Travelogue : Sabah Day 1

I am actually waaaaay overdue for this travelogue entry. As always i've been fussing over some unfinished business, as well as taking forever to finish my photobook for the trip, which is so time consuming >_<

At present I am supposed to be supervising an undergraduate in the lab, so I only have short bursts of free time which is useless if I am ever to get any academic writing done. Thus, the writing of this should be less stress full.

I must apologize up front however that this particular travelogue might not be as detailed as I had originally hoped to make it. after a few weeks my memory fades. Hard drive is over worked, what can I say.

Ok! Without further adue...

Day 1:

We reached Sabah I think around 8 pm, to a cute little airport in Kota Kinabalu. Syamil had previously booked us an avansa (RM 570) for the whole 3 day four night stay. The initial squeezing in was a bit tight considering our luggages. Being the smallest of the group I opted for the back seat.

We went for dinner at a row of shops, I forget the name, but it was not too far from the airport and it was by the water. First I must say, the food portions in Sabah are humongous. If me and Zafu can share a semenanjung portion, then in Sabah we would likely have needed a third person to split the food. Needless to say, the seafood was amazing. I'm not a seafood lover myself but I made an exception for this trip. I had been forewarned that Sabah food was a little bland. But to be completely honest I was very satisfied with the meals we had there. Maybe it was just Syamil's good picks, but my stomach was pretty happy for the whole of the trip.

Syamil boarded the 5 of us in a cozy little apartment at Universiti Utama Condomenium, for RM 450 for 3 days. Cheap? So freakishly cheap. And the place was so adorable I couldn't. Given the price, Zafu and I slept in the living room with me on the couch and Zafu on the extra toto. It was perfectly comfortable especially with the air conditioning. Personally, I f I was a single working female, I would not have minded have a cute pad like that to come home to. =p

So actual day 1 started way earlier than my normal routine. We were up and out by 6.45 am to make our way to the Kinabalu Park. The day gets light so very early in Sabah, so it feels like you've been up forever, but in fact its still 7 in the morning. As precaution, I took motion sickness pill before heading out. The road there to be fair was not as bad as say the drive to Genting. But with the car suspension being what it was, plus me sitting in the back seat, I didn't intend on spraying my insides all over the interior of the car.

Entrace fee to the park was RM 3 / adult, this also included access to the Poring Hotsprings. The view is just amazing. So much greens and blues, was a welcomed change of scenery to out normal dull greys.

 We also made a pit stop at one a roadside market selling all sorts of vegetables and flowers. Unfortunately, it wasn't possible to bring any produce back home since we would be charged under phytosanitary offences, so we just looked on and drooled.

Next, comes one of my favorite places ever. Tagal, Sungai Moroli, Kampung Luanti Baru Fish Spa. Enterance fee is RM 3/ person and you can buy fish feed for 20 cents per package. We were lucky enough the be the only people there, so there was plenty of one on one time with these adorable fishes. They're actually ikan kelah, known as ikan pelian in Sabah. And man are they manja! Exactly like cats, I don't even know how else to describe them. I'm usually really nervous around fish bigger than goldfishes, but I couldn't resist playing with these. They kept nibbling at our toes, and I must say, my cracked heals were much improved after our session Xp. Strictly speaking you are only allowed 15 minutes to enter the enclosure, but my mom told me previously when she went, they were there from afternoon till evening. It would be advisable to bring a change of clothes if you plan on stopping by, Because I would have given anything to be able to swim with them, but I had to restrain myself, lest i show up dripping wet to out next destination.

 After drying ourselves off, we pushed off to Poring hot springs which actually has a whole lot of other attractions aside from the hot springs themselves. We decided to do a canopy walkway (RM 3/ adult), which required a short distance of hiking before reaching the starting point. It was an equivalent of several consecutive squats, and I was already feeling the burn by the time we reached the top. The walkway was not very long, but it was quite high. I think considerably higher than the one we have in FRIM.

 Luckily afterwards we did a little foot soaking in one of the hotspring tubs. I think they have a pretty cool system where they have pipes which fill each individual pool. Kind of like a bath tub. So when one group of people are done using is, it can be drained and refilled with natural hot spring water for the next visitor. They also have closed huts, for family use or for the very the shy people. ^^

 We made a little stop before leaving at the Rafflesia blooming site, just a few hundred meters away from the hots spring pools. There was 1 flower in bloom, i think it was already on its 3rd blooming day out of 5. Not only this, but we were also able to see the different stages of the rafflesia life cycle. Though I've heard that rafflesia's tend to have a rotting smell, I didn't get a whiff of anything unpleasant while we were viewing thank goodness. They say it's very rare to catch one in bloom. So we considered ourselves pretty lucky.

 We stopped for lunch at a place called Nabalu, before making out way to the final destination that day, Desa Cattle Farm Kundasang (rm 4/ adult), where aside from sightseeing, we were there to meet a former batch mate. The perks of having friends in the industry for VIP treatment. Mwuahahaha. Apparently Sabah's dairy industry is no joke. For the time being however the milk they produce here is still sold locally if I'm not mistaken. But they have some awesome fresh milk, coming from a milkaholic like myself. I think most people would agree that the desa cattle farm is the representative New Zealand of Malaysia. It was so serene, I half wished they had a job opening I could apply for. They even have a viewing bay of how they milk the cows. We've been introduced to this earlier during our dairy class way back when, but obviously desa cattle had a much more robust system going on. It was amusing to see that the cows knew exactly where to stand to get milked. And they lined up so well.

Food Tech Class 2011 Hoyeah
The milk cows on the farm are imported from New Zealand as well as Australia. They looked exactly like the ones in the Dutchlady commercial i swear albeit a little smudged with dirt. Once retired these milk cows are sold for meat, at a slightly lower price than the actual designated meat cows. Even the grass grown there are imported. And you can definitely tell, cuz they look nothing like the ones in our back yard. Ridzuan Yusuf ( the one in white boots, hamek kau full name, free promo), our undergradate batch mate now works as the plant executive, figuring out the processing lines to upgrade the establishment. Its really motivating to see people at work doing and talking about what they know best. Syamil and Wan are even professionally related seeing that Syamil is a food technologist officer who helps Wan in implementing certain systems within the company. It makes me wanna a get a job so bad right now T-T.

Aaaaand of course when you have good lighting and contrast colors, what else is there than to take a ridiculous amount of pictures.

 ooookeh. So i think that's about it. I need to get back, i'm hearing telltales of a storm coming.. till later!

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