Saturday, May 29, 2010

Proboscis Monkey & Firefly, Sg Klias @ Sabah, Malaysia

our 2nd day of tour, was to see (or at least attempt to see) some Proboscis monkeys. they're the ones with big noses and a$$es. it was quite a journey to Sg. Klias, and because we were also to see the fireflies, we left a lil later than usual. when we reached, we were given some tea and refreshments before the boat ride. and on the walls of the jetty, there were posters and pictures of the monkey. i took a pic of one, just in case my camera not powderful to get a good shot of the actual monkey. now, this pic looks like they're huge monkeys right? think again.....

after some light refreshments and toilet breaks, we wore our life jacket and got on our boats. the weather was not too promising, but we were in high hopes. the sunset was lovely too... we were not the only ones on the river, there were many tours hence lots of boats you can see on the river as well.

the boat stopped at spots that had monkeys, but the thing is, other than the specified monkey, there were normal monkeys as well, the tour guide and the boat man knew which was which, but to me all were the same.. lol yea, the proboscis ones are just as small, just have to look harder to identify the orange/brownish colour and the nose.... anyway, during the ride, it started to rain and we were getting wet!!! some of us opt for the cheap raincoat and some of us didn't mind being wet. the nature boat ride was quite nice and refreshing, we were up close and personal with the mangroove swamps, trees and river banks, air was clean too!! lovely..

just before we headed back to the jetty for dinner, the boat man brought us to see some swift birds (that produces the birds nest drinks). they made their nests under a bridge and the locals would get their "nests" to make those healthy (expensive) drinks. it was already after sunset, so it was quite difficult to see the birds....

i know, u were expecting me to upload some pics of the dinner that was given to us? nah, we were too hungry, i wasn't feeling well and the food was not that awesome to begin with. hence no pictures. sorry ya....
so then after dinner, the gang got back on the boat and went for their firefly expedition. i didn't join them as i've seen fireflies before (in Kuala Selangor) and i wasn't feeling too well. luckily our tour guide - Jude kept me company.

this map shows the distance and direction we travelled from KK to Sg Klias... i didn't know we travelled soooo far and we were actually near Labuan!!! hahahha... that shows how bad my geography is! lol
overall, for this nature trip, it's quite worth it if you don't mind the heat, humidity and the rain. also if you don't mind boat rides and later at night, might get mosquito bites. unfortunately i wasn't feeling too well and was uncomfortable, so didn't really enjoy as much as i wanted to. but the trip is all worth it :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kinabalu Park @ Sabah, Malaysia

Kinabalu Park was the last stop of our tour that day. it was a good way to end it too. this "park" was more of a hotel with a lobby, information centre, gift shop and restaurant. AND it was in the highlands so it was cold!! like air-con! nice! we were at hot places during the day and it was sunny whole day so it was nice to end it at a stop that was cooling.
because it was cool, everyones mood was better, toilets were working and clean and had water, hence everyone cleaned up abit and felt refreshed. i believe this is one of the places the hikers of Mt.K stay.

the information centre had posters, banners, even preserved snakes and some animals that it seems can be found on Mt.K. like the pic above, they had boards showing you the life cycle of the fauna and floras available in Sabah. quite informative.

the lobby/restaurant had lovely furniture, a fire place, balcony with lots of hanging potted plants. it made this place very homey and felt like we were in a holiday resort of somesort - wonder how the rooms look like :) and hope the food is good too!

these boards show the hiking trail to the peak of Mt.K, distance, altitude, temperature, do's and don'ts...etc

and of course the customary group picture with our tour guide - Jude. i love this pic! everyone was fresh, happy to be KK and had a lovely time too! thanks Jude for bringing us around!
so i'm not sure if there's more to this place, it was pretty quiet when we were there. no one at the restaurants, didn't really see cars parked there. maybe it's not the peak season, or that the group are halfway up the mountain, or something, i don't know. but if it was easily accesible, i'm sure there will be more ppl visiting that place.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Poring Hot Springs @ Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia

Poring Hot Springs in Ranau, Sabah. Poring means bamboo in the local language. this is because there are lots of bamboo trees surrounding the hot springs. other than the hot springs pools, there are lots of other activities that can be done there, there's the canopy walk, bat cave, another waterfall, butterfly farm...etc. the gang just went to the hot springs as we were dead tired after the whole day tour and we were running out of time as well.

