Monday, July 16, 2012

Huang Shan (黄山)

Huang Shan, in chinese, 黄山 does not simply means "yellow mountain". It was actually meant the mountain of emperor if a direct translation needed to be. Here goes a short history lesson that I quoted from wikipedia:
Huangshan was formed approximately 100 million years ago and gained its unique rock formations in the Quaternary Glaciation.

During the Qin Dysnasty, Huangshan was known as Yishan (Mount Yi). In 747 AD, its name was changed to Huangshan (Mount Huang) by imperial decree; the name is commonly thought to have been coined in honor of Huang Di (the Yellow Emperor), a legendary Chinese emperor and the mythological ancestor of the Han Chinese. One legend states that Huangshan was the location from which the Yellow Emperor ascended to Heaven. Another legend states that the Yellow Emperor "cultivated moral character and refined pills of immortality in the mountains, and in so doing gave the mountains his name. The first use of this name "Huangshan" is often attributed to Chinese poet Li Bai. Huangshan was fairly inaccessible and little-known in ancient times, but its change of name in 747 AD seems to have brought the area more attention; from then on, the area was visited frequently and many temples were built there.
Huangshan is known for its stone steps, carved into the side of the mountain, of which there may be more than 60,000 throughout the area. The date at which work on the steps began is unknown, but they have been said to be over 1,500 years old.

Huang Shan is not only filled with various legends, stories and history behind it but it's a place with the awesome scenery. I'm sure most of us here have seen those chinese calligraphy paintings of mountain. I always thought that was just the creative imagination of the artists. I would never ever expect to exists. Now that I've visited this fairytale mountain, it's real. It's not their imagination. They are painting of what they see.

So unreal right? I swear to god above photos are taken by me !!! *swears*

The weather changed so fast that the above shots are taken in like within few minutes that I din even noticed that my mirror lens were so awfully dusty .. Lots of photoshop effort done to remove all the stains .. :(

Comparatively I do not have much photos taken at the top of Huang Shan due to the weather which is foggy that I did missed out a lot of supposedly awesome scenic view. Probably it meant that I have to re-vist this place again sometimes in the future.

Some other shots that I have got to share ..

 Praying hand liked stone

 Found the fish?

 The most popular scenic area with the oldest pine tree

One of my favourite shots

If you are artist, a photographer, I highly recommend that you must step foot to this place. It's a must go place. Though there's a lot of walking of steps. Stay there at least 2 nights minimally. It would be just nice to cover the whole scenic area, front and back of the mountain.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Conquering Mt. Kinabalu

I can finally strike off one of my wish list ...

That is to conquer Mt. Kinabalu, the highest mountain in South East Asia, with a height of 4, 095 metres, known as the Low's Peak, which is located at a awesome beautiful state of Sabah, Malaysia. As a Malaysian myself, how can I miss this opportunity. :)

My experience up to the mountain is tough yet I did enjoy along the way although most of the time, I'm alone walking up. I am really thankful to the help by one of the staff branch at KK for helping us out in doing all the arrangements for us, including providing transportation.

Tough journey but trust me, it's all worth the pain and sweat. I myself who always had breathing difficulty since young can make it to the top, why not normal people like you, if you had not done so. :)

The most important preparation you need to do before that is have a regular training at staircase. If you are staying in KL, why not head to Batu Caves or even to Bukit Gasing or FRIM, take it as a morning walk. It'll help a lot as it needs a lot of leg muscles especially when descending as you might be just exhausted by the time you descend from Laban Rata straight down.

You got to be mentally prepared of the long hour journey. As you'll almost be walking 2 days 1 night up and down the mountain, though you do get to rest on the first night. But got to bear in mind that you'll wake up at 2am in the morning for 2nd leg of the journey, which is the toughest and then descending straight down to where you begin.

Here is some tips that I find it very useful during my journey there:

  • Try to pack 100 plus instead of mineral waters, as you are going to higher altitude, you somehow dehydrates even faster than your usual exercise. Otherwise, get some dehydration salt.
  • Have chocolates and energy bar .. You know you need there along the journey
  • MUST get yourself a Kampung Adidas. It's a rubber shoe and it won't cost you much. It ranged from RM6 to RM10 only. This is super useful especially when you are going up from Laban Rata to Low's Peak as the gripping of the shoe is way better than our usual sport shoes. But you may need to wear a thicker socks so that it will not hurt your toes when you descend. If you later do not want to bring it back home, you can always pass it to the tour guides, they'll want it.
  • Always have your headlight in your backpack. You'll never know when you need it. I have experienced when descending where I took almost 8 hours and the sky has turn dark before I knew it.
  • Have ankle and knee guard. I've put on knee guard when descending, it helps. I suppose ankle guard is important too because I just strained my ankle too many times. =(
  • Walking stick for rent. It's just RM10 and it will help you along your journey. So try not to safe on this as well.
  • Try to stay close with friends or at least your guide. Never ever walk alone. Because you'll never know when you needed them. :)

Some other preparation that you may already knew from other sites like basic medication, getting a porter for your luggage, travel light etc ...

Some photos that I took when I was on the top, but I'm just too exhausted to take more than that ....

I'm glad that I did not give up along the way because it's all worth it with such beautiful scenary. :)

I've done it, why not you? :)