Friday, August 31, 2012

"Adventure is out there!"



Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Long House Stay, Kalampunian Beach Kudat

Chris, Angel and I decided on heading to Kudat about a month back. After finally settling it on this long Raya break, when the day came we were as ready and packed up everything -- included were some sleeping bags, placemats, torchlights, wholemeal breads and even a tent (just in case). 

Chris told us that we'd be able to stay at his friend's long house and we really didn't know what to expect except that it's well, a long house, that means it probably doesn't have any electricity, we weren't sure about running water and where this long house would be situated exactly... that too was a total uncertainty.

I was lucky I felt better after having an extremely (rather random) high fever the day before. So we left to Kudat at about 1pm, I was feeling better, I was driving one car and another car to follow suit.

Kudat is accessible via air or land. Eventhough it is, you must know, Tip of Borneo is still some 30 minutes away from the airport/ town. Check out the airlines and buses below:

Air
MAS Wings. Once you're at the airport, make sure you call any of the operators that you're staying with to arrange your stay.

Land
If you're from Kota Kinabalu (City), get to the bus terminal next to Stadium Merdeka, and they will bring you straight to Kudat.  Included are mini buses and bigger taxis probably fitting for 5 - 7 people at one go.  

We headed to the Tip of Borneo first, and swerved our way through to catch the sunset. Took us about 4 hours to the Tip of Borneo so we reached there about 5pm and roam around the beach to catch up on the sunset. This was my second time at Tip of Borneo (Simpang Mengayau), the first time I went I wrote all about it here. Tip of Borneo, Kudat is hugely famous for its sunset. We even have a festival called the Sunset Music Festival specifically located at the Tip of Borneo to have the sunsetting as it's backdrop. Every year all kinds of travelers would make their way up to the famous tip, gathering around for some fun and music. There was even a year where my brother took my mum straight from her treatment to the festival, 
it's a personal one right there. Sort of like a milestone for us :) 



After sunset, we headed back to the Tip Top Restaurant where we were told to meet up with Mr. Howard who's suppose to be able to show us the way to our long house. Munch, munch, munch most of the group had Lamb Chop and I had my trustee Seafood Fried Rice. 

Chris came along from Pitas and managed to talk to Howard about our long house, so we figured we knew the way but after like, one failed attempt, we thought best we needed to ask Howard again. Some of Chris' NGO friends overheard us, and actually offered to show us the way by driving us up there. Great people! 

Kalampunian Beach

Kalampunian Beach is THE best beach throughout mainland Sabah. This part right here actually reminded me of the Great Ocean Road. Untouched, pristine waters, sporty waves and long and beautiful.  I can't believe the Kalampunian Beach is extremely underrated.

Kalampunian Beach

The boys loved the ropes so much, they were busy dangling around -____-"

 

Kept thinking, man why is this place so underrated. It's so pretty. It reminded me a little bit like Boracay, the waters were light blue and in total contrast with the sun shining through. Except, Boracay had TONS of people, and Kalampunian Beach had... none!


WEEEE. 


Our water guns follow us everywhere. 


As I was braving through the waves with the girls, I kept thinking in my head, 'Man it's been SO LONG since I've had this much fun right in the sea!'. We were slapped, carried through, thrown back all over the sea by the waves it was crazy fun. Loved Kalampunian Beach SO MUCH. I'll be back again and again!


Because Kudat is approximately 3 hours drive from Kota Kinabalu, it is completely remote from the mass and just plain exclusive. And because of that, it's still is really clean, beautiful and like I said, you could have it all to yourself.



And there was what, only like.. 10 of us there at the beach at that time? Including some other Western tourists. Incredible, nothing like a beautiful beach all to yourself. Some of us even rolled around the sands!



Some of the girls didn't plan to jump into the waters, but it WAS SO INVITING, they just stripped off and started swimming in their nighties. I mean, there were no one!

Angel and her "meditation"
Our Long House Home

This was our beautiful home for the 2 nights. I liked it just the way it was, couldn't have asked anything more or anything less :)



Detached natural bathroom, no door, no mosquito net, we were basically sleeping out in the halls, there was rainwater, we had sleeping bags, no candles, no mosquito repellent and just plain ol mineral water. We had no candles the first night, so we pretty much depended on some of our torchlights, in fact we even called it in earlier and chatted our way through simply because there was no way we could do any kinds of activities in pitch black darkness.

Angel, Kim and Ellie taking their baths

Our bedrooms/ hallway

Our toilet!

We did though try to get used to dark, but it was SO DARK. We ended up just talking the night through. Besides just the dark, the awesome sound of nature was our joy and company. And the skies, ah, they were the prettiest skies I've ever laid my eyes on. Stars filled up your eyes, we even saw the milky way :)



Other Accomodations 

There a few more places for you to choose from to stay here at the Tip of Borneo. Tommy's and Howard's are among the famous few. If you don't plan to stay at the Tip of Borneo, then there's a few more down at town. But frankly, Kudat town is a very small town, there's really minimal night activities, probably just include some karaoke bars (other side of the town) or dinner.

I'll be back to Kalampunian Beach that's for sure. Fell completely in love with the beach, and Tanjung Simpang Mengayau. Now that I drove around Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, I feel like I know the place like the back of my hand. I could even identified some of the turnings even though they all look like the same steep turning :) 

Been such an awesome experience. Coming back for shizzle!! 

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mamutik on Sunday

Went to Mamutik with my sister on Sunday. It's my second time in the island and I love Mamutik so much. Although there were a few things that bothered me a little bit. The fact that THE FISHES BITE! Wah, I nearly died of shock man. At first I felt a slight nibble, and then, it started nibbling me again (like little pinches) and then they still bit me again. Kind of traumatized but apparently, my brother said it's common here in Mamutik -___________-" 

Other than that, it's really clean, a lot of fishies, and there are some secluded areas perfect for those who want to just lay down, suntan and play with friends which I find are still a steal. 

Later in the day, Angel came along with her two Nepali friends, Yusik and Puskal who are Gurkha Soldiers. They're like the most adorable boys ever. Real sweethearts and gentlemen. 

Angel and Puskal loading their waterguns.


Intimidated Angel. I mean these boys ARE soldiers -_-


We brought beachballs, snorkeling gears, waterguns (because the rock corals in Mamutik can be brutal they even got the flippers) -______________- 


Me and the birthday lady :) Wow, I'm really tanned.



We continued the night with them, while I had dinner with my family, Angel took her time to have dinner with the boys. These boys are Gurkha Soldiers located in Brunei, I can assume they're well off that way cause they offered paying everything for us. While being independent and saying no to their offers would be appropriate, their kind thoughts were really all that matter and we tried so hard to go dutch but they always seem to find their way to treat us back. 

Yusik Love

They've travelled everywhere! Partly because of their job too. Sometimes, they're told to pack their bags and leave to Europe then and there. Other times, they're told to jump into a war or wherever Gurkha Soldiers are needed then and there, and sometimes they would say things like "We lost a couple of men in that war, some are my friends...". Like, it was just another day for them :(

Puskal Sweetie
From what I noticed they really travel luxuriously too. They would get real good food for themselves, they would dress up to the nines, get techy gadgets, drink, be merry and just living the hedonism life. I mean, come to think about it, why shouldn't they right -- things are really unpredictable for them, things change in a minute.


Great people, great company. 

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

The Sunday Routine

Usually, I would lose to my bed but now, I'm sort of kind of okay with it, often not, I sort of predicted when the sun's rising up. Sometimes under the grogginess, I subconsciously move myself to hide under whatever shades there are around, other times I would blatantly give up and begin my day. But since I've appreciate the days much more now and that the warmth of the sun fills the room within seconds of its rising -- waking up early has been a lot easier. 

You see, whenever mum asks me whether I'd like an aircond in my room I stomp on my feet and strongly told her not to. I have this beautifully crafted story of a reason why I don't want to - I want the sun to be my natural alarm clock :)

Time and time again people ask me why I refuse to plant an airconditioner in the room -- and time and time again I so jovially illustrate them my answers complete with how (terrible) I look like when I wake up, and time and time again people still thinks that I'm joking, I mean with this kind of weather (one questions). Like, I'm some kind of hippie for not wanting the conditioner to save the earth or something. Of course, besides not wanting to produce CFC so much, I actually had making it as a 'natural alarm clock' first into mind and along the way I adopted a much more environmental friendly way of living; cutting off plastic bags completely, avoiding having to use more than one car on the weekend, cutting off electricity usage, recycling items, using recycling items and so forth.

So right, I digress. After having been woken up by natural alarm clock, every Sunday, every prudent Sunday I wake up looking forward to that one day of the week that I don't have plans on. Nothing quite like the feeling of knowing you have absolutely no appointments, no dinner functions no nothing to attend to.


When I was in KL, I used to be very intimidated by Sundays. There's this kind of estranged attachment I have for Sundays and because of that I have this strange fear for the Mondays too. I don't really know why exactly, but something tells me it's because KL is such a 'lively' city and the inhabitants are no less than jubilant people themselves -- KLites just seem to love 'making' plans for the weekends. Which was something I didn't know I could live without, I bounced and I followed, often not I will reach home from wherever I was till really late on Sunday night and like a spiral, I was on top of my high and Monday blues  became brutal.

I know it was something that I had to manage, and there WERE weekends that I have absolutely nothing to look forward to but for the strangest reason I still have this awkward fear for the Mondays.

Now that I'm back at the ol' kampung, my Sundays are very close to my heart. I have it all to my own. Right after waking up, I'll switch my Sunday music on, something blue something jazzy something to fill up the room, stretch it out a little bit, gather around mum's room, talk about what weird dreams I had, and things that I encountered last night over drinks with friends, after an hour or two of catching up, we would all go our separate ways to freshen up, and see each other by the car to catch the Gaya Sunday market together.

We all love Gaya Sunday Market so much because it has been my family or rather mine's (personally) tradition whenever we can to squeeze in on Sundays. And because my Sundays are usually empty for me, I usually have a chat or two, some coffees at the coffeeshops at Gaya Street with some friends or even myself. People-seeing, shops spotting -- it's really good to bask in the vintageness of that old beautiful street none other than on a day I have all to my own.


Once I'm done with the streets I'd come home (sometimes) all drenched in sweat, sometimes with a couple of pretty earrings I bought for a few ringgits, whatever it is I always have the strangest of things with me. I'd reach home feeling exhausted from the sun and it is only right to take that ever so needed Sunday nap. And I love the sunset heat! I really do. Like it's the best thing to bask yourself in.

By 4.00pm I'll be swimming in my own sweat, thinking and imagining that I'm doing my exercise right about then. So that guilt would usually wake me up -- that whole buck of guilt would wake me up from my daze and sort of automatically dresses me up in my sports attire. If it's not sports, then I'm either scraping of dry leaves or sweeping the floors of the house but I'm always sweating it out on Sunday evenings.

Three of us would creep back into the kitchen by 6.00pm, each cooks a dish for the night and after a rather hearty meal, I'd wash the dishes -- you know everything's at a good and safe pace these Sundays. I like it, it's like I've married Sundays or something. No crazy parties, very simple, non dramatic, very humble.

Probably my favourite time of the day is when I'd hop into my car and throw the week's accumulated thrashes away, drive down town and grab my favourite ice cream. Sometimes, when I feel I've been eating way too much junk for the week, I'd grab my favourite SA's Royal Grapes instead. I even call it my Paycheck's gratification food - the SA's Royal Grapes :)

And drive back home with Jason Mraz blasting through my screens. Ah, bliss. I've never really got to loved Sunday before this, but ever since I am more in control with my life now (and this comes with adulthood I guess), I really do. Not the Saturdays, not the Fridays. Just Sundays.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that -- despite me loving to travel around so much (I really do, I would save a certain amount of money for my savings and have a little bit for my travels big or small, maybe about 10 - 15%) there's nothing quite like that ME time I enjoy every Sunday, and quite frankly there's nothing like a clubbing till 4am, temples hopping or even learning a new language can ever replace that soft spot I have for my room and in my mind.

You should have a day for it too :)

Love, 
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

"Forever can never be long enough for me"

I'm such a sucker for romantic stories. 



Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.