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Thursday, 22 January 2015


15th Dec 2014: YUANYANG – JIANSHUI – TONG HAI – FUXIAN HU (200km)

After checking out in the morning, I rode to a nearby workshop which I saw yesterday. The workers were looking at me in disbelief. I went inside the workshop and pointed out a container of engine oil (luckily the label had an English wording) and I told the guy to change the oil. He nodded and went straight to work. It was very fast and within 15mins, everything was done. The charge was RMB45 (RM22.50) only.

After that I exited Nansha and made my way to S214. The road was pretty small, winding as usual, but offered nice view of Yuanyang River. Apart from boats, I could also see barges on the water.

As always, it was ascend and descend affairs on bad paved and off road all the way to Jianshui. Muntah!!!


There was traces of landslide and since it was still morning and the road was shady,  my path was wet, slippery and slightly muddy 1/2 of the way. 

Lagiiii....layan je laaa.....

It took me two hours to cover the 85km distance to Jianshui.

This herder was so happy when I took his pic
Road block

Jah had recommend me to stay a night in Jianshui, but since I am full of energy and it was way too early, I made an adhoc decision to continue to Fuxian Lake instead. It was quite tricky to find S214 again after entering Jianshui and I had to go in circles before finally finding it. During my search, I saw quite a number of Muslim people and Muslim restaurants in this town.

To ensure that I’m on the correct road, I asked locals if this road lead to Tong Hai. However, no one seemed to know where Tong Hai is, until I wrote the town name on a piece of paper and showed it to them. Still, it was only after the third attemp that I found someone who could read the roman alphabet spelling of the town. Then only I knew that the correct hanyu pinyin pronounciation for Tong Hai is Tounggggg Ha (kasi dengung lebih sikit). wonder no one understand me. This were among the challenges that I faced during my ride here – non existense English, lack of sign boards, lack of route number markings, locals cant read the roman alphabet and my BADDDDDD hanyu pinyin. It was tough as the spelling of the town names and its pronounciation, were not only different, but it should be pronounced with a correct intonation, or else it could mean something else.

The stretch from Jianshui to Tong Hai was bad with pot holes and road under construction. It was only after Tong Hai that the road improved. Theres no sign to Fuxian Lake (as yet), so I need to be careful not to make a mistake by taking a wrong way to Yuxi instead. It was only when I’m nearing Fuxian Lake that I could see a sign board.

This is Qilu Lake, not Fuxian Lake

Finally, after riding for 6 hours, I reached Fuxian Lake, which is the deepest and the third largest lake in China. I screamed with joy upon seeing the very beautiful pristine blue lake. It was more beautiful than Erhai Lake in Dali. How I had missed this kind of view. It remind me of the blue lakes in Kyrgyz and Tajik, minus the snow capped mountain. I rode slowly and was hoping if I could find a strategic spot to pitch my tent. I had been carrying my camping equipments all along my way but not once used it yet. The reasons were bcos I was sick in the beginning of my ride, and bcos there was no suitable place to camp. Even though there were countless rivers and lakes that I had passed, normally the river was located way down the crevasse or the road by the lake side had barriers. It will be easy if I’m on a bicycle as I can always lift or carry my bike, but for a motorbike? No way.

It was not long before I found a really nice place to set up my tent. The view was gorgeous, the weather was perfect and the timing was soooo right. Not just that, the place was also deserted. No human was in sight. Perrrrrrfectttt. Exactly what I need. The only thing was the strong wind. It was pretty hard for me to put my tent to stand without help from anyone.

The next challenge for me was to put on the fire. I had brought along cooking wax as fire source, but the strong wind was blowing continously without stopping even a sec. It was really hard to lit my lighter, what more to burn the cooking wax, but after trying for almost half an hour, I managed to boil a pot of water to make tea and instant noodles. I had an early dinner while enjoying the spectacular view.


It was getting cold as temperature dropped down after the sun was completely out. Thank god there were lots of dry sticks on the ground for me to make a camp fire and enjoyed the warmth it had to offer, while watching majestic milkyway which showed herself proudly in the sky. Thousands of tiny little stars shone in the vast sky brightening my surroundings. I had never seen something as beautiful as this. I was speechless. How small I was compared to the power of Allah. In the silence of the night and  cold which gripped to the bones, my tears rolled down. For the umpteenth time, I thanked Him for my destiny. I was so lucky to be the chosen one. Thank you Allah.

My camp fire.....the wind was strong.....

Milky way.....

