Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Sabah - Journey of a soul

You know the saying that says,“buy experience, it’ll last you a lifetime”
Well, I do believe in that. 

The more you go to places, especially those that are different than your common environment, you’ll open your eyes, mind and heart more. You realize things you never did, you learn how to be with people of different backgrounds. I do love that, learning the difference between people. You got to appreciate your own thing more and respect other people’s.

And being just the two of us there, it taught me to be more independent.
Independent mode : ON. 
You learn to plan, to adjust, to cope with different environment, to understand yourself and travelling partner more and you see things you’ve never seen before. But of course, get your niat straight,why you wanna go to certain places. 

And always pray before doing anything. ^_^

For me, I experienced a wonderful mind, heart and body experience. Especially since most of the place we visited made us closer to nature. And it’s a nice escapism, made me feel alive XD

To be able to see flowers that I’ve always read about in text books, is a kind of satisfaction for me. It’s like “I found you! I saw, read and adored you and now I found you!” yeahh,that sorta feeling,seriously.

Live life with enthusiasm. Then you’ll know what you want. There’s sooo much more to be explored *_* 

Sabah - Day 3

 16th of April.

Manukan Island àJ&JHotel à  KKIA à KLIA2 à HOMEEEEEE!


That morning, we walked to Jesselton Point which is just 15 mins of walking away from our hotel. Upon arrival, there were lotsa ticket counters and almost all of em(ticket boy) were calling us to buy their tickets. All of those people are from legal companies. There are only 3 harbour that are legal if I’m not mistaken – Sutera Harbour, Jesselton Point and I don’t remember the other one. Yeah you can take boats from other place, but at your own risk. We didn’t wanna risk anything, so there we were, baffled by which counter should we go to. I don’t like any sales related person to persuade me, I mean like, the more you persuade, the more I will back away and just go away…awkwardly……

Anyway, we chose counter number three. Since I did read a blog saying she chose that counter upon reading some other blog. So yeah, I’m passing the word around in my blog too.blogception. I’m not sure about other counters, but you can check it out if you wanna.

You can choose how many island you wanna go to. In our case, we chose only one island since there’s time constraint. We chose Manukan as through reading and opinions of friends, Manukan is the prettiest and if you have to choose one, choose that island. We also rented snorkeling gears- life jacket and snorkeling mask.

10 mins before 9.00a.m, we head towards Manukan. The first stop was Sapi Island, and few people got off. Then we continued our journey to Manukan. The view was beautiful, I can see the cluster of islands, and there are parts where you can see the corals under the sea. As our excitement rosed, we reached Manukan. Snapped a few pictures from the boat, said thanks to our boat driver and off we went up the Manukan jetty. As usual, both of us made such a fuss over the beautiful sea. Memang nampak laa ikan2 and coral ape semua. The water was sooooo clear.

We settled down at a bench near the lifeguard post. And sat for a moment to sip in the beauty and just admire the scenery. Anddd, we were also wondering macam mana nak snorkeling sebenarnya. Both of us can swim. But, how do we know where to snorkel……there are areas you’re allowed to go but there’s only the two of us, so yeah, we do take that into consideration.

Luckily, a lifeguard passing by asked us why aren’t we snorkeling yet and offered to take us snorkeling. Before going further away from the beach, he made us practice with our mask. Not as easy as I thought it would be. Not really that hard either, you just have to be sure of your breathing and don’t move your face muscles so much. Terbenam dalam air nanti mata tu sebab air masuk mask. 

Trust me, we did that.haha.

Since we were such noobs, he decided to take us individually. Sifa went off first and there I was sitting alone in the water practicing breathing using the mask. A lifeguard passed by and asked if I’m okay and he went off warming up by swimming in the sea. 

After some time, Sifa came back with the lifeguard and gave me a few tips:
1.       Iznee, apa apa pun jangan senyum, jangan excited sangat tau. Sifa tadi excited sangat pastu cakap waaaa pastu habis air masuk mask.

Okay. Kena excited dalam hati je.

2.       Gigit tau yg breathing mouthpiece tu and rapatkan bibir. Tadi sifa tak tutup ketat, masuk air.

Hearing that, I kept my expression as poker as possible for almost an hour under the water no matter what passed through.haha.

I took off with the lifeguard which I later learnt called as Z(pronounced as zack). For the first part, there were lotsa fishies~~~ corals were pretty as well, but Z later brought me to another part which are full of huge and beautiful corals *__* I screamed inside my head and heart lotsa time. Took lots of self control there. There were clown fishes,which are biggg, colourful fishies, which I now know is the parrot fish. I called it Ikan Pakai Makeup sebab macam pakai green eyeshadow with blue mascara.heheh. There was a stingray in between the coral, it was gray with blue lines, a lionfish resting on a coral, big fishes which are awesome and scary at the same time. Blue, yellow and red corals. And the best part is when we reached the end of the coral reef, the corals are lined down like a cliff and the water there was so colddd. I felt as if I'm in some national geographic show.

I lost track of time, but all I know was I can’t hold the mouthpiece properly as I was trembling(I was cold) and feeling quite tired(padahal Z yang do all the swimming.haha. Thanks Z) . I wanna continue snorkeling but since the tiredness and coldness is kicking in, we had to stop and we Z swam us back to the beach.

When I got to the beach, a lifeguard called out and told me that Sifa is snorkeling for a second round with another lifeguard. And so I waited for her, came back, took selfies and prepare to board our boat. We snorkeled for about an hour or more kot.

Walked back to our hotel, buat apa patut and head to airport.

EXPENDITURES: 1 island visit + snorkeling gear = RM40- ini student price if I’m not mistaken, taxi to airport = RM30, Penalty for over check out time(check out time was 12.00p.m) = RM10 per hour.

Tak ingat pulau Gaya ke Sapi

Mamutik and Manukan at the back

Sapi Island

dari atas pun dah clear macam ni, masuk lagi lahh~~

Manukan Island

Entrance Manukan Island

pemandangan dari otw ke Jesselton point

Mamutik view from Manukan

Manukan beach

Manukan jetty

muka lepas snorkeling

another Mamutik view from Manukan

Our boat driver for the day

That night, we left Sabah with a quite heavy heart, but still glad that we’re heading home. It was a nice trip. Worth everything we went through. It does make me feel, I’d like to visit Sabah again. ^_^

Wrapping it up : 

Sabah - Day 2

15th of April 2015.

Kiram’s Village -- Stesen Minyak Kundasang -- Pekan Kundasang -- Kinabalu Park(Botanical Park), Kundasang -- J&J Hotel, Kota Kinabalu -- Signal Hill Observatory Tower -- Dataran Merdeka -- Pantai Tanjung Aru -- Grace Point -- Suria Sabah -- Pasar Kraftangan

Kiram’s Village -> Stesen Minyak Kundasang -> Pekan Kundasang

That morning, we woke up early and head out directly, nak tengok sun rise lah konon. Well, we managed to see partial sunrise and again, taken aback and mesmerized by the view. The sun shone down on Mount Kinabalu, the morning breeze was fresh and relaxing. We walked around the whole chalet area, taking as many pictures we can for memory keeping. But nothing can beat the feeling of being there. I just got soo overwhelmed and content by being there.

Later on, we packed up and took few a lot of pictures again. And head out. That’s when something happened.

I didn’t know why I was so certain that we should take the right turn. Sifa insisted that we take the left turn, but, I took the right anyway.haha. well, the good part is that we found a perfect spot for taking pictures and the view just got better and better until we got too deep inside.
We went past through a wooden bridge(which we do pass by on our way to kiram). So I thought this is right, but the road seems never ending and it got tougher, smaller and more uphill and we finally met the end of the road. The road in front of us was just gravel, with grasses 4ft high and it’s a one way road. To our left is an uphill dirt road so, we had to reverse towards the hill road and turn back to Kiram. Why didn’t I turn back before the end of the road? I don’t have the answer. Dahla all the way Sifa was scolding me that we should turn back. But being a hard headed person that I am, I continued anyway.haha, sorry Sifa. :p

Later on, we found out that we went deep int the village, even the auntie there couldn’t understand our Malay. But she tried her best anyway, thanks makcik :)

After our little adventure, we head out to Stesen Minyak Kundasang to refill our tank. The petrol station was downhill, and when I took the road, suddenly when I hit the brake, I felt like the car was sliding down. A split second scary moment, I let go and hit the brake again. And the car stopped at the right place. The station was old school (well at least for us). Tak pernah jumpa macam tu okay. 

