Saturday, May 28, 2011

Snake of Bako National Park

After we're done combing the beach during sunset, we went back to our hostel to rest for a while, and surprise surprise. A snake, pit viper probably, was right in front of our hostel.

Driven by excitement and adrenaline, I walk closer to the snake to get better picture, thinking back, it's kinda stupid to approached the snake that way.

Proboscis Monkey of Bako National Park

They are the biggest celebrity of Bako National Park. They announced their arrival at dusk and dawn with loud noise of trampled zinc roof. It just happened that their way to the beach for meals are over the Information Centre of the park. So, when they hop across the zinc roof, it makes loud noise that announced their presents. They also make this weird grunt noise that distinctively Proboscis.

A leaf chewed by one of the monkeys.

Silvery Langur of Bako National Park.

We first met this charming creature along Lintang Trail on our way to find out where Teluk Assam trail. It was dark and they are too shy to take decent picture. But it's great to finally see a silvery langur female with her orange baby.

After the encounter at Lintang trail, we were excited to stumble upon a family of timid silvery langur at the mangrove. At first, we were worried if the monkeys gonna snatch our lunch like that the long-tailed macaque, turn out they didn't. They still eat whatever they eat in the wild.

Silvery langur is Old World monkeys and there are several different species of them. They live in family of harem with size up to 40 individuals, with one dominant male and a lots of mommies. Silvery langur babies born with orangey fur and white skin and it slowly turn darker to adult coloration when growing up.

Cute langur baby.

Gang of mommies

Justification for the pic below, how often you see langur poop? There.

As you can see in the video below, there's a particular monkey that seems comfortable around human, we think he's the dominant male, and I call him Mr Ambassador.

Teluk Assam, Bako National Park

If you happened to arrive at Bako National Park during low tide, the boat most probably won't be able to reach the jetty, and you have to wet your feet and walk along the beach of Teluk Assam to go to the park headquarters. This view of eroded limestone will greet you at the moment you arrived at Teluk Assam.

This is a picture of the mangrove along Teluk Assam, here you can see a lot of catfish, mudskipper and fiddler's crab.

Bell was excited because it was her first time flying a kite properly. 

It was jellyfish season when we went there, and we found this poor stranded jellyfish while strolling along Teluk Assam waiting for sunset.

Don't you feel like singing Hakuna Matata whenever you see this kind of animal. It's a bearded pig, largest mammal in Bako National Park. This picture was taken near dusk, close to the canteen.

Below are series of amazing view of Mount Santubong from Teluk Assam at different time.



Another picture from Teluk Assam showing the orange glow of sunset and beautiful full moon.
Sunrise at Teluk Assam.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Boat Ride from Kampung Bako to Teluk Assam, Bako National Park.

To go to Bako National Park, we took Rapid Kuching Bus 1, in front of Elektra House. The bus schedule is hourly from early morning until around 5 pm. The last bus stop is at Kampung Bako, right in front Bako National Park Terminal. At the terminal, we were ask for our accommodation permit and paid RM5 (student price) for the park fee. After that, we hop on the speed boat to Bako N.P. Headquarters at Teluk Assam.
Kampung Bako

Excited that the weather was good and the tide was not too low.

The boat ride was easier and the waves were calm. A friend of mine complaint that during his boat ride to Bako, the waves is so large and the boat shook so much that his backside become numb.

Enjoying the view of the mangrove.

'Kelong' like stuffs. Basically, it's a bamboo structure where the fisherman hang the net to catch fish.

Teluk Assam.

The boat we taken happen to have quite large engine that the boat ride seems so short.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Spending during Bako Trip

I really like to start proper post for Bako trip today. However, I haven't edit the pictures yet, so I guess I would start with something that I already have, which is the list of spending during the trip. Initial budget planned was between RM80 (if 4 people joined the trip) to RM100 (if only 2 people join). Total spending for Bako Trip is RM127.30. RM27.30 overspending was mainly because I splurged on food and drink and boat ride to view the sea stacks.

Transportation accounts for almost 50% (RM63) of the spending. Lodging ~17% (RM21.20), Food and Drinks ~29% (RM36.90) and etc ~5% (RM6.20).

