tropicana ~ life is a kaleidoscope
Join The Princess in her journey of a plethora of changing colours and patterns

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

If The Princess were a tax-paying resident of Kota Kinabalu, she would be damn pissed off at the Malaysian government. Why, you ask? Because they took the abundant natural resources of Sabah and used the money to build all those skyscrappers in Kuala Lumpur and forget all about KK. Don't get her wrong, KK is not some backwater, ulu place but as the capital of Sabah, it could do so much better. Stepping into KK, this laidback, a little sleepy town most certainly lacks the glitz and modern amenities of KL. Fine for a tourist who wants to escape from all the buzz of city without stepping out of civilisation, but for the residents, The Princess is sure they would want a slice of what KL, Penang and JB folks are experiencing.

Enough digression.

Day 3

Upon reaching the mainland, they transferred to Marina Court Resort Condominium. Again, she was plesantly surprised. The apartment with 3 bedrooms are spacious, clean and the location couldn't be more strategic, with mall, markets, restaurants and bars within a stone throw away.

After filling their tummies, they basically walked around the town to try to get a feel of it (No lar, actually they went to a nearby street market only to find it closed, no choice lor, have to walk back what). And when The Princess' sense is assaulted by the smell of ikan masin, you know they're near a pasar.

Sea grapes?

RM 2 for a coral/shell. No wonder our underwater ecosystem is threatened

The many fising boats docked at the harbour behind the market

Waterfront Esplanade

They stopped for coffee at the Waterfront Esplanade. It's a pity the way Waterfront Esplanade is developed as if not much thoughts have been put on it. This stretch of sea-fronting esplanade consisting of restaurants, bars and pubs has much more potential than it's present way, they should hire The Princess to revamp its current image. Just look at Clark Quay in Singapore, which has been given a facelift recently and has been attracting locals and foreigners alike in droves. Heck, if Melaka River is not so badly polluted, The Princess would suggest to the Melaka government to have something like Clark Quay. Psst....Do you think gwailos will enjoy having a cuppa while watching monitor lizards feasting on dead babies (probably thrown by some teenage Malay girls with unplanned pregnancies) nearby? If yes, Melaka River has got BIG potential.

Out of so many days in Sabah, dinner that night is the ONLY meal that merits a mention. Either they went to all the wrong places or Sabah food sucks. Ken (or is it Barbie and Kent's Kent?), Ryan's brother joined us in the scond day in Manukan. And he so happened to have a Sabahan friend, Boon, who ensured they had a decent meal that night.

Upon reaching the seafood restaurans, tanks and tanks of kicking and alive seafood were displayed for customers to choose from, The Princess thought they were in pet shop. The seafood ranged from the usual to the bizarre. She didn't know there were so many types of edible molluscs!



What is this?

Very groovy snails!

Giant mantis prawn

Ken Lee's fav - lobster

Soon Hock (Marbled Goby) may look ugly, but oh, boy, it sure tastes delicious. Pretty expensive too

Tin Kai (frog), best cooked kong pao style or with ginger and spring onions

CW from top: Fried Lala, Kong Pao Tin Kai, Steamed Prawns, Unidentified Shellfish with Ginger Slices

The simple dish of steamed prawns was a delight - firm, sweet meat that could only be associated with freshness, with a hint of HuaTiaoJiu (Chinese rice wine).

Prawns in butter sauce. Perfect with mantou (plain flour dumpling) to soak up the sauce

Deep fried fish in soya sauce

Melaka chicken wing still rocks!

The dishes were ordered by Boon and he made some excellent choices. The Kam Heong crabs packed a punch and the prawns in butter sauce scrumptious. When the dishes arrived, everyone tucked in with gusto. Their expressions say it all.


Wah, syiok....

Wah, syiok!

Wah! Syiok!

Wah! Very syiok!

Such glee!

Oh, did she mention today is the eve of new year? They went merry-making at Harbourfront Esplanade.

