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.

 

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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! =)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pokhara Travel Guide

Adventure, Malaysia, Nepal Travel, Pokhara Travel Tips, Travel, Travel Guide, YouTube, Youtube Channel, Youtuber
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Aerial View of Pokhara Town

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Pokhara Old Town

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View from Pokhara Town. That is Machhapuchhre.

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Clear sky will give you a magnificent view like this from Pokhara. That is Annapurna South.

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Annapurna I peeking behind the Sarangkot Hill. 

  • About 8 hours of bus ride from Kathmandu. A bumpy ride but with a breathaking luxurious green mountain views.
  • Bus ticket normally cost NPR 600 / USD 6 / MYR 25. 
  • There are many hotels and lodges available here in Pokhara. We stayed at Hotel Hakoniwa (Budget). Highly recommended.

 

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View from our balcony. They have rooftop view as well.

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Our room (Non A/C)

 

What to do in Pokhara

Boating at the Phewa Lake

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Kenny & Chris. Paddling. Harder than we thought.

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Here’s the price list. Each jetty has its own price list. Do compare them.

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Third Jetty 

 

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Phewa Lake

  • You can hire a local paddler or paddle on your own. (2 paddle max)
  • Do paddle in the afternoon or during the sunset. You will get spectacular view of the mountains and lakes.
  • There are few boat jetty around so make sure you get the one with reasonable price.

Watch the Sunrise at Sarangkot Hill

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View from Sarangkot Hill 

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Kenny contemplating his future.

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This chicken nailed it!

  • Hire a cab from town. (NPR 1500 / USD 15 / MYR 63)
  • 30 – 45 minutes car ride.
  • Find your sweet spot or you could be sipping a cup of hot coffee while watching the skies breaking the dawn at a cafe rooftop nearby.
  • It can get pretty crowded so make sure you arrive early.
  • If you’re not a morning person, sunset is doable and you can witness the skies breaking the clouds in purple rays as it getting dark.
  • You can hike all the way up here. About 2 – 2.5 hours of hiking. Our friend, Chris did that.
  • Sarangkot Hill  is famous for paragliding activities. We skipped that since it is not within our budget.
  • Price normally ranged from USD 80 – USD 120. Bargain!

HIKE UP TO PEACE STUPA

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Follow this sign. About 20 minutes hike up.

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We made it in 15 minutes. Chris is happy.

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View from Peace Stupa. 

  • Free Entrance.
  • Sunset view.
  • About 20 – 35 minutes hike.
  • Paddle across the lake and hike your way up.

RENT A BICYCLE OR BIKE

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We came across this beautiful landscape at the countryside.

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Amazing Nepalese crossing lake full of water buffalos.

 

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3 modes of transportation here in Pokhara. 

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Sunset

  • Cycle around town or the countryside. You will be amazed.
  • It can get very hot in the day so do spray your sunscreen.

‘CHUKPA’ LOCAL SNACKS

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Chukpa (Local Snacks)

  • Famous local snacks.
  • You can find it almost any where in Pokhara. 
  • Mixed of chopped onions, cucumber, tomatoes, garlics, potatoes and instant noodles with sprinkled noodles spices.

BEST SANDWICH IN POKHARA

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  • Locate this sandwich cafe with TripAdvisor.
  • We kept coming back because it tasted amazing. All fresh ingredients.

Tips when travel to Pokhara

  • Do check the weather forecast.
  • Avoid monsoon season as you would not get clear view of the mountains when you in Pokhara.
  • Spend about 2-3 days here for a full travel experience in Pokhara. 
  • There are plenty of good restaurants here. Highly recommended Tibetan Restaurant. 
  • Check out Blues Bar if you want to chill and have some good rock band music.
  • Visit Chitwan National Park if you want to see some Rhinos. 
  • Go to the North side of Pokhara Town if you’re a hippies.
  • Check out my video here about Pokhara Pokhara Travel Guide

 

Kathmandu Travel Guide

Adventure, Malaysian Youtuber, Travel Guide, Uncategorized, YouTube, Youtube Channel

Where to stay in Kathmandu

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Kathmandu Aerial View

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Thamel Street At Night

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Thamel (Shopping Paradise)

 

  • Best places to stay in Kathmandu definitely in the vicinity of Thamel.
  • Plenty of hotels, restaurants, bars, trekking and gifts shop. (Walking Distance)
  • Bear in mind that Thamel streets can be very dusty so do wear your face masks.
  • Highly recommended Hotel Thamel & Holy Himalaya Hotel .

Places of Interest in Kathmandu

Bhaktaphur Durbar Square

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Bhaktaphur Durbar Square

  • Bigger compared to Kathmandu Durbar Square.
  • About 45 minutes drive from Kathmandu.
  • Bargain with your cab driver for the price. ( Around 1500 NPR / USD 15 / MYR 63 One Way)
  • 1100 NPR / USD 11 / MYR 46 Entrance Ticket.
  • Locals will approach you and offer to be your guide. (Not necessarily)
  • Do spend 2-3 hours here.
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Bhaktaphur Street

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Hindu Temple

 

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Amazing Archictecture

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Pottery Square

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Gayane trying Kufti (Local Ice Cream) for the first time

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Bhaktaphur Lake

Monkey Temple (Swayambhunath)

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Stupa

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Buddhist Prayer Flags

 

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Monkey

  • 200 NPR / USD 2 / MYR 8 Entrance Ticket.
  • Hire a cab. (Normally included in the day tour package or you could walk 30 minutes from Thamel street)
  • Locals will approach you and offer to be your guide. (Not necessarily)

Garden of Dreams

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Sola at Garden of Dreams

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  • 200 NPR / USD 2 / MYR 8 Entrance Ticket.
  • Flowers & Squirrels.
  • Great place for family picnic and dating.
  • Walking distances from Thamel.

Kumari (Living Goddess Place)

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  • Free Entrance (Donation expected).
  • Photo of Kumari (Living Goddess) are forbidden during visit.
  • Kumari will take a peek at the window just for a moment.
  • Walking distances from Thamel.

Kathmandu Durbar Square

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  • 1000 NPR / USD 10 / RM42 Entrance Ticket
  • Most of it still under construction after the earthquake.

Best Lassi In Town

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  • We were brought here by a local. (We have no idea where is the exact location)
  • 70 NPR / USD 0.70 / RM 3
  • BEST LASSI WE HAD SO FAR.

Watch Traditional Dance Performance

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  • There are plenty of restaurants here in Nepal that offered traditional Nepalese dance performance.
  • We were brought to Thamel Restaurant by our trekking agent and we had a great evening with amazing Dal Bhat.

Drink Local Beers

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Tips when travel to Kathmandu

  • Try Dal That (Local Dish)
  • Always bargain even for groceries. Yes. We did and it worked.
  • Always pay in Nepalese Rupees and they do accept MYR currency. (Many Nepalese able to speak decent Malaysian Language)
  • Bring your face mask. (It get very dusty and windy at times)
  • Phasphutinath Temple going to cost 1000 NPR / USD 10 / MYR 42. (We skipped this place because we think it’s a bit expensive)
  • Check out my video here on Youtube Kathmandu Travel Guide

HA LONG BAY

Adventure, Travel
IMG_6480 2.JPG

AT THE PIER

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Apricot Cruise

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Lunch On Board

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Twin Bed Room

 

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SUPRISING CAVE

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Ti Top Island

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Dinner on Board

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Squid Fishing

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THE ONLY SQUID WE CAUGHT ALL NIGHT

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Pearl Farm

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VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLL LESSON

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Vietnamese Spring Roll that I’ve made

 

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Another cruise in Halong Bay

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Local Vendor in Ha Long Bay

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Sunset in Ha Long Bay

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  • There are variety of cruises available for Ha Long Bay tour.
  • Normally there are 3 options to choose from 1 day, 2 Days 1 Night or 3 Days 2 Nights.
  • Price range differently depend on type of cruise you choose (Budget – Luxury)
  • Apricot Cruise (USD 90 – USD 110) – Mid Range Cruise
  • Pick up from your hotel
  • Hanoi – Ha Long City Pier (4 – 5 Hours Bus Journey)
  • They will have one stop at the souvenir shops along the way.
  • Activities for cruises are different (Surprising Cave, Pearl Farm, Tip Top Island, Squid Fishing, Tai Chi Lesson, Spring Roll Lesson etc)
  • Avoid peak / holiday season (Too crowded)
  • Low Peak (June – September)
  • Kayak activities temporarily on hold (April 2017)
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Friends that I met in this trip

Tips when travel in Hanoi, Vietnam

  • Be careful of the slippers thread scams (Random strangers will point at your slippers and grab it, then glue new thread on it without your permission)
  • Avoid buying donuts from the street (They will charge you A LOT MORE)
  • Check out our video here Ha Long Bay for more details.

SAND DUNES IN MUI NE, VIETNAM

Adventure, Travel

RED SAND DUNES, MUI NE

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LOCAL VENDOR AT THE RED SAND DUNES
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RED SAND DUNES, MUI NE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Many jeep tours available (Red Sand Dunes, Fishing Village, Fairy Stream & White Sand Dunes)
  • Solo Travel (Rent bike / Hire a local bike tour – VND 170,000 /  USD 7.50 / MYR 32)
  • Sunset location
  • Free Entry
  • Get your sunscreen / sunblock (Sun Burn is REAL)

FISHING VILLAGE

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FISHING VILLAGE

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FRESH SEAFOOD MARKETS

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FISHERMAN BOATS

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FISHES TO THE MARKET

  • Free Entry
  • Fresh seafood available
  • Be here early in the day

FAIRY STREAM

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Entry Point

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Fairy Stream

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You can spend 20-45 minutes here

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Vietnamese in their traditional dress

  • Free Entry
  • Walk barefoot (It will get wet)
  • Several cafe / shops along the stream

WHITE SAND DUNES

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WHITE SAND DUNES

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DO COME HERE FOR SUNRISE

  • Free Entry
  • Sunrise Location (About 4AM)
  • About 30 Minutes – 45 Minutes Drive from town
  • Hire an ATV (Some of the ATV drivers are pretty reckless, so be careful)

COUCHSURFING IN MUI NE

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Pavel Sannikov (Host)

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Highly Recommended Couch Surfing Host in Mui Ne

 

Cheapest way to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Adventure, Travel, YouTube

 

Hua Lamphong Train Station, Bangkok

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Hua Lamphong Train Station

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Train Schedule

  • Check out our full video here Lost in Cambodia
  • Get to Hua Lamphong Train Station in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • If you would like to stay overnight nearby can consider Train Guesthouse (Highly recommended)
  • Train ticket would cost you THB 48 / MYR 6 / USD 1.50
  • It scheduled 5.45AM daily.
  • Train tickets available for purchase on daily basis (No need for pre-booking)
  • 6 hours – 7 hours train ride.
  • Third Class Train.
  • No A/C.
  • Local food vendor will sell various food in the train.
  • Multiple stops along the way.
  • Last stop at Aranyaprathet Train Station, Thailand.
  • Take Tuk Tuk to the Thailand Border (15 Minutes Drive) cost THB 80 /  MYR 10 / USD 2.30
  • Cross the Thailand – Cambodia Bridge.
  • Avoid all touts and VISA scams along the way.
  • Go through Immigration (Visa & Non – Visa).
  • Private Cab Ride (USD 40).
  • 2 hours drive to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
  • They will drop you off to a Tuk Tuk Driver
  • Tuk Tuk Driver will tell you it’s free of charge but they will want you to use their service or they will charge you USD 5
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Platform 6

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48 THB TRAIN TICKET

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THIRD CLASS TRAIN

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RICE WITH EGG OMELETTE

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Classic

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Saying goodbye to her family

 

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ARANYAPRATHET TRAIN STATION, THAILAND

ANGKOR WAT

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Sunrise Silhouette. 

