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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jarrods & Rawling to Aaliyah...

Just got back couple of hours ago from Aaliyah. It was my second time there. Was there last week with some salsaholic salsaing the night away and decided to come back again this week. It was good tonight. Thought did only 3 songs, was already drenched in sweat. Left pretty early too. About 10:30ish. Too many sifu (experts) there tonight. Paisey to yin chao. Lols...

The picture above was taken by my +1's new Blackberry Bold9700. No, the original wasnt that clear. I cleared it up with photoshop :p. The wonders of photoshop...hehehe
Met up with Terri at Jarrods & Rawling earlier for dinner. As usual, we ordered too much and ended up tapau-ing instead. :p After dinner, we stayed on to tokkok sing song for awhile before proceeding next door to pong chak chak...
Throughout the night, my plus one was busy trying to convince us (or me more specificaly) that his Blackberry is better than Terri's Iphone. And the verdict is, before tonight, I very much wanted a Blackberry. But after tonight, at this point of time, eventhough Iphone's camera doesnt come with a flash, I think I would still prefer an Iphone instead. Reason being:-
1) The screen is much larger
2) User friendliness when browsing thru the net
3) Can see attachment on my emails
4) Plenty of downloadable games - they even have 'twilight saga' quiz.....
5) Louder speaker - though I don't usually turn music on my mobile but who cares
6) The interesting design suit me better
7) & etc...
Let's see how it goes la... I am in no hurry to get a new phone. My old faithful is still serving me well. Maybe Blackberry will come out with something like an Iphone in the near future. Will they? (chanting: yes they will, yes they will, yes they will...)...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day 3 Bidding Farewell to The Land Beneath The Winds, Sabah

Slept in on Day 3, our last day on the Land Beneath The Wind. Woke up almost noon. Went out to have some brunch/snacks over at a HongKong Style Cafe (Char Chan Teng) nearby at the same time, to purchase some local goodies for our friends and families.

We bought plenty of Sabah Tea. We had been drinking nothing but this aromatic tea throughout our 3d/2n trip there. It was not only aromatic, but pleasantly refreshing and light too. On Yenny's recommendation, we also bought some local coffee later - Tenom Coffee. The coffee is equally nice.
We checked out at 1:00pm. Yenny came to pick us up and brought us to her house to visits all her doggies - Jade the schnauzer, Ivory the golden retriever and Ruby the mongrel (I think her name is Ruby. Not sure.). Jade remembered me! They are no doubt a "man's best friend". In my case, "girl's best friend". Wait... isnt that 'diamonds'? Girls' best friend mah... lols.. nevermind.
She then brought us to this stall specialised in 'Yu Chap' (Everything to do with fish). It was basically noodles/meehoon/kueyteow that comes with any type of fish you fancy and any part of it - fish eggs, fish maw, fish ball.... anything you can come up with, they have it. We select the few typical fish parts that we are used to and order just one bowl of noodle to share among us. Still pretty stuffed from brunch. I tell you... it was so yummy yummy delicious! Ahhh....... It tasted something like our fish head noodle here except it was much much tastier!
Since we still have lots of time to spare before our departure, Yenny brought us to this place by the beach to look see look see and enjoy the seabreeze.
Ordered some fresh coconuts, bbq chicken wings & satay to nibble nibble....

This boy here works at the stall and happily posed for us. I think he quite lengchai also lor... got potential to be a model when he grow up. Lols... Tried chatting with him. Asked him why was he not in school (it was a school day) and he just gave us a blur look. Over there in Sabah, not sure what language to use sometimes. There were plenty of Filipinos, plenty of natives from the jungle and plenty of locals also. Therefore, many a times, not sure to speak Malay or English or Chinese. *scratching head*

He thought mom some 'cool' handsign to pose with. Whatever it means.

It was really nice of Yenny to take a day off work that day to entertain us. Mom & I had so much fun. After yakking & eating for awhile, it was finally time to head for the airport to go home. Yenny dropped us off at the airport and we bidded farewell till we meet again. I wonder, when will 'again' be. Already missing the bbq seafood, the massages, the coconut pudding & etc... :(

Bought some seafood at the airport for my inlaws - some kickass huge tiger prawns & lobster tails. To say it is cheap, it was not exactly cheap la... but very fresh lor...

It was packed up very nicely and well insulated. Still deeply frozen when we got home about 5 hours later. Havent even start to melt yet. No problem at all bringing it back. Just a little heavy carrying it around though. Like carrying bricks like that cause the seafood are frozen in three big cubes of ice blocks, about 6 yellow pages like that... you go figure it out.

While waiting for boarding, mom asked me to take a picture of her in this blue cap of her's which she loves so much. Lols... She said must take a picture with it. That's why la...