after a good lunch at the Round Inn, we went opposite to the hot springs. the short walk and surroundings were lovely, lots of tall big trees, huge bamboo trees, a slightly poluted river, mini bridges... just nature-ish lovely! though it was quite humid and hot... hehehe i know, i'm a spoilt brat.
i was quite amazed with the porings around, just had to get a pic...
now the hot springs are not exactly in natural pools, they have renovated and some how did some piping. as you can see, there are many lil huts with mini pools under it. the pools can fit around 5 ppl or so, depending how how big u are and how comfortable you are. there are taps for hot water and normal water so that you can control the temperature of the water.. some like it hot, some like it cold... hmm.. that sounds like a nursery rhyme right? anyway..... the gang didn't really bring a change of clothes so, we didn't sit in these mini pools... we headed towards the pools to dip our feet/legs in.
these 2 pools are of natural water, guessed this is for the kids or for ppl who cannot tahan hot water, like yours truely :p

here i am in one (out of 3) pools for the feet/legs. i only managed to get my feet THAT deep in just for this pic ok... i couldn't keep it in longer than that, tooo hot for me

this must be the main pool with the hottest water. there were signs about dipping eggs in it and all but there was a sign saying that this pool was closed. i don't know why it was closed - maybe the water was too hot? mr tour guide - jude, was not around to explain hence my assumption :P
so after 30 mins or maybe an hr, we got on our way back home as it was getting dark, and the journey back to town was a few hours away.
to those who love dipping themselves in hot water (not sure if it has healing capabilities) i suggest to allocate at least half a day or a full day at this place, cause there's no point traveling all the way there, just to spend an hr or 2. as i mentioned earlier, there are other things to do there as well. also at the main office/entrance there's an information gallery, restaurants i think and if you're lucky, u can hike nearby to see the rafflesias! (we didn't as there were only 1 tiny one blooming... so sad)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Round Inn Restaurant @ Sabah, Malaysia

Round Inn Restaurant is located just opposite the Poring Hot Springs in Ranau, Kota Kinabalu. not sure why it's called Round, maybe the entrance/door is round and there are lots of circle motifs heheheh... it's an Inn too cause above the restaurant, is a motel/inn where ppl can get a room for an affordable price per night. i believe it's popular among backpackers or Mt.K hikers, i don't know, i'm simply assuming... hahaha

the food here is actually nice, chinese choo char style, they do have malay food and western food. it's Halal by the way, so don't hope for Pork Chops or sweet sour pork or something. the restaurant is quite old (or so i think the building is) as when you enter you will smell a hint of musk or stale smell. i guess it's because the kitchen has not much of ventilation.

so what did we have, lets see if i can remember. mixed veg, lemon chick (which was so so only), prawn dish, and rendang... the prawn dish and rendang was quite lovely, we ordered 2nd round! lol. this time we had lunch together with our tour guide, Jude, which was nice cause we got to know more about him as a local in Sabah... very interesting :)

the rendang deserves its own pic! YUM MEE i tell u!! the meat was soft, didn't have to chew too much, it was not that spicy yet it was just spicy enough, lovely!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Fish Spa" Kg Luanti Baru, Ranau @ Sabah, Malaysia

have you been to a natural fish spa? in an actual stream? with big a$$ fish nibbling at your feet/legs? if you're in Sabah, head over to Tagal, Sg. Moroli, Kg Luanti Baru in Ranau. that's where you can get RM5 fish spa.

this stream/river is one of the nature reserves in Sabah and it has won many awards for being clean, clear and healthy for the fishes. there are other facilities coming up at the river. the canopy walk is up, we tried it, quite fun, though we didn't have time to actually go across the river. and it was not as high up as canopy walks are usually is. around the area, there's some development going on, new huts/houses are being built and i think it also serves as a place for team building activities.

the stream is very shallow, it's about maybe 1 feet or 2 feet deep. if u don't mind the pebbles and rocks in it, u're free to walk about in the water, but then the fishes will attack you non-stop. hahahah the water is cooling and refreshing and very clear. nice place to have a picnic i'd say but the surroundings are too rocky and well, the main purpose of this place is for the "fish spa". only a group of 10 or so is allowed any one time for about 20 mins or so. (can't remember how long we were there)

now, when u think of fish spa, like in the malls, u'd be imagining fishes like ikan bilis or guppys or maybe alil bit bigger than that.... but who knew, we NEVER expected the size of the fishes here! your heart would skip a beat! it's super huge! (sorry for the shadow in the pic, there was no where i could get a proper pic of my feet and fishes without the shadow, and without having one leg "safe" on the bank without fishes nibbling at it!! - unless i was IN the stream facing the other way - but i couldn't tahan the fishes.....) super huge i tell u! one fish could easily weigh a lil less than a kilo (or maybe more!) and could be someones steam fish dish at a restaurant!!

