest among us Inthy felt the challenge.

The Trail - The 1,100m ascent

Mid Altitude trail

The most challenging trail among all is on the 4th day, where we have to ascent 1,100m from Dovan (2600m) to MBC (3700m).

Ascending from mild altitude entering into the start of high altitude zone. We can see the changes of vegetation along the way and the snow mountain peak of Machaphuchere or better known as fishtail is clearly seen this day.  

It was consider the most tiring journey throughout the 9days trek. The trail was mostly gradual ascending, crossing few streams, walking in jungle, then as we ascend higher, we actually walking on the side of the cliff where the emerging of snow mountain was getting clearer and closer. 

Machaphuchere Base Camp (3900m)

Machaphuchere Basecamp guesthouse

Annapurna Base Camp (4130m)
Annapurna Base Camp guesthouse
It was snowing heavily 3 days before we arrived. The temperature was between 5-8degree during the day and dropped to -5C during the night. It was truly freezing cold and many can't sleep. Not advisable to take shower at this altitude and weather. 

On our summit day, the snowing stopped and we were lucky to see an amazing blue sky. 

Imagine being surrounded by peak of the Himalaya Range - Hunchuli Peak (6,434M), Annapurna 1 (8,091m), Machhaphuchere Peak (6,997m), Annapurna III (7,555m) 

Food and diet

Dhal Bat (Nepali famous dish)
Trekking life in Nepal is such a luxury – our everyday routine is 6,7,8 (6am wake up, 7 breakfast, 8 start trekking).  Thus the code of 6,7,8 has been in our mind.

Trekking life in Nepal is also luxury as we have good food until we don’t know what to order.  Lots of choices in the menu  - you can’t imagine that they serve PIZZA with different topping “tuna with cheese, oinion with tomatoes etc!... And even Grilled Chicken at guesthouse at lower altitude (below 3,000m)

However Garlic soup, Fried Rice, Dhal Bhat, Fried Noodle, honey lemon  has the highest demand among us.

At 3,000 and above where we enter into  their special management zone – No Pork, No Chicken, No buffalo meat, No lamb. Yes, we were being reminded through a few signage   

Water consumption

We were advised by our guide to use water purifier tablet (available at pharmacy in Phokara) in our drinking water. As from Chomrong until ABC there is no mineral water available, we will need to take tap water and purify with the tablet and furthermore he can't guarantee how clean is the boiling water at each guesthouse. At certain altitude, water can only boil 80 degree.

However not everyone used to such tablet. Sometimes it can upset our stomach and cause diarrhea. Just have to be careful. 

Hot Shower

At the height of 3000m, with the cold temperature of below 10C, how nice to dip ourselves into a hot bath tub. But this hot shower is not FREE, everytime we shower, we have to pay USD1.50 (Rp150)

We were already very happy to have hot shower at all our guesthouse. 
Not yet....not to be too happy, because different guesthouse has different heater system and we all often got confuse how to operate it and end up some may get 21C, some lucky one get 46C… haha. That is the fun of shower on the trek. !!


Is this what you look for?
This come to me in big suprise.  WIFI at the height of 3700m! But again, nothing is FREE, average Rp200-Rp400 depend on the elevation, the higher the elevation the more expensive. And take note, it’s more expensive than shower!

Good and bad to have latest technology in such a natural environment. 

Altitude sickness

It's hard to determine who will be affected with altitude sickness. Even regular trekker may sometimes affect by altitude sickness, while the oldest and less fit may not be affected at all. It’s all depend on individual body adjustment to the altitude.

Among our team, I was the only one affected by a mild sign of altitude sickness. The severe headache had hit me on and off on the day of ascending to ABC. It felt like your brain is going to explode. Want to know how was that feeling? Try drink a few hard liquer and got hangover, that's the feeling...hehe

When one unable to get enough oxygen to reach the tissue of our body (brain, lung). To prevent it, we should be relaxed and reduce activeness in our activity. When sympton does not goes off, better to descend. 

It’s a condition of which the body temperature drop below 35C due to expose in an extreme cold weather. As body temperature decreases, characteristic symptoms occur such shivering, lost of fluid and mental confusion.

One of our team member might have been affected by hypothermia. His pant had a zip failure and he was walking at the elevation of 3,000m  over exposing his leg. Due to long period exposing his body to wind and cold weather he might be affected with hypothermia. He was vomiting, and passing out a few times had to be covered with 2-3 blanket . With the lost of fluid in his body, he was too weak to even eat.

I seek advise from our guide and owner of the guest house, and they said he just need to re-gain the heat in his body he will be fine and he was not affected by altitude sickness.

Thank You 

Marvel Travel @ Trek - Mr Dhruba, Mr Damaroo and team
All the porter who carried our heavy backpack throughout the 9 days
All my 10 friends from Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, Laos and Malaysia who accompany me on my epic journey. 

Word can never be able to explain how one feel 
An experience that can't be measured with money.
I am glad I did it 
And will do more, by God Grace!