This picture here taken as our plane descending towards LCCT marked the end of our 3d/2n trip to the Land Beneath the Winds. Overall, it was a great trip for both mom & I. We had fun. It has been a long time since we last spent time like this together. In fact, this is our first trip together. Just the two of us and it was good. Really good.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Day 2 near Majestic Mt Kinabalu

Our day tour to Mount Kinabalu Park was on Day 2. Sarab, our tourguide for the day picked us up from our hotel lobby at 8:30am in his 4x4. It was a bumpy ride. Along the way, he pointed out various landmarks to us - the revolving restaurant was one of them. I forgotten the rest. :p That's the problem of not updating my blog immediately when we get back. Details seems to slip off the mind easily.
Halfway to Mt KK, Sarab stopped by the road and brought us to this hanging bridge to get our first glimpse of the majestic mountain.

Mom kept asking.... "Where? Where? Which one? That one? This one? The one same height as the coconut tree???". The Kinabalu was actually hidden behind the clouds. If you see closely, you'll see its' outline behind the clouds.

Found out later that mom actually didn't see it lor at that time. She just assumed the tallest of the smaller hills as Mt KK and went like... "oh.... big hor.... nice.... I see...". hahahaha... Here, I've outlined Mt KK in the above picture for you to see clearly how majestic it actually is.

After that short detour, we continued on our journey up the hill. On the way, we saw some school kids having their 'merentas desa' (cross-country).

On a few stretches of the road, we get to see the mountain clearly. According to Sarab, not everyday we get to see the peak clearly. Apparently we were lucky that day cause the clouds actually cleared off. Hmm... honestly, I think it is just standard tour guide's gimmick so to make the tourists feel lucky and special. Who doesn't like to feel lucky/special? :p

We got down at one of the 'lookout point' to snap some pictures of the majestic mountain. It was really majestic. The scenery took our breath away. It was so pretty with the low clouds setting.

A picture of mom with the peak as the backdrop. Look like a fake studio backdrop right? ;) It's real ok...

According to Sarab, there is a legend behind Mt KK. A long time ago, an admiral from China set foot in Mt KK and married a local. Years later, the admiral was called back to China for official duties by the Emperor of China. Upon fulfilling his duties, together with his other clan man who also has families in the Land Beneath The Wind, they built a ship to return to their families here. On way back, they perished in the high sea. Year in year out, the wife of the Chinese admiral has been waiting for her husband who never made it back. That's where the name 'Kinabalu' derived from. Kina = Cina. Balu = Widow. Sarab also added that, if we see closely, the peak of the mountain resembled a face of a woman. I see whole day also cannot see. Which one is the nose arr?
The weather up here at the lookout point were cool and nice. Seriously, I never knew such view existed here in our home soil. It really was splendid. Should cuti-cuti Malaysia more...

There were some stalls not very far away from the lookout point. After taking all the photos we wish to, admired all we want to, it was shopping time!

It was mostly handicraft stuff made out of forest products. Weaved baskets, aborigines musical instruments, colourful woven fabric bags and etc. I got a woven fabric bags for a girlfriend of mine who just gotten back from the States for holiday. Mat Salleh loves this kind of exotic looking stuff. :p For myself, I bargained for a weaved basket which I intend to place it next to the tv as decorative item as well as storage for pirated dvds. Instead, it is now on the kitchen top filled with coffees and teas. :p

Still cannot see a woman face on the peak.. :p sigh... Anyway, other than handicraft stalls, there were also plenty of local fruit stalls. Mom & I took the opportunity to sample some of the fruits that only can be found in Sabah.

Mom sniffing out a fruit called 'bambang' (not sure if that's how it was spelt). It smelled like mango, taste yummier than mango. Sweeter, juicer, better texture. I love this one!

And this one here is called the 'tarap' (again, not sure the spelling is correct). If you ever set foot in Sabah, this is one fruit you must try. You cant find it anywhere else but here. Mom said it tasted like custard apple. To me, having never tried a custard apple before, I think it tasted like soursop. A sweeter kind of soursop. :p

Mom loves it so much and decided to eat it by the bunch. Actually we bought all these fruits and sampled it at the stall itself before moving onto our next destination. As were happily enjoying our fruits, every Malaysian tourists that passes by would just simply dig their fingers into OUR fruits to sample it without even asking permission. Niamah.... I tell you arr... these Malaysians arr... so no manners one ok... never go to school one... The foreigners would ask first. The Malaysians, no. What's wrong with them???!
This is a closed up shots of 'tarap' (tasted like custard apple/soursop).

All the way up hill, there were plenty of signage of churches. Their signage got 3 languages - Bahasa Malaysia, English & Chinese. No issues one. So muhibbah. Unlike over here in the West side. Blardy racist. Blardy discriminating. Stupiak one. I also don't understand. God = Tuhan = Allah = Kuan Kong = Tua Pek Kong = Amen = Amitabha = Amin = Jesus... got different one meh? Just because of some miscommunication issues, they burnt down 4 churches (or was it 5?). Chi sin... Vision 2020 konon. With this kind of mentality, Vision 3030 also difficult la....

