Friday, June 29, 2007

Sabah Trip (19 – 26 June)

Day 1

The Sabah Trip was planned more than half a year ago where we took advantage of Air Asia's 1 million free tickets. We even booked the accommodation on top of Mt. Kinabalu half a year in advance! Anyway, this trip consists of the arrival of 2 batches. The first day is only applicable to 4 of us; xinfern, laifai, pei ing and me. While the 2nd batch, will arrive on the morning of the next day. So anyway, we reached KK about 830pm, where my sister fetched us and took us for dinner and ride around town, giving us a quick tour on the surrounding areas; including how unsafe Sabah is after 6pm and how expensive the food are.

Day 2

The arrival of the next batch: Eng Sue, Ying Sin, Cheng Soon, Ying Zee and Jian Feng. They were lucky that their flight came slightly earlier. Otherwise, we're gonna have breakfast without them.
Went to my sister's office early in the morning for a quick briefing on the driver, places to go and for xinfern to settle her eureca stuff. Then, dropped the few of them at Atong for breakfast while me and my sister picked up the rest of the people from KKIA Terminal 2. The place where we had our breakfast, was a local delicacy. It's rice noodle with the soup that's mixed with stuff like ginger, milk, tomato and taste sour-y, spicy and i don't know what... But it was delicious... I finished till the very last drop of it.

Our breakfast at Atong

Later, we went to one of my sister's friend's tour agency to plan what to do for the rest of the week. Finally, the plan was to go up to Kundasang in the evening, spend a night there. Begin climbing Mt. Kinabalu early in the morning, spend the night at Laban Rata, midway to the peak, continue our journey to the peak at midnight, climb back down the very same day and spend one more night in Kundasang. Sounds confusing eh? Haha
Then, the Saturday would be a free day where we would go to the Hot Spring, the Memorial Park and maybe Tanjung Aru. Sunday, we'll be going for Island Hopping and Monday will be to river rafting. Will be flying off on Tuesday morning.

Before we went up to Kundasang, we asked the driver to take us around KK. We went to UMS (it's such a big and beautiful university where you can see a beautiful view of the mountain and the sea),

in UMS

Sutera Harbour Nexus and Wisma Merdeka for some light shopping.

Sutera Harbour Nexus

The beach at Sutera Harbour Nexus

xin fern's head sengeted

At 6pm, we waited at a Hayatt, a 5 star hotel for our van to Rose Cabin, Kundasang.

Inside Rose Cabin

When we reached Rose Cabin, we had our dinner that's made of cup noodles, buns and milo.

Dinner in Rose Cabin

Took a quick explore around the vicinity where we found rabbits and a nursery. Had a bottle of wine to ease our sleep and to mark the start of our journey for the next day.


Other than that, didn't do much as we had to wake up early for our climb the very next morning

Day 3

Started our day at 7am in the morning. Made our own breakfast of tuna bread and whatever left from last night. Before we start climbing the mountain, we did bought a few quick items. RM5/RM7 shoes and RM2.50 stockings. We went to Kinabalu Park to register ourselves and to find us 2 guides. Our guide names are Mahali and Lanting. We also had a lady porter whose gonna carry 12kg of our luggage up the mountain to Laban Rata.

The journey begins

Our first kilometer

Our journey is 6km long and about 1.5km high. There's a pit stop at 500m each. The route was rocky and steep. The 9 of us travelled together at the beginning but was separated into 2 groups due to the difference in speed. The group that was left behind was xinfern, eng sue and pei ing. And the rest of us? We even had to help them carry their bags... But one thing that we did not foresee, is that we took all their belongings with us!! Including their food and their rain coat... Luckily, they carried their own water containers. It rained at the last km of our destination. The only person that I saw soaking wet was eng sue.

Looks like it's gonna rain soon...

Halfway through

We reached Laban Rata around 2-3pm. We ate a super expensive lunch because food there is crazily expensive.

Fried Rice - RM14

Fried rice would cost RM14, a normal Milo cost RM6. Even instant noodle cost RM8.50. Well, can't really blame them cause they have to man-carry every single item up the mountain to this place. After having a nice meal and a nice hot bathe, we went out, took a couple of really cool pictures before it started to rain cats and dogs.

