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blue pin: visited; yellow pin: transit;

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Tanjong Beach, Sentosa

Hunks watching ;)

Surf dog

Dinner at Putien, Vivocity
This has become one of my favourites.

Putien at Food Republic food court

Fried meat bun

Fried beehoon Hing Wa style. Like this best, looks can be deceiving!

Sweet and sour pork with lychees

Putien signature noodle soup, the soup is to die for.

Yam paste with gingko nuts. Great dessert!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day 4: Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia) - Singapore

Our last day in KK was reserved for last minute shopping. 1Borneo is a very huge mall that comes with spacious layout, high ceilings and wide walkways. We could find many Singapore brands here and also some luxury stores like Rolex and Mont Blanc. But in a small town like KK, how could they make money? Anyway, the mall was very quiet, I really didn't know how the tenants could survive.

Tune Hotel also goes retail by opening a department store at 1Borneo. I guess once you are rich, you could just venture into any kind of business.

Tune department store

The stuff here wasn't nice at all.

Didn't shop a lot here, my best buy was only the limited edition of Jansport backpack at 70% off. :D He bought some electronic stuff and we also got a few things from Giant.

Had our lunch at KFC that came with a bowl of wanton soup and chicken rice. Yummy. :)

We were just hanging around here until it was time to go to the airport. Boarded the shuttle bus to city center and then took a cab from there. This way we saved half the cost. :P

Pink mosque perched on top of the hill

Likas Mosque by the lake

Actually we didn't do what people go to KK for, i.e. to hike the Mt. Kinabalu or see the Proboscis monkey. I don't think we could survive the hike and the monkeys sanctuary is very far from KK. It was planned to be a R&R trip for us.

Leaving KK in the evening

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 3: Kota Kinabalu (Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park)

Early morning we took the mall shuttle bus to city center, then took a cab to Jesselton Point. Once we entered the ferry terminal, all the agents were frantically waving their hands to get our attention. We only went to those that we talked to yesterday and compared prices again. After the price was settled, we had to pay for pier tax before we departed from the ferry terminal. So rather than checking the prices one day before, actually we could just come and settle it on the day. So, here's the breakdown of what we paid per person for this trip to Sapi and Manukan Island.
RM 20 for return speedboat trip
RM 10 for life jacket and snorkeling equipment
RM 6 Pier Tax
RM 3 for Marine Park entrance fee, pay only at the first island you arrive.

Total RM 39 (SGD 20) for one whole day snorkeling trip. Damn cheap, huh?

Many travel agents in city center also offer snorkeling trips but but they are way too expensive. The price is around RM 200 including a BBQ lunch. Totally not worth it! Those islands are quite developed, so you could either pack your own lunch or buy a simple rice and dishes as you'll see later.

Sapi Island
This island is one of the five cluster islands known as Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. The rest are Manukan, Gaya, Sulug and Mamutik. You could visit all the islands but it would be too rush to cover all of them in one day. What people usually do is to visit up to three islands. The popular ones are Sapi, Manukan and Mamutik.

It only took us around 15 minutes to reach our first island.

Leaving Kota Kinabalu behind

Our first stop at Sapi Island

The beach

Isn't this amazing?

Love the snorkeling here, the water was clear, not much waves and more variety of fish, not just the tiger fish. So far, they were the only fish I saw most in Krabi and Phuket. :P

We got to see more than fish!!

Komodo dragons were checking out each other

Spa with natural scrub :D

We stayed for about three hours here, packed our things and waited for our speedboat to pick us up at the pier.

At the pier

Keep this to upgrade our fish knowledge. :D

Sunbathing snake!

Flower crab

Manukan Island

Another paradise

First thing to do after we arrived was to find our lunch. We could see why Manukan is the most developed island here, there are two restaurants, a spa, and row of chalets managed by Sutera Harbour Resort. The food at the restaurant was hotel price like, so we asked around if there's other alternatives. Finally we found a small canteen behind the mamashop. I didn't know why they wanted to make it a well kept secret by not putting a big sign showing "FOOD". It was very well hidden, if we didn't ask the shopowner we could never find it.

