GONNNA BE A LONG POST THIS ONE!
So for day 1, we woke up at 630am and were out of our supercantik room by 715am (yuppp. on a holiday warghhhh! Day 2 was worse!wait for that!) so that we can go down for breakfast before meeting our guide at 8am and starting the day activities.
The breakfast buffet was cray-cray seriously! Fauzie stuffed himself on the first day and not surprisingly, his portion lessen subsequently over the days. HAHAAA!
Here’s us looking all full at breakfast.
Anyway, first stop was to Kinabalu National Park…
We thought, aiya no big deal lah. just a park kan? In Singapore also got alot of Parks. NO SWEAT LAH. Alamak. We couldn’t be more wrong lah . As you know, standing at 4095.2 metres the majestic Mount Kinabalu is one of the highest mountains in South East Asia..That we know. What we didn’t know was that the Kinabalu National Park (which is Malaysia’s first World Heritage Site) that surrounds Mount Kinabalu actually covers an area of 754 km². That’s almost twice of Singapore already. *gulps*. It took 2 hours for us to drive from our resort to the park.
*Tip – I almost threw up coz’ of the never-ending winding road leading up to 3,800m above sea level, so if you’re prone to motion sickness please get ready your motion sickness pill, your buah asams, your plastic bags and and anddddd don’t look at your phone. (Instagram, fb, twitter all can wait, believe me. it’s not worth it.)
Luckily, we stopped at Pekan Nabalu– 12km before Kinabalu park (did you know that the word “pekan” means town? I also dunno. I just learnt. hyukhyuk.) , the mid-way stop to Kinabalu Park. The guide told us, it used to be a place solely for people to have toilet break before they continue their journey up. But they somehow flourished and became a “must-stop” for tourists going up, for some light souveniers- handycrafts, local food and produces, breakfast or and of course,for toilet time. There is an observation platform which has an unobstructed view of Mount Kinabalu as your backdrop. (superrr sweeeee that one.!)
SWEEEEEE RIGHT?! And no I wasn’t acting cute, the sun was in my face!
We were told that we would have a better chance of having a clear view if we arrived before 9am. (sigh, it was 10am when we sampai. SAD CASE.) The mountain was covered in mist most of the time so depends on your luck lor. I somehow got reminded of Mt. Fuji. All the mountains shy one issssit? Aside from the platform, there is also the prominent watch tower (about 15m high) to see the adjacent landscape. Nolah, we didn’t climb it. Looks too tiring. HAHAAAA.:P And yes, plus point – the toilets are reasonable clean too. So please do a pee-pee before you get back into your ride. 🙂
Next, we stopped for a brief moment at the Sabah Tea Garden, the only organic tea farm in Borneo and one of the few in the world. Again, we arrived too late for the guided tour of the tea factory so we settled for some souveniers. We bought their tea misai kuching for our families who seem to love it alot. *scratch head*. There are ALOT of varieties here. You can buy them as oleh-oleh. The packaging are really very pretty.
*Tip – It’d be best if you buy them straight here rather than anywhere else in Sabah. We bought 3 boxes of Sabah Tea for RM12 but on our last day we wanted to buy more and it was RM13 for 1 box. Seriously???????????. Gahh.
There are also the popular freshly-made tea pancakes and Sabah Tea Pandan Teh Tarik avail only at the Tea House so you can check them out as well! Apparently, there is also a football field amidst the sprawling tea plantation. I didn’t see it. Fauzie didn’t see it. Fauzie joked that maybe it was under the tea plantation. HAHA. so funny you. NOT.
As we drove on, MaryAnn the super guide pointed out the variety of accommodation available within the Park which ranges from basic hostels to luxury chalets. (I must remember to ask her for recommendations!). MaryAnn also pointed out the different types of flowers and plants and animals that we passed along the way up. I’m impressed! By the her knowledge too of course.
Okay, next stop was a fish massage at “Tagal” Sungai Moroli, Kampung Luanti. Oklah, when they say fish massage, the first thing that came to my mind was the usual fish spa I always see in Singapore and Thailand, which would be a fair sized tank where all the small fishies will swim around in, ready to bite the skin off your feet. We would have a nice bench to sit and look down at the fishies making our skin smoother. You can even lift up your feet when you feel ticklish. Ahh, that kinda spa. YOU ALSO THINK LIDDAT RIGHT? NO. You’re wrong. Imagine my surprise lah, where its a whole blooooody sungai lah filled with these huge-ass fish. Serious. I’m serious lah!
A bit of background info about this place. “Tagal” means “No Fishing” in local KadazanDusun dialect. The “Tagal” system of fish conservation and control were practised to ensure the preservation of the enviroment and the surrounding ecosystem for the benefit of the future generation. The fish – “Ikan Pelian” are not supposed to captured and they are trained by the villagers to be special massage fish. It is also said to be very good for those who suffers from psoriasis. They’ll nibble your dead skin off and you’ll come out with smoother skin.
ANYWAYS, when we came, we had to wait for our number to be called as they limit the number of people who can “play” with the fish. Scared if there’s too many people , the fill will be scared off off I guess. There were a few staff standing around to see that you don’t try anything funny like harming the fish or try to put in your bag. Heheh. Once we got in, we noticed there were a another type of fish, the catfish. The catfish were the hugeass ones and they super not scared of humans i tell you. They all went near us when we approached the sungai. Maybe coz’ we had food in our hands. (For RM5, we were given 15 minutes in the place and a packet of fish food to entice the fishes to come near you.)
I only lasted 15 seconds coz’ IT WAS SO DAMNGGGGGGGG TICKLISH CAN. The ikan kelah was the lil’ devils that has those damn lil’ teeth to nibble on your dead skin and the catfish were the one with super suctions. I can hear their sucking can, super loud! Fauzie went in the middle of the sungai, where the water came up chest level, and slenger-ly put the fishfood near this face, of coz lah the catfish sucked his cheek. Dah ader lovebite by a fish. HEEHEHEHEHEHE. MaryAnn recounted an incident where one of her tourist went in bare-bodied and the fish sucked on his nipples. thinking it was food. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! too funny. Luckily my husband kept his clothes on. but in all, it was a unique fish massage experience lah. You can even pat the fish on its back and play with it. Perfect for lil’ kids! If you’re super ticklish like me, just sit on one of the plastic chairs around, take videos or photos and laugh. HEHE.
Enjoy the vids and see how happpy Fauzie is with the fishies! And sorrry the camera was shaky, yes you guessed it, I was busy laughing. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Ok phewwwww, nope it’s not the end of Day 1! Next post Day 1 Part 2!