11 Malaysians at Everest Base Camp

Posted Dec 1st, 2017 under Interviews, Photo Essay, Trekking & Hiking, Trip Report,
Malaysian Trekkers with their national flag at Everest Base Camp

Malaysian Trekkers with their national flag at Everest Base Camp (5357m)

Nepal never ceases to amaze people from all round the globe. And Malaysians, who are now one of the most seasoned travelers in South-East Asia, are no exception! This autumn Explore Himalaya is quite happy to welcome a group of 11 Malaysian travelers led by our old friend Mr. Song Poh. What makes the trip more special is we were not welcoming Mr Song Poh and his close friend Ms. Yogaranee Balaratnam Thambayah, aged 73, for the first time in Nepal. For Yogaranee, it was the forth time and for Song Poh it was the second time with us, and after almost 20 years! 

Malaysian trekkers at Tenzing Norgay Sherpa monument in Namche Bazar (3450m)

At Tenzing Norgay Sherpa monument in Namche Bazar (3450m)

The Malaysian group did the classic Everest Base Camp Trek from 07 November to 24 November. The group, which was a great combination of multi-age people ranging from 30 to 73, includes Song Poh (Leader), Yong Kek Loong, Yogaranee Balaratnam Thambayah, Tan Hooi Nee, Ting Choo Hew, Sitta V Kanagasabai, Ling Keoi Tai, Lim Ka Tin, Kalaiarasy Subramaniam, Tan Kim Chan and Wong Kok Seong.  The group itself looked like a collective family, a close-knit travelling community – and the trek to Everest Base Camp was quite an ideal trip for them to share, care and create memories.

On the way to Tengboche (3864m)

On the way to Tengboche (3864m)

Song Poh and Yogaranee are frequent travelers to Nepal with Song Poh coming to Nepal for record 12 times and Yogaranee 5 times. However, to many the trip was the first one ever. So there was a lot of anticipation and excitement right after they landed in Kathmandu (1400m). The trip started with a city tour to the ancient treasures of Nepal including Bouddha, Pashupatinath, Patan Durbar Square and Swoyambhu. The trip not only gave a real insight to the history of Kathmandu Valley, but also offered a wonderful spectacle of the mesmerizing cultural fusion of Hinduism and Buddhism being practiced since time immemorial. However, the tour just served as a savory to kick start the most awaited trip to the Himalayas.

Song Poh, the group leader, posing with Himalayas at the backdrop

Song Poh, the group leader, with a perfect backdrop of Teboche, Everest (8848m), Nuptse (7861m) and Ama Dablam (6856m) [from left to right).

Ranee aged 73, the eldest member at the hilltop overlooking Namche

Yogaranee Balaratnam Thambayah aged 73, the eldest member of the trip at a hilltop overlooking Namche

The real adventure started on the third day, with a flight to Lukla (2860m), in which the members got to enjoy the scenic Himalayan vistas before the real beginning of the trek. Once in Lukla, the whole members felt the crispy chill of the mountain air, much different from the humidity of Kathmandu. Then, started the real trek that would last for next two weeks, through the meandering stony trail along Dudh Koshi river. Throughout the trek, the weather was exceptionally clear and the views were top-notch as if the Himalayas wanted to flaunt all its glory in one go.

A well-earned rest at Everest-Inn Namche

A well-earned rest at Everest-Inn Namche

The more the members went higher, the more they were exposed to the elements of nature. The more they were intimate to the nature, the more they experienced the grandeur of the Himalaya in its purest essence, from the first sight of Everest from Namche (3450m) to the panoramic view of Everest from Kalapathar (5545m). On reaching the Base Camp (5357m)-the ultimate point of their monumental achievement- they rejoiced, unfurled their national flag and captured all the moments in their memories. On the way back, they shared their experiences, re-captured the moments and bid the last bye to the land of Everest before flying back to Kathmandu. At the end of the trip our Malaysian friends, quite rejuvenated after the Himalayan experience, wished to come back to Nepal again and again. Explore Himalaya feels delighted to make their Everest dream possible and looks forward to travelling with them in the Himalaya in future as well. Congratulations to all the trekkers and best wishes for your next adventure!    