"It is not the mountain to conquer, but it's ourselves"- Quote from Sir Edmund Hillary 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I blog again after 5 years

I have stop writing blog since 2009. Always wanted to continue since then.. for some personal reason, this blog was abandoned. Lately, someone inspired me to continue. It's Nick Vujicic! Yes n inspiring man with no arm and no limb. His background and life story really touched my heart. He does not need to do alot, but continue to use himself to inspire people. God is amazing!

There are so many little little things in life that can sometimes be a learning to others
I don't have amazing life story like Nick, I am neither someone famous like Steve Job. But i truly believe i have my little little journey of life that is interesting to many.. So i will continue to share whatever i see, i experience and hope that it can help many to understand that the world is still beautiful full of colors and story.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I have a dream

Went to Karaoke and chose a very meaningful song by ABBA title - I HAVE A DREAM!!. The lyrics pierce into my heart, and yes I have a dream, a dream that I always want to achieve it and fulfil it. Something I always want to do if I have the avenue.

Everyone has a dream, but not all want to achieve it. And the most common answer is dreaming to become millionaire, some dream of travel around the world, some dream to become CEO, some dream to become Super Star.

I want to become an Influencial & inspire person to the society thru mountain climbing & humanitary work. It may sound silly to many, bcos this dream does not bring any good income in life. Sometimes often time, we focus too much on money and neglect some of the most important value in life.

A good example is our 1st Malaysia Astronaut - Dr Sheik Muszaphar. Thru his voyage to th space he can use his fame to influence the society.

Once there was a TV-reality show "BENSON & HEDGES GOLDEN DREAM" who give public opportunity to fulfil their dream. Some dream of being a postman in USA, some dream to become a Chef in Las Vegas Hotel, some dream to skydive in Himalaya. This programme really inspire many youngster to fulfil their dream. I wish such programme will appear again.

In order for me to fuifil my dream, i have to find sponsor or job that i am able to :-
1. To stay in Nepal for a year
2. To trek to Everest Basecamp & Annarpurna Base Camp
3. To do social work for the poor kids
4. To work with United Nation (UNHCR)

Sound ridiculus to you? Well...... that is call DREAM... it may not make senses to many. But it is definately is my dream....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Durian

How do you describe durian?
Hard and Thorny outside, but once it's being opened, that's where the aroma !

Wrong perception, misjudgement - Many people will have a wrong perception of what kind of person I am. They have mis-interprete me as someone ferocious, stubborn, hard-hearted, unkind, hard to approach all sort of negative image they can think of. I am not surprise and I dont blame them, bcos this is very usual re-action when they dont know me long enough.

I can be very extreme. Extreme in 2 difference faces. I can be very strong and tough and I can be very soft hearted and kind. I often tell people, my destiny in future will be either I am a successful adventurer or a social worker. 2 different kind of character Hard & Soft.

Only people who spend time long enough with me will understand what kind of character I am. However in current environment, everything is about speed, fast. Therefore people could have just "mark" me as someone difficult.

Well, I think the only way is to carry on my life as it is. Let the nature flows on its own cause. We just cant justify every single things people comment, condemn abt us. But will take it with open heart, and move on. I believe those people who stay on with me, are those who really spend time to know me as a person in deep.

I thank those who are close with me,

Do not judge a durian by it's cover !hehe

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I have this special passion for children since 2001, my 1st trip return from Nepal and when I 1st accepted christ. I always wanted to do something for the poor children I met -during all my personal trip to Nepal, Cambodia, India, North East Thailand (Surin). The suffering/pain those children have to go thru, some lost their parents, some being abandon, some being abuse and tortured. I have this burden, I wanted to do something for them, but how? I am not millionaire that I can donate large amount of money, I dont have the ability to build school, provide them proper life. What can I do?

I like to share what I have done, what I am doing & what I hope to do.

There are 3 stories on how I involve and been doing for the chilren :-


In Dec 2005 (winter), in a sudden I make up my mind to have a short trip (10days) to Nepal alone with my own expenses. I contacted one of the orphanage home NAMASTE CHILDREN HOUSE which newly operated about 1yr located in Phokara, Nepal. I shared my passion with a few close friends and collected some donation (money, stationery & old clothes). I carried with my 25kg backpack to Nepal.

I spent about 5-6days in the orphanage, helping them with their daily operation (cleaning, cooking, tuition) and with the donation I collected, I bought for the orphanage home some sports item (soccer ball, racket, table tennis). And each othe them I bought from Malaysia each a pair of socks, it is bcos all the children need warm items during this cold winter. The joy is unmeasureable when you see how the children appreciate this gift. For this poor orphans, the loves and heart that matters not so much on the gift.

I am very touched when I read each children biodata. Their background is truly sad. Some children were being brought to this home from the street, as these children were abandon by their parents, some were too sick to take care, some were too poor to take care. Therefore they left their children loitering in the street trying to survive on their own. One kid name Purna age 8yrs old have to work to survive thanks for the restaurant owner who offer this small kid a job to clean up, help around in kitchen, and luckily he was brought in to this home now and going to school now.

