30 November 2009

Sukau, Kinabatangan - A Little Detour to Gomantong Cave

My Sukau trip with the ladies had brought me(us) into doing a little bit of detour to the adjacent Gomantong Cave.
Again, my third time there. I was quite confused because I recalled being asked to pay an entrance fee of RM 2.00 during my first visit. Then, I entered for free on both my second and third visits.

26 November 2009

Sukau, Kinabatangan - Returning for MORE

Sukau has always been one of my favorite places for a getaway. I recently went there with a group of ‘crazy’ lady friends. OK. I wouldn’t say crazy. ‘Hilarious’ is probably a better word to describe them. I mean, I’d never seen ladies laughing as much as they did in my entire life before. LOL! 

Thanks for the kind courtesy by the WWF, we had the privilege of staying here FOC.

24 November 2009

Be A Smart Environmentalist

I was quite worried of using too much non-biodegradable material around the house. I KNOW and you know that materials such as plastic and synthetic rubber are composed of toxic chemicals that pollute earth, air and water. I believe that there’s always an alternative to those materials. Or so I thought.

So, trying to be quite of an environmentalist, I bought a feather duster as an alternative to the more widely-used synthetic dusters that can easily be found in the market.

I was happy. At least I contributed something for a better world environment no matter how small it is. :-)

I was ready to go to work this morning when I noticed that there were feathers all over the floor. Sure enough, they all had come from the feather duster. The feathers seemed to have come bizarrely unwounded from the duster handle and ended up falling down to the floor.

My closer inspection had led me to a finding that some bio-degradation process had been taking place INSIDE my room.

Apparently, that was the cause of the feathers falling off from its handle. The bio-degradation bacterial agent (must be millions of them) must have been working on it as part of a natural process.

The feather duster had been so damaged that the only place that was good enough to fit it in is inside the garbage bin.

Well, organic will always be organic and I should have known better. Taking some lesson from it, if you want to be an environmentalist, be a smart one.

OK..? Cheers!

19 November 2009

10 Cent to The Orphans? Really meh??

I found this at the Giant supermarket earlier this evening. On the front was this.

On the back.

The price. 

Can't help to think: How can we be sure that the money really reaches the orphans..? You can tell me anything but there's still no way of telling. WE CAN'T NEVER BE SURE.  

18 November 2009

My FAILED Island Trip

I received a phone call from a friend last week to ask if I was interested in joining him to a trip to Kaniogan Island in Beluran. After doing a quick check on my schedule, I didn’t see any reason NOT to join him. The date was set and it was today.

We started off the day by having this for breakfast. That would be enough to keep my system going until I returned to the shore.

A few days ago, I had called to ask this friend of mine to make sure he’d get a speed boat with PROPER ROOF. I was expecting it would be something like this. Or at least close to it.


The boatman went a little bit too creative by putting up a makeshift roof made of canvas paper only God knows where he stole it from. I like to think (positively)that he was doing some mobile advert for Celcom's Xpac Package but I doubted if he gets paid even a single cent for it.

Despite the forecast warning on impending thunderstorms on the East part of Sabah, we braved ourselves to go on with the trip.

I would just have to cope up with the growling engine for one and half hours though. Even my friend found it quite deafening.

Luckily I had this newly-bought gadget with me. :-P

But then, some people are born to be sound-proof.

Well, things were going pretty much smoothly. I let myself be mesmerized by the beautiful green and branchy mangrove that covers most of the east coast of Sabah.

I’ve always been a big fan of mangrove.

I was taking photos almost non-stop. It felt so good to be on the open sea again.

I was happy and this picture tells it all. :-)

But that happy face didn't last for long. Somewhere along the way, the sky was beginning to take on a nasty face. It was darkening and I could see some thick clouds looming over. Bad omen.

Later, thunderbolts were beginning to slash down among heavy downpour.

I smelled some danger. What I had in mind was – I am not married (yet) and I haven’t got any children of my own to keep my precious genes going (yet). OK, over-exaggerating. Frankly speaking, I was more worried about my health since I was going to run for the Sepilok Nature Marathon this weekend. I don’t want to spoil what I’ve been preparing for over the past few months.

Besides, I just thought it wouldn’t be wise to keep going and putting ourselves in danger for something that is not quite worth enough to die for.

We decided to return to the shore. But not before we took this photo. Proof. Proof.

We thought we were safe. But the rain just seemed so reluctant to let us go just like that. It was actually moving right after us so fast I found myself bracing for what was gonna happen later.

And finally..

That stupid cost-cutting makeshift roof did NOTHING to protect us against the rain. I couldn’t help but cursing inside. #%^&@&!! I was even bracing against the idea of throwing the boatman off-board.

I even cursed myself more for ignoring the weather forecast warning.

Still, I was glad I managed to return to the shore still in one peace. Fully-drenched but still in one piece.

I could have made a one big damn-assed plankton for thousands of hungry fish in the Sulu Sea. *Tuk! Tuk! Touch wood.Phew!

16 November 2009

My Running Gadget - Running Like A Real Runner

So, one more week to go and I’m gonna do a run again.

No matter how the run will turn out to be, I’m gonna make sure I’ll be running graciously in style. Unlike my first run ever at the BIM 2009 a couple of months ago, I’m gonna be more prepared this time. Errr, I hope. Haha!
I know, running is a seriously damn tiring business. In running such a long distance, a runner should expect a lot of distractions to come up his/her way. The sensitivity of the ears and brains will increase ten times over. The fatigue muscles will desperately communicate with the brains.  With brains being brains, they will keep telling you to stop and give up running. So what you need is something to INTERCEPT that communication. For that purpose, I bought this.

A super-tiny SONY NWZ-B142F Digital Music Player! It is so small and light-weighted I should have no problem tucking it inside my pocket. Or even underneath my underwear if I get too worried about losing it!

This thing had cost me RM 159. I know, it is quite a heavy investment for such a once-in-awhile event but what the heck? Didn’t I say I’m gonna run graciously in style this time..? This is just  a part of it! :-P

OK guys. See you at the starting line. :-))

12 November 2009

The Cabin - The Latest Nightspot in Sandakan

OK. This blog entry is especially for all Sandakan nightclub goers. There’s a new night club in the ever-growingly popular IJM area called The Cabin.

Its spaciousness is to your advantage to mingle around, and unlike most nightclubs in Sandakan, no ladies come up to you begging for the so-called “lady’s drink”. I know, they can be a great disturbance to some people at times. But then, they gotta earn some money to survive so don’t blame ‘em. :-P

Well, with all the things that I’ve mentioned above, I’d recommend dropping by The Cabin for one thing – the live band performances. The Cabin is probably the only place in town that has a full-band to perform (apart from the so-so teenager group in Singapore Road) right now.

I wouldn’t say they perform the latest numbers in the market (which I could only assume they need some time to practice) but they do perform popular songs such as Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive and the Creed’s My Sacrifice to keep the crowds going. I even remember them closing the night with the ever evergreen Hotel California. And I’d say they are quite good. I’m telling you this because I’ve been there.

Errr, a little bit more expensive than the average at RM40 per jug but still, it's worth every penny you spend there. Ohh, and that's for beer. Other drinks - I haven't ordered any of them yet so I don't know. Well, enough said, if you happen to be in Sandakan and have no idea of where to go for a good night out, just head for The Cabin. You sure enjoy there one..

09 November 2009

Promoting KENINGAU - The Place That I Call HOME..

I’ve been blogging about a lot of places in my previous entries but I haven’t really blogged about one place - Keningau. Somehow, looking at it now, there's a guilty and betrayal feeling of some kind, tugging inside me like Petrus denying his involvement whatsoever to Jesus in the Holy Bible. Errrr, I know I’m overexaggerating this but my point is, somehow I feel obligated to the idea of blogging about this place now. After all, it is my hometown. I was born there. Right here :-)
Keningau is the most prominent district in the interior part of Malaysian state of Sabah. Just like most other districts in Sabah, it is a multi-racial place with Dusun &Murut being the major ethnics. Located just about 2 and half hour’s drive from Kota Kinabalu, I’d say it is a place worth considering a visit for.

OK. If I were to list down places of interest in Keningau, I would have my own picks. You’d just have to read on and follow this entry to discover more about this wonderful district. And I’m saying it for real.

For one, Keningau’s landmark is of course its 17km of straight road stretching out from Apin Apin all the way to the town center and further on to a village called Kg. Bakiau.
Ok, it does stray off a little especially after this roundabout here.
But still it is the longest straight road in Sabah. It is actually almost so straight that you can even steer your car by using you feet, hands-off!
Well, I’d say doing a car race along the stretch is not a good idea because you’d never know what might come up your way. Animals are known to cross the road anytime of the day, day and night. Accidents involving silly crashes with animals used to be rampant but people seem to have smartened their asses up.
Oh, and just in case you didn’t know, Keningau Heritage Museum is now OPEN! I happened to know this place almost by accident when I was passing by the area of its location while I was on my way driving my sister to her workplace. I only got to visit it over a month later and I was glad I did. Keningau Heritage Museum is worth visiting.
The place really caught me off-guard because I had come to know that I didn’t know as much about Keningau as I thought I did. I mean, who would have known that some Murut sportsman from Keningau had actually represented Malaysia to the Tokyo Olympics?? I had only known of Martin Guntali to have represented Malaysia to the Commonwealth Games and he’s not even from Keningau!
Well, while I grew up knowing of some people that had shaped the history of Keningau into how it is today, I only knew them BY NAMES and nothing more. People like OKK Sodomon must have contributed so much to the Keningau people in the past that a road in Keningau was even named after him.
So is OKK Gunsanad. One of the most prominent schools in Keningau was even named after his name.
Errr, wait a minute. Not one but two wohh! There is now the SMK Gunsanad 2! Whoa! I wonder if there would ever be any school named after me.
But then again, I only knew these people by names. Here in Keningau Heritage Museum, I got to have my very first glimpse of them.
Didn't even know they were father & son.
My 30 years of questioning how they looked like had finally been put to rest.

And it really good to see quite a number of gallery collection featuring the earliest photos to have been taken of Keningau township area – which was back then only dots of downright square shoplots. It was fun to try ‘figuring them out’ and putting them into today’s views and locations.
Ehhhh, is that my ex-English Teacher Sir Hendry's house in there..??

Well, there were other things to check out for in the museum such as the traditional costume exhibition room and this one here of the Dusun’s tribe Ganna is my favorite.
Errr, don’t they look too.. Caucasian? Aren’t they supposed to portray the shorty-stocky image of Sabahan people? Aiyoo. They look nothing like Dusun people at all.

One of the rooms portrays the office room of the District Officer (DO) in the yester-years. Hanging on the wall were pictures of all the Keningau's DOs starting from this man..
Up to the current DO..
And the future DO..
Well, enough being funny, you'll know just about everything of Keningau once you set foot at the Keningau Heritage Museum.
Well, I would say that Keningau is located in one of the most beautiful valleys in Sabah. Surrounded by green and beautifully shaped hills all around it, I could only say that a view from a high standing point is very much desired for. Errrr, forget about taking the risk of being whisked away by the eagle-eyed security-guards at the 8-storey Hotel Juta. Instead, take a little drive over to the Guang Ji Temple.
Believe me, you won’t regret it. Not when you have this magnificent view of Keningau Valley right in front of you.
Guan Ji Temple itself it such a beautiful place to wander around.
It is very visitor-friendly with quite a number of concrete tables and benches ready to serve you with the comfort of savoring the beautiful view and letting your skin be chilled with the wind that blows up from the valley.
If you have a skin that is made of wax though, it is only wise to go there any time after 4 pm. Otherwise, you’d liquidate under the tropical hot sun of Keningau and my mom knows best. LOL!
Another beautiful view of Keningau to savor..
Just a few hundred yards away from Guang Ji Temple is the Keningau’s one time favorite getaway – the Hill View Resort.
This place used to be so popular among couples (married or not married alike) in Keningau that bringing your partner to anywhere else would be considered rude or simply unromantic. Errr, in fact, due to its location which is quite far from town, it had been widely utilized by many married men as some kind of an affair hideout hotspot.
Well, thanks to the consistently cursing worried and angry wives, there seemed to be a significant decline in business for Hill View Resort over the years. A big portion of the resort had been closed for public and the only portion that is left of it is this.
Even all that is left of the one time favorite swimming pool is this small little pond of water even any duck has no appetite of dipping into.
Still, a visit to Hill View Resort is still relevant if you go there just for the view.
And the resort is actually STILL THERE.

If you’ve got some more time to waste, it’d be mostly recommended that you drive up to the other side of the hill to get a little bit of the beautiful country side of Keningau in the form of errrrr, cattle field.
With an area covering hundreds of acres of a sprawling cattle field, Keningau Farming Station (translated) has got to be the largest of its kind in Sabah. And believe me; the view that comes with it is so beautiful that I suddenly cursed myself for being overly-fascinated by the cattle field with those stupid pieces of rock.
Just bear in mind that this place is Government-run it is just OK to drive in and further up to the barns without getting worried of getting sniped down for trespassing.
You might see cows everywhere else but seeing baby cows being fed with their nutritional needs is just so soothingly beautiful.
Some of them were born less than 6-hours at the time when this picture was taken. You can see that some of them are still struggling to stay standing. So cute one..
I could even get to do the milking.
OK. That was a lie. It didn’t work. Not on that cow.

