D Higher Education ministry is conducting a 'Jom Masuk U' campaign thru out Malaysia n I was involved last weekend on behalf of IIUM in Kota Kinabalu [KK]. A&R made d arrangement for me to be there since last Friday with my Sayang tagging along. D campaign itself was held at 2 fronts in KK...for d parents n potential candidates in d newly-opened Suria while another one in Grand Borneo Hotel within 1Borneo for all of Sabah's high school counsellors. I was involved with d later n also took some time to check out d many facets of d 'Land Below d Wind'.
There r quite a handful of hotels in 1Borneo but we stayed here, in Grand Borneo, as this is where d Ministry is conducting its session with d counsellors. I was initially informed that my session is going to be on Sunday nite. But Saturday morning @ 9.15 I received a call that I am suppose to present @ 9.30 that morning...at d time I had just finished my breakfast n yet to mandi...hhmm. Anyhow, after some negotiation it was agreed that another U will fill d 9.30 slot n I am on at 10.00am...leaving 'ample' time to get ready. Luckily I was still in d hotel n not out somewhere further away.
IBorneo is located some distance away from downtown KK but luckily a shuttle service is provided...but places r limited n on a 1st come 1st serve basis. No standing passengers r allowed n d shuttle seats about 20. Anyway, thanx to this service, we managed to visit KK on a number of occasions...n for instance...watching d sunset from KK's nite market n d Promenade last Saturday
This group of kids were hogging d attention of d visitors at d time with their 'sea-diving-jumping' antics...eventho d cleanliness of d water is extremely questionable
many of d entries here prior to this highlighted d sunrise @ sea...but for this particular trip d sun rises from behind d mountain range. This was d view from our room yesterday morning
N courtesy of d shuttle service, we visited KK again n stopped by @ d Filipino Market...but now known as Pusat Kraftangan
Later in d day, with d help of d many KK-based counselling teachers, we managed to rent a Kelisa. Started our afternoon journey in d Karambunai / Tlk. Sepanggar area. This is one of d water villages there...not far from d RMN's submarine base...
...but our main destination for d day was d base of Mt. Kinabalu.
here we r at Kinabalu Park Complex after driving slightly more than 2 hours in d direction of Kundasang...d peak of Kinabalu was hidden most of d time but sometimes d fog moved away n d top can be seen clearly from d Complex. It was dark when we travelled down back to KK but managed to 'cling' to a local bus driver who must have known where d best driving line is like d back of his [entah2 her...] hands
Later we hooked up with Zikrun/Kak Saadiah, our friends while we were in Lafayette Louisiana, n their family members...we were informed that d eldest is in KL for practical training. Great to see them again after all these years
As today is d our last day here, we planned to visit as many places as possible. We started off stopping by this floating masjid of Likas...
...but our main focus for today is to see d biggest flower in d world...d Rafflesia. Here we r at d Rafflesia Information Centre near Tambunan...about 1.5 hours driving from KK. Unfortunately there was no Rafflesia that is blooming...d foto @ d top of this entry is just a 'plastic representation' of d flower @ d Info Centre...huhu
d roads over here were quite challenging as most r cutting thru d mountain range...as found out by this 'unlucky/lucky' [depending how u look at it...] lorry driver
back to KK from Tambunan...this route reminds me of d many many scenes from CSI: Miami. A picture-perfect highway...but to be avoided during peak hours
we have been to KK before but this is d 1st time to see d whole city from d top @ this tower on Signal Hill
another stop that we made was @ North Borneo Railway station...as there is a frozen seafood place there. They guaranteed that d frozen food wont thaw for at least 18 hours...so KK-KL flight shouldn't pose any problem.
I also witnessed d upgrading of d look for d train coach there...similar color scheme to KL's LRT me think. The above apek was applying some touching up using a fine brush. But if that blue paint tin that was precariously perched on that bar tumble over onto d white...may be d apek has to repaint d whole thing all over again...
d Sabah's Dewan Undangan Negeri was our next destination...design-wise it was quite nice but d maintenance has been lacking...
n to d UMS campus next...very wide spread n not really walking-friendly. Collected d owner of d car next n he then took us to d airport. Being peak hours, we arrived when d check-in counter has oredi closed. So...need to put up 'thick face' n whats not...turned out that d plane has not even arrive yet.
Alhamdullillah...reached LCCT safely but slightly behind schedule. N another thing, our luggage didn't reach LCCT along with us...courtesy of late check-in agaknye [it was sent to us d following afternoon]. Interestingly, our taxi is a staunch supporter of Dr M...just by looking at d 'decoration' within d cab...