Visiting temple in Kota Kinabalu

I went to Gurdwara, or Sikh temple in Tanjung Aru about two years ago for an event but did not take pictures because I was rushing.

Recently, another event held at the outside of the temple and I decided to have a look inside the prayer hall.

I am sure most of Kota Kinabalu city folks never visited this building, located near SM Maktab Sabah (Sabah College Secondary School). If you have free time, try to have a look at this building which has been added in city tour package by some of the travel agents.

Those who are planning to travel to Sabah and have a few hours in the city centre before traveling back, try to stop at this temple because it is on your way to the airport. The location is about 5 minutes from Airasia Airport and 7 minutes to Kota Kinabalu International Airport (please consider, I am a slow driver).

Ok, let me explain a little bit about this religion. Please correct me if I'm wrong ya... Sikhism is a monotheistic religion founded in India’s Punjab region and based on the teachings of Guru Nanak and his successors. The Sikh philosophy focuses on the equality of all people, and is said to be summed up by Guru Nanak as, “Realization of Truth is higher than all else. Higher still is truthful living.”

The Sikhs are extremely gracious in welcoming visitors and helping them to understand the Sikh religion and customs. Visiting a Gurdwara, the Sikh meeting place for worship, is open to everyone – regardless of beliefs, caste or color.

Based on my experience, here are some guidelines to follow for a respectful visit, and notes about what to expect.

Dress modestly.

Like any other sacred space, you will want to plan on dressing modestly when visiting a Sikh temple. It’s best to wear loose-fitting clothing as you may sit with others on the floor in the main prayer hall.

Ask permission before entering.
The Gurdwara in Tanjung Aru doesn't have reception area for visitors, but there will be people at the hall, outside the temple. Ask them about your interest to have a look at the temple. They are very friendly and helpful.

Cover your head.
Everyone must cover their heads before entering the Gurdwara. Sikh men customarily wear turbans, while Sikh women typically wear head scarves as part of their traditional dress. If you do not have a head covering, don't worry they will let you borrow one when you arrive at the temple.

Remove your shoes and wash your hands and feet.
It is customary to remove your shoes before entering the prayer building.
In the main prayer hall, be aware of the Guru (priest).
Entering the main prayer hall, I did not see anyone praying at that time because they were busy with the event happening outside. But someone guide us and explained about the temple and its history, how it became an important part of the British prisoners of war during the WW2. According to her, if the Guru (priest) is there, you must respect him by walking quietly.

I personally  had enjoyed learning a bit about their traditions in visiting a Gurdwara. If you have the opportunity, a visit to a Sikh temple is a rich experience.

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Picnic at Simpang Mengayau

Who doesn't love a picnic!

On our final day of office trip to Bavanggazo Longhouse, we decided to bring the kids for a barbeque picnic at Simpang Mengayau beach. We woke up not so early in the morning, breakfast and get some fresh fish from Kudat market.

The ladies did the marinating, while the dudes did the barbeque. 

The kids actually has repeatedly been asking to go to the beach. They wanted to play with the sand.

I must say Simpany Mengayau beach has the potential to be the main attraction for the locals and also tourists but there must be a continuous maintenance of the place. What a beautiful place with white sand but sadly there is no proper toilet and garbage bins. People are throwing plastic everywhere, and I did not see it is heading to a right direction.

I personally love picnic because we did it very often when I was small. I do not agree Simpang Mengayau to be commercialized because it will prevent the local from accessing the place like they used to be. I just want the local authority to maintain the cleanliness of the place and open it for the public as usual.

When we were at the beach, I saw  many local brought their family because it was school holiday. Children were playing with the sand, teenagers helping their parents preparing the food and the rest were just relaxing and walking around enjoying the hot breeze.

If you think preparing for a picnic sounds like too much of a hassle, think again. With a little bit of planning, you can pull off a picnic to make a day with your kiddos extra memorable. Like what we did during this trip, he only things we prepared were the chili, ketchup, plates and picnic mat. Tadaaa...

If you are planning to come here with your children for a barbeque picnic and have extra time to do preparation, do not forget to bring old blanket (to cover whatever you want to cover), napkins (you will need this if you bringing children to wipe them up), spoon, knife, wet wipes, lot of water, sun screen, bug spray and plastic bags for your waste. Please do not leave your rubbish behind. Respect the mother nature!

