Saturday, 25 July 2009

Paragliding in Pokhara, Nepal

Paragliding seem to be very popular in Pokhara. This is mainly because you can sail around the mountains of Annapurna, which has some of the highest peaks in the world.

It normally costs USD 100 for 30 minutes flight, but I got a 10% discount due to low season. It was monsoon season, so the area was pretty cloudy. The mountain was hiding behind thick clouds for most of the ride.

Take off point

So they will drive you up the Sarangkot hills for take off. This is also a popular hiking spot to view the mountains.


Birds flying in the air. Which is usually a good sign, because they use the thermals to glide around – which is used by the paragliders to float upwards. 

getting ready

The getting ready and just before take off is the most scary part of the whole thing (like the feeling just before hopping onto a roller coaster). 

taking off!

They strap stuff on you (apparently, its your “chair”). Then the guide says “when I say walk, you walk. When I say run, you run. Don’t sit before we take off”. When its time, he says “walk” and “run” and you’re trying to do as he says, but the sail pulls you in so many directions all at once. Before you know it, you’re hurling yourself off the cliff!!


The sights are fantastic. You float over Pokhara city and the lake, some countryside with paddy fields, and of course, with the mountains in the background (or just a glimpse through the clouds).


Pokhara city  lake side sawah padi

My feet in the air!

my feet in the air

My pretty sail.

 my sail

Some part can be a bit nauseating, especially when your guide brings you round and round or worse – doing some aerial stunts/acrobat! If you’re queasy, be sure to warn them before hand! But before you know it, time is up. Then you move towards the landing spot, just beside the lake.

land here

Your guide will tell you how to land. Apparently, there are 2 ways – you can land on your feet or land on your bum (which was what I did, apparently not enough wind or something).

the lake

The whole paragliding experience was worth it! And you even got a certificate after flying. Best time to go is after the monsoon season (September onwards) when the sky is clear and you get nice mountain views. But book early!

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Monday, 13 July 2009

Farewell, my camera!

My camera of 2.5 years is finally sold. So many good times, so much memories, so many photos … farewell!

Nikon D40

So sad – had to swipe the photo from Ken Rockwell, I don’t even have a photo of my baby…

For those who look down on it (just because its the lowest speck DSLR, and the cheapest too), all I can say is that good photographs depend on the photographer, not the camera. The D40 is small but equally powerful to give you amazing shots, and even though its 6 megapixels, its still enough to print large prints (like magazine covers!). Its a damn good camera. Hope its new owner enjoys it as much as I do.


Anyway, this week I’ll get a new camera – the Nikon D90!

Monday, 6 July 2009

Welcome home, Nat

What a welcome I had. On the plane before landing the pilot says “SELAMAT PULANG KE TANAH AIR” (Welcome home to your homeland). Aww, feeling warm and fuzzy already…

Then, when I reached home. Not even 5 minutes later (only enough time to put my luggage on the chair), we had a POWER CUT!!

Not only that, the days after that, we had a WATER CUT!!

It had been a long long time before we had any such cuts. Maybe I brought it home???

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Wat Pho

The last time (and first time) I went in here was back in 2007 (as though that was long ago). That time I only had a short time and had to rush to the airport right after. So I saw the reclining Buddha, was satisfied, and went back home.

big toes

So I though, I’ve already seen it, what else is there to see? So this time when I went there, I just went in for the sake of seeing it again. But this time, I realised that the Buddha is just 10% of the massive place!

This inside is huge! And its sort of similar to Wat Phra Kaew in the Grand Palace (which you had to pay THB 350), with much much less crowd. This costs only THB 50 per entry, what a steal!


Lots of Buddha statues there… largest collection of Buddha images, according to my Lonely Planet guidebook.


bless you take a break Chinese statue??

And for some strange reason… plenty of Chinese-influenced statues!