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Reminiscin’ Bangkok…part 1

Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep  meaning “city of angels”. Bangkok is by far the most densely populated city in Thailand with about 12 million people. Bangkok was a small trading post near the mouth of the Chao Phraya River during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century. It eventually grew in size and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782.

I remembered this trip so well since it was kind of a bummer. My favorite travel buddy, partner till death Noreen got sick with Dengue Fever during this time. I would say that this is everyone’s worst nightmare..travelling and your really sick at the same time. Since this would be our first time at Bangkok, it was kinda fun at the same time since noreen’s high fever were subsided due to the excitement roaming the streets and bazaars.. Here are some snaps.

 


Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Sabah

It’s our fourth and last day at the nature city. It was a really sunny day and we were planning to visit one of Sabah’s wildlife parks. We decided to visit the nearest Lok kawi wildlife park  which is located at the old Penampang-Papar road, about 15km from South of Kota Kinabalu center. We were both a bit excited to visit the zoo since we never had the chance to go see elephants on our bangkok trip.

Waiting for our food to bring at the zoo.
Our Dine out Lunch!

Before we went down to the zoo, we planned to roam around the city and look for food to be brought and ways on how to get to the place. We did check several travel agencies and tour packages going to the park but it was quite expensive. I suggest that you instead take the same route we took so that you can save a lot of ca$h. Normally for tour packages, it would cost about RM120 per person. By going our way we only spent around RM110 for 2 persons but this would include EVERYTHING (food, entrance fees, transportation).

Riding the MINI BUS (BAS MINI)

To go to Lok kawi centre, you have to ride a MINI BUS or BAS MINI as what locals call it on the KK City bus terminal. Fare would cost around RM3 per person. I am a kind of person who is easily anxious about anything. Since I just read instructions on google or any other information and easily forget it (lol), good thing I have a girlfriend who takes charge of these things. I advise you to not get confused with what Mini bus to ride since there are a lot of it that passes lok kawi drop off point. Good thing there was this local lady who speaks very well in english and I was able to ask several questions. Local are really friendly and they won’t mind getting asked for directions.

private taxi owned by my friend fendy amil.

After a quick 10 minute drive from KK city to the lok kawi drop off point, there wasn’t much any buses going inside the park area. We instead, took a private taxi to drive us to and from the park. A quick chit chat lead me to know that the driver was full blooded Filipino but spent all his life in the area. Usually, taxi drivers would usually ask for RM20 per trip but you can haggle the price and set an agreed time to meet when your ready to go back to the Bus drop off point.

Lok kawi park entrance
Noreen getting excited to see elephants
getting excited to see MONKEYS!

It took us about 10 minutes to get to the wildlife park. The place was really clean, well kept and of course the animals are really well taken cared of. I asked the personnel if how they keep their animals healthy and happy, they guaranteed us that  animals are indeed fed properly and taken care off that would suit the animals environment. There are a lot of things to do here at the park, you can also go to their botanical garden which is located at the tip of the land area. Here’s a couple of photos that I wanted to share about the animals in the area..

Few of the animals at the park

There were tons of cool animals to be seen in the park, we even got to touch a few (thou not allowed). Walking uphill and downhill made us hungry so we took our lunch inside the park’s dinning areas.

Lunch for the day: Our favorite Fried tuaran noodle and Pao

After our lunch, we walked several areas to see animals again and we accidentaly went inside the HUGE AVIARY (think JURASSIC PARKish :)) which is closed at that time. It gave us the creeps since the birds are flying freely inside. We were the only person in the area since noreen really wanted to see the birds. When we got inside the Aviary, the birds were really GIGANTIC (it seems they are huge enough to eat humans lol) that we were nervous to proceed to the exit area.

Tresspassing the aviary. 🙂
Noreen cautiously looking for birds nearby

It was 3pm that we decided to go home since it was the agreed time for our pick up. The place is worth remembering and it would be great to visit this place with your families. By visiting the place sometime, you can also take part in preserving indigenous animals found in Malaysia and also help sustain the park.

Me having a blast at the zoo.

Here’s a few snapshots of the area your going to familiarize to get to KK bus terminal and also random snaps when we got back to the centre.

Api Api Centre sidewalk
This gave me the LOL
Centrepoint Sabah
Home sweet home

Nature Tripping at Sabah!

