Thursday, October 25, 2012

The End?

I have decided to end my world trip by skipping the last continent-Africa. So is it the end? No more travelling? Get back into day to day 9 to 5 job? or perhaps I will take off again?


The first week in KL, I was working on my Nepal blog and photos, basically still in the post travel mood, then I don't remember when or how, my brother Thomas brought up about the Plain of Jars in Laos. Laos is the only South East Asia country that I have not been and I have been wanted to go. Hmmm...I started checking the flights, return flight cost around RM550, and guess what? hehe....The travel bug in me bite me again, if I don't go now then when? Plus my brother said he will only go if I go with him, that gives me another excuse to travel. As soon as he confirmed his leaves we booked the tickets, then my other brother Anthony also decided to come along. This is going to be fun! I have never travel with the 2 of them together and Thomas has never backpack before. This is going to be a trip to celebrate his 50th years. :-)

As Thomas was getting nervous about the trip, not knowing what we do, where to sleep, how we travel in Laos, what to bring, what bag to use so I did some research and planning and came up with a Travel Itinerary for him. Here is how it looks like :-
_______________________________________________________________________


LAOS 27 Oct 2012 – 4 Nov 2012
Flight Details
Laos Flag
KL - Vientiane - KL
AK1412 Sat 27 Oct 2012, 0735-0910
AK1413 Sun 4 Nov 2012 0945-1330
Visa not required

Weather
Wet season - May-October temperature around 30°
Dry season - November to March temperature as low as 15°

Currency
RM1 – LAK 2,600

Budget
US$40/RM120 per day
Room US$40/3=US$13
Food US$10-15
Transport / entrance fees US$3-5
*Optional - Massage US$3-6/hour

Electric plug
Flat blade plug or Two round pins

What to bring
Passport, Credit Cards (3% interest charge) Driving License
Estimated Cash to bring – RM120/day X 8 = RM960
Travel pouch/money belt - to store all the above

Cloths :-
** Remember! No matter it is 3 days or 3 months or 1 year, you can survive with this list **
3+ t-shirts
3+ trousers/shorts
3+ pair of socks
3+ sets or undergarments
Long sleeve shirt/jacket/wind breaker or raincoat
lightweight towel
a pair of trekking boots or walking shoes
Flip-flops or sandal - you need to rest your feet after a long walking day in your boots or shoes

Toiletries :-
Soap, Shampoo and toothpaste (we can share these)

Toothbrush
Razor/blades
Deodorant
Insect repellent
Sunblock

Medical kit (I have) :-
Medicines for malaria, diarrhoea, fever, headache, couch and flu
Water Purifying tablets
Cream for insects bites
Bandages or plasters
Vitamins or necessary medications

Things to pack (Moderate) -things that you can buy along the way but good to have them when you travel
Padlock (I have) - to lock your luggage or locker in the hostel
Universal adapter (I have) - to charge your electrical devices in different countries
Mobile device or laptop or any devices that has WIFI features (I have) - most of the hostel has Internet facility, some has computer to share but you will have to queue for it.
Battery charger for the above
Head lamp or torch(I have)
Multipurpose tool/ Swiss Army knife(I have)
Nail clipper(I have)
Travel pillow and ear plug - for long bus ride and noise disturbance
Zip lock bag - to store all your cloths or none wet proof stuff in your backpack


Rough travel Guide (Flexible to change as we go)
Date
Location
Remarks
27 Oct 2012
Vientiane
Arrive 0910 in Vientiane, half day to visit Vientiane
Overnight bus to Phonsavan 10-12 hours
28 Oct 2012
Phonsavan
Rest and visit Phonsavan

29 Oct 2012
Phonsavan
Full day to visit to Plains of Jar

30 Oct 2012
Phonsavan to Luang Prabang
Morning bus to Luang Prabang 8 hours

31 Oct 2012
Luang Prabang
Mekong River cruise/Visit to Kuang Si Waterfall/Rent a bike to go around

1 Sept 2012
Luang Prabang
2 Sept 2012
Luang Prabang to Vientiane
Full day in Luang Prabang
Overnight bus to Vientiane
3 Sept 2012
Vientiane
Full day to visit Vientiane
4 Sept 2012
Vientiane
Depart to KL 0945


That is good enough to get him started. :-)


Richie Ren
I didn't feel like doing much while I was back, I don't know if I was depress or what. I was just catching up with some movies and cooking a lot at home. On one weekend I went to Genting Highland to attend a concert as a photographer. My sister is a part time photographer for some media, she needed an extra hand so I went. Transport, accommodation and food was provided. We just need to shoot as much image as we can and submit some best photos. It's not easy I can tell you, we have to carry the heavy camera equipment (DSLR) not my little Olympus compact camera. We have to squad in front of the stage or move around during the show to take some good shots. Sometime even fighting with the fans to take a good shot. Then when everyone goes back to sleep, we have to work on the photos and send it to the media on the same night. It was a good experience.


The next 2 weeks I spent in Kuantan, with limited internet at home. I started to watch lots of movies, Taiwanese and Korean series with my mom....boring!! :-) I had lots of time to think....think about what I want to do next? and where I want to go? Even thought now the best option will be going back to Singapore. I am open for anything new and interesting! Going back to IT is the last option but again what choice do I have? To live in Singapore I need to survive in Singapore first!


Kuantan
Tanjong Api
Having spend lots of time with my mom at home means lots of GOOD food, lots of GOOD food means putting on weight! Yaiks! I started to run again, then I started to cycle as well with the old horse at home. First just to town only 1km from home then one day I decided to give the old horse a challenge, we went to Telok Cempedak, Kuantan's famous beach, about 7km from home. He was coughing quite hard on the way, lots of noise from everywhere. We made it over the hill and reach the destination in 40 minutes. :-) But on the way back, he started to have mild heart attack, the paddle started to jam! I have to take breaks multiple times, we took a bit longer but we made it back home.The old horse is still a tough horse! :-) 

It is almost time to leave for Laos, stay tune for the Journey of the 3 Lees. It is Not The End yet!
Kuantan
Tanjong Lumpur



Saturday, October 6, 2012

Langtang Valley Trek, Nepal 24 Sept – 1 Oct 2012


24th Sept 2012

There are 3 buses that leaves from Kathmandu to Dunche and then 2 carry on to Syaphrubesi (8-9hrs), the buses leave at 6am,6:30am and 7am. Before I book the trip I found out that there was a bad landslide after Ramche. The bus company only sells ticket to Ramche, from there on passengers have to get off the bus and walk across the land slide area. There will be another bus waiting on the other side to continue to Syaphrubesi. Sounds like it’s going to be a long and interesting day!

My guide/porter, his name is Bhes, sound like BEST, I hope he will be the best! :-p He picked me up at 6am, we arrived at this road side full of people who are waiting for something. Then one bus arrived, looks like a chicken bus in South America. Bhes told me that there is no tourist bus to Syaphrubesi, only local bus. :-) OK! That is going to be even more interesting!

Packed Bus to Syaphrubesi
Move in please!

He got us our tickets, yeah we have seats, I sat and wait watching at the locals loading everything they can on to the roof top of the bus. There were a few other tourist on the bus also with their guide. As the bus moved, locals go in and out, up and down from the bus every few meters, the bus is packed even roof top as well. Every time when the bus is going to pass an Army or Police check point, just 10m before all of them from the roof top will have to get down and cramp into the bus. At the check point, all of them have to get off and walked across, the police or army will come into the bus to check if there is any weapon hidden in the luggage compartment. After the check point, they will all climb back up to the roof top again. This process goes on and on. I remembered after climbing out of Kathmandu valley, the bus went zig zag down to Trisuli valley, oh gosh it was really bad, I had to close my eyes and try to sleep. I thought of Winnie during our bus journey from Inle Lake to Yangon, Burma she was throwing out the whole time. This is worst! Even me I felt sick!

