City of Digital Lights was the first place that I visited where everything it prides are artistic and colourful lights. Based on the city’s information, it proud to have more than a million LED displayed. The place is within the vicinity of I-City in Shah Alam, Selangor in Malaysia. During our visit, we enjoyed different kinds of lights display and we both admired the unique, bright, colourful and artistic lights that made the place wonderful and alive specially at night. The photo above was lights display at the side immediately seen from the road. Snapshot captured last December 2012.
Even though we never took a Hop On-Hop Off tourist bus while in Kuala Lumpur, we got souvenir photo of the bus. The name in print on it already signifies the place itself. I took this photo while strolling around the city last December 2012.
Enriching Viewpoint (Post#3) : Replica of The Royal Throne of Perak
“This Royal Throne has been used during the installation of His Royal Highness Sultan Iskandar Shah (the 30th Sultan of Perak) in 1918. Since then it was used during the installation of His Royal Highness Sultan Abdul Aziz Al-Mustasim Billah Shah in 1938, His Royal Highness Sultan Yussuff Izzudin Shah in 1948 and his Royal Highness Sultan Idris Iskandar Al-Mutawakkil Allalahi Shah II in 1963 in Iskandariah Palace, Kuala Kangsar, Perak.” – excerpt found near the Royal Throne of Perak.
As per history, Sultan of Perak is one of the oldest hereditary seats among the Malaysian states. The Sultanate is a combination of dynasty and the land supervised by Sultan (person) which came from Arabic word which has a lot of meanings and one of them were “authority”, “strength” or “power”. Sultanate of Perak was established by one of the two princes left by the Sultan of Malacca which fell to Portugal in 1511 named Sultan Mahmud Syah I. The first Sultan of Perak and the one who establish the Sultanate was Muzaffar Syah while the other prince named Sultan Alauddin Riayat Shah II whom established the Sultanate of Johor. After learning the information, I was fascinated because there a little bit clarity why Malaysia has Johor states though I haven’t been to Perak states during my travel adventure in Malaysia last December 2012 to January 2013. Snapshot captured while strolling around in Muzium Negara (The National Museum) located in the city.
View At My Window (Post#20) : Sungai Melaka (Malacca River)
The photo above was Sungai Melaka or Malacca River. The snapshot was captured during the adventure in Malaysia together with my youngest sister last January 2013. My impression in the town of Malacca was like an old town, which truly reflecting its own history of time. The river has important role at the height of economic boom of Malacca Sultanate which depicted on its history during 15th century.
As part of our tour in Malaysia, we went to Legoland to see what’s in store for us on this playground. Yes, we are adult but, when we say a theme park, it is the place of freedom to be a kid again, though we never took children rides, we enjoyed all types of LEGO displayed inside the theme park. This was our last destination before the year 2012 and 2013 switch. And then we did cross the border between Malaysia and Singapore in Johor Bahru and we went to my brother’s house in Singapore for our New Year’s Eve celebration. Photo snapshot captured last December 2012.
Batu Cave is one of the accessible cave in Malaysia for the tourist since its location has train station and accessible from the city. It was mentioned that the cave is one of the popular Hindu Shrines outside India. The cave itself contains lots of limestone and being preserve in our time. The huge statue beside the stairs to the cave is Murugan which considered as Hindu’s God. The snapshot captured last December 2012 which still part of our Malaysia adventure together with my youngest sister.
Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#20): Mount Kinabalu
My first formal climb happened in Mount Kinabalu which became my way to be a member of mountaineering group in my country through my colleague at work. This mountain is the highest mountain that I ever climbed even though I haven’t reach the summit and only reached the hotel (Laban Rata – 3200+masl). Cannot forget my first climb experience and had been an eye opener that even I had difficulty on this climb I really love mountains. Photo captured last September 2008.
