From the Mountain (Kinabalu) to the Island (Labuan)

The Mount Kinabalu’s episode may be over but I still find myself in cloud nine for the next destination.

Upon reaching the Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal, we bid goodbye to fellow teammates of the climb who had traveled back to Kota Kinabalu town in the same van with us.  It was raining, which means no DSLR to take pictures, when dear cousin and I rushed to the jetty’s counter to get our tickets to board the last ferry (at 1.30pm) to Labuan. 

(Took this blur-blur picture with my Pentax.
Still legible, right?  Humph!  Who needs a DLSR lah?!  Hahaha!)

  “First class or Economy?”

What’s the difference?


I remembered our Labuan girlfriend specifically told us to take the first class, which is the upper deck of the fully air conditioned ferry. Hmmm, better heed her advice so that we will not be sorry later.

Thank goodness we did that! The last one hour in the ferry was sways from left to right and right to left! Travel bags placed at the aisle were dancing with the waves! The rain and the storm looked really frightening from inside out!
While I was silently praying for long life (did not want to die young mah!), someone behind dear cousin’s seat puked! Yucky yucks! Quickly dear cousin, seated on my left, moved to the seat on my right. Good thing we were already reaching the Labuan International Ferry Terminal! Phew!

Our ferry was delayed for half an hour (on top of the scheduled 3 hours journey) and our lady friends (dear buddy and dear Labuan friend), who were already at the Terminal, started calling us to check on the weather!  Hahaha!  It was raining cats and dogs where they were, so, how was the sea???  Rough lah, dear friends!

The moment we got into the car, I asked, “Why lah don’t turn on the engine?  Hot lah!”
The two of them burst out laughing before declaring that the car’s battery was dead and they had been sitting in the car waiting for help to arrive for the past half an hour while waiting for us!  Aiyak!

Did I tell you that our dear Labuan friend was driving a test drive car?! 
Hahaha!  Guess none of us would be investing in that model / make lei! 
This sculpture at this roundabout was the first beauty I sighted on this island.
Simply a wonderful piece of art!
I also found their trees very interesting;
almost all of them have “hairy” trunk one!
Yeah, that also caught my attention wor!
Serious now!
We must find a laundry shop to wash all our dirty clothes from the Mount Kinabalu climb!
By hook or by crook, if not we will have nothing to wear and have to carry all our dirty clothes to the next few  destinations!
Don’t worry, there is one around town?!
This shop was not reliable at all.
Although they were fast and cheap;
and we had left our dirty clothes overnight to be collected the next morning,
we found that they did not separate the white and the coloured clothes.
My beautiful white jacket had patches of dark stains after this visit!  Haizzz….

After we deposited our stuff at dear Labuan friend’s place,
she took us to Restaurant Pulau Labuan for dinner.

This is a popular place for the locals and
it is particularly famous for their pork knuckles!
Too bad, it was sold out by the time we reached there!

Among the few dishes we ordered,
everyone loved the curry prawns in coconut and their coconut pudding!
The fish was a little overcooked, the vegetables were just so-so and the mushroom dish was too oily!

Worst of all, was their staff attitudes!
Asked for chilly padi, don’t have.
Asked to help us take a group photo, nobody came forward; not even the captain.
Asked the waitress to be careful not to spill the hot tea over the DSLR,
she threw the pot of tea on the next table, murmured a curse before stomping away!

However, their manners improved after dear buddy told them that dear cousin and I are food critics of a HK magazine!
Wahahaha!  When lah we ever became one??!
But they believed it because dear cousin was busy snapping pictures of everything and everywhere!!!

The next morning, dear Labuan friend brought us to her favourite coffee shop,
which she used to patronise when she was a teenager;  
said that they served the best “kei tan koh” (steamed egg cake)!
Gee, that was like how many years ago lah!
In other words, we did not find that cake tasty at all.
Then, we were told that their popular butter bun was sold out! Sigh!
It was good (finally!) everyone (except me because I do not take bean related food stuff)
agreed that their “tau sar pan” (green bean baked biscuit) was very fresh and tasty.
“They also serve very good beef noodle here.”

