Good Morning Kundasang!

It was a very beautiful and cool morning at Kundasang, Sabah. I woke up early taking photographs of the mountain. I saw the sunlight painted the mountain red for just a few precious minutes.

Morning sun brighten up the mountain while keeping Kundasang Valley under the shadow of mountain. It was just over 6.10 am.

I tried another shot. Both photos are taken with my iPhone 4's HDR Pro app.

Most time of the day Mount Kinabalu is covered in the clouds, just like the photograph below. Morning before 8.30am is usually the best time you can catch a glimpse of the full view of Mount Kinabalu.

The clouds cover Mount Kinabalu most time of the day except early morning.

With a little bit of luck, you may see such view below.

The clouds started to gathered after 7am. If you see such mountain view after 9.00 am, you can consider yourself lucky.

Two photographs below were taken at about 5.30am. We can see the morning stars. I made a few serious mistakes taking both photographs.

Morning stars above the peak of Mount Kinabalu.

Mountain peak at dawn.

I went back to Sabah and Kinabalu Park again. This round I brought my family along and did not attempt climbing. We stayed at Kundasang in a resort and got a room with stupendous view. With this I will start a series of blog posts on visiting Kinabalu Park and its nearby places like Kundasang and Ranau. I hope you will enjoy the photographs and the writing.

I am now back from the trip to Kundasang. My family have a good time visiting this peaceful and beautiful place. It has been an unforgettable trip.

Visiting Kundasang

I am bringing my family to stay a few nights at Kundasang, Sabah. We are not climbing Mount Kinabalu this time. Instead we plan to explore the area around Kundasang. We have 3 nights and 2 days exclude the days we arrive and depart.

I am really excited about it and now I am doing research on where to go and what to do in this area.

In my past travelling to Kundasang I had only stayed at Kinabalu Park to climb the mountain. The only place outside Kinabalu Park that I had been to in Ranau District is Poring Canopy Walkway and its nearby hot spring pools that looks more like a few children swimming pools.

Walking on the canopy walkway.

Looking up to the canopy walkway. This is the lower part of the walkway.

Initial Thoughts For the Plan

We have booked our accommodation, rented a car and ready to explore Kundasang and the places nearby. The first few tourist areas come to mind. We must visit the famous cattle farm which many say it looks like farm in New Zealand. A search on the net returned the farm name Desa Cattle Dairy Farm. I hope my son will like it. The Kundasang War Memorial seems prominent in the Google map. I would like to go Mesilau Nature Resort to explore for my next climbing trip.

Of course we must spend at least half a day at Kinabalu Park. But first I have to find out where in the park that we can explore and do we need park guide like we climb Mt Kinabalu. And yes, I found from the net that there is a daily guided walk in Kinabalu Park. Here are the daily schedule of Kinabalu Park's activities.We should go. From the map, it seems there is a tea garden nearby, called Sabah Tea Garden.

We must visit the vegetable wholesale stalls and local market place. This will require further research.

For food, we will try Liwagu Restaurent. Maybe I should bring my family to Balsam too. Not that it is great but to let my family to experience my experience as a climber. I had tried and was not particular fond of the mee noodles at Tuaran. But I will definitely try to bring my family there since it is famous.

A few more hours should be spent to produce a more concrete travelling plan. But for now, this should be okay for a start.

Are you familiar with Kundasang? Will appreciate if you can recommend some nice places at Kundasang for a family to visit. You are welcome to comment. :-)

Islands Hopping in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

What to do in Kota Kinabalu when you are not climbing the mountain?

If you have a day in Kota Kinabalu you may want to try out islands hopping at Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. The national marine park consists of 5 beautiful islands located at South China Sea not far away from Kota Kinabalu. It takes less than 20 minutes boat ride to reach the islands from Kota Kinabalu city.

Looking at Pulau Gaya (Island Gaya) from Pulau Sapi (Island Sapi).
I love the crystal clear ocean water and relaxing white sandy beach of Pulau Sapi.

Tunku Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park located at the West Coast of Sabah state. IT consists of 5 islands:
  1. Pulau Sapi (Sapi Island)
  2. Pulau Manukan (Manukan Island)
  3. Pulau Mamutik (Mamutik Island)
  4. Pulau Gaya (Gaya Island)
  5. Pulau Sulug(Sulug Island)

Let's put it this way, these islands provide little marine wildlife experience to begin with. These are popular tourists locations. But these are relaxing places to go with comfortable (and short distance) boat rides, beautiful beaches, well maintained facilities, food stalls on the islands, clear ocean water, etc. The islands hopping activity is perfectly suitable for people who loves and enjoys nature yet desirous of conveniences provided by our "over-civilized world". ;-)

Boat ride to the islands.

In September 2011, we spent a day in Kota Kinabalu after our Mount Kinabalu climb. We made the booking for islands hopping just one day before the trip. We started the trip next morning at probably 9.00 am and reaching the first island, Pulau Sapi, within 20 minutes. Later, we had our lunch at Pulau Manukan. We finished our island hopping trip at Pulau Mamutik before reaching Kota Kinabalu city by 4.00 pm.

Whether it is a half day trip or one day trip depends on the number of islands you want to go and how long you spend in each island.

Sapi Island

We spent long hours at Sapi Island to swim and snorkel. There were fishes in the water. The beach at Sapi Island is beautiful, especially you can over see the other island beach, i.e. Gaya Island. But for lunch, we need to move to another island.

Beach of Sapi Island. Gaya Island in sight.

Looking at Gaya Island from Sapi Island.

Manukan Island

Manukan Island has the most beautiful park and chalets among the islands at Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. I am guessing that this island is being maintained by Sutera Sanctury Lodges (the same company that operates Kinabalu Park) since these chalets are managed by them.

Clean and beautiful park on Manukan Island.

Crystal clear water at Manukan Island.

Mamutik Island

This island has less to offer other than Malaysian food. You can find many food stalls operate by different people. It is still a nice island, but with too many uncoordinated design of food stalls.

Mamutik Island.

Here are a few really useful websites: