ALMOST THERE, MT GEDE

/ 4/14/2017
Mount Gede, oh Mount Gede. How shall i begin? It was 10 months ago, i was headed to Jakarta to get away from Singapore. Its the cheapest option that fits my extremely poor budget. It wouldn't be smart of me to run from city to another city so i thought to myself, "Let's hike." I got on google search and to find the nearest mountain would be Mount Gede in Bogor. Actually there was a few other mountains that i was quite torn in choosing so this was a random pick.

It was another solo attempt indefinitely but i was too broke to get there so i decided to call up any acquaintance that had love to join me so we could split the cost. Intan, an ex co-worker when i was a teenager, came up & then there was a certain Sulaiman, as young as my little brother, who was already in Jakarta and planning to hike there and that's how Team Gede was born. Well, luck was on my side - i feel the force was strongly with me.
There was one problem though, to enter Mount Gede, we need a permit with a guide as well. After tons of research, i found a way to peak Mount Gede with the help of a local guide from the Airbnb accommodation that i stayed in. The accommodation was dirt cheap, 10 bucks split 3 ways, i was so grateful for having new friends on board. 

My guide? His name is Tom. What does he says he claims he is? A member of the Botanic Gardens of Indonesia and his father is an ex  Director of Botanic Gardens of Indonesia  & National Park of Indonesia. His accommodation reflects well from what he claims. I was stunned that his house is like a jungle - trees inside the bungalow and lots of botanical research books, photos and paraphernalia of plants etc strewn on the floors and pasted on the walls. It felt like i just barged into a detectives house of plants. Other than that, photos of travelers that used to stay in his house was also pasted together on the wall with the mess going on. Pretty nostalgic place - he sure knows his stuff. We stayed for a night and head out before dawn to Mount Gede.

  It was a trip full of stopovers to change vehicles. Once we arrived at the base of Mount Gede, we went to fill up our stomach before the hike begins. I tried my first Nasi Uduk which is known to be a popular breakfast meal in Indonesia. We then started distributing the weights of our bags equally and warm up for the long day ahead. 
 Everything was about to go disastrous from this point on.....
When we started our hike, there was a porter that followed us up till the first base camp (pictured below). That makes a total of 5 people hiking up together. Over here, we are suppose to show our permit to enter the mountains and this was when all the misunderstanding happen. Tom assume i wanted to hike up till Cibereum Waterfalls and spend the night there therefore our permit was a half journey permit and we will not be able to hike up to the peak.
All of us started discussing the possibility of hiking up the peak without the full permit & a proper guide as tourist needed a guide. So let's rewind a little bit....in my conversation with him before this ordeal, he said he can be my guide to bring us all the way up to the peak with full confidence. Unfortunately, he meant up till the waterfalls....further on, we need a proper guide. I take it from my part that we had a miscommunication while i clearly said i wanted to go to the peak. 

We were given a choice to pay slightly more to bring the porter up to the next base camp to pitch but we didn't want to spend more than we accounted for. We were stranded for half an hour or so because our porter had to take a bigger tent for us and we were worried that the both of them had left us here. Thankfully, they came back and we continued our beautiful journey.

We then reach the waterfall site and pick a spot to pitch our tent. We dump our stuff in the tent except for our passport and money and take a risk to continue our way up. It started drizzling, we rested and then kept going until we reach a hot waterfall crossing. It was an interesting experience. We had to hold on to ropes and take turns to climb the big wet rocks at the edge of the mountain with the heat from the waterfall.It was pretty crowded with the locals coming down from Surya Kencana base camp. The name of the main camp before you summit. 
We had to stop here, the last little climb to Surya Kencana due to the bad weather and getting dark. It was measured at 2400m at the hot waterfall and with a heavy heart, we started to descend. Our day was not ruin - we still felt good and the next day we went to have a bath at the waterfall! Its a beautiful sight! I am in awe. It has been a truly great experienced and i would do it again in a heartbeat. 

I muttered under my breathe,"Almost there, Mt Gede. Almost there........" 
With that, we left Mt Gede for another city. Safe travels.
Mount Gede, oh Mount Gede. How shall i begin? It was 10 months ago, i was headed to Jakarta to get away from Singapore. Its the cheapest option that fits my extremely poor budget. It wouldn't be smart of me to run from city to another city so i thought to myself, "Let's hike." I got on google search and to find the nearest mountain would be Mount Gede in Bogor. Actually there was a few other mountains that i was quite torn in choosing so this was a random pick.

