Pokhara to New Delhi (Nepal – India Border Crossing)

Adventure, India, YouTube

How We Did It?

Namaste!

We went to India by land all the way from Pokhara, Nepal.

So, here some tips for getting into India from Nepal.

If you’re a lazy reader, you can watch our full vlog about our trip here Pokhara to New Delhi in 36 Hours

Please subscribe to us! =)

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Pokhara Bus Station 

  • Buy your bus ticket in Pokhara Town.
  • Ask for bus ticket to Sonauli, India / Lumbini, Nepal. (It is the same route)
  • Normally the bus ticket would cost around NPR 700 / USD 7 / MYR 30 
  • 8 hours of bus ride to the border town. (You will be dropped off before Lumbini, Nepal. )
  • Bus will depart around 8AM or 8.30AM.
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Common board game among the local here. 

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Snowy mountain view from the bus station.

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Bus to Lumbini, Nepal

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Bus Interior (Fan & A/C Bus) 

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Bus Ticket 

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Mountain view along the journey

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Lunch break in the middle of the mountain. 

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Dhal Bhat Buffet ( NPR 200 / USD 2 / MYR 8) 

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Dal Bhat is all you need. Dal Bhat Power 24 Hours. 

Lumbini to Belahiya (Nepal Border Town) 

  • After 8 hours of bus ride from Pokhara, you will be dropped off along Siddharta Highway.
  • Get your luggage / backpacks off the bus.
  • Go to Belahiya, Nepal.
  • Nepal Immigration Office located in Belahiya, Nepal.
  • You can ride the local bus (Non A/C) or take a cab.
  • Cab cost NPR 300 /  USD 3 / MYR 13.
  • Local bus (Non A/C) cost NPR 20 / USD 0.20 / MYR 0.90.
  • The journey from drop off to Belahiya, Nepal would take you around 15 – 20 minutes ride depends on the traffic.
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Drop Off Zone 

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Drop off along Siddharta Highway 

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Walking towards the local bus. 

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Ticket attendant will guide you to your bus. 

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It is a small bus. It may get very warm and cramp. 

Belahiya, Nepal. 

  • Nepal Immigration Office located just a stone throw away from the bus station in Belahiya, Nepal. 
  • Stamp out at Nepal Immigration Office.
  • Walk across to Sonauli, India.
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Drop off at the bus station in Belahiya, Nepal. 

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Walk straight to the Nepal Immigration Office

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Nepal-India border just few meters away. 

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Nepal Immigration Office at Belahiya, Nepal. 

Crossing The Nepal – India Border 

  • After getting your passport stamp, cross the Nepal-India Border.
  • Indian Immigration Officers will be checking your luggages or backpacks randomly at the border.
  • Many locals in Sonauli will offer you jeep or cab ride to Gorakphur Train Station or even an Indian Visa – AVOID THIS AT ALL COST.
  • Your Nepalese Rupees still can be use at Sonauli, India or you can exchange them for Indian Rupees here.
  • Apparently, many places in India do not offer currency exchange for Nepalese Rupees or accepting them as cash payment except in Sonauli.
  • Get your Indian Visa stamp at the official India Immigration Office.
  • India Immigration Office is pretty small so it may get crowded easily.
  • Sometimes the visa approval process would take awhile . It took us about 2 hours to get our visa approval because they have to do everything manually and there were about 7 of us waiting at the office.
  • Visa application for India varies differently for each nationality. Normally it is for a month and up to 6 months with single or multiple entry.
  • We applied our Indian Visa in Kathmandu, Nepal with an agency because it will take around 2 weeks at least to get it done at the Indian Embassy in Nepal.
  • Then, the visa application agency delivered our visa over to Pokhara, Nepal.
  • This cost around USD 150 including the delivery fee.
  • We highly recommend to apply for Indian Visa locally at your own country.
  • A lot cheaper and hassle free.
  • In Malaysia, you can apply Indian Visa for the price of around USD 95 / MYR 400 at local travel agency.
  • Do contact me if you want to know more about Indian VISA application for Malaysian. (Social Media : Lionel Benang)
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Crossing the Nepal-India Border

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Namaste! Welcome to India !

 

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Sonauli, India. 

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Sonauli, India. 

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This is the official India Immigration Office. About 10 minutes walk from the Sonauli border and it is located on the right side of the road. 

 

Bus to Gorakphur Railway Station 

  • Sonauli to Gorakphur Railway Station will take around 3 hours of journey.
  • Local (Non-A/C Bus) cost INR 90 / USD 1.40 / MYR 6.00.
  • They will stop along the road to pick up other passenger so your ride probably longer than expected.
  • Jeep & cab available for hire however they would normally overcharge you. So do bargain with them.
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Non A/C Local Bus 

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Bus to Gorakphur Railway Station. 

