Kota Kinabalu City Tour

What I really love about KK is the vicinity of places of attraction. They are rather nearby to each other. I remember my trip back then in 2006, it took me only four hours to walk about town. We went to the waterfront, colorful and vibrant Filipino market, the clock tower and Gaya Street. Quite an interesting walk about town if you ask me!

KK has plenty to offer – you can go to Jesselton Point (nearby Waterfront) to catch a boat to the Sapi, Manukan, Memutik and Gaya Islands. You can shop at the new shopping malls – Suria Sabah shopping mall, One Borneo, Centrepoint, etc. You can eat your heart out at Little Italy, Fatt Kee (Ang’s Hotel), Fook Yuen’s roti kahwin, etc

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Tanjung Aru Beach sunset

If you hire a car to drive on your own, you can go to Sutera Harbour and Tanjung Aru beach.

However, this time round, a visit to Tanjung Aru beach was such a let down. It was littered with garbage everywhere. People just leave their rubbish behind after a picnic – beer cans, plastic bags, BBQ left overs, mats, etc. It was such an eyesore! I am so surprised that Shangrila Hotel is just nearby and nobody seemed to be bothered with the rubbish. Saw some foreigners walking their dogs on the littered beach. I miss the beaches in Singapore, Bali, Redang, Sydney, Melbourne. I think I never seen such a dirty beach! I think even Port Dickson’s beach is cleaner than here!

I wanted to write a complaint to the Sabah Tourism board about this but I was told by my cousin that, they do organize gotong royong to clean up the beach. But, it would be filled with litter and garbage all over again very soon. I guess they have to enforce some laws concerning cleanliness and prepare enough garbage bins for visitors to throw their garbage. With my short observation there, I didn’t see many garbage bins around.

Also, we have to educate the people to pick up after themselves. Bring their own disposal bags and bring along their rubbish home! I think Singapore has done a great job by enforcing penalties on the litter bugs with community service by cleaning up public places to shame them! We should have a civic mind in order to live like civilized people. Cleanliness is .. I think a rather basic trait one should have.

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Sapi Island

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Walking near the jetty at Sapi Island

Sapi Island is kinda let down for me as well. I have visited both Manukan and Memutik back in 2006, and I think I would prefer Manukan better. But the sea in Manukan is filled with spiky sea urchins. You have to extra careful when you go for a swim. Memutik is more relaxing, with less visitors. But I remember there were many flies there! Hopefully things improved now.

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Jetty at Sapi Island

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It was a hot day!

IMG_20141115_104233The beach

Sapi Island is good if you are an adrenaline junkie! They have flying fox from island to island! I guess that would be a great fun! They also offer walking underwater and para sailing. I didn’t do all that. And I think the beach nearer to the shady trees is really dirty. I wish somebody would bother cleaning up the place! You can also learn how to dive here.

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Sutera Harbour

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Relaxing pool overlooking the beautiful sea

On a happier note, I love Sutera Harbour. I guess, in my next trip, I shall stay here as I love the quiet private beach and swimming pool. I am going to bask myself in the sun and wile the days away. Fingers crossed, I shall revisit KK soon!

Here are some photos I took of KK City tour. Enjoy!

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Wisma Tun Fuad Stephen

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View of the floating mosque from a hill

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Temple on the hill

Kundasang, Kinabalu & Tagal Sungai Moroli

Itinerary for Kundasang route

Start the day early to Kundasang to catch a glimpse of the peak of Mount Kinabalu. If you got there late – like we did, the clouds would be covering the peak of the mountain.

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Tamparuli Suspension Bridge

On our way to Kundasang, we stopped by the first Tamparuli suspension bridge. It was not in a very good state. We saw some tourists trying to cross it and each of them waited patiently for one person crossing to avoid any untoward incident happening to the bridge. A friend told me, the suspension bridge actually looked must better now compared to the last time she saw the bridge.

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Rumah Terbalik

Next stop is the Rumah Terbalik. I am not really a park fan so I waited for others to have a go at it. It costs RM10 per person as entrance fees.