Trisuli River
Finally we got to the end of this horrible road. We stopped for lunch before the bus hit uphill. There were rice terrace landscape views along the Trisuli river. Finally we arrived at the landslide area. Bhes told me this is the first one, there is another one further down. L We walked for about 20mins passing thru a big landslide area where the authority is working on fixing it. We got into a bus which is already waiting for us. Bhes said that from now on the seat is on first come first serve basis. This stretch is only 30 mins ride until we come to another landslide. Next bus will take 2 hours to Syaprubesi. The next landslide was a major one, we walked for 45 mins till we get to the next bus, I was almost running in order to beat the locals and porters to get a seat on the bus. As my guide was carrying my backpack, I could walk faster. I only managed to get myself a seat. After Dhunche, there were 2 check points for tourist, my guide did everything for me. We finally arrived at Syapru around 5:30pm, 11 hours long bus ride.

Local Porter



25th Sept 2012
Trek start : Shyaphru (1460m)
Trek end : Lama Hotel (2340m)
Duration : 5 hrs
Difficuties : Easy

I had a good breakfast from the Hotel, we are set to go at 7am. We passed the check point and cross the first bridge, passing a very old village, we continue crossing the second bridge and noticed that the other trekker who was in front of us stop at the bridge and didn’t follow the same path. As we carried on, Bhes spoke to 2 local porters, they told him that this is the old path, they open up a new path this year just opposite the river, it is more flat and easier to trek. Bhes told me he did this trek last year so he didn’t know about the new bridge. We agreed to walk a little further to check the path condition, the path slowly became more bushy. We decided to turn back, on the way we bumped into another group of trekkers with a guide too, him too didn’t know about the new way. We lost 45mins but we got back onto the right track. The way to Lama Hotel is almost flat following the edge of the Langtang river in the valley. We passed several small teahouse and plenty of waterfalls. It was relatively easy walk compared to ABC. We arrived around 1pm. Lunch is Mixed Fried Rice topped with Yak cheese. I am getting used to fried rice with cheese now. :-) The teahouse here are much better condition compare to ABC, the rooms are bigger and newer. But when I checked the price I got a shock! It is almost double the price of ABC.

Lama Guesthouse
Mixed Fried Rice topped with Yak Cheese









Langtang Lirung Peak


26th Sept 2012
Trek start : Lama Hotel (2340m)
Trek end : Langtang Village (3500m)
Duration : 5.5 hrs
Difficuties : Easy

We started around 7:30am. Gentle slope upwards for an hour, occasionally we have a glimpse of Langtang Lirung Peak, the valley widens up while we emerged from the forest. Now we have the wall of mountain left and right, countless waterfalls fall from the top, beautiful wild flowers covered the ground, the view is just amazing. We stopped by Thyangsyap Village for an early lunch as my pancake has long digested. As we approached Langtang Village, we could already see the snowcapped mountain at the end of the valley. That’s where we are heading tomorrow. I got a room with an awesome view of the valley.

Langtang Valley

Langtang Village has a small settlement of Sherpa people. Their houses are made of stones and wood covered with flat zinc roof that has tons of stone placed on top to secure them from flying. They take cares of their Yaks and goats, drying as much crops as possible before the winter comes. I find the people here more friendly and smiley as compared to ABC. I could even strike a conversation with a 100 years old man. He was using his best 10 words English to sell me a piece of gold plated locket carved in old calendar. He said “I sell, buy shoe” pointing to me his old croc. Unfortunately I didn't have any money with me.

Langtang Village

In the evening a group of Israelis check in to the hostel. They were loads of them on this trek. Later I found out that there is a long school holiday in Israel, that’s why they are travelling. There are nice in small group but nightmare in big group. I chatted a bit with a couple and found out that they were not paying for their rooms. As it was still low season, the Teahouses were fighting for business, they will take in customers if the customer promised to eat dinner and breakfast with them. Most of the Israelis paid for just the porter service, meals and accommodations are not included, they will pay as they go, so they bargain for good price. But this doesn’t apply at ABC. As for the porter, normally they will get a free meal where their guest eat and a free place to sleep in the same Teahouse. It can be anywhere in the Teahouse. Rooms are reserved for customers first.