We got to Mt KK Park about 11am something. It was chilly up there. There, we toured the KK Park's museum which offers us lots of information of the national park. Apparently, Mt KK is listed under UNESCO. Now I know. Geng le...!

Mom climbing Mt KK... signboard that is. :p

Every year, they will be a climbathon held here. The current record of 2 hours 40 minutes is being held by a Spanish man (Esp = Spain?). 2 hours 40 minutes up and down Mt KK, 21km altogether. I really cannot imagine how they did it. Don't say climb 4100+ meter uphill and downhill. Run 21km straight road also don't know can make it within that record time or not. Seriously, how arr? They probably rolled down the hill instead of climbing down. :p

In the museum, mom was enlightened that Sabah is actually so big. She didn't know. Yeah, my mom. She so cute like that sometimes...

From the museum, we moved on to Poring Hot Spring. On way, saw some school kids going to school in their new uniforms and bags. School just started after the long break.

Lunch before entering into Poring. It was simple meals consists of 3 dishes + 1 soup. We wiped it clean. Was super hungry.

After lunch, we took a walk into this private park where a Rafflesia was in full bloom. Again, according to Sarab, we were really lucky. It is not everyday we get to see one in bloom. Rafflesia, the world biggest flower, also known as the 'Keithii' (pronounced as Kitty Eye), usually takes up to 9 - 18 months to bloom. Once bloomed, it will only last for 3 to a maximum of 7 days. So, we was lucky! *I should be so lucky, lucky lucky lucky.... - Madonna*

In lay-man's term, the flower stink of rotten meat on the first few days it was bloomed to attract flies into it. The flies will get stuck inside the flower and the flower will absorbed the nutrients from the flies. Yucks. Sounds like some carnivores right? ... :p Anyway, I did saw some flies trapped inside it but didn't smell any rotten meat... In the midst of photo taking, mom suddenly asked.. "Is that flower real or is it just a replica you all make to bluff tourists??". Sarab went like... o.o wtf? lols....

After absorbing all the luck from the Rafflesia, we head over to Poring. Went for a short hike up the hill for its' famous 'canopy walk'!
Canopy walks are actually bridges hang high up on the trees connecting one tree to the others. It was really fun walking thru it. The hanging bridge would actually swing when we were on it. Mom loves it so much. The view from the bridge to right below can be quite unnerving as it was strung pretty high up. Easily 25m? More even.
The canopy of trees high above our head. Now you can roughly estimate how high those trees were. From the bridge, 25m below and about 15m above. Like avatar like that...lols...

This is Sarab, our young handsome tourguide who has phobia for heights. Useless bugger. He was like almost stop breathing while crossing these bridges. I asked him to go for another round. He turned green almost immediately...lols...
After the canopy walk, we head over to the hot spring for a hot bath to relax which is also within the viccinity.

Picture above shown the outdoor tub kind. We got ourselves indoor ones instead. More privacy. ;)

It was drizzling after our hot bath. It was already end of our day tour. Time to head back to our hotel. Real lucky. Otherwise, wont get to walk the canopy walk!

Sarab stopped us at one of the many stalls to grab some food stuff. Mom & I bought plenty of junks which include a varieties of different fruits one of which, tasted horrifying. No, I didnt tried it. When I saw how Sarab spitted it out the moment it entered his mouth, I knew it was really really horrifying. No point going thru the agony. Lols...
We got back to the hotel at about 5ish and quickly, mom & I went for another session of that cheap massage. This time round, at another spa as the one we went to the day before was full. Mom's masseurs were fantastic. Mine, was just so-so. I didnt feel a thing... lols... or perhaps my skin was thickenised from soaking in the sulfur hot spring earlier...lols
Later that night, we met up with a friend of mine, Yenny, who lives in KK. We used to hang out together when she was based here in Sunway couple of years ago. Her schnauzer, Jade, and my Sunshine was classmates from a long time ago in doggies obedient class. That's how we met too. Anyway, Yenny came to pick us up from the hotel and brought us to this seafood restaurant for a late dinner.

I ordered a variety of seafood for mom to sample. Lobster, crabs, abalone, some shell stuff and don't know what else. From my personal experience as a food coinosseur (fulamak...lols), the taste and freshness was not there. I am very sure that our apparently 'live' seafood fresh from the tank was swapped with some frozen seafood in the kitchen. It simply doesnt taste like what it was. I was too tired to kick up a fuss. What can I do? They will just deny it. Next time, I'll just bring a stool to sit in the kitchen and follow thru the whole process of cooking...:p

All of us agreed that the best dish of the night was this 'coconut pudding' strongly recommended by Yenny. It was delicious. Very aromatic. With coconut flesh somemore. Sigh.. I sure miss this one!
We stayed on to chit chat for a little while longer before heading back to the hotel and called it a night. It sure was a long day. We were both really tired and slept soundlessly that night.