What else to do in Kota kinabalu rather than go sightseeing on the top attractions such as the Mt. Kinabalu and the Poring hotspring? I was so excited to climb mt.kinabalu (fo sho) but since we didn’t have any mountaineering experience, we decided to just enjoy the scenery of this majestic mountain and its surrounding area.

On our way to Mt. Kinabalu and we stopped by Pekan Nabalu Area to catch a glimpse of the HUGE mountain..we never expected that the area was so COLD (do notice my arms are tucked in!). This is the best place to take a picture of Mt. Kinabalu. You can also stop by the souvenir shops on the area if you want to buy stuff, eat or use the restroom since it was about a 2 hour drive to this place from KK.

Finally reached Kota kinabalu national park headquarters, you can either stop over and climb the mountain by getting a guide or you can just drop by to trek and watch the flora and fauna of this place. Take note that you should wear something that can make you warm since the place is also really COOLD. We just dropped by to pay for park fees so that we won’t pay for fees when we reach poring hot spring and other areas protected by the park. The air is really really fresh and the place is so quiet where you can even hear the sounds of different birds.

Trees along the Park HQ
Small flowers waiting to bloom
The air is really fresh in this area!
Wild orchids freely grow in the area

After a couple of minutes at the Park HQ, we head down to the road and pass along Kundasang Market to buy snacks and local delicacy. This is the best place to go buy GUARANTEED FRESH veggies in Sabah since all people get their supplies here and sell it at a higher rate in the city area. This is indeed a vegan heaven.

Shrooms.
Snacks and local delicacy
Us with the friendly local vendor..be nice and friendly so that you can HAGGLE for prices! 🙂

About an hour drive we head down to one of Ranau centre to eat lunch. We ate malay food Buffet style! It usualy cost around RM1 per food so you can serve all you want and eat what you want!

Buffet style Malay Lunch

After taking lunch we head directly to Poring hot spring area which is about 30 minutes away.

BATMAN LIVES! HERE!

After hours and hours of Driving, we have finally arrived at the Poring hot spring area. I wasn’t that excited about the hot spring honestly but my adrenaline was pumping up since I was stocked to go trekking and do the famous Canopy walk.

Bridge over the water
Poring Hot Spring public baths
Caution really hoT!
Hot spring public Pool

Poring Hot Spring is a really huge area, there’s a lot to do here if you have ample time. Since our friends are already going early to catch their flight back to manila, we decided to only check the canopy walk and do trekking. I advise that you use insect repellants and use shoes for this place. Unfortunately I’m an adventurer so I go walking using slippers thou the place was muddy. It was really exhausting to go to the canopy walk since you have to walk about 15 minutes or depends on how you walk uphill to reach the place (exactly 500 meters to the top). Once you arrive in the area you’ll be amazed about the view and sounds of mother nature. Canopy Walks are not for the weak of heart I tell you, the walkway is so scary for others but quite fun since it was a bit shaky (but 100% safe).

Noreen a bit nervous but enjoying the rush!
Perfect capture of a couple enjoying the view.
Man vs. Wild!
The walkway!
Small waterways that you can pass by while trekking downhill after the canopy walk.

Trekking and nature tripping was really fun at this place, we had to refresh our foots by relaxing on the hotspring and our friends onyl decided to take a bath since we were all sweating! It was a really good day to enjoy mother earth and appreciate how beautiful it is to PRESERVE and RESPECT our environment to be used by our children and children’s children.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah, Malaysia

