I boarded Air Asia flight AK5112 from LCCT at 10.00 p.m. The journey was boring and the seating inside the Airbus A320 airliner are quite cramped since the leg room is so narrow. The weather that night was good and I arrived at KKIA Terminal 2 at about 12.15 p.m. Sakinah and her friends were waiting at the airport. After taking my backpack, we drove the car that was rented earlier to Tune Hotel KK. I checked in and unpack before going to sleep. The room is comfy though not as big as normal hotel room. But it is fine with me considering this is budget hotel but the facilities inside the room were excellent for the price I paid. A room with comfy double bed, ceiling fan and bathroom with hot shower, I paid RM 33.00 only for 3 day 2 night stay. This is a very good deal for me, even the ‘rumah tumpangan’ accommodation costs at about RM 50.00 per night. I slept early to prepare myself for the trip to Kundasang on the next day.
Day 2: 11 April 2009
I woke up early that day. The difference in time is so obvious there. It was 8.00 a.m. but Kota Kinabalu looked like it was 9.00 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur. I went to Kundasang which is about 100 kilometer from KK by car. The journey took about 3 hours and the road is good and wide compared to the Cameron Highland – Tapah route. I stopped at Pekan Nabalu to take a break. There are many shops around selling souvenirs and local foods here. This little town has a nice view of Gunung Kinabalu and I took picture from a sight seeing tower provided there.
Then, I continued my journey to Kundasang. My first stop was at Poring Hot Springs Park in Ranau. The entrance fee is RM 3.00 per person for MyKad holder (read: Malaysian). There are many places to visit here. I decided to take a short jungle trekking to Kipungit Waterfall, located at about 500 meters away from the entrance. I dipped myself in the refreshing waterfall for only 30 minutes since it was raining and I can’t stand the cold water.
After that, I went to the hot springs area and dipped my feet into the small pool provided there. There are 3 pools there with different water temperature so the visitors may choose between those pools to suit to their requirement.
I moved further into Kundasang area and stopped at Kundasang tea farm. Strangely, it was so hot there as it is normally cold like Cameron Highland. I drove along the tea farm and stopped at the tea house there. I had tea and beef claypot meal for lunch. After filling up the empty stomach, I took a little walk around the tea farm and took pictures.
I took a halt at Pine Tree Resort for taking pictures since the place is full of pine trees and the building there is unique. I walk around there to find perfect spots for taking pictures and the resort have Gunung Kinabalu as the background.
From the Pine Tree resort, I drove down to Kundasang town and stopped at Kundasang War Memorial. This memorial was built to commemorate the 1800 Australian and 600 British servicemen who were perished in the P.O.W camps in Sandakan (300 kilometer from Ranau) and in the 3 forced marches from Sandakan to Ranau and of many Sabahans who suffered death in trying to help them during Japanese occupation (1944 – 1945). The memorial is filled with beautiful gardens and lush greeneries, making a perfect spot for taking pictures. The entrance fee is RM 2.00 per MyKad holder.
Before leaving Kundasang town, I went to the small markets not far from the War Memorial Park. It looked like the Kea Farm in Cameron Highland but smaller. So, you can expect roses, fresh vegetables and strawberries sold there.
I drove from Kundasang to KK at 5.00 p.m. and the road is starting to get foggy. So, it is advisable to drive carefully when descending since the viewing distance is very limited. The sunset is very beautiful and I managed to take the silhouette of the most legendary Tamparuli Bridge (they even have song for this steel bridge) during my journey back to KK. I arrived at KK at about 7.00 p.m.
My night activity in KK is to fill the empty stomach at Pasar Filipin. Thanks to Ajie, my childhood friend who took me to the grilled seafood restaurant there for dinner. There are many stalls selling wide variety of grilled seafood at very low priced compared to what can be found in Peninsular Malaysia. I took a large squid (RM 17.00) and a big piece of stingray (RM 7.00) and accompanied with rice. With RM 40.00, it can easily stuff the stomach of 5 pax with seafood. Very cheap. After dinner, I went straight back to the hotel and sleep soundly due to fatigue exploring Kundasang for the whole day.
Day 3: 12 April 2009
The final day of my trip to Sabah. I went to KK by bus with Sakinah. We went to Pasar Tani at Gaya square and there were many items sold there, mostly agricultural product. Unfortunately, I can’t buy those exotic plants (mostly are very rare jungle plants) due to the airport restrictions on live plants and animals.
Then, we went to Pasar Tamu not far away from the Pasar Tani. I can only describe it in these words only, pearls and pets! Let the pictures speak for themselves. I bought souvenirs for my family here. If you have so much money to spend, then this is the place you should spend most of it. As a big betta splenden fan (Siamese fighting fish), I just can drool seeing the colourful fishes due to airport restriction, again.
We met our friend Naz who were there to buy betta for herself. Then, we had our lunch at City Plaza KK before going back to the hotel to take my bags. I take a short walk at 1Borneo shopping complex (Tune Hotel is located within 1Borneo) before realizing my wallet was missing. I lodged a police report at Alamesra police station before going to KKIA Terminal 2. I checked into flight AK5109 to LCCT at 6.30 p.m. I arrived at LCCT at about 9.15 p.m. Despite the single mishap, this trip is the most wonderful I ever had. I will surely come back to Sabah to complete my exploration of this Land Below the Wind. Thanks to Sakinah and her friends; Daie and Pesa (thanks for your assistance in car rental), Ez, Anem, Naz (thanks for the ride to the airport) and my friends Ajie (leh ganti Maria Tunku Sabri pasni utk Jalan-jalan Cari Makan) and Iylia (thanks for the local Sabah delicacies!) for all the assistance provided during my stay in Sabah.
p/s: More pix at my facebook page~
p/s: More pix at my facebook page~