Travel Diary: Havasupai, AZ

I just came back from my trip to Supai, Arizona! aka land of the blue water. You might have heard of Havasupai from social media as it has picked up quite the popularity recently. Havasupai is home of the Havasupai Tribe, so please respect their home while visiting! This place is a true adventurer’s paradise, and I had so much fun here so I decided to share my experience and tips with you all!

I went at the end of August which is still hot in Arizona. The highs can get up to 100 degrees or more. This time around it’s also mosquito season, so remember to bring bug spray!

havasupai trail
Trail into Town
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Hike into town

Once you’ve decided to go, you’ll need to pick a couple of dates. Due to the popularity and limited permits, you should pick maybe 2-3 dates in case your first choice is booked. Do not go to Havasupai without having already booked your permits. The Natives there check very often, and if you don’t have a permit, they will force you to leave.

Reserving your permit:
Reservations for each year starts on February 1st! And can be purchased on their new website! Be prepared to pay at the same time of reservation! Permits are for the campgrounds, and the person making the reservation MUST be present have an ID at the time of permit pick up. You pick up permits when you arrive into town. (8 miles from trail head)

Fees –
Entrance Fee: $50.00
Camping Fee Per Night: $25.00
Environment Fee: $10.00
Tax: 10%

  1. What to pack – (Think Minimalist, and as light as possible! Don’t bring anything you wouldn’t want to carry.)If you’re not planning on doing any more camping trips, you can rent most of the essentials (tent, backpack, sleeping bags, trekking poles) from REI (Co-Op Members get additional 50% off on all rentals)Adventure 16Outdoor GeekWool Socks (wool socks dry quick & don’t smell)
    Hiking Shoes
    Water Shoes
    Water Socks (I wish I brought these because this would help with blisters)
    Backpacking Backpack
    Day Pack

    Hydration Bladder 2-3L
    Hiking Poles (helps with downhill hiking)
    Hat for the sun/Sunglasses
    Sunscreen
    Bathing Suit
    Toothbrush/toothpaste
    Headlamp (for night time)
    Bug Spray
    Backpacking Tent
    hammock with mosquito net (great alternative to tent. also lighter than a tent)
    Sleeping Bag (if it’s hot, I’d suggest doing without this)
    Sleeping Pad
    Wet Wipes (alternative to showers)
    Dehydrated Food (Mountain House tastes the best, and dehydrated food is lightweight)
    Snacks, Instant Coffee
    Trash Bags (Take your trash with you! There are no trash cans at the camp)
    JetBoil (this will boil your water for food in 30 secs!)
    Utensils/cup for eating
    first aid kit (also moleskin wrap for blisters!!)
    Water Filter (not a must need, but nice to have)
  2. Directions to Havasupai Trail head:
    -I used directions from waterfallsofthegrandcanyon.com and it was super helpful!
  3. Good to Knows:
    -There is no reception as you get closer to the trail head, so I would advise you and your group to do as much communication as you can while you still have phone reception. If you’re renting a car, make sure your friends know what car you’re driving.-There is a fern spring in the campground where you can refill your water. It’s totally safe for drinking, and I drank that water for 3 days without getting sick.-If you want to be super cautious, you can bring a water filter.

    -There are bathrooms around the campgrounds. All of them have toilet paper & hand sanitizer.

    -At the ranger station, just outside of the camp site, you can ask for a free bucket so you can keep your food in it. This is especially helpful because the squirrels here are especially smart and will dig through everything. A squirrel even made a hole in our friend’s tent to steal food!!

    -The delicious Fry Bread stand is walking distance from the camp site, they’re cash only. Other than Fry Bread, they also have ice cold water, soda and Gatorade! But their hours are unpredictable. (see sign below LOL). Be prepared to pay inflated prices! ($8 for fry bread, $5 for Gatorade)

    Frybread+in+Havasupai+Reservation

    IMG_3918
    -From Trail Head, it is an 8 miles hike until you get into town. And 2 miles from town to the camp grounds.

    -From Los Angeles to Trail Head is a 6 hour drive.

