Thursday, 26 February 2015

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu: CNY Night Market, Bath Towel Hunting & Laksa Yee Fung

After having dinner, we walked back to Jalan Gaya which the Chinese New Year  (short formed as CNY) night market was held. It was very exciting to see a quiet street on the afternoon now turn to be crazy with so many people. Yes. They are local and tourist here.

The venue for this night market was at the same place of  Gaya Street Morning Market tomorrow. It was very long with people selling foods, drinks, some clothing for women & kids and also men selling USB for mobile phone. They are cakes, dimsum, Vietnamese Banh Mi, sweets, wholesales of soft drinks, cheap shoes and many more.

I am so excited to explore every stall here and see if there are anything unique which I hardly can find in Semenanjung (Peninsular Malaysia). Oh ya! Besides that, we are also looking for bath towel in the market. This is because our cheap hostel don't provide bath towel, or if we want to have one, we need to rent for it. So, we decided to buy our own. But unfortunately, we unable to get any bath towel at this Chinese New Year Special Market.

So, we decided to walk again to Wisma Merdeka and perhaps there are shop selling bath towel there. After making a big round at this 3 floors shopping mall, we could not find any and finally we walked to the massive Suria Shopping Mall (which is more modern and upscale compared to the oldie style of Wisma Merdeka) and we went to Metrojaya to buy of very soft bath towel.

A very quick thoughts about Suria Shopping Mall, it was new, big and busy with youngsters. There are cinemas, beauty centre, restaurants, pharamcist and some medium to high end boutique available at the mall's ground floor. Us? We just go to the basement floor which is where Watson and Guardian Pharmacy located to get some mini size toiletries for our 4 days usage in Kota Kinabalu. 

Settled with our finding bath towel and toiletries mission, we come back to Jalan Gaya, where our hostel is located. But then, after long walking here and there, our stomachs were hungry again and this time, we are praying that a restaurant with name Kedai Kopi Yee Fung was still open.

Thank god, it was open as we expected and still very crowded. Just the same as the time we passed by the restaurant this morning when we want to go to our hostel. The service here is very fast. The menu was displayed on the wall, and you also will have chance to browse the menu which will be passed to you in hand and you need to do quick ordering too. Very straightforward, you just choose what is in front of you. 

So, we chose to have 2 serving for Laksa Yee Fung and 2 drinks (I tried to remember the name). Our Laksa came to our table like a flash and its look good. It was creamy, a bit spicy if you add more chili and fatty. Overall, I love it, But I am not so sure about how can I imitate this recipe when go back to KL later. Price wise, I think it is really value for money. i believe the owner of this Kedai Kopi Yee Fung must be filthy rich badass in KK. 

That is all for our first day in KK. A lot of laugh and seeing new things. On the Day 2, we will share about the markets, more fresh fish and local foods. Stay tune. 

Friday, 20 February 2015

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu - Around KK Town, Awesome Bakso & The Seafood

Hopefully you can read my previous entry about our delicious brunch at Dah Hin Kartini Restaurant in my earlier post. So, after few hours nap, we wake up and prepare ourselves to explore Kota Kinabalu town before the sunset.

I was at Wisma Merdeka 6 years back and I can say this shopping mall is about to die. But, when I am here, I saw that it full with customers with many unique tenant mix. Besides, there are many other new developments too such as the Suria Shopping Mall which is located about 10 minutes walking from Wisma Merdeka. For your info, Wisma Merdeka is one of the oldest shopping mall and in Sabah and it is surviving with the rapidness of commercial development in Kota Kinabalu town.

Then, we walk to the waterfront or some call it as Todak Waterfront which is referring to a Todak fish figure located at the roundabout nearby this waterfront. It was such a windy day with I can't stop to took some selfies and wefies.

Next, we went to the market/food stalls next to the Todak Waterfront to see what they have here. Well, I can see there are many fresh fish and other seafood displayed for tonights business. There are local foods such as bakso, fried noodle and fried rice too.

So, we drop by to a stall selling beef bakso. I tell you what! It was awesome. It consisted of beef, beef ball, noodle and delicious soup. Not only that, I also buy some chicken wing and friend savories from nearby stalls too. It was all taste great.

Finished with the Bakso, we continue our journey to browse to other stall to see if there are anything else that I should try. So, I stop at one stall selling fresh grilled seafoods. 4 big squid at RM18. I am not sure it was expensive or cheap (at least on that time).  But for the sake of trying, we decided to have a table and ordered that. It was nice and fresh squids anyway. But stay tune for my next article about the real seafood price in Kota Kinabalu.