At Pheriche (4252m)

At Pheriche (4252m)

Before flying back home, Explore Himalaya had a tete-e-tete with Mr. Song Poh, the team leader.  An extract of the conversation:

 EH: How was your first experience in Nepal? How is it now? Do you find any kind of difference?

Songpoh: Well, first time it was totally different because I had never done trekking in the Himalayas. But after coming here I found it such an awesome place that makes me coming back almost every alternate year. 

EH: Which part of Nepal have you visited so far?

Songpoh: I think Annapurna 6/7 times, Langtang once, Khumbu-this is my second time.

EH: Which part do you think is comparatively better?

Songpoh: They are all unique, in their own way. I will say like Annapurna is beautiful, Langtang is beautiful, they are beautiful in their own way. They have their own speciality. 

EH: How many members do you have in this trip?

Song Poh: In this trip, we are 11 including myself.

EH: Your group looked like a mixed age group. What is the range of the age group?

Song Poh: The average age would be above 50, some in the region of 70. The eldest member is Ranee aged 73, a close friend of mine. She has been here 6/7 times. She was here together with me twenty years ago and she keeps on coming back. The youngest member is 31.

EH: How was the trip as a whole?

Songpoh: It has been a successful trip to Everest Base Camp. Some of my friends are first time in the Himalayas. It was worth enjoying the every moment of the trip.

EH: How was the weather since it counts much when you are travelling in altitude?

Song Poh: The weather was cold and harsh. But the visibility was superb, you can never imagine such clear blue sky back in my country any more. Here in the Himalayas, everything was so clear and nice.

EH: What is the feedback of your team members?

Song Poh: Very good question! I have asked to my team members, “Do you want a refund for what you have paid for?” They say straight “No” for that adventure.

EH: So they get the value of their money?

Song Poh: Yeah, they get the value of their money. I think what they are doing is they are buying for the experience which they can never get anywhere else in the world.

EH: How is travelling in Nepal different from other parts of the world?

Song Poh: Every country is unique in its own way. I won’t say Thailand is more beautiful and Nepal is not….no, no.  Nepal has got its own uniqueness and Thailand has its own in terms of its natural setting

EH: So are you planning to travel in Nepal in future as well?

Song Poh: Well that could be after the successful trip to Everest Base Camp. This is my second time to Everest. I travelled in many regions. I would like to try Manaslu next time.

EH: And what about the western parts like Rara and Dolpo, and eastern most part like Kanchanjugha?

Songpoh: Yeah, why not? If I have the opportunity and I have the means to do it, chances are yes.

EH: Is there any recommendation/suggestion for us? Have you ever felt like had these things been done, it would have been much better? Any thoughts on it?

Songpoh:  From my personal accounts, logistics provided by the company are the important part. You know that you are backed up by a good company, able to get things done for you, and next thing the trekkers are mostly new to this region. We don’t know the language but we get help by helpful staffs. Our adventure is more meaningful, they are able to take care, to see our needs, Malaysians have their own unique demands. That’s the most important part. So you know, what are the demands of Malaysian trekkers, maybe you can look into that matter. Both trekkers and company should act more responsibly.  

EH: If you are to give a message to other people who are planning to come to Nepal, what would you like to say?

Song Poh: Nepal has something what the world cannot provide, the uniqueness of its environment, the natural setting of the mountains, the friendly people and if anybody who is a keen trekker or ardent trekker, I think they shouldn’t miss the Nepali Himalayas. It is one of the most awesome trekking routes that you can ever imagine. Nepal has it all.

EH: Is there anything you want to say, something which you feel is missed to say?

Song Poh: If you want to do the ultimate trekking, I think Nepal is the place because they have the infrastructures, logistics, they have the people to do it. Personally to me, Nepal has been a fantastic place. Maybe I’m coming again, I don’t know when but definitely! So we are coming back again.

EH: Thank you for your time!

