Thursday, June 30, 2011

KFC

We did not eat at the island because we’re afraid to miss the boat so when we reach Jesselton Point, we look for restaurant where we could eat our lunch but it was scorching hot so we decided to eat at Suria Sabah. Since we are not familiar with place, it took us so much time looking for restroom and restaurant. Finally, we saw KFC.

2pc chicken, rice and soup w/drinks RM10.40, 3 pcs chicken, roll, mashed poatato and coleslaw w/drinks RM12.70
I was looking for gravy because I love KFC gravy but I did not see anything and I’ve noticed that each table has two bottles of ketchup which I do not like. Thank God for the gravy of mashed potato, though the taste is different from what we have here in the Philippines.
Breakfast Combo RM8
On our third day we were looking for a café shops or fast food chain so we could eat our breakfast before we start the City Tour. Then we saw KFC at Kampung Air, it is open 24hrs. So I ordered breakfast meal, the KFC staff does not know how to speak in English so we are having a hard time so we end up using hand gestures. J I went back to her to ask for spoon and fork but they do not have fork, she just gave me spoon. Then I’ve realized that not all restaurant or fast food in Kota Kinabalu use spoon and fork; expect that you will eat using your hands. Good thing that I did not order rice meal.




Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Manukan Island

I do not have so much expectation when I went in Kota Kinabalu because from what I’ve read, we have better beach and island. We almost scrapped this trip because according to my husband, there is nothing special in Kota Kinabalu but I do not agree with him because for me, each place has its own beauty and uniqueness.
I was correct because when we we’re in Jesselton Point, how I wish we have the same ferry terminal, the place is clean and well maintained. Everything is organized from buying ticket, paying for the terminal fee, getting your lifejacket, snorkels, fins and others. We also met some Filipinos who work there so we did not have a hard time.
After buying the ticket, you have to inform them what time you want to return to Jesselton Point so the boat will pick you up. If you want to extend your time or you want to come back earlier, just call the operation counters thirty minutes before.
If you are coming from Manukan and Mamutik Island the return time is
10AM, 11AM, 12NN, 1PM, 2PM, 3PM, 4PM and 5PM
If you are coming from Sapi Island the return time is
10:15AM, 11:15AM, 12:15NN, 1:15PM, 2:15PM, 3:15PM, 4:15PM and 5:15PM
So do not be late or else you need to wait on the next return boat.


Exactly 8AM we left Jesselton Point. Manukan Island is a 15-20 minutes speedboat ride from the ferry terminal. It is not the usual boat that we use here in the Philippines whenever we do an island hopping. After fifteen minutes we are now here at the Manukan Island, a little walk from the dock going to the island proper.  At the registration counter you need to pay Conservation Fee.
RM3 for Malaysians
RM10 for Non-Malaysians

I forgot about this fee so while I’m getting my wallet I’ve asked the staff “how much will I pay?” Then he asked me, are you non Malaysian? I said yes, and then I noticed that the ticket that was in front of me was RM3 only, but he replaced the ticket to RM10 for non Malaysians. If I did not talk, I will only pay RM6 for 2 adults instead of RM20. No conservation fee for children.


Manukan Island is the second largest island in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. It is also the most developed island. There are lodges, souvenir shop, fast food, seafood restaurant, beach table, public restroom and even lifeguard house. I find Manukan Island very beautiful and relaxing, it was developed but not commercialized. If I don’t have limited time, I would like to visit Mamutik and Sapi Island.







Though we have limited time, we enjoyed the place. It was the first time that we just left our things on the beach table so we could swim together.  At first, I was scared because everything is in my bag but I see other beach table without watchman so I thought it was safe to leave your things.





Jesselton Point Waterfront

Jesselton Point Waterfront is formerly known as Kota Kinabalu Ferry Terminal, it is a place where you need to go if you want to go to Labuan, Gayana Island and Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.
We woke up early for our island hopping, I’ve asked the staff for directions and she told me, “just go straight and when you see Hyatt Hotel, the Jesselton Point is at the back of it.” Again I just follow the road and look for Hyatt Hotel, upon reaching the Hyatt Hotel, I was looking for the arch but I cannot see anything, I just saw this fish monument.

I decided to turn left, following the sign of the fish but it was a wrong move. Again, we’re lost so I asked again for directions and the lady told me, just walk straight. It is funny that whenever I’ve asked for directions they will just say, follow the road, go straight and walk straight and the landmark that they are giving me is too far from the place that I need to go. When you see the fish monument, you should turn right and the landmark is Suria Sabah Mall. I was so happy when I see this arch, finally, we’re in Jesselton Point.

food shops are available

I went inside the office and proceeded to counter 8 to avail our discount from City Park Lodge, RM4 per person. Since we only have limited time, I decided to go to one island only and that is Manukan Island.
Manukan Island Entrance Fee

Adult: RM23
Children: RM18

Terminal Fee

Adult: RM7.20
Children: RM3.60

Others: RM5 – lifejacket
In spite of getting lost, we're still early because 8AM is the boat departure so we still have 45 minutes to roam around. I did not mind waiting because I enjoyed watching the view, port and people.  I am not surprise if this became one of their main city attractions because it is a great place to unwind and watch sunrise/sunset.  





Yummy Pastel

I received this yummy pastel last night from my girl friend that just came from Camiguin. It is a sort of reward from convincing one of our guy friends not to cancel his Camiguin trip last Saturday. My guy friend does not want to continue the trip because of typhoon Falcon because he has two kids in tow but I was able to persuade him so I have now my favorite pastel from Camiguin.



Vjandep Pastel is the famous pastel and pasalubong in Camiguin so do not leave Camiguin without buying this. It is just a small bun with a filling, you can choose from cheese, langka, macapuno, mango, pineapple, ube and yema. I never tried other flavors because I am satisfied with yema flavor.

Vjandep Pastel is also available in CDO but of course the price is no longer the same but the increase is just minimal. The last time we went to Camiguin, I bought few boxes of this and before going home, we dropped by SM CDO just to buy more boxes for pasalubong.

My husband knows that I love pastel so whenever he sees pastel at the airport, he will buy me one box. Just one box if he is not in CDO airport because it is really expensive. The last time he went to Cebu, he bought me one box and it cost him P250. But it is more or less P140 in Camiguin or CDO.




Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Secret Recipe

We're supposed to eat at Seri Selara on our first night but we got lost and we're already tired of walking. I even asked for directions and staff told me, “Just follow the road, landmark is Le Meridien”.  I know that it is just there but I can’t find it. I already gave up because we need to sleep early, so when I saw Secret Recipe restaurant, we immediately crossed the road and enter the restaurant.

This restaurant is also included in my “must try restaurant list” so I know that the food will be good and it did not fail my expectations. The food taste good and they also have big servings. We ordered Mozzarella Baked Fish RM18.50, Stewed Aussie Beef Steak RM19.50 and Ice Lemon Tea RM5.50

mozzarella baked fish with herbs and cherry tomatoes, fried potatoes and steamed vegetable

beef stewed, french fries and steamed vegetables

my son enjoyed stirring this ice tea till it was mixed




City Park Lodge

Since I’ve booked our ticket several months before our flight, I had enough time looking for a place where to stay. As a budget traveler, I eliminate all hotels in my list; I just searched for a pension house or a lodge where we could sleep. We just need a decent room with a private restroom because most of the time we will be out for a tour.





There are so many lodge and pension house in Kota Kinabalu and I chose City Park Lodge because of the good location, good reviews and affordable price. City Park Lodge is situated in the heart of the city; everything that you need is within the area, there is convenience store, shopping mall, money changer, café, market, fast food and even historical landmarks.
We went to Jesselton Point, Seri Selera, Gaya Sunday Market, Atkinson Tower and other places simply by walking and we were able to save money because of this, a short taxi ride will cost you RM20. They do not use meter in Kota Kinabalu though they have meter gadget on their taxi.
City Park Lodge also offers free internet access and free coffee and tea, so do not forget to bring your mug. You can avail their airport pick up service for RM30. I was shocked when I saw the owner of the lodge waiting for us at the airport. His picture is in their website so I easily recognized him. J The owner and the staff are all friendly and approachable; I even ask them for directions.
CITY PARK LODGE
49, Jalan Pantai, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Phone : (6 088) 257752, 258752
Fax : (6 088) 252752
Email :
cplodge@streamyx.com





Air Asia Experience



I’ve been receiving emails from Air Asia for the past few years about their upcoming promo but I did not book any flights because the location of the airport hinders me. But their P100 promo last year changed my mind, so I eagerly booked our flight from Clark – Kota Kinabalu – Clark; total airfare is P2145 for 3 people. P715 per person, it is really a steal.
Air Asia is a low cost airline so meals and baggage allowances are not included. Two weeks before our flight, I’ve pre-booked baggage allowance and meals for additional P1,623.46, so I can save more. I ordered Chicken Satay Combo and Roast Chicken Combo. The roast chicken is too spicy for me so I did not enjoy it. Chicken Satay is just ok and not too spicy.  


Chicken Satay Combo

Roast Chicken Combo
If you want to be seated together, you need to avail their “pick a seat” because even I have a two year old son, we are not seated together and fortunately they have no seatmate so I just moved. It also happened on our way back to Clark, we are not seated together but a Chinese guy is kind enough and he said we could exchange seats.  

I did not order any meals on our way back; I will just use my excess ringgit because I am sure that money changer will not accept smaller bills. I have remaining RM28, so I ordered Tuna Sandwich, coke in can and Uncle Chin’s Chicken Rice, total is RM28. Lol. But it is really better to pre-book your meals because it is cheaper and it will be served first. Choices are limited and sometimes it is not available on your flight.

