Sunday, December 21, 2008
1Life, 1Bird, 1Borneo.
Welcome to the second episode of my vacation in Kota Kinabalu.
This is actually my second visit to the city since 1998. That's exactly 10 years ago.
Obviously that time, there's no 1Borneo. Just some ordinary shopping centres.
I can't remember much of my previous trip to KK before as I was only Primary 2 that time!
So if I have over-reacted at some point in this entry, please forgive me for my sakai-ness
Opened recently, 1Borneo is the biggest hypermall on the island of Borneo at 4.8 million square foot.
It is reputed to be the new era of lifestyle, fashion and entertainment for Borneans, it has everything from accessories, electronics, fashion for men and ladies to cosmetics as well as home deco and furnishing.
Not everything is completed yet though but according to a website, it will be before their official opening in the first half of 2009.
The 1Borneo Seaworld is still under construction. The underwater park is a walk-through aquarium which promises to showcase over 5,000 species of marine life.
Again, according to a website, I heard that they would be bringing in penguins.
It houses some of the most internationally and regionally-recognised brands such as French Connection, Calvin Klein, Mango, G2000, Esprit, Salabianca, Roxy, Guess and so on.
And what's great is that there are discounts all over.
Hey, it's the Malaysian Grand Sales! But too bad, I didn't buy any shirts. =(
Already making a huge success, another project called '1Sulaman' is gonna be set up as well.
Now that's really cool.
Truthfully, I haven't heard much about 1Borneo before I even went there.
I've read from advertisements about it in the newspapers before but still have no idea what it's like.
When I saw the real thing, my expression went from -.- to O.O!
From my arrival, already, I noticed 4 hotels there - Novotel, Mercure, Courtyard Hotel and the everything-also-have-to-charge
Tune hotel. They are all quite decent and prestigious really, unlike Palm Garden and Riverview Hotel.
The Christmas decoration here is top class.
Already, from the outside, we saw giant Santa.
And then, walking to the center atrium, where events would usually take place, the christmas deco is even more fascinating.
All the Christmas trees here are huge! All the bright and colorful ornaments makes the Christmas trees there even more fancier.
There's no wonder why so many family came here to take picture of their kids with the Christmas decorations as the background. It's just like NBT.
Other than that, the toilets are spotless clean as well but you have to pay RM0.30 to enter.
I also realised that there's a small LCD screen on top of every urinal at the men's toilet. Who would've thought we'd be able to watch something while taking a piss, right? So high-tech.
Luckily what's featured on the LCD screen are advertisements. If porns are featured instead, I guess there's much more things to do than just taking a piss.
Now you know how fierce advertisements in KK are compared to Brunei.
Me and my family went there from 9.30am. At that time, most of the shops weren't open yet. We were stunned to see so many 'franchised' eateries and fast-food restaurants.
We first ate at The Chicken Rice Shop. Not surprisingly, only 1 or 2 tables were occupied that time as it was still early.
There are so many different meal sets at the menu. And they don't cost a bomb.
There's this Honey BBQ Chicken which is terrific.
Almost every meal set comes with this thing called Pai Tee.
And I don't even know what it is.
Normally when you go to a chicken rice shop, chicken rice is always the highlight of the menu, but here in The Chicken Rice Shop, almost everything are equally tasty.
Like this Pak Choy with Oyster sauce.
I didn't eat very full because there are other foods I would like to try as well.
There's this place inside called China Town selling some Chinese arts, calligraphies, some 'made in China' products and so on.
The place is quite deserted when we were there.
The workers there were just playing around with each other since there's no customers yet.
That place is huge really. It is divided into so many sections, from the cheap phone dangles to some expensive chinese arts.
The good thing about this place is that the staff or shopkeepers don't follow you everywhere you go, which means I am free to take as many pictures I want, touch as many things I like, or accidentally breaking some stuff without anyone noticing.
I'm really impressed by this China Town. It's so big inside and there is a China 'feel' inside that place. Get what I mean?
I found this wooden scroll lying around. Inscribed on it is some very very meaningful poem. After reading it, I guess I've found my true self, and finally understood the principle of life.
There are several spelling mistakes in the inscription. After days of finding the rightful meaning and spelling, I've finally figured it out.
The last few sentences must have been this: "What's the best thing in the world? Your family and our friends' ass are most reliable. Just do things properly with the same tempo and must have good humor. Then you can love yourself, and don't worry."
Anyone thinks my ass is reliable?
Out of the ordinary, I found Predator in China Town!
I have no idea what he is doing here in China Town anyway.
I also found out Singapore's very own Bee Cheng Hiang is here in 1Borneo as well. This is the shop which has truly made me go WOW!
I went to the shop happily hoping to buy home some BBQ pork strips, but too bad, it has all gone out of stock. Must come here during the end of the month. =.=
My second meal of the day is at Manhattan Fish Market.
I heard this is a very well known fish & chips eatery, but it seems like business wasn't so good on that day, because there's no customer or perhaps it's 3pm already at that time.
I ordered the Pacific Dory Fish & Chips.
I would say the fish is very fresh, but somehow, I don't find it so delicious. At RM16.90, still, it's worth a try though.
After that, I saw my brudder at the Nike shop.
Hmmm.. He's seems so happy that he had forgotten to layan me.
On the top floor, the Malaysian cinema-chain Golden Screen Cinemas is there as well.