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View of Mount Kinabalu from Nabalu town pitstop

We stopped by at Nabalu town to have some pineapples. This round, the pineapples were rather sour. It used to be sweet – according to our host. We went to snap some photos of the mountain from here. Beware when walking on the fields though. It was filled with dog poop!

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Breathtaking Kundasang town!

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Kundasang Desa Dairy Farm

Followed by a short visit to Kundasang Desa Dairy Farm. This place has expanded in just 8 years! I remember it was just us in the farm when we visited in 2006. Now, there are plenty of cars visiting the farm. Perhaps it was a weekend. If we go during weekdays, the crowd would be smaller. I saw on the entrance that, you can even take your wedding photos here and only subject to a rental of RM100. Not sure if it’s Rm100 per person or was it the whole entourage? I think we paid RM4 per person to enter the farm. I don’t remember paying back in 2006?

IMG_20141116_162633It’s expanding!

I love the natural milk gelato here.. even though it gave me slight stomach discomfort. Maybe I suddenly developed lactose intolerance at such an old age? Haha. They have milk cartons on sale – natural or chocolate. Chocolate was sold out that day. If you wish to see the milking cow process, we were told that, the process would start at 3 pm daily. My friend said, they moved the time already. Previously, it was around noon time, the milking process began.

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Myriads of fruits at Kundasang market

Kundasang fruits, vegetables and flowers market. This is on the way after Kinabalu Park, I think. We didn’t go to Kinabalu park as it was already late and the clouds have covered most parts of the mountains so there’s no point to pay to see the mountain when you can’t!

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Tagal Sungai Moroli

Tagal Sungai Moroli is right after Sabah Tea Plantation. It’s just 2 small lanes away after Sabah Tea Plantation in Ranau. When we arrived, it was drizzling slightly. Entrance fee was Rm5 per person. You were only given a small pack of fish feed each, cost 20 sen per packet. Why can’t they just bundle that into the RM5 fees is beyond me! With a small packet of fish feed, no outside fish food is allowed, use it sparingly while feeding the fishes. You may go down into the river and the fishes would swarmed your feet! They would nibble at your skin. I think the locals didn’t train them lah to “massage” patrons. I think it’s the fishes’ natural instinct to look for food, hence the “nibbling” at your feet. I dare not go into the river and watched the rest of the people having a go!

You are only allowed 15 minutes to immersed your legs into the river. I think during the time we were there, since it was raining, there weren’t many people. So we get to be there as long as we want. The river is really clear and clean. You can even take a swim if you like! While my aunt was feeding the fishes, I suddenly saw ikan keli! It was caught on my phone video camera! Wah lao! I wonder if it would sting?

Keep your phones and cameras in your bags. I saw a notice, asking you to cough up RM3 per group for bringing cameras into the river. I think nobody actually paid for it. The lady manning the counter just don’t bother as well. You have everybody brandishing their cameras and phones and tablets while at the river! It was quite an experience!

For more info, click here!

Important note: On this route, you will also pass by Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Spring. We didn’t go because we started the day late and, you should get out from the place before 4 pm as thick fog would cover the roads and it would be too dangerous to drive on the hilly slope.

Sabah Local Eats

Warning! May cause hunger pangs and excessive salivating!

Here are some of the food we ate while we were in Kota Kinabalu. Yes.. we are such gluttons! *Click on the names of the shops to other awesome bloggers’ links with more elaborate write-up and tips!

Fook Yuen Kopitiam

Gaya Street Branch
Jubilee Tower, Gaya Street
GPS Location : 5.98508345.9850834N 116.0780132E

Asia City Branch
Star City, Asia City
GPS Location: 5.97585085.9758508N 116.0725093E

IMG_20141115_084031Nasi Lemak bungkus

IMG_20141115_082718Roti Kahwin

IMG_20141115_082322Economic kueh teow/meehoon and dim sum

I had roti kahwin before when I visited KK back in 2006. If not mistaken, our host took us to Damai’s Fook Yuen. A few years down the road and you have this branch sprouted everywhere in KK town! Haha.

Since I stayed in Cititel Express, near Asia City, I was glad to know there’s a branch of Fook Yuen here. So we basically had our yum cha sessions with some of our friends and relatives here to catch up. Of the 3 days I stayed here, I had 6 servings of roti kahwin!