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Ta Phrom Temple

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Ta From Temple (One of the scene in Tomb Raider was shot here)

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Reality

 

  • Sun starts to rise at 5.30AM.
  • Get your entrance ticket for USD 37.
  • Some locals will ask you to buy long pants for Angkor Wat visit. (Shorts are allowed).
  • Tuk Tuk ride to Angkor Wat normally cost around USD 15 – USD 20.
  • You can get a guide in Angkor Wat or your Tuk Tuk will brief you the history of Angkor Wat and some other temples around it.
  • Food in of Angkor Wat are normally expensive (One fried noodle would cost around USD 6)
  • Visit some other nearby temples (Not just Angkor Wat)
  • Check out Central Hostel in Siem Reap for accommodation (Highly Recommended)
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Places to visit in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

PUB STREET, SIEM REAP

 

  • Siem Reap night life
  • Shopping heaven
  • Make sure you visit Angkor What! Bar.
  • Pub Crawl Available
  • Exotic food (Scorpion, Snakes for you try
  • Night Market
  • Try Khmer noodles on the street
  • Cheap beers & liquors
  • Do not give money to the young kids who begged on the street.
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Pub Street

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One Dollar Fried Noodle

  • They have plenty stalls along Pub Street Area.
  • This particular stall is my favorite.
  • Try their one dollar vegetarian fried noodle.

SIEM REAP COUNTRYSIDE

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USD 3 FOR A DAY (MOUNTAIN BIKE)

  • Do visit the country side of Siem Reap.
  • Can book with the local tour or rent a bike on your own.

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These kids are getting last few pieces of snails

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Catching fishes at the Paddy Field

 

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Happiness

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This family saved my day! Check out my video for more details!

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Lost while searching for the sunset spot.

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They offered me this for free.

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Uncle Mech

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Uncle Mech’s Mum

 

 

 

 

 

Koh Phangan (Full Moon Party)

Adventure, Full Moon Party, Uncategorized

We planned a trip to Koh Phangan, Thailand. Obviously for the Full Moon Party. We heard a lot of crazy stories about it and decided to find it out.

Getting There

  • Book a flight to Koh Samui then take a ferry ride to Koh Phangan (More Expensive Option)
  • Book a flight to Surat Thani,  then about an hour bus/van ride to the Don Sak Pier then ferry ride to Koh Phangan (If you flying from Malaysia, choose this route and it would save you a lot of time and more affordable)
  • Get to Bangkok, book a bus + ferry tickets to Koh Phangan. Remember to book your ticket online if it is a peak season. We booked our tickets from 12go Asia Website. (About 1379 THB / MYR 173 / USD 40 inclusive of online booking fee)

 

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Check In at Lomprayah Bus & Ferry Boat Services at Khao San Road, Bangkok

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Waiting (30 Minutes) for the Lomprayah Bus at Khao San Road, Bangkok.

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The bus was kinda warm throughout our trip tho. Maybe because it was packed. 

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Toilet Break. 

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Lomprayah Double Decker Bus. 

 

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We arrived around 5am at the pier (2 hrs prior to boat departure)

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Finally on the way to our boat (You will have to check in at the counter office at the pier)

Ang Thong Marine Park (Full Day Boat Trip)

  • Booked from Orion Boat Cruise.
  • 2000 THB / MYR 250 / USD 58
  • Inclusive of snorkeling, Blue Lagoon viewpoint,  kayaking around the island and Mu Ko Ang Thong Marine National Park viewpoint
  • Inclusive breakfast, lunch and tea break
  • Waterproof bag provided (To be return at the end of the day)
  • Free pick up from hotel
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Orion Boat Cruise

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Top deck with diving board and slide

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Snorkeling Area (About an hour boat journey)

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Snorkel Spot

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Lunch after snorkeled

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Blue Lagoon (15 minutes – staircase)

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30 – 45 minutes kayaking along the island.

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Ang Thong Marine Park Viewpoint

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Enjoy the sunset back to Koh Phangan

Full Moon Party (Haad Rin Beach)

  • You can check the schedule of the full moon party online here Full Moon Party Schedule before you book your ticket.
  • Ticket is around 100 THB / MYR 12 / USD 3. 
  • You can purchase the ticket at the entrance.
  • It starts at late evening but do not worry if you’re late cause they would party till sunrise.
  • If you missed it, there are actually Half Moon Party and Dark Moon Party available.
  • There are many bars and clubs playing along Haad Rin Beach. You could walk along the beach and find your favorite tracks to dance to.
  • There are many events going on such as fire dance, fire ropes and swings and some slides.
  • Do watch out for drunkards.
  • Bring necessary valuables only.
  • Go get yourself some neon or bright full moon party tanks or shirts and maybe some neon paints.
  • Party responsibly and be safe.
  • Get a Tuk Tuk to and from your place.
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Full Moon Party

 

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Cheap Alcohols

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Fire Dance 

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I do not know this guy. 

