Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fashionista Escapades: Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

After my trip to Indonesia, I had to leave to Kota Kinabalu (KK), Sabah. It seems to me that I've been traveling every other week now, so life has been kinda hectic. But I've always looked forward to my trips to KK, and this time it's no different.

For this trip, the main reason for the trip was an audit training workshop, but since the training ended on a Friday, I decided to extend my stay in KK until Sunday. My mum came along on Friday and we had a fun weekend together, driving up until the tip of Borneo, to Tanjung Sempang Mengayau, near Kudat.

And since this trip consisted of me and a few colleagues (some of them have never even been to KK before), so I became the unofficial tour guide, which had me showing off the best parts of KK that I love to visit whenever I'm in town. First stop, Tanjung Aru.

Our view. It was almost sunset when we arrived at the beach.

Tanjung Aru is about 10 minutes drive from town. It's situated right next to the airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA), Terminal 2, for low cost carriers like AirAsia and Fireflyz. It's a beautiful beach right overlooking the South China Sea, and right next to the beach there's an eatery which I love. Why? Cause it has steamed corn on cob, steamed peanuts and many other tidbits that you can snack on while watching the sun go down. The downside, too many people does not make for a great time. The crowd can be a bit stifling at times so choose your spot wisely.

The stalls selling corn on cob and peanuts. Yummy!

Peanuts galore!

Freshly steamed corn, anyone?

During the weekend, we wanted to head off to the islands (my mum haven't been to any of the islands off the coast of KK) but unfortunately it rained. There are many beautiful islands near the city (about 15 - 20 minutes boat ride away) and the jetty is right smack in the middle of town (the jetty's called Jesselton Point, just in case y'all feel like dropping by KK anytime soon). So we said goodbye to our well-laid plans and opted for a road trip to Kudat instead.

The road leading up to the edge of a cliff overlooking the meeting point between the South China Sea and Sulu Sea.

Kudat is about 2 and 1/2 hours drive or 3 hours drive away from KK. The roads are winding and if you're lucky, you might find some ox loitering by the roadside (and some taking a nap or resting in the middle of the road!) so you have to be a bit careful when driving. The view at Tanjung Simpang Mengayau is worth the journey there. I've been here before so this is my second time braving the 3 hour drive all the way to the tip of Borneo. My mum haven't been here before so this is my treat to her (as she had to miss a trip to the islands due to the rain *shucks*).

The view from the top. The view is actually more spectacular than this *sigh*.

About 10 minutes from Tanjung Simpang Mengayau is the town of Kudat. A small fishing town which you can finish a tour of the whole town in about 10 minutes *cheeky grin*. The seafood here is nice (near the Esplanade, if I'm not mistaken) but unfortunately it only operates at night, so if you're dying to try, then opt for a night in Kudat.

Mummy posing for the camera. The day was terribly windy.

Tanjung Simpang Mengayau actually has a nice beach next to the cliff. Unfortunately, as we arrived there somewhat at 4.30 pm and we had to consider the 3 hour drive back to KK so we had to take a raincheck on the beach. So no photos of the beach here, sorry.

Here's proof! I've been to the tip of Borneo. Yeay!

This place was only made accessible in 2002 (or was it 2004?) so the roads getting to Tanjung Sempang Mengayau can be a bit underdeveloped (some parts was not properly tarred so be mindful while driving, potholes can be quite a shocker when driving at high speed).

Another windy shot. Thanks mum for the shot!

Another shot of mummy. You can see the waves crashing fiercely below.

Me by the edge of the cliff.

On Sunday we decided to take another road trip to Kundasang. This time we decided to drive using another less traveled road as on weekends the roads to Kundasang can be rather congested. FYI, to climb up Mount Kinabalu you have to drive towards Kundasang and as this road is frequented by visitors and tourists who are going towards Kinabalu Park, Porring Hot Spring or Sabah Tea Plantation, the road can be filled with all sorts of tour buses, vans and rented cars (and not to mention the locals going on and about their business). And these are a couple of shots that I took while I was there:

Mount Kinabalu shrouded under a mist of clouds. You can barely see the mountain as it's so high up so most of the time you'll just notice clouds and mists in abundance. The weather is extremely cool up here that it's always a great day for walking (unless when it rains of course).

Tried some nature photography shots but then I think I'll do better with more appropriate lens, so I'll let the yearning for a new set of lens rest for a while.

The best part of my trip? Meeting up with my old buddy Ateng. She's married to a Sabahan and currently works in KK so I only get to see her when I'm there. All the more reason to make my trips to KK more frequent, aye?

Until my next escapade, have a great weekend everyone!

xoxo Fashionista in Action xoxo