    -4 hours drive from Las Vegas to Trail Head.

    -The first mile is a steep downhill. This will be the only downhill you’ll really encounter, for a while. It’s not too bad, but having trekking poles really help with stability.

    -The rest of the trail is all flat. I suggest starting the hike from trail head at 5-6am to avoid the heat.

  4. How to train:
    -The best trail closest to Los Angeles for preparing for Havasupai is The Bridge to Nowhere. The trail at Bridge to nowhere is very similar to Havasupai because there are uphills, downhills, and river crossings. All of which you’ll encounter at Havasupai.havasupai canyon trail map and village
  5. Waterfalls:
    -There are 5 waterfalls: Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, Hidden Falls and 50 Foot Falls are closest to the camp ground. Beaver falls is 3.5 miles past Mooney Falls. Just follow the river. It will require river crossings, so wear your water shoes.

-Wear your water shoes when getting into the water falls. There are a lot of rocks on the bottom and wearing the shoes will help with walking.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Havasu Falls
IMG_3844
Mooney Falls
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Mooney Falls
Beaver Falls
Beaver Falls

-*Warning* – going down to Mooney Falls requires you to climb down very steep and unstable man made steps. PLEASE BE CAREFUL and take your time getting down. It will be muddy due to the waterfall splashing.

 

 

0BA5095A-C99C-4952-94F6-02AC576FEB33
5. Helicopter:
-The Helicopter is an option if you want to take this into town from trailhead or if you want to take it back up from town.
-It costs $85 per person one way, and allows 1 medium sized bag of 20-40 lbs.
-Natives get priority and they can come anytime they want.
-You’ll want to get your name on the list as early as you can, it is at first come first serve basis. Sign in sheet starts at 10am, but most people arrive anywhere from 5-6am to camp out.
-They accommodate everyone, or until night it gets dark.
-Be prepared to wait about 5 hours for the helicopter.
-They take credit(Visa/MC/Disc), but if you have cash, it’ll make it easier.

Helicopter Schedule:

March 15 to October 15:
Sunday: 10 am to 1pm
Monday: 10 am to 1pm
Thursday: 10 am to 1pm
Friday: 10 am to 1pm

October 16 to March 14:
Sunday: 10 am to 1pm
Friday: 10 am to 1pm

I hope everyone gets to come visit Havasupai once in their lifetime. It’s truly a nature lover’s dream to visit and spend the weekend here. Enjoy! And feel free to message me if you have any other questions!

-LiWo

Advertisements

2016 recap

As 2016 comes to an end, I can’t help but reminisce about all the ups and downs of 2016. I started this blog and allowed myself to be vulnerable. I lost some loved ones, had a mini panic attack along with the majority of the country, but I also grew a lot as a human and definitely pushed myself to the limit. Ran 1 full marathon, 2 half marathons, and total of  557.8 miles this year. I advanced my work career twice this year, and I’m not stopping until I reach the top! Here are some highlights of my 2016. *Warning* Lots of photos!

Processed with VSCOcam with kk1 preset

Visited Big Sur for the first time on New Years 2016. Experienced the majestic views from the Pacific Coast!

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetFinally got to go to Joshua Tree and Salvation Mountain for My Birthday!

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

Took a class on Modern Calligraphy just because it’s been something I wanted to do.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Ran my first marathon on Valentine’s day at the LA Marathon and received an extra bonus medal for completing both a Ragnar race and LA Marathon.


Hiked Mt Baldy with team Tender Greens and the Hero Project!

fullsizerender-24

Ran many miles while our boyfriends were asleep with Aileen G.

fullsizerender-28

Visited Ensenada, Mexico via a booze cruise to eat Tacos.

fullsizerender-4

Played with a baby Leopard in Ensenada.

fullsizerender-11

13.1 miles along Ventura

fullsizerender-21

My cousin got married! ❤fullsizerender-3

Busted a big mission to go visit the Albuquerque, NM Hot Air Balloon Fiesta!

fullsizerender-9

And drove to the White Sand Monuments to recreate a Boyz II Men music video.

fullsizerender-15

Almost died hiking Bridge to Nowhere with Peter, Ben and Kevin…

5ec13dad-8466-4dbf-b6cd-3f3eda47b85a

BFF trip to Seattle to hike, boxing, run, and eat!