At Hotel Marshyangdi, Kathmandu

At Hotel Marshyangdi, Kathmandu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Trek to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar” by Medhavi Davda

Posted Nov 2nd, 2017 under Photo Essay, Travel Guide, Trekking & Hiking,
Namche Bazar

Namche Bazar (picture credit: http://www.ravenouslegs.com/)

Medhavi Davda, one of the attendees of International Travel Bloggers and Media Conference 2017 http://htmnepal.com/program/itbmc/, has recently posted her travel story on Everest Base Camp and Kala Patthar Trek in her blog http://www.ravenouslegs.com/ . Though she was in Nepal solely for the conference, she could not resist the charm of Nepali Himalayas and instantly packed her bags and set off for Everest Base Camp, one of the most sought-after adventure trails in the world. Medhavi’s refreshing details take us to the very base of the mighty Everest and make us enjoy every corner and every stone of her journey including the overwhelming moment she had at the first sight of Everest. As Everest Base Camp Trek is always one of its kind, so is the story of her trek! Explore Himalaya is really delighted to be a part of her lifetime experience. To enjoy her journey in full detail, please visit http://www.ravenouslegs.com/blogs/trek-to-everest-base-camp-and-kala-patthar

Meadow at Pheriche

Meadow at Pheriche (picture credit: http://www.ravenouslegs.com/)

If you are next in the queue, you can also visit her next blog for detailed guidelines http://www.ravenouslegs.com/blogs/handy-guide-and-tips-for-everest-base-camp-trek-in-nepal . You will never remain without thanking her!

at Pheriche

Medhavi enjoying the sublimity at Pheriche (picture credit: http://www.ravenouslegs.com/)

  

Short Ghorepani “Poonhill” Trek – Jennifer Dombrowski (travel writer and photographer)

Posted Jul 21st, 2017 under Company News, Luxury Tours, Special Events, Trekking & Hiking,

Short Ghorepani “Poonhill” Trek Annapurna from Deurali

Interested in trekking to have panoramic views of Annapurna Region????? But you cannot trek for long days???? Yes, we have Poonhill trek which is suitable trek for you. Enjoy short trek with unreal mountain scenery that will leave you breathless. Annapurna foot hill trek is one of the most popular trekking routes for group of beginners, family holidays and for soft adventure seekers. This trek offers you the panorama view of Himalayas including Fishtail, Annapurna ranges, Dhaulagiri, Lamjung Himal, Gangapurna, and Manaslu. Challenging uphill to burn your extra calories and detoxify the body physiology with snow town breeze in peaceful atmosphere.

                                           Deurali 

                                   Glimpse of Annapurna 

This is one of the most popular trek; known as Annapurna Sunrise Trek or Annapurna Panorama Trek and relatively one of easy trek. Poon hill is the Photographer’s Paradise with maximum elevation 3210M. The trail passes and twists through the beautiful ethnic Gurkha Warriors villages and lush green rhododendron forest. Especially Ghandruk Village is known to be unique and special to represent traditional culture of Gurkha Soldiers. Covering main highlight of Annapurna Mountain ranges you will trek about 5-6 hours a day for 5-6 days. It is also the prime choice for first time trekkers.                                              Poonhill tower

                          Annapurna range from Poonhill

Drive from Kathmandu to Pokhara Approx. 220 km/ 6-7 hrs. Or fly to Pokhara which is about 20 minutes. Pokhara city is tourist zone of Nepal for domestic and international tourist. Drive from Pokhara to Nayapul about two hours/ 45 kms. This trek goes from Nayapul to Tikhedhunga to Ghorepani, Poon hill,then to Tadapani and Ghandruk or Landruk then back to Nayapul where you will drive back to Pokhara. 

                      Descending from Tadapani to Ghandruk

          Trekkers enjoying their moment at Naya-pul 

Historical Event, Himalayan Travel Mart 2017 offered an opportunity for a group of traveler Bloggers to experience this Poonhill trek and have a close sight of the Himalayas. The post trek article written by professional travel writers and photographers, JenniferDombrowski and Tim Davis did this trek. They have some memorable experience while doing Ghorepani- Poonhill trek.  They sum to be enjoyed this trek. However, this trek is one of the most challenging tasks of their life as the pain of exhaustion and tiredness seem to have moved away by the sums of achievement, overcoming to a height and serenity observed in the wilderness of Nepal Himalaya even an acute pain caused by the cramping of her foot muscles feels nothing bad as her joy and ecstasy of happiness was indefinable after completing her memorable trek.   