When we visited Genting Highlands in Malaysia, we found a theme park at the top of the mountain. When we set to go to the place, I never expected that too many people were so incline to visit the place. First World Hotel is just one of the hotel to be found in Genting. At first, I thought that this hotel is the same as other hotels which a common hotel near in casino until I checked if there something unique on this building. First World Hotel is the third largest hotel in the world in terms of number of rooms, knowing that information is quite interesting. Photo captured last December 2012.
“Istana Negara” means National Palace and when we visited this magnificent structure we learned that there are two existing Istana Negara, the photo above is the new and current Istana Negara located at Jalan Duta in Kuala Lumpur, the other one is now called as Old Istana Negara and named as Royal Museum. This building is the official residence of the head of state of Malaysia. At the time we visited, we can only see the building from the outside of the gate as the inside of the palace is not open for public. Snapshot captured last December 2012.
We had an opportunity to spent some of our holidays in Malaysia, three days of it was spent around Kuala Lumpur – the capital of Malaysia. When someone heard the name of this country, most commonly thing we think is Petronas Tower. The tower is also called as Petronas Twin Tower and served as the landmark of the city. As per Wikipedia, the tower was the tallest twin tower from 1998 to 2004.
First mountain to climb – Mount Kinabalu, the mountain with the title of “Highest Mountain in South East Asia”. To be honest, I was not able to reached the summit of the mountain. Mount Kinabalu’s altitude is 4095 MASL (meters above sea level). Yes this was the first mountain that I climb when I joined the mountaineering club which headed by my colleague at work that time. I only reach the hotel in Laban Rata with altitude of 3200+ MASL. I never insist to myself to push over to my limits. I told myself that the mountain is not going anywhere and maybe time will permit me or allow me to reach the highest peak of this mountain. My group was composed of 13 mountaineers and 5 in the group were able to reached the highest peak. For me I made an accomplishment for a rookie member like me. But I will not recommend to do the same thing that I did because preparation for conquering high altitude mountain need training physically because it definitely helps. Photo captured last September 2008.
My sister and I decided to visit Putrajaya, that visit become our cheapest and the luckiest accident tour that we experienced while touring around Malaysia.
We took train from Kuala Lumpur and to be honest we really don’t know how we are going to go or walk around the intelligent and garden city. As we aware that it is a planned city and as well as government city as its political centre had been moved from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya.
From our hotel in Batu 3 Old Klang Road, we took a cab straight to KL Sentral Station. From KL Sentral Station we took purple line (KLIA Transit Line) which the same line that goes to KL International Airport. We got off at Putrajaya and Cyberjaya Station.
It was Saturday that we visited the said city, we arrived at the train station without knowing that we will discover almost a free tour that runs twice a day during Saturday at that time, which only cost us exactly 1 MYR (Malaysia Ringgit) per person. At first I can’t believe until we registered at the information booth at the train station and paid 2 MYR for the tour. For us we just came in time before the bus leaves the station on its schedule. Our problem how to go around the said city had been resolved on its own.
Putrajaya word in Sanskit are combined words, ‘putra’ means ‘prince or male child’ and ‘jaya’ means ‘success or victory’. Putrajaya unlike famous Kuala Lumpur is a planned city as Malaysian Government sees that Kuala Lumpur are overcrowded and heavily congested place that made them decided to move the government offices to the planned city.
When the bus started to roll in to the intelligent garden city, we got a chance to see and explore one of the future city of Malaysia. While we were on our way I reminisce if there is similar place that we have back home in my country that I can say that is a planned city where opportunities may arise. Though there is one city that came into my mind which is Taguig City, though not the whole Taguig but just part of it which is Bonifacio Global City but still I cannot compare its development to Putrajaya because of its directions and objectives on its city.
Moving back to Putrajaya, while inside the bus I immediately admired that the city seems intend to remain its being green city or garden city. Though not so much sky scraper exist when we visited the place, but there were already significant buildings, offices to be seen and residential areas which carefully laid out in the city. The government offices are positioned and located on prime and distinguishable parts of the intelligent city.
