we just went to Sabah! the timing was somehow awkwardly wrong though. we departed on tuesday while on saturday two days before, MAS announced the missing flight of MH370 , seriously it was a devastating new to all Malaysian, but our tix are bought, hotels all booked, the weather in KL was very bad with haze and everything so just went ahead packed our bags and departed to KK.
Anyways dont lose hope, lets keep praying may they recover mh370 soon, amin .
We departed very early in the morning, flight was smooth Alhamdulilillah. I kept looking through the window somehow hoping for a glimpse of something in the ocean (at that point of time they were still speculating that the plane was lost in the south east sea. )
somewhere among the clouds it suddenly pang me that i forgot to my dslr battery from the charger . *dang . what a way to start the trip (T_T) i had to remind myself that we are going to solely rely on my iphone for the pics. bummer!
kids were doing ok onboard. i was nervous for layla as the last time we board a plane was during our trip to melbourne and she was still small so i could just shove my milk jug everytime she opens her mouth. lol. i made sure everything well packed in their trunki including some jagarico (jap snack) just in case she’ll make a scene. somehow we survived the two hours flight except for the time when layla had a little meltdown when the cabin crew asked her to turn off the ipod when we were about to depart *sweat
as soon as we reached KK i was so excited to see the clear sky! compared to the dusty and hazey kl sky back home *criess
we picked up our rental car at KKIA and started our journey straight to kudat to visit Tanjung simpang Mengayau. The trip took us about 3 hours from KK-tuaran-kota marudu- kudat , the highway up to Kudat was ok, not packed . but the road condition itself was below par. there were a lot of construction upon reaching kudat we had to drive slowly.
We checked in Ria Hotel to stretch our legs and solat before going to simpang Mengayau. fo those who never heard of Tanjung Simpang Mengayau , its actually the location of the tip of borneo . its just 20 minutes drive from Kudat town. The scenery there was beautiful masyaAllah overlooking the south east sea
not far from the place we found a really nice clean beach (with white sands! whats not to love???) so we decided to have a dip coz we had the place to ourselves! there were practically nobody around except for a couple of boatmen on the water. the beach was practically white, i hardly seen any waste on the beach. i just wish we came to that place earlier instead of hanging around in our room at kudat. rugi!
soon as it got dark , we headed back to kudat (accidently drove onto an under construction road with no road lights! sheshh) and bought some kfc for dinner. what a tiring day.
we got up early that morning and began the drive to kundasang. We used the route kudat-kota belut-kundasang, and we stopped by at a cafe with a very nice view for a breathe of fresh air :)
we reached kundasang at noon but continue our drive to poring, Ranau.
our next destination was Poring recreation area, used to come here when i was a kid. i hardly have any memories left about this place. all i can remember is their badly maintained hot springs .hihi
we decided not to spend time at the hot springs but opted for trekking instead. we passed by the springs and went deeper inside checking out their butterfly farm area and did a bit of trekking to visit the kepungit waterfall
Poring recreation area – entrance fee : Adult =RM3 , kids below 6(?) =free
the last girl standing, adik obviously by now clinging to papa like a koala bear. hehe
eventho the track is not that hard (totally beginner level) i was already sweating like mad and panting due to the wrong shoes i wore. haha should have put on a sneakers or something! but the fresh air full of oxygen really help so didnt feel much tired.
after a few minutes dip we walked back to the parking and drive to another location.
Our next destination was not far from poring, i stumbled upon a friends picture in instagram of a REAL fish spa in ranau. i decided to have a visit and try myself. The name of the place is Tagal Fish Spa, in Kg Luanti. the have a spot by the river with hundreds of fishes swimming under the shalow water where u can dip your feet (or your body!) for rm5 and let the fishes “clean” your feet.
which left us the bravest women of them all, me and ayra threading our feet through the school of fishes. i have to admit it was quite ticklish when they started to nibble on my dead skin (sometimes it hurt a bit lol but it was not that bad)
adik obviously freaked out! kah kah we teased her a bit and she went crying and screaming her lungs out! kehkeh. so if youre in Ranau and brave enough dont forget to put tagal fish spa on your place-to-visit list !
then we heard a whistle blown which meant the time’s up (the spa closes at 5pm so make sure you arrive there before that)
so we cleaned our feet and continue our drive to the last stop for the day, Sabah Tea Garden which loated few kms from kg luanti.
Again we had to drive on a very poor bumpy road on our way to reach the garden. its a no wonder why the locals here use a lot of 4wd as their main transportation. the road is very bad! i really hope they improve soon coz theres a lot of interesting places to visit here. :(
We reached Sabah tea garden not long before the sun set so the natural light at that hour was awesommeee. i cursed myself for forgetting the battery for my camera coz the view up there was Subhanallah, unbelievable ! cameron boh tea plantation was nothing compared to this!
oh loveeee… how picturesque was this!
Im happy to see Ayra having a lot of fun from that trip, learning what tea tree looks like at sabah tea garden,
and where the rice came from , when we let her touch these tall paddy plants we stumbled upon right by the road on our way to Kg Luanti. :D
we left the place after the sun set down rushing back to Kundasang to check in at our next hotel.
