I learned a lot from this trip.

Not only the trip itself, but from the planning until the end.

Planning was started back in May 2008, with the help of Kong Yen & Agatha for the air ticket booking.

Then until Oct 2008, when the booking for the hostel was opened, initially me and Weihan thought of booking the Mt Kinabalu hostel, and would form a DIY trip

Because of the room availability, end up Weihan & Agatha were forced to split from our group (else we'd have a group of 18)

However, Weihan and I soon found out that it's a good idea to find an agent to take care of the group's itinerary.

We spent some time during a dinner, and we found the agent - Borneo Eco Tour.

Physically, I started some weekend brisk walk in FRIM since... late April 08?

Personally, and definitely, I thought it wasn't enough.

The so called training only became more frequent in the last two months.

A month before the trip was when my cash reserve went -ve.

Spent almost RM600 for the trip's final payment
Spent RM300+ for a new rucksack (end up didn't really use, wtf)

And other misc stuff

This was the hardest part.

For about half of the group members were people that I didn't know or not so close.

So, I relied on email.

I emailed + talked a lot with the agent to finalise the itinerary - actually not much to finalise, just that we were discussing about which route to take, its pros and cons, and the hostel selection + the cost.

By the way, Gmail is a good email system - it's easy to organise

Then, spreading the information to the group members was sort of a headache - if there are info update, means more emails to send?

The situation was avoided by using Google Documents. I created an online spreadsheet, my updates will be auto-republished and people can view it online anytime (what's more, you can export it, print it at ease)

Lastly, I used the SMS services, part of my PennyTel account service, to send sms to all the people.

It was easier and it's free (because I paid for monthly subscription of the call + SMS)

Outcome + Conclusion
This one is the matter most - if it's planned and if it still failed, means the organiser has got problem

I can sort of make some conclusion:

1) Outsourcing is good, I let the agent take charge from end to end, and the group didn't really have to worry much about transportation etc
2) With help from Sarah (the secretary & active group photographer & motivator) & Kuan Yew (helped a lot in group purchase and info sharing) the trip was run even better than I thought
3) A "trip closure"gathering was held at Chun Hung's house. Really appreciate his offer for the space and, his mum's cooking was really GREAT. The dinner was really good.
4) Thanks to Kong Yen for his map to Chun Hung's house. It was clear and concise :)
5) Following tools really helped me a lot:

Gmail - help you to organise email, in the way you want as well
Google Documents - you can share your document with your friends, update & republish whenever you want, and you can even let others to collaborate
Picasa - Organise the photo at ease, tune the photo at ease
Adobe Lightroom - Organise the photo at ease, tune the photo at ease (with better result)
Facebook - photo sharing, viewing, comment

I'm glad that this project had come to an end, and most importantly, I thought it ended quite well ;)

It's been a while since I last composed a song.

Finally, completed the lyric for an upcoming composition.


Strolling on the street,
I was let nothing but the dream.

I was mad, I was sad,
I felt bad, I felt shat,
I felt deep.

Nothing but the myth,
Drove me out to seek for real.

I was trapped, I was halved,
I went fast, I went crashed,
I went bleeding.

Only God could feel,
What was deep inside my realm.
Yet another tale,
Make me feel we're so unreal.

Take a break,
Step aback,
You can't make me feel lonely.

I'm waiting for another worry,
Heard no sorry,
I'm being such a big kind of fool.

Looking back, I'm a mess,
I've got hacked, I am incomplete.

I'm waiting but see no ending,
Heard no mending,
It's easy to misunderstand.

You were everything I need,
You made me rich
(I thought I was complaining?)
You were everything, oh, everything I need
(I was trying to understand)
Everything oh, everything I need....

Verdict: Nice European scenery with so so plot.

The supposedly action movie is not with so much action after all.

Instead, you get to see nice cinematography with European scenery - it is like posters in many scene - even the mosque was nice from many angle (I doubt if it's Sultan Ahmed Mosque)

Plot wise, it wasn't that great - and unfortunately there was too much talking as well (obviously not good for an action movie) - it is something that you could find from an American movie.

Luckily, the cinematography part compensated it.

Rating: 5 + 1(for cinematography) /10

Often, people says "Picture speaks a thousands words"

I agree with that, strongly.

Sometimes the work requirement is to deal with people via email.

But sometimes I'd need to write a whole grandmother long story to explain a situation - which people will still reply me with even more questions.

Then, I would explain them via the phone - still, there were chances that they still don't 'get the picture'

Yes, picture, that's why I'd love to use diagram to explain the situation.

I don't mind to spend a bit time to draw out the diagram - that would really make my life easier, be it to explain, to discuss or to inform.

While technology helps us a lot in our daily life, is it a bit too much to worry that, you lose some basic ability of being a human:

1) You don't need to remember your appointments (you rely on the calendar alerts set in your PDA/phone)
2) You don't need to meet up with friends physically (you rely on the online social networks to get to know their status / updates)
3) You don't need to talk (you rely on online chat with typing)
4) You don't have to walk to shops or banks (you rely on online banking and shopping)
5) You don't write anymore (you type)



I guess I'm kinda worried.

Verdict: An interesting insight of India's ugly side, with typical Hindi movie happy ending

This multiple Oscar-winning isn't bad after all.

But I believe it's also a bit overhyped, and the reason why it won so many awards was because of its touching story (in a way) and the insight into the ugly side of India, which many westerners may not be aware of.

Story wise, you can say it's a Hindi-English movie with 55-45 blend.

In a simpler term - it's a Hindi movie repackaged in English flavour (art direction, cinematography, video editing and even the language)

Therefore, you can see the unexplainable destiny by Jamal and Lathika, and the happy ending dancing scene, with people coming out of nowhere, dancing together.

I think the initial intention of the movie production team is to film something special, in flavour of Indian, to please the Asian - but they didn't expect this movie to win so many prizes.

What's more, it's actually a British movie, that had won majority of the big Oscar awards (in America)

I must say the video editing is good & the storyline is smooth - this is something very different from ordinary British movie (slow paced and you really need to pay attention to it)

But if you ask me to choose between Slumdog Millionaire & Benjamin Button, I'd choose Benjamin Button, reason being Benjamin Button is more deep, ability to give you open space of imagination...

For Slumdog Millionaire, I guess it's not hard for Asian to understand the pain of poverty, and that the media attention given to India's poverty is so far, on the two kids featured in the movie ??!

That, is the reason why I said this movie is overhyped.

But you should give it a watch, during this economy hard time - at least you can imagine you yourself becoming a millionaire and yes, the heartwarming ending is good.

Rating: 8/10

There's one main reason why I love electronic music - it's like classical music.

Crazy idea? Please allow me to explain.

I'm not talking about those music that you get to hear from those who are trying to show off their sound system - those typical boom chang boom chang boom chang music.

If you are looking for example, it'll be The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim etc.

While Fatboy Slim is more towards the funky side of the music mixing, The Chemical Brothers' range is much wider.

While making the typical techno music you get to hear, such as "Hey Boy, Hey Girl", "Setting Sun"

As well as R&B flavour, such as "Galvanize" & "The Salmon Dance"

If it's too noisy for you, you may want to listen to "The State We're In", "Close Your Eyes", "The Pills Won't Help You Know"

And finally, electronic music that sounds like classical music.

If you listen to "Surface to Air", "The Sunshine Underground" (this is live version, the visual is wonderful) or "We Are the Night"

You'll notice the similarity - they are like the classical music, they repeat the same theme/rhythm using different instrument or effect, making the melody into variation.

That's the reason why I like that type of electronic music, and I've been enjoying for the past 10 years, at least.

I think I did an achievement lately, I climbed a mountain!

I climbed Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia, which is 4,095 metres high.

You may argue that I didn't climb, because I was carried by Trevor. But so what?

I took the photo at the top of the mountain, and I'm better than a lot of bears (and even human, yes, I'm sorry but, human)

Group photo, with me appearing like a small dot among them.

This was where I "stayed" thru out the whole journey. (I wonder why Trevor smiled like a gay in this photo)

It wasn't really comfy but it was water proof. I didn't get wet even though it was raining thru out the journey on Day 2 (please refer to Trevor's post earlier)

This trip was quite fruitful as I met a lot of friends. This is Sarah, whom I know for long time, who is "taking care" of my long lost sister, Francesca.

Siew Kee, my new human friend.

Me with waterfall as background, in the hand of Sarah

Me and Sarah... she was helping me to do warm up exercise before the tough journey

Then I stayed in my room for the rest of the journey, until Day 3

I felt very cold because the weather was less than 8 degree Celsius.

Finally, at around 6.30AM, Trevor and I reached the peak.

What should I say? The gay-est photo you can find - I wonder why Trevor always use me to achieve his gaygenda (gay agenda)

No matter what, this means that I climbed higher than him.

I took a photo with St John peak as the background

I also sat on a rock to take another photo. Sarah was the one who gave idea on this.

There was no need for Trevor to say 1-2-3 smile, because I've been smiling all the while.

I like this photo very much

Me and South peak.

This photo rocks cos of all the climbers in Trevor's group, none of them took proper photo with this signature peak. I felt beary (very) superior.

Me and the valley

Me in the plane, on the way back to home

This trip was an unforgettable one. I've been to some European countries, Asia countries, and now to a mountain.

But diving is not possible I guess, because I don't know how to swim

Verdict: A well-plotted movie, that is enjoyable if you minus the expectation with superheroes in action

The movie poster, trailer, teaser or whatever has been misleading.

This is not an action movie.

I saw movie-goers left in disappointed faces.

I can share with you, in the first half an hour - I was quite disappointed with the movie, because there was no action but a lot of talking.

Then, I shifted my expectation, and yes, the movie plot is smart and equally good, make sense in a way.

I enjoyed the movie, as well as its OST, but that's because I really minus-ed the expectation of superheroes in action.

You should do the same (if you have read the comic, you'd know it won't be an action movie) if you want to watch this 2 hours long movie.

Rating: 7/10

Link to Rotten Tomatoes
Link to Wikipedia

Verdict: A black comedy that made sense out of nonsense.

First of all, this movie is an ordinary movie.

But Secondly, this movie is complicated

Thirdly, it's a black comedy

Fourthly, and hence, many people died

Finally, the movie still make sense but sacrificed too many innocent people

Brad Pitt performed well. He acted really sissy in the movie - it was a big contrast with Benjamin Button.

This movie is not for everyone :-)

Rating: 6/10

Link to Rotten Tomatoes

Verdict: An entertaining drama with laughter and tears

This drama talks about 3 brothers & siter, who lost their parents when they were young, spent their whole life searching for the murderer.

Correlation chart

While doing the investigation, they found an even brighter idea - by acting as different type of professionals, and cheat people's money to fund themselves.

They cheated with "integrity", because they would only cheat those "@$holes"

Hence, this is not only a drama with suspense, but also a drama that has another drama within.

It's enjoyable to watch a drama with a lot of plots, this one is no exception.

Rating: 8.5/10

This day was a rather uneventful day. I guess all the people were tired and would just look forward to go home.

I learned that Sarah, Siew Kee and Siew went for foot massage the night before. It was cheap and good.

Some of us woke up early to have early breakfast with Sarah & Fuihan, as they were catching the early flight back to Johore Bahru.

7AM: The buffet breakfast.... getting lil' bored with these already.

8.25AM: Emotional moment, before Sarah & Fuihan's departure (to Singapore??!)

Emily's postcard, signed by the group members.

The reason why it was photographed was because - I told Emily to post it, so that she could get a Kota Kinabalu post office stamp on it. She was afraid of the Pos Malaysia quality of delivery ;)

I hope it had arrived safely. :-)

1.30PM: We were having snacks while waiting for the flight. I saw someone familiar but I couldn't tell who the person was, as he/she was covered with hairs.

Out of sympathy, I decided to donate RM1 note. The person didn't respond to me.

1.57PM: The plane arrived but not available for boarding. Now everybody can late ?

That's not the case, because it's "Now Everyone Can Cry" because we had to climb up the ****ing stairs to the plane, with our tired legs!

Some aerial shots


I wonder what island is this?

It was raining in the Klang Valley - perhaps that explained why it was cloudy in that region.

5.15PM: I saw another plane from the plane window.

Joking, I saw the plane on the way back, in a taxi.

This, marks the end of the KK Trip.

It was a memorable one for sure, and some say they were ready to go for the same mount climbing - using via ferrata!

This day was the important day. It's the highlight of the trip and it pushed everybody to the limit, in terms of physically and mentally.

Whatever training or preparation we had done in the past will be reflected in the next few hours - now it just depends if we could make it.

All of us woke up at 1.30AM, quickly prepared and gathered outside the room.

2.35AM: Gunting Lagadan, 8ºC

2.47AM: After the mountain guide gave a briefing about the climb to the peak, with the 2.7KM route, all of us started climbing.

I saw a beautiful scene far away - the moonlight shined on the rocky mountain. But my heart felt nervous, despair as well as exciting - I don't know if I could make it, because I was so tired, the sprain on my left leg still hurts, and it'd be a pity if I can't make it.

4.40AM: I reached Sayat-sayat Checkpoint, got my water bottle refilled, sat for a short rest, had my energy gel.

It was still very dark around that area but I could see some rats running around.

I wonder what do they feed on.

5.30AM: I was having slight emotional breakdown.