that pakcik was one of the owners or workers (not sure) at the fish spa stream, he was showing how to feed the fishes with fish food, telling us the do's and don'ts while being there with the fishes. it was interesting and fun thing to do with your friends. u will see sides of your friends you have not seen before! LOL

so yea, the wonders of Sabah can give you! (just be prepared to be on the road for long hrs heheeh)

Sunday, May 23, 2010


i know, u've noticed that all i write are food reviews... yea, sorry bout that, i DO wanna show you the places i went and ate and thought it'd be good to review but well, i do admit, i've been avoiding to blog properly.... i dont' know, i feel that if i do, i'm not doing it 100% ... and if i don't, i feel guilty towards my readers....
a n y w a y ....... here're some updates... let's see, hmm....
i've asked to a bridesmaid to one of my best buddies wedding (ooh so excited - it's my second time!), and we all met a few times to see her choose her dress(es), went to material shop to choose cloth and colour for our bridesmaid dresses, also met a few times at the tailor for measurements. it was fun going through google images for ideas for our bridesmaid dresses. hope the tailor is good and the fitting fits!
been on a trip to Kota Kinabalu with the CHOICE girls (and their family), it's my 1st time going to Borneo and thanks to Audrey and Irene for organising the tours - it was lovely!! we saw alot, ate alot, did alot!! would love to go there again!! we practically went 60% of all Sabah! next 40% would be Sipadan area and oh, Labuan!
i saw those worms/maggots that the locals eat (but we didn't try), went for fish spa for RM5 (yes, it was only RM5) at a natural river with big a$$ fishes nibling (u can say biting) your feet! dipped our legs in hot water spring (already we were suffering in the heat somemore torture ourselves in hot water! lol), wanted to see the biggest flower but only one small one was blooming and it was a hike away - we were tooooo tired to do that, went to a viewing area up the hills to see Mt.K but it was cloudy, so didn't really see it properly, but it was cooling though! nice!! went to an island for some snorkeling and tan (tan for me la - snorkeling for the others heheh), loads of food and souviner shopping, manage to party abit and cuci-mata with the local boys... hehehe oh and we ate alot, CHEAP SEAFOOD YO!!!! check out my reviews, then u'll know! :P
had a hotel stay at G-Hotel curtesy of free rooms given to dad by his college where he taught at. nice place, contemporary, was practically having the hotel to myself as dad was working, mum was busy with PEA, but because it was during the week, everyone was busy working.. so yea, loads of ME time :) (really needed THAT at that moment... was really stressed)
was busy in preparing for the CHOICE PG Weekend #55 at St.Anne's Domus. being in the organising comittee, the last few weeks towards the weekend, you HAD to put the weekend as priority, u'll even go to sleep worrying about things, if we've done this, done that, called that person, if they have done it, bought things....etc IN THE END, it was all worth it! the participants loved the weekend, we enjoyed ourselves too, everything went smoothly in the end (eventhough there were some glitches), made new friends, came closer to current friends, and of course, closer to God :)
managed to try out Chicago Rib House when it's only 4 days old! and no dissapointment i'd say, would love to go there again, with someone ;) .......... another foodie la, aiyo, thought who? :P hehehe i've done a review and u would have read that already....
had belated Mother's Day at Station 1 Cafe at Komtar Walk, surprisingly food there was quite good!! :) don't mind going there again... so, why belated? u may ask? well the CHOICE weekend #55 was during Mother's Day, so couldn't chia mum that weekend, we had it a few days after that :)
hmm... if you remembered my previous (proper) post, i was mentioning about my health-stress issue? well i did get a referral letter to see a specialist, and i did, the doc did a scan, went on hormone pills, felt better, went for 2nd follow up, doc decided to have me continue on the same pills till my next cycle... shall spare you with the details, don't want you to be worried bout me... and next month will be my follow-up :)
i'm not gonna start about work, i don't wanna think about work... so, i won't write about work... *zips her lips* to depressing
... and i guess that's about it for the past few months... i'll try to write more in future, don't worry, i'm still around :) so God Bless You all and be safe :)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Place @ Api Api Centre, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

it's weird that my first meal in Kota Kinabalu (KK) was NOT Sabahan food but Filipino food! LOL! but then again, there's a HUGE population of Filipinos here in KK so it's not surprising that where ever you go, u'd meet/see Filipinos.
Api Api Centre is a block or two of shop lots filled with restaurants, clinics, 24hr shops and etc, and it's just NEXT to Centre Point shopping mall and behind Marina Courts (where we stayed). The Place (the restaurant) was one of the restaurants that was still open at around 1+am and the gang was sooo hungry from the trip EVEN though we had dinner before leaving Penang. and this place really satisfied our tummies... food was good!!