We decided to take picture of it, so I drove to park in front of the station and again, when I tried to stopped, the car slided and BOOM! We stopped. We stoopped by slamming into the wall of the station. Sifa and I looked at each other, dumbfounded. “Brake kereta tak makan. Kita kena mintak org tengokkan kereta apa masalah”, I said to Sifa. Once we got out, the attendant came to us and asked what’s wrong. I explained and he checked the car. He asked, “ Dari mana ni? Ni brek panas sangat ni” we were like..ouhhhhkayyyyyyy. Ni penangan sesat kat Kiram tadi lah ni. Tapi Alhamdulillah, nasib baik sedar kat situ not somewhere on the road. Tak ke naya.

The attendant reversed the car, and to our horror, the plate number fall pieces by pieces as he reversed the car. I went to look, and thank god,, only the plate number was broken. The car hit the wall exactly perpendicular, so only plate number was affected. Up until then, I think there were like almost 5 people who came and asked us what’s wrong. Damsels in distress sangatt.pui.haha.

That minor accident lead us to Pekan Kundasang to get a new plate number. We circled the pekan for about 3 times and couldn’t find the “Kedai Pakistan” that they always refer to. The last person we asked said “ Ouh itu di kedai Pakistan itu ada”. We sighed and like, “Tadi pun cakap kedai Pakistan, yg kat mana tak jumpa2 punn” *frustrated face* And that person answered “ Mari ikut saya” . Turns out, the shop was at the inside part of the circle shop houses. Ergh. Patutlah tak jumpa -.-
Arriving there, we stated our problem, dealt with the shopkeeper and went to KFC for brunchner. 

Yeah, we ate only once a day during the trip,since we just need only one heavy meal per day. Tapi tu lah, pergi Sabah jauh2 pastu makan KFC,macam whutt…okay la tu, ada makanan kan.

FEE : Fuel for the whole trip = RM60, New plate number = RM18

The magnificent Mount Kinabalu, Kundasang *_*

view going down from our house

acah acah artistic :p

loving it

the road not taken

awal kesesatan jalan

the name of our house. Hortie sangat XD

road to kiram

old school petrol station plus the attendant

Kinabalu Park(Botanical Park), Kundasang -> J&J Hotel, Kota Kinabalu

Kinabalu Park also known as National Park is the starting point of people hiking the Mount Kinabalu. There are jungle tracks, small parks in it,but we only went to the Botanical Park to look for orchids. There’s fee being charged upon entering the Kinabalu Park, and also the Botanical Park. The Botanical Park has paved trail, and it goes round to where we start going in. There are a number of orchids there, you just gotta look up, down  almost everywhere. And there are small sections for orchids. Once our task is done, we went out and head towards Kota Kinabalu(KK). At KK, we checked in our hotel and continued sightseeing.

FEE: Kinabalu Park = RM3 per person, Botanical Park = RM2 per person(student price), J&J Hotel = RM85 per night.

Entrance - you can either walk up or drive up

mandatory picture with signage

entrance of Botanical garden

Signal Hill Observatory Tower -> Dataran Merdeka -> Pantai Tanjung Aru -> Grace Point -> Suria Sabah -> Pasar Kraftangan

Initially, we planned to return the car after checking in. but then the person in charge, Zul said he could take us around. And so he became our free tourist guide for the evening. You can walk around the KK town but we preferred going by car.malas nak jalan jauh :p

At Signal Hill Observatory Tower, as the name suggests, it is where you observe the whole KK town. Took a few pictures and went down. You can see the whole town and even the sea from there. Dataran Merdeka is just on the way there, but we stopped by on our way down. According to Zul, that is where big events take place.

We head towards Pantai Tanjung Aru right afterwards as Sifa said she wanted to see the sunset. Konon lah kan. Sampai kat pantai ambil2 gambar, lepas tu nak balik sebab panas.haha. oh yea, at that moment, my ear was pekak2 from going down from Kundasang. Lama betul tak hilang, before going to sleep baru hilang that uneasy sensation.huu

Pantai Tanjung Aru is nice, people mostly play about, there are eateries, but I’m not sure if it’s a place to swim around or not….
After feasting our eyes at the beach, we decided to go eat , so to Grace Point we went. The food was good,for me, the Ikan Bakar was nicee, and the sambal belacan as well. Sifa loved the Kailan udang, sampai balik semenanjung pun duk teringat. XD

After eating, Zul dropped us off at our hotel and we did what we had to, and heads out to explore the town. Takde explore sangat pun la, sebab ngantuk,so yang berdekatan jelah pergi. Suria Sabah is actually a shopping mall, quite big, but the layout of it is not to our preferences. Went to Pasar Kraftangan, bought Kuih Cincin as a mandatory souvenir for family. Then we went back to the hotel, got some sleep before having an awesome day after that. :DD