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Visited Hong Kong for the first time in April and fell in love with the city!

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

Celebrated Tender Greens’ 10 year birthday!

Processed with VSCO with m5 preset

celebrated my 6 year anniversary with PK

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Fell in love with Flywheel spinning!

img_1951

Ran my first Rock n Roll race with the whole city of LA on Halloween!

IMG_6489

Added to my weekly mileage with my running twin Beccafit4life!

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Drove from Salt Lake City, Utah, and visited The Grand Teton National Park. Crossing off 2 states!

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

My favorite BaoHaus finally opened in LA!

fullsizerender-22

Ate delicious Japanese Beef. SO YUM.

Looking forward to 2017 where I will be running Chicago Marathon! My goals for 2017 is to train for Chicago, take extra classes in a community college, and to eat cleaner!

Cheers!

Vacay Motivation

This past weekend, I went on a 3 day cruise with 5 other friends to Ensenada, Mexico. And of course, like any other vacation, there was lots of eating involved. I wanted to do a quick little post on ways I keep up with my workout regimen, even when I’m on vacation.

13906695_10157330596325451_9074519556568446636_n

Photo: Ricky Chu

Sometimes, unfortunately, when you’re unable to run outdoors, you’ll need to hit the dreadmill. But to keep yourself challenged even on the treadmill, you can do some quick interval workouts to change things up and keep you from getting bored. Lots of treadmills already have interval settings, but you can also try some interval work outs like this Speed Endurance treadmill workout:

  • 5-10 min – comfortable pace
  • 1 min – challenging pace
  • 1-2 min – recovery pace
  • repeat

*By the way, treadmills on cruise ships totally suck ):

IMG_6489

Photo: Lauren Reyes

I keep myself motivated by surrounding myself with friends who also have similar goals as I do. I’m more likely to go to the gym or go workout if I have someone there to keep me accountable. Make it a group activity! Make it fun!

13906977_10157330588805451_1680617674436446494_n

Photo: Ricky Chu

During our trip to Ensenada, we also booked an excursion to do some Zip Lining, which also had some challenging (and scary) bridges. The bridges chlallenged us to balance ourselves (core & legs), and used our arms to keep the ropes steady. It was a fun activity, but it was also a hidden workout!

IMG_2473

Photo: Peter Kim

So, scheduling time to do a workout is key to keeping on track even when on vacation. And especially working out in the morning so you can get it over with can help free up time for other activities!

Travel Diary: Must Eats in Hong Kong

One thing I love about traveling is being able to explore and submerge myself into the food culture of the place I’m visiting. I visited Hong Kong in April and oh my god was the food amazing there. Hong Kong is definitely not short of restaurants. They have every culture’s food here, and in my opinion, they make it better.

DIM SUM:
If you’re visiting Hong Kong, you definitely cannot leave until you have dim sum. Compared to California, the portion size for dim sum in Hong Kong is smaller, however, the quality and taste is 10x better. Dim Sum restaurants are everywhere and all of them are good. During my trip, I ate 4 different times. Mainly because I was traveling with my parents and we were having meals with my family from Hong Kong.

Dim Sum is typically eaten as a family style meal during breakfast or lunch time. Tea is served with Dim Sum, and you check off items you want to order on a piece of paper and give it to your server, and in minutes, your food is at your table!

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine – credit accepted

If you’re a Hello Kitty lover, you MUST come to THE Hello Kitty Chinese restaurant located on Kowloon side. Make a reservation if you do not want to wait, however, if you’re not rushed on time, you may wait for a table. Queue may take up to half an hour, but it’s definitely worth it. Not only does the Hello Kitty dimsum look adorable, it was delicious.

