Purple has now turned blue... purple is joy, yet blue is hope!


Friday, February 4, 2011

YET Kota Kinabalu, Dec 17 - 21 2010

From the date above, one would know this is an extreme dated post. I have been procrastinated in writing blog these days. 1st - not enough time for my ownself, 2nd - lost motivation, lost my readers? Well, one of the reason for me to blog is to keep my travel and life event record, and importantly is to share useful information.

YET means Year End Trip. We (the group) had this trip for many years now. It had been these while a road trip, but this time round we choose a air-trip instead. Honestly, I didn't have much expectation to the trip, as some of you could know... Kota Kinabalu is a place near my hometown which I used to stay for 2 years, and it has been a nearby city which my family and I will visit often during my childhood days. So, what to expect except a huge crowd traveling together - 17 of us!

Surprised me, well... the trip was an eye opener to me, and was planned well. Thanks to the organizer, and the holiday agent we engaged. Their service was beyond our expectation, we had a good tour guide too. In case you wish to know which company we engaged, check out their website Batangan Leisure. Our guide was Mr. CK!

As a summary, the trip was designed as such...

Day 1 (for me, where 1/2 of the group has started their trip 2 days earlier)

Noon -- Arrived via AirAsia, checked in to Rainforest Lodge (a backpacker's place)

2pm -- Took a boat ride from Jesselton Point to Sapi Island (couldn't remember the exact fees, but it should not be >RM20/pax, try avoid taking the 1st counter as they might ask you chater the whole boat, just for 2pax)

6pm -- After returned from the island, and we chilled up with shower, headed to Yu Kee Bah Kut Teh at Gaya Street. Heard it is the best BKT in KK? After dinner we shopped a bit at a local department store Milimewa for snacks. Finally we chilled ourselves up at the bar corner just below our hotel.

Day 2

7am -- Woke up early for Sunday market at Gaya Street; all kinds of handicrafts, local foods are available on the ~1km street. We had breakfast with yummy Laksa, hunt for the taste good pineapple bun, bought my snacks, i.e. Kuih Cincin & Keropok Jagung. Getting ready for our journey to Kinabalu Park later.

10am -- We checked out 1 day from the lodge, board ourselves to a 42 seater bus. We stopped by Mengkabung river, Batangan Baru Lagoon for batik printing, river cruise, crab & fish catching, Oyster farm, banana boat and kayaking. Lunch was provided, cooked with crab & fishes we caught along the cruise, plus 5kg of fresh oyster (RM5/kg) we bought from the farm. Food was yummy! plus we all ate under the rain, ever tasty and natural feeling.

Along the cruise, I learned more of the sea Bajau (an local ethnic of Sabahan), their way of living at the sea and even the location of their grave-yards. Colours of symbolic for the deceased, it was all well explained by our guide, though he is a Dusun (another local ethnic).

4pm -- Kids enjoyed watersports actvities, showered.. we then boarded the bus up the hilly mountains. Journey took about 1.5hours due to rain. We were lucky to have a safe and confident bus drive.

6pm -- Checked in at Zen Garden Resort, had steamboat dinner... and all night long chit chatting with snacks and wine.

I experienced diarrhea and continuous vomiting after a glass of wine. Probably due to the 1 oyster's bacteria or tiredness. After several vomits, I then had a sound sleep till the next morning, as if nothing had happened. Weird.

Day 3

5am -- Woke up for Sunrise, hoping to capture a magnificent scene of Mt Kinabalu with the 1st light of glory. Unfortunately, it was a wet weather... there wasn't rain, but cloudy. So, the scene was not nice afterall. But the feel of morning breeze was fresh!

Honestly, mountain view from Zen Garden is not well strategic. Best is still staying at Kinabalu Park or Perkasa Hotel, if you wish to get a magnificent view of the mountain.

8am -- We continue journey to Poring Hot Spring. Poring means bamboo to the Dusun. On the way we stopped by the fruit & vegetable market. Tried a few local fruits (which I never try before), i.e. buah lemak (taste very orange milky), buah salak (looks like snake), and bought some local snacks too -- fried spinach or something vegetable.

9+am -- Arrived at Poring, we walked about around the mini jungle track.

2pm -- Adjourned to Canopy walk at Kinabalu Park. Lunch was back at Zen Garden. Canopy walk and short jungle tracking with cooling weather is the best ever feel to track on long "hanging bridge". We learned new things along the walk, i.e. buah kerosin, which in olden days the locals will collect the fruits to lighten up the house at nite; fig tree & fruits; smallest orchid in the world, etc...

Along when we headed downtown, we stopped by an area where we could see Rafflesia (largest flower in the world) blooms. It was day 3 that day, and being a perfect timing which the flower fully blooms. It takes >12moths to bloom, thus we need to pay RM10/pax for the visit. Well, it may be expansive, but as a tourist, it is worth to pay for the effort of the locals keeping the place natural & well preserved.

5++pm On the way, we passed by Tuaran town. It's where Mee Tuaran originated. Though it wasn't the best recommended shop, at least we brought business for 17 plates and introduced to most people who never try it before. I love Mee Tuaran, a type of fried egg noodle with char-siew! Yummy.

After a fulfilled tea time, we then need to continue our arranged dinner at Ocean Seafood. Gosh.. how can we finish all the dishes. Luckily, dishes were not as much as we thought of... but the most importantly were the special dishes served, seafood of course. I like the snail... kinda special and don't think I see it in West Malaysia.

Day 4


8am -- Checked out after breakfast, headed to Tamparuli, Kiulu River for White Water Rafting.. "What was white water rafting?" at that time in my mind. I have no experience. After the try for Stage 1-2... it was soooo fun! Jumped into the chilling river water, stepped on slippery rocks, etc... reminded me the feel of going UW, but this bottom of river were all muddy, can't see any creature in there, hehe :)

We had lunch provided at the rafting center.

1pm -- While we still have some extra time before catching a flight back at 8pm. Our driver & guide dropped us at Philipino market for souvenir shopping. Such an ad-hoc arrangement, it was great to grab some lil souvenir.

5pm -- Our ever accommodating tour guide brought us to Tg Aru Beach. Unfortunately weather was not promising - it rained though with the bright sunlight. I managed to capture this casual sunset pic from the food court.

Alright... that's all for now. Phew... somemore pending blogs to complete, but yet my CNY holidays are almost over... oh dear!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

CNY's eve, Feb 2 2011

It is another CNY, without knowing much of time flies, I had gone through CNY without me looking forward to. It had just been a phase in the calendar that I have to cross-over. Nevertheless, I am still here. Will I make a change for myself next year round, will see.

Presenting a set of CNY flowers I arranged all by myself a week plus ago. Looks just ok right? Well, with me whom don't really invest much on CNY decor, this is just me! All DIY flower arrangement will not cost me much, trust me, if you'd know where to source for it. It's my passion, somewhat but not all.

Happy Chinese New Year to all celebrating it. To those who don't celebrate, believe you would enjoy this festive & holiday seasons. May the world be peaceful in the year of golden rabbit, may all be blessed in good health and happy always. To those who are traveling on the road, be safe!