New rates of fee charges for visitors to Sabah Parks

Effective from 1st of September 2008, Sabah Parks will impose new rates of fee charges for visitors like you and me. You may want to check it out if you decided to have some good time in one of Sabah Parks destinations:

  1. Kinabalu Parks (where Mt. Kinabalu is)
  2. Turtle Islands Park (east coast of Sabah, 40km north of Sandakan)
  3. Tunku Abdul Rahman’s Park (just 15 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu, a group of 5 beautiful islands)
  4. Pulau Tiga Park (where Survivors television series took place in 2001)
  5. Tawau Hill Parks (24km north west of Tawau)
  6. Crocker Range Park (where you could find Rafflesia blooming)

Few of the changes that I noticed:

  • Mt. Kinabalu mountain guides now can only take maximum 6 climbers at each climb.
  • They have also state clearly the fees for those who wants to go to other peaks of Kinabalu.
  • Expedition fee means that any climb that is done in Kinabalu Park other that the usual trail, Summit Trail and Mesilau Trail.
  • The porter fee has also change. I am not sure whether each porter can only bring 10kg per trip, as I usually see them bring up to 40kg before.
  • Conservation fee for most places still RM3 for Malaysian.

Check it out here:
http://www.sabahparks.org.my/pages/latestadditionframeset.html

A message for Mr. Ginik Lunsin, a Kinabalu mountain guide

I don’t know how to get to him except via this blog. I think I should have Anthony’s (Kinabalu mountain guide leader) mobile number, so that this kind of email will get through to the person mentioned…

I received an email from Martin, asking me to forward his thanks and gratitude to his mountain guide who brought them up to the highest peak of Borneo on the 6th August 2008.

Dear Ginik,

Thank you for taking good care of us (especially our 12-year old daughter, Sharon) during our 2 days’ journey to the Mt. Kinabalu Summit. We are deeply impressed about your experience and responsibility; you always give us a hand in time, without your assistance, we wonder whether we can all reach the summit. We are lucky to have you as our mountain guide. Thank you again. We will always remember you.

Martin, Karen and Sharon/Taipei, Aug. 10, 2008

Flashlight for your Kinabalu climb

Flashlight (or some call it torchlight) is an essential equipment that you should have for your climbing trip up Mount Kinabalu. Flashlight will be use during your second phase of the climb, from Laban Rata (or Pendant Hut if you are staying with Mountaintorq) to the peak in the dark. The journey will start around 2 am, in which it will be pitch dark if it is not full moon.

Ordinary flashlight or headlight?
I received a question from one of fellow climber who asked whether he should have an ordinary flashlight or headlight (or headlamp) for him. From my personal experiences, having a headlamp while climbing Kinabalu will give you more advantage than ordinary flashlight.

During the second phase of your climb, you will be going through the dark with only a white rope to guide you for nearly 2km. Almost all the time you have to use both your hands to hold the rope to prevent yourself from falling, and at some places, you may have to scramble with both your hands and legs.

Having a headlamp (or headlight) will free one of your hands from holding a flashlight. It will then gives you more stability with your both hands free while going through that 2km stretch with rope on uneven surfaces. I used an ordinary flashlight in my first few climbs, in which I have to hang it on my neck when I got to scramble and hold the rope up the trail.

Ordinary incandescent (filament) bulb or LED?
Flashlight with ordinary light bulb (with bulb and tungsten filament to omit light) are actually history. However, do not be surprised when you find a lot of those while shopping for flashlight in Kundasang town or even Ranau. (Yeah, my father in law still use it at night in Tinangol). Nowadays, the trend shifts from light bulb to LED (light emitting diode) because of several advantages of LED:

  • It’s high shock and vibration resistant
  • Low power wattage draw, puts less load on the battery
  • Long life
  • Fast turn on/off time (in nanoseconds)

However, I have to tell you that LED bulbs advantage is not in brightness. They are commonly lower in brightness than standard incandescent bulbs. They also emits less heat. In my past experiences, it is true. The only disadvantages of LED flashlight is most probably a bit pricey than ordinary incandescent flashlight.

You can check out these flashlight from Amazon.com:

Energizer LED Headbeam handsfree Headlight Flashlight Head Lamp

Trident Headlamp Flashlight, White LEDs, Batteries, 2 Straps, Yellow (ST61050)

1.25 Watt LED Power Chip Headlamp Flashlight (COSTT7455CP)

USOUTDOOR.com summer sale. Get your backpack for your next Kinabalu trip!