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A night at an authentic longhouse, Bavanggazo

If you love the sun but wanting to have a traditional touch of Borneo in your short gateway, I am recommending Bavanggazo Long House as your homestay destination. It is less than 3 hours drive from Kota Kinabalu city (for slow drive like me) but only about 20 minutes to the Tip of Borneo.

If you only have 1 day and 1 night to spend, choosing this particular authentic destination is like killing two birds with one stone. Visit the beach during the day and learn about the Rungus traditional at night. Book a night stay at the long house, and ask the operator to prepare 'kampung style' dinner and breakfast. You only spend about RM35 per head (half price for children) for the package. But if you wish to have traditional performance at night, they are charging around RM65 per head.

Two weeks ago, during the Chinese New Year holiday my colleague Eydah arranged a road trip to Bavanggazo Long House located at Tinangol near Kudat. At first, they supposed to climb Mount Kinabalu but cheated by unregistered agent. So, they changed the plan and I tagged along. Yay... I brought my son Qayyum and my sister in law (Adeq). My husband was busy so he did not follow this trip.

It was me, Qayyum, Adeq, Eydah, Sue and her daughter Sofi, Amy and her sons Micah and Dante, Aniq, Murib and Aisyah.

We started our journey at 10am from Kota Kinabalu, stopped at Kota Belud for brunch and checked in at Bavanggazo Long House around 2pm.

 SO SAD... Only mummy and Qayyum. Daddy is busy working :(

A group of munkies posing at the entrance of the Bavanggazo Long House

After checked in, we headed to the Tip of Borneo (about 30 minutes slow driving) for sight seeing. I must admit that Aniq took a number of great pictures. Yeahhh... Planning to post it into my Facebook soon so that I can show off to the other munkies in the office who refused to join us.

We were excited with the short trip and have been planning to a more adventurous trip next year. I suggested waterfall, but when someone mentioned the leech, I was loke ewwww.... I don't think I can stand leech climbing up to my foot and sucking my sweet blood. Oh NO WAY!

I have to think harder next year. Choose the best destination for another office trip. Must be safe environment for the children too.

Okey, back to this trip. I love the breeze, great company and wonderful moment shared. Five stars, man!

 Sue, as usual in her favourite black attire walking in style, you...

 Mummy and Qayyum, the amazing duo.

 Munkies posing at the Tip of Borneo.

 Murib and aniq holding Micah and Dante

 JUST THE THREE OF THEM... Amy holding both her sons Micah and Dante

 Climbing the rocks easier. No need Mount Kinabalu la...
While the other munkies are busy climbing up and down the rock, mummy and Qayyum playing on the grass.

Time to go home (the long house)

Should I tell you the real story or not? Hmmm... ok, actually I when I drove back to the long house I was busy talking with Adeq (she was holding Qayyum at the passenger seat). Cut the story short, I couldn't find the junction to the long house because it was too dark. Even worst, my phone battery drained. Luckily I found a policeman at the side of the road and he gave me the right direction. I thought I have passed the junction but actually it was just another 10km ahead.

Arrived at the long house around 7pm, showered and DINNER TIME! Most of the dishes were my favourite. We were served with rice with fried fish, Rebung, Pakis, Sayur Manis (go figure).. cant remember all but the bamboo table was full of delicious food.
After dinner, we have to find our own entertainment because we did not buy the performance package. Se took the Manggunatip bamboo, play with our own rhythm and asked whoever dared to try stepping into the most dangerous dance. LOL. No worries, everybody survuved. Ngeh :D
After putting so much effort in the Manggunatip game, we played Batu Seremban while the kids were playing with their legos. My son slept early.

At first, we planned to sleep in the room but since there were a lot of 'gossip' and 'theory', also current issues discussed, we carried all the mattress out of the room and slept at the living room. It was long so we have more than enough space to rest in our own style.

Some munkies slept early, but I remember at 2am Murib, Aniq, amy and I were still talking about life and world crisis. At 3am, almost everyone were awake and continue chit-chatting. I was not sure what time we slept but we woke up at 7am to get ready for the breakfast at 8am.

We headed to the beach for a half-day barbeque and go back to Kota Kinabalu around afternoon after Zohor prayer.

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The crop top clothing is seen to be the current fashion piece which is becoming a hit to the ladies. The clothing allows women to show off a slight hint of sexiness and femininity in their fashion look. However, many women may have some concerns on how to pull off a crop top piece in their outfit without looking horrible.