The view outside (looks like China to me)

All of us retired early, only to wake up for dinner, and then sleep back. Reason we had to do that was because our journey to the summit continues at 2am in the morning to catch the sunrise! That's something worth going for!

The temperature outside is 8.3 degree!!

Day 4

This really is a super tiring day. We woke up early at about 1 a.m., had a quick and light breakfast before moving on at 2 a.m. We have another remaining 3km long up to the peak. But this is no ordinary 3km. The first 700m is easy. After that is when we have to use a rope all the way up the rocks to reach the summit. The route is so steep that they have you climb it in the middle of the night where it's pitch black and all you have to know is to go on. Reminds me of Dory's word of wisdom "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming..."

It was cold and dark. The only light that shines my path is the torch light attached to my head. After much heavy breathing (the air is thin and therefore hard to breathe) and leg muscle exercise, we managed to reached the low's peak, the highest point in South East Asia!!

Beautiful sunrise

At the highest point of South East Asia

When we reached there, it was just the start of the sunrise. We were up there until the sun was high up above us, shining on the hills and the plains of Sabah. It was a spectacular view. Unfortunately, it was too cold for us to handle. On normal occasions, the temperature there would be about 4°C but when we were there, it was raining on the way up and it should definitely be below 4°C. Out of 9 of us, 8 reached the peak. Xin Fern did not had proper sleep and vomited on the way up. Upon reaching 7.5km, she decided to turn back. Can't blame her though. She was left behind cause she was a bit too slow and didn't had the motivation to move on. Whereas for eng sue, she was lucky. She was drilled all the way by Ying Zee. Scolded by Ying Zee all the way to the peak, and she managed to reach the top in time for the sunrise.

The nightmare has just begun. The journey down.....

Can't even see land!

This is what I see when I look down

Firstly, there's no more motivation anymore. Secondly, the sun is up and we can see how steep our journey was!! The journey back to Laban Rata was quite fun for me... Steep slopes and near death cliffs where the only thing supporting our precious lives is the rope attached. And the rest of the journey was rocks and rocks and rocks.

Some million year old rock

South Peak - the picture behind the RM1 coin

A rainbow

When we reached Laban Rata, we have less than one hour to pack our things and to have lunch before continuing our journey down. That's another 6km down a steep mountain! I stayed behind to babysit eng sue as she was slower. But not before long, I don't even have to babysit her anymore cause my knee's slowing me down to a speed on par (if not slower) than hers. Nevertheless, we managed to reached the foot of the mountain consciously. As usual, there's always this rain of blessing for the last kilometre of every journey.

Some treee

Beautiful rainforest on the way down

We stayed another night at Rose Cabin. The entire night was mainly a leisure one. Played UNO, playing cards and chat. All of us slept early though. By 10p.m., everyone was sleeping like a baby. Oh, and something bad happened, laifai dropped his hp in the van.

Day 5

We woke up relatively late, at 9 a.m. It was a day of leisure and a day without plans. Since we had nothing to do, we decided to go to the Memorial Park and to the Hot Spring in Kundasang. Before we depart, we settled laifai's hp issue where we're supposed to contact the person who found his phone in the van. After that, off we go to the Australian Memorial Park. If you don't tell me, I would have thought that the place is just a beautiful garden with beautiful flowers and scenaries. It wasn't an easy walk for everyone as some suffered from post-mountain-climbing-injury.

Memorial Park

At the end of the park

Luckily, our next stop is to dip our sore legs into hot water in the springs of Poring. That place actually has a lot of other attractions other than the hot spring. There's a bat cave, a rainforest, canopy walk and waterfalls. We could even look at the largest flower in the world, the Rafflesia. Due to physical limitations and time constraint, we only managed to go to the hot spring. It's just like what my mother used to do when i was a kid. She would dip her leg in a pail of hot water to help with her 'foong sap'. Instead of a pail, there's a tub to fit ourselves in. And since we're on a budget trip, we used the outdoor area where it's free!

Jabatan Sg. Mamut

At the hot spring

On the way out

Went to KFC nearby for lunch and travelled approx 3 hours down to KK City. By the time we reached the city, it's almost 6 p.m. The driver took us to the Big Market where we bought ingredients to cook for dinner. We bought crabs, prawns, vegetables and fruits. Dinner was spectacular. We had a chef in the house; Mr Lim Cheng Soon, who works in the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel in Tiong Bahru. Anyhow, the food was great and the atmosphere is something to remember of. Initially, we wanted to go to Tanjung Aru for a walk but it was already too late and we had to wake up early for Island Hopping tomorrow.

