Tag Archives: sabah

Seminar @ Kota Kinabalu, 2013

In June 2013, The Malaysian Bar and Sabah Law Association jointly organised a seminar in Kota Kinabalu and I was invited as a speaker to speak on data protection laws. We had about 50 people.

Sabah Law Association had kindly booked a room for me at Horizon Hotel. It costs RM300 a night. My room was nice and spacious.


View from the hotel

I discovered that it is extremely difficult to grab a taxi in Kota Kinabalu suburbs. Suaran (another lawyer and invited speaker) and I took taxi to Damai to eat at the legendary Fook Yuen at Damai. Our 5 minutes cab ride costs us RM20! Although the ted madras and roti kahwin were worth it, we were stranded in Damai after our delicious meal at Fook Yuen. We couldn’t get a taxi for half an hour.

Fortunately, we managed to flag down one Mr Usman to fetch us back to the hotel at a very reasonable rate.

Suaran and I also wandered around the city and went on an eating rampage. Although I’ve been to Kota Kinabalu many times, I’ve never had the opportunity to see the Filipino market and its surroundings.

I was in Kota Kinabalu for a short time but I managed to squeeze an hour with my in-laws after dinner. They brought me to the legendary and awesome Fook Yuen (again!).

The seminar was fun. It was well organised and the turn out was good. As a token of appreciation, the Sabah Bar presented me with a book consisting of a compilation of cases decided in the Native Court of Appeal, a special Court that deals with Sabah natives’ customary issues. The cases revealed disputes regarding wrongful trespass by animals, destruction of bamboo trees, theft of animals, damages for embarrassing someone, right to harvest bird nests, inheritance of customary lands and also marriage issues. Many of these cases involved the payment of damages by way of sogit – usually a cow or other animals. Failure to pay sogit can put the wrongdoer in jail! Sabah Law Association painstakingly went through many old files to extract the judgments. Many of these cases were presided by local Judges such as Richard Malanjum, Ian Chin and Nurchaya Haji Arshad. It was an interesting read. I finished it while waiting for my flight in the airport.

We later found out that our hotel was charging RM120 to fetch us to the airport (!!!) notwithstanding that it is only a 15 minutes drive. I called Mr Usman to fetch me and he agreed. However, he was uncontactable an hour before he was supposed to pick me up. Fortunately, he turned up on the pick up time and explained that his mobile phone ran out of battery.

My flight back to Kuala Lumpur was delayed for few hours. It was almost midnight and the airport was empty. I wandered around the airport and even went to the empty immigration desks and international departure hall. No one stopped me!

Kedai Kopi Raya @ Keningau

A day before  the 13th General Election, my wife and I visited Chia Min at Keningau, a town 1 1/2 hours away from Kota Kinabalu City. The drive there was pretty scenic as we went through the hills of Banjaran Crocker. We could see the valley below us. Amazingly,  you can see the clouds up-close!


Rest stop with a scenic view


Paddy field

Keningau is a small town. Although it’s a small city with less than 150,000 people, their local Facebook page, I ♥ Keningau, has 17, 000 members!

I was expecting a town with a few rows of shops but it’s actually a developed town with a shopping centre.


Election fever @ Keningau

Chia Min brought us to a local favourite called Kedai Kopi Raya which is famous for their pastries. So famous that you’ll find a queue whenever the new pastries come out from the kitchen!

We tried the big pao and char siew (barbecue roasted pork). They were not bad. Texture is all fluffy and the pork is sweet. Many times better than Tanjung Malim’s Yik Mun pao.


Peanut butter bun. It’s a mixture of peanut butter and sugar. I remember when I was a kid, I hated peanut butter on its own. But I will only eat it if my peanut butter sandwich is mixed with sugar!


Each pastry comes with a price tag!

Map

Little Italy
Ground Floor, Hotel Capital,
Jalan Haji Saman
88813 Kota Kinabalu
Sabah
Tel: (6088) 232231

Kota Kinabalu Part II: Gaya Street Sunday Market


Gaya Street Sunday Market, as the name explains, is a market held every Sunday. It features local handicrafts, food, plants and even animals.
Actually more than that, they sell
candy floss

mosquitoes repellent plants

grass

tshirts

Looks like Julius the Monkey from Paul Frank.
dogs

The cage is soooo small!
fishes.


Damn, Check out the size of the sucker fish on the bottom.
They also have massages by the blind

and a handicraft store which plays music using their wares.

I saw a man dancing in front of a music stall.


He looks like the d00d from Kennysia’s Kuching Shuffler!.

Kota Kinabalu Part II: KK -> Poring Hot Springs -> Kundasang -> Kinabalu National Park -> KK

Continued from here

We stopped by Pine Resort at Kundasang, a countryside town located at the foothill of Mount Kinabalu. Pine Resort is located up a hill hence it’s a good place to check out the scenery. Many climbers stay in Kundasang before they embark on their journey to Mount Kinabalu. Perhaps the notable bit of Kundasang is the War Memorial, which was built to remember the 2,000 plus Australians and British prisoners who died during World War II.

After lunch, we stooped by the Kinabalu National Park. We drove to the entrance where everyone would enter to climb Mount Kinabalu.


What a name..

At that time, many people had just finished their climb to the peak of Mt Kinabalu. Most people looked extremely exhausted.

We took some pictures and walked some trails before heading home.


Best record so far – 2 hours 39 minutes to reach the peak of Mount Kinabalu!


“Snake Hill” Trail.


Took this picture while standing on a cliff. Can you see a waterfall?
We stopped by a coffee shop for a break. The shop is divided into two parts, one part being the convenient store and the other part being the coffee shop.


Place your cover charge to enter the toilet on the left box.

I spotted one pastry by the name “Biskut Pising” that they were selling. It’s made of banana and it’s green! I tried it. It tasted like crap. Too sweet and too dry.

An hour later, we reached KK City. A one day trip is indeed tiring. Nevertheless, I would highly recommend that one especially photographers drive out of KK City to experience the nature.


On a bridge – the river is almost covering the bridge!

Kota Kinabalu Part II: KK -> Poring Hot Springs -> Kundasang -> Kinabalu National Park -> KK

The journey to Poring Hot Spring is a long and tedious one. As I’ve said earlier, we had to go narrow and windy 2 lanes roads to get to these places.

We also had to go through

Bad visibility,

Slow lorries,

Accidents,

The road was probably built up on a mountain as most of the time we can see a ravine next to us. Further, throughout the journey, Mount Kinabalu is visible.

Poring Hot Spring, as the name suggest, is a hot spring located 3 hours away from KK. I read from somewhere that it was once a Japanese styled hot tubs during the Second World War.

I was looking forward to it as I’ve never been to a hot spring in Malaysia before. The one I visited in Japan was quite interesting and I presumed that it would be the same in Malaysia.

Throughout our journey, we passed by many local villages. The interesting bit is that almost each corner there is a church serving these villages. And all the signboards are identical – except for the name of the church.


Amitaa…aaa Haleluyaaahh

The other common sight is dogs – they are everywhere! Cats are pretty rare as they are eaten by dogs for breakfast.

We stopped by one place by the name Pekan Nabalu for a break. It’s a small town with stalls lined along the streets and even have a section for local handicrafts. We bought some pineapples and bananas. The pineapples look like hand grenades. Perhaps in the future, those who drop by, please purchase something from them to keep the villagers businesses alive.


Mt Kinabalu in the background!


Banana & “Salak”


Hand grenades

After an hour, we arrived at our first destination, Poring Hot Springs! I got off the car feeling excited – my first visit to a hot spring in Malaysia.

We crossed a river vide a suspension bridge. It was indeed a suspense before I step into the place.

But the place is like a bloody Disneyland! The place was filled with kids running around and many of the hot tubs were filled with kids. I bet they peed into the hot tub!

Fortunately, there are some private hot tubs for hire. Perfect place to do naug…I mean relax.

Other than hot springs, the other attraction of Poring is the Poring Canopy Walk. The walkway is around 40 metres off the ground and it’s identical to the one at Taman Negara Pahang. It turned my legs into jelly.