I am happy that they give generous amount of butter in the roti kahwin and a dollop of kaya. Not very diabetic friendly.. but heck, we only live once! Pair it with a glass of milk tea and you have the perfect breakfast or supper.

Fook Yuen also serve economic fried meehoon, rice, kueh teow and noodles. You can add on other food such as fishballs, foo chook, etc to your plate of goodies. There’s also some selection of dim sum. For me, I just like the roti kahwin.

Kelapa Bakar & Lokan Panggang
Along Jalan Sulaman

IMG_20141115_164238Kelapa Puding

We went on a short city tour and our host dropped us by the road for Kelapa Bakar & Kelapa Puding. Stuffed from late lunch, we didn’t get to try much. The kelapa puding is damn delicious though! It’s good thirst quencher for a really hot day.

Fatt Kee Restaurant (Hilltop)
Lee Wong Kee Seafood Restaurant
Lot 6 Ground Floor,
1-0-3, Kolam Centre Phase 3,
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.

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Delicious fish slices in noodles soup

Selling fish slices soup, fish ball soup, anything to do with fish in their hearty warm, sourish soup. Perfect to vet your appetite for more food to come!

Kedai Kopi Jia Siang 家香生肉面

Lot1-0, G/Floor, Lorong 3,
Lintas Plaza Ring Road,
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah,
Malaysia.

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Sang Nyuk Mian

I am always a fan of pork noodles. Even in KL, I would always order pork noodles whenever I eat outside. This Sang Yuk Mian in KK scored really high for me. What I like most is probably the noodles texture. I think it’s egg noodles, if not mistaken. Delectable noodles to go with minced meat or sliced meat and innards.. ah… I am in heaven.

Wun Chiap Restaurant
Tampurali town

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Egg stuffed tofu, stuffed tofu, braised chicken claws and choy sum

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Tamparuli Mee

Tamparuli Mee. I never heard of this mee before until my friend took us here for a meal. He said it’s something like Tuaran mee but it’s dryer compared to the wetter Tuaran mee. We had a go at it. It is a plate of yellow noodles with thinly chopped char siew and siew yuk on top of it. It’s refreshing and not too heavy on taste.

They also serve delicious and sweet choy sum and locally made stuffed tofu and stuffed egg. Must try them all!

Fatt Kee (Ang’s Hotel)
Below Ang’s Hotel
Jalan Pantai (Opposite Wisma Merdeka)
Opens for Lunch 11:30 till 2 then dinner from 5:30 till late

IMG_20141116_220302Braised pork knuckles in dong guai, stir fried bitter guord with egg and chicken wings

This is a different Fatt Kee from the sliced fish soup restaurant. This restaurant serves good braised pork knuckles in dong guai soup. OMG. I still salivate thinking of the pork knuckles! The chicken wings are also delicious. This place is always packed to the brim. We were early so we managed to get a seat. We quickly finish our meals so that others could have a table and seat.

Equatorial Restaurant KK
Lot C-G8, C-G7, C-G6, Ground Floor, Block C,
Plaza Tanjung Aru, Jalan Mat Saleh,
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
tel: +6088 313 399+6088 313 399, +6088 313 166+6088 313 166, +6088 225 166+6088 225 166 (office)
fax: +6088 219 166

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Crystal prawns, prawns in vermicelli and spinach soup

We had some crystal prawns and prawns in vermicelli here, since we were still stuffed with the scrumptious food we just had at Fatt Kee (Ang’s Hotel).

The crystal prawns are really succulent and sweet while the vermicelli with prawns are sold in number of servings. We ordered four servings and it came with a rather small claypot. Since we were all still full, the amount is just alright for us.

Kedai Kopi Kuo Man
Lot 5, Jalan Tuaran, Sunny Garden,
Batu 1 1/2, 88450, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Contact: 088-221189088-221189

IMG_20141117_090708Kon lou mein with fish paste/fish slices, stuffed tofu and roast pork belly

We had another round of noodles with fish paste, sliced pork, fish balls, etc. I think our host really loves noodles. They also serve porridge. I probably could eat this on the long term. The taste of the noodles is great, the fish are fresh as well as the pork.