yea.... if you can't stand blinking, dim and colourful lights, u may not like it in here, but we did!! it was soooo colourful!! and the whole place was filled with decorations of whatever they can find!! old posters, old beer bottles, whisky bottles, lenterns, fake plants... packed i tell you! they had a bar, they even had a pool table... very layed back, chill, sort of place... music was good too! feel good music! :D

this is Avocado juice/drink
i don't really fancy avocado but they rest liked it, though it was quite thick and not chilled enough... but it's something we don't get in Penang - Avocado juice!!
oh, and i just HAD to try a beer, wondered if they had "local" beer but i saw San Mig, and thought i'd try that instead, quite smooth and light, something like Anchor..... nice RM9 (excluding tax - seems the tax amount changes day by day)

at first glance, the menu looked like chinese fried rice/noodle and simple western dishes, but if you look properly, it's actually Filipino dishes!! and of course some familiar local dishes...

the fried rice was so so, we still finished it cause we were hungry! lol

but the best was this chilly beef lah!! *speechless* the meat just melts in your mouth, taste is balance with just enough of spicyness, soya sauce/oyster...
i don't know, it was just too wonderful for us, and it goes well with pickled veg AND beer!! yummies!!
we also had other dishes, like koay teow, bee hoon, all fried in a Filipino way, different taste with different ingredients. the staff there were quite friendly. they obviously knew we were not local.. hehehehe... and most of them had tats on their bodies!!! hmm..... :) anyway, i'm not sure the standard of the locals for this place but i thought the food was good. so if you happen to be in the area, do have a try :)

Monday, May 03, 2010

Station 1 Cafe @ Komtar Walk, Penang

i actually haven't heard of this place before. i was told that they started off in KL, but i don't remember seeing it in KL either... hmm.... anyway, the first time i came here was after a church meeting and it was just for drinks, so didn't really try the food. so this time, i owed mum mother's day lunch, and decided to come here. it's been a while since i hung out at Komtar, thought it was dead, but surprisingly it's not! :D
anyway, Station 1 Cafe is located at Komtar Walk (and they have other outlets as well). just by the spider-overhead-pedestrian-walk thingy and next to Prangin Mall. u know where Komtar and Prangin Mall, u'll know where Komtar Walk is...

so first, i thought this place is like any other place similar to Old Town.. selling toast bread and eggs, coffee, hor fun...etc but they had MORE than that! western food (pasta, steak, lamb, fish), local food and different types of drinks. nice! i was very hungry - no breakfast, and i think i over ordered... heheheh i was stuffed at the end of the day...

first i got garlic bread, cause i remember the first time i came, i had drinks and garlic bread... yup, not bad, bread's soft, authentic garlic spread... nice, good to start off the tummy. heheheh

then it was drinks, i had (top pic) longan+milk ice blended.. love it!! it had LOADS of longan (mum said it might have been half a tin can of longans! in that mug! hahaha) and mum had a refreshing green apple+pear+honey mix (on the menu, it said it's good for bringing down high-blood pressure and cools the body).. quite nice i'd say...

then i saw this asian salad type of dish on the menu and thought i'd try it... not too sure why but i tend to get my salads AFTER i get my main meals.... hmm.... taste was not that bad actually, got a tinge of sourness from the sauce, crispy chicken and good hint of chilly... couldn't finish cause, as i said earlier on, it only came when we were half way through our mains... hmm....

AND here are the mains. i had mix-grill.... loads of meat!! LAMB, STEAK, CHICKEN and SAUSAGES... only for RM22+ i was stuffed after that!!! and the corn!! OMG!! delicious!! young, fat, juicy and just enough of salt to taste! i was really taking my time to finish this. the main courses comes with 3 types of sauces, Black Pepper, Mushroom & Salad Sauce (no idea what's that - but that's the one i tried, and it was nice, tangy!)

mum had lamb of course, and together with Black Pepper sauce - lamb was lovely, she enjoyed the corn and mash potatoes... but she said the black pepper sauce was not peppery enough even with 2 helpings of the sauce... so that's one thing Station 1 Cafe should improve on....

so, peeps, don't know what to eat, dunno where to go, try Station 1 Cafe, price is kinda ok, nice air-con place (there's outdoor as well), for the guys, they have promo of beer and flatscreen tv for the football season... AND free wifi!! i believe this place is open till late... nice place to hang out i'd say! :)
if you've forgotten how Komtar looks like, hahahah here it is!