Saturday, May 30, 2015

Things To Do & See in Tamparuli

Tamparuli is a small and quaint town located 40 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu city center, depending on the traffic conditions and how fast your driving speed. It's a town you will passby before making your way to the Kundasang, Ranau, Sandakan and even Tawau.

 Besides serve as a stopover town, there are more than a Tamparuli town can offers.  

1) Confuse Yourself in Upside Down House
Sabah - Tamparuli Rumah Terbalik Upside Down House
The Upside Down House, or Rumah Terbalik in Malay translation is the first of its kind in Malaysia as well as in Southeast Asia and also among the seven upside-down structures built in the world. Inside this 140 square metre of traditional Sabah kampung house, it is technically built just like any other houses, features a living room, kitchen, bedrooms and bathroom with unique features of Sabah decor and design inside the house. Just that everything inside the house, from the household items to furniture is viewed in a new and different perspective, actually upside down except for few items such as air-conditioner and CCTV. Each and every visitor would be guided by a tour inside the house. However, bear in the mind photography inside the house is strictly prohibited.
among the five upside-down structures in the world
among the five upside-down structures in the world

Opening Hours: Daily from 7am to 7pm (including public holiday)
Admission Fee: Malaysian - RM10.60 for adult and RM5.30 for child
                        Non Malaysian - RM19.10 for adult and RM5.30 for child

2) Satisfy Your Hungry Tummy with Tamparuli Fried Noodle
Sabah - Tamparuli Noodle
Named after the town where it was originated, Tamparuli Fried Noodle (Tamparuli Mee) is a freshly handmade egg noodle and usually served with roasted pork, egg pork rolls and scrambled egg. You can request for seafood if you want. Some people said it looks similar to Tuaran Fried Noodle (Tuaran Mee) but I personally think it's more springy than the latter one. A plate of Tamparuli Fried Noodle cost RM5.

There are two coffee shops serve the best authentic Tamparuli Fried Noodle; Keng Swee Hing Coffee Shop and Restoran Wun Chiap. [You can refer this blog for more info about the location]

3) Embrace Yourself Walking Through Tamparuli Suspension Bridge
Sabah - Tamparuli Suspension Bridge
The most famous landmark in Tamparuli is the long hanging bridge, which is immortalised in the song Jambatan Tamparuli, a favourite folk song of the Kadazan Dusun people of Sabah. Tamparuli Suspension Bridge is very important to the local as it was built in order to help people to cross the Tamparuli River.

4) Understand The Local Culture in Chanteek Borneo Gallery
Sabah - Tamparuli Chanteek Borneo Gallery
Chanteek Borneo Gallery is Sabah's first ever miniature gallery showcases an array of exhibition to preserve our Sabahan cultural heritage in a size of a “playdoll”. Here, one can see hundreds of playdoll wearing the traditional costumes of the over 40 ethnic groups of Sabahan local people. This is the best spot to see the beautiful and colourful costumes of the past and present of Sabah as some of the costumes are hardly seen nowadays except during festivities such as the Harvest Festival which is celebrated this coming end of May.

Sabah - Tamparuli Chanteek Borneo Gallery 02
By the end of the tour, my friend and I have the opportunity to play the traditional musical instruments. It was exceptionally fun and interesting.

Opening Hours: Tuesday - Saturday from 9am to 6pm
                             Sunday from 10 am to 4.30 pm
                             Closed on Monday. 
Admission Fee: RM15.00 for adult and RM10.00 for child and senior citizen.
Camera Pass: RM5.00 is charged for each gadget

Sabah Sakura Tree
It's real! Sakura in Sabah.

We're lucky while driving along the Tamparuli road, we saw a row of trees with glorious of white and pink blossoming flowers early of this May.

One of the best way to visit all the above in Tamparuli town is by renting a car for a day. Or before going up to the Kundasang and Ranau, plan your trip earlier.

Before I end this blogpost of mine, I would like to wish 

Happy Harvest Festival & Happy Gawai 
to all fellow Sabahan and Sarawakian readers!

Monday, May 25, 2015

We Eat, Shop & Sleep in Hatyai: A Day Tour Around Hatyai

Date Visited: 23rd June 2013

Initially on the third day in Hatyai, my friend and I decided to continue shopping but not until we were approached by a almost middle aged lady for a day tour around Hatyai. After haggled for almost ten minutes, we finally agreed with the price offered of 1,000 baht travel around with her tuk-tuk. Be make sure to do research of the market price beforehand, or else you will likely being ripped off with with absurdly high prices. I always do my research earlier at least, by reading blogs, TripAdvisor and so on.

Wat Hat Yai Nai
Hat Yai Day 3 - 01 Temple of Wisdom

Not far away from the Hatyai city center, we started off by visiting Wat Hat Yai Nai, which known as Temple of Wisdom. This temple is well-known for a gigantic statue of sleeping Buddha, named Phra Phuttha Hattha Mongkhon. With the measurement of 35 metres long, 15 metres tall and 10 metres wide, Wat Hat Yai Nai is claimed to be the third largest reclining Buddha in the world. No admission fee is required, just a small donation would be appreciated.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bangkok & Hua Hin Version 3.0 (Sneak Peek)

I just came back from my recent trip to Bangkok and that's explain why I didn't update my blog recently.

Instagram

This is my third visit to Bangkok, after two years and I'm looking forward to go again. See, I told you that Bangkok has indeed put spell on me. I just can't help myself from going back over and over again.

Not just Bangkok, this time we managed to go Hua Hin as well for 3 days 2 nights.

Hua Hin 2015 01

Hua Hin is getting more attention and popular lately, especially among foreign visitors for its interesting and charming theme parks such as Santorini Park, The Venezia, Swiss Sheep Farm and more.

Hua Hin Day Trip
#2: A day tour around Hua Hin cost 1,800 baht

That is one of the reason why I choose to be back Bangkok, instead of other cities. The other reasons:

Bangkok 2015 - Pratunam Market
#3: Shopping around Pratunam area

I admit that I shopped a lot when I was in Bangkok cause they were freaking cheap, from the top to the bottom. I could get a nice and decent top plus with good quality for only 120 baht (approx. to RM14) and a dress for 200 baht (approx. to RM23). I can't deny that Bangkok is indeed ladies shopping paradise.

Foods around Hua Hin & Bangkok 2015
#4: Aroi mak mak! (means very very delicious in Thai)

Besides shopping, a trip to Bangkok and Hua Hin is about food, food and food. Tom yam gung, Thai fish cake, pad thai, coconut milk sticky rice with sweet mangoes, fresh seafood - I just love Thai cuisines.

AirAsia
#5: Thanks to AirAsia for the cheap fare

Cheap shopping, delicious food and cheap massages - that's explain why Bangkok always my favourite city to be. Anyone love Bangkok as well? 

[Note: Just when I wish to go Bangkok again, I received another invitation to there but I rejected due to work commitment. So sad]

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

We Eat, Shop & Sleep in Hatyai: Klong Hae Floating Market

Date Visited: 22nd June 2013

Floating markets in Thailand are the most popular attraction among the tourists. Like the one in Bangkok,  Damnoen Saduak Floating Market I eventually went twice and I found it was pretty interesting and unique experience which hardly to seen in Malaysia. So when I was in Hatyai, I never missed the opportunity to visit their local floating market.

The floating market in Hatyai is known as Klong Hae Floating Market, the name was given upon where it's located. They are commonly known as Hatyai Floating Market too, so don't worry if you couldn't memorise the actual name.

Hat Yai – Klong Hae Floating Market 07
#1: One of the mode of transportation to the floating market - Tuk-tuk

We took tuk-tuk to reach this popular floating market and the ride cost 420 baht for return. The more people, the lesser you pay but because there were only two of us, hence it cost 210 baht each. The driver allowed us to venture the floating market for 3 hours, at least. In case you are wondering how to look for these tuk-tuk driver, most of the time these tuk-tuk drivers would eventually approach you everytime step out from the hotel, especially if you are staying nearby Lee Garden Plaza.

Hat Yai – Klong Hae Floating Market 02
#2: Small stalls before reaching the floating market selling unique and cute handmade handicrafts 

Klong Hae Floating Market is only open from Friday to Sunday. Generally, the vendors start to operate from 3pm to 9pm. So if you are lucky to be in Hatyai on that particular day, why not spend some time to visit this interesting and unique floating market? 

#3: Klong Hae Floating Market

Monday, May 11, 2015

We Eat, Shop & Sleep in Hatyai: We Eat Shabushi @ Lee Plaza Plaza

Date Visited: 21st June 2013

Right after we checked out our hotel room in Centara Hotel Hatyai, both of our stomach were growling and rumbling and by when we looked at the time, it was 2.30 pm. Straight from the airport directly to the hotel, we didn't have anything yet and hence, we instantly cleaned ourselves and went out for the late lunch.

As Lee Garden Plaza situated right in front of our hotel, we decided to go in to look for any restaurants were still open at this odd hour. After ventured almost the whole area of this shopping mall, we decided to try this Shabushi located on the ground floor, which was easily noted right we went in from the entrance.

Shabushi 01
#1: Shabushi located on ground floor of Lee Garden Plaza

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Accommodations I Stayed Before

LATEST UPDATED ON 27.08.2015
 
List of the accommodations I stayed before:
(This list will be updated from time to time)

MALAYSIA
Sabah 
Johor
klia2
LCCT Airport
Malacca
Penang
Perak
    Putrajaya
    Sarawak
    CAMBODIA
    Siem Reap

    CHINA
    Shenzhen

    HONG KONG

    INDONESIA
    Bali
    Bandung
    Jakarta

    JAPAN
    Osaka
    Tokyo

    PHILIPPINES 
    Manila

    SINGAPORE

    SOUTH KOREA
    Jeju
    Seoul

    TAIWAN

    THAILAND
    Bangkok
    Hatyai
    Phuket

    Disclaimer:
    The reviews of all the accommodation above truly based on my own personal experience and are my genuine and honest opinion of this hotel, and that I have no personal or business relationship with those establishment.

      Tuesday, May 5, 2015

      We Eat, Shop & Sleep in Hatyai: We Sleep @ Centara Hotel Hat Yai

      A trip to Hatyai, Thailand is an impromptu one after I decided to cancel off the 10 days trip to China & Vietnam with a group of awesome travel bloggers due to my own business and work commitment (click here).  

      At that moment, I realised that I seriously need another short getaway after didn't travel anywhere for more than two months. Coincidentally, a friend of mine who travelled together to Bangkok also need another short break from her hectic life too and ended up, both of us chosen to go Hatyai. It was indeed kinda last minute plan and luckily we bought cheap and affordable airfares less than two months ahead when we saw the promotion from AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines. How much we bought then? A trip to Hatyai with AirAsia for only RM161 return and as for my ticket from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur, a return airfare for only RM136 - including 30kg of baggage allowance and in-flight meal. What a great bargain as we bought less than two months beforehand! 

      Thailand, Hatyai 01
      #1: We're welcomed by mini bronze mermaid statue in Hatyai International Airport

      From the airport, we took airport taxi directly to the hotel we're staying for the next four nights. Our hotel, Centara Hotel is situated right in the heart of city center of Hatyai. The location of this hotel is perfectly strategic as it was surrounded with plenty of street stall vendors, night markets, eateries, massage parlours and more. Even the infamous Lee Garden Shopping Mall is located right in front of this hotel.

      Thailand, Hatyai 01 - Centara Hotel Hat Yai
      #2: The elegant hotel lobby located on the 6th floor

      Formerly known as Novotel Hotel, we were surprised when we found the hotel lobby is situated in 6th floor instead on the ground floor. Not until when we came to their lobby, I just recalled that I stayed in this hotel 10 years ago with my family when we went Hatyai for the very first time. This hotel is quite popular among Malaysian especially , hence the check-in process may took some time especially during the weekend.