Langtang Village

27th Sept 2012

Trek start : Langtang Village (3500m)
Trek end : Kyanjing Gompa (3800m)
Duration : 2.5 hrs
Difficuties : Easy

I woke up on this special day, peep out of the windows and I saw only blue sky. :-) What a beautiful day! Bhes was so sweet to remember that it was my birthday. He kept asking me anything special today? :-) To be here is already something special. I felt content.

Since it is a relatively short and easy walk, we took our time. At this altitude when we walk, we don’t sweat even though the sun was strong and glaring. The way up to Kyanjing Gompa is almost flat. The view was stunning; no words can describe how beautiful it was.

Yak
While we were having a tea break half way, I saw my first Yak. Wow! They are sexy with that long bushy tail. :-) They look fierce but they are actually shy animal. The yaks are kept for their milk, meat, skin and hair. There is even a cheese factory in Kyanjin Gompa that produces Yak cheese.

We arrived to Kyanjin Gompa in no time. We were surrounded by snowcapped peaks. On the left is the Langtang Lirung Peak standing at 7227m and Langtang Lirung Glacier, straight in front at the far end is the white snowy Ganchenpo Peak standing at 6387m, on the right is a series of peaks and the famous Kangja La pass at 5845m. OMG! I am in heaven! It is so beautiful here.

I got a room with the view of Langtang Lirung and its glacier. There are yaks everywhere here! :-) After lunch we went for a short trek to the glacier, on the way we passed by the cheese factory and the ancient old monastery, clouds started to move in, when we arrived, top of the glaciers were already covered by cloud. We sat down to enjoy a nice piece of raisins and nuts chocolate that I brought from Kathmandu. :-) Ahhh… what a special way to pass my 40th birthday. No party, no drinking, just silence, peace and serenity.

At night I couldn’t sleep, maybe because of the altitude and too much noise from drunken porters, guide and trekkers. When I look out from the window, the cloud has cleared, the snowcapped Langtang Lirung peak glows at night. It was stunning!

Kyanjing Ri
28th Sept 2012

Trek start : Kyanjing Gompa (3800m)
Trek end : Thyangsyap Village (3140m)
Duration : 7.5 hrs
Difficuties : Moderate

Today is a big day! We are going to hike up to Kyanjing Ri @ 4773m, this is going to be my record hike so far in terms of altitude. We packed up some snacks and a bottle of water, and of course my camera, we started at 6am. The sun has risen and brightens up the peak of Langtang Lirung, the snow peak first became orange and slowly turn to white.

I hiked extremely slow, because of the altitude and lack of oxygen my heartbeat beats faster than my breathing, every few steps I took I have to stop and breath. Finally we got to the top after 2.5hrs, the sun has brightened up the entire valley and mountains, we could see the entire snowcapped mountain range, and there was not a single cloud on the air. We were the only 2 up there, we enjoyed the moment just for ourselves. I felt like I was on the top of the world. :-) We spent an hour up there before headed back down. Going down took us 1.5 hours, it was slippery on the sandy rocky slope. A walking stick is definitely helpful.

Langtang Lirung Peak and Glacier

It was almost 11am, we had our lunch and left. We planned to walk as far as we could today. After 3.5 hours I surrendered, we stopped at Thyangsyap Village for the night. We planned to take a different way back to Syaphrubesi tomorrow, the path split at Rimche. We will then continue to Sherpagon for one more night before heading back to Syaphrubesi. Bhes has not been this way, it will be his first experience as well.




29th Sept 2012

Trek start : Thyangsyap Village (3140m)
Trek end : Khangjim (2235m)
Duration : 6.5 hrs
Difficuties : Moderate

Finally I got a good sleep. The weather was not so good today, it was overcast. When we arrived at Rimche, Bhes asked for the direction. They told us only 1.5 hrs to Sherpagon. It was up hill from Rimche, the path was by the ridge of the rocky mountain with amazing view. Some parts are really narrow, a bit scary for me. We arrived at Sherpagon, a very very small village, only 4 Teahouse and maybe 10 families. I felt I could put in more hrs of walk, the next village will be Khangjim 2 hours away. I decided to continue. Again it is going uphill, we ascent into the pine forest, very quiet path with no other trekkers. Only occasionally some locals.