For lodging, we rented one hostel room for 4 person for RM42.40 (split with Bella, RM21.20) since we're not sure how many people gonna join the trip. I could save RM5.30 if we're rent a bed for each (RM15.90) instead of the whole hostel room.

I splurge a lot on food and drinks. For example, I bought 4.5litres mineral water (RM7.20) when I could bought drinking water for RM4.50. Aside from that, I also bought a lot of unnecessary junk foods and too heavy breakfast that accounts for RM 13.70.

Bus ride from Kuching to and fro Kampung Bako costs RM3.50 one way. Boat ride from Kampung Bako to and fro Teluk Assam, Bako National Park cost RM47 per boat, or RM9-RM10 each if you got at least 6 people sharing the boat. To Teluk Assam, we paid RM10 and back to Kampung Bako, we paid RM23.50 per person as they are only two people. We splurged on boat ride from Teluk Pandan Kecil (cost RM45 which I split with Bell) to view Tajor Beach, Teluk Pandan Besar, Tanjung Rhu, Sea Stacks and back to HQ at Teluk Assam.

Lastly, I spent RM1.20 for kite (pretty one) and RM5 (student rate) for the park entrance fee.

Below is the details of the spending
Lodging                           (RM42.40/2) RM21.20
Snack                              RM6
Bottled Water                  RM7.20
Chocolate                        RM4.80
Kite                                 RM1.20
Breakfast                         RM6.40
Bus to Bako                    RM3.50
Park Fee                         RM5
Boat to HQ                     RM10
Dinner                             RM6.50
Boat from Pandan to HQ (RM45/2) RM22.50
Lunch                              RM6
Boat to Kpg Bako           (RM47/2) RM23.50
Bus to Kch                      RM3.50
TOTAL                          RM127.30

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bits of KK

Bits of KK brought back accidentally in my pants pocket. It's sands from Mamutik Island.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

KK Trip Diary: BB Cafe

We found the place randomly, while we were on our way to Suria Sabah Mall to watch movie. Captured by the laidback environment, we promised ourselves to go there the next night for dinner, and that we did and we did that two nights in a row.
BB Cafe is something I would describe as 'open air pub'. Right next to BB Cafe is Sugarbun Restaurant.

The band performing at BB Cafe. They have two singers and a keyboardist that work with his small laptop. The band is very minimal, but they performed ok. The keyboardist really impressed me. I request for any Beatles song and he sang 'Come Together'

Group photo.

Nearby are two backpacker lodge namely Rainforest Lodge and Summer Lodge. I imagine it can be annoying if you try to sleep early because the performance begins around 8pm to 12 midnight. Due to its proximity to backpacker lodges, it also the place you see a lot of chilling out.

The pastas both Farhan and Arjun ordered. This one is from Sugarbun. So-so according to Farhan.

Teriyaki Chicken Set for Jerry.

BBQ Chicken Wings. This chicken wings roasted to perfection. So yummy that I ordered this two nights in a row.

My favourite drink. Iced Lemon Tea

Enjoying the meal.

After we finished our meal. We move to the seat closer to the band.

The band rest after 45 minutes or so for 15 minutes. So between sets, our group become engrossed calculating our spendings and making sure it still within budget.

After Bako

I'm in love with Bako National Park. 2 days 1 night is not enough to enjoy Bako. 16 jungle trails that leads to plateau, beach, viewpoints, capes or hills. Amazing diversity of wildlife. Annoying macaque that try to steal your food, Proboscis that steals your heart (they are freaking cute!) and adorable silvery langur that charm you with their shyness (and orange babies). Not to forget bearded wild boar that makes you want to sing Hakuna Matata whenever they're around. So much to tell which means series of Bako posts will start soon.

As far as money concern, I'd spend way beyond the budget range. I expected to spent around RM80-100. But I end up spend RM127.30. It was mainly because we don't have people to share boat rides and room fee and we splurged on meals. More details on that later as I planned to do detailed post on spending.

View of Mount Santubong from Teluk Assam, Bako National Park

During Bako Trip, I learn more about efficient backpacking. I don't actually need a lot of stuff and some stuff just takes so much space and pretty much useless (keropok and stuffs like that). I also learn that harmless splurging on small treats easily accumulated to regrettable overspending. I also learn that at times, being spontaneous helps me having more fun in such a short period of time

p/s: I still have quiet a few posts for KK Trip Diary, so I guest I'm gonna have both series running at the same time. If possible, I try to post daily, maybe two post a day. A lot catch-up need to be done.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I'm Ready for Bako.

Tomorrow I'm going to Bako National Park with Bell. It's last minute plan and I'm excited! I'm excited because it's last minute plan that actually gonna work and Bako is the awesomest place if you like trails, beaches and proboscis monkeys. We already got the permit for the stay and paid for the hostel. My budget would range from RM80 to RM100.

Ugh, I really need to brush up my skill on packing up compactly and lightly if I ever want to backpack all around the world. It takes me 4 try before I actually managed to get it right this time.

I'd even managed to pack the kick board too! Well, I just slide it in between the bag air comfort system. I give myself a pat on the back for figuring that one out. *pat*

Saturday, May 14, 2011

KK Trip Diary: Little Italy

Personally, one of the highlight (well, on the tummy side matter)of the KK trip is dinner at Little Italy. I always wanted to go there ever since the first time I read about it in a Pinay traveller blog, Paolo his name.
Little Italy is easy to find. If you managed to get your hand on the latest SabahTravelGuide.Com KK City Map, you'll find Little Italy marked at C3. Few minutes walk from Jesselton Point or Suria Sabah Mall, right under Hotel Capitol, it's located close to Wisma Sabah and Wisma Merdeka.

The menu. May look harmless. But intimidating if it's your first time in Italian restaurant. LOL. Maybe I'm just too bimbo-ish.

The interior and design of the restaurant definitely reminds me of Italy, with Zeus, Neptune and several other sculptures of Greek gods and goddess (I only saw one goddess). One wall is adorned with Fan Club of a sportsman (Valentino Rossi? Geez, I should wrote this post earlier). Lighting is low and warm, sadly, the airconditioner is too strong. We were freezing in the restaurant. Should have taken the seat outside.
Neptune accompany us for dinner.

The drink bar, I think.

The main reason why I really wanted to go to Little Italy is to try out their pizza. Specifically, the salmon pizza. However since majority vote for Carnivora (basic pizza topped with beef bacon, turkey ham, beef salami, onions and pineapple), we had that instead. Let me tell you this, the crust is perfection! I'm maybe the weird one, but for pizza, I don't really care about the topping. For me, it is all about the crust. Well, this pizza crust is the best I ever had (I haven't tried much pizza), it's crisp and thin and smells nice and yummy. Man, this is why I would never write a food blog. I don't think I can do enough justice in describing how good the pizza is. But, Paolo blog describes it very well.

Note to self: Next visit to KK must have salmon pizza!

Ordering pasta intimidates me a little because of the huge variety of pasta available and so many choices of sauces and serving that it overwhelmed our group. We ended up asking for recommendation from the wait staff. While the meal consist of pasta, and I just noticed that all of us ordered spaghetti. We drink lemon iced tea, soy drink and soda fizz. Well, not like we can drink wine! I simply can't and the other can't afford it. It's freaking RM200 or so per glass!

Mind you, name of Italian dishes is exotic enough that I have to wiki all pasta dishes to refresh my memory and to get the spelling right.

Farhan amatriciana spaghetti. He's not that impressed, but he gave 8/10 if I remember correctly.

Arjun meatball bolognese. He's the most carnivore in the group (he doesn't eat vege or fruit), so he was very pleased with the generous amount of meatball in his pasta dish.

Jerry had fettuccine alfredo except the fettuccine is spaghetti instead. He said it taste nice for few bites, more than that, makes him feel sick. Could be that it's too rich with cheese and butter. Well, it's alfredo!

My spaghetti marinara. I really enjoy this meal. The menu describes it to contain prawns, shrimps, clams and New Zealand mussels. As you can, it also have some calamari in.

An obligatory group photo before the meal.

The damages range from RM42 to RM49. For me, its RM42 well spent. For my friends, I can see that it's a waste of money for them. It really depends. If you are as crazy like me about pizza crust, you might enjoy the pizza. The pasta is like Paolo said "above average", in my case, the best I'd ever taste. Oh my, I really need to try more Italian food.
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