 Jesselton Point Entrance

Jesselton Point Port                                          
Passageway to the Jesselton Terminal where one can go grab some food and dine.
Tables and Chairs along the side to give comfort to passengers who wants to relax and watch the view.
Pulau Mamutik! 
The view of Mount Kinabalu on Pulau mamutik. (The locals said that if you can see the tip of Kinabalu on a regular day means your going to be lucky. The clouds will always cover the peak of the mountain.)
Frolicking in the sand along Pulau mamutik.
A good thing about the Marine park is that they have lifeguards surrounding every section or corner for the safety of people.
Huge Trees along Pulau Manukan. I was amazed how diversed the place was even if it was just a small island.
Peking DUCK! (we first thought it was chicken LOL)
Sapi Island is quite interesting because it is really small and it also adjacent to another island where you can swim across (if your not afraid of the deep sea).
Huge schools of fishes welcomes us on Pulau Sapi.
Legends has it that these lizards are guardians of the islands, in respect to them people let them roam the island Freely! But they don’t really bite and they are quite approachable.
Weather is really awesome at KK. Woke up early morning at 730am since we all agreed that we should leave early for the islands (Mamutik, Manukan and Sapi island)! OUr friends Jopet and Kris looked for cheaper options for us to go to the three islands since getting travel agencies are too expensive. My girlfriend and I had coffee and bread (local curant jam was so LAmiii) while waiting for the guys. Around 830am we went to Tunku abdul rahman marine park. I noticed that the place is sooooo clean even if there are other tourist around. Waters are so crystal clear and the place is full of trees (huge ones)! Every Island is different..We went to pulau mamutik first and spend a few hours to swim and take photos of the surrounding. Then we had lunch at pulau manukan with our dine out food…roasted DUCK with rice and vinegar. It was the first time I ate duck but since we got really hungry we didn’t mind eating it. The next stop was for Sapi Island..Good place to go snorkeling or diving since fishes are huge and they aren’t afraid of People! Sapi Island has great rock formations at the sides and this was the last stop of our island hopping don’t forget to check their monitor lizard FREELY roaming around the island which is really cool. ♥
Wallet Damage:
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park tour: RM150 (whole day for 4 persons w/c includes entrances to all parks, terminal fee)
Food: RM30 for 2 persons (food + drinks + cigarette (pall mall!))
Experience: Exhilarating!

Day 1 at Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia

All set and ready to go!

Me and my girlfriend/travel partner decided to go and spend our 9th anniversary somewhere outside the Philippines and avoid all crowded nearby popular tourist destination. We were looking into a place where we can really relax and have a quiet atmosphere without the buildings, noise and pollution. So we immediately looked up certain both agreed to visit and experience Sabah, Malaysia.

On board AirAsia!

There’s this really cool new airline here in the Philippines which is AirAsia that flies to Kota Kinabalu city from Clark, Pampanga. We booked our flights since we got lucky with a seat sale they always offer for advance bookings. All I can say was AirAsia may be one of the best budget airlines and the service is really good too! 🙂 It took us only about 2 hours to get to Kota Kinabalu City and arrival was really smooth from the gate towards immigration but we were too late to catch up with Kota kinabalu’s famous sunset.

Glad to have gotten a snapshot of the sunset!

It was a good thing that we already have booked for a really good hostel to stay for a week. I would really like to recommend Lavender Lodge located at Jalan Laiman Diki, Kg. Air,
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
 They do offer great deals on rooms either you may be travelling single, couple or a group (with free cofee and toast for breakfast!). I love the place since their staffs are really hospitable..take note that their staff are all Filipinos! (awesome) You will really feel at home in this place. You can book thru (http://www.lavenderlodge.com.my/).

We arrived around six in the evening so we were already a bit hungry and therefore looked for some good eatery or resto’s around the area. We spotted the famous seafood foodcourt “Seri Selera” across the street and we found out that prices there are pretty much over our dining budget. So we decided to go eat (and DRINK of course) at Kota kinabalu’s Boardwalk where all cuisine are available. To our surprise even the staffs on the restaurants are filipinos! Prices at the waterfron would usually go around 15-30RM but this is already a full sumptuous meal!

Seri Selera
One of the few restaurants at Kota Kinabalu waterfront.
Appetizers while waiting.
Dig in!

After we had dinner and a few tiger beers, we decided to go and rest early since we planned an island hopping adventure to Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park…

Total expenses spent (for 2 people):
Roundtrip air fare thru AirAsia = Php7000
Phil. Travel Tax =  Php4000! (damn where does this go?)
DMIA terminal fee = Php700
Food and Drinks = RM36
Accommodation = RM 300 (5d/4n)

FUN = PRICELESS.

Hello WordPress!

This is my first time setting up a photo blog since I am really not that good in organizing my thoughts. I would like to share a few liner tips on traveling in a budget and everything under the sun. Pardon the grammar or spellings and certain words that doesn’t make sense at all……Enjoy!

-MyK-