Tag Archives: Holiday

Sandakan: The Nature City

‘Sandakan? Are you going there for work? Holiday?! What’s to see there?’ is the reaction I got when I told some people that I would like to go on a trip to Sandakan. I did and it was amazing.

Perhaps, some folks feel that there isn’t much adventure or experience when travelling to a local place. That wasn’t the case with Sandakan. It has a lot to offer and I guess these folks missed out a lot.

DAY 1 – Wednesday, January 28th.
My friend and I took a flight from KK on the morning of January 28th and upon our arrival we took a cab to Bandar Kim Fung as a friend of ours recommended a Chinese-Muslim Restaurant, Alice. Bandar Kim Fung deosn’t feel like Sandakan at all. Or Sabah for that matter. I felt like I was in China.


After we had our breakfast at Alice and walked around the area, we took a bus straight to the city. Not knowing where to stay, we immediately checked into Harbourside Backpackers, the first backpackers lodge we saw and it was perfect as it was just in front of Harbour Mall where another friend of ours has a bookshop there.

In another story, prior our trip to Sandakan I suggested that we couch surf. But then, another friend of ours joked that our internal organs will be at stake. Jokes aside, we didn’t couch surf cause we were afraid of losing our organs but the house I suggested was a bit far from the city. Sorry Kak Ros.

Anyway, after we settled, the first stop has got to be Hipsta, our friend’s bookshop. It’s small but it’s full of life. It’s her dream came true and I felt very proud of her. This is also the place that sells my zine, t-shirts and bookmarks.

Later on we went to a shop beside the main road that sells these old school stuff. Hoarder mode on, immediately took everything I want from postcards, to speakers and board games. I ended up being friends with Kak Siti and came back to the shop again and again.

For tea, we went to Ba Lin, a roof top restaurant. We had some cakes and juices. Despite the gloomy sky, the view was spectacular.Ba Lin itself is a beautiful restaurant. I like the concept. I will go back there to try the main dishes. We ended our day with a karaoke session at Bandar Indah Recreation Centre.

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DAY 2 – Thursday, January 29th.

We started our second day with Coto Makassar for breakfast. Mind you, the soup or more like a gravy is so thick, I don’t think it’s for everyone. I on the other hand, despite the heavy gravy, liked it. It was full of flavour but a bowl was enough for me. Burrppp!


After a trip to the post office and lunch, we drove to Agnes Keith’s House and we only had half an hour to look around before it was closed for the day. It was a beautiful house with beautiful furniture. The gift shop however, didn’t have much to offer. It only has these items that you can see in KK, not a single thing like postcards or magnets that says ‘Agnes Keith’s House’.

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Since the English Tea House was just next door, we decided to have our tea overlooking Sandakan and the sea.


DAY 3 – Thursday, January 30th.
Our dear friend is a teacher at SK Bongon Besar 1, a school located at Pulau Bongon Besar, about half an hour boat ride from the mainland. We planned some activities for her students like origami and pop quiz. The view on the way to the island was spectacular and the hospitality shown by her colleagues makes you feel right at home. Her students? Adorable!

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Right after our island trip we went to the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre and Lindung. Unfortunately, at that time, Lindung was still closed.


DAY 4 – Saturday, January 31st.

‘What will we do today?’
‘Why don’t we just chill?’
‘That sounds like a good idea.’

Next thing we know, we’re on a bus heading towards the Sepilok, AGAIN. This time however, we wanted to see the sun bears at Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Did you know that the sun bears are the smallest bears in the world? We were the only visitors there at that time and we had a one on one session with Lester (or was it Leslie) who gave us a lot of info on sun bears, rescue efforts, what they eat and when they’ll be released back into the wild.


DAY 5 – February 1st
We took a 2.00 pm flight back to our real lives.

It was a pleasant and much needed trip for both of us. There are still place in Sandakan that we haven’t been to yet. Perhaps well go there again someday. Besides, Kak Siti kept asking our friend about us. Patience Kak Siti.

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Yes, things have been really slow, and it has eventually stopped. My last post was on the 26th of August last year.

I could have frequently update my blog but my laptop ‘died’ last year and haven’t got a new one since. I know I could go to any internet cafe, but it’s nothing compared to the comfort of your own laptop and the privacy while at it.

But now, I say, what the heck. It’s now or never. I just have to get back to writing.

Thus, my homecoming entry is pretty interesting. Well at least for me. I came a cross a tweet from a friend saying ‘gonna review my first 60 days of the year, how was yours?’.

How was mine? So here’s to my first 60 pages for the first two months of 2013.

I kicked started my 2013 with an injured right knee. It wasn’t a serious medical case but it hurt like hell! Until now I haven’t gone to the doctor to have it x-rayed or checked. It happened when I was rushing to my cousin’s house. I slipped, my pinky bled. Stood up and tripped again. The pain was excruciating but I ignored and went to Donggongon to catch a movie and shopping in KK with a painful limp. When I reached home at nine, only then I realized how painful it was. Shitting was one hell of a thing to do.

A week after my injury, there was still mild pain. My aunt asked me to tag along with her family to a trip to Ranau, Kundasang and the Tip of Borneo. I guess the combination of pain killers and a sponsored trip made me forget the pain. The week-long trip was fun.


The majestic Mount Kinabalu as viewed from Kinabalu Pine Resort, Kundasang.



Travelled up north to the Tip of Borneo, Simpang Mengayau, Kudat.

In case you don’t know, I turned 22 by the end of January. My mum decided to celebrate it since I didn’t celebrate my 21st. It was nice, with the company of family members, a couple of presents and ang pows. The only thing that was missing was the company of my friends. Non of them couldn’t make it due to college and due to the fact that I live at the ‘edge of the world’ and it would be an expedition just to come here. So my friends say lah.


My birthday cake, ordered from Shang Ri-La Tanjung Aru.

Then February came. On the 2nd, my cousin got married. We danced a lot. I wanted to karaoke but the list wasn’t updated. The karaoke guy didn’t have my staple of Adele and John Legend. All he had were old school rock ballads and some Indonesian song that I never heard before.

Few days after the wedding, I went on another sponsored trip with my aunt’s family to the majestic country of Brunei Darulsalam. Though I was unsure whether to go or not, I’m glad I became spontaneous about it. The trip was awesome.


One of the structures at Kampung Ayer, the floating village.


At one of the beaches in Brunei. I forgot the name.

The only downside to the Brunei trip was, I missed my dad’s birthday on the 10th. I thought we were going back on Saturday the 9th but we didn’t. I was sad but what to do lah kan?

A week after we came back from Brunei, it has been pretty quiet except that everybody is busy determining my future and my opinions and plans didn’t really count.

Moving on the 20th, we had a farewell party for my aunt and her family because they’ll be leaving for France the next day.

And on the last week of February, my mum was hospitalized due to hypertension. I took the night shift of being on her bedside. I was tired and I got sick but I didn’t mind. But the thing is, I hate hospitals. I can feel a clash of energies. It’s like both the positive and negative energies are on a war. I was so glad my mum was discharged three days after.

There you have it. My first 60 pages of 2013. Macam tidak pun sampai 60 pages kan? Hahaha.

But it’s good to be back to writing. There’ll be more updates. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

How was your 60 days?

First 60 Days

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