Perhaps the most acceptable hot springs tub is the tub for feet. My feet are dirty hence it doesn’t matter whether it gets dirtier or not. The temperature of the water is adjustable. All you need to do is to turn on the respective taps.

To be continued..

Kota Kinabalu Part II: Kedai Kopi Fook Yuen

Kedai Kopi Fook Yuen (Fook Yuen Coffeeshop) is located in a centralised hawker centre. Each shop has their own area and this can be seen from the colour of the chairs. Once you step into the centre, you’ll find yourself being tugged (verbally) by waitresses to sit on their area. Nevertheless, you can order food from other restaurants and have it on your table but you’ll find it being packed for takeaway.

After hearing so much about Fook Yuen’s roti kahwin, I finally I got to try this coffee shop. Roti Kahwin is a combination of two toasted bread with cold butter and kaya squeezed in between the toasted bread. It’s commonly available in KK and some parts of Malaysia. Some places plainly call it Roti Bakar (Toasted Bread).

However, I didn’t try their Roti Kahwin. Instead I had their normal bread with a thick slice of cold butter and also kaya squeezed in between. The bread is soft and perfectly moist. I must say it is extremely delicious until I wanted to have it everyday!! YUMMYY!! I THINK THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST THAT I’VE TRIED!!

The other main but undiscovered attraction is Teh Madras. When I first heard about it, I thought it was some Indian spice tea. The last time I had a tea which sounded Indian i.e. Masala tea @ Mumbai tasted like curry. But the appearance of Madras Tea is pretty intriguing. It has three layers, the bottom, which is also the substantial part, is white (milk), the layer thereafter is brown (tea) and on top, foam. It’s like latte with tea. I tasted extremely well and not sweet at all! Unfortunately, it’s not widely available at Chinese restaurants.

Fried Dumplings (gyoza) is quite popular in KK. But the one at Damai is so-so.

Map

Damai Plaza PH
4 Jalan Damai
Luyang, Kota Kinabalu
Tel: 088-232.794
Opens 7 a.m. – 1.30 a.m
Closed on Mondays

Related Links:
PRECIOUS PEA: KK Day 1 (Part 1) – Hotel + Afternoon Tea
The Star – Great toast

Kota Kinabalu: Salut Seafood Restaurant @ Salut

Despite having a bad experience at Port View Seafood Village, we decided to give seafood another try. This time round, we had lunch at Salut Seafood Restaurant @ Salut – a place 18km away from Kota Kinabalu City. The drive to Salut is pretty scenic – one can see the kampong houses and squatters by the side of the road.

We were greeted with a narrow untarred road with ponds on each side. Each lane could probably fit 1 car. I was told that the ponds were used to rear prawns.

I think if a drunken fellow drives through the road in the middle of the night, he’ll probably end up in the pond and gets eaten by prawns. pw4an!!

Salut Seafood Restaurant faces Salut Bay and the surroundings are almost untouched.

The restaurant is actually a ‘floating’ restaurant – one can see the sea if one peeks through the holes on the floor. There are couple of huge shells placed on the front entrance. I wonder if they are real.

To choose our meals, we had to choose our victims from the aquarium.


Choose from here.. seafoood…


Vegetables…


Ewwww Eel…


No…not edible.

We ordered prawns, clams, crabs and vegetable.


The seats

Our first dish was the prawns – cooked plainly. I’ve never liked cooked seafood fresh from the aquarium. The minute I tore off the prawn’s head, blood started oozing out. I euwed in silence..

But after taking the first bite, I went…wooww.. it tasted sweeet!! And soon, one lead to another.

The clams, buttered crab and Sabah vegetable followed. The buttered crab was extremely delicious. The shell was soft and easily removed.
After chomping down the prawns, crabs, clams and vegetables, I felt so full until my stomach felt like exploding.

We were provided with lime to wash our hands. There are some used limes on the sink as well. Euw.

And the total damage is….RM150!! Prawns, crabs, clams and vegetables for 4 persons! Value like hai!! In Port View Seafood Village, it was RM70 for fish and vegetable only!!

We left the place with a satisfied tummy!

Related Links:
Wikipedia Link
Kota Kinabalu – The Rainforest City – Salut Seafood Restaurant