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Tim Ho Wan – cash only

Famous for their bakes pork buns, Tim Ho Wan is one of the cheapest Michelin Star restaurants. Their pork buns are different because the bun’s outside is slightly sweet and crispy compared to the normal baked and glazed pork buns. I personally thought it wasn’t as tasty as the other items, but it’s worth a try if you’re in Hong Kong. I went to the Hong Kong station location, and was told that the one we went to was the worst Tim Ho Wan location.. sad times. So I would advise that you go to any of their other locations other than the Hong Kong Station location.

CAFE FOOD
Hong Kong cafe food, if you’re not familiar with it, is like an Asian version of  the American Denny’s. They serve the Hong Kong staple foods such as: Noodles, Chow Mien, Noodle Soups, sandwiches, Milk Tea, Coffee, Tea and Buns. Hong Kong cafes open for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.

IMG_6910

Kim Wah Cafe – Cash Only

Kim Wah serves your staple Hong Kong cafe food. You got your noodles, rices, and what they’re famous for is their gigantic Pineapple bun with a stick of butter in it. The pineapple bun is served warm, and with the melted butter in between, it makes it super delicious. We heard Kim Wah makes it the best, and had to taste for ourselves. No competition. Served with a hot Hong Kong Milk tea, and you got yourself a yummy snack.

IMG_6800

Australian Dairy Company – Cash Only

Australian Dairy Company is yet another Hong Kong Cafe, but they’re known for their Egg Sandwiches. You might say, hey, this egg sandwich looks so ordinary, what’s so special about it? Well, once you bite into this, you’ll instantly notice the silkiness of the scrambled egg. Heard their french toast is to die for as well. The steamed egg custard is a slightly sweet dessert that’s silky and tasty. You can order it cold or hot.

STREET FOOD:
Even when regular restaurants are closed, you’re still able to find something to eat in Hong Kong. The street vendors open at about 9pm and close at about 6am. You can find anything from noodles, to fried wontons, chicken drumb sticks, seafood, etc for about a dollar a pop for most items.

IMG_6862

IMG_6861

Wah Kee Snacks – Cash Only

This food stand was one of my frequent visits, as it was a block away from my hotel. During those nights where I was too jet lagged to sleep, I would stumble down the streets of TST (Tsim Sha Tsui). These stands are great for those late night drunchies after the bar. It’s super tasty, kinda greasy, but just do it. It’s so worth it.

13047790_10208233545149421_7999733388175688701_o

McDonald’s – Credit Card accepted

McDonald’s in Hong Kong are all 24 hours. They have some specialty items like these Crispy Chicken wings that were made of real chicken! -SHOCKER- But really, these chicken wings were finger licking good. And I couldn’t stop raving about it to all my friends. Wish the McDonald’s in the U.S. had chicken wings.

DESSERT:
There’s always room for dessert right? Especially when you can walk and eat at the same time. And I do love my sweets.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Oddies – Credit Card Accepted

Wildest, yummiest ice cream cone I’ve ever laid my eyes and mouth on. This ice cream cone has two different flavors of ice cream inside, topped with candy, and big enough for two to share. After walking around in the Hong Kong humid heat, Oddies definitely hit the spot for me. It’s located on the Hong Kong island side in Central, where there’s lots of different big brand shopping.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Charlie Brown Cafe – Credit Card accepted

This place is super popular with the tourists apparently, but not much with the locals, because even my cousin had no idea this place existed. They had free Wifi, so you can come here to chat with a friend, check up on your social media, or do some work. This Charlie Brown Cafe is seriously decked out in everything Peanuts Gang. How can you pass this place up?

Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

Check in Tokyo – Cash Only

Ramune, Sakura, and Green Tea flavored ice cream can be found here at Check in Tokyo! Can you tell I like my ice cream? What caught my eye about this place was that their flavors were nothing I’ve ever seen before. It also helps that they make your ice cream into different animal characters! This place is located in the busy streets of Mong Kok. Lots of people on these streets, so careful not to bump into anyone, or else you’ll be crying because your ice cream decided to commit suicide and jump onto the floor.