Aside from mosque, government buildings, residential areas that we saw in the area, another structures that made me admire the city was because of its beautifully crafted bridges. Yes we knew the function of bridges, but how it was designed made people look back again and again to the bridge. The city has beautiful lake that can be seen most of the areas of the city that made me feel that the place is just really with the nature. City’s convention center are located at some hills of Putrajaya that made it really a stunning building. Overall I felt relax in the place as we go around inside the bus. Within the tour, we stopped in some photo areas that we grabbed our chance to take photos as it’s the precious gifts in our memories that we can bring back home in my country.
Here are the tourist spot that we saw and enjoyed in the city:
One of the important building at the center of Putrajaya where the office complex of Prime Minister of Malaysia can be found which located at the main hill of the city
Masjid Putra (Putra Mosque)
Main mosque in the city which built near Perdana Putra.
Komplex Seri Perdana (Seri Perdana Complex)
It is the official residence of the Prime Minister of Malaysia
Putrajaya International Convention Centre
The main convention center in the city.
Seri Gemilang Bridge
Main link between the core island to the south of Persiaran Perdana and serves as main entrance both for motorist and pedestrians.
Seri Setia Bridge
Landmark and main route to the core island from south-east.
Seri Wawasan Bridge
The bridge is categorised as ‘signature bridge’ which important between the core island and residential area in Precinct 8.
This is the lake that makes the city’s atmosphere so soothing and relaxing to anyone’s view.
Dataran Putra (Putra Square)
According to Wikipedia, the 300 meter circular Putra Square is bounded by Perdana Putra, Putra Mosque, Putra Bridge and the Promenade Shopping Mall.
Taman Warisan Pertanian
An agricultural park where we saw different seeds and plants available in Malaysia.
We arrived in Kuala Lumpur around 12:30 AM of December 25, 2012, since my airline was budget airline, we landed in budgeted airport (Singapore has one, Malaysia has one too), they call it LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal). Like what I mentioned in my previous post entitled “A Not So Well Planned Adventure in Malaysia“, this travel was not really planned, its like an out of the blue travel engagement. But even that was the case, I still tried my best to get some basic information about public transportation and important tips while going around Malaysia.
I tried to check how we were able to go to hotel without taking a cab, since I learned from my searches in internet to beware in getting cab or taxi in Malaysia, because most of the driver waiting in queue asking for at least twice, trice or more for the taxi fare. Most of the traveler that I read, advised to book a cab instead of taking a taxi that are waiting in line. I made an advance booking for the cab that will take us to hotel from KL Sentral. Before, I thought that KL Sentral was a place they call like city center but in the end, I understand what does it mean. From LCCT, we took the Skybus (AirAsia) going to KL Sentral, which cost us 9 RM per person. The travel time from airport terminal to KL Sentral was at least an hour. There are other bus, going to other places in KL, but I chose to go to KL Sentral since the hotel we booked is in KL and probably just nearby from that station.
We arrived at KL Sentral terminal around 2:15 AM, because of that I called again the taxi booking I made to request for an earlier pick-up but due to some issues that we can’t see the cab and the driver can’t see us, we were able to met around 3:AM which was my original requested pick-up time. From KL Sentral to our hotel, it cost us around 13 RM (this already includes 50% charged after 12AM time). Around 3:30 AM, we were able to checked-in at Valenza Hotel and Cafe. That’s the only time we were able to rest, I was glad that we booked the hotel for that night, I anticipated that it will happened like that, and I preferred to be in the hotel, instead of being outside specially in a stranger places that still unknown to me.
We stayed in the hotel until morning, had breakfast and went out for our Day 1 tour in KL. Since its December 25 (Christmas Day), we don’t have specific plan yet, first our plan was to visit Malaysia’s tourist centre but we learned from the cab driver that we picked-up who is fortunately a tourist ambassador that it was closed during holiday. Because of that, we decided to go to shopping malls. And the driver led us to Suria KLCC mall which just at the ground of Petronas Twin Tower.
We found inside the Suria KLCC a lot of signature stores that can probably seen in famous cities like New York, Paris and Tokyo. We walked around the malls, at least went-up to 3rd floors. By the way I see what kind of stores that I found in the mall, I have expectations that other floors have the same features. I am not shopaholic and I am not so much in love in clothing branded products.