Backpack is an essential items for travelers cum climbers like you. I just received an email from USOUTDOOR.com about their sale on a lot of their items. If you are planning to find the suitable backpack for your trip, you should check out their sale now, as most of the promotions will end on 31st August 2008.

I have written a blog post about how to choose your backpack on your Mount Kinabalu climbing trip here. You may want to read it first before you go to USOUTDOOR.com to shop. It will give you an idea what type of backpack is suitable for you and your trip. You may not want to buy a small backpack for your South East Asian 3 months tour…

Save up to 30% off Backpacks from Dakine, Marmot, Timbuk2 and more at USOUTDOOR.com. Ends August 31

Save up to 30% off Northface Backpacks + Free shipping at USOUTDOOR.com. Ends August 31

Save up to 60% off + free shipping on summer outdoor gear. Ends August 31


Save on Patagonia Clothing at USOUTDOOR.com

First 3 basic equipments for your SCUBA diving lesson

I did my DSD few months back, and decided to get myself an Open Water PADI SCUBA diving license in October. After getting some input from Roslan, one of my good friend (senior at high school & the person who is responsible for me going diving), we went to Sabah Divers at Wisma Sabah to get the first 3 basic equipment for SCUBA diving – mask, snorkel and fins.

Sabah DiversOf course, I can just hire them every time I go diving, but in the long run, I will save more on the items and it will always be mine. And I can use it for snorkeling around Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, a group of beautiful islands just 15 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu with my kids on weekends.

I know that I diverted my blog post a bit with SCUBA diving, but by staying in Sabah, I could not resist NOT to write about it. I have been to the highest peak of Borneo few times, 4095.2 meters above sea level. So this time I am going down, maybe up to 40 meters below sea level. Sabah is blessed with these two assets, in which people from all around the world spends millions to get to where we are. I just don’t want to miss the opportunity, as world class diving spot is just “at my backyard!!!”.

Anyway, back to the equipments. I bought all the items from Sabah Divers dive shop. As Roslan is a regular customer with them, I got a very good discount on all the items (I love discount!!!). At the end of the shopping session, I was RM600 poorer after spending on those 3 (actually 4, including a tote bag).

You don’t have to buy these equipments to get yourself an Open Water PADI diving license. You can hire them with the dive operators, but you will be more comfortable using your own equipments.

Knowing that spending on LiquidSkin MARES will burn my pocket more, I decided to settle on lower ranked brand, TUSA. Honestly, I decided to buy these items after getting some feedback from Roslan and some homework done from the internet. I bought:

TUSA snorkels1. TUSA Snorkels SP-130 Platina Hyperdry
Check it out from Amazon: TUSA Platina II Hyperdry Easy Clear Snorkel

  • Hyperdry system with three current rectifying plates.
  • Pre-angled purge valve to eliminate gurgling of water by breathing and let air bubbles pass by the side of the face. [PAT.P.]
  • Ortho-consciously designed mouthpiece for ultimate comfort.
  • Detachable two-sectional swivel adapter to minimize the pulling feeling. [PAT.P.]
  • Three-dimensional pipe curve for the ideal angle for snorkeling.

The sensation of residual water (gurgling) while snorkeling is eliminated. This revolutionary snorkel uses a new mouthpiece, designed with the aid of ergonomic engineering.

TUSA mask2. TUSA Masks TM7500Q Splendive II
Check it out from Amazon:Tusa Splendive II Light Weight Dive Mask

  • 2-window design with wide field of vision and light weight for comfort
  • Bi-symmetrical lenses for easy installation of corrective lenses.
  • Special low volume design for snug fit and easy clearing.

The Splendive II, TM-7500Q is very light with a total weight of only 6.3 ounces. It fits close to your face providing an extra-wide field of vision and is also quick and easy to clear. Corrective lenses are available for easy installation.

Basically, the correct way of choosing a mask is by putting it on to your face, and make sure it fits nicely on your eyes and nose. Gently inhale with the mask on to make sure that it sealed your face and do some movement (like tilting) of your head or even jump with it. A good mask is a mask that will not fall down while doing some vigorous things with the mask on.

