Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Kota Kinabalu Invasion, Captain Pink reporting from home base

Listening to: Bee Gees - New York Mining Disaster 1941
Feeling: Sick and tired of working


OK, I know it has been at least a month since I promised to blog about my fantastic trip to Sabah courtesy of IKEA. Here I am waiting for Cindy in Starfucks because she wants to show off her new Wifi network card and she is still in The Curve waiting in line for Baskin Robbins. Since I am sitting here surfing aimlessly *I was supposed to do my work but fuck it* I guess I should start writing about the trip.

It started out with a phone call from Tracy asking if I'm free on a certain date. Of course I said yes! Media trips are pretty hard to come by and when you're in this low paying industry, trips are like super perks. Soon came a message in the bottle style invite asking us to bring mozzie repellent, instant noodles and driving license. I was like OMFG, where are they bringing us? The trip is supposed to be a surprise trip. We are to go to the airport and wait there to see where we are going. Really exciting I tell you because you are just totally hanging at the edge of suspense thinking where we are going. By a stroke of luck, Sarah N was selected to go for the trip as well! Yay... Kst was jealous because we just got back from a trip and now here we are going for another.. Nyah..

Packing for this trip was a bitch I tell you. Really didn't know what to bring and so in the end I just packed everything into my trusty hand luggage bag. *note to self, should get those nifty looking rollies the next time* Reached the LCCT in good time and as we stood in front of the flight details board (whatever you call them) we speculated some more about where we are about to head to. Since our flight's at 11.10 am, it was between Penang and Kota Kinabalu... I was praying that it'll be Kota Kinabalu. At last we got our flight tickets and we confirmed it was Kota Kinabalu. Me and Sarah N looked at each other and grinned. We had wanted to visit the East coast for quite some time and we never had the time or money to do so. Now we are going for free! Yay! Go us!

As we boarded Air Asia, I still had no idea that we were supposed to be in that cramped cabin for 3 hours. Oh no.. Mr. Tony Fernandez.. if you're ever gonna read this, your seats are damn cramped! And I am freaking claustrophobic.

Anyway, I slept most of the way cause I procrastinated and didn't pack my clothes until the night before and I only slept at 4am and woke up at 7am. When we got to the Kota Kinabalu airport, we were given a slip that says we can only be in Sabah/Sarawak for 3 months max. And worst is that we have to return the slip when we board our flight back to KL. If not have to report to police. So scary!

The Sabah airport looks like a bus stop. That's all I thought of when we were standing at the arrival hall.

So anyways, we were carted off to our hotel, it was a secret all the way. We didn't even know where we were going for dinner and lunch. We were given tips on what to wear and stuff like that but apart from that, we are totally clueless.

We arrived at Sutera Pacific. Never heard of it and it looks alright from the outside... I heard kompang the moment we got off the coach. Guess what?

welcoming commitee
Nice, uh... feathers...

There were a bunch of half naked guys welcoming us. Come on.. it doesn't get any better!

Or does it?

We were carted off to lunch... Had a beautiful view of Sutera Harbour where the rich dock their yachts and what nots.

Lunch with a view

Didn't manage to take much pictures because me and Sarah N were too excited about this whole thing. And we were bloody hungry... Makan first!

Then we were instructed to go back to our room to freshen up. And meet in the lobby in half an hour's time. Oh man... Apparently we are going for some outing that includes water elements. So exciting!

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View from room

Ran up to our rooms, we got individual rooms by the way. The initial plan was to just dump our bags and run down but once we got to our rooms...

super toilet

Before I could even think of anything else, the phone rang and it was Sarah N.

"ARE YOU CHECKING OUT THE BATHROOM? OMG, YOU CAN OPEN THE WINDOW TO THE ROOM! SO COOL!!!!"

Soon we were both screaming and jumping on the beds. Gosh... you have to understand that we both have something for beautiful bathrooms. Think about it, I can have a soak, smoke and watch TV at the same time. Woot... The geek in me is happy!

But alas, it's time for us to meet in the lobby for our next outing. We walked down to the harbour and...

Nice ship

OMG, are we having a party on a yacht ala Paris Hilton?

Me and Nic

YES we are! My god... it's my first time on a yacht and it's so effing fun...

Doing it like Paris and Nicole

Doing it like Paris and Nicole. Damn I was not wearing my Channel.

It was really cool cause we were just cruising along the island and it was so fun sitting on the deck *instead of a desk, geddit?* with wind blowing in our hair. I loves it!

Me posing on yatch

Social-ed with loads of cool people there. This is me and Gord.. Gord works for Galaxie. He's a sweetie!

Me and Gord

Walked around the yacht and saw these cute little bunk beds...

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Can't imagine actually sleeping in these little beds. But they are just too cute!

The next day, they planned a treasure hunt for us. What a great idea, instead of them bringing us to check out the local attractions, we were given the task of looking for them. So much fun! I've always wanted to do treasure hunts. Dream came true! Thank goodness my team members are all cool ones. No one smoked except for me but they didn't say 'Eh, don't smoke la, so smelly." or anything like that. Thank goodness!

Resting during the treasure hunt
Me and Ling Ai, our team leader!

Jalur Gemilang
View of the harbor. We started out here...

Clear waters
The water here is so clean. You can practically see the bottom of the boat! Just don't mind the mineral water bottle some fucker decided to throw into the water

Nice birdy!
Pretty pictures I took during the treasure hunt as clues

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Love this picture of papyrus in the hotel garden!


