ESCAPE TO THE LAND BENEATH THE WIND II

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DAY 3

Today we decided to introduce Hilman to farm animals and visit the lembus at Desa Cattle Dairy Farm, before returning to Kota Kinabalu. This is where most of Sabah’s cow milk and dairy products are produced.

Situated in Mesilau, very near to Kundasang, the farm is almost 200 hectares and most cows breed here are Holstein Friesian imported from New Zealand. The breed is the highest milk producers among all cattle.

To get here, there’s a bit of climb along the winding road. But the view.. the view is just breathtaking. Everywhere you turn you would be greeted with the majestic view of Mount Kinabalu. If you’re lucky you can see the mountain very clearly but most of the time it is shrouded in mist giving it’s ethereal feeling that you’re somewhere else.

The best time to visit the farm is before 10am when the temperature is about 20°C. The weather is just so perfect but those who prefer to keep warm, better bring along a jacket or fleece. The entrance fee is RM5 per person while toddler is free entry.

First stop is the makan place. While Hilman and his parents played with the farm animals, we the older girls headed straight to the cafe. First thing first, we need sustenance. The selection of food at the cafe is modest. Apart from the coffee, tea and sandwiches, visitors here can also try out their pizzas, chicken bites and sausages.

A must buy is of course their dairy products. I just love their fresh milk in all three flavours, fresh, chocolate and coffee. Their milk is so light and not heavily mixed with sugar like other brands easily available on the shelves. I wish they could sell their products here in Semenanjung.. *sigh*.

We also try out their cheese products. Bought a slice of Toma Cheese for RM8. It is a type of cheese that is made from pasteurised cow’s milk. Toma means “cheese made by the farmer”, so I guess the cheese is made by Desa Cattle itself.

Toma has soft or semi-hard texture and said the be best grilled and served with burgers or sauteed greens. We didn’t have the luxury to saute anything much more grilling a burger but the cheese is just so good eaten but itself. I do enjoy my RM8 a slice Toma Cheese.

After spending some time at the dairy farm and carted a few plastic bags of milk boxes and sausages, we continued our journey to the Mount Kinabalu Park. Of course we are not going to climb up the mountain, but we were here to enjoy the lush grenery at the foot of the majestic mountain.

Despite the wet weather and a working day, the place is sitll busy with tourists. Some were hiking at the trail and others were walking on the tar road. There are also vehicles going up to the entrance of the park.

Do drive very carefully here as the road is winding and narrow. The parking area at the entrance is also very limited and there was an incident where a rented car parked on the roadside was knocked and the driver tried to drive away.

We stopped at the lookout point where a small monument was put there to remember the 18 who perished when a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck Mount Kinabalu on June 5 in 2015.

Since the weather was not on our side, we just hurried to another lookout platform to let HIlman play with the friendly squirrels. I was a bit disappointed for leaving a packet of nuts in the car. Would have love to let Hilman feed the fat squirrels there. But, do be advised that visitors are not supposed to feed the animals, I saw a man trying to give a squirrel a sweet! Some people are just too ignorant bordering stupid!

The journey continued and this time we stopped at the small Nabalu town to buy some local titibits. This is the best place to buy some local fruits and other products.

If you’re not interested to buy anything, it is still the best place to enjoy the view.

We continued to the Tamparuli town to try out the famous Jambatan Tamparuli or Tamparuli Bridge. The one still standing is not the original hanging bridge. From my reading, the original bridge was washed away in 1999.

Growing up, although entirely in Semenanjung, I used to listen to Jambatan Tamparuli song by Justin Lusah on either RTM1 or RTM2. Of course I could not understand the lyrics but the melody was so catchy. Later when I googled the lyrics I found it hilarious. It is just about him walking on the bridge and his high heeled shoes making the “pak pak” sound.

One of the shoes fell off the bridge and lucky it was on Wednesday so he went to the tamu or the market to buy another high heeled shoes. No wonder his shoes fell off though as some of the planks at even the new bridge were missing. LOL

Back in KK we checked in at Sky Suite for two nights. The suite is okay, airconds are working perfectly but for those who love Astro channels, this owner has not installed any Astro pack just NJOI. A bit disappointed as we are sometimes couch potato.

Okay for dinner, initially we would like to try out the seafood stalls along the Tanjung Aru and most reviews were read before suggested this area. FOR UPDATE: The food court along the beach was closed down and all hawkers were transferred to either Anjung Senja or Pasar Filipin.

So no other choice, we headed back to the city centre and tried the seafood at one of the stalls there. Remember I said that during the day, this place looks deserted? Well once the sun sets, most of the stalls are opened and offer patrons vast arrays of sea products. Those who are allergic to seafood and shellfish are not advised to come here. You’ll be tempted with cockles as big as Hilman’s palm and the fresh lobsters in all sizes.

DAY 4
The fourth day was dedicated for shopping. Special day for mum. The 25kg luggage was bought specially for this occassion.

After a hearty breakfast at SCR restaurant, we went straight to the market for her shopping spree. The market is the popular spot for those looking for dried sea products such as dried salted fish, dried squids and even shrimp paste. The market is divided between the titbits, dried sea products and souvenirs.

The price here depends on from where you come. We were told that they even have ‘special price’ for Koreans since KK has become one of destinations for the Koreans. But, don’t be afraid to haggle to up to 50% off the printed price tags. And further discount if you shop like my mum. I think she got further 20% off from the total round up.

After all that shopping, we went back to Sky Suites to rest and contacted an old friends, Abang Salim and Dr Norlida who is here in KK. We made plans to meet up that night and had dinner at Asiarasa Restaurant in Karamunsing Capital.

We first met in Glasgow. For readers of Dame Zoete Sarah, they are my inspirations for the book. Thank you Abang Salim and Dr Norlida for the pleasant evening. Hope to meet you again and repay your hospitality.

Since my sister has never tasted Ambuyat, we decided to try out the Sabah’s ambuyat. Unlike the Brunei spread where you were given at least six dishes to eat with the sago, the Sabah version’s come with only a dish. The Asam Ikan.

Asam Ikan is almost like asam pedas, without the kesom leaves and it is not hot. The fish flesh is shredded to make it easy for you to eat with the thick and sticky sago.

DAY 5

It’s time to go home. Here in Sabah, the check-out time is at 11am while the check-in time is later at 3PM. So by 11AM we left the key in the mail box and have to find other activities to fill our time before arriving at the KKIA by 6PM to return the van and flight check-in process.
We had our brunch at a restaurant at Api-Api Centre. The restaurant is not recommended though. The price of food is a bit steep and the taste was too mediacore. Nothing can compare to Nasi Ayam SCR I guess. Sister complained that she cooked better Laksa Sarawak (despite we had it in Sabah and not SARAWAK). The Nasi Ayam was not up to the standard, with the chicken is just fried and covered with sauce.

Since we have nowhere to go, we decided to go to 1Borneo Mall touted to be the largest in East Malaysia. And here we discovered the most expensive toilet fee. RM1 per person.. HAHAHA.. the cleanliness verdict? Maybe RM0.50 is enough to charge a person relieving his or her bladder,

After a few hours at the mall, we decided it is time to do another last minute shopping and this time for fresh produce. Will my nieces are looking for lobsters and fishes, I accompanied mak to look for fresh vegetables. Despite well into afternoon, the wet market is still bustling with people and tourists buying sea products to bring home.

By 6PM we were at the airport to return the van and start the process to check-in to fly back to KLIA2. Although we only spent our holidays at 2 destinations in Sabah, we certainly had a good time and there is a high possibility that we’re coming back to Sabah.

#travel #sabah #kotakinabalu #kk #kundasang #dairycattle #milk #dairyproducts #freshfood #ambuyat #seafood #shoppingsabah #shoppingkk #shopping #food #foodnirvana #foodporn

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