Thursday, March 27, 2014

'K'ruising Kudat, Kundasang and Kota Kinabalu @ Sabah

                 Sabah is the eastern part of Malaysia and is part of Borneo. All these years of travelling, I never thought Sabah was a place I would like to visit because I thought its only worth going if you are going to hike Mount Kinabalu. Plus, I have heard from few friends that there is nothing interesting in Kota Kinabalu at all. Somehow, by chance I came upong pictures of the Dairy Farm in Kundasang. They looked so inviting. Instantly, I decided to check Sabah out and look at all the interesting places around there.

Inviting views of Kundasang

                   So, February 2014, we flew down to Sabah and moved around towns, mainly Kudat, Kundasang and Kota Kinabalu. We got our pre-booked rental car from Kota Kinabalu International Airport. We would recommend this company as the car was in good condition and it survived all the terrible road conditions in Sabah. You can get their contact details from Standard price for Myvi-auto at most rental companies in KK is RM150 per day, but maybe if your lucky can get cheaper.
Greeted with beautiful views just outside of KKIA

                    Our first stop was Kudat, which is the northern most part of Sabah. You will pass by KK town on the way to Kudat. Actually, you can also fly in to Kudat and start your journey from there - just another option to explore. As we passed by KK Town, we noticed the sea very rough ang violent. We stopped by for a while and noticed a group of people gathered around an area. Still assuming it was nothing, we got the info that a car just plunged into the sea a few minutes before. It seems a Honda Civic with 3 teenager passenger swerved from the road, making all passengers flying out before it hit the sea.

Violent sea with no safety bariers

                 On the way to Kudat, you will pass by many towns like Tuaran, Kota Belud or Kota Marudu. They are all small towns with nothing special, just a place to find for food in between your journey. If you leave in the morning, you would be able to have lunch in Kota Belud. All the way from Kota Belud to Kudat, there are many shops selling grilled corn.

They look 'burnt' compared to the grill corns in Peninsular, but the inner part is not burnt and still good to eat.
                   Kudat is at the northern most part of Sabah map. There are not many places of interests to see or activities to be done there. Many people who take the detour to Kudat is only to visit the Tip of Borneo, which is the northern most tip of Borneo. If weather and sea tide permits, you would be able to set foot at the furthest tip of Borneo.

                   To visit Tip of Borneo, can choose to stay at Tg Simpang Mengayau itself, where there are lovely chalets in front of the virgin Kalampunian Beach. Another choice would be to stay at Kudat town, which is about 30 minutes away from Tip of Borneo.

The beautiful chalets @ Kalampunian Beach offers this view. Pic - Google Images
Violent sea views from the room @ Marina Golf Resort, Kudat

                    One of the best places to stay there would be Kudat Marina Golf Resort. You would be able to catch the sunrise here if you get the ocean view room.


                     The drive from Kudat Marina to Tip of Borneo can be quite 'painful' as you would need to endure about 2-3kms of gravel road. After that tiresome road, you would pass by Kalampunian Beach, which is worth a short stop to take beautiful pictures of white sandy beach and clear blue sea.

                 A short drive further, you will reach the parking lot of Tip of Borneo. Park your car there and walk a few metres to be greeted by a magnificent view of Tip of Borneo and its surrounding beaches.

                       At this point, I think I better stop typing, and let the pictures explain how beautiful it was for the whole family to enjoy a sunset at the Tip of Borneo.

                             Next day, after catching the sunrise at Marina Golf Resort, he headed back south and towards Kundasang. Before leaving Kudat, we dropped by at Bee Farm in Kampung Gombizau. We didnt go in, just grabbed some honey at the entrance of the Farm and took some pictures.

On the way, to Kundasang you can drop by at Tuaran town. We proceeded straight for a short stop at Nabalu Town. All the way towards Kundasang, there are many stalls selling fruits; most of them are fruits that you dont see in the Peninsular. They usually look like a combination of 2 or more of the fruits we get in Peninsular. Worth giving the fruits a try as there are many sweet tasting fruits.

                              I would recommend you to stop at Nabalu Town to buy the souvenirs as it is expensive in Kota Kinabalu Town. Another reason to stop here would be the viewing deck that offers beautiful views of Mount Kinabalu, but unfortunately, for us it was closed for maintenance.

                       Then we headed straight up to Celyn Hotel. From what I heard, Pine Resort offers the best views but they are always full house. Another disadvantage of Pine Resort would be if your room view is blocked by Pine trees as the resort is covered by Pine Trees. In Celyn, you can choose to stay at Valley Wing or Kinabalu Wing. Kinabalu Wing offers magnificient view of Mount Kinabalu.
                       If ever you do get lost searching for Celyn Resort, come back to the main town and search for The Vanilla Shop. There is ONLY ONE way up to Celyn Resort and that road (with signboard) is right infront of The Vanilla Shop. So once in Kundasang town , dont look for Celyn Resortsignboard, instead look for the Vanilla Shop first, then you wont miss the Celyn Resort Signboard. The journey up was terrible with gravel road for about 2 kms. Nevertheless, its all worth it when you are greeted by breathtaking views up there.

                   Although there is a cafe at the hotel, we preferred to explore the town, so we went down again for dinner. Grilled chicken wings seems to be the famous dish in Kundasang Town and we gave that a try. It was nice; anyway you cant go wrong with a grilled dish. Then we dropped by at the vege market to try some of their fruits.

                     At night, we just wandered around the hotel area it is brightly lit and even the car and bar is open. There is not much activity at night in Kundasang, so get a good nights sleep to get up early to catch the magnificent Mr Kinabalu.

                    After breakfast, we went back to town and turned into the road leading to Desa Dairy Farm. This was the very farm that made me want to visit Sabah. It was very picturesque, exactly as it was shown in the Internet. The place really did resemble scenes of Switzerland shwon on TV. I said scenes coz I am yet to set foot there. :)

There are 3 places to visit at the Farm. First would be the barn were the cows, goats and their cute little ones are waiting for you to feed them. Children and even adults would enjoy this activity. 
If you are at the right time, you would be able to see them milking the cows.

Then there is their dairy cafe where you can enjoy delicious produces of milk, like ice cream, gelato and such. 

Lastly, you should walk to the area where the cows are gracing and take beautiful pictures with them. 

After that, we left to explore Kota Kinabalu town. On the way, we passed by the famous Tamparuli bridge and we also stopped by at Rumah Terbalik at Tuaran.
Everything upside down @ Rumah Terbalik

As you are not allowed to take pictures inside Rumah Terbalik, I leave it to you to imagine the interior of an upside house. Here are some of the pictures taken outside of the house.

Finally, after all the driving, we had two days to rest at Kota Kinabalu town. Hubby had relaxing birthday at the suite in Promenade Hotel. It is highly recommended for the beautiful views,grand breakfast spread and walking distance to waterfront, shopping, eateries and also massage.

You can check out more about activities in KK town as we didn't do much; just walked about and enjoyed the seafood delight around town.

KK Waterfront Sunset. Bye Sabah.

1 comment:

  1. J Residence
    Sangat Dekat Taman Kinabalu =)


Comments are welcome :)