13087034_10208277234121618_7183532360135935569_o

Little Bao – Cash Only

Little Bao is a tiny bar like restaurant that serves food, however, I heard that they’re famous for the ice cream baos. They fry their bao and put a condensed milk glaze on top, they stick ice cream in between. Served warm, the ice cream bao gives you so much mouth feels. This little ice cream bao made me want to buy second. I also wanted to mention that the staff here is super duper nice. We rushed here all the way from TST and they were closed already, however, the staff member was able to accommodate and sell us 1 ice cream bao!!

CONVENIENT STORES:
All convenient stores such as Circle K, 7Eleven are open 24 hours. They have instant noodles, buns, and all types of soft drinks your heart desires. I love it because in Hong Kong, Milk Tea comes in every shape and form. My favorite of all is the Nestea Hong Kong Milk Tea. It comes in can form, but I’ve also seen it in a bigger size at the grocery store.

IMG_659413086671_10208233539669284_2682030308660489748_o

13043348_10208219474277658_1884659335826766634_n

ROASTED MEATS:
Roasted Meats are everywhere in Hong Kong, and they make it well. You can find everything from Pork to the not so common Goose.

13064674_10208233540389302_3761650505826535458_o13041273_10208233540469304_6747380462423264527_o

Yat Lok – Cash Only

Yat Lok is a Michelin roasted goose restaurant located in Central. What does goose taste like, you ask? It tastes like roasted duck, however, the goose meat is a little gamier and rougher. Not my style. I did however, really enjoy their perfectly roasted pork! I loved the delightfully crispy skin!

COFFEE:
If I were to recommend one coffee shop in Hong Kong, I would recommend The Coffee Academics. Because they school everyone else on coffee in Hong Kong.

They have a outstanding Ice Dripped coffee, which is so special that it’s served in a wine glass. It’s cold brew uses pure ice water and ice brewed for 8 hours making it smooth, refreshing and even lower acidity than regular cold brew coffee.

13055915_10208242589375521_6109751093822661289_o

I hope you enjoyed some of my must eats in Hong Kong. There’s seriously too much to try in Hong Kong, and I still have lots of restaurants on my list, which I couldn’t try due to time restraint. Until next time!

Climb For Heroes

In the day in age where everyone feels overwhelmed by their work and look forward to a day of rest, usually during a National Holiday, we often forget what we’re celebrating and why we should be thankful for that Holiday.

Today is Memorial Day, the day we celebrate all those who served in the American military. For those who sacrificed themselves to keep our country safe.

IMG_6430DSC04047

Last month, I was able to join Team Tender Greens and The Heroes Project for the Climb for Heroes hike the 10,064 ft. elevation of Mt. Baldy.  The Heroes Project, who organized Climb for Heroes, is an organization who works with the veterans, soldiers, marines and military communities. Their goal is to support, them in every aspects of their lives.

Climb for Heroes, one of three Heroes Projects events, welcomes climbers and hikers of all levels. Everyone from kids to wounded heroes climbed all the way to the top of Mt. Baldy. At each base camp, The Heroes Project stationed a wounded hero to provide inspiration, and encouragement. Most of these wounded heroes had some kind of disfigurement from their time in service. Many with a missing limb, are still able to hike the highest mountains of the world. As I pass each soldier, I got more and more inspired, and it gave me courage to climb further.

DSC04079DSC04078DSC04069I kept reminding myself that if those soldiers with missing limbs can do it, I have no excuse not to. And it really helped that the Heroes Project set up several inspirational signage to help boost each hiker’s spirit as everyone climbed higher and higher.

IMG_6456IMG_6417

Much gratitude to our heroes and to those who serve.

DSC04108

Day Trippin’, my Head Spinning

I’m finally at the age where getting wasted on my birthday or having a huge extravagant party isn’t necessary. I decided that I wanted to go see the world, and when better time than to go somewhere extra special for my birthday~!