It was another solo attempt indefinitely but i was too broke to get there so i decided to call up any acquaintance that had love to join me so we could split the cost. Intan, an ex co-worker when i was a teenager, came up & then there was a certain Sulaiman, as young as my little brother, who was already in Jakarta and planning to hike there and that's how Team Gede was born. Well, luck was on my side - i feel the force was strongly with me.
There was one problem though, to enter Mount Gede, we need a permit with a guide as well. After tons of research, i found a way to peak Mount Gede with the help of a local guide from the Airbnb accommodation that i stayed in. The accommodation was dirt cheap, 10 bucks split 3 ways, i was so grateful for having new friends on board. 

My guide? His name is Tom. What does he says he claims he is? A member of the Botanic Gardens of Indonesia and his father is an ex  Director of Botanic Gardens of Indonesia  & National Park of Indonesia. His accommodation reflects well from what he claims. I was stunned that his house is like a jungle - trees inside the bungalow and lots of botanical research books, photos and paraphernalia of plants etc strewn on the floors and pasted on the walls. It felt like i just barged into a detectives house of plants. Other than that, photos of travelers that used to stay in his house was also pasted together on the wall with the mess going on. Pretty nostalgic place - he sure knows his stuff. We stayed for a night and head out before dawn to Mount Gede.

  It was a trip full of stopovers to change vehicles. Once we arrived at the base of Mount Gede, we went to fill up our stomach before the hike begins. I tried my first Nasi Uduk which is known to be a popular breakfast meal in Indonesia. We then started distributing the weights of our bags equally and warm up for the long day ahead. 
 Everything was about to go disastrous from this point on.....
When we started our hike, there was a porter that followed us up till the first base camp (pictured below). That makes a total of 5 people hiking up together. Over here, we are suppose to show our permit to enter the mountains and this was when all the misunderstanding happen. Tom assume i wanted to hike up till Cibereum Waterfalls and spend the night there therefore our permit was a half journey permit and we will not be able to hike up to the peak.
All of us started discussing the possibility of hiking up the peak without the full permit & a proper guide as tourist needed a guide. So let's rewind a little bit....in my conversation with him before this ordeal, he said he can be my guide to bring us all the way up to the peak with full confidence. Unfortunately, he meant up till the waterfalls....further on, we need a proper guide. I take it from my part that we had a miscommunication while i clearly said i wanted to go to the peak. 

We were given a choice to pay slightly more to bring the porter up to the next base camp to pitch but we didn't want to spend more than we accounted for. We were stranded for half an hour or so because our porter had to take a bigger tent for us and we were worried that the both of them had left us here. Thankfully, they came back and we continued our beautiful journey.

We then reach the waterfall site and pick a spot to pitch our tent. We dump our stuff in the tent except for our passport and money and take a risk to continue our way up. It started drizzling, we rested and then kept going until we reach a hot waterfall crossing. It was an interesting experience. We had to hold on to ropes and take turns to climb the big wet rocks at the edge of the mountain with the heat from the waterfall.It was pretty crowded with the locals coming down from Surya Kencana base camp. The name of the main camp before you summit. 
We had to stop here, the last little climb to Surya Kencana due to the bad weather and getting dark. It was measured at 2400m at the hot waterfall and with a heavy heart, we started to descend. Our day was not ruin - we still felt good and the next day we went to have a bath at the waterfall! Its a beautiful sight! I am in awe. It has been a truly great experienced and i would do it again in a heartbeat. 

I muttered under my breathe,"Almost there, Mt Gede. Almost there........" 
With that, we left Mt Gede for another city. Safe travels.
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It seems like i'm about to start a new ritual of hiking on my birthday every year now. On my 24th birthday, i took a trip to KL and it won't be a satisfying trip without a mountain to hike. In this case, a hill. As much as i am aware that Broga Hill or also known as Bukit Lalang is quite a popular hiking spot among students and families, there must be a reason to it. It was easy, fun and the views are so lively. It wouldn't hurt to give it a try!

