Saturday, February 23, 2019

Sapa, Lao Chai, Vietnam

Sapa is a nice town for holiday i must say. Being at 1300m above sea level, one can imagine a cooler weather than normal sea level weather. And Sapa being at a different longitude will certainly make the weather more breezy than normal. 
 SAPA is doable on foot; more so if one rents a motorbike to go around. Its fun to explore areas where you can't reach easily especially overseeing the vast view of the rice fields along the terraced hills:) 
We had 2 days in Sapa and we went on top of Nui Ham Rong - Ham Rong peak. The weather was superb as we could see the whole of Sapa with the clouds being the roof of any picturesque view. The only downside is Halal food. There is not much choice but at least there are a handful of places that we can go to. Coffee is also good with all the ciche cafes around town. I dont quite enjoy the egg coffee but at least I've tasted it.
The Maong Valley
top of Hung Rong
egg coffee..yucks
I do recommend this place for a short holiday overseas in ASEAN. I would love to come again and perhaps enjoy the serenity of the town one fine day. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Top of IndoChina 17 February 2019

Fansipan 17 February 2019

Fansipan Roof of IndoChina 3

Dinner was good despite being full vegetarian menu. The tofu and the vegetables were fresh and the way they cook dinner was perfect. Everybody ate well, not too sure if it was the tiredness but everybody complimented on the cooking. The temperature was single digit but the soup and aroma of the food made the body warm. 
As how the weather forecasted it started to rain heavily at 10pm. We were all ready to sleep after chit chatting in the dark then suddenly the guide came in. He wanted to fix an extra layer of ground sheet because the roof will leak because of the heavy rain. I was thinking that probably we will delay the hike. We were expecting to leave at 3am and reach on top at about 5ish - just nice for the sun rise. But because it was raining, conditions maybe hazardous. Visuals are bad too due to the fog and rain.
At about 4am, it was still raining and the guide woke us up for breakfast. It was equally good too! Certainly opened up my eyes :) It was very cold and we then moved at 530am when there was light. 
The trek was slippery and visuals were limited. The fog was really thick and we trekked just following our feet. Theres a good part and bad about it. There were few segments which was dangerous; we needed to use ladders and ropes which were already attached. The rain made things slippery so we had to be diligent and careful. I enjoyed the trek so much.
                                                                  My Bear Grylls pose
                                                                      light but foggy
It was such a relief when we finally reached the cable car station. At this point it was mid morning and hundreds of people are getting ready to reach the peak. The Vietnam authorities have made the place to be a tourist attraction. There is a huge Buddha which was built for prayers as well. It was all steps (like Batu caves) all the way to the top. The weather was not good - it was drizzling and the fog was really thick! 
I had a sudden urge of energy (after switching on my phone haha) that i raced up to the top. Memang i just climb and climb the stairs without stopping. Geram! And reached the top at about 0850! mak ai.. by that time dah ramai gile orang! Everybody was rushing to take their picture with the pyramid :) Yes.. Fansipan! Roof of IndoChina 3143m!!

Fansipan Roof of Indochina 2

Mt Fansipan is the highest mountain in Indo China. 3143m above sea level. It is situated in Lao Chai province in the town of Sapa 1500m above sea level. Of course since 2016 there is a cable car that can bring you straight near the peak; as a climber it would be more satisfying to trek up as the wonders of outdoors is still intact in the jungles of Vietnam.
The temperature was chilly as it reached a single digit at night in Sapa. When i woke up in the morning, the view was stunning and the smell of fresh air was certainly tantalizing. I was excited to start my trek and the group got ready by 8am. 
 We then went by van to the starting point to start our 5-6 hours trek. The weather was permitting ; definitely the best time to hike. The monsoon tropican jungle is very similar to our rainforest in Malaysia. But being in a higher altitude it was very refreshing and not too humid.
starting point
Van to ranger station
 The climb was slow and steady - the inclination rate was not too bad until the second half - we stopped for lunch before that at about noon. Wow, the trek became harder and because of my lack of conditioning, felt few strains on my thigh of near cramp! Ni la akibat tak training haha It was vital for me to ensure that i did not have a complete cramp, once it starts it will be a nightmare to continue! The trek kept going up and up and up :) I guess thats the joy of climbing, the panting and exhaustion. Most of the team members did well. 
The view was magnificient. well, in all climbs that will be the reward as we trek along. Good weather can make the trek fun especially with good company.  
                                                    Me & Azad admiring the view
We arrived at the base camp at 5pm. Alhamdulillah, but the weather then was starting to get cloudy:) The wind became stronger and little that we know how cold it would be to endure the night :)