Sunset at Haad Yao Beach

  • About 20 minutes drive from Thong Sala. 
  • There are couple restaurants available there to dine in. (Check on TripAdvisor)
  • You could walk along the beach for free and enjoying the evening chill vibes there.
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Sunset at Haad Yao

Muay Thai Boxing (Kobra Stadium)

  • Located in Thong Sala
  • There are many other Muay Thai boxing stadium available in Koh Phangan. 
  • 600 THB/ MYR 75 / USD 17 for normal tickets.
  • 800 THB/ MYR 100 / USD 23 for front seaters.
  • Starts at 9.30PM (Normally they would start when there are more crowds so do expect some delay)
  • 5 Fights in one night.
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Boxing Night

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They normally saved the best fight for last.

Koh Ma Island

  • About 35 minutes bike ride from Thong Sala.
  • Koh Ma Island connected to Mae Haad Beach by bars of sands.
  • You can park your bike at the local restaurant and walk to the beach (Free)
  • You could explore the island on your own and snorkel around it.
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Koh Ma Island Aerial View.

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Sand Bar

Surat Thani, Thailand.

  • We took the boat ride from Thong Sala Pier to Don Sak Pier in  Surat Thani, Thailand.
  • We stayed overnight there for our flight back to Bangkok, Thailand.
  • 100% recommend you guys to stay here My Place Hotel in Surat Thani. 
  • They have one of the best customer service so far for a budget hotel.
  • They welcomed us with iced cold tea to quenched our thirst.
  • Friendly staff.
  • This place is walking distance to the local night market.
  • You can book shuttle bus to airport from here as well.

 

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Greeting notice from our room.

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Free postcard for you to bring back

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 Tips

  • If you up to some crazy slide and party, go to Slip N Fly and check them out. They do offered a packaged ticket with Full Moon Party. 
  • There are night market located in Thong Sala.
  • If you have plenty of time in Koh Phangan, you can visit the Phaeng Waterfall, Paradise waterfall & Than Sadet Waterfall National Park.
  • If you are here for the Full Moon Party, be prepared for the hike in price of almost everything.
  • There will be a lot of other travelers, tourists and backpackers too.
  • Make sure you book your boat tickets in advance because it normally sold out during peak season.
  • Always be ready with your sun block. It can get very hot and humid in the day.
  • Renting a bike in Koh Phangan normally costs around 200 THB / MYR 25 / USD 6. 

 

Amazing Laos (Part 3)

Adventure, laos, Luang Prabang, YouTube

Luang Prabang

Our final destination in Laos was Luang Prabang. A very laid back town which used to be the capital of Laos. Rich with buddhism culture and it is very common to see monks here.

Check out our Luang Prabang video here Luang Prabang

Ban Xang Hai (Whiskey Village)

  • About 45 minutes bike ride from Luang Prabang.
  • Bike rent cost around 100,000 Kip (USD 12 / MYR 54).
  • You could take a slow boat tour from Luang Prabang.
  • Villagers normally sell local made silk, home made alcohol (Lao Lao) and various alcohol medicine with snakes, lizards and scorpions in it.
  • You can easily Waze (GPS Apps) yourself here.
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Aerial View of Ban Xiang Hai Village (Whiskey Village) 

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Mekong River 

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Kid from the village. 

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Slow Boat

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Michelle 

Elephant Sanctuary

  • Take another 15 minutes ride up north from the village, you will find an Elephant Sanctuary.
  • We plan to visit it at first but then we came across few elephants with their caretaker while on our way.
  • They allowed us to take picture with them and have a closer look at the elephant.
  • Basically, we get to see these elephants for free.
  • Elephant Sanctuary Tour would cost a lot here in Luang Prabang depends on your activties. The price can go up to USD150 per person.
  • REMINDER : DO NOT RIDE THE ELEPHANT
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Road to Elephant Sanctuary. 

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Khun, the elephant. 

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Shandra 

 

Mount Phousi

  • People normally come here for sunset & sunrise view.
  • It cost 20,000 Kip (USD 2.50 / MYR 10) for the entrance fee.
  • Do come early if you want to have good sunset view spot.
  • Normally it will get crowded during sunset.
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Golden Wat Phousi

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Instagrammable Spot. 

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Sunset View 

Ban Xang Khong (Crafts Centre)

  • About 20 minutes ride from Luang Prabang.
  • Entrance is free.
  • You could go behind the handicraft shop and witness various local craft handmade by these talented Laotian.
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Paper Making (Handmade) 

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Different type of silk. 

Kuang Si Waterfall

  • About an hour bike journey to this amazing waterfall.
  • Cost 20,000 Kip for entrance (USD 2.50 / MYR 10).
  • The Sunbear rescue centre included.
  • There are plenty waterfall section but only the lower portion of it that open for public to swim.
  • You could trek up to the top of the waterfall for about 25 minutes.
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Road to Kuang Si Waterfall. 

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Entrance for Kuang Si Waterfall

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Kuang Si Waterfall Map. 

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Sun Bear Rescue Centre. 

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Picture Perfect Instagram 

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Kuang Si Waterfall. 

 

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Top of Kuang Si Waterfall. 

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Local Kid

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Kiddo from the village. 

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Harvested Paddy Field. 

Monk School

  • We came across these monk school nearby the bamboo bridges at Nam Khan river.
  • Decided to have a peek at their school.

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Bamboo Bridges at Nam Khan River (5000 Kip / USD 0.60 / MYR 2.3)

Night Market

  • Always bargain for the best price.
  • There plenty of local goods for sale here.
  • Skip the vegetarian buffet if you love hot and warm food. Unless you are on tight budget, this buffet definitely for you.
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Night Market. 

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Tips when traveling in Luang Prabang

  • Bike Rent normally cost around 100,000 Kip – 120,000 Kip (USD 12 – USD 15 /MYR 54 -MYR 65) per day.
  • One full fuel tank would cost around 30,000 Kip  (USD 4 / MYR 16)
  • There are couple of nice restaurants here in Luang Prabang, I would suggest you to go to Le Cafe Ban Vat Sene for breakfast, brunch or lunch and Cafe Toui for dinner. Both restaurant offer excellent Laotian food at a decent price.

 

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Cafe Toui

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Banana Cake Smth Smth. 

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Le Cafe Ban Vat Sene

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Try this! 

  • Look for Laos Trip Advisor. They had tons of information and speak fluent english. They can help you out with your trip in Laos. We are very lucky that they located right beside our guesthouse.
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Laos Trip Advisor. 

  •  
  • We stayed in The World Guesthouse (Newly listed in Airbnb). The place look great and customer services were moderately good. They offered free pick up and drop off to and from airport or the bus station in Luang Prabang. They provide free breakfast as well. However, we encountered very bad experience while sending our laundry here as we got our clothes still moderately wet. We gave it back to them to re-dry but still got it back wet. You can find better laundry services elsewhere in Luang Prabang.
  • Alms Giving Ceremony happen everyday earlier in the day.
  • Do try their Laotian Massage nearby the night market.  Perfect way to end the trip it cost around 60,000 Kip (USD 7 / MYR 30)
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Laotion Massage. 

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Check out my social media here

 

 

Amazing Laos (Part 2)

Adventure, Kayak, laos, Travel, Uncategorized, YouTube, Youtube Channel

Vang Vieng, Laos.

Found out about this place from a travel blogpost by Yoga Wine Travel. Check out Flo’s blog if you wanna travel to Vang Vieng. This is definitely my favorite destination in Laos.

Check my video here to know why What to do in Vang Vieng

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Vang Vieng Aerial View

Mount Pha Ngren Viewpoint

  • 30 – 35 minutes hike to the viewpoint.
  • 10,000 Kip (USD 1 / MYR 5) for the entrance fee.
  • Make sure you have a proper hiking footwear (Goes very rocky towards the summit).
  • Do come here for the sunset view.
  • Enjoy your Tuk Tuk ride (50,000 Kip / USD 6 / MYR 27) to the starting point of Mount Pha Ngren viewpoint. 