Had our lunch under this tent.

We had one of the simplest meal but the view made up for it.

I had a half salted egg and fried chicken wing. Mine was quite pathetic but I enjoyed it. :P

Egg plants and some chicken for him. The egg plants were quite yummy.

Strolled along the beach

Sunbathing under the shade, that's what we always do!

The snorkeling here was better than in Sapi, and I finally saw Nemo for the first time. They were very shy and liked to hide in corals. 100% cute! Also saw Nemo's friend, that blue color fish and many colorful live corals which was a rare sight. Not to forget the shrimps and scary sea urchins.

The marine life here was amazing, too bad we could not take any pictures, I guess it is time to get a waterproof camera. :D

This must be pomfret.

Time passed very fast, and soon we were heading back to KK. A wonderful trip indeed!

We had our dinner at Hong Kong Recipe in Warisan Square again. The dishes were average.

Prawn salad

Sweet and sour fish

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day 2: Kota Kinabalu

Tune Hotel

Tune and Courtyard side by side


Lunch at Kenny Rogers in 1Borneo mall.

Half chicken with the choice of black pepper or mushroom sauce, three side dishes and a muffin.

After lunch, we took the mall shuttle bus to city center. It stopped at Warisan Square, later I knew that this mall is also owned by 1Borneo.

Warisan Square

From here we took a cab to Jesselton Point to find out more about our snorkeling trip tomorrow.

Jesselton Point

All these ferry companies offered the same service, a speedboat ride with a choice of 1 to 3 islands and rental of snorkeling equipments. The cost of the trip entirely depends on how good the bargaining skills is. Having to speak Malay is an advantage.

We asked a few agents for quotation, it was getting cheaper overtime.

Clear blue sky

Speedboats to the nearby islands

Then we walked our way back towards Warisan Square.


Saw a Sabah Tourism Board office, we went in and asked about the motorbike rental but unfortunately there was none. :( We also helped ourselves with some sightseeing brochures and then decided to go to Tanjung Aru beach. Taxi wasn't cheap and also not metered, so we asked the officer on how to take public transport to the beach. After getting enough information as well as the cold air from the office (what a hot and humid day!), we walked to City Hall to take the minibus.

Passed the Atkinson Clock Tower on our way to City Hall.

Atkinson clock tower is KK famous landmark.

The condition of the city buses was so bad, if it were in Singapore, it would have been scraped for long long time ago hehehe... He was reluctant to ride on one but I insisted after walking all the way here.

The ugliest bus I ever took.

I was a bit worried too when I entered the bus because there was a very fierce looking guy sitting behind. I took a sit in front of him, but I kept looking sideways to watch if there was anything amiss. Hubby sat behind this guy, but he didn't seem to worry at all.

Cost RM 1 per person. :P

Passed by a slum area.

Tanjung Aru beach

Enjoying the ocean breeze while sipping coconut juice.

We asked the seller specifically for a young coconut. I just knew that we could use the shell as a spoon.

Tanjung Aru beach

Found many starfishes on the muddy beach

Oh please no!! :P

We took a cab back to city center after waiting the minibus for half an hour to no avail. The taxi ride cost RM 15.

Requested the taxi driver to stop at State Mosque for us to take pictures.

Alighted at the Waterfront. Wow, it's a great place to chill and waiting for sunset.

Ordered a plate of Penang fried kwetiau, it was more like a vegetarian fried kwetiau.

Chicken satay

Great sunset view from here!!

Going down further

And the sun had completely set beneath the horizon.

Next to the waterfront is a a bustling wet market.

Ever did your marketing in a wet market at night? :)

Bought a stack of Philippines mangoes (6 each) at RM 10. They were the best mangoes I ever had, so sweet with juice that kept flowing when I cut it. It was finger licking good. :) Definitely must try for mango lover!

Three sizes to choose from but hmmm.. they were about the same size.

Dinner at Fish & Co Warisan Square and it cost half the price! Yes, I love Malaysia :P

Seafood platter for one

Grilled fish with peri peri sauce