Dinner is served...

Day 6

We woke up early to prepare ourselves for island hopping. Unfortunately, one of our friend, pei ing was sick to the bed. She had diarrhea and vomited the entire night. In fact, she even vomited on the way up to Laban Rata and also on the way up to the peak. We then took her to the clinic nearby and bought porridge for her. That's when some retarded guy scratched the car at the side. I was parking nicely at the side waiting for my friend to buy porridge when this Saga came from behind of me, intending to squeeze thru, hit the bumper. After hitting the bumper, he did not only brake, but accelerated his way through, tearing the plastic on top of the wheel. Apparently, he panicked and pressed the accelerator instead of the brake. To make things more interesting, he didn't have his IC nor his driving license with him. He was so afraid, he called up his bro in law, and agreed to pay for every single payment needed to repair the car. There goes our morning. Called up yiche's driver, Kamal and he said he'll settle things with that guy. Went back home, to attend to pei ing and decided to postpone the island hopping to the next day and forego River Rafting. (We saved RM175 per person there)

Dessert after lunch

Still, we drove the car out for lunch, got lost a few times but managed to find our way. Went to the Phillipine Flea Market and did some light window shopping. Loitered around the area, went to a shopping complex nearby, had tea in

Secret Recipe and bought stuff back to cook for dinner at a wet market nearby.

Our home cooked dinner

One big happy family

Again, we cooked at night but this time, we managed to visit Tanjung Aru and also collected Lai Fai's hp from Promenade Hotel in KK.

Night beach at Tanjung Aru

Day 7

After a full day of rest, everyone rejuvenated and was filled with energy for island hopping. We took the first boat at 8.30 a.m. to Pulau Sapi.

Our speed boat

The beach is small and there wasn't a lot of people at that time. We snorkelled and had our lunch there. The coral reefs were beautiful but some complained that there wasn't enough variety of fishes.

Pulau Sapi

We decided to head for Manukan Island after lunch when the crowd began to grow in Sapi Island.

Manukan Beach

~Camwhores detected~

Upon reaching Manukan Island, we settled down and we did not jump straight into the water. One reason was that the sun was blazing hot. Instead, we played cards on the beach and forfeited the loser.

Jian Feng dealing cards

But we didn't stay on land for too long. We were too tempted to jump into the ocean to see more fishes swimming around us. This time, we were more prepared. We bought dried bread to feed the fishes! The bread came in handy. All sorts of fishes came swarming in, each wanting a piece of the bread. It was marvellous. These fishes were no longer afraid of humans and even bit our little fingers. We snorkelled until it was time to go back. For youth is still on our side, we played till the max! Took beautiful pictures of the scenery. We took the last ferry back at 500 p.m.

At the jetty

Silhouette-like of the jetty

Met Kamal where he drove us for dinner to have sate.

Yummy~! Sate!!

It was an early night for us. By the time we reached back home, it was only 8 p.m. or so. We even planned to stay up till morning is nigh since it was our last night in Sabah. Unfortunately, our wearied body gave in. The moment we reached home, we hit the sack after bathing and some light laundries. Only a few stayed up to pack their things. Even so, they slept before 10 p.m.

Day 8

It's time to say goodbye. We had breakfast at Wan Wan for a nice dish of fish noodles, fish balls and fish meat.

Doesn't it look tempting??

Then, it's the Air Asia terminal for us. It was an eventful journey. Been through a lot and learnt the importance of camaraderie. Can't wait for another trip like this

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day @ KL Tower

This year's Father's Day was a special one. My 2nd sister booked a table for a private Father's Day function on top of KL Tower for high tea!

View from the top

The view's spectacular! But the food was lousy.. In fact, the service is lousy.. Waiters act like typical part timers. They should maintain their standard for such a place.

There's also performance by Datuk Shake, apparently, some guy who went to France and aims to assimilate malay and french songs together. But he's quite a good singer nevertheless. Rather old though; my father's time...
Me and my family

Anyhow, experience was great... To have a high tea buffet on top of KL Tower... haha... Only wish I could be back for National Day to see the fireworks in the same place