Mr. and Mrs. Si Mik?

That gwailo above is sooo useless. He ordered a Flaming Lambo and everyone was cheering him on to finish it in one go. But our friend here drank like a pussy. He needed to stop TWICE and he STILL couldn't finish the drink. Inflight up in the air whack the alcohol like some beer barrel, down on the ground cannot even manage a single glass is it?

And to those folks who happened to celebrate New Year at the Aussie something something Bar, you guys have been duped! Someone started shouting to the countdown before time, and everyone joined in. Yay, we all were probably the first to step into 2007 and that deserves a toast!

Day 4

Yay, they're going on a road trip! The Princess has not been on a road trip for a long time, she kind of miss the long, butt-numbing, bumpy ride.

All 11 of them, keropok, sotong kering, dried mandarin peels and all, packed into a Pregio and off they went on a rainy day to Kinabalu Park.

You know, The Princess and Arfoo "invested" in Sabah Toto Special Draw on the number above but it never buka. When The Princess came back from Taiwan one week later, Arfoo informed her the exact number buka in Toto in the following draw. That's why lar, Papa Tju said already, buy number must buy at least 3 times in a row.

Kinabalu Park is a 2-hour drive away from Kota Kinabalu. Actually, there are 2 ways to get there. A longer way (about 3 hours) rewards you with breathtaking scenery , while the shorter one offers less interesting scenery.

Don't worry, it's not forest fire but fog

Misty mountains and long, winding road

The cool, crisp mountain air opened up the lungs - and then they had to canceled out the goodness by lighting up. The lush scenery was very soothing to the eyes. They made a stop halfway up the mountain because the sceneries unfolding before their eyes were simply too beautiful to ignore.

Upon reaching Kinabalu Park, they promptly paid the entrance fees and headed for tea break at a cafe nearby.

Don't be fooled by their sparse clothings, it's cold up here

Naomi's pet hamster

They then proceeded to the viewing platform, Pondok Timpohon, for more snapshots with amazing mountains as backdrop. And of flowers, trees, shrubs, roof tiles and whatever took their fancy.

They had their dinner in a foodcourt at Tanjung Aru. This is probably one of the LAMEST eating place ever. Imagine making your choices from 20-30 stalls selling the SAME food. And atrocious food at that, The Princess can vouch for it. Malaysia really Boleh. Whoever approved of such concept and establishment in the first place should be shot. And the stall operators as well. Come on, use some common sense. Why not sell something different and have a bigger slice of the pie?

Day 5

Their last day in KK before bidding farewell to Sabah. Right after lunch, they went to the nearby Filipino Market for some souvenirs. The Princess is proud to announce she didn't do any major shopping this holiday (just 1kg of dried anchovies for Mama Tju) - quite an achievement in itself.

Some interesting stuffs that caught her eyes.

Old skool sewing machine

Sabahans are a frisky bunch, eh?

After another session of frantic packing, The Princess left for the airport first as she's trying her luck to board the earlier MAS flight to KL. She didn't manage. All the flights were full. And so she was left stranded in KK while the rest boarded their Air Asia flight back. This only serves to further add on to her love-hate relationship with ID tickets. She had no choice but to spend another night in KK and stayed in a cheap hotel recommended by the taxi driver. Clean sheets, hot water, air-conditioned but no Astro, no water boiler but hey, for RM 50, a girl can't ask much.

The next noon, luckily, there were seats on the KL via Bandar Seri Begawan flight. Who knew holiday could be so troublesome? Nevertheless, she very much enjoyed her time in Sabah, thanks to a bunch of wacky friends.

Next up, her trip to Taiwan (Yes, Jess, the one you FFK-ed).

2 curtsies received:

pls hor, i didnt ffk..i happen 2 start my new job which doesnt allow me 2 frivously take leave 2 go galivanting to some foreign country ok. besides, the flood victims in johor need me :-)

No wonder the flood in Johor got worse.

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