I woke up as early as 4:30am and waited for a friend to pick me up. We drove towards Semenyih where the hill is located. On our way there, the weather started to pick up and it started raining for a good few minutes but that's it. I was slightly worried that the path might get muddy and it would be dangerous to go up in case i slipped. When we arrived at our destination, there were so many people going up. We started hiking at 5:45am and reached at almost 7am just in time for the sun to spread it rays into the horizon. Overall, it is fairly an easy hike - not too strenuous but it could get a little slippery. You don't need a guide to go up, just diligently follow the path with the rest of the hikers. Most of them are local students and families that starts their morning in this crowded hill. The views at the top is breathtaking as it is filled with lush greenery. If you prefer a quiet and more lonesome hike, this might not be of your fancy. 

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful scenery. Another year, another hill/mountain on my special day. Where shall i go next on my birthday?

Early Hike in Broga Hill

by on 4/01/2017
It seems like i'm about to start a new ritual of hiking on my birthday every year now. On my 24th birthday, i took a trip to KL and i...
*A long forgotten drafted post on my New Zealand trip*

Today was the day. Its inevitable however much I try to avoid it. I have already paid my ticket. Time to face my fear of height, this time at full throttle thrill. What was I thinking when I paid for the bungy? I was in fact hesitating the whole time, to jump or not to jump?

Only days after, the feeling of regret swarmed in. I tried not to let it deter me. I am bound to do this. If I could face my fears of other things, I'm sure this one will have to come to an end too. I started watching bungee jumping videos on youtube and convincing myself that if others can do it, i can do it too. All i need to do is just jump.

And the unthinkable happen...

Well, Liya lived to tell the tale kids.....

It took me great courage for this, i swear. I was the last few to jump as i weigh lighter (oh this gave me a self confidence boost!) My feet felt heavy, my hands are sweaty and every move i made towards the edge felt draggy. I was heavily strapped and felt like something was pulling me down. Jumpy music were blasting through my ears to energise me.....

"5, 4, 3, 2, 1"

And i stood still. Oh was i suppose to jump? Am i flying yet? Did i hit something along the way down? Why am i still standing here? I turned and asked one of the facilitators to push me instead but all they said was..."Its a bungee jump! You are suppose to jump on your own."
"Oh yeah, i paid for this right....." then it went again....

"5, 4, 3, 2......"

Everything muffled out as i went straight down towards the deep blue sea. A series of "What the fuck is going on?" and then the "Superman fist" because you are supposed to make sure you fall head down if you want to touch the water which is why i try to stop my body from going leg first and turn by force (i opted to touch it but i wasn't in the correct position to dip so there goes my chance.) Followed by screams and choking hahahha because my body is lunging down and to my surprise- it is still attach to my head is not in the right gravitational position and being stretched out in pain and then came the "Remember when you are down and swinging 1 and 2 - pull out the red rope with your strength, as hard as you could so you could get back to 180."


A post shared by gypsysoldier (@chasingleia) on


And then i was back at the jump pod again.

What do you expect out of this post? Of course i jumped. I paid for it and i have nothing to lose except maybe my pride. Tsk.

Location of jump: Auckland Bridge (AJ Hackett Bungy) Price: 160 NZD
The jump wouldn't be made possible thanks to AJ Hackett and this post wouldn't be up thanks to AJ Hackett again for bringing me up in one piece.

I send out a whole bunch of postcards from Thailand. These postcards were bought in Siem Reap, Cambodia and written in Thailand, so it was kind of special. The stamps sold in Siem Reap was 1 usd per stamp but its only 15 baht in Thailand so that was very cheap! But how sad that it was not delivered to where it was suppose to be. I was very disappointed. I left these cards to the hostel staff in Bangkok - Miles Map Hostel, just to find out that they probably never send it out! It was supposed to be delivered to Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines. I'm so sorry to those who didn't received it.  

Who would have known? Kuala Lumpur has such a Gotham City vibes when i step foot for the first time. I am loving the city structures from above and its even amazing when the dark clouds starts forming. Here's a visual entry for the ones that crave city landscapes as much as i do. Warning: just amateur photos from a travel blogger. Don't shun me ok bye!

Hope to see you again, Gotham City of Asia. You are wonderful in your own way. Safe travels xx