Btw, you can see police officers almost everywhere, so it does give a sense of security to walk around town.

signal hill observatory tower

dataran merdeka

junction to go to signal hill

pantai tanjung aru - that's our tour guide

Part 3 here:

Sabah - Day 1

Okay, so on 14th of April until 16th of April 2015, I went to Sabah with Sifa to finish up our assignment in Orchid Culture subject. For that subject, we were paired up and we have to look for 20 species of wild orchid. Well, we just have to take pictures of those orchids, not sample it or those stuff. Anyway, so with that ambition in mind, Sifa and I decided to go to Sabah, just the two of us. We took about two weeks of thorough, at least as thoroughly as we could be, on planning this trip. None of us had gone there before, so, we decided to ask friends from there and those who went there of the places we’re going to visit.
And of course, Mr. Google helped a lot too :D
Okay, enough with the ‘introduction’, I’m separating the posts by days. So,, here goes.

14th of April 2015

KLIA2 àKKIAàOrchid de Villa, InanamàRumah terbalik,KundasangàPekan NabaluàKiram’s Village, Mesilau


We arrived estimately around 9.30a.m. Had a slight problem with transport(the person in charge was sick so he couldn’t send the car). So we decided to rent car from the airport, from KK Leisure and Tour Company. We rented a manual Saga BLM for 2 days. I prefer and would like to recommend driving manual, since the road to Kundasang is curvy… that an appropriate term?haha. Anyway, senang cerita macam ular kena palu jalan dia, like Genting Highlands a bit.

Rate: RM313.76 -  RM260(2 days) + RM53.70(insurance+tax)
---it is more expensive when you rent car from the airport, but at least the company is trustable- you know you’ll get the car and mostly cars are in good condition. I don’t travel a lot yet, so am not really sure how good are airport cars :D

the morning sky when we took off
upon arriving Sabah


The journey took about 20mins. The road was all fine until about 8mins away from the farm, I was like, are you serious this is the road Sifa….. Ouh yeah, Sifa was the navigator, I was the driver, as usual. Not a good idea to make it the other way round.haha. We continued anyway and when we saw the signboard,, ouh my god….a sharp turn towards an uphill road. Memang waktu tu kitorang cam,, serious ahhhh, serious ahhhhhh.huu.

Once we get there, we met the person in charge, who was very friendly, helpful and welcoming. We paid the fee, and he took us around the farm. The size of the farm, I wouldn’t say so big or small, perhaps intermediate size. Mainly, there are wild orchids here and the uncle knows his orchids well. It was very interesting as it’s not usual to see wild orchids. Wild orchids are usually tiny in size. Most of the orchids sold nowadays are hybrids. The uncle helped us with naming, and even taking photographs. He would hold our group’s sign(as a proof we didn’t take pictures of the internet).
We walked around for almost an hour, and nature never fails to amaze. There’s always something I never saw, or even imagine.  His dog was our companion as well, the dog followed us at a distance, and chased a squirrel later that time.

The farm is like a small jungle if I were to describe it. It has trails for us to follow, there’s a huge pond in the middle of the jungle with colourful lotus, a deck near the pond, you go up and down the track with trees surrounding you. Orchids are on trees, above ground, in hanging pots and there's like this small rocky pond for the orchids. And there’s even an observation post up the track.

Sad to say, I think more attention could be given to this place. It’s a shame the place looks kinda shabby when if taken care of, it could be a really nice getaway.
At the end of the visit, we got chrysanthemum tea, on the house.haha. Quenched our thirst, padahal uncle to relax je. :p
For those interested in doing research or perhaps a fan of orchid, a visit here would be nice :)

Fee: RM50 each person.

proof we made it to Orchid de Villa - we're from group 3

pink flowers against clear blue sky, can't help but to love it!


It was situated I think about an hour or less from Inanam. Well, as the name goes, everything inside of the house is upside down. The guide was bubbly and nice. There’s fee of course, but if you’re curious how it looks like on the inside, why not? Btw, masa tengah sibuk2 selfie dekat luar rumah tu, the guide called “ Aa,,siapa yang belum masuk rumah,boleh masuk sekaranggg” Okay, kitorang lah tu.
Ouh, and there’s a restaurant there,but we didn’t eat there.