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Sardined Packed. It was a thrilling experience though. 

Gorakphur Railway Station

  • After 3 hours, you will be arriving at Gorakphur Railway Station.
  • Buying train ticket in India can get very confusing.
  • Do your research before the start of your journey to avoid disappointments.
  • You can purchase your train ticket online or purchase it at tourist assigned counter. (However, not all railway station have a legit tourist counter) – BEWARE OF TOUTS & SCAMS. 
  • Check the availability of your train online. We use Clear Trip App .
  • Many signboards are in Tamil or Hindi Language.
  • Most of the railway staff do not speak or understand English. However they will still try to assist you or get some of their English speaking staff to talk to you.
  • For a longer than 7 hours train ride, we would suggest you to take  AC 3 Tier and above for more comfortable experience.
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Check the availability of  your scheduled train on Clear Trip 

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Type of classes available. Highly recommended the AC 3 Tier (AC Coach with sleeper bunk) 

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You can have all the train details here. 

  • Unfortunately for us, all train tickets were sold out except for general admission.
  • General admission ticket cost INR 210 / USD 3.30 / MYR 14.
  • Here is the trick on how to get on AC 3 Tier (A/C Sleeper Bunk) with general admission ticket or any other ticket with lower classes.
  • Talk and negotiate with the in-charge train attendant officer upon boarding and offer him a price for upgrade.
  • It may take more than one attempt. Do not give up.
  • We failed on our first attempt trying to get an upgrade for our train to New Delhi.
  • On our second attempt, we got rejected again.
  • With more than 15Kg backpack stressing our back and more than 10 hours of sweaty sardined packed bus ride, we did not want to miss this last train to New Delhi.
  • We decided to sneaked into the AC 3 Tier Coach right before the train leave Gorakphur Railway Station.
  • We almost got into trouble for that because that coach were fully booked.
  • Then, we met one genuinely good-hearted Indian lady, Miss Swheta. She saw us struggling tried to explained ourselves to the train staff  and they obviously did not understood every single word that came out from our mouths.
  • Miss Swheta negotiated with the train attendant officers and finally we got upgraded to AC 3 Tier with some extra INR 1700/ USD 27/ MYR 114.
  • We had bunk bed for the rest of the journey and being able to rest our back on the hard cold mattress was the best thing that day.
  • It was 16 hours train journey from Gorakphur Railway Station to New Delhi Railway Station. 

 

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Gorakphur Railway Station

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Night life in Gorakphur can get very busy.

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Many locals will sleep outside of the railway station. This is quite a common scene here. We then understand that many of them came from villages far away from the cities and waiting for their next train ride. 

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They had the world longest railway platform at 1366.33 meters. 

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Inside Gorakphur Train Station 

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Waiting for the next train to New Delhi, India.

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Still waiting for our next train to New Delhi, India

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Our failed attempt trying to get into train to New Delhi

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General Admission Ticket (INR 210 / USD 3.30 / MYR 14)

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Sleeping Bunks 

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My bunk mates. 

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Local Snacks on Train

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Arriving in New Delhi, India. 

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Thank you Shweta and Family. We were so grateful that we met you. 

Few Final Tips

  • Learn to speak few Hindi languages. (Namaste…Etc)
  • Try to talk to young local in English. High chances that they can speak little or decent English.
  • Do a complete research online before the start of your journey.
  • Screenshot the location of your intended destination on your phone. So that you would roughly know that you arriving at the right place.
  • Learn to understand the Indian Railway System because you will be taking train most of the time if you are traveling long term in India.
  • For those of you who are concerning about hygienic issues in India, please bear in mind that it can get quite dirty and unhygienic at many places. Be prepare.
  • Prepare a lot of wet tissues and sanitizers.
  • Be an explorer here. So much to discover.

 

Trekking in Nepal

Adventure, Everest, Inspirational Malaysia, Inspiring Filmmaker, Nepal Travel, Uncategorized, Web Series, YouTube, Youtube Channel

Everest Base Camp Trek

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Flight to Lukla by GOMA AIR. 

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On our way to Phakding. 

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Horses are available for hire.

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One of many suspension bridges.

PREPARATION

  • Check for the right season (March – May (Spring)  or September – November (Autumn))
  • Avoid the monsoon season (June – August (Summer))
  • Prepare yourself physically (At least 3 months prior to your trip – HIIT highly recommended)
  • Prepare yourself mentally (Read and do research about your trek course)
  • Do a full body medical check up (Optional)
  • Typhoid Vaccine and Hepatitis B Injection (Check with your local doctor)
  • Make your booking with reliable trekking agent. ( I did it with Madhav Adhikari (Trekking Agent) &  Mount Face Nepal)
  • Solo / Group (Do it with the right company)
  • Get a travel / trekking insurance (MUST) 
  • Prior Mountain hiking / trekking activities (Mountain with high altitude make the best preparation because you’ll be acclimatizing a lot easier during your EBC trek)
  • Eat a lot of ginger / garlic months before. It helps thinning the blood and apparently it with reduce severe Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
  • Drink a lot of water and get used to it.
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River water flows from the glaciers.