We were running around like crazed and dazed people, trying to look for clues and buying the items required. In the end, we were drenched with sweat and I was dying for water and ciggies.

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At this point, we were just being crazy

We drove to one of the smaller villages and had to look for a bridge with a legend... We were like, huh?

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I had to run to and fro this bridge like 3 times. There goes lunch!

Next we drove uphill on a white water rafting experience. The place was fantastic... Like something out of a dream! I love it. Funny thing was that it was raining but it added to the look of the whole place. Made it look so fresh and pretty.

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Look ma, water buffaloes!

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This looks like something out of Howl's Moving Castle

Warriors of the river
River warriors waiting for battle!


Rafting was a totally new experience to me and I am already planning to do level 3 and 4 something soon! Apart from the occasional "Ular" (snakes) and screaming (with an unfortunate Sarah N who got whacked on the head by a low hanging branch) we all got to the end point wet, tired and thrilled with the experience. Unfortunately we didn't bring our camera down to the river cause we were afraid that we might drop the camera into the water during the rough and tumble.


But I can tell you the whole treasure hunt running around was totally worth it because ...


Winners!

WE WON!!!

I am now RM300 richer (In IKEA money) and am now thinking of what to buy.. hmmm maybe a new desk and chair...

We had about 2 hours to rest in between before we head off for dinner... On the coach, our guide Fabian told us about the legend of the head hunters. We didn't know where we were heading towards but by the time we reached the location, we kind of guessed where we're heading to.

We were welcomed to the Cultural Village by lovely ladies in pretty traditional costumes of the Kadazan Dusun tribe, pouring tuak or homemade rice wine. It was so delicious that I downed 3 shots in one go. I looked pretty greedy with 3 cups in my hand, walking around.

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The welcoming committee at the cultural village . Is it just me or they look kinda bored?

The guides took us around for a little show and tell session around the village. My favorite part of this little tour is when they showed us ways of making tuak. Tuak is actually a ceremonial wine usually made for festivals and as gifts. YUM!

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Moonshine, anyone?

P/S: I think it's actually illegal to buy tuak as you need to apply for a license to sell liquor.

P/S/S: Damn, should have bought some home. Erk...

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Beading is hard work! But it seemed so easy for them and I wonder how long it took to master it

At the end of the little tour, we were ushered into a large open air hall where they prepared a cultural dance for us! It's incredible, I mean, I've seen this on TV but this is totally something else! The locals invited us to dance with them. It's like a Soul Train but with kompangs. Totally cool. Dinner was same old same old but throughout dinner, we were treated to dance performances and singing. Didn't get to take any pictures because it was too dark and pictures came out really crappy.

Plus I was too red to take any pictures. The lady who served me and Sarah N eventually left us double shots as they can't be bothered with refilling our cups once because we down it within 3 minutes. *Hic*

We were totally exhausted after the dinner and dance evening but me and Sarah N were pretty determined to check out the Kota Kinabalu party scene so we decided to go down to the club located within the hotel itself.

The scene's so-so... Music's alright.. They were playing R&B and eventually a live band came upstage to play. I was blown away by their rendition of Teriyaki Boyz's "Be in Tokyo". The singing's a bit off but I guess the music totally made it up. Using the Gamelan for the beginning bit, they totally worked the crowd!

Me and Gord set the dancefloor on FIRE! But guess I am getting pretty old because my legs were dying after an hour only of dancing. Decided to go back to my room to sleep as we have to rise and shine real early the next day.

By 8am we were already at the reception area waiting for everyone to gather before we take a boat ride to our next destination...


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Gunung Kinabalu! Apparently we were lucky to be able to see it cause it's usually covered in mist!

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The wake of our motor speed boats. So pretty right? No photo editing done to this picture

We landed on one of the islands around KK and boy did we squeal... It was breakfast on the beach, complete with cooks standing in water cooking eggs and bacon while waves rushed up to tickle their feet. Check it out!


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Breakfast by the beach

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The guys who stood under the hot sun and cooked breakfast for us

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Me with the Gamelan. That was supposed to be our entertainment

After that we were actually free to go around for their water sports facilities. Most of us did things we had not done before. Me and Sarah N opted for para-sailing...

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All strapped up and no where to go... YET.


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WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE~

It's kinda like a kite. You are strapped to a parachute and then the speed boat goes really fast and when the time is right, they let you go and up, up and away, you're up in the skies. I was actually kind of worried that the parachute couldn't support me. Maybe that's why I had to go alone where else everyone else did a partner thing. It was kinda boring on top... Quiet and you can see a lot of shit/scum on the sea. Doesn't that kind of remind you of work?

Thus we ended our little island hopping stint. Got back to the room and had to pack to leave for the airport.

KK Airport
Crazy and fun people!

Me and Sarah N were already planning our trip back in the plane. Both of us loved KK! Tiring but truly awe inspiring, I want to climb Mount Kinabalu next!

2 comments:

amylmeiwei said...

I didn't notice this update till today. Sutera Harbour is a very very nice place. If u guys r planning 2 go back there 4 holiday, I'll arrange 4 u, I've got tat hotel under my list.

Hey, breakfast at the beach is something new. The set up on the table looks so romantic. Wat did they serve?

Eh, the next time u go climb tat mountain, tag me along! I wanna go tooooooo...

Pinkity said...

LOL... this update is like underneath because I was too lazy to finish it.. heheh.. Can we get like discount if we go back there via you?

See you later!