Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First Visit to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

It has been more than a year since the blog was updated.....shy :) but Y2011 begins with an interesting discovery-visit to the Land Below the Wind, Sabah. This destination was decided as Mr & Mrs Umai have not been to the Borneo Island before, and after some attractive scenic views featured in the Hong Kong TVB Drama "Born Rich".

We decided to spend 2N at Nexus Resort Karambunai, Menggatal somewhere 30km northeast of the KK International Airport.

Scenic garden-ocean view from Nexus Main Lobby

Sandy-white beach in the late evening

Dusk at the beach front

Garden Borneo View

Our accomodation, the Borneo Garden View category, cheapest in the price range of RM480++, but with full amenities and complimentary international breakfast buffet for 2.

Sunny afternoon on the 2nd day

As the first night was Christmas Eve, we had a Chinese buffet dinner themed "Yum Lei Sek" at RM110++ per person exclusive of drinks. Below are some of the dishes we ordered....

From bottom counter clockwise
Fragrant salted sea crab, chili sea crab, butter prawns, brocolli and sweet sour red grouper.

Overall, the food served by Noble House Chinese Restaurant (Cantonese cuisine) was very fresh, tasty and above average rating (4/5). Our stay in Nexus was cozy, relaxing and some may even say it is heaven......

On Boxing Day, we transfered to the KK City hotel, Promenade Hotel to experience the city living atmosphere. Rates were slightly lower at RM330 nett per night for a Superior room. Advantages are the hotel is strategically located in the city and lots of eateries within walking distance. Many shopping malls are nearby and the Filipino Night Market is about 8 minutes walk from the hotel.

We took the opportunity to try the Bak Kut teh (BKT) at the famous Yu Kee BKT, along Jalan Gaya. Very delicious and the meat was succulent and tender...yet quite cheap RM15 for 1 bowl of spare ribs, 1 bowl of medium lean meat, 1 portion of yew tiao and tea.

Yu Kee's succulent and tasty BKT

The following day, we joined the "Hassle Free" day trip to Manukan Island at RM55 per person including hotel-jetty and jetty-hotel transfers.

Manukan Island jetty

Manukan Island seaview

At the Filipino night market, we had local BBQ seafood for dinner. The below 4 XL prawns cost RM24 and eaten with plain rice and some condiments like cili padi, thick soy sauce, lime and sambal.

Big prawns - RM24

Red snapper fish - RM17

Lobster - RM40

On the last night in KK, we went to SEDCO Complex to try Chinese seafood at Sri Mutiara Restaurant. We chose our preferred fresh live seafood from the aquarium and the manager weighed them and had them cooked at chef recommended styles.
Sri Mutiara Seafood Restaurant in SEDCO Complex
Lobster cooked in butter curry style - RM88

Giant Meat Crab in Kung Pao style (1.2kg) - RM40

Sabah vege - RM15

Local cheese baked oysters - RM14

Scallops (300g) - RM18

Coconut pudding - RM12

All in all, we added 2 glasses of umbra juice, tea and rice and total bill was RM198. Very reasonable indeed!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Australia - A Memorable Trip

During the Christmas vacation, Mr & Mrs Umai decided to tour Australia, so we signed up for a 9-day 6-night OZ Tour covering Gold Coast (Brisbane), Sydney and Melbourne cities. Overall the experience was fantastic and filled with fun and satisfaction, thanks to Reliance Tours.

Believe it, although the tour fees cost more than other tour operators, the service and accomodation venues provided were good and comfortable. Even the tour itinerary was well planned and not tiring at all.

Most of all, we had great joy in shopping for souvenirs, shoes, shirts, local food and fruits especially during Boxing Day (26th Dec), after the Christmas break where most items reduced by 20% - 70% from original price.

This blog illustrates the activities and tour itineraries according to categories, starting with FOOD, LANDMARK/SCENERY/FUN RIDES and NATURE.


Croissant with Cheese and Bacon in Movie World (Gold Coast) was very nice and yummy. The bacon was tender and not tough, with rich texture of cheese. Priced at $AUD 5, this is justified by its taste.

For dessert, we had the Strawberry Cheese Cake, at $AUD 3.90 a slice.

This Bacon+Lettuce Sandwich was quite juicy, at $AUD 8.90 a portion...but not so special. We highly recommend the below Yogurt by Dairy Farmers which cost only $AUD 3.69 a tub of 550g.

Orchard Peaches & Mangoes (No. 2 Choice)

Vine Passionfruits (No.3 Choice)

Field Strawberries (No.1 Choice)

And a great deal of Wall's Magnum Ice Creams...

Magnum Sandwich at $AUD 3.50 a stick. Nice and creamy...must try!

Magnum Colombia Aroma at $AUD 3.20 a stick...very rich with coffee flavour and creamy.

And Seafood at Sydney Fish Market was simply awesome...

Fresh Oysters

The Blue Sea Crabs

The Southern Rock Lobsters

The Spanner Crabs

Cooked Fish and Chips at $AUD 6.50 a box...economical and delicious.

Baked Cheese Half Lobster at $AUD 15.00 and two pieces of Cheese Baked Oysters at $AUD 4.00 were succulent and rich in taste...we had 3 portions at one go!

McDonald's set meals at Melbourne - Mighty Angus (Beef Burger) and Chicken Bacon Deluxe were simply delicious and appetizing. Total cost at $AUD 19.00 for two set meals.

Sarsaparilla drink or tasted more like Sarsi cola drink at $AUD 2.30 a bottle which we tried in Ballarat's Sovereign Hill.

Potatoes and Bacon at Paradise Farm in Gold Coast...buffet spread included in the Entrance fees. Not sure how much it cost...

Grilled Fish with abundance of salads and greens...at Paradise Farm.

BBQ Beef Steak...well done but very juicy and tender...one of the best steak ever tasted at Paradise Farm.

The Opera House in Sydney
Marching in of the Red Soldiers in Sovereign Hill in Ballarat.

The steepest train ride in the world found in Blue Mountain.

Shrek in 4D at Movie World in Gold Coast.
Mike Myers in action at Movie World Parade

Sheep shearing demonstration at Paradise Farm in Gold Coast

Sheep shepherding at Paradise Farm in Gold Coast

Aerial view of Melbourne from Qantas domestic flight
An adventurous 10-minute helicopter ride around Gold Coast Surfers' Paradise and Sea World vicinity.
Beachfront at Surfers' Paradise in Gold Coast
The Three Sisters formation in Blue Mountain, 2 hours drive from Sydney city.
The City of Sydney viewed from Sydney Tower (misty weather)
Beautiful coast line along Surfers' Paradise in Gold Coast
Kangaroo at Paradise Farm

Sleepy Koala at Paradise Farm (Koala is not a bear, but a marsupial)

The Dolphine show in Sea World, Gold Coast