There is only 1 Air Asia flight from Penang. Depart at 10.15am and arrive at 1.05pm.
The whole clan consist of 7 adults, 1 children and 2 babies. Thus, we chartered 2 MPV. Lucky for us, we found a good driver cum tourist guide, SARJAN (R) AHMAD ISMAIL a.k.a Abg Mat (016 804 0591) and his apprentice En Mat Noor. So, we used their service for the whole trip. ;) We made a stop at Restoran Sempelang. I had Nasi Ayam for RM5.90. Not really recommended, but you can go there if you are Super Hungry. :P After 3 hours of scenic ride, we finally arrive our 1st destination at Zen Garden, Kundasang.
Zen Garden website is super bombastic. But the chalet itself is not really up to the standard. However, the view is breathtaking. ;) Since we arrived Zen Garden at around 6pm-ish, we just stroll around the chalet and have a good rest that night. They have a very well equiped resaurant, so we just had dinner inside, albeit a little pricey. I forget the price, sorry.
Restoran Sempelang, Innova Cab, Zen Garden Chalet, Zen Garden View
On day 2, we went to Poring Hot Spring. It is around 1hr drive as there will be a lot of lorries along the way. They slow you down. Personally, i feel that Poring Hot Spring is so-so only. There is no privacy at all to the open pool and if you book the room, the pool is so small that only 1 person could fit 1 tube at a time. RM15 for 1hr. If you have gone to a Hot Spring before, you can skip Poring. :P Done with hot spring, some of us head to canopy walk. We need to go thru a short hike before we reach the tree top walk. It was nice!
Due to time limitations, we need to head back as we need to go back to KK and check into an apartment there. Along the way, we made a stop at Kundasang Town to buy all those unique fruits, especially buah Tarap. It's like jackfruit, with a stronger smell. After that, we stopped at Kinabalu Park for some photoshoots. Finally we reach our next stay in KK, Mutiara Court Resort Condo around 6pm. It is very near to Warisan Square & Filipino Market. So, we just walked there for dinner. Again, the food are quite pricey. Probably i am already used to good Penang food with reasonable price. :( So, you might want to find a different place for dinner other than Filipino Market.
Today is the day we go snorkelling! So, off we go to Pulau Manukan via a speedy boat! This mark my 1st snorkelling experience! I love it to bits. We snorkel for >2hrs non stop and only stop for lunch. Then, we made a stop at Pulau Sapi, but unlike Manukan, it is not as windy,and apart from the jetty we can't really see the fishes there while snorkelling. We don't stay long and dashed back as there are some shopping to do! So, my advice is, one island is good enough. ;)
So, the rest of the day was spent shopping at Filipino Market and Warisan Square. Almost all the shops sell the same thing. So, do bargain well and go from shop to shop to get the best price. ;)
We head to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. If you had children with you, and they love Zoo, then, this is a good place to visit. If not, you can skip this place. :) For lunch, we made a stop at Halal Indian Restaurant. This place is very very recommended! (Forget to venue, will update later)
Wake up at 4am. At 5am, we depart to the aiport for our 7am flight. Bye Bye Sabah. Till we meet again. :)
- Sabah is the second largest state in Malaysia. So, there's no way you can explore everything in just 5days. Almost all the cool attractions are very far away. Example KK and Kundasang is ~3hrs, KK to Kudat, also 3hrs. Kundasang to Kudat, ~4hrs.
Gunung Kinabalu is in Kundasang while Filipino Market/Jesselton Point in KK.
- If you can get a good cab driver, thats the best. By saying cab, i mean Toyota Innova. Personally, i think the price is not bad considering the taxi driver act as tour guide as well. We did surf for tour packages and it cost around rm650-800 per person(Not inclusive of meals/tickets). Example price:- KK-Kundasang(3hrs) -RM200. Kundasang - Poring - KK - RM 300. Apartment - Airport (15mins) -RM30
- The lodge at Zen Garden cost RM520/night. The Mutiara Court apartment in KK cost ~RM300/night. Both lodge and apartment comes with 3 bedroom, kitchen and living room, which is perfectly comfortable. But at Kundasang, we notice a few other nice lodging such as PineView and Celyn. Not sure if they have 3 bedroom lodge, but you can survey if you want to go in big families.
- Boat for the whole family(RM250). Entrance Fee Manukan(RM3), Sapi(RM6). Snorkelling gear, extra budget. You can rent it at the Jettty or once u reach the island.
- To me, the food is expensive. It's good if you can prepare your own meals to save budget. As the distance is not so baby-friendly (kene cross the road, jalan2 etc), we only eat outside once a day..and prepare meals ourselves/tapau instead. So, make sure you plan in your internaries where to eat and how to get there or else, do plan to buy roti/telur/sardin/etc.