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! =)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wind Chimes in a Bakery (Inspirational Short Film by Samsung Malaysia)

Inspirational Malaysia, Leo Burnettt Malaysia, Malaysia, SamsungMalaysia, Short Film, Web Series, YouTube

Wind Chimes in a Bakery is a short film produced by Samsung Malaysia which was directed by Jang Jae Hyuk (Yes, Korean!) and story by Leo Burnett Malaysia. He brought those Korean dramas influences into this wonderful short film. I watched this short film about a month ago and I really enjoyed it. I finished the whole short series in one day! Starred by Koe Yeet, as Sue and Ahmad Nabil, as Adam with Awal Ashaari and Liyana Jasmay as special guest appearances. Two unique individuals from different cultural and background met each other through the aromas of red bean buns. What happen next? You have to watch the whole series! I found this short very inspiring and one thing that I truly learn from this is live your NOW fully!

Life has a funny way of giving us exactly what we want and take it away. As if it reminding you who in charge and all you can do is feel that life is unfair. Sometime you get so caught up with how glad things are that we forget how good they were, maybe how good it could be again?

That was one of the lines in the short series. I’ve repeatedly rewind that part over and over again just to write this phrase out and be truly understood of what it really meant. What I felt is that this serves us as a daily reminder to cherish every moment possible! Especially with people that we love like family and friends because great moments may not repeat itself again!.

Do check them out on the Facebook link below!

Samsung Malaysia

Leo Burnett Malaysia

Koe Yeet

Ahmad Nabil