ESCAPE TO LAND BENEATH THE WIND

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WE DECIDED TO visit Sabah. Not all of Sabah, just a few places. Well, eventually we ended up going to only 2 places, KK of course and Kundasang.

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First: All of us have only 5 days to spare andSecond: We have a toddler and a senior citizen during this trip.

Our aim for this trip is just to relax and enjoy the five days where shopping would be the main agenda on the last day in Kota Kinabalu.

We divided our tasks for the trip. I am in charge of flight tickets; Aqilah, my niece is in charge of the accommodation and Afiq my nephew is in charge of the transportation. My sister is in charge of the places to visit while mum is the main person for shopping.

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Day 1We took the afternoon flight to Kota Kinabalu International Airport. The flight took two-and-half-hour to reach Kota Kinabalu and by the time we reached the capital city of Sabah, it is already 6PM.

Afiq has arranged for the transport to meet us at the airport. For comfortability sake, he chose Nissan Hiace van that can seat easily 10 people. The rental was done using Daeng car rental company

It is highly recommended to rent vehicle from this company. We can arrange to pick up and drop off the rental at the airport. Plus Alhamdulillah, we got a new Hiace with only 25,000KM clocked-in.

First stop was the petrol station and for the five-day excursion, we estimated that we needed around RM100 for diesel and yes the estimation was spot on.

Our night at Kota Kinabalu was spent watching tv and eating SCR (Singapore Chicken Rice) nasi ayam at a homestay in Api-Api Centre.

If you guys ever coming to KK just for some relaxation or food binge (especially seafood), it is recommended to look for either guest house or homestay in Api-Api Centre. This place is very near to most good food restaurants and Anjung Senja, night markets, Philippines Market for night bazaar and seafood hawker style and many more modern malls.

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The homestay we stayed for the night was a big three-bedrooms unit at the oldest apartment in Kota Kinabalu. We were satisfied with the house but the air-condition at the third bedroom was not functioning properly and the fans are all out. The water faucet at the second bathroom was faulty too. Some maintenance is needed but overall, we were happy with the accommodation.

Day 2

We checked out from the apartment quite early as we need to head to Kundasang. The famous must visit highlands for people from Semenanjung trying to avoid the sweltering heat.We decided to have our breakfast before hitting the road and headed to Anjung Senja. Just like it’s name suggested, Anjung Senja or loosely translated as Dusk Porch is more ‘alive’ at night. During the day only one or two stalls are opened to serve hungry tourists like us.

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The distance to Kundasang from Kota Kinabalu was just under 100KM away but because of the road condition, the journey took around 2 hrs to reach the highland.The journey started along the coastline and since we could not resist the blue and green waters of South China Seas, we decided to make a stop at Likas Bay to enjoy the cool breeze and the beautiful view.We spent only a few minutes here as our first destination is Kundasang. Especially there is this giant Shark du du du du.. made of plastic bottles that Hilman needed to check out.

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Once you started climbing up, the view on your left and right becomes breathtaking. You are surrounded by greeneries and mountainous view.

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Along the way you can see small stalls selling some things with thick white smoke billowing and you would be thinking “Wow! There must be something good cooking.. yeah?”

Oh yeah! For Semenanjung people are familiar with roasted meat such as ducks and chickens sold on the roadside, but they are definitely not familiar with roasted wild boar.

Sinalau Bakas or Roasted Wild Boar (Babi Hutan) are the popular dish among the Dusun population. Along the stretch of road between Tamparuli and Kundasang, there are a few stalls selling babi hutan bakar. However, they are also several hawkers selling sinalau ikan (fish) or poultry, but if you’re picky about your food and HALAL conscious, better just drive by.

***

The broken glass

I BROKE AN EMPTY GLASS at Sabah Tea House.

I am worse than Hilman. Was enjoying the tham or cham; a combination of tea and coffee when I accidently broke the tall glass. Luckily the Tea House owner was sitting behind us entertaining his friends.

He came over and I apologised profusely for breaking the glass. The owner was so kind and said that accident happens and asked the waitress to just clear the glasses. Otherwise I would have to pay RM10 for the broken glass huhu.

Green tea waffles and honey

We chatted a little, my trick to cover my mistake, of course. We talked about the upcoming General Election and why here we don’t see much of flag wars unlike in Semenanjung. The owner said that it is because Sabahans are much more reserved and prefer to keep to themselves in regards of their political views.

“But come May 9th, we will know. However, here in Ranau, especially among the Malays community, they do have soft spot for Barisan Nasional,” he said. Now folks, seems like we know who will be the winning party. But don’t count your chickens just yet.

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From Sabah Tea House, we went downhill towards the Tagal Fish Spa at Kampung Luanti which is actually next to the Sabah Tea plantation.

The parking space is divided into several locations. There’s a big one but you need to do a bit of walk and a parking space in front of row of stalls leading to the entrance to the river. However, visitors need to park properly to allow others to pass.

The entrance fee to the river is RM5 per adult and Hilman got free entrance. Mak decided not to join us and just sit at the waiting area.

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I am not sure what type of fish they are, some call it ikan pelian or others said it is kelah, but these fish, they are quite feisty and sneaky. Tagal means no fishing or taking the fish and here visitors are allowed only 15 minutes in the water to feed the fish and fish feed on your dead skin. After spending some time here, it is time to check out our accommodation in Kundasang. This time we stayed at an very cute English cottage type of house sat on a little slope.

Rania Lovely Hut is a two-storey cottage that has three bedrooms which can accommodate 6 people comfortably.

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However, the owner do provide a few single beds if you have extra guests staying the night. To those who are unfamiliar with the highlands’s cool weather, please be prepared. At night the temperature can drop to between 18 – 20 C. Since I love the cold, it doesn’t bother me much. I even slept with the window open just to let in the cool and refreshing breeze.
The house is equipped with a fridge, stove and two bathrooms with water heaters.

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To be continued…

#travel #sabah #kundasang #sabahtea #teaplantation #sabahteahouse #fishspa #tagalfishspa #kampungluanti #kelah

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