16th Dec 2014: FUXIAN HU – CHENGJIANG – KUNMING (110km)

I woke up at 2am as I felt very cold. It was drizzling and the wind was giving its powerful blow in the middle of the night. Thank god I brought along heat packs (remaining from my past EBC trekking), and only after putting the packs in my socks, I can get back to sleep.  Around sunrise, I heard voices. I unzipped my tent and peeped outside. There were some guys carrying a sampan to the lake shore. I supposed they were fishermen. 

I couldnt sleep no more so I just lie in my tent while listening to the birds chirping and watched the golden sky slowly brightening into a new day. How peaceful and serene.....

I was still lying on my air bed and wrapped in my sleeping bag when this pic was taken

Feeling hungry, I finally rose at 8am to cook nasi lemak. Again, it was a challenge to lit up the fire and I almost gave up. However, I managed and within one hour, I was already enjoying my meal while watching the tranquil blue lake in front of me. I tried to capture everything and stored it in my brain. I never want to forget this beautiful view and this awesome experience.

Nasi Lemak with red chicken and hard boiled egg....
Only Anita Yusof's Livin My Dream lah.....

After a while, the fishermen came back. I watched them sorting out their catches. They simply ignored me. I supposed I am not the first person who had camped here. Later, some local tourists came for some pics near the lake. They tried to talk to me and I answered using hand signals and broken mandarin.

At 12pm, I packed everything and left the place. Good bye Fuxian Lake. I'm leaving u now, but our memories shall remain forever n ever.

It was quite confusing to reach Chengjiang (pronounced Chengyang) and even more confusing to find my way to route S202 and later S102 to Kunming. There was no sign at all. Not even route number could be seen too. I was lost few times and had to turn back. I managed to find my way after some struggling. The road was bad with lots of constructions which slowed me down. In all difficulties, I managed to find my way to enter Kunming city via Cai Yun Nan Rd – Cai Yun Zhong Rd – Cai Yun Bei Rd, which I had memorized with lots of effort last night.

It was peak hour when I reached Kunming Central. Traffic police were guarding every junction. My bad luck finally arrived when I was stopped by a police at the final junction before I’m supposed to turn right to Beijing Rd which will take me to the bike garage. The police asked me to park Laling and he asked for my licence. I greeted him and showed my international licence, all the while smiling my sweetest smile. He was stern and without the least of smile on his face, he told me in broken English that he wanted to see my Chinese driving license. My heart sank when I told him that I dont hv one. He threatened to confiscate my bike. I apologized many times, and told him that I want to return the bike to my friend who’s waiting at Beijing Rd. Hearing this, he asked me for my so-called friend’s phone number as he wanted my friend to come over to take the bike. I said that I forgot my friends number which is not true. Even though desperate and panicked, I cant put Jah in trouble. The police finally let me go, but he didnt allow me to ride anymore. He asked me to push the bike instead. I obeyed and pushed Laling for about 80m and when I’m sure the police couldnt see me anymore, I continued riding.

However, the incident scared the hell out of me that when I arrived the junction to Beijing Rd, I didnt dare to turn right as there were police there too. I decided to turn right at the next junction, but it was a one way road. The next and the next junctions had policemen. I turned back and tried to find my way to Beijing Lu, but the same problem arised. In order to escape from the policemen who’s guarding by the road side, I had to go straight when I’m supposed to turn. Damn!!!  I was doing very fine before the police stopped me. Now, whats supposed to be an easy long straight road for about 10km along Beijing Rd to reach the garage, turned into a nightmare!!! I am now lost and I didnt even know my whereabout in Kunming city which was 4 times bigger than KL and with 9 million population and it was peak hour and my GPS is of no use and there were police everywhere!!! Can u imagine the terror?

I stopped by the road side and tried to get help from a girl. Luckily she could speak English. I borrowed her phone and called Jah. I told him what happened and asked him to come to my rescue. I passed the phone back to the girl and she told Jah my location. However, even Jah didnt know the place where I was at that time, as Kunming is a very big city. Jah told me not to panic but to slowly find my way. now?

I opened my GPS and checked the map.  I asked the girl to show me my location as the GPS couldnt locate my location accurately. I studied the map and counted how many junctions and turning which would take me back to Beijing Rd. Once I’m ready, I continued riding, passing the policemen, trying to look as confident as I can (but only god knew how I felt at that time). There were few times that the police waved at me, but I pretend not to notice, as if I was too busy concentrating on the flow of motorbikes and bicycles in front of me. I supposed it was my off road helmet which made them noticed that I am not a local. Thank god, they didnt chase me. 