TUSA fins3. TUSA Fins FF-9 X-Pert Zoom
Check it out from Amazon:TUSA Xpert Zoom Full Foot Split Scuba Diving Fins

  • Innovative hydrofoil design and hybrid blade produce greater forward motion (lift) both on the surface and under the water.
  • Propeller-fin™ technology and super lightweight design achieve the ultimate performance with less effort.
  • Open-toe full foot pocket provides superb comfort and support.

TUSA combined Propeller-fin™ technology and the multiflex-blade-system, resulting in the newly developed X-PERT ZOOM full-foot fin. The FF-9 provides more speed and power with less effort and fatigue than traditional paddle blade full-foot fins. The FF-9 is a super thin, lightweight design, yet it generates maximum performance and comfort with minimum strain on the leg muscles when using a small bent-knee kick with a light rhythm.

Yeah, right… I got all those information from TUSA’s official website. As I have not used them yet (at this moment of writing), I could not give my personal views on those equipments.

Oh, as I am going for a SCUBA diving lesson this October (either at Pulau Mamutik, Manukan or Gaya), I would like to invite you to join me. So far, I have 2 other friends (Nazul and Rahman, my previous dive buddy) who will be joining me to get the license.

Just drop me an email if you want to join. The more, the merrier. I may be able to give you a very competitive price for the course as I know some people in this area…

22nd Mt. Kinabalu International Climbathon 2008

It’s here again. Happening on 23-24 August, 2008 at Mount Kinabalu.

Deemed as “the World’s Toughest Mountain Race”, the Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon is the ultimate challenge to take for those game enough to test their endurance by running up and down Mount Kinabalu for a total distance of 21 kilometers.

I don’t think I will be able to join. I would love to, but I am afraid that the organizer asked me to climb down as soon as I reached the first pondok…

Mount Kinabalu CLimbathon

Want to see adidas kampung in action? Come and join us!

By the way, Federation for Sports Altitude highly recommended Adidas Supernova Trail 5 running shoes for climbathon runners. This shoes are not for regular climbers of Kinabalu.

adidas Men’s Supernova Tr 5 Running Shoe

Climbing gloves for Mount Kinabalu climbers

I thought it was a small matter to most of us. But the truth is, it’s not. I received an email from Miss M (not her real name) asking me on what type of gloves that she could use to climb Mount Kinabalu.

  • Can an ordinary gardening gloves would do?
  • Do I need a water proof gloves, in case the climbing gets too wet and I don’t want my hands to be freezing?
  • When will I use the gloves?
  • Do I need to wear the gloves all the way from Timpohon Gate to the summit?
  • What would you suggest the type of gloves that I should buy?
  • Can I get the gloves in Kota Kinabalu / Kundasang / Kinabalu Park?

The above questions are all not from her only, but from various resources for the past few years of my writing on Kinabalu. I will try to answer the questions in a collective way, so that every new climbers will benefit from it.

Honestly speaking, I did not use high tech, waterproof gloves in my past climbings. I only use the ordinary Made-In-China nylon gloves that is usually used for gardening and small house contractor that cost me around RM2 per pair. I bought 2 pairs and wear both pairs during my past climb up the mountain.


GLOVE NYLON KNIT REVERSIBLE
Mine is in white colour…

There are two major reasons why you should have a pair of gloves while climbing up Kinabalu;

  1. To protect your hands from rope burn during the second phase of the climb and protect from the rough rock surfaces when you need to scramble once in a while on the barren rock face.
  2. To protect your hands from freezing while climbing up the summit at night in the dark, moreover if you are climbing during wet season.

The above reasons basically answers the questions on what type of gloves that you should choose, but seeing from my personal experiences, the ordinary nylon gardening gloves that I used does not gives you full protection for both conditions. The gloves (at least) could only prevent your hands from rope burn, but not from the cold night climb.
Get your gloves from EMS

However, if you check out any outdoor stores, getting a specialize gloves for this kind of climb can surprise you. The price may be way out of your budget. However, getting a good and proper gloves for your climb may differentiate your climb from “good” and “bad” if weather is not on your side.

Waterproof gloves is quite expensive, but you should consider it among your choices. Belay gloves and rappel gloves is not necessary, but I would recommend it if you are planning to go on via ferrata route. Your hands will thank you if you decided to invest on those kind of glove, as you are going to hold ropes, rocks and metal all the way on the via ferata trail.