They also serve siew yuk, which I think would be better if they sliced them thinner. Taste wise, it was alright. Almost every table has a serving of siew yuk! The food is so good that they have expanded into another shop lot. There are seats upstairs as well.

Tung Fong Seafood Restaurant
Ground Floor Lot 1,
Inanam Square, 88450 Inanam.
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

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Braised fish slices in bean paste – super mouth watering!

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Red Snapper Noodles Soup

Lovely fresh fish. Prices of seafood are listed on the board, so you don’t get a “surprise” when you are paying for your food. Here, they served Giant Garoupa as well but usually subject to availability and it’s not often, you get to eat “long dan”. Another choice would be the sea carp noodles, which could set you for Rm40 per bowl! Since we were still stuffed from Kuo Man’s noodles, we ordered red snapper noodles and the braised fish slices in bean paste just for taste. Indeed delicious. I think if I ever live in KK, I would never eat anything other than fish, fish and more fresh fish!

For other eateries in Sabah, you may click on the awesome links below!

Sabah Eats

Beautiful KK

10 Foods must eat in Kota Kinabalu City Centre

Relax Bah!

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#keepflying #MAS Aerial photo taken when departing from BKI

I went on a short trip to Kota Kinabalu last weekend. It was an impromptu trip. A friend has been working in KK for the past one year and he has been inviting myself and family for a trip to KK. And now, MAS is probably offering all-time low fares. So people, what are you waiting for? Just buy your tickets and go for a holiday! Support MAS! And Cuti-Cuti Malaysia!

The last time I went to KK was back in 2006. That time, I didn’t have much good impression of the city. I was young and too stupid. I was impatient. There were also some unfavorable sentiments brewing among East and West Malaysians. It still is till today, until I met wonderful East Malaysian friends.

I guess most of the blog commentators in my previous post were right. East Malaysians are really chillax lot! I guess we all have to learn how to chill like that. I was so impressed by the way the people are driving around town. I can safely say, out of the three full days I was there, I didn’t even hear a single honk from their vehicles! No nonsense like road rage in Kuala Lumpur. It was indeed eye opening. I almost wanted to move here just for the courtesy they shown on the road!

My cousis sister who is married to a Sabahan said, she had to get used to the relaxed life here when she first arrived. She said, the people here could wait a good 5 to 10 minutes for a person to get into parking! She was impatient at first and honked at the person but she was chided by the husband. “Relax bah!” he said. Haha!

Also, it is really important to know a local friend. Or a friend who has been staying in KK for a certain amount of time. Previously, our host who is also a West Malaysian, I guess he’s not a foodie, he didn’t really take us to wherever local eat. We ate at expensive touristy places. So, it was a golden opportunity when another friend, who has been working in KK for the past one year and given that he is more adventurous, we get to taste the best things in KK with him bringing us around. I guess I will compile some of the good eats in the next blog post.

What I really love about Sabah is the mingling of people here regardless of races. You get all races eat at one place, irregardless of the race of the owner of the shop. I remember once I had my lunch at Wisma Merdeka, you get to see a stall selling char siew and nasi kandar next to each other in the same food court. Now in Suria Sabah, they have a halal corner as well, so that you don’t mix the cutleries used if you are eating non halal things. I think it’s quite a good start to get everybody mixing around each other without batting an eye lid.

Once, I have an East Malaysian friend who came to KL to work together with his wife. Both of them went into a Chinese Kopitiam shop here, ordering tea and coffee and slices of toast breads and everyone gawked at them. It’s no surprise they didn’t last for long here. They went back to Sabah after a year working here. I would to, if I were them. We should emulate the East Malaysians when it comes to race relations. We have so much to learn from them and that is, “Acceptance” and “Assimilation”. East Malaysians are the people who can fully understood the word, “Muhibbah”.

And yes, Kota Kinabalu is safe. I think it’s even safer compared to KL! You can walk about freely and not have to worried you would be robbed. You can even walk about at night and have late night supper without worries. Like what they all used to say, “Relax bah!”