After a gruelling few hours since I entered Kunming, I managed to find my way and arrived the garage at 7.30pm. It was already dark. My limbs felt like jello due to the tense and exhaustion. Ten minutes later, Jah arrived. He congratulated me for my success and told me that no man dared to do what I had done, and that I’m the first woman to rent his bike and did a solo ride around Yunnan since he started his two wheels tour business few years back. He also told me that its not easy to ride in China, even for the Chinese who can speak the language and read the alphabets, so to him, what I had achieved is remarkable. I just laughed and thanked him for his compliments.

Jah and me at the garage
The best souvenir to take home for an adv rider.....dust and mud.....


It was very cold in Kunming this morning as I took a short stroll nearby Springtime Hotel where I stayed last night. At 12pm, I made my way to the airport bus stop. I reached the airport way too early. I met some Malaysians and they were thrilled upon knowing that I did a solo ride in Yunnan. My flight was on time, and I reached KLIA2 at 10pm, safe and sound.

With that, my Yunnan China Adv Ride has now come to an end.....

Total distance covered: 2868km
Before the ride - RM2162 (prep, air ticket, visa etc)
During the ride - RM2400 (bike rental, fuel - RM334, accommodation, misc and self cook everyday)
Total expenses: RM4562
ZERO bike fall

Dear readers,
Yunnan is a very beautiful province. As u can see in my posts, the view changed every single day. Please go and ride there if u can. U are not going to regret it.

I regard this ride as the 2nd best ride after the Stans. All the memories and experience, be it sweet or sour, are valuable to prepare me for my next bigger challenge soon. Again, thank you Allah for giving me the chance, and for protecting me from danger through out my ride.

Until next ride.....

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


12th Dec 2014: MENGLA – MENGLUN – JIANGCHENG (235km)

This morning, I had to ride the same way via G213 back to Menglun. Upon reaching the first tunnel for today, I saw long lines of vehicles outside the tunnel. I rode slowly and a guard stopped me. I had no idea what's going on. I was stuck there for 20mins. When the guard let the vehicles in, I saw a bomb squad inside the tunnel. Urghhh...that was I rode as fast as I can. 

Again it was foggy today, and I had to slow down even though the road was good. At one time, the fog entered a dark tunnel. I cant see a thing!!! That was really scary, and to make it more thrilling, the tunnel was long. I only felt relieved when I saw lights at the end of the tunnel. Phewwww.....Later, I saw a sunflower field, so I stopped for pics.

Upon reaching Menglun, I turned right to S218. Theres no sign board mentioning it was S218, nor theres any sign board showing Jiangcheng, my destination for today. It was quite difficult for me to find my way. When I asked locals, not only they couldnt speak English, but some just ignored me bcos they didnt know the direction to my destination. I supposed they never exit their village in all their lives. Pity them. After getting lost few times, I finally found the correct way.

The ride to Jiangcheng was a tiring one. The narrow winding road was similar to Mae Hong Son - Pai, but here, the road was smaller in width and always wet, so I cant ride fast. The road was also deserted, with jungles on both sides. Thank god theres no wild animal crossing my path when I rode there.

Winding road always makes me sleepy.....I dunno why.....

I only saw one signboard all along 235km ride today, so most of the time (as always happened during my ride here since my GPS was hopeless), I had to check on the sun to ensure that I'm on the correct route. However, sometimes its hard to rely on the sun when riding on the winding mountain road bcos at one time, the sun was on yr left side, and at other times, it was behind you. The funny thing, once in a while when I saw the mile stone which had the route number written on it, the number was not the same as written on my GPS or in the paper map, and this continued for miles and miles away. I really had to trust my instinct when this thing happened. Same thing also when theres a junction, and theres no sign board or people for me to ask for direction, I had to strongly rely on my instinct. Sometimes my instinct is wrong, but normally, its always correct. I’m lucky to have a sharp instinct. Always, when something bad is about to happen, or I didnt feel good about a place, I will get the ‘signal’ beforehand. I guess this is a gift from god to me.

The one and only sign board to Jiangcheng

I was already tired when I turned right to S214. My paper map said that the distance to my destination is 30km, but actually it was 55km. Additional of 25km on a winding road when one is already very tired is not pleasant at all. Haihhhh...Fortunately, even though its still winding, the road is a bit wider, so I can speed faster. 

Finally, after riding for almost 7 hours, I reached Jiangcheng. I got a room on the first try. After resting, I checked the town a lil bit and went to the market to buy groceries.

Xinhui Hotel, RMB70 (RM35)

13th Dec 2014: JIANGCHENG – LUCHUN – YUANYANG (230km)

Today’s ride is the most challenging. After checking out, I made my way via S214, heading to Luchun. 

