Kota Belud’s best kept secrets!

Mention Kota Belud, and most people will talk to you about the Tamu/Market. What everyone fails to mention however, is the gorgeous beaches that lay hidden close by.

On a rare free weekend, I managed to gather not just one but three (this is really a feat given our schedules) accomplices for a weekend getaway. In typical Malaysian fashion, we left later than expected and the first order of business was food.

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Kuala Penyu – hide your brides!

Kuala Penyu is probably one of the most underrated places in all of Sabah. This coastal town is mostly known as the gateway to Survivor Island (Pulau Tiga), but has a few gems of it’s own that really deserves some attention.

Located only 125km (2 hours give or take) away from Kota Kinabalu, it really is perfect for a day trip or even just a weekend away.

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Danum Valley – without breaking bank

I finally managed to tick Danum Valley off my bucket list. Like most, when looking up Danum Valley on blogs etc, I mostly came across the tours organised by various companies and staying at the very nice and very much out of my budget Borneo Rainforest Lodge. It was actually through a friend of a friend and a trip organised by one of the departments in the hospital that I found out about this considerably cheaper but just as good alternative.

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Of mermaids and dugongs.

“… I hope you guys are ready, cause it’s going to be a roller coaster ride!” she said with a huge grin on her face, before taking her seat at the back of the boat. Needless to say, with news of sinking boats and my good friend anxiety – this did absolutely nothing to quiet my hyperactive imagination as I scanned the boat one last time, counting heads to make sure we didn’t have too many passengers.

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There’s nothing to do in Kundasang anyway?

Prior to moving to Sabah two years ago, I had already climbed Mount Kinabalu (very doable and I highly recommend that you do it!) and visited Kundasang briefly during that trip. As such, I decided that there isn’t very much to do in Kundasang, except maybe get some fresh air and I flat out refused to visit the Dairy Farm -because been there, done that and didn’t know why I would pay to look at cows, when I got to do that for free in Denmark one too many a time.

So after two years and a lot of research, I thought maybe I should actually make my way up again and see some of the things I read about, and the 3 day 2 night trip wasn’t enough time.

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Of hissy fits and mini tantrums – Wild Honey

“I’m sorry…I know I’m behaving like a bit of a brat. I’m just really disappointed…”  I said to a very concerned and confused looking waiter who had the unfortunate task of dealing with my sulking.”It’s just that I’ve been dreaming about this for so long and I head back to KK tomorrow!” I explained hoping he would not look at me like I was crazy.

To be fair, I can hardly blame the guy. How often do you see a grown ass woman in her late 20’s act like a 5 year old who just got her cookie stolen (minus the kicking, screaming and tears).

You must understand though, I have a thing about brunch. Not so much brunch actually, but more of an undying, borderline unhealthy love for Eggs Benedict.

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Worms and other good stuff … D’Place Kepayan Perdana

D’ Place Kepayan Perdana is a place I’ve wanted to try ever since I heard they serve authentic Kadazan-Dusun food. Ironically enough, despite being in Sabah for more than a year now, I haven’t really had proper traditional local food.

The thing about this kind of meal is you tend to get very mixed reviews cause the food is different from what most of us “Semenanjung-ites”(West Malaysians) are used to. Though almost everyone agrees it is something you should, at the very least try once.
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Bukit Kokol

Bukit Kokol (Kokol Hill) is give or take 40 minutes from KK City in Menggatal. It had rained all morning the day we decided to visit, so we only made our way up sometime after mid day. The roads are windy and some parts are a bit steep, so if you have a 4WD you’re good to go, though other sedans make it up just fine as well.

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