Monday, June 15, 2009

The Land Below the Wind

Our family made a our first trip to the Land Below the Wind last week for a short vacation ~ Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. It got is name because it is located below the typhoon belt, and is thus free from climate disturbances.

We had big plans on all the places we wanted to visit, and all the things we wanted to see and do there. But after we got there .... the kids changed their mind, and we ended up spending lots of time by the beach and pool, and bonding.

But one thing on my to do list which we definitely did was to meet up with Yan! Yes, she works and lives in KK, and she suggested the hotel we stayed at. It was definitely an excellent choice of hotel. The service was impeccable and there were activities for the children to do.

On our second day there, after a lazy morning by the pool, we went down to town to meet Yan. It was our 1st meeting andd I found out a bit about her. She brought us to this restaurant next door to her hotel for some lovely Italian food. I must say, my son had the Pizza Bianca which was a cream based pizza (which I have not seen served in Singapore - where mostly tomato based pizzas are served). One bite and I was hooked!! It was really scrumptious. The next time I make my own pizza, I am going to try making my own Bianca!! So if you are ever in KK - dont forget a visit to Little Italy for their Pizza Bianca!Thanks Yan, for a lovely lunch and all the Sabah goodies that you bought for us, and the gifts for the kids. It was so thoughtful!!

On one of the days we made a trip to Sapi Island, one of the Islands that form part of the Tungku Abdul Rahman National Park. This National Park is made up of 5 islands, which are teeming with fishes and corals. Even 2 feet from shore, if you have fish food, the fishes will all come swimming in. It was also jelly fish season, but luckily none of us were bitten. The ride there was in a speed boat from the jetty at our hotel. It was a heart-stopping ride for me, as it went at a super high speed, and when cutting waves, the boat "bounced"! The kids thoroughly enjoyed that ride, as they likened it to a roller coaster ride, but I must say, I was a little blue in the face. My heart cant seem to take such excitement anymore!!

Someone once said that every year we should endeavour to catch a sunrise and a sunset. This I did in KK. Not one, but many. Being an early riser, and with a room facing the mountains, I managed to catch the beautiful sunrise. As for the sunsets, the view was breathtaking from the hotel's beach, as the skies were clear and we had unobstructed views.
Sitting on a massage chair and having your feet massaged at the same time whilst watching the sunset, with a nice cold coconut drink by your side ~ who could ask for more!!

Though we did not do as much as we would have liked, this short vacation was a good one, as we managed to re-charge, and we witnessed the bond amongst the children (something we rarely see back home.) Big brother helping little sis with her dinner, big sis bringing little Sis to the kids corner for games and watching over her, big sis encouraging little sis to put her head in the water to blow bubbles, and making it fun in the process , etc. There was definitely very little squabbling on this trip. And to me, that was definitely the highlight of the trip!!


Yan said...

In Chinese there is a saying, if you have guests coming from afar, it's a great joy! That's the joy to have you and your family here. I am not very Sabahan yet though! Probably, I am more Singaporean than Sabahan! He..he..

Yes, I begin to like this place. Many of those sunrises and sunsets - almost daily. And I have not got tired of it.

And the people here are just wonderful. That makes my stay here very enriching.

Glad you like it! Do come back once a year to catch another of those sunrises and sunsets, huh?

iml said...

Welcome home!!!

JoMel said...

What a lovely tale of new friendship!! And I see that Yan has been a wonderful host. :)

And I can understand how the "little squabbling" part can be a highlight in a trip like this.

I don't usually make big plans when making a holiday trip. I just do an outline of the "must-do, must-see" and expand from there if time and energy permits.

My kids will love the national park!! :)

stay-at-home mum said...

Hi Yan

would love to go back annually - if time and money permits :D

Thanks iml!!

Hi Jomel
Yes, Yan was a wonderful host!!

Stardust said...

Love the sunrise picts!! And the holiday sounds like a good break I'd like to have.

NomadicMom said...

Must be great to watch the sunrise!!
And to meet up with a new friend!
Which hotel did you stay in?
Little Italy? Did you try the ice-creams? If memory serves me right, they have GREAT homemade Italian gelato in local flavours. My faves were Hazelnut, Coconut and their Yam!

stay-at-home mum said...

Hi Stardust
Hope you manage to get a good holiday soon!

Hi NomadicMom
NO, I did not try the ice-creams. next time, i guess!! I stayed at the Shangri-la Tanjung Aru Resort

just me said...

what a wonderful holiday...good company and stressless kids !