Another place that is worth visiting when you are in Keningau is the Tai Pak Kung temple. Located in Keningau center, you can’t miss it when you’re doing a walking tour in Keningau township area.
As far as I could remember, this temple had already been there when I began to have my early memories of Keningau. The ever-smiling God of Prosperity, or fondly called ‘The Fat Man’ used to scare me as a kid that I would make a brisk walk every time I had to walk past it.
Now as a grown-up, I have developed some kind of appreciative feeling for him because somehow he has this imaginary ‘WELCOME HOME’ expression printed across his face.
In fact I grew quite too fond of him that I liked to tease his belly and he'd laugh.
Another place of interest in Keningau is the hometown favorite Night Market (Pasar Malam). Taking place on a daily basis from 2 pm onwards, the Night Market is probably the most visited place in town.
It was sometime in the 90’s relocated to the now Tamu Ground area but there had been an uproar among the public who thought the new place was not strategic enough. The night market was then returned to its original location up until today.
People in Keningau have every reason to come here. They come here for the foods..
Or the largely ignored used-clothes section..
.. or just to just saunter up around for a good evening walk.
But of course, mostly for the foods..
Well, just like most other towns in Sabah, Keningau too has its own weekly open market or popularly known in Sabah as Tamu. It is quite similar to the night market, only much bigger in scale and definitely with more interesting things to see.
Good thing about Tamu is the fact that people come from all over the district of Keningau as well as other neighboring districts to trade a vast variety of things.
Errrr, just like in the past, you STILL tend to bump into the ever talk-active medical practitioners complete with now much more modern errrr, marketing accessory. You know, those ‘jual ubat’ ones.

I can’t believe people still fall for them when the biggest general hospital in Sabah is located just a few kilometers away.
They even have a non-halal section selling the rare meat of wild pig. Ohh, that’s ‘bakas’ in the local Dusun language.
Being a 'bitch-less' district, Keningau people have their own places to do their picnics. The most popular one is probably this place called Bandukan.
Fondly called Bunsit among the locals, it is a classic favorite getaway with people come flocking up in hordes almost every weekend. Mind to tell you it can get a little overcrowded on a public holiday.
Located on the upstream of Bandukan River, it is easily accessible by road via a village called Bingkor.
If you’re into clubbing and nightlife, Keningau is known to have quite a number of nightspots that outstation trips to Keningau are highly favored by many private and government officers. Well, while it is not easy to make a pick when you’re in Keningau for the first time, it really depends on your taste, and money.
If you’ve got more money to spend, then just head to Keningau Recreation Center (KRK). It is the longest running night club in Keningau and probably the most popular one.
With the Karaoke Lounge and restaurant sharing the same space, I don’t really like to come here. I just don’t like the idea of getting drunk with kids running around and giving you those curiously innocent looks.
Ohh, and if you’re into jack-ass-potting- KRK is just the right place for you.

If you’ve got the voice of a croaking frog and too shy to sing publicly, then go to Mirage Karaoke. They’ve got private rooms in which you can sing till you lose your voice and your get your wallet TOTALLY dried out.
There are some other nightspots that are worth mentioning here such as the spacey and highly favoured City Karaoke..
and 6988 (sound system umpphh!)
Errrr, those are the places that are free of the disturbingly so-called lady’s drink but then if you’re into it (minta ku ladiesssss bah..), you can go to this place – it is another Keningau’s longest running nightclub.
Euwwww.. ahaks!

But believe me, there are just so many nightspots all over Keningau that I can’t even list them all down here. I've even just discovered that R&B has already opened its branch here, at a place that is just so.. out of place.. LOL!
OK. If you know EVERYTHING about Keningau, you better think again. Did you know that Keningau has its own CAVE? Yes, there is a cave in Keningau. A real cave, not like those you see inside the Sabah Museum in Kota Kinabalu. I wouldn’t go into details about it here now because I’m thinking of allocating a blog entry just for this hidden treasure of Keningau soon.

You know, my idea of experiencing the true 'inner' beauty of a foreign country is by going to its lesser-known places instead of those overexposed and overly-commercialized ones. Those places tend to run things to suit their tourism needs and demands and hence the true local culture and lifestyle are made hidden beneath somewhere. Being a relatively lesser known to the outside world, people in Keningau do their things in their truely local ways.  Experiencing Keningau is experiencing Sabah. That's my point. I mean, you go to Tawau or Sandakan during the day, you'll feel more like being somewhere on the outskirt of Jakarta, and Manila during the night. In Keningau, you are in Sabah day and night. So, what are you waiting for..?

Note: Keningau is easily accessible by road from Kota Kinabalu via Papar or Tambunan. Public transports including buses, mini-buses and taxis are available on a daily basis.


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