Surka Hotel @ Khangjim
We were hoping in Khangjim we will find better teahouse. As we descent, I was thinking how much I miss a proper toilet with a proper light and flowing water in a basin. Not long after, we saw a huge Teahouse, looks brand new. We walked straight to it, the room was spacious with attached toilet. The toilet was just what I missed. We took it! :-) I felt like I have checked in to a 5 start hotel. Maybe there is a big buffet awaits? Dream on…. Bhes came with the menu, I wanted to have a pizza and Masala Tea, he came back and said they didn’t have them, I can only choose from rice, noodles and normal tea. :-( I chose a mushroom soup and fried noodles. There was no proper dining place, Bhes asked if I want to eat in the kitchen, I had a chance to visit the house of the owner where she is cooking, apparently the owner is not around, the brother of the owner who runs this place is helping up tonight. The house is really ancient, there is only one room where they sleep, cook, sit and eat. My mushroom soup and fried noodle turned up to be extremely salty, I could not finished half of it. Looks like they are not prepared for the tourist yet.

Attached modern toilet
Surka Hotel room



30th Sept 2012

Trek start : Khangjim (2235m)
Trek end : Shyaphru (1460m)
Duration : 2 hrs
Difficuties : Easy

The sound of the bell from the cows woke me up, I had a good sleep. It was cloudy again. Looks like I had been lucky this time to have a clear blue sky on the top. There is supposed to be another peak on the opposite mountain but I could only see a little. This morning, I tried to choose something simple for my breakfast after the disaster last night. I just ordered 2 fried eggs with Tibetan bread and milk coffee, even so my eggs arrived almost scrambled and my coffee only tasted milk. Bhes brought me the whole bottle of Nescafe. :-) He also agreed with me that they have a lot to improve on the food. High season is coming soon, they should do something.
Shyaprubesi

The way to Shyapru is only 2 hrs of descent, I took my time to enjoy the last bit of my trek in Nepal. At Shyapru, we checked in to the same hotel, there was a Bakery nearby which sells some really nice cakes, a few hotel and teahouse. We spent the afternoon sitting in front of the hotel people watching. The 2 buses from Kathmandu arrived and brought in more tourist. I was really not looking forward for the bus journey back. Bhes found out that there is only 1 landslide to cross now and we get to keep our seats. Cool!

SBS Chicken Bus
1st Oct 2012

We caught the 6:30 bus to Kathmandu, we arrived to the first landslide but seems like the rain last night has caused new landslides on the road so it is back to square one. We had to crossed 2 landslides. First one was 45 minutes walk, 2nd one was just 15 minutes walk. The local traffic is lesser today, we got back to Kathmandu around 3pm. Only 9 hours. Wee! Back online! I received so many Birthday wishes on my FB. I was the happiest gal! :-)

I took a bed in the dormitory, sharing with 3 other Chinese from China, 2 of them came from Lhasa for business. They took the 20 hours bus here to buy loads of winter wool stuff for their shops. They are leaving early morning to make it back for the long holiday crowds in China. For them it’s just like crossing from Singapore to JB for some shopping and return. I wish I could go to Lhasa but USD1000 for 7 days….hmmmm.



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kathmandu, Nepal 20-24th Sept 2012


Back to the dusty and noisy Kathmandu. Our Tourist bus stopped not far away from Thamel, we could easily find our way back to the hostel. This time we went to another hostel which is also in the quiet street of Thamel. It is much cheaper than the previous one.