After walking around inside the mall, we went outside to find out more. Until my sister and I decided to take pictures with Petronas Twin Towers in broad daylight of the afternoon. Outside Petronas Towers, we saw a lot of tourist like us, and observed that taking pictures of the towers will never end.
Petronas Twin Tower
Arts Display at the Entrance of Petronas Twin Tower
Billboard near at Petronas Twin Tower
Then, we went to one of the shopping district of KL which is Bukit Bintang, where shopping areas can be found such as Starhill Gallery and Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. We took LRT train in KLCC station, where we bought our Rapid cards that can be both used in LRT and Monoreil (Monorail) lines. From KLCC station, we went out in Dang Wang station, walk for few minutes to move to Bukit Nanas station, then went out again in Bukit Bintang station. We were kind of surprised in traffic rules in KL, when we are trying to cross the road going to Pavilion, people are just crossing the road even it’s not yet time for crossing, its kind of scary but most people does it, we actually did the same thing, there were lots of people at that time probably due to holiday as well in Malaysia. We spent time inside the Pavilion mall. After walking around for hours and we felt that it’s a tiring day, we decided to go straight to the hotel.
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
In conclusion, Day 1 seems like Shopping Place Tour, aside from Petronas Twin Towers, most of the place we visited are malls and market place.
Day 2 (December 26, 2012)
Similar from Day 1, we had our breakfast at hotel, then left the hotel before lunch time. This time we pushed to come to the Malaysia Tourism Center (MATIC) located in Jalam Ampang. We started from Petronas Twin Tower, we walked around to find the tourist center. We walked like 15 to 20 minutes until we find what we were looking for. At the center, we got a lot of brochures that will helped us to plan our tour in Malaysia for the next coming days. We got the information of the KL City Tour through hop-on hop-off bus, but instead of taking the said tour, we followed the trail mentioned in the brochures. Then from MATIC, we went to see the Kuala Lumpur Tower, as you can see, we just walked around, we never took a cab nor a bus and other transportation, we pretty much still excited what we can see while walking around KL.
MATIC (Malaysia Torurism Center)
Kuala Lumpur Tower
Cultural Village at KL Tower
Aquarium at KL Tower
KL Tower ground
KL Tower Animal Zone
At the entrance gate of KL Tower, there is a free shuttle going up to the Tower itself, just wait to the shuttle service that will pick-up and drop-off tourist from gate to the tower. We spent time taking pictures at the lobby of the tower, we never went up to the viewing deck as our decision because we were still thinking where to spend out time for New Year’s Eve.
KL City Walk
After KL Tower, we walked around P. Ramlee street until we found the KL City Walk. Here we found a walk way with a lot of tiny shopping store and restaurants. When we passed it in the afternoon, some stores are still closed which means that the place seems alive during night-time. After we were done a little shopping from open store in KL City Walk, we decided to continue walking and just followed the pathway until it led us in KLCC (Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre), one of the building with unique design around KLCC Park. Then we found ourselves queuing at the entrance of Aquaria KLCC, it’s like an ocean park where you will see lots of underwater creatures.
Pathway leading to KLCC Building
Some photos from Aquaria KLCC
We enjoyed the Aquaria KLCC because we discovered other underwater species that we haven’t found in other ocean park that we had visited. After Aquaria KLCC, we went out in KLCC Park until we reached again the Suria KLCC mall. But since we were already tired for the day, my sister and I decided to wrap up the adventure because we need to prepare for the next day adventure.
Petronas Twin Tower from KLCC
Suria KLCC Surroundings
Day 3 (December 27, 2012)
During our travel around Kuala Lumpur or should I say during our travel in Malaysia, we used to start the journey from KL Sentral. This is the central station in Kuala Lumpur of most public transportation which includes trains, monorail, inter city buses and taxis. KL Sentral recently excluded the bus terminal traveling outside KL by separating its terminal from the said station.
