Mount Fuji from Mount Kachi Kachi

Mount Fuji from Mount Kachi Kachi

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Assalamualaikum & howdy?! Atlast, managed to finish up my travelogue for October. Where did I go this month? Yes, to the land below the wind, again! This time I went to Sandakan, Sabah.

At the end of 2009 I went to Kota Kinabalu with my besties; Kiera, Mek Nol & Ajie. Last February we managed to grab the Air Asia promo tickets and opted for Sandakan. Look at the 7 months waiting time! LOL! There are so many things we wanted to do and so many places to visit as Sandakan is very famous for its wild lifes and nature parks. Owh! Not to forget, the seafood galore! Sadly, at the very last minute Kiera had to pull off since her father’s health condition was not so good. Only 3 of us left, so we decided to scrap the detailed itinerary and go backpacking instead, FREE AND EASY!

Normally the girls and I would choose the last train so that we’ll arrive in KL at midnight; hang out at Mc’D for a couple of hours and then take the first bus to the airport at 3.00am. Very well planned and the most cost effective! Unfortunately the train schedule has been revised, which is SOOO inconvenient to us! The last train was at 6.30pm. And since it’s ETS, by 8.30pm we already arrived in KL! Our flight is going to be at 7.15 in the morning!! Aigoo! Lucky there’s Ajie (soon to be newlywed!) who’s kind enough to pick us up from Putrajaya, and there’s Kokna who’s willing to chill out with us until wee hours just to kill the time..XOXO.

(Note: Actually I wasn’t on a very good mood that day. Why?? Well, earlier that day I saw the news on the Internet that my Jiyongie was found guilty of smokin’ MJ during BigBang’s Love and Hope Concert in Japan last May!! He wasn’t convicted or jailed or anything, just given a stern warning. But demm it, all the negative publicity really hurts me as a VIP! Uhuhuhu…Thank GOD the worst is over. Waiting patiently for their comeback now.)

So this time, we went to the airport from Ajie’s house. Since I’ve already made a web check in, it should be a smooth process right? WRONG!! As we were heading for custom checking, Ajie suddenly realized she left her sling bag in the car. WAE AJIE??!!! She had to call her roomy to make a U-turn and dropped her bag. Only 15 minutes left for gate closing but thank God we still made it. Or should I say, Ajie made it. The flight was good because we spent most of our time sleeping. It took 2 and a half hour by air from KL to Sandakan. Sandakan airport was small but me likey! There’s no way we will get lost in a small airport like this. From the airport, we chartered a taxi to go to the hotel in city centre. You have to go to the taxi counter, inform where you wanted to go and pay at the counter. Then, bring the receipt and pass it to any taxi driver available at the waiting area. Interesting, huh?

I made a reservation earlier by phone at the Central Hotel (budget hotel of course). The name speaks for itself; it’s located in the city centre. Very convenient! They let us checked in at 11.00am instead of 2.00pm since our room is ready. The family room rate is RM128 per nite. (check here: After shower and Zuhur prayer, we went straight to hunt for a lunch place. Sandakan city is not that big so walking was not really a hassle. We found a decent Minang restaurant and opt for nasi campur instead. The taste is, okay la..There’s a lot of bakso/soto/coto Makassar wherever we go, so I ordered a bowl of bakso  to have a taste. I did not see the bakso delivered to our table until I've finished my drinks and nasi campur. Hehe..too tired to complain though. Before we make a move, we saw the worker bringing out a tray of hot piping corn-fritters. A flour mixture with corn bits (lots of it!), anchovies, onion, chilies and a hint of kaffir lime leave. It was 3 pcs for RM1 and my God, it was so yummeh!! Tummy’s full, now all set for the adventure!
finger licking good!
1. Agnes Keith House - After walking and asking around for almost 30 minutes, we finally took the general bus in front of Plaza Genting Mas. Only 70 cent! The bus dropped us by the main road, but the house was located on the hill top so we had to hike! Hahaha..but it was so much fun! Entrance fee to the gallery is RM2, and no camera is allowed. But don't forget, a taste of the famous English Tea House's buttery scone adjacent to the gallery is a MUST! And the sea view from the hill top, is too die for. 

English Tea and hot scones = HEAVEN!

2. Sandakan Market - Mek Nol's friend picked us up from Agnes Tea House (they have never been to the place either..LOL!) and we went to the Sandakan Market next. Accessories time!!! But since it's almost 4pm, many of the shop was about to close.  It's already pit dark by 6pm here peeps!

1. Sandakan city - We started our second day quite late, grabbed some roti canai and teh tarik, and then wondered around the shops near our hotel. We found one gift and accessories shop which sells awesome, unique  and cheap stuffs!! I love the store so much! Since I kept thinking about Jiyong since the first day, I bought a stainless steel ring which I called it "my Jiyongie couple's ring"  for only..RM8!! OHHSEMM!! And I bought a G and D alphabet brooch too..Yeah, I'm pathetically in love..
Gold?? Naah..just lookin' around..
This shop is just by the kaki lima,
but she make custom made accesories!

2. Sim Sim Ikan Bakar -We went back to the hotel to check out. Around 12pm, Mek Nol's friend picked us up to go for lunch at Sim Sim Ikan Bakar. It is actually a market near Kampung Air. The place was packed with office people out for lunch. We were lucky to get a table immediately. We picked about 6 types of grilled fish and squid. The food came in together with plain rice, cold drinks, clear soup, stir fry vege and dipping sauces. The seafoods were nice and fresh, but moi didn't really liked the grilling and dipping. 

3. Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre - Tummy's full, our dear friend sent us to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre. It took about 45minutes to reach here from the city centre. The entrance fee for Malaysian is RM5, and RM10 if you bring a camera. We watched the video show at for 20min before walking to the platform. We managed to see 3 of the gentle creatures!

I'm wearing my new BIG SHOW T-Shirt by UNIQLO! 

5. Sandakan Market - From Sepilok, we took a cab back to the city. Since we will spend the night at Kak Shara's (Mek Nol's friend) house, we roamed around the market again while waiting for her and her husband. That night, Kak Shara cooked for us a scrumptious crab dish for dinner. Yes, fresh seafood again! To my surprised, Kak Shara's husband was actually an old friend of my late father. Such a small world, ain't it?

1. Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary - Since it was our last day, we started it very early to go to Labuk Bay. Kak Shara's husband dropped us off at the bus stop and we took the bus (askin' around like crazy again..LOL!) to go there. The friendly bus driver told us to use the "unofficial taxi" as it is cheaper than normal taxi. We got down at the last stop, and there were 2-3 cars waiting to take passenger to Labuk Bay. The journey from the bus stop to the sanctuary was very far indeed! I don't understand why Labuk Bay do not arrange a shuttle for their visitor. We met a very chatty uncle, whom after negotiating, willingly accepted RM80 to take us to a total of 4 places and then back to city centre. (Normal taxi would cost you RM200-RM300). I guess we were just lucky. The entrance fee is RM15. Do check out the place guys, it was awesome to see the Proboscis monkeys!
I'm terrified!!

2. Nipah Bay - While waiting for the second feeding time, the uncle brought us to Nipah Bay to grab a drink. It was a nice place, but only tourist would stay here I guess. (Nipah = Mangrove)

2. Sam Jaya - Unfortunately, we didn't managed to see any of the monkeys during the second feeding time. I think that's bcoz they were full! So next pit stop for us was Sam Jaya Nature Park. The entrance fee is RM3. Woah, it's not just any animal park. They also have their own restaurant and supermart! Hehe..So many animals you can see here, but I'm just too tired to snap their pictures though. Besides, they need some privacy too. LOL!

3. Crocodile Farm - We stopped here by for a while, but the crocodile show will only be in another 2 hours time. So we skipped this place. The entrance fee is RM7. Managed to snap this creature at the outside though.

4. Sandakan War Memorial - Locating this place was quite a challenge. Our taxi's uncle had to go around a few times but we found was the signboard of Hutan Simpan instead. Ahh, the War Memorial was actually located inside the Hutan Simpan (preserved forest) itself!  I love the serenity of this place! But make sure you don't come here alone! This memorial was built to commemorate the Death March, just like the one in Kundasang. You can enter the gallery which is FOC and you can watch the video show about the Death March and read the all information. It always gets to me, this uneasy feeling about torment and death, like the one I had when I visited the memorial park in Kundasang and St. Paul Hill in Melaka.

5. Sandakan Market - Our taxi uncle dropped us off at the market as we wanted to do our last minute shopping before going back to KL that night. I ran out of cash, but as soon as I saw the black & orange North Face backpack, like the one Jiyong wore in the BIGBANGS North Face commercial I knew I had to grab it! RARE ITEM hokehh..but mine is imitation of course..LOL!). From the market, we took the bus again back to Kak Shara's house.

Finally, it's time to say good bye to Sandakan. Kak Shara's husband was kind enough to send us to the airport. Our flight was at 9.00pm, everything went smoothly this time and we arrived in LCCT around 11.45pm. To sum up, this FREE & EASY trip was very satisfying and successful! Simply because we don’t have high expectation, and we met alot of nice and friendly people, not to forget the fact that we have the luxury of TIME! Haha..This time around, I didn’t spend excessively, which was a GOOD thing for me. I lurrrvvee all the small trinkets that I bought here. Especially 'my Jiyongie couple's ring'..I'm gonna take a pic of it later..ekekeke..Gals, let’s do it again!

P/S: Al-Fatihah to Kiera's beloved father who passed away on 13thOct,2011. Be strong and remember that we'll always be here for you, babe!


The Clan