IMG_6153IMG_6154

We decided to hit 2 birds with 1 stone and drove 3 hours east to Slab City, where the amazing artistic desert landmark called Salvation Mountain resides. This masterpiece was built by Leonard Knight who started building Salvation Mountain with just a bag of cement and later with straw and adobe. Even after the county of the Imperial Valley Desert tried to take down Salvation Mountain for having high amounts of lead in the ground, the community fought to keep it up. Leonard built Salvation Mountain in hopes of spreading a message of compassion, love, and in hope that humans live in harmony.

IMG_6155Upon arrival, I was in awe at what the community of Slab City help build and continue to help grow. Being as Salvation Mountain is visited by many, the upkeep is great. But the people who volunteer here are also helping expand Salvation Mountain. I can’t wait to come back in a few years to see the new section!

We set out to Joshua Tree hoping we could stay there a little longer before the sunset. We surprisingly, for it being a weekend, Joshua Tree National Park was pretty empty, which was better for us! Ah Joshua Tree, home of all the big beautiful rocks and Yucca Trees. We didn’t have time to hike all that much, but driving through the park and going to the different sections of it was enough for me. Next time I go, I would like to camp overnight!

FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRender (1)

Coming from Salvation Mountain, we took the South Entrance near Cottonwood Spring and drive up towards Yucca Valley. Stopped by the visitor center to grab a map and we were on our marry way. I decided that day that I wanted to go to every single national forest in the United States and collect their patches. Many more miles to go!

After leaving the park, we walked around the city of Yucca Valley! Where we found tons of thrift shops, dive bars, and artistic objects in what seems to be someone’s backyard.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetcactus-mart yucca valley store

On our way home, something caught our eye, a sign that said “dig your own cactus for $.59” We quickly made a U turn and went into the Cactus-Mart 10 minutes before they closed. The owners were super welcoming even though we came so late. There, I was able to pick my own baby cactus to bring home, and even bought my first Living Rock. The helpful guys at the Cactus Mart were even nice enough to tell me how to take care of my living rock. Finding the Cactus Mart was a great ending to an amazing day trip.

I totally recommend coming to these two landmarks, especially if you’re from Los Angeles. Living in a dense Metropolitan city, it’s easy to forget that there’s other stuff to see out there. If you’ve never experienced the beauty of  a desert sunset, I suggest you try it sometime! It’s pretty amazing.

 

Najvajo Nation

unspecifiedOver Thanksgiving weekend, the boyfriend and I decided we would take advantage of the long weekend and do a road trip to Arizona! We drove from Los Angeles to Las Vegas where we spent the night. And in the morning, we were off to Page, Arizona aka Navajo Nation.  Our 4 hour drive to Arizona was none like I’ve seen before. The mountains in Utah and Arizona are much prettier and colorful compared to the mountains in California. I was in awe!

2

The next morning, we set out to sign up for a time slot to see the lower Antelope Canyon. We were able to go to the tour location and line up to pay for a tour time. The tour cost $28 per person, which includes the tour and Navajo permit fee. Our tour of a group of about 20 people was guided by Joel who not only gave us a history lesson of the Antelope Canyon, but also showed us some of his favorite spots in the canyon. There were no bad angles inside the canyon, every photo was perfect.

3

Some tips when visiting Antelope Canyon:

-Leave your purse in the car; the canyon has very narrow walk spaces and the less you bring the better.
-Wear sneakers. You will be climbing up and down stairs that are very steep.

IMG_9930
After our tour at the Antelope Canyon, we drove about 10 minutes and hiked about 1.5 miles round trip to see Horseshoe Bend. The name came about because of it’s horseshoe shape of the Colorado River. The view was super breathtaking and it really makes one realize how small we are compared to the world.

Tips when visiting Horseshoe Bend:

-Parking is free and there’s plenty. We saw lots of people parking outside of the hike and walked a long way, but there’s no need! Cars are always going in and out, so there’s plenty of parking.
-Bring sneakers! This hike starts off downhill and ends with an uphill hike!
-Bring some water, but please remember to take your trash with you back to your car! There are no trash cans here.

I hope everyone has the chance to see these two amazing places! It’s super humbling and an amazing experience!