Saturday, April 19, 2008

Kinabalu Park : The Climb To The Peak, Malaysia First World Heritage Area via Mesilau

Kinabalu Park is Malaysia’s first World Heritage designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its ‘outstanding universal values’ and role as one of the world’ most important biological sites.

The Mesilau route to the summit starts from Mesilau Resort and leads to Layang-Layang. It was opened in October 1998 initially used mainly by scientist and researchers as it takes longer about 5 – 6 hours to reach Layang Layang compare to Timpohon.

The trail is a good one for people who are more interested in flora and fauna than the actual climb to the summit. Some little streams are crossed before reaching the Kipuyut bridge across the swift-flowing West Mesilau River that cascades from the precipitous slopes. Near the 3km mark, a tributary of the river is again crossed. From here the trail follows the ridge, rising steeply and continuously, up and up and up in an almost never ending series of steps for about 2km. The whole Mesilau route to Layang Layang is 5.7km (3 ½ miles).

After a night’s rest, most climbers leave at about 3am for the 3 hour trek (pending on fitness level) to the summit and to catch a magnificent sunrise. In the dark, you can see the beams of torch lights as the procession of climbers trudge higher and higher. There are ladders, hand railings and ropes to help you over the steeper slopes.

An hour from Panar Laban, you’ll see Sayat-sayat hut (3,668m), this is the highest shelter on the mountain for the park use only. You will need to walk across the bare granite slabs that stretch endlessly ahead.

By about 6am, you reach your final destination, low’s peak (4,095.2m).

A chasm stretching 16km in length, it separates the summit plateau into Western and Eastern Plateaus. Other peaks on the mountain are Victoria’s Peak (4,090m), Donkey Ears Peak (4,054m), South Peak (3,921.5m) on the Western Plateau. On the Eastern stands King Edward Peak (4,086m), Mesilau Peak (3,801m) and Kind George Peak (4,062m). This peaks are only for experience climbers as it is challenging. Special Permits from the Park authorities is required.

(Articles courtesy taken from Sabah Tourism Board)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

My Kinabalu Expedition 2008

I had brought a very cheap air asia flight ticket to Kota Kinabalu 6 months ago and finally the trip had arrived on 29th March 2008. We planned this adventure kinabalu expedition for 5days 4nights. The expedition participate by 24 adventure rafters and climbers.

Everyone reaching at the borneopacker place, Kota Kinabalu town on the first day with 3 different arrival time. It was free and easy on the first day where everyone having lunch individually and also shopping for climbing stuff. Adventure start on the second and third day of the trip.

My second day adventure start with padas rafting adventure. Everyone wake up and get ready before 7am for the exciting adventure day and boarded the rafting bus at 7:30am. The journey take almost 2 hours to reach beaufort train station. Then aboard a train at 10:30am to go Kampung Pangi for the rafting starting point. Before proceed to Pangi, the train will stop over at Kampung Rayoh, the ending point of the rafting where the BUSAT office located. At Rayoh, we put all our personal belonging and dry clothes for changing. Then we proceed to board the train to Kampung Pangi for the rafting starting point where helmet and life jacket prepared with safety briefing.

The real rafting really interesting with grade 4

The group take a break after a half way of the rafting journey.

The rafting ended at 2:30pm at Kampung Rayoh, the ending point where we had our lunch and clean up. We are rushing to board the train at 3:15pm to go back to beaufort. The train reached beaufort at around 4:45pm and then took the bus back to KK town reaching at about 7pm. We had a great rafting experience and everyone enjoy the rafting with some capsize and drop off from the raft.

Climbing expedition start on the third day of our trip and this is the main attraction. I am excited about it. We start our journey to KK park from borneo backpackers at 6:30am as we would like to start the climb as early as possible. We reached the KK park entrance at 8:45am and we going to break into 2 climbing group, timpohon and mesilau group. Timpohon group will start the climb first from KK park at 9:30am. I have to settle the timpohon group before taking the van to proceed to mesilau entrance for our climb.

The mesilau group start to climb at 10:30am.

Here are some of the mesilau trail with lots of beautiful stairs and ladder. The journey take 6-7 hours for a normal fit person. Please do not under estimate this trail as we have a tough time trekking under the heavy rain. I reached laban rata at 5:15pm (approx 6 hour 45 minute) and it is really tough for the long climb.

I took my dinner at laban rata resthouse restaurant before proceeding to our room at gunting lagadan hut. Everyone are tiring whether is timpohon or mesilau. So we take a early rest before our peak climb at around 2am the next day.

As schedule, the peak climb start at 2:30am. I reach low's peak at 5:30am. Some of the team didn't make it due to certain problem and mental but we manage to take a complete group photos at Low's peak. Hooray !!!

After enjoy fully of the peak and everything have to end. Everyone start to decline at 7am enjoying the beautiful scenic of KK mountain.

Then we reach back laban rata at 9:30am and start packing and check out from gunting lagadan hut at 10am. Everyone start to decline at 10:30am from laban rata. The final climber reached Timpohon at 4pm with heavy rain during the trekking down.

Everyone board the van back to borneo backpackers reaching around 6:30pm. The climbing and the whole KK trip are successful.

Diving Trip to Liveaboard Similan

I had planned a dive trip to Thailand for a week. I decided to reach the dive spot by land from Kuala Lumpur to Khao Lak by bus. My journey start from Kuala Lumpur taking 8 hours to reach Hatyai with 6 hours traveling and 2 hours border check point.

Taking a break for a day at hatyai before continue my travel to the north the next day. Another hectic traveling start the next day morning where my journey to phuket start from hatyai. I went to the thailand public bus station which cost me around baht$400 to reach phuket. A great experience to take a public thai bus where communication is a barrier but lucky my destination are phuket which is the last bus stop of the journey. It took me 6 hours to reach phuket and I have a night at phuket town before my next destination. Phuket town is quiet compare to patong beach but I have to stay at the town to catch a bus to khao lak the next morning.

The next morning I continue my journey to khao lak from phuket town bus station. It cost me baht$100 and 2 hours to reach khao lak which is my target diving destination and also diver paradise. I reach Khao lak around noon and got the cheapest guesthouse fasai bungalow for baht$500 for a night.

After settle down with the guesthouse and lunch, then I proceed to search for my liveaboard dive trip. Found mantapoint diving shop where I engage my dive liveaboard similan trip for 3days 2nights for baht$14000. What a relief as I finally got my dive trip and I am so excited about the liveaboard diving trip. I have bad seasickness history but I manage to handle it with the magic pills. I survive the 3days 2nights liveaboard without any problem.

The liveaboard dive center that hosts the dive is Scubacat and the dive boat is great and beautiful. I had a good first 2 dive and night dive on the first day with good air consumption.

My second day of liveaboard dive are mostly relax and leisure dive. Enjoying the dive with good air consumption with minimum deep dive. Anyway it is Valentine day on the 2nd day of the liveaboard and it was my first valentine day dive logged.

My third day of liveaboard involve some deep dive at deep six and also leopard shark searching. Little of adventure for the final day of the dive. Had a deep dive into 35m and saw giant puffer and also leopard shark. Yes it is exciting when you see something big.

After the liveaboard dive trip, then I had to take 2 days to travel back from phuket to kuala lumpur.

Welcome to Manta Jo

I am so excited about sharing my travelling, backpacking, diving, rafting, climbing etc etc experience with you.