Uncle Chin's Chicken Rice RM13, Coke in can RM6, Tuna Sandwich RM9
We enjoyed our overall experience in Air Asia and if there is another promo, I will not hesitate to fly with Air Asia.




Monday, June 27, 2011

DMIA (Diosdado Macapagal International Airport)


DMIA or Diosdado Macapagal International Airport is one of the international airports here in the Philippines and it is located in Central Luzon so I never thought that I would be here since I live in South area and Pasay airport is more accessible to me.

Last year I was able to book a promo ticket from Air Asia. I have no hesitation in booking the flight even I am aware that I have to travel all the way to Clark. You can never say no with the price even I add the gas, toll fee and parking fee.
DMIA Parking fee: P30
Security fee: P90 per day

Other option is ride a bus, you can check Philtranco website for the bus schedules in Pasay and Megamall station.

Fare: around P300-350 per way

After few months of waiting I thought our trip will be cancelled because of typhoon “Falcon”. I had sleepless nights because I keep on checking for weather updates and I even followed kuya Kim Atienza’s twitter account just to be updated. lol! I did not receive any notice from Air Asia that our flight would be cancelled so we still went to DMIA last Friday even the weather was not good. I just keep on praying that everything will be fine and thank God because there’s no more rain when we reached the airport.


The DMIA building is not that big compared to our Pasay Airport but the runway is long and wide and it is also considered as one of the biggest aviation complexes here in Asia. The airport staffs are all friendly, nice and approachable. 

Travel Tax: P1620 for adult
                   P810 for children + P200 processing fee for reduced tax.
Terminal Fee: P600

There is money changer, food shops and duty free shops inside the airport.




See my updated post here. 


Kenny Rogers Roasters

I can’t even remember the last time I ate in Kenny Rogers Roasters, it’s been years already. But after few years, I was able to taste their food again. Before we left Marquee Mall, we decided to have an early lunch because it is much cheaper than eating at airport food shops. Since we are not familiar with the place, we settled in Kenny Rogers Roasters because it is the restaurant beside Krispy Kreme.


We both ordered solo A, ¼ roast chicken, 1 regular side dish, 1 rice and I corn muffin for P158. The taste is still the same. I remembered when I was still in college, I always love corn muffin and whenever I have extra money, I will drop by at Kenny Rogers just to buy 6 pieces corn muffin before going home.




Krispy Kreme – Original Glazed Doughnuts

On our way to DMIA (Diosdado Macapagal International Airport) we dropped by at Marque Mall to pay our phone bill so we can have enough credit limit just in case we need to call or text in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. I am not familiar with the place because that was my first time so while I was looking for a restroom and ATM, I saw Krispy Kreme store. I was so happy that they have branch here so I did not think twice and bought one dozen of my favorite original glazed doughnuts.


One dozen of original glazed doughnut is only P285, save P99. The first time I’ve tasted Krispy Kreme doughnuts, I already fell in love with it so every time I saw Krispy Kreme store, I immediately buy one dozen. My family really loves this soft doughnut, too bad that they only have limited branch.
My son carried the Krispy Kreme box till we reached the boarding gate.





Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tiramisu



P295 - mini tiramisu

Photo from Contis website cause I do not have a good shot

I do not want to leave Nuvali without dropping by at Contis. I always order mango bravo but this time I want something new so I bought tiramisu. Honestly, this is my first time to eat tiramisu and I like it, better version of mocha cake because of the layer of chiffon, creamy cheese filling and cocoa powder. My son loves it and he was able to finish two slices of tiramisu. It is not too sweet so you will definitely love this.




Claw Daddy at Nuvali





It was supposed to be my check up but doctor was out so we headed to Nuvali just to kill some time before hubby will go to his office.  Mr. Sunshine still was not out but I still thank God because it did not rain when we had our fish feeding session. This is the favorite past time of my son in Nuvali, fish feed is P15 per pack.


The booth has been improved

fiiiiiiiish!

A girl gave me Claw Daddy flyer and I eagerly check the menu, I was drooling over the crab so we decided to try this restaurant. There was promo for all the fathers but too late because it is no longer June 19. We supposed to order the regular “Crabs by the Bucket” but it was not available so we settle for “Big Crabs” P135/100g. The waiter will ask you how you want your crab to be cooked, we chose Singaporean Chili Crab. Other options are typhoon shelter deep fried crab, butter ginger crab, crab maritess, szechuan crab and steamed crab with lemon butter.





I enjoyed the crab but not really the sauce, there is nothing special. My husband was disappointed because for him Singaporean Chili Crab of Red Crab is much better. But overall, I enjoyed it; this was the first time that I eat in a restaurant wearing a bib and without using spoon and fork, messy but yummy!


Complimentary

Singaporean Chili Crab P875

Ready to eat