Fee: RM 10.60 each person.

that thing in the middle is called Gong. it is used as doorbell back then. you hit it 3 times before going in.  that is some kind of  an entrance if u ask me. 

you can only take pictures outside of the house, perhaps to retain the interior layout


Pekan Nabalu is just on the way to Kundasang. We stopped by for a while to look at the view and buy some food and tshirts for ourselves. Sorry kawan2, no souvenir for you guys, budget lari sebab kereta tuu.gomen ne. After that, we continued our journey to Kiram’s Village.


Now this is one of the best parts. :D

The way there was so amazing, though sadly I was driving, so I couldn’t really stare out. And Sifa kept on screaming and exclaiming “Waaaaahhhhh!  Cantiknyaaaa! Woooooo! Waaa!” pastu amik2 gambar. I’m like aaarghhhh,tak boleh menikmatiii, I can just glance overrrrrrr.hesh, mengundang betul Sifa nih. -..- O yeah, jalan dia for about an hour or more memang bersimpang siur je. Kalah Cameron Highlands. Alhamdulillah tak cepat pening.haha.

I thought that road was that lah, turns out,, Kiram’s Village is deep in the hills. O_O . Jalan dia…dahla kona patah, naik bukit. Ada tu lalu rumput tinggi2. Menguji skill betul. Tapi, IT WAS MOST DEFINITELY WORTH IT. Seriously.

The view was so picturesque, so mesmerizing I can’t even describe it. The only way I can describe it is “ Cantiknyaaaa, boleh terbabas kalau tengok ni” , a perumpamaan which shocked Sifa.heheh.

Imagine this, a clear blue sky with mountain in the distance which is Mount KInabalu, and there’s greeneries as far as you can see. Pine trees and blooming flowers around, I can’t help but to smile while writing this. XD And lambat pulak tu kitorang perasan Gunung Kinabalu tu.sebab kena tutup dgn kabus mula2 nya.

And of course, being nature lovers who rarely go out into nature, it was just AMAZINGGG~ We can’t help but to scream inside the car.haha
Once we arrived to Kiram, we were once again, taken aback by the beauty of it. There were flowers EVERYWHEREEEEEE, andddd, the Mount Kinabalu was sooooo close and magnificent at the back! When we got our chalet(or perhaps a small house) again we were filled with excitement. Rasanya agak embarrassing lah kalau orang tengok sebab we were like “ UUUU~ waaa~ o my goddddd “ all the way up to the house.kihkih.

Later that night, we ate at the café inside the Kiram area. It was practical, since the Pekan is quite a distance away. Plus it gets dark quite early there comparing to Semenanjung.
At 8.00p.m, we went down to eat, ordered food and sat at a table. After about 5 mins, cool breeze starts to blow against us. A sudden chill crawls on our skin. Dah boleh agak la malam nanti mesti sejuk. Tapi tak disangka sejuk macam duk dalam freezer.

The food was nice, the café was nice tough service is quite slow, perhaps because not many people are there that time. Kalau kedai biasa kan dah prepare everything.

Nasi goreng ikan bilis + Teh O panas (yg jadi sejuk in just minutes) = RM6+RM2
Nasi goreng ayam + Teh O panas= RM6+RM2

After eating, we walked to our house and when I looked up, MasyaAllah,, cantik sangat langit. The sky was pitch black, full of stars glimmering and winking at us. And the place has lotsa pine trees, which made it even prettier. We stargazed later that night. Definitely my best stargazing moment so far~

That night, we slept and suddenly, terbangun. IT WAS FREEZING COLDDDD. Sejam je kot tidur and then, tak senang duduk dah kitorang duk cari source of heat. Ended up makan maggi just to panaskan badan. Which,, didn’t really help sangat pun.huu.

Here’s a tip of what I did, masukkan air panas dlm bottle, and ‘iron’ kan mattress and pillow, then letak that bottle inside the blanket. It helped us. Boleh la tidur malam tu, tapi static je tidur, sebab sejuk sangat.haha.

And, Sifa keeps on hypnotizing herself “ Ladang tomato panas. Ladang tomato panas.eeii,panas. Okay. ladang Dr. Hajar panas. Hah,rasa dah okay sikit” Pun boleh laa Sifa. XD

FEE : RM100/house
--- Fee varies with which house you chose. Here’s the website of Kiram:

our house is the pineapple~ 5700ft above sea level

view from our house

flowers everywhere~~~~
a cute bird house near the cafe

pathway to cafe and other houses
no filter needed, it is beautiful as it is

small pink flowers that still caught my attention

calla lily scattered at the side of the cafe~

calla lily in the evening
Fuschia. I love this.

That freezing moment ended our 1st day there.

Day 2 :