Thursday, December 3, 2015

Cycling Sabah 2015 - Day 5-7: A Birthday In Kota Kinabalu & Goodbye Sabah!

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Cycling Sabah 2015 - Day 5-7: A Birthday In Kota Kinabalu & Goodbye Sabah
Kota Kinabalu : 15th-17th November 2015
Just a bit of cycling around Kota Kinabalu and acting more like normal tourists for shopping, enjoying the food, and island visiting.

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PRELUDE


It had been a hectic four days in Sabah for us; hectic but interesting as we had cycled from Kota Kinabalu  to the Tip of Borneo and stood in awe of Nature at that dynamic Tip. The previous day, we had also gone snorkelling & scuba-diving at the islands around Pulau Banggi. That "cycling in the sea" had shown us how beautiful the clear sea is but importantly it had also taught us how precarious the coral reefs are, how easily damaged they are and how slowly the corals grow when replanted.
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After four hectic days, our next three days were back in Kota Kinabalu and melded into its slower pace of life.  Here's a quick run down of some memorable moments:

DAY 5 - 15TH NOVEMBER 2015


Our last meal at Pulau Banggi was no last supper but a last breakfast of Nasi Lemak prepared by our hosts, the Banggi Youth Club. A simple yet good meal to end our memorable stay here.


Sin doing a bit of cycling here. Though three of us brought our bicycles over, the only cycling we did was to and from the jetty to our home-stay chalets.


Though Pulau Banggi is the largest island in Malaysia, it is relatively undeveloped. I am not sure whether there is a road that goes fully round the island, but there were roads, as shown by the above signboard, leading to other villages on the island. It would have been great to cycle there but our time was short on the island and we were leaving soon on the 8:00 am ferry.


Back in Kudat, it was to the favourite tomyam stall again (the one near the jetty). Most of us had the seafood tomyam while some had the fish-head beehoon.


Both were equally good and we drank the soup to the last drop!
(... read more of Kudat's Tomyam)


A coaster bus, arranged by Anslem, picked us up and we were on the way back to Kota Kinabalu. The journey brought back memories of the hard ride we had days earlier; going up those slopes was even tough on the bus's engine!
But it was also a calm trip, passing by plains full of green paddies with Mount Kinabalu in the background below a blue sky full of clouds.


Back in in the city, it was Laundry Day for some of us. Our clothes that had got wet riding in the rain and splashing in the waves at the Tip of Borneo had begun to stink; better have them washed before boarding the plane back and giving a foul-smelling impression to other passengers of us cyclists.


Popped by to Fong Ip Cafe to try out their Cendol and Yong Tau Foo. Both were not too bad (... see blog).


In the evening it was dinner at Welcome Seafood at Asia City. They have a very wide range of seafood, ranging from a good variety of fishes, prawns, crabs, shellfishes, etc. We were really spoilt for choices here, but we did learn one thing: although seafood bought from the market is cheap, dining out in Kota Kinabalu  is not.


We ended the day with a surprise.
"Surprise Fenn.... Happy Birthday!"

She was pleasantly surprised.

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DAY 6 - 16TH NOVEMBER 2015
It's a free and easy day for us to do our individual things: see local friends, relatives, do some work or just be a tourist and see what Kota Kinabalu (KK) had to offer.
In the morning, Anslem picked me up to go see his house and showroom. It's been ages since I visited him in KK and it will be great to see how he was doing. But first a quick breakfast; he had wanted me to try KK's famous Hainanse beef noodles at Yii Siang. Our tiiming was a bit out, the shop was closed. So we settled for the beef noodles at Restoran Nountun, a nearby coffee shop, it was quite good too. We then went to his house and his shop, Raintree Furnishing which sells teak furniture and interior decoration items brought in from Indonesia and Thailand. It was a very nice showroom, and I am proud to see how he and Amy have done well.


Back at Borneo Backpackers, Brian had returned from his visits too while the rest of the gang had gone off somewhere. So both of us decided to go for a quick cycling spin around KK, starting with a quick climb up Jalan Bukit Bendera to go up to Signal Hill for a bird's eye view of KK. From our homestay, the viewing platform looks nice, sitting snugly into the hillside.


The climb up was rather enjoyable, the road slope was not too steep and it was very shady.
The view from the platform was a disappointment though; many tall buildings have cropped up and blocked what would have been a good panoramic view of the town with the sea in the background. Perhaps they should build a taller viewing platform.


Coming down from the hill, we passed by the Kota Kinabalu Wetlands and were eager to turn in for a visit, but it was closed on Mondays. Another disappointment.
There was a bright spot though, further along at Suria Sabah we bumped into this French couple, Jean-Luc and Katherine. They were touring South-east Asia on their Bromptons and were completing their stint in Malaysia; next for them will be Indonesia.


Back in town, it was a light lunch of Tuaran Mee at City Food Corner, a 24-hour joint. I like the way they did this noodles here, slightly wet and full of seafood flavour.


In the meantime our other friends had taken a short boat ride over to Pulau Sapi for sometime at the island in the sun. On their return, they dropped into the market to buy seafood, we are going to have a feast tonight!


That's where the hidden talents of Jason & Baki became apparent, they can cooked rather well. I peeped at them in the kitchen as they were cooking up a storm with some of the girls helping them.


Here's our feast; Jason cooked sea-food spaghetti and fresh salad while Baki did a good crab dish (don't ask me what it is called, it had some French name.... a cute name to match the good cooking).
A couple of things we did learn, these two friends of ours are powerful riders yet they have a soft side in being wonderful chefs. The other thing is that, it is much, much cheaper to cook in than eat out in Kota Kinabalu . Cheers!

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DAY 7 - 17TH NOVEMBER 2015 


Today was marketing day, we went to market but did not buy a pig; instead we were looking for seafood to buy to take back home.  We tried the wet market but in ended at Borneo Frozen & Dried Seafood, a shop that sells a wide range of seafood and pack the properly into Styrofoam insulated boxes for us to take back home.


Back at Borneo Backpackers, we packed - our luggage, our bikes and whatever new purchases. By noon we went downstairs for a convenient lunch at Biru Biru; they do serve a good fare of Sabahan-Western fusion. Most of us had this combo Corned Beef-Salted Fish Fried Rice that came with a sunny side-up egg sitting comfortably on top, it was a very good fusion dish. We also had a fusion drink of Sabah native rice wine with lycee, and REAL santan (coconut cream) ice-cream... (... read more at Biru Biru blog).


12:45pm - We were up at Kota Kinabalu International Airport and after checking in, sat down sucking away at some local ice-cream potong. We seemed to have developed a penchant for ice-cream in Sabah, maybe it was the hot weather or perhaps we did develop a sweet tooth!


Goodbye Sabah, you and your people had treated us well.
We had a wonderful time here, BAH?

BAH!

(What doe bah meam ?)
(For more photos of the day 5 Click Here)
(For more photos of the day 6 Click Here)
(For more photos of the day 7 Click Here)


This is page 5 of a 5-page blog, Click Here To Go To Title Page.

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The Philippines Cycling Routes Main Page
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