Anyway, let’s get back to the third day of adventure in KL. From our hotel, we rode a bus to KL Sentral. From KL Sentral, since my sister and I were both adventurous, we decided to walk to Jalan Damansara (National Museum) which actually near in KL Sentral but due to a lots of constructions going on around the place, we had some difficulty to find the best path that will lead us to the museum, but in the end, we overcome it and were able to arrived to the building. In National Museum, we discovered the history of Malaysia by seeing different historical artifacts and exhibits displayed inside the museum. And like my own country, there are some aspects of similarity of history specially the prehistoric part before the colonization period.
National Museum (Jalan Damansara)
Photos (Inside of Museum)
After visiting Jalan Damansara, we went to the new Istana Negara (National Palace) in Jalan Duta. At first we thought that Istana Negara is just one palace. When we took the cab going to that place, we realized that there were two structures called Istana Negara. Old one were located in Jalan Istana and new one in Jalan Duta, and the cab driver asked us where to go, we just mentioned the new one. Istana Negara is the official residence of Malaysian King and because of that we ended at the gate of the palace, we only had a glimpse of surrounding of the palace, but still the external structure of the palace still amazing.
Photos of New Istana Negara from one of the gate of the palace
We took the same cab we used to Istana Negara to go back to the city center where other tourist spot in KL located. First, we dropped off at Jalan Raja where Sultan Abdul Samad Building can be found. We passed by the Dataran Merdeka or Merdeka Square since there were some renovations or constructions going on around the place. Then we visited Kuala Lumpur City Gallery beside Merdaka Square. Here we found the huge ILoveKL sign.
From City Gallery, we went to Masjid Negara or National Mosque. Here we experienced to wear the Muslim women veil and prayer outfit clothing before we were able to enter the building. Inside the mosque, we were able to see the main hall prayer. One of the Muslim approached us while looking inside the hall and she gave some orientation about Islam in brief and concise way. I really appreciated the information she gave us and it will be an awareness on my part. After Masjid Negara, we visited one more place called KL Railway Station just walking distance from National Mosque. This station combines unique structure of dome and arches.
Photos (Inside and Outside National Mosque)
Photos (KL Railway Station)
Well that’s our Kuala Lumpur adventure which took us three days. It took days since most of our activities are walking around KL. It’s really experiencing the place. See you again in my next post detailing other adventure in Malaysia.
I selected the title above for this post because this was the tour that I engaged without so much preparation. I booked the flight just two days before the schedule which was made last December 22, 2012 Saturday and the flight schedule in Cebu Pacific was December 24, 2012 Monday (yes, it’s Christmas Eve for Catholics) and the great thing about it was, the flight fare was lesser because of the festive day. And that’s the main reason as well why I decided to travel at that time.
Why I selected Malaysia? My reason was, this is one of the South-East Asian countries that I never been really visited as a tourist. Yes, I first visited Malaysia last 2008, when I joined a mountaineering group and decided to climb Mount Kinabalu. I traveled Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. But after that, I never been to Malaysian Peninsula where the capital city which is Kuala Lumpur located.
I traveled with my younger sister. We left Manila without so much plan what to see and where to go in Malaysia, but I read some tips from locals and foreigners that already traveled in this country. At least I made a hotel booking, taxi booking and some information of public transportation.
This post will be somewhat summary of all the places that we visited in Malaysia. The tour in general took ten(10) days including the flight time which just need less than half a day to complete, we traveled 8 days to be exact and went around Malaysia.
As the main reason why we went to Kota Kinabalu was for Mount Kinabalu Climb, we never really had enough time to see much the city as all of us in the group just had four days and in that four days includes the return flight and mountain climbing.
In our first day in the city, we arrived in Kota Kinabalu airport in the evening of that day. As far as I remember, we look for a place to sleep for the night and we found one in the city center. We slept in a dorm type accommodation. The whole group woke-up early for the climb. On our way to Mount Kinabalu, we spotted Masjid Bandar Kota Kinabalu (Kota Kinabalu City Mosque).