Fansipan Roof of indochina - Part 1

I managed to coax Azad to join this trip. He had not follow any climbing trip for the last 5 years. I though why not rekindle the spirit of geng kain pelikat in Vietnam? Haha Of course, the organizers were Puncak ventures & Kelab Jelajah Alpine. The only club i truly trust to bring for trips around the world. :)
There were the 10 of us, Abang Lan and Susi from Keluang joined this trip as well - We had our fair share of fun in Pulag last year. Haziq was the expedition leader and we had bee and Cikapu as the puncak venture's team. to my surprise, TS Nordin Kardi and wife was in the group as well. Of course he introduced himself as Pak Din but im not too sure if other team members know that he was the one behind the Anak Kecil main api song :0)
Me and Azad took an earlier flight to Hanoi via Malindo airlines. It was the cheaper alternative when compared to Airasia. Not many people realize his as when budget travelling comes into mind, Airasia becomes the default choice:)  Little that i know what was in store for us despite being early.
Upon our arrival in Hui Noi airport, Azad accidentally took another person's bag at the airport. I took for granted that it was my bag as well because we were in the midst of a very interesting conversation. That afternoon just after our prayers, a message came in from an unknown number.
Apparently i took her bag and mine was left in the airport. I quickly checked the bag and ooohh.. jatuh jantung wooo... Quickly i went to the lost and found department. I thought it was possible to exchange the bag but they insisted on the owner to come back and reconfirm. Damn. Luckily Flore (french backpacker) agreed to return to the airport as she was already in her hostel in Hanoi.
                                                                 Quecha confusion
Flore the french backpacker
 Alhamdulillah, it could have been worse i must say! Flore was nice as well and we were both very lucky. Honestly I would not have realized it say that we boarded straight on our van to Sapa. Allah's plan is the best and somehow as how this was meant to happen, it ended in a nice way.
All this was sorted upon the other team member's arrival. Alhamdulillah! I felt blessed and thankful as it could have been a catastrophic start.
The van then took us about 5hrs to Sapa. Elevation 1400m and when we arrived oohh sejuknya :) 
Tomorrow, the expedition starts :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

As much as i want to

As much as you want to ramble on the internet, you know you can't do it freely. For many reasons. A thin line between exploring your thoughts and revealing things which should be private in nature. Its easy to say that one should reach out, let out, let go.. but the reality is sometimes you just have to savour it all.

Its not something new but i guess it had rammed to the maximum tolerance of how one can cope. Its not easy to not being able to share freely as how one wishes. But yeah, no wonder orang jadi gila Hahaha

I've never felt sad as I am at the moment. I have my moments of being down in several occasions but this time around it really hits me hard. I am in fact amazed how much it can affect one. I've read about it, i've seen people talking how it can be and now when it happens to me I do really understand why and how bad it is to have such feeling.

As you can see this is being half here half there. Howlah to solve this issue? 


Watched a Singaporean 2008 movie called Leap Years last night. Thought it was sweet but what i like most were the quotes within the movie. 

In three words i can sum up everything I've learnt: life goes on  - Robert Frost

And it made me wonder. True enough Mr Frost. Life goes on regardless thinking otherwise. The world do not revolve around us but just continue without our presence. 

Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes - Oscar Wilde

Monday, February 11, 2019

Qatar November 2018 trip

I was in Doha in late November for a short course in ECMO. It was nice to spend holiday with the family in a place where not everybody would view it as a holiday destination.
The best time to go to the middle east would definitely be during Winter. I did enjoy my time there :)
 No photo description available.
Image may contain: 5 people, including Adi Osman and Mafeitzeral Mamat, people smiling, people standing
Malaysia Delegation for ECMO Course
Image may contain: 21 people, including Mafeitzeral Mamat, people smiling, outdoor
ECMO transport course
Image may contain: 6 people, including Naemah Hamzah, people smiling, people standing, ocean, sky, shoes, outdoor and water
Image may contain: 8 people, including Alhady Yusof and Mafeitzeral Mamat, people smiling, people standing
Two old acquantainces entertained us there. It was a good catch up to both Alhady, Nurrun and Wan Edrin and Wid with their lives as expats. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Image may contain: 11 people, including Haniza A Jalil and Mafeitzeral Mamat, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

Kiev Champions League Finals 2018

One of those crazy moment of Carpe Diem!
Baru 2-3 hari Ramadhan and i decided to go to Kiev for the finals! A split decision of no previous planning.Ni baru la hardcore supporter!
Though Liverpool lost, the trip was worthwhile and once in a lifetime of a kind.
Image may contain: 9 people, including DrMohamed Nazir, Mafeitzeral Mamat and Zulfiqar Zainuddin, people smiling, people standing, stripes and outdoor
Image may contain: 3 people, including Zulfiqar Zainuddin and Mafeitzeral Mamat, people smiling
Image may contain: 5 people, including Zulfiqar Zainuddin, Mafeitzeral Mamat and DrMohamed Nazir, people smiling, people standing
Image may contain: Zulfiqar Zainuddin and Mafeitzeral Mamat, people smiling
You,ll never walk alone!

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Awan itu

Awan yang berarak,
Dari kejauhan,
membawa seribu satu harapan,
Pewarna ceria cerita suka,
Nun saujana memandang,
 Namun jangan terleka,
Apabila gumpalan bertukar rupa,
Tampakan jauh tiba-tiba hilang,
Gelap membawa taufan,
Hilang pandangan jiwa kelana,
Tinggallah iman menjadi nakhoda,
Mencari pedoman dalam kelam. 

A weekend of family gatherings in Johor

It was the CNY weekend. Papa & mama came over to Iskandar Puteri because they were attending family weddings. I thought of following them as I wanted to get to know who is in JB. There are a number of mama's cousins here and it was an opportunity to meet up again. I'm sure I've seen them before during raya during my childhood days.
 First was the wedding of Aunty Halimah aka Kak Siah. Initially I was confused then the names were interchanged. I thought there were two persons! haha Then after mama explained, Asiah was the family calling name and Halimah was the official name. It is just like my dad, known as Nasir but his real name is Mamat. I did get to see a number of familiar uncles and aunties. It brings such nice memories of my childhood. I do remember going to their houses then for raya, of course it was not me talknig to them to catch up then. 
 Next was visiting Auntie Yam who resides in Larkin. She used to stay in Singapore and i can recollect glimpse of her face during our visit there when i was very young. Her late husband worked in Singapore but they decided to move back about 5 years back. The cool thing about her residence was it was behind Larkin stadium! haha I will be visiting her more in the coming days during match days.
 The last gasthering was to hantar pengantin - Alif son of Uncle nal - my cousin. He is younger by ten years and it was his wedding there being held in Citra Sri Pinang, Benut Pontian. It was a nice venue made especially for occasions. The homestay was also nice and i would recommend it to those who wanna spend time in kampung surroundings. It was nicely built and designed.
I was not able to attend the nikah procession because being oncall but was ok to attend the majlis. It was nice to see my family members to catch up.
Congratulations to all. As for me, I am happy to meet up with my family members near and a far.