We stayed at JResidence Kundasang, not really a hotel but more like a homestay kind of accomodation which located right across the kinabalu park. the road going to the rooms was pretty steep like 45degree down the hill (!) the area was quite dark when we arrived so we just checked in and went to our room and unpacked. We were too tired to go out again to buy food so we just eat some intant japanese rice (which is really handy when ure travelling ,just submerse them in hot water for few minutes and voila-) with Brahim instant rendang. hot piping rice with rendang in a cold night, whats not to love? :D
The next morning i stayed awake after subh hoping to watch a sunrise but unfortunately it was all foggy, could hardly see the sun. However the peacefulness of that place really awed me. its was so quiet you can hear birds chirping in the woods, while u breathe in the freshest oxygen jampacked air as much as you can. seriously it was heaven on earth! Im glad i stumbled upon the blog that wrote a review about this place. thank you whoever you are for leading us to this gem. i promise i will come again one day insyaAllah.
how peaceful is this?
half of the room are glass walls n doors as romantic as it can be. at rm90 pernight we got more than what we bargained for.
sexy time in the bathroom! but din dare to shower at night haha
the gals are all prepped up for our next adventure:D
we dropped by at Kinabalu Park which is right across the Jresidence location to have a view of the mighty Mount of Kinabalu. I could see lots of climbers everywhere, prolly just finished their climb , looking at the time. We were at the view deck just in the nick of time before the cloud decided to cover the tip of the mountain . should have came earlier i suppose. but the weather was lovely, it was chill but sunny the perfect weather to be outdoors :D we decided to have a walk around the park and enjoyed the lovely scenery of nature
our next stop was Desa Dairy Farm, which is located less that 10km from kinabalu park , the main reason to visit this place was for its famous new-zealand-ish breathtaking view of cow farm with a gorgeous grass field overlooking the mountains. We arrived there in 15 minutes and it did dissapoint us :D
they also have milking station at the back of the factory so if you come on time, maybe you can watch the cows being milked :D farther back of the factory theres a space where they put some cows and goat behind bars for visitors to feed them . of course we were excited to let ayra trying it out!
later that afternoon we kick off our journey back to KK. we dropped by at rumah terbalik at tamparuli on our way there. no pictures coz nothing interesting there, to be honest id say its just a waste if money, huhu. i would not reccomend it if you ask me. sorry. We arrived KK around 5-ish and checked in at promenade service apartment. the room was so-so, location among shoplots in KK town. we are not planning tu spend time in KK much so a decent apartment would do us good enuff.
We spared the second last day of the trip for island hopping at the tunku Abdul Rahman park. the are few island to choose for but we opted for just two island , Pulau Sapi and Pulau Mamutik. we spend half day at Mamutik, another half at Sapi.
ok let me give you an honest review,Pulau Mamutik was such a dissappointment. or maybe my expectation was too high reading/hearing the good reviews about the island. it was poorly maintained, the water is not clean let alone clear. when we went for snorkelingwe were bitten by some tiny things of God-knows-what. eurgh totally spoiled my mood that morning so , we just spend the hours on the beach and let the kids play sand.
see ya Mamutik. will come again once youre cleaner. haha
On the afternoon the boat picked us up and transfered us to Pulau Sapi. Sapi looked crowded but i was so happy that the water was veery clean and clear! ayra was so happy swimming around with her goggles and adik was so calm that she sang Frozen songs. lol what a bliss. im so glad that we chose to drop by at Mamutik first so we had extra time at Sapi instead of the other way around. :)
makcik, tepi sikit! lol
last day is always the souvenirs shopping day for us hehe. We went to Filipino Market and bought some ole-ole for the family back home. saw a lot of ikan bilis/ udang kering sold here but i didn buy any coz i have enuff stock at home , hehe.
that morning before we went out to the market, i was discussing with kerol about what were going to do on the last day in KK besides shopping, suddenly out of nowhere sepilok came from kerols mouth which got me thinkin what is sabah without orang utan, right? so i googled immediately hoping if theres any nearby zoo where we can show the kids how orang utan looks like. hehe. To my surprise i stumbled upon Rasa Ria orang utan santuary on tripadvisor which is located in tuaran, 30 minutes from KK. this is much better than a zoo! theres no way we can drive to sepilok so tuaran would do. called to make last minute booking and im glad they still have slots for afternoon session
Rasa ria Orang Utan Sanctuary and Conservation centre is managed by Shangri-La Hotel in Tuaran. its just a 20-30minutes drive from KK. We were amazed with the view around shangri-la, the room must costs around 1k pernight looking at the facilities and the private beach!. the sanctuary is inside the hotel so we had to drive around the hotel and park inside.
Shang-ri La Tuaran. i swear i did see a single malay /malaysian here. huhu only matsalehs!
they actually open two session perday which is one in the morning and the next one on the afternoon at 2. we were shown a documentary of orang hutan rehabilitation before the tour started. it only cost us rm10 per head and no charge for kids .
the screening session
We were greeted by couple of very nice ranges who then brought us to a viewing deck inside the sanctuary where we can see upclose the orang utan during their feeding session.
The orang utans are mostly the ones that have been saved by the locals and had to undergo the rehabilitation to make sure they are well and healthy before being transfered to Sepilok.
Eventhough it was just a few minutes tour , its really amazing to see the orang utans wandering around, hanging from tree to tree compare to those being encaged at the zoos which did nothing than just sitting and sleeping.
What a precious experience indeed.
one hour later, we bid good bye to tuaran, and drived straight to KKIA before departing back to KL.
Sabah indeed is a very nice place to visit especially if you have kids. I believe Ayra learned a lot about nature while we were there.
One thing i noticed and loved most about sabah was how nice and thoughtful the locals were! seriously they make u feel like youre home instantly.
be it some stranger who we bumped into at the elevator and said hi to the kids (we rarely have this in KL haha),
or the gal at the mart who offered extra plastic bag when ayra spilt her milo from kfc.
or even the boat guy who made the call when we mistakenly got off the wrong island during our island hopping.
Thank you for the kindness. we shall visit you again, kalau ada rezeki insyaAllah :D