Masjid Bandar Kota Kinabalu (Kota Kinabalu City Mosque).
And when we were on our way back to the airport after the climb, we passed Jalan Pantai and had a quick peek of the Malaysian Monument (Tugu Peringatan Malaysia) which seems a historical monument. Then we saw Kota Kinabalu City Hall (Dewan Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu) and we sighted another mosque in the city named Masjid Negeri Sabah.
Egret Replicas (Photo Courtesy – SMB Mountaineering Group Member)
Malaysian Monument or Tugu Peringatan Malaysia (Photo Courtesy – SMB Mountaineering Group Member)
Kota Kinabalu City Hall or Dewan Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu (Photo Courtesy – SMB Mountaineering Group Member)
Sabah State Mosque or Masjid Negeri Sabah (Photo courtesy of Jimmar)
That’s how we briefly traveled the city. I knew there are other places to see but we’re running out of time. Next thing we knew we were waiting at the airport for our flight back to Manila.
Sabah State Flag (Photo Courtesy – SMB Mountaineering Group Member)
Kota Kinabalu City Gate (Photo Courtesy – SMB Mountaineering Group Member)
I just like to share my first and formal experience of being mountaineer. I remember when I was in college, there was a mountaineering club in the university that I wanted to join in, but when I tried to talk to my college friends and classmates, they were not into it and not interested in hiking a mountain. Because of the situation, I thought I am the only one who likes it, because of that I never tried it out. Time passed, I graduated in college, now I am working and after six years, I met a good friend who is an active mountaineer.
He mentioned to me the plan that he and his group will be going to Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia on September 2008. After I heard it, I told him, “Can I join the hike?” And he said “Sure, but Mount Kinabalu has an altitude of more than 4000 meters above sea level. Do you think you can do it?” And I said, “I can try to and I will prepare for it”. That was the start for me to go for the things that I really wanted to do from the first place. Maybe before I was not pushed enough to go for what I like to do and now that I have a chance, I am grabbing my opportunity to do it.Before this major climb, I reminisced my last climb during my last year in college. We hiked Mount Santo Tomas in Baguio and I knew in my heart that I enjoyed the hike. I remember that the trail we used to reach the peak of the mountain was pretty straight forward and there were not so much hurdles to hike the mountain. All I remembered and I cannot forget was before we were able to reach the peak, there were raindrops falling and the wind gets stronger that I almost think wind can blown us away. But I knew in myself that I like hiking and the experience was a good adventure for me.Now I am going to tell my climb experiences in Mount Kinabalu and I am telling you, it is not been easy for me.Mount Kinabalu is the 20th world-famous mountain based on height and its beauty. Is it the highest mountain in South East Asia. It is located in Sabah, North Borneo Malaysia and the climb was held last Sept 21 to 24 2008.Day 1 – September 21 (Saturday)
The schedule flight to Kota Kinabalu from Clark (or Macapagal) International Airport is 4:45 PM. The group met at 8AM in Jollibee at St. Francis Square near in SM Mega Mall in Pasig since the bus going to Clark Airport is stationed here. From there, we traveled from Pasig to Clark from 9AM to 11 AM. Since our flight will be later in the afternoon, we used our waiting time inside the mall and we had our lunch there. While looking around the mall, I remembered that I have to buy a raincoat. While looking for a raincoat I remembered that I forgot to bring my head lamp that I will be needed for night trek.
Around 2PM, we went back to the airport. While waiting in the line to enter at the airport entrance, I prepared my passport and e-ticket, to my surprise I printed a wrong e-ticket (this made me nervous). When its my turn to present my passport and e-ticket to the entrance officer, I told him that I printed the wrong e-ticket and I asked him, “where I can request to print my e-ticket?”, the officer led me to the right direction. During this time, I thought I will not be able to travel and not able to go to Malaysia. I am glad that the office where I had my flight booking is open and they were able to print it. After I got my e-ticket, that’s the only time I was relieved. My mountaineering group inside the airport is waiting for me and they are all smiling at me after they saw me (I felt that they also relieved that I had my e-ticket and I will be able to go with them with this challenging adventure).
While writing this blog I would like to note that two things I learned on that day. First, list down all the items that I have to bring on the climb and second counter check many times the backpack if all my stuff are already on it.
Clark or Macapagal International Airport
View from my window after I woke up from a nap during the travel
from Clark Pampanga to Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu from the plane
Kota Kinabalu International Airport
Around 3PM in the afternoon we were inside the waiting area of the airport. Around 4 PM, our plane arrived. Almost 5PM, plane took off and we landed in Kota Kinabalu at past 6PM.
After we arrived in Kota Kinabalu, the group discussed the lodging or hotel that we can sleep in for the night before the climb on Sunday morning. Lodge was not really a big issue because after we found a cab that will drive us to the city center of Kota Kinabalu, it’s fairly easy to find lodging for backpackers. After we found the lodging, the group just had dinner and all were setup to sleep for the next big day.
Day 2 – September 22 (Sunday)
We woke up at 5AM. The group prepared, then headed to the cab station that will drive us to the jump off area of Mount Kinabalu. We rented two taxi cab for the whole group and we started to travel at 7AM. While on our way to our destination, we had a chance to see the beauty of Kota (“Kota” means city) Kinabalu, we also stop in Mount Kinabalu lookout viewpoint where we experienced to see the beauty of the mountain from a far. All of us are amazed on what we saw. And I myself realized and asked myself, “Is this the mountain that I am going to climb? Can I really climb that mountain?” I cannot believe myself either and along the way, I am fighting and convincing myself that I can do it.
Mount Kinabalu from a far (photo copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)
Mount Kinabalu View while we are on the road
Mount Kinabalu from lookout view-point (photo copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)
Mount Kinabalu peak from lookout view-point (photo copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)
Mount Kinabalu from lookout view-point
Next, we pickup our three guides for our trek. Then, we drove to the jump off station. Before we start our climb proper, one of our guide made an orientation and explained the trail path that our group will take. Mount Kinabalu has two trail; Misilau and Timpohon trail. The group plan is to ascend the mountain by Misilau trail and descend it through Timpohon trail. During the orientation, our guide gave us our packed lunch which was part of our reservation paid in Laban Rata, a hotel near at the peak of the mountain where we are going to stay for the night before trekking the final trail to the summit of Mount Kinabalu.
Views while on our way to jump off area
Mount Kinabalu (photo copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)
Entrance to Kinabalu Park (photo copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)
Misilau Trail jump off site
Trails to Mount Kinabalu Peak
We started our climb at almost 11 AM. The journey had begun. While climbing the mountain, I had a lot of experiences. The great thing about it was seeing the beauty inside and outside the mountain. Mount Kinabalu is a protected mountain, and most of our trails were covered with towering trees that was why we were not bothered by the sun rays.
Some trail pictures (photos above copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)
View while trekking the mountain (photo copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)
Trail View (photo copyrighted by Susan Reyes)
During the trail, we experienced rain from some point of the mountain. And I cannot forget the part wherein its raining and the trail was some kind of muddy, then there were lots of irregular stairs that we need to take. At that point, I hated stairs (but I have to deal with the stairs whether I like it or not). During that time, wind was powerful and I felt the cold because my jacket was wet due to rain even I used my raincoat. After climbing of more than seven to eight hours, I had some difficulty to climb the mountain. But I know I can still climb. But I brought a lot of water which adds to the weight of my backpack. Our team lead in the climb, asked me. “Can you still carry your backpack?” And I said, “Its ok, I think I can”, but what he did was asked one of the guide to get my backpack and port it from there to hotel. I did not object maybe because I am tired too. And I can see that it’s also the same thing felt of my group about me. Another three hours passed before we reached the hotel. To be honest, I am the last person to arrived the hotel. All of my group member were asking me if I was ok and I said to them that I was fine. For me that was both wonderful and difficult climb that I had.
some of the views to see while climbing the mountain
one of the view that we found while trekking the mountain
amazing views that we passed while on the small bridge
The hanging bridge
View from the hanging bridge
(photos above copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)
Laban Rata hotel for what I know is located between 3200 to 3300 meter above sea level (masl). I never realized that I was able to climb more than 3000 masl. When I arrived at hotel, that was almost 10PM. And the next climb proper to the peak of the mountain will start around 2:30 AM (I am thinking, how many hours of rest before that time).
Laban Rata Hotel
Laban Rata Hotel – where we stayed before trekking the final summit of Mount Kinabalu
(photos above copyrighted by Jimmar Lagazo)
During the dinner, the group discussed that we were all surprised of long hours of trek and all of us chanted that was really tiring and difficult climb. I can see in my team, that all of us had a great deal with Mount Kinabalu. We were thirteen in the group and only three people decided to climb up to the peak of the mountain that night. I myself, decided not to force to go to the peak. I am really tired and I know I can if I had enough time to rest, but four hours was not enough for me to have another climb. After the dinner, the group went to the room then went to bed with a decision that most of us are not going to climb up to the summit.
Day 3 – September 23 (Monday)
Around 1:30 AM, I just felt the team lead of the group woke up and tried to ask the sleeping group, who will be the other to join him to go for the summit. And then, one by one were starting to moved around and woke up. And I heard them that they were decided to go. Out of 13, 10 decided to go. And I am not one of them. Then, there was a part of me telling me to try. I can go back to the hotel if I can’t really make it.
The group that will go for final ascent left the hotel around 2:30 to 3AM in the morning. Then, I decided to follow, after that, when I got out I felt the cold wind in my body and in my face. And tried to follow the trail together with other two co-mountaineers in the group. Then, I brought my oxygen canister, because I know that air in the summit will be thinner and will be difficult for me to breathe. Then, I started to climb again, but few meters from the hotel, my oxygen canister fell and I had to look for it. Then, I become skeptical if I will go further or not. I think twice and got confused. After I saw my oxygen canister from the ground I tried to continue the climb, few minutes I felt difficulty in breathing and I realized that I have to stop. I have to stop trying and go with others. I thought that I am so much tired and I have more than 6 kilometers to descend (I need to reserved that energy). I went back to the hotel and on my way back, I told the couple mountaineers (they decided to go to the summit too) but when they saw me, they went back to the hotel with me and decided not to go further too.
At the room, there was a part of me that I wish I can go to the summit. But, I know my self limit. And be realistic that when I got outside, I felt that its hard to breathe. We slept few hours and woke up after hearing that the group arrived from the summit. 5 out of 10 (decided to go to the summit) were able to reached the summit. Some reached the other peak of the mountain. I congratulated all of them, because I know that at least some of the group were able to finish up to the summit of the mountain. We had our breakfast and started to descend the mountain.
Inside the mountain while descending it (there was fog)
Carson Falls in Timpohon trail
We were able to catch up the lunch (which serves as our lunch/dinner) that day. And then rest for a while before going back to the city. Our guides gave us our climb certificate. My certificate indicated that I was completed the 3500 masl climb and for me that was really awesome. I know that Mount Kinabalu highest peak is 4095 masl. I am still proud of myself that I able to climb a mountain with that altitude. For me it was an achievement.
Mount Kinabalu is a beautiful mountain for me. It has a very friendly trail especially the Timpohon trail. While we were on our way descending the mountain, we saw a lot of tourist taking that trail to climb the mountain. Unlike Misilau trail, we just saw two which tried to descend the mountain.
Mount Kinabalu has amazing peak and the shape of the peak is really fantastic. One of the mountaineers in our group able to capture lots of pictures at the summit after reaching it. And after I saw them, the view were really panoramic. How I wish I was able to reach the summit too. But I can try to climb the mountain again next time if there will be another opportunity.
For a beginner like me my team recognized and told me that I was pretty good during the climb.
Because of all experiences I had in this mountain, I will never forget “Mount Kinabalu”.