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Highest elevation trek (Phakding to Namche)

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Up. Up. and Up.

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Take photos. A lot of it.

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Gayane, Sola & Ganesh (Guide)

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Kakak Ani at the Sagarmatha National Park Entrance. 

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Double suspension bridges.

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Few hundreds meter to Namche. 

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Ganesh (Guide) & Sola. Their positivity is addictive.

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Local strumming the music instruments playing the Sherpa song.

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Panaromic View of Namche Bazaar. 

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • AMS can be very severe. (Be alert to the symptoms)
  • You will be having nausea and headache and maybe lost of appetite during acclimatization. It’s a sign of your body adjusting and adapting to the altitude and level of oxygen. Acclimatization is crucial. 
  • Rest a day or two if you have to.
  • Speak out if you feeling uneasy or unwell.
  • Most guides and local lodge operator speak decent English and some Malay Language(Share this post if you’re a Malaysian)
  • It can be freezing cold at night so make sure you are comfortably warm.
  • Hot water would cost you around USD 3 / 300 Rupees. 
  • You’ll probably fart a lot as you go higher. It is normal. It is due to the altitude.
  • You’ll maybe have a strange and weird dreams. It is normal. It is due to decreasing oxygen level as you go higher.
  • If you’re lucky, probably you can spot some local mountain animals.
  • Do your last shopping at Namche Bazaar before heading higher.
  • If you want to know more, do watch our whole EBC series here HUMBLED SERIES
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Our Superman Potter (Lakhwir) 

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Superman Surash (Potter). These people are amazing.

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Sola

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Common transportation here at the mountain. Yak Services.

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Prayer Flags, Prayers carved on stone and a Stupa.

GEAR

  • Comfortable Waterproof Trekking Boots
  • Pairs of Socks
  • Slipper / Birkens / Crocs / Sneakers (Off Trek / Lodge)
  • Thermal Layers
  • Fleece Jackets
  • Down Jacket (Wind & Waterproof)
  • Gloves (Waterproof)
  • Winter Hat
  • Quick Dry Towel
  • Comfortable Light Daypacks
  • Waterbottles
  • Thermal
  • Sunglasses
  • Rain Jacket (Optional)
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Monks at the Tebongche Monastery 

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Ama Dablam

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Me and Ama Dablam (Behind)

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Paradise on Earth.

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Yaks

TECHNOLOGY

  • Camera (Mirrorless Preferred -Lighter)
  • Extra Batteries (Always keep them warm – Put it in your pockets)
  • Chargers (Charging will cost you from USD 2 – USD 6 per charge)
  • Phone charging cables
  • Light Tripod / Gorilla Pod
  • Headlamp
  • Power Bank
  • GoPro (Optional)
  • GoPro accessories
  • Solar Charger (Optional)
  • Laptop (Optional)
  • Drone (Optional) – (P/S: I brought a DJI Phantom 4 for my expedition. I did not flew it. Himalaya regions Air Space can get very busy in the day. I decided not to risk it since I have no valid film permit. Check with the local authorities first before you flew it) 
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Gayane, The Yoga Master.

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Sola (The Dal Bhat Power)

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Towards Gorak Sheep

DOCUMENTS

  • Cash (Nepalese Rupees & USD)
  • Passport (VISA)
  • ID
  • Trekking Permits (Normally kept by your guide)
  • Trekking Maps
  • Books
  • Journal
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Danphe (Nepal National Bird)

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Musk Deer

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Periche

OTHERS

  • First Aid Kits (Your guide will carry one as well)
  • Water Purifications Tablets
  • Soluble Vitamin Tablets
  • Sunscreen
  • Diamox (Meds)
  • Wet tissues (Clean yourself humans)
  • Candies, Power bars, Chocolates and Nuts.
  • Poker Cards (Optional)
  • Portable Speakers (Optional)
  • Gifts / Souvenirs from your own country (Optional – You will developed a strong bonds with your guide and porters. It will be a great gifts to remember your expedition together.)
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Periche 

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View of Ama Dablam 

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Panaromic View of the mountains at Lobuche Memorial