 

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Peak of Mount Phangern 

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This is the aerial view of Mount Pha Ngren Viewpoint. If you do not bring any water or snacks along, you can always buy it from the snacks lady on top of Mount Pha Ngren.

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Getting a Guided Adventure Tour in Vang Vieng

  • There are plenty of tour agents here in Vang Vieng.
  • Always compare and bargain the tour price with multiple agents before you make the booking.
  • Buggy ride tour here is a bit costly around USD 50 per ride.
  • We highly recommend this adventure tour agent. (Picture below)
  • This agency run by two brothers and they offered us a cheaper price.
  • We took (Tubing in Than Nam, Elephant Cave, Kayaking in Nam Song River and Blue Lagoon). All these for the price of 100,000 Kip (USD 12 / MYR 54)

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Talk to the owner (The guy with yellow shirt) for lesser price. Very kind and easy going gentleman.

 

One Day Adventure Tour Itinerary

Tubing in Tham Nam (Water Cave)

  • You will get pick up by their Tuk Tuk driver.
  • Journey to Tham Nam (Water Cave) gonna took around 20 minutes drive from Vang Vieng Town.
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Briefing by our local guide, Sai. 

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Walking through villages to Than Nam (Water Cave)

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Water Cave Entry Point (Than Nam)

  • However, we felt that the tubing was a bit rushy as the guide kept asking us to pull the rope along till the end. You will need to paddle yourself on your way out from the cave (Only for a few metres). Water get very shallow at some point and you have to carry your own tube and walk.

Elephant Cave

  • Moderate cave with Elephant lookalike stone wall.
  • If you are not into religious visit, I would suggest you skip this cave. Do not hire a Tuk Tuk just to visit this cave. It’s not worth it.

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Kayaking at Nam Song River

  • Tuk Tuk driver will drive you to this kayak/tubing starting point (About 15 minutes drive).
  • Guide will brief you about basic rules of kayaking (Beginner friendly).
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Kayaking Starting Point 

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Remember to chill here when you do kayaking as plenty of restaurants and bars blasting dance music.

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Locals having fun in the middle of the river. You can literally walk across the river as the water are very low this season.

 

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Michelle & the guides. 

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The views

  • About 45 – 50 minutes kayaking along Nam Song River (You do not have to paddle hard as you will be kayaking with the river streams).
  • Do visit their riverside bars.
  • The view is to die for. (Not literally)
  • Highly recommended
  • Skip tubing (Not as happening as before and lesser bars to party with)

Blue Lagoon

  • One of the most famous tourist spot in Vang Vieng.
  • Blue Turquoise River and icy cold water.
  • It is normal to see flocks of  Korean tourist here (Korean Variety Shows took place here)
  • Get pretty crowded in the late afternoon.
  • If you prefer less crowd,  go to Blue Lagoon 3 ( We did not go there as our time in Vang Vieng was very limited)

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The best part of the tour for me was kayaking along Nam Song River. Ditch the river tubing cause it is not that hype anymore and only couple of bars are open. Finally, we were dropped at our hotel feeling satisfied that late evening.

Cycling along Vang Vieng Countryside

  • We rented bicycles for the day (15,000 Kip / USD 2 / MYR 8)
  • Do ride along the country side because it’s very instagrammble.
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Michelle and her pink ride. 

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Cross this wooden bridge to the other side for free

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Perfect

Tips when travel in Vang Vieng

  • If you are into adventure and nature, please stay here for at least 3 days. You will fall in love with this amazing lively backpackers town.
  • Always compare and bargain tour prices with agent.
  • It might get quite chill if its rain or in the early morning.
  • This place is backpackers heaven.
  • If you love to party, there are several bars that are available. Do check them out in Trip Advisor.
  • Do try their sandwiches (Any streets sandwich vendors will do as they all taste amazing).

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  • We stay at Laos Haven Hotel & Spa. Highly recommended. About 5 minutes walk to Vang Vieng main street.
  • This time, we took the minivan which pick us up directly from our hotel to Luang Prabang. I would suggest you to leave day time because the scenery along the ways is just so breathtaking. The journey was so calming and therapeutic.  Overnight bus would take 8 hrs instead of 4 hrs for normal day time ride.
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That smile is a guarantee. 

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