A Travellerspoint blog

Malaysia

Land Below The Wind

Kota Kinabalu - Kundasang - Ranau

Saturday [24/6/2017] Today we started off early on a road trip to Kota Kinabalu. Since it was still a working day, traffic at the Kuala Lurah border was not bad and we passed through it with ease. At Limbang town, we went to do a few things and checked out the market where I bought 2 bags of Bario rice. Then we headed towards Pandaruan checkpoint where we exited Limbang to go into Temburong through the Ujong Jalan checkpoint. Since there was nothing to do in Temburong, we drove on to the Puni Immigration post where we exited Brunei and went into Sarawak territory again. Since Lawas is only 1 hour drive away from Temburong, we decided to stop in this small town for lunch. After lunch, we drove around the town and found that there is a small weekend market happening. So we went and check out what was being sold and I bought another 2 bags of rice which was slightly cheaper than the ones I bought in Limbang. After shopping, we head on to Kota Kinabalu without stopping anymore. The last immigration point we had to pass through is the Merapok (Sarawak border) and the Sindumin immigration post (Sabah border) where the 2 counters are just beside each other. Since it was still early, we stopped at Mr DIY in Papar which it had just open and also because we need to go to the toilet. We did some shopping and after that, we head on to Kota Kinabalu. By the time we reached to Kota Kinabalu, it was raining heavily so instead of checking into the hotel first, we went to Suria Mall instead. We went for dinner before doing a bit of shopping. By the time we were done, the rain had stopped so we went to check into the hotel. We then head out again to check the night market until there was nothing else to see before heading back to the hotel.

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Sunday [25/6/2017] We had a simple breakfast before going to the Gaya Sunday market which was just behind our hotel. There were a lot of things to see and buy ranging from food, clothes, drinks, medicines, decorations, animals, fruits, etc. We did a bit of shopping and after checking out everything that is sold there, we headed back to the hotel first to put all the things we have bought and also took a shower before heading out again. We went to One Borneo Hypermall and had lunch at Sushi King. After lunch, we did shopping again until late afternoon. Then we head to Oceanus Waterfront Mall where I checked out the hiking shoes and some sport accessories in SportsDirect. I did not find any new hiking shoes as the one I bought in January is still the latest model available but I bought a few other things. Since it was still early for dinner, we walked out to the waterfront area where there were a lot of people taking photos of the sunset. As it was getting dark already, we walked to Koryo-Jeung Korean Restaurant, the best Korean restaurant in Kota Kinabalu. Since it was dinner time, the place was packed with Korean people, so we had to sit outside and place our order. Service was very slow due to shortage of staffs who also went on their dinner break so while waiting, we managed to finally get a seat inside the restaurant. Their bapsang was different from the ones I have tasted before (even in Korea) and instead of giving us lettuce to wrap the samgyeopsal-gui, the lettuces were cut into smaller pieces and mixed with other vegetables and sauce which we just eat with the meat. It was a very filling dinner and after taking our time to enjoy the food, we finally walk back to Oceanus Waterfront Mall to get our car and then head back to the hotel.

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Monday [26/6/2017] Today is another shopping day. After breakfast, we went and check out some of the malls near to our hotel by foot. For lunch, we decided to try the Gam Tong Hong Kong recipe in Imago. So we drove to Imago and tried their bbq duck which is not bad. Then we spent the rest of the day checking out every shop that caught our eye. For dinner, we tried Upperstar restaurant which has very nice interior decoration and the food was not bad,

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Tuesday [27/6/2017] After having breakfast at an Indian restaurant which open very early compared to the other restaurants, we started our journey towards Ranau. The first place we stopped by was Tamparuli to check out the famous suspension bridge which is mainly used by the people if the water level of the river rises since the road is only few inches higher than the water level. Before finding the Upside down house, we checked out the small town and the market. There wasn't much to see there but at least we know how the town look like. Then we went to find the Upside down house which was not far away from the sleepy town but actually we already overshoot it on the way to Tamparuli. There were already people visiting this place of attraction and even though there is one in Kuching, I did not have the chance to check it out. The house is pretty small but it is something different to see home appliances and furniture hanging upside down. We were not allowed to take any picture inside the house but were able to do so outside the house where there is a small Kancil car parked in an upside down garage and an upside down bathroom. After finishing the tour, we went to the souvenir shop and bought a few things before continuing our journey.

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Not far from Tamparuli, we found the well known sinalau bakas (BBQ wild boar), an iconic food of Kadazandusun people. There were 2 stalls selling bakas, one is selling the bbq version while the other one is selling the braised in soy sauce version. We ate the braised bakas there for our lunch whereas we takeaway a piece of the sinalau bakas for later. We drove on until we reached to Pekan Nabalu where people stop to do some souvenir shopping, have something to eat and also for toilet stop. I was looking forward to climb up the 15m watch tower to see Mount Kinabalu but unfortunately, it was closed for people to go up. Since it had drizzled slightly earlier on, the clouds had also came down so since we were already on high elevation, it felt like we were above the clouds instead.

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We reached to Mile 36 Lodge in early afternoon and it's a pretty quiet place. After checking our room, we head out again to Kundasang town. The town area was pretty scenic with houses on the hill and the clouds coming down low. The town only has 2 rows of shop houses and since there was great reviews about the bbq chicken wings in Kundasang town, we went and find that stall. Sure enough, it was there, the only stall selling bbq chicken wings and the queue was long. We had to wait for quite a while for our turn and while waiting we went to see what shops were there. Sadly, there wasn't much to see, only a small mini market and a few restaurants which makes it a very sleepy town. After getting our bbq chicken wings, we went to check out the rows of vegetable stalls at the roadside. Other than vegetables, surprisingly, they also sell strawberry plants which I bought 5 of them. The vegetables were really fresh and all the stalls seemed to sell more or less the same things. It was tempting to buy on the spot but since we would only go back to Kota Kinabalu city on Wednesday, we decided to buy it later when we head down on that day. Since there was nothing much to do, we head back to the lodge and just relax. At night, the wind was cool but not cold and we had the sinalau bakas as well as the bbq chicken wings for our dinner.

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Wednesday [28/6/2017] Today, I woke up as early as 6am to see the view of mount Kinabalu which was alright since we could only see a small part of it. After breakfast, we head to Desa cattle farm first which is located at the foothill of Mount KInabalu. There were already a lot of cars but fortunately, we managed to find a parking spot near to the building. Instead of going in the building, we first went to the place where the cattle were free to roam around the field near the mountain. Although it was a bright sunny day, the clouds have already came down and covered mount Kinabalu. After taking some pictures, we head to the area where you can buy bottled milk and grass to feed the calves and the goats. We bought a bottle of milk and a bunch of grass and it was pretty fun to feed them. Then we went to see the dairy cattle in their pen before queuing up to buy the gelato and their other milk products.

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Next we head to Arnab Village which is a new tourist attraction in Ranau. There were a lot of local tourists bringing their kids to feed and pat the furry rabbits. You can buy a packet of rabbit feed but we were very lucky because as we were going into the area where the rabbits were kept, a couple gave us a packet of rabbit feed each on their way out so we didn't have to buy any. There were young bunnies and adult ones. Since it was already noon time, some of the rabbits were sleeping while others were taking shelter inside hollow tree trunks from the heat. There were also a few guinea pigs and I have to say they look so cute and funny with their big eyes and their hair. After having enough of petting the rabbits, we head to Sabah tea garden for lunch.

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On the way, it was raining heavily so it was a good thing that we decided to have lunch while waiting for the rain to stop. I guess the other people also had the same thinking as us as there were a lot of people at the Sabah Tea Resort restaurant. Their food was not bad and we also tried their green tea pancakes. After the rain had stopped, we took some pictures before I went to check their tea shop and bought some tea. We initially planned to go for the fish spa in Kg Luanti which was not far away from the entrance to the Sabah tea garden but after the heavy rain, we found that it was closed and the river level has rose up and the water was muddy. So no chance of getting our dead skin from our feet eaten by the fish.

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Since there was still time, we head to our final destination which is the Poring hot spring. Although it had rained earlier, it did not stop people from coming here to bath. I was hoping to go on the Poring canopy walk but it had closed by 4pm. We managed to find an empty open air tub and soaked our feet in the hot spring water until it was time for the place to close. When the rafflesia are blooming, there would be signs along the road but I saw none. Since it was getting dark, we head back to the lodge to rest early.

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Thursday [28/6/2017] Today is our last day in Ranau. After breakfast, we head straight to the Kinabalu National Park. I have been here twice before when I was still studying and the last time I came here was back in 2003 when we did our university fieldwork for 1 week at the National Park. After more than a decade after my last visit, nothing much have changed. However, this time with our own car, we explored until the end of the road which I have never been before. On the way to the end of the road, we stopped to see the Kiau Gap View, the Kinabalu earthquake monument erected in memory of the 22 guides and climbers who have lost their lives during the 2015 Kinabalu earthquake.

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Then we drove on up until we reached to the end of the road where it is the starting point of climbing up mount Kinabalu though the Timpohon gate. I could have climbed up mount Kinabalu like I have done so in Indonesia but then mount Kinabalu is monopolised and so commercialised that it's not worth to spend that much. I rather spend the same amount of money or even lesser to climb volcanoes which are still active. There were friendly squirrels which comes towards people (probably for food) instead of running away from us! After coming down to the national park area, we drove around the park to see what is interesting before heading to Ranau town.

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From Kinabalu National park, we head to the vegetable market to get the strawberry plants that I have bought a few days ago and we also shop for some vegetables. Most of the vegetables are sold at a standard price where you can pick 3 different types of packed vegetables for RM$10. There were more stalls opened now compared to the first time we came to check it out. I bought a few plants as well as more strawberry plants. After packing all the vegetables and plants properly in the car, we slowly head back down to the city. On the way, it was raining heavily and the clouds came down making visibility almost nil.

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It was a good thing that by the time we reached back to the city, the rain had stopped. We stopped at the Big Bath shop to get some accessories before going to One Borneo Hypermall to have our late lunch. By the time we checked into the hotel, it was still early in the evening. Since we did all of our shopping already, we just walked to find a place to eat dinner. We finally decided to eat at Little Italy, the best Italian restaurant in Kota Kinabalu. Since it was still early, we were able to find a seat inside the restaurant which will usually be fully occupied as it gets later. The portion of the food was big so it was a lucky thing that the pizza we ordered is small size. After filling our tummy, we walked towards KK esplanade where you see many people just hanging out there. We then slowly walked down towards the night market and checked out the vegetables and fruits that were sold there. Since there was nothing interesting for us to get, we slowly walked back to the hotel and called it a night as we will be heading back to Brunei the next day.

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Posted by Lingering 02:20 Archived in Malaysia Tagged buildings Comments (0)

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