Our plan for these few days in Kathmandu is to visit a few famous places recommended by our guide Keshab like the Kathmandu Durbar Square, The Boudha Temple and The Pashupatinath Temple. Andi will do some shopping and I will have to figure out what I want to do next.
As the Kathmandu Durbar Square is not far away from Thamel, we walked there passing streets of old buildings and small stupas. Approaching the junction of the square, we were stopped by a security guard, he said to us we have to buy tickets, where we could see locals walking pass, going in and out of the square. The price for the entrance is NRP750 = US$9. We think that is too expensive. Then we decided to go around looking for other way to sneak in. We tried another entrance but it was all fenced up, after trying the last entrance and failed we decided to give it a miss.

The road condition in Kathmandu is really bad. There isn’t any line or properly pave road, many holes and humps. All taxi are non aircon, they don’t use meter system so we have to agree to a price first before we jump in. Ask for 50% discount from the price they quote if not take the next one. Public bus is impossible for foreigner to take because the location is only written in Nepalese language.

We took a taxi to Boudha also called Boudhanath. A UNESCO World heritage site since 1979. It has been an important place of pilgrimage and meditation for Tibetan Buddhists & local Nepalese. The big stupa in the middle stands 43m in height and approximately 40m in diameter. It is surrounded by prayer wheels fixed on the wall. The entrance fees are reasonable; in the surrounding of the stupa there are many shops, cafe, restaurants and some guesthouse. We walked clock wise around the stupa and also one round on the top. The Buddha eyes are mesmerizing! :-)

Next stop will be the Pashupatinath Temple not far away. Pashupatinath  is a Hindu temples of Lord Shiva, only born Hindus are allowed to enter the temple premises. We are allowed to have a look at the temple from the other bank of Bagmati river. I wasn’t prepared for what I was going to see. The Bagmati river is used by Hindus for cremation, according to the Nepalese Hindu tradition, the dead body must be dipped three times into the Bagmati river before cremation. The chief mourner (usually the first son) who lights the funeral pyre must take a holy river-water bath immediately after cremation. Many relatives who join the funeral procession also take a bath in the Bagmati River or sprinkle the holy water on their bodies at the end of cremation. The Bagmati River is considered to purify the people spiritually. I felt gross as I see the death body lying by the river bank, kids playing with tube in the river, Hindus showering and having a head shave and 5m downstream death body are being cremated. I wasn’t feeling good the whole time I was there, it was an eye opening scene for me.

We shopped around a bit and I finally sat down to make my plans. I hesitated for Africa! I did another round of calculation, flights, excursion, visa fees, time, etc. It is just too expensive. I might be able to sustain 1 or the most 2 months in Africa not more. I think the most important factor is I felt I had enough. After some discussion with Andi, I finally decided to end my World Trip here! My last target will be an 8 days trek to Langtang valley. I have just enough time to finished that and return to Malaysia before my visa expires. :-) Yes, it's the end!

This time I took a porter/guide since Andi is leaving and not joining me for this trek. I figured a porter/guide will be a good company.

I took a package with another agency. The 8D7N Langtang Valley trek cost US$400. It includes :-
  • Guide/porter.
  • All food (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner.)
  • Accommodation. (Lodge)
  • Hot drinks. (Tea & coffee) 3 times a days.
  • Land transportation (by bus)
  • TIMS (Trekkers Information Management System)
  • Langtang National park Permit.
  • All food, drinks, Lodge, salary, Insurance, Medical, Equipments, Air ticket, land transport etc for GUIDE/PORTER.
  • Down jacket,Duffel bag  and Sleeping bag.
  • All taxes.
  • Airport transfer

The night before departure I met with my porter/guide, he is a small and older looking man. He is able to speak good English. His name is Bhes.

It’s finally time for Andi to leave, back to Germany to start his work. Good time always have to end. Hopefully we will meet again soon.

Accommodation
Kathmandu HI Thamel Hostel – (www.youthhostel-nep.org) NRP600 per room/night with shared toilet, NRP700 per room/night with attached toilet, NRP300 dormitory with attached toilet.