EXTRA TIPS

  • Take necessary rest after trekking. Acclimatization is crucial.
  • Do train for this expedition and do not take it lightly. (P/S : I did not make it to the base camp due to severe AMS )
  • Keep a positive vibes at ALL TIME.
  • Talk to the locals. (They may have summited Everest)
  • Flights timing occasionally stray from schedule. Be prepare. You could be waiting at the departure hall for hours.
  • Drink a lot of water during trekking.
  • Keep a steady pace with your group and be brave enough to speak out your concern when you felt unwell.
  • Last ATM available at Namche Bazaar
  • Hot shower normally cost USD 3 / 300 RUPEES
  • Everything get more expensive when it get higher.
  • Internet available at most lodge. (Not Free)
  • Take those selfies. Take those mountain shots. Take those group photos.
  • Try the Tibetan Breads & Dal Bhat. It’s GOOD!
  • Remember to have fun!
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At the Lobuche Memorial

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Lakhwir, Sola, Surash, Ganesh & Gayane. 

What Happened?

I am going to share with you what happened on the day I was airlifted back to Kathmandu. This was based on my personal experience and may vary with different individuals. Check out the full series here HUMBLED SERIES EP1 (YOUTUBE)

Every now and then, I dreamt about the mountains. It felt like I had some unfinished errands waiting for me to get it done. What actually happened that day? Did I made the right decision? What if I kept going? What would happened then? Will I make it back? I asked these questions to myself so many times.

Unfortunately, there are no actual answers to my never ending whys. Nevertheless, I have to learn to embrace what happened to me there and slowly build up my faith again.

That very night, I had severe headache. Non-stop gentle pounding inside the wall of my skulls. It woke me up almost every half an hour.  To make the situation a lot more worse, the kerosene odor in the lodge was so heavy that it almost felt like sleeping right next to a gas station. That night was the worst experience I had on the mountains. I puked right after I woke up the next morning. I drank plenty of water hoping that I would feel better with so little sleep. I have told Ganesh, Gayane & Sola about this. These were likely  signs of AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness). Gayane felt the same about the kerosene odor and had kept her window open for the night for fresh air. I was looking forward to leave lodge hoping that I would recover quicker. After taking Diamox (Medication), we left the lodge.

Starting the journey to Everest Base Camp from Periche that day with such low spirit probably not the best thing. I was not feeling myself that morning. Throughout that trek, I constantly stopping for water break. Fatigue kicked in way earlier that I expected. My knees were weak and I was panting.  As I was walking behind my trek mates, Ganesh keeping his pace parallel to me just to make sure I was all right. Then, I mumbled The Hail Mary Prayers number of times as I trekked. Severe fatigue was real. I hardly felt my legs. I remembered asked God for strength just to finished this journey. Every single word of the prayer felt so deep and I began to had tears. I was tired. It was a very emotional journey for me. I started to questioned myself what is my sole purpose of being here and attempting to get to Everest Base Camp. 

It was at Gorak Sheep lodge when I slowly felt like my body shutting down. I was extremely fatigued and lost of appetite. I had trouble walking straight back to my room and even sluggish reaction. After talking to Ganesh, Sola & Gayane, these were symptoms of severe AMS. I had Snickers and some hot soup. Did not felt any better. Body temperature dropped and I started shivering.  They warmed me up with extra down jacket and gave me some warm thermos.

I was terrified that I might collapse at any moment. So frightened that I would not wake up if I took a rest or nap. The only thing I had it mind at that very moment were my loved ones. I still wants to be with them. Mountains will always be there. That was when I decided to withdraw from this expedition. It was difficult decision for me. Leaving my closed friends behind after spent 7 days trekking together was immensely heart-breaking.

After getting treated at the Hospital in Kathmandu, I genuinely felt defeated. Calls and texts from loved ones were very comforting and had helped me overcome that phase of dismal period. I am sorry that I have let all of you down. I promised to train harder and better. Have no worries, I am better now.

Everest Base Camp, I will see you real soon. Namaste! 

To Ganesh, Gayane, Sola, Kak Ani, Surash & Lakhwir,

All of you are amazing individuals.

I was so lucky that I had met each and every one of you. I truly appreciate every moment that we spent trekking together. I miss all the good times. Mountain Disco!

Thank you for all the knowledge that you had shared

Thank you for the cookies, snacks, bananas and mango juices.

Thank you for all the jokes and laughter

Thank you for dancing on the mountains with me

Thank you for taking care of me when I am at my lowest point while literally on the highest point of my life. =)

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Dal Bhat Power 24/7!

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Everest Base Camp. Displaying the colour of Armenian Flags. 

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Ganesh (Malaysia Flag) & Sola (Sarawak Flag, my Home). Thank you for bringing it to base camp.

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If you know me well, that’s my drawing. He made it as well. 

And You! Thank you for reading this all through! Love you!

DM me on my social media,  LIONEL BENANG.

There’s a treat for you! =)