And there are 8 theatres altogether. Isn't that a lot?
And also not to forget, there's also Tune department store, selling household items are relatively affordable prices.
We then decided to go Warisan Sqaure and left 1Borneo at around 5.30pm.
On the way there, I saw a orange Lamborghini!
But too bad it is driven by an 'uncle'.
I didn't take much pictures at Warisan Square.
I found out Fratini is there as well.
Didn't know Fratini is that successful.
Also, I tried cakes at Secret Recipe for the first time.
This is the Chocolate Cheese cake I ordered. It was goooood!
Why isn't there any Secret Recipe in Brunei yet?
I also wanted to try San Francisco Coffee, but I was too full to try their coffees that time.San Francisco Coffee changed name to An Ancisco Coff.
Unfortunately, I didn't stay in KK very long. I only had 1 full day for shopping.
It feels great to have been to 1Borneo already, but my overall regret is that I didn't buy any shirts. Actually I did bought 1, but I guess it wasn't enough.
So you see, it is clear that 1Borneo and Warisan Square is heaps better than any shopping mall in Brunei.
If a lifestyle shopping mall is gonna open in Brunei, what's it gonna be called?
:: Posted by DENCORPORATION at 12:31 AM
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Road Trip To KK
I'm now back from my family trip to KK and I now still feel a bit tired and dizzy from the trip.
The trip was pretty alright actually. The sights and surroundings on the way to KK is awesome.
For people who drives fast, it would normally take just 6 hours to reach KK from Brunei. Driving at normal speed, it would take around 7 - 8 hours. And obviously, slow drivers would take 9 - 10 hours.
To drive to KK, you need to cross several borders. First being Kuala Lurah, then crossing back into Temburong district, crossing through another finger of Sarawak, and finally entering the Malaysian state of Sabah at Merapok.
Also, there are two rivers along the route which have to be crossed by ferry. Each you have to pay RM10 for using the ferry.
So we woke up early at 5am in the morning, and embarked our journey at 6am.
When we reached Kuala Lurah, we were shocked by the traffic jam.
The queue is that long! The worst thing that could happen in these queues is that some cars may drive all the way from the back directly to the front, cutting the queue.
And if you can see from the pictures, the mist were actually that thick considering it's 7am+ already.
I used to think mists would just disappear when it gets later than 7am, but it's a wonderful sight anyway.
After waiting for more than 1 and a half hour, we were happy to have finally got past the Kuala Lurah immigration station and head to Limbang's bandar for breakfast.
It's so nice to be at Limbang despite it being a heavily undeveloped town. The kolo mee in Limbang is da bomb! Ahh, I love my hometown.
We had our breakfast at Mei Sing Restaurant, and the kolo mee is hands down, one of the best!
Well, not exactly the best, but it's awesome.
After our breakfast, we knew we couldn't afford to waste anymore time, so we had to continue the trip for a ferry ride down to Bangar, Temburong.
Luckily for us, there isn't any traffic jam. We waited only for just a short while and then hop onto the ferry.
There isn't much to say about Temburong. I thought everything would be forestry but it's not. The roads are made of high quality asphalt.
And then, we're also lucky that there's no traffic jam at the Trusan border. There is actually, but just a very very short one.
There are actually a lot of Bruneian cars around. Confirm 99.9% go to KK one. I saw a group of 7 or 8 or 9 Bruneian vans convoying to KK. That's really a big family for a trip.
And then, we reached Beaufort.
This is where the views started to get nicer. There are trains, temples, mountains, oil palms and so on.
At one point, I saw a land, full of oil palms and it is so ridiculously massive!
If someone were to get lost in the plantation, it would be like an ant trying to find its way out of someone's hairy leg.
After almost 9 hours, we finally reached KK.
We decided to stay at Promenade Hotel after a 3 days-long hunt for hotels with vacant rooms. Next time must book hotels earlier.
When we reached KK, we couldn't check in to the hotel yet because the check in time is supposed to be 5pm.The first christmas tree to be spotted in KK - Esprit.
That left us with no choice but to go Wawasan Plaza which is just close by.
It's 3pm at that time, and that's also the time I had lunch for that day.
I ordered a plate of roasted pork with rice. However, it wasn't very good. Not to my liking, at least.
The shops around Wawasan Plaza aren't that interesting. There are some shops selling local Sabah products and t-shirts which is cool.
The t-shirts can also glow in the dark!
I didn't buy any souvenirs though because I was short on cash.
When it's about time that we should be checking in to our hotel, we left Wawasan Plaza and returned to our hotel.
Back in our room, the view outside the window is fantastic. Overlooking the sea and Sutera Harbour.
At night, my dad decided that we go look for a friend who lives in KK to bring us around for something nice to eat.
The latter then brought us to somewhere very far called Gayang Seafood Restaurant.
There are so many live fishes, crabs and shrimps, all waiting to be picked by hungry customers and then cooked.
And we saw this.
That's a huge b*tch! The shellfish, not my father's hand.
And we ordered some crabs, fishes, prawn and vegies.
I haven't had a seafood night out for so long and all the foods we ordered were nice. Or maybe because I'm hungry?
But that doesn't matter.
The fish we ordered that night is the best fish I've had in such a long time! It's so good that I still drool looking at the picture of the fish until this very day.[to be continued, more about shopping in KK in my next post..]
:: Posted by DENCORPORATION at 10:08 PM