You are not going to use the gloves all the way from Timpohon Gate, but only during the second phase of the climb from Laban Rata. It’s a night climb, and the temperature can go down to 5 degree Celcius. Cold weather will makes your fingers numb and cramp, so a good and suitable gloves is almost necessary.

Oh, you could get the ordinary gloves that I used while you are here in Sabah, but bare in mind that the gloves that I used are really not suitable. You should get the proper one, moreover if this is the only time that you could manage to climb Kinabalu!

Verglas Plus Gloves – Women’s by Black Diamond

Legend Glove – Men’s by Black Diamond

Petzl Cordex Light-Weight Belay & Rappel Gloves (Black or Tan)

Metolius Belay Climbing Gloves

Blog Mastermind opens tomorrow. Watch the final 2 videos

If you have been following me since last week on Blog Mastermind, Yaro had just emailed me this morning and informed that his blog coaching program will be opened tomorrow. He also gave me the last 2 links to his videos, a look over his shoulder at how his blog makes money and how much money it makes.

These videos are designed to teach you about how to make money blogging and show proof that he is actually doing it and show us the potential for earning with Blog Mastermind.

This is the only blog coaching program that I joined and I highly recommended you to do so, as the benefits and potential are very huge. I guarantee that you will not be the same blogger as you are now after the program. Worth every ringgit spent.
Click here to see the videos

By the way, these are the blog post last week:
10 reasons why your blog never break that two figure income…
You don’t have to watch this FREE blog teaching video…
Reporter vs Expert – Why Most Bloggers Are Stuck Reporting

Good Luck in your blogging carrier,
Ruhaizad

Mt. Kinabalu fundraising climb for Cyclone Nargis survivors

I received an email from Patrick again this morning. He sent me one before, asking about some issues on Kinabalu climbing with his children. This time he was asking us a favor – to donate to his fund raising climb – for survivors of Cyclone Nargis which hit Burma few months back.

I am glad and thankful to God that we don’t have that kind of disaster here in Sabah. I think that it is good that I could channel that blessings to blog about those who needed help to continue their life. Maybe that’s the least that I could do.

He will be climbing Kinabalu with 3 11-years old kid on 1st of August, 2008.

Hi there friends! Hope you are keeping well 🙂

Well, 2 days till off to Malaysia and – the reason for emailing you – my climb with my kids up MOUNT KINABALU, yes!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m really looking forward to it, the kids rather less so, think its finally dawned on them it might be quite hard work, hehe…

To help with the motivation / bring some ‘higher purpose’ to it, we are asking for sponsorship in aid of the Burmese children who were affected by the floods in May, many many of whom are still at great risk of death, mainly through poisoned water due to decomposing corpses. In case you assume the situation must be sorted by now, I’ve included a link to a recent article…

So, here’s the link. I used it myself to sponsor someone, its secure and easy to use.
http://www.justgiving.com/patrickbyrd

Some of you haven’t heard from us for quite a while – whether or not you decide to respond to our request for support we do hope you will write back and let us know how’s things with you.

Many thanks,
Patrick

For Patrick and his children – Good luck on the climb!

Reporter vs Expert – Why Most Bloggers Are Stuck Reporting

This is my third post on how to be a better blogger and earn a decent income from it. You may found the previous two post are as useful as this:

  1. 10 reasons why your blog never break that two figure income…
  2. You don’t have to watch this FREE blog teaching video…

There are basically two types of bloggers in the world – reporters and experts – and some people perform both roles (usually the experts, it’s hard for reporters to become experts, but it’s easy for experts to report).

If you have ever taken an Internet marketing course or attended a seminar specifically for beginners, you have probably heard about the two different methodologies. Whenever the business model is based on content, and if you blog for money then the model is based on content, people are taught to either start as reporters, or if possible step up as experts.

I’ll be frank; you want to be the expert.

Reporters leverage the content of the experts and in most cases people start off as reporters because they haven’t established expertise. Experts enjoy the perks of preeminence, higher conversion rates because of perceived value, it’s easier to get publicity, people are more likely to seek you out rather than you having to seek others out, joint ventures come easier, etc… experts in most cases simply make more money and attract more attention.

Most Bloggers Are Reporters

The thing with expertise is that it requires something – experience. No person becomes an expert without doing things and learning. Bloggers usually start out without expertise and as a result begin their blogging journey by talking about everything going on in their niche (reporting) and by interviewing and talking about other experts (reporting again).

There’s nothing wrong with reporting of course and for many people it’s a necessity at first until you build up some expertise. Unfortunately the ratios are pretty skewed when it comes to reporters and experts – there are a lot more reporters than there are experts, hence reporters tend to struggle to gain attention and when they do, they often just enhance the reputation of the expert they are reporting on.

Don’t Replicate Your Teacher

If you have ever spent some time browsing products in the learn Internet marketing niche you will notice a pattern. Many people first study Internet marketing from a “guru” (for lack of a better term). The guru teaches how he or she is able to make money online, and very often the view that the student gleams is that in order to make money online you have to teach others how to make money online.

The end result of this process is a huge army of amateurs attempting to replicate what their teacher does in the same industry – the Internet marketing industry – not realizing that without expert status based on a proven record and all the perks that come with it, it’s next to impossible to succeed.

Even people, who enjoy marginal success, say for example growing an email list of 1,000 people, then go out and launch a product about how to grow an email list of 1,000 people. Now I have no problems with that, I think it’s fine to teach beginners and leverage whatever achievements you have, the problem is that people gravitate to the same niche – Internet marketing – and rarely have any key points of differentiation.

How many products out there do you know of that all claim to teach the same things – email marketing, SEO, pay per click, affiliate marketing, and all the sub-niches that fall under the category of Internet marketing. It’s a saturated market, yet when you see your teachers and other gurus making money teaching others how to make money (and let’s face it – making money as a subject is one of the most compelling) – your natural inclination is to follow in their footsteps.

If the key is to become an expert and you haven’t spent the last 5-10 years making money online, I suggest you look for another niche to establish expertise in.

Report on Your Process, Not Others

The secret to progress from reporter to expert is not to focus on other experts and instead report on your own journey. When you are learning how to do something and implementing things day by day, or studying other people’s work, you need to take your process and what you do as a result of what you learn, and use it as content for your blog.

It’s okay to talk about experts when you learn something from them, but always relate it to what you are doing. If you learn a technique from an expert it’s fine to state you learned it from them (and affiliate link to their product too!) but you should then take that technique, apply it to what you are doing and then report back YOUR results, not there’s. Frame things using your opinion – your stories – and don’t regurgitate what the expert said. The key is differentiation and personality, not replication.

Expertise comes from doing things most people don’t do and then talking about it. If you do this often enough you wake up one day as an expert, possibly without even realizing how it happened, simply because you were so good at reporting what you did.

You Are Already An Expert

Most people fail to become experts (or perceived as experts) because they don’t leverage what they already know. Every person who lives a life learns things as they go, takes action every day and knows something about something. The reason why they never become an expert is because they choose not to (which is fine for some, not everyone wants to be an expert), but if your goal is to blog your way to expertise and leave the world of reporting behind you have to start teaching and doing so by leveraging real experience.

Experience can come from what you do today and what you have done previously; you just need to take enough steps to demonstrate what you already know and what you are presently learning along your journey. I know so many people in my life, who are experts simply by virtue of the life they have lived, yet they are so insecure about what they know, they never commit their knowledge to words for fear of…well fear.

Blogs and the Web in general, are amazing resources when you leverage them as a communication tool to spread your expertise because of the sheer scope of people they can reach. If all you ever do is talk to people in person and share your experience using limited communication mediums, you haven’t much hope of becoming an expert. Take what you know and show other people through blogging, and you might be surprised how people change their perception of you in time.

Reporting Is A Stepping Stone

If your previous experience and expertise is from an area you want to leave behind or you are starting from “scratch”, then reporting is the path you must walk, at least for the short term.

Reporting is a lot of fun. Interviewing experts, talking about what other people are doing and just being part of a community is not a bad way to blog. In many cases people make a career of reporting (journalism is about just that), but if you truly want success and exponential results, at some point you will have to stand up and proclaim yourself as someone unusually good at something and then proceed to demonstrate it over and over again.

Have patience and focus on what you do to learn and then translate that experience into lessons for others, and remember, it’s okay to be a big fish in a small pond, that’s all most experts really are.

This article was by Yaro Starak, a professional blogger and my blog mentor. He is the leader of the Blog Mastermind mentoring program designed to teach bloggers how to earn a full time income blogging part time.

To get more information about Blog Mastermind click this link:

www.BlogMastermind.com

To your blogging carrier,
Ruhaizad