If you are currently traveling or planning to travel in style, I am definitely sure this crop top clothing will be a hit this year.

There are a few tips and tricks that women could apply in wearing crop tops based on their individual body type and personality. All women from different body shapes and sizes can have the privilege of showing off a crop top and looking fabulous as ever. For women who are tall and lean, the printed and bright coloured crop tops will be perfect to compliment your figure. Women can try pairing a bright colourful motif crop top with a midi length skirt to get a proportionate balance from head-to-toe. Also, women can also opt for a one solid coloured skirt to match with the crop top in order to minimize your height yet still remaining looking tall and lean.

But how about plus size ladies? Like me? Hold on... read this!
The plus size ladies can also look dazzling wearing crop tops on a casual day out shopping or for a short gateway. The trick for plus size gals is pairing a dark coloured crop top with a high waist midi skirt by only revealing a slight showing of the skin. Overlay your whole outfit with a white coloured cardigan or long vest to draw a slimming effect.

REMEMBER. Try to avoid wearing crop tops of white or pastel colours as it will be hard to pull off. Opt for darker tone colours to better enhance your best features.

Besides that, curvy girls should never feel insecure in wearing crop tops as the popular celebrity Kim Kardashian definitely showed the world how curvy girls could rock the fashion piece. The celebrity who stars in her own family reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, is a walking proof showing that curvy girls the beauty of wearing crop tops. Curvy figures should select a crop top which hits right at your waist and pair it with a knee length pencil skirt to show off your best assets. Want to look fabulous in beautiful pieces of crop tops? Have a look at ZALORA as they offer you a wide range of fantastic designs and colours to fit your own taste and personality. Check them out now!

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Roadtrip to Kudat

Dear friends, so sorry for the long silence. I delivered my first child, Qayyum Mikhail (We are calling him Q) on March 8th 2014 (same day with the MH370 tragedy) and I since the first day I hold him in my hands all I want to do is to spend my precious time with him.

This year is not a traveling year for us because packing baby's stuff can be hassle. Wait until Q able to walk and carry his own backpack.

However, a roadtrip is something that we can do.

On Q's 7th month birthday, hubby Carl and I decided to have a roadtrip to Kudat. Carl said he never been to Kudat, and he really want to see the famous Tip of Borneo. I booked a room at Kudat Golf & Marina Resort for one night and requested them to bake a cake (decided to celebrate Carl's belated birthday). No more staying at backpackers until baby is 4 years for safety reason. 

We started our journey from home at Telipok in the morning, arrived Marina about three hours later. We had lunch at the hotel after checked in and had a short nap as we are planning to visit the Tip of Borneo.

We left Marina for Tip of Borneo around 3pm after having tea at the poolside. Carl was shocked when the staff delivered a cake on our table. I didn't told him about the cake because it suppose to be a surprise treat to both of my favorite boys in my life. The fruit cake was yummy!
After having three slices of the delicious cake I let Carl to hold the baby and I drove to the Tip of Borneo. We used GPS and Waze. Arrived a few minutes before 4pm, and the weather was awesome! We walked from the entrance to the end as vehicle are not allowed to enter.

Tip of Borneo in English is locally known as Tanjung Simpang Mengayau, while the local natives called this place Simpang Mangazou. It is known as  is the northernmost tip of Borneo. The tip marks the meeting point of the South China Sea and Sulu Sea.

There are a number of backpackers at the Tip of Borneo.
Tommy's Place is one of low price accommodations available at the Tip of Borneo. Some day, I will try their little tiny resorts because many people say it is suitable for budget traveler.

After about two hours there, we headed back to Kudat town and made a final stop at Kudat Esplanade for dinner. We spent around RM35 for fresh seafood. We had rice with butter prawn, steam fish and vegetables.

The nightlife in Kudat is located at the Esplanade where you can try variety of food, mostly seafood until late night. That's all. Continue your journey to discover Kudat during the day.

We slept quite early because Carl wanted to swim at the pool in the morning.

We had our breakfast at the hotel's restaurant. There was no buffet, but we had to choose whether local or American breakfast. I took local Nasi Lemak while Carl ordered the American breakfast. He prefer bread and eggs.

Overall, our roadtrip was relaxing and we enjoyed it. Everything was perfect.

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