The wild sunflowers along the road always cheer my mood

Very soon, I had to ride on off road. In the beginning, it was a dirt road which was okey. But later, I had to ride on gravels. Theres one time, a water pipe burst and cause flood along the way. The road gets very muddy. It was challenging but in the same time, fun. Its not always that I can get this kind of experience. 

While riding, I witnessed the locals life. I felt sorry to see their poor condition. Dirty shoeless toddlers playing by the road side. Women gathering outside their homes, some cooking, and some grilling fish or searching for head lice. Men, some working in the farm and some wasting time playing chess and smoking, letting the women do all the hard work. How unfair!! I didnt see school at all in the mountains that I had passed since I started my ride :(

Theres one time while I was riding on an off road, I heard someone shouted at me. I couldnt see the person, but I stopped abruptly. Few seconds later, a tree fall off right in front of me. OMG!!! That was really close. Then only I saw the man behind some bushes. 

Later, I passed a military check point. This time, the officer wanted to see my passport. He then took my passport away. While waiting, I tried to have a friendly conversation with the other officers. Theres a lady officer who could speak a minimal English so we chatted for a while. I had to wait for quite some time before I got back my passport.

Public toilet at a village in the mountain

I continued riding, this time on dusty off road. Everytime a vehicle passed or overtook me, I will be blanketed with a thick cloud of dust. It was a very tiring ride. I took a short lunch break after riding continously for 5 hours without stopping. Today is the third day in a row that I ate my packed lunch while standing by the road side.

The first 130kms of my ride today took almost 6hrs. I had to ride on off road and damaged paved on and off. After Luchun, the road improved. 

Theres another 100kms to Yuanyang, and this stretch took me 2.30hrs. Why so long? Even though the road is in a much better condition, it didnt make my ride any easier as I had to ride in very thick fog, the thickest which I had ever encountered since I started overlanding. Visibility was only 10m, and worst when I had to ride in tunnels. Believe me, it was really scary. Totally white out. Imagine I had to ride for 50km without seeing a single thing!!! I felt like a blind person riding a bike. I almost hit some cows which lazed in the middle of the road. Stupid cows, or may be stupid herders!!! Cant find a better place to laze during this foggy condition?

The fog lessened after I had descended the mountain. How relieved, but not for long as after that, my ride was disrupted by a landslide which caused a massive traffic jam on both sides of the road. Thank god there's no fatal when the rocks rolled down. I had to wait for 30 minutes before the bulldozer cleared the rubble.

It was getting chillier as the wind was soooo strong. This followed by rain which made me shivered like hell. Theres one time that I almost fell from the bike when the tires slid as the road was slippery. I was tired, but it seemed as if I will never going to reach my destination. This was the time when I finally asked myself, "what the hell lah am I doing here riding all alone...?"

After 9 hours on the road, I reached Nansha, the new town of Yuanyang. Since I’m going to stay here for 2 nights, I decided to give myself a treat. Especially after my challenging ride today and after the last day break that I had was 8 days ago, at Lijiang. Only god knows how tired I am. I checked in at a nice place. Big spacious room with a big double bed, but only costing me RMB100.

Jonggie Hotel


I had a good night sleep and continued sleeping for few more hours after subuh prayer. How refreshing. After that, I went to the most famous attraction here – Yuanyang Terrace Rice Fields. To get here, I had to turn back 25km as the old city, Xinjie was located before Nansha (the place where I stopped for the night yesterday). So todays story will all be about the terrace rice fields which has a history of 1200 years.

The Yuanyang Terrace Rice Fields are situated in the southern Ailao Mountains, dug out by the Hani people. Different from other rice terraces in China, the Yuanyang Rice Terraces do not have so many layers, but they are outstanding for their grandiose area, having slighter slopes. Besides the majority of Hani people, there are some other ethnic groups living in the terrace area, including Yi, Dai, Yao, Zhuang , and Miao. It is said these different minorities reside in different layers according to altitude.

This Hani lady and her daughter were asking me to gv them some money.
They were pretty aggressive

The road to the terraces passed through mountainous areas. As I ascended the road, my heart sank as thick fog started to blind my view. It got very foggy when I reached Xinjie, worst than yesterday!!! What to see and how to enjoy the view in this condition? I prayed inside my heart, hoping that the fog will clear a bit. After all, I had come a long way. 

I circled the whole area from Xinjie – Bada – Duoyishu – Laohuzhui and back to Xinjie. The whole distance was 83km, which was quite stressful due to the thick fog. Somehow, I managed to see some views. Well, may be not so great as if the weather is clear, but still, alhamdulillah.....Jadi lah dari tak ada langsung.....


Band: NASTIA, Title: ANGGUR (taken from EP 'EKSPRESI')