You know?
The moment I stepped into the shop, I was greeted with a pleasant surprise.
Here, Muslims and non Muslims share the same place to sell and eat their food!
The name of the shop is Kedai Kopi Hup Juan.
Behind the cashier counter, the drinks counter and one other stall were Chinese but there were also two Malay stalls operating in the same coffee shop!
The beef noodle operator was a Malay lady and
she charged RM3.50 only for one bowl of beef noodle!
So cheap!
With all the condiments, in KL, this bowl could easily be priced at RM5 and above!
Though their chilly was not as good as the ones I have patronised in Peninsular Malaysia,
I must say the idea of squeezing a lime into the soup was brilliant!
The soup immediately tasted refreshing and yummy!
I drank “sampai habis” (until finished) lei!  Slurp!
Personal notes:
When I was at Ranau, where we stayed at a homestay for a night after the Mount Kinabalu climb, I witnessed Muslims having dogs as their pets in their houses.  I was flabbergasted by the finding because I always think Muslims consider dogs sinful to have around. 
Maybe I have not been exposed to the world enough to understand the true meaning of the religion.
Pardon me, but I must say this part of Malaysia has more harmony and represents our “1” Malaysia slogan more aptly than the capital itself.
“One day is enough to go around Labuan
It is a small town which has many duty free shops.
Good place for smokers and drinkers lah!
Unless you are into diving or snorkelling, you may want to stay one day or two longer.
I tell you also ah, this place is so small that when someone sneezes at one end of the island, the ground will tremble on the other side of the island!
Jom!  Let’s go for a drive, the fastest way to see it all!”
We passed by this temple – said to be the biggest in Labuan.
I must say it really look majestic where it stands!
The only place we parked the car was at
the Peace Park, which faces the beach.
Our dear Labuan friend explained that this was where the Japanese surrendered!
Honestly, not being a great history fan;
my attention was only on the beach!
This is what I am talking about!
Beautiful beach, wonderful sunshine and pretty flowers on the ground!
Pure tranquility!
We were the only four living souls wandering there!
Yes, we were that relaxed here.
I must say this is a very peaceful place.
Peace Park mah!  Hahaha!
We almost lost count of time standing around, sleeping around,
walking around and fooling around!
“Gals!  Let’s go!  We still need to go for lunch before we catch the ferry!”
At least one of us was back to reality on time management!
Even in a moving car, I managed to snap this “perfect” picture!
I wanted to snap the building structure and the “1” Malaysia came into focus instead!
Hmmm, what is this picture hinting uh?
Everywhere we drove around town, we would be able to see this mosque;
as if it was the focul point of the city!
I found this “spaceship” mosque awesome!
Must really salute the designer of this beauty!
Our visit to this island ended at the Ferry Terminal!
We reached this place at about 5 pm the evening before,
stayed a night with dear Labuan friend’s mummy,
spent the morning rounding the place
and immediately after lunch rushed here to catch the 2pm ferry.
We were told to be here an hour earlier because we had to go through the immigration.
Don’t forget that our next destination was Brunei lei….
Passport please!

10 responses to this post.

  1. This trip to Labuan was nothing much to me. We were only there less than 24 hours including sleeping time. We can't go for dinner to watch the sunset by the seaside cos it was raining. We can't have a cold beer along the seaside also cos of the raining. We did not have enough time to shop around to buy even 1 can of beer or a bar of chocolate. And I have been told the cheapest liguor can buy from Labuan ….. so sad ….. ! But we have try some local foods, and that make me a bit "Onn Wei" (feel better). LG ….. we like gila makan when we travel ….. Ya ?

  2. True, JD, if only it didn't rain, it would be wonderful. But we still had fun this trip, right? Remember dear Labuan friend's mum had purposely cooked supper (yellow wine chicken) for us?! It was the best, ever! We are so lucky to know and meet nice people throughout this trip! That had made the whole expedition very pleasant indeed! Yes?!

  3. it's good topic for my college essay.

  4. All the best, Live!

  5. hometown. Enjoyed reading this piece. I was just there early June ^.^

  6. Sharon, glad you enjoyed reading this post. It is always nice to read about one's hometown. This place reminds me of my younger days when I visited my cousins who stayed at Tg Tualang, Perak. A small place where everyone knows everyone! I could feel the same closeness and friendliness of the people here. City people will call them simple, I guess. To me, it is a sign of trust and that is hard to find among city folks with strangers they meet.You have a lovely hometown, Sharon! Bravo!

  7. Thanks LG, I think so too ^.^ A decade in KL has not changed my mind – city folks are missing the point.And crime rate is low, can always depend on the neighbours to 'jaga' our homes..ekeke

  8. You are most welcome, Sharon, I am just telling the truth. Do you know I enjoy visiting East Malaysia very much? To me, I find the places are more beautiful and the people are much friendlier….

  9. Hi! Sharon. I am a semenanjung guy highly addicted to Sabah and Sarawak. First trip to Sabah [Tawau] was in 1998 [contract project work] Since then, have been making regular yearly trips there to visit and enjoy some Lihing with my many EM buddies.Usually I will make a 5-nite trip. 29th to 31st in Sabah for Kaamatan and 1st and 2nd in Sarawak and return to K.L on 3rd June. Have missed this yearly ritual twice [after buying airtickets] due to work. Next year I will definitely go.My good buddy and church member in Labuan is pestering me to visit him. He was working in semenanjung for many years and returned to a leasiely life a few years ago.Aramaiti.

  10. Thanks LG, I find it an enjoyment too and I'm not taking unfair sides ^.^It's about time you paid your friend a visit then TFL. Speaking of Lihing, that certainly brings back memories – my grandma used to make it. Aramai Ti indeed! ^.^

Have a Happy Day! ;D

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: