At Manukan Island. From left Hana, Zaza, me and Mimi
Note: These rascals go crazy for Pringle chips. Particularly garlic-flavored
We had a big fat breakfast at the hotel and the van came to pick us up to go to the jetty for the snorkeling trip. We took up island hopping so it was the Manukan Island first, and then off to Sapi Island. Manukan is a relatively quite big island, big enough that one could get a pretty good trekking exercise in the small jungle. The fishes were okay, but we spent most of the time on the boat whilst Mimi and Zaza went parasailing. It looked pretty exciting and I was almost tempted to do it to, but once they landed back on the boat I asked them and Zaza said. ‘I could’ve fallen asleep up there,” so I didn’t.
At the Sapi Island the fishes were much better. Hana discovered that these fish go absolutely wild for Pringle chips, so there we were, four bimbos snorkeling through the clear waters with a disposable camera and a can of Pringle chips. I saw a Nemo too! When we were done snorkeling we walked around the beach and did – well what else? Camwhoring. It amazes me sometimes how most women will do anything to get some pictures while most men totally despises that. Funny fact, eh?
We went back late in the evening, all extra-tanned, and that night we rented a car and took a drive to Bukit Padang which was about 15 minutes away. There was this really nice seafood restaurant called Restoran Nelayan, and not only were there unlimited choices on seafood, there were also cultural shows (which I volunteered to be one of those blank-eyed tourists who tries a hand at Cultural demonstrations and looks stupid afterwards). Note here that it is unforgivable to not try this one particular dish called ‘Crab in Salted Egg Yolk’. Oh dear Lord forgive me for the calories I’m not counting.
“Gosh, I’m such a looser,” I said jokingly after trying to shoot a balloon with a traditional shooter (sumpit) twice and failing.
“No!! You no looser!” Said the dude in the cultural outfit. Geez, talk about making sure tourists have a good time. I guess they took it rather seriously around here.
Me trying the sumpit. Some happy tourists from China enthusiastically cheering at the background.
Sunset at Marina Bay, Kota Kinabalu
On the weekend my three girlfriends and I made a trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. The flight was about two hours from Kuala Lumpur, and we were going to kill two birds with one stone – go snorkeling and do some light exploring at Mount Kinabalu. First lesson here is to never underestimate the power of pre-booking meals. The smell of a hotdog gets 10 times more intense in the plane.
We got there by noon, went food-hunting for lunch and Mimi brought us all to a small old bakery within the mall to get her favorite food as a child – it was called the Mexico Bun (Butter bun with crème filling). I think it’s wonderful the fact that most of us almost always associate the happiness of childhood to some kind of favorite food/junk/snacks that rot your teeth.
We went to see the sunset at Marina Bay, and of course, I ate some cookies and cream gelato (honestly, and I have the cheek to wish I have badass legs like Miranda Kerr?). It was pretty nice, sitting at the jetty, talking about nothing, enjoying the sea and sunset, checking out observe-worthy guys… it was all a very ’19 again’ evening hanging out with close girlfriends.
For dinner we were all pretty content on trying to have a laid back weekend holiday, so Mimi’s sister took us out to dinner at a pretty nice restaurant pub in the heart of Kinabalu. Mimi used to live in Kinabalu before she moved to KL, by the way. Which explains the Mexico bun and the sister. Anyway the food was lovely, I think we ordered enough to feed 10 starving girls from America’s Next Top Model. We spent the rest of the night playing pool at the pub, and by the end of it I think I have smartly converted myself from a zero to hero when it comes to snooker, thanks to Zaza my BFF who is the macho-est woman alive (I mean, she can play snooker so well it made those guys on ESPN gulp).
We got back to the hotel room to watch a silly movie nobody remembered about and played cards for the rest of the night. All set and geared up for snorkeling the next day!
Api-api Centre Restaurant and Pub. Awesome Filipino food. And pool table.