Oh ya! This eating out place is located next to the Pasar Besar Kota Kinabalu. Then, from there, I walked further by to Jalan Segama where there is a line of evening stalls which selling various kind local foods such as Nasi Kuning (Yellow Rice with Sambal), local savories and snack, fried foods, drinks and durian.

Done with everything, we walk back to Jalan Gaya to see the Chinese New Year night market there which I will share in my next entry posting. Cheers.

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu - Dah Hin Kartini Restaurant & Stay In Lodge, Jalan Gaya

One we arrived from Terminal 2, Kota Kinabalu International Airport by using the airport shuttle bus service, we are opt to hunt for our breakfast. Yes, our very first meal in Sabah. Chris were asking for Chinese food, but my hungry stomach decided, anything quick will do.

Earlier, we passed a restaurant with name Dah Hin Kartini which is located at Jalan Bandaran which is another road from our hostel at Jalan Gaya. So, after arrive at Padang Merdeka (the last stop for shuttle bus), we walk to the restaurant before checking in to our hostel.

The Dah Hin Kartini restaurant do have a lot of local customers which make us believe that we are choosing a right place for our first meal in Kota Kinabalu. So, we ordered 2 servings of Soto Ayam (Noodle with Chicken Broth), 

Our Soto Ayam was really3x delicious. Perfect soup and a lot of noodles and shredded chicken inside. Done with our Soto Ayam, my eyes were drooling to a serving of  Rojak Mee (Noodle with Peanut Sauce). So, we ordered one for us and it was not a wrong choice too. Love the gravy and really unique when they serve the rojak with a small bowl or clear soup on the side. 

There are many other foods listed on the menu board. Hopefully, we will have chance to come back to this restaurant to try out their other amazing foods. 

Done with our breakfast, or I should say its a brunch, we directly walking to Stay In Lodge at Jalan Gaya. Well, this is out from my normal travel experience when we decided to stay at a budget place instead of a fine hotel. Well, it is not a bad choice though. Even our trip to Kota Kinabalu  come with free and easy plan, we only need a room to keep our goods and rest after long day walking. Paying RM118 for 4 days 3 night stay, I have to say this is the bestest deal. 

Nothing much to expect about our room. It was a double bed room with fan and shared bathroom. Next, it is our napping time before continuing exploring Kota Kinabalu town later. Stay tune with new entry about our first day in Kota Kinabalu free and easy trip.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Day 1 in Kota Kinabalu - Airport Shuttle Bus vs Local Mini Bus

Hello everyone. Finally I have new material to write in my blog after being idle for quiet sometimes. To be honest, I did not do so much travelling during year 2014. I mostly spent my time with my office job as well as strategizing my home decor business.

So, on last 14th February 2015, me and my mate Christopher took a chance to have 4 days visit to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. We took AirAsia first flight at 6.45am and thanks to my brother Hafiz and his girlfriend for sending us to KLIA2. 

We touched down to Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) at 9.17am and the weather was just perfect for our vacation. Just for your info, our AirAsia flight landed at Terminal 2 which is specially catered for low cost airplanes. 

Once we done with the immigration matters, we walked to the arrival hall and the Airport Shuttle bus counter was just right at the left side of the airport, next to a 24 hours convenience store (I can't remember the name). Easy clue, please look for a blue colour booth as shown in the photo below. You also will find the full bus schedule on the banner next to the booth too. When you buy the ticket, you may mention to the ticket keeper about where you want to stop. From our experience, the bus do stop at some points such as hotel, Centre Point and the trip will finish at Padang Merdeka. 

As for us, we will stop at Padang Merdeka, where our backpacker hostel is located. With price RM5 per trip, I think this airport shuttle bus is comfortable and very clean. You can see from the photos below.

Another option for you to go to Kota Kinabalu city centre is by taking a local mini bus. Just wait at the right side end of the Terminal 2 and u will saw a small old bus with air-conditioner with number 16C. This bus actually is transporting passengers from Marina to Tanjung Aru Beach. So, The bus fare is cheaper. RM2 for 1 way compare to RM5 for the Airport Shuttle. With frequency 1 bus in every hour, you are uncertain about what time the bus will arrive. It maybe dirty and not as comfortable as the Airport Shuttle Bus. 

You also can go to go to town by taxi. No worries about the price. There is a coupon taxi system for you to follow. In my next insertion, I will share with you about our first food in Kota Kinabalu and day 1 activities.