You can also read their experience at http://luxeadventuretraveler.com/ghorepani-trek-nepal

                                      Typical Nepali House

If you are interested in doing this trip, please have a look at the details about the trip in our website at https://www.explorehimalaya.com/packages/a-week-below-annapurna-poonhill-trek/

                                           Poonhill: 3210m    

                                                                 Annapurna Ranges: on the way to Tada-pani from Ghandruk

                   Picture Courtesy: Jennifer Dombrowski

 

Explore Himalaya with All Hands group in Everest Base Camp Trek

Posted May 24th, 2017 under Company News, Special Events, Tourism News, Trekking & Hiking,

Ultimate goal is to reach base camp and stand at the altitude of 5337m

Explore Himalaya recently organized the Everest base camp trek and Island peak summit for All Hands Volunteers for the second time under the name of All Hands on Everest Challenge 2017.The group consisted if 12 members from whom 9 took part in for Everest base Camp trek and 3 participants joined for Island Peak.

The group move towards the small village Phakding at the altitude of 2610m

On the following day, the group moved towards Tengboche located at 3,867 meters and visited Tengboche Monastery, which is the largest Gompa in the Khumbu region. As the weather was clear, they got a chance to see the surrounding mountains like Thamserku, AmaDablam, Nuptse, Lotse and Mount Everest.

Tengboche Monastery – Largest Gumpa in Khumbu region

Magnificent view of Himalayas from Tengboche

The next day, group reached at Pheriche at the altitude of 4371 meter where they also rested for acclimatization. From Pheriche, the group split into two and headed for Everest base camp and Island Peak.

Island peak group with their guides

On the way to Gorakshep

After reaching Gorakshep, the group decided to continue their journey towards Base camp which is the final destination for the group on the same day. 2 hours of walk through the rocks they successfully reached at Everest base camp.

Glacier seen on the way to Base Camp

Groups celebrating the happiness to be in the base camp

After completing the base camp challenge the group descended back to Lukla with having overnight in Pheriche and Namche. On 18th of May, the group completed the trek and flew to Kathmandu on 19th May. After landing in Kathmandu, the group had a whole day for their own and later they had a dinner with cultural dance show in Thamel. All the group members enjoyed the dinner by dancing, singing and sharing their memorable stories during the trek.

Groups celebrating the happiness to be in the base camp

 

After completing the base camp challenge the group descended back to Lukla with having overnight in Pheriche and Namche. On 18th of May, the group completed the trek and flew to Kathmandu on 19th May. After landing in Kathmandu, the group had a whole day for their own and later they had a dinner with cultural dance show in Thamel. All the group members enjoyed the dinner by dancing, singing and sharing their memorable stories during the trek.

Group posing for Photo shout near Hillary Bridge

Overall, the trip was successfully completed and the members were very satisfied with the service of Explore Himalaya / All hands and found this trip as one of the best memorable trip of their lifetime. Thank you for All Hands for making us a part of this memorable trip.

International Yoga Day – Nepal the ideal destination for Yoga holidays-Re Post

Posted Apr 25th, 2017 under Special Events, Tourism News, Trekking & Hiking,

The practice of Yoga dates back to the time of Mahabharata, where Saints and Sadhus used to practice this ancient art of mental and spiritual discipline.

The history of yoga dates back to fifth century BC, in the ancient Indian sub-continent. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Yoga Gurus from the sub-continent introduced yoga to the west. Yoga is a physical exercise, which has spiritual and meditative benefits. It has been important part of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

YOGA

Yoga is channeling the mental and spiritual strength of the body with the help of physical posture and exercise.

June 21st International Yoga Day is celebrated in Nepal, and yoga demonstrations and lectures are held all over the country. Most of the demonstrations are held for all the general public and some special programs are conducted for the special members or invitees. Birjung, Biratnagar, and Kathmandu among other cities are the annual hosts for these events.

yoga1

 Nepal houses more than 400 Yoga and Meditation centers all over the country and it has been a favorable yoga destination since 1950s.

Nepal is an ideal destination for practicing the ancient art of yoga. Lush green vegetation and peaceful environment in the lap of Himalayas offers a wonderful opportunity for anyone who wishes to practice this ancient art of reviving mental and spiritual strength- Yoga.

Tour Date 2015-06 Blog post date 2015-06-21

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