Transportation
Taxi to Boudha – NRP250
Taxi from Boudha to Pashupatinath Temple – NRP150
Taxi from Pashupatinath Temple to Thamel – NRP200

Recreation
Entrance to Boudha – NRP150
Entrance to Pashupatinath Temple – NRP500
8D7N Langtang Valley Trek – US$400 with Mountain Delights Trek & Expedition Pvt. Ltd. (www.gotomountain.com or www.trekksnepal.com)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chitwan National Park, Nepal 18 – 20 Sept 2012


We left with the 7:30am Tourist bus to Chitwan. The direct bus will take us 6 hrs to arrive but due to the rain, the road condition was bad. Our bus was not full so the bus driver took the opportunity to pick up locals along the way. By the time we reached Chitwan, it was already 2pm. We were picked up by the hotel staff.

Tharu House
Chitwan National Park is the first national park in Nepal. It was established in 1973 and granted the status of a World Heritage Site in 1984. It covers an area of 932 km2. It is a great place for nature lovers. The most famous wildlife in Chitwan is the single-horned Asian rhinoceros. A few decades ago, their number had fallen to less than 100, but recent count puts them at 400.

We stayed at Jungle Sunset Camp, a hotel by the river side with great view of sunset over the park and Rapti River. We were the only guest in the hotel. A dedicated guide brought us for a walk to the village and briefs us about the local Tharu culture. Even though the tourism industry has changed the little village into a small town with hotels, resorts and restaurant, we can still see mud and daub huts and houses.

Sunset over Chitwan National Park

At night we went to watch the local Tharu cultural show. It’s at a small hall that looks like a church with wooden chairs and stage. It was a 1 hour show with just group of boys dancing. At the end the tourist were asked to join on the stage to dance as well. I asked the guide why there were no ladies, he said that the ladies are normally busy with house work and they are not allowed to spend too much time outside.

Canoe in Rapti River
On the 2nd day, we went for canoing in Rapti River. The canoe is long and narrow, made by wooden tree trunk, we just need to sit and enjoy the life around the river bank. It is advisable not to move too much in the canoe because it is very unstable. We flow down river with the current, along the river bank we spotted crocodiles, kingfishers, peacock and monkeys. The canoe then drop us on the park side of the bank where we went for a 2 hours jungle trekking, the path was muddy and bushy. We only saw 2 types of deer. They were too shy and kept a distance away from us.


We then visited the Elephant breeding center, there were about 10 to 15 elephants chained up under a covered roof. All of them are female and babies. They look pitiful. :-( 

Back to the hotel, it was elephant bathing time, basically you get to sit on the elephant with her trainer that will brings you into the river bank, the elephant will shower you with his truck and then dunk you into the river. :-) We chose just to watch. The elephant usually get a scrub from the trainer once a day.


In the afternoon, we went for the elephant back safari. It was my first time riding on an elephant. Each elephant can take up to 4 passengers on her back. As she walk, we were rocking from left to right front to back banging into each other’s back. 

We first crossed the Rapti River which was about 2m deep. I was holding on so tight afraid that the elephant will trip and fall into the river. :-( Then she has to climb up the 1m high river bank, oh gosh I was afraid that the rack that we sat on will fall off. We spent 1.5 hour on the elephant back crushing thru some open path in the forest. We spotted some wild boars, deers and monkeys. We didn't see any rhino. They said it is because of the rain, they can find water in the jungle so they don't need to come to the river bank. Not so lucky! That ends our day of activities.

Elephant back Safari

On the 3rd day, we packed up to return to Kathmandu. Generally I didn’t find the trip amazing. I could see the same and more back home unless if I see a rhino.


Accommodations
Jungle Sunset Camp (http://www.junglesunsetcamp.com/)

Transportations
NA

Recreations
3D2N package @ Jungle Sunset Camp - US$72.5
Includes :-

  • All transportation from Hotel to bus terminal, from Pokhara to Chitwan and Chitwan to Kathmandu
  • 2 lunch, 2 dinner and 2 breakfast
  • All activities-canoeing, cultural show, jungle trek, elephant safari, visit elephant breeding center and elephant bathing
  • Local guide