Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mt Kota Kinabalu, East Malaysia 2011

" LIFE is a balance of work, family & personal time "

"Running water does not flow back, so is LIFE"

" Peace of mind starts with being grateful for what we have right now "

" My 6 days in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (Malaysia) - 22-27/7/2011. Feeling on top of the world ! Age is no barrier ( age 61+ ) and thanks to the Chinese Zhineng Qiqong. A real challenging & wonderful climb to Low's Peak (4,095.2m), the summit of Mt Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, an UNESCO  heritage site - a natural wonder ! " 

Total expenses incurred : Rm1,133 (Euro$280)

Air Asia ticket KL>KK return- Rm236
Airport shuttle bus- Rm20
Mt KK tour package inclusive of hostels, meals & transport (3 days 2 nights) - Rm688
Hostel (Rm31x3 dorm) - Rm93
Food & groceries - Rm60
Local rubber climbing shoes (nicknamed Addidas kampung shoe) - Rm7.50
Walking stick - Rm3
Boat ride (Mamutik island) + Tariff & conservation fees - RM24.50

Day 1& 2 Mt KK Climb, East Malaysia 2011

Day 1 (Monday 25-7-2011)

The A-Team from West Malaysia (KM Cheng, Mr Chua, Mr Chong & Miss Chua) - all had made it to the top ie the Low's Peak (4,095.2m) on 26 July 2011. Congratulations !!

Our input: For Day 1 - a 7.5 hr of walking uphill over a 6km stretch of summit trail; For Day 2 - a 4 hr of uphill climb with the support of nylon ropes (Taban Rata to Low's Peak, 3,000m>4,095m) and a 2hr of descending (Low's Peak to Taban Rata) ; and the final descend - a 5 hr of walking downhill from Taban Rata to Timpohon Gate - mission accomplished !

To my fellow mountain climbers, the Chuas and Chong, thank you for your friendship and moral support, we all had made our dream come true ! No more day dreaming on Mt KK from now on !

1) DAY 1 - 8.15am, the start of the Mt KK climb from the Timpohon Gate to Taban Rata Lodge; strict ruling by the Sabah Park Management on all mountain climbers - registration, name tag, mountain guide escort - no fooling around. keep walking and your return on investment ( your efforts, guts & determination, mental & physical strength ) will be very delicious ! It's the journey not the destination that matters. 

2) Slow and steady wins the race ( despite two days of stomach upset due to the eating of grilled sotong at a night market food stall in KK city.; intermittent burst of muscle pulls and numerous rests along the way - no kidding walking uphill for 6km from the Timpohon Gate to Tamban Rata (3,000m) on Day 1 - a severe test of your mental & physical strength , endurance & perseverance ....... 

3) Rest houses, short breaks, lunch & drink & toilets etc

4) Spectacular views near the Tambahan Rata Lodge (3,000m) 

5) Day 1 - 6.00-7.00pm ; cloudy sky. chilly wind; sunset as viewed from the Laban Rata Lodge (3,000m) 

Day 2 (Tuesday 26/7/2011) - The D day

1) Misty weather and strong chilling wind at the summit during the morning as we ascended and descended the slippery and hilly slope (6.00-6.45am) - no luck for our group to watch the sunrise ! Our group woke up at 1.30am and commenced the climb at 2.30am. After much efforts, I reached the Low's peak at around 6,30am ( a total of 4 hardy hours). As for the descend, I made it to Laban Rata Lodge at around 8.40am ( slightly over 2 hrs) .

High altitude sickness, short of breath, fatigue, leg injuries etc could take a heavy toll on your bodies and the weaker ones may have to give up the challenge at any time ! So no easy meat and only the fittest could survive the journey !

It is interesting to note that in the 24th Mt KK International Clinbathon 2010 competition, the fastest time recorded (21km) has been achieved by the following category of participants:

Men Open 1st Place - 2 hrs 33mins

Women Open 1st Place - 3 hrs 28mins

Men Veteran 1st Place - 3 hrs 01min

Wow !!! Malaysia boleh and I certainly failed miserably, taking 7.5hr for a 6km walk uphill on my 1st day. I took a total of 18.5hr to complete the journey ( to & fro ) for the two day climb ! But I was overly happy after collecting a colorful certificate from the Kinabalu Park management certifying Cheng Kean Meng has climbed the Low's Peak , the summit of Mount Kinabalu (4095.2m) on 26/07/2011. Is this means that I have passed the Mt KK climbing test with flying colours ?

2) A victory sign & standing tall when I posed a picture behind the wooden signboard of Low's Peak (4,095.2m) . To the 3 young members of my group - Mr & Miss Chong and Mr Choong - well done and congratulations for making to the top. Miles of smiles for those who reached the Summit and for those who did not make it - do not despair , there is always another chance ! 

3) A panoramic view from the top of Mt KK

" As a senior citizen, the two day mountain trekking & climbing following the Mt KK summit trail to Low' Peak was deemed to be the longest day and toughest journey I had ever taken in the world of traveling thus far ....

The Secrets of Life: Take a deep breath. It calms the mind. All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them. "

Kota Kinabalu, East Malaysia 2011

Apart from doing the Mt Kota Kinabalu climb, I had three days of leisure time exploring the Kota Kinabalu city and I also took a boat ride (Rm27) from the Jesselton Point ferry terminal to one of the beach islands, Pulau Mamutik.

In the city, I visited the wet market, night market food stalls, Signal Hill Observatory, Sunday Gaya market, Atkinson Clock Tower, major shopping complexes etc and also tasted some of the local food, mangoes, grilled sotong, beef noodles etc.

1) Kota Kinabalu city

2) Taman Tunku Abdul Rahman, Mamutik Island - boat ride, sea breeze, crystal clear water, away from the hustle and bustle of the city ! 

3) The joy of travelling - Eating, drinking, lots of fun & happiness - are you the one ?