We will never appreciate our life until we really see with our own eyes there are many people out there who need our help. Namaste Children House is still fresh in my mind. I would like to go back to this place again and see how the children grow. I may not be able to offer alot of $$ to help them, but I am sure with my thought & love (intangleble) I have done something for them.

Is will remain in my heart to visit them again one day, and I am sure the day will come

Even I am unable to travel very often to Nepal. But I always receive progress report from this home and browse thru the home website :-


I have sponsor a child from Pontianak, Indonesia age 6 thru WORLDVISION ( With just RM50 I contributed each month, it will help this organization to develop this child. The RM50 is not a big amount and of course it cannt help much to the child. But if everyone contributed RM50, it will increase the pool of money and many things can be done. Well, I will not question abt how this organization run and many people will have doubt whether the contribution will go direct to thei child. Bcos the most important is the heart, not the money.


The children from Myanmar mainly follow their parents sneaking out from their country who is now undergoing political instability. Some came thru Malaysia illegally, some were born here holding red MYKAD. These children has no idea what will be their future as being so called refugee. Their future lies to where UNHCR will place them.

While children in Malaysia are so lucky to be able to go to school freely and yet they did not appreciate it at all. These refugee children is just depending on volunteer teacher to teach them the basic english and mathematic. Children mix up from age 5 to 12 sitting in same class.

I am touched, and I just volunteer myself in my community where there are more than 500 Myanmar refugees. I just spend time on Sunday with the children, participating in the bible class, sunday school. Seeing them singing and enjoying the song makes me very joyful.

I just pray that one day I will be able to help these children more, perhaps to start up a children fund.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sign of Depression affecting life

Everyone goes through period of sadness following death of love ones, broken relationship, financial mishap, business fall..etc. Depression will hit us if we did not get help immediately and it is very very dangerous.

A person is diagnosed as depressed when a significant number or all sympton below occure a two-week period or more
  • Poor appetite
  • Inability to enjoy activities that one would previously enjoy doing
  • Persistent depressed mood, unhappiness & irritability
  • Loss of interest in recreational activity and friends
  • Loss of energy and concerntration
  • Deterioration in work performance
  • Drastic weight change
  • Disturbed sleep (usually early morning awakening, followed by inability to go back to sleep)
  • Thought of worthlessness
  • Somatic complaint : headache, abdominal pain
  • Erratic mood and behaviour
  • Tempting death (by doing risky activities such as standing on edge of window driving through red light)
  • Talking abt suicide

Dont' let it affect us, always talk it out, look for close friends share out. Dont keep your feeling to yourself, bcos by keeping it does not solve any better. Seek for counselling, always ensure someone by yourside to help you and listen to you.

I have gone thru this and i know the pain & hurt. This help me to be strong and be able to help anyone who need to have a shoulder to cry on.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Scolded in Hong Kong 05Feb 09

HongKong one of the destination never in my dream list. Not that I dont like HK. Bcos I feel that HK is a relax place to go when I grow old, cannt climb mountains anymore, cannt be adventurous.

Well, I choose to lead a tour group to HongKong, Shenzhen & Macau during Chinese New Year. True enough why so many people love to come to HK during festive season. The night scene is absolutely fabulous. The whole city is full of Neon lights. A city that is full of "Life". Clean and organized, I feel very comfortable here compared with all the tough trip I went all this years.
I am not sure if I would gradually pull myself out from those adventure destination (Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Kashmir...etc) and become lazy look for relax destination like this.

But HongKong give me 2 unforgetable impression.

Incident 1
There is a day of Free & Easy where I got a chance to scroll at the famous night market at "Ladies Road" and taste the real local delicacies. Heard alot abt street food is kinda nice, so wanna try. One of my tour member tag along and we stopped at one of the stall, seeing many people eating. Mmmm..Must be good !! We sat down and waited to order. The menu are all in Chinese, and no picture how and what food they serve. So I asked a waiter, young man but not very tidy looking what kind of food he recommend. He pointed at the menu and responded "Look at the menu yourself". The I said "Sorry I dont read Chinese, can you tell us roughly what you sell". And to my shocked he responded "If you dont understand, then dont eat la" WAAAHHHHH... I was stunned looking at my tourmember. We then said to him" Hey, brother we are tourist and your customer, how can you treat us this way, just tell us what you have.

He was grumbling all the way. We ended up ordered a bowl of plain Wonton noodle but other table has nice pork rib, special wonton... sigh!!... It cost us HKD20/RM10 ...

Incident 2
Then we scroll along the night market and saw a unique stall selling "MAGIC WALLET" You place ur money on the surface, turn in the other round, it is strap onto the wallet. I was standing at the stall trying to figure out how that magic wallet work. But I was being brush off by the stall keeper " No need to understand, just pay you will understand". I asked him whether I can open 1 and see. He said "No not allow, unless you pay". So I paid one and tested in front of the stall. Hehe he keep saying "Hey lady, no need to test la... you wont understand it. The way he says is after business deal, you better move away. Wow.. is this typical HongKong people character?

Anyway, different country has its own uniqueness. Some country really has nice people, and some really nasty depend on their culture. Even our own country has some rude people too. Is all experience ... I've got an enjoyable trip no doubt.