I was walking alone, (note: it's not necessary to wait for your friends because you won't know if he/she could make it in the end, it's not being selfish at all, because after all, there is mountain guide who would take care of your friends)

I didn't know how long would this route end, I kept walking but I still see the same steep rocky road, I didn't know if my body could take it - I could walk for 30 seconds but would need another 1 minute to rest.

My left leg still hurts, that I'd need to rub it occasionally to keep me walking (at the same time, I felt lucky cos the hotpad that I brought did work)

I had my last pack of energy gel (I brought two). It tasted so yucky that I swear that I won't want to take it in the near future.

Around this time, I had my last of three "hallucination" - my mind started to think about Quantum Showcase (a direct sales TV advert that's quite common in Malaysia) I thought about those user who gave the "amazing" speech about their achievement: "I felt so great, I've lost 10KG in just one month, this is truly amazing, I'd like to thank this product for giving me the instant result, this is so unbelievable"

There's one time I also thought: why the hell is American so good in giving motivation speech? All kinds of direct selling, motivational speech come from USA, WHY?

Then, this hallucination gave me some motivation (in a weird way) - if they can make it (losing 10KG in such a short time), then I can climb up to the peak too.


5.58AM: I saw Low's peak.

I was like given two or even three extra caffeine shots, I walked faster. I almost cried because of the mixture feeling: I didn't know that I could make it, the journey had almost come to an end, all the preparation was worth it, and, f***, I didn't know if I could still see the sunrise. LOL!

6.37AM: 9 of us who made it - Trevor, Siew Kee, Gary, Kuan Yew, Samantha, Sarah, Emily, Pui Ying, Fuihan

Gary gave a motivational conclusion

Kuan Yew & Sarah - the fastest man and fastest woman climber in our group

While me - the slowest climber in the group, LOL!

But I wasn't alone after all, Francesco was with me... we're the last two of the 9+1!!!

Group photo with the valley behind

Group photo with St John's peak as the background

South peak & St. John's peak

If you think the South peak is some kind of small hill near your house, think twice: the black dots in the enlarged section of photo were humans!

Yes, human looks so small and so vulnerable when we face the mother nature.

7.03AM: Samantha & Fuihan felt so tired that they need to lie down. Meanwhile, Sarah was taking another energy bar. If not mistaken, she told me that in this trip she had about 8 energy bar, am I right, Sarah?

7.08AM: We decided to descend to Laban Rata

While I walked slow and took my time to take some photo

South peak - the signature of the Mt Kinabalu

This photo clearly shows that I need to work a lot on self-portrait.

Camwhore course anyone?

Breathtaking valley view, I can still feel my goosebumps even when I see this photo now.

Sayat-Sayat checkpoint - where you register that you are going to the peak and returning from the peak.

This is the last point where you could get your water refilled.

I'm pleased with this photo - it's the best self-portrait I had in this trip!

9.05AM: I arrived at Gunting Lagadan. I'm truly exhausted. (Photo with Emily)

11.03AM: After having our breakfast and packed, we decided to walk down to Timpohon Gate.

Group photo with the forced-front-smiling-but-tired-behind faces.

11.40AM: I have the "Oh shit, not again" feeling, because we need to walk down this time!

From articles I had read, I knew there will be a lot of stairs for Timpohon Gate route.

1.19PM: Emily and I saw a gross and long worm.

2.48PM: Emily and I been walking in pair since 2 hours ago. Reason being we both are like rheumatic disease patients - we have hard time walking down the stairs! We had to move slowly and patiently.

We do feel for the pain of the rheumatic patients.

Yes, God bless these stairs. For that moment I thought of:
1) Asking my mum to install a lift for my house, so that I won't need to climb the stairs when I reach home
2) Ban myself from going to shopping complex for 1 week cos seeing the escalator will make me equally angry (because they look like stairs)

3.55PM: Carson Falls, we know that we are near to the end of our journey

4.01PM: Emily and I finally reached to the end of the journey. Before that, there were another 100-200 metres of stairs.

Just for that moment, I felt "pissed" and "humiliated" with the tagline printed at the gate "Terima Kasih Sudi Datang Lagi" which literally means "Thank you Please Come Again"

So the fastest person to climb up to the peak spent merely 2 hours 33 minutes, while us, spent averagely 12 hours. What a big difference

Journey to the Peak had come to an end, starring Fuihan as Sun Wukong, Kuan Yew as Zhu Bajie, Betty as Tang Sanzang & Sarah as Sha Wujing

We went back to Kinabalu city centre, stayed a night in Shangri-La hotel, and had a dinner at SheungTin (HoiLei) restaurant... muahahhaa

But well, I thought the price was reasonable given that it's city centre and it's a tourist spot.