KK Town Weekend Hop-Over

Waahh, its been so long since I’ve updated what I’m up to lately. Sorry ya, no time no time…Work has been killing me softly with its song, and the song seems to never end. HAihz . Anyways, here’s an update for 2 weekends ago, when SL came down to Labuan for a quickie. Trip, that is. I knew there wasn’t much in Labuan to captivate SL, but I still have to show what was on offer here. So for the first day, we were in Labuan eating, walking around, shopping (SL bought LOADS of chocolates and 2 bottles of alcohol. But only brought back one haha. I’ll talk about it later) and also taking in the sights of this place nicknamed ‘The Pearl of Borneo’ (although whoever coined it should be shot for its inaccuracy. And be bombed to bits as well).

Well actually I was supposed to return back to KL, but somehow somewhen I got this crazy idea to suggest SL to visit me instead. I didn’t realize I had forfeited a trip back to KL in doing so. Ah well. Had to wait another month to see KL again then. Anyway, SL brought over tons of stuff for me, i.e. a mini iron (cheaper in KL), various flavors of install noodles (can’t get them in Labuan), Nutella (can’t get them in Labuan too) and numerous cotton T’s for my dressing comfy-ness. But unfortunately, my rented house here was abit dirty and SL coundn’t stand it. Ok ok, maybe abit is an understatement. So SL launched a massive clean-up operation that involved my kitchen floor, my room and bits and pieces of my stuff in the room. God bless SL hahaha.

The next day we packed our bags and headed off to Kota Kinabalu, which was a 3 hour ferry ride away to the center of KK. The ride was kinda slow but eventually we got there. When arrived, I heard about a nice place that had quite a reputation for Italian food called ‘Little Italy’, and furthermore it was walking distance from the KK jetty. So, off we went. Our appetite was not that good as I guess our stomachs was still swimming from the ferry ride. So we shared a beef and mushroom ‘Ravioli’ which was pretty good (although I tasted better in KL haha). However, the cafe Latte was kinda good. Brewed just enough for flavor and whipped with an adequate dash of fresh milk. Yummy.

So where we stayed? I bet you heard of the budget hotel named Tune Hotels right? Yup, that’s where we stayed. For RM50 a night (we stayed 2 nights), you would think that it was a blardy bargain of the century. But wait for it, you have to pay extra for air-conditioning. Yup, RM12 bucks for 12-hour coolness (and you can’t really control the timing. Once you slot that magnetic key of ours into the technical bit that controls the main power of the room, the clock starts ticking. Yup, ticking like a freakin’ time bomb. Damn exciting. That’s not all too, for TV, its RM7 bucks for 24 hours (you get a cute little LCD monitor, but you can watch only RTM1, RTM2, TV3 and NTV7. How exciting). And if you forgot any toiletries (i.e. shampoo, conditioner, etc) its RM5 a pop. Although you can easily buy them from the shopping mall called ‘1Borneo’ located just next door (literally next door, its even connected to the hotel), so shopping, food, cinema, leisurely strolls are no problems whatsoever.

Overall the rooms are satisfactory, I mean you can’t really expect The Ritz for that kinda price rite. I mean you paid for it, so you asked for it. Ringgit for ringgit it was worth it in my opinion. The good? The shower was excellent, power shower with continuous hot water 24 hours and clean wash basins. The bed was also surprisingly comfy (I heard it’s supplied by ‘King Coil’) so what more can you ask for? So, the Bad? The campiness (sometimes the walkway can’t even fit 2 persons at the same time), no locks at the toilet and its all glass (but I guess this point is good for some people eh?) and the view from the window is “to die for”. Also, the walls are kinda thin so you may get echoes of conversations from the other rooms. So, if anyone is planning on any night time curriculum activities in the room, I suggest you keep the volume a bit low or else you are subject to intense attention from outside 3rd parties. Also I want to point out that the hotel in KK is still under construction, so you may tend to see workers walking around the corridors of the hotel. Therefore, locking your rooms securely is extremely recommended (although to be fair nothing was stolen and I didn’t hear any bad rumors of burglary).

Anyway, as I’ve mentioned the hotel is right next to ‘1Borneo’, which is East Malaysia’s largest shopping mall ever. I’ve walked around the place and it is very impressive, very much like ‘1Utama’ with rows after rows of middle-range branded stores (i.e. MNG, Padini Concept Store, Giordano etc) however no upper-class brands were seen yet (although FCUK is opening soon. But I don’t think I consider them upper-class. Phehh). There’s a ‘GSC’ there too, and that’s where I saw ‘The Dark Knight’ which I had reviewed and ‘Red Cliff’ (short review: it’s just so-so. Being directed by John Woo, I had expected abit more. The action is ordinary, although the highlight is to see how the military tactics of their time was utilized to achieve victory. Ohh, and many pigeons were spotted too, which is obviously the cinematic signature of John Woo. Verdict: 6 / 10).

For the first night there, I just had to eat something posh and expensive (cause being stuck in Labuan can cause one person to have such cravings. Why? There no posh restaurants in Labuan!!!. So we spotted a fancy Japanese Restaurant called ‘Michi’ and walloped a set of ‘Osaka Bento Set’ which consisted of Tempura, Soft Shell Crabs, Salmon Sushi, Miso Soup, Yummy Beef (I forgot what was it called haha) and Salad. RM45. Satisfaction. Hahah. SL had a ‘Gyu Kimuchi Soba’ noodle set which was surprising yummy. It basically your usual soba noodles with beef. But the beef was amazingly yummy. I think the beef dishes here are good. I shall try more if I get the chance again hehe.

The next day we went straight to town (‘1Borneo’ provides free shuttle bus services to and from town, which is a very good plus point for the mall. Well done!!!). We actually planned to do some light shopping and then do island hopping to Manukan Island and all that as it is sooooooooo close from town (yup, for RM30 you can hop onto a speed boat and land on a island in just 15 minutes). But when the time came for the island hopping, it RAINED. Sigh. And it didn’t stop raining until dark. Double Sigh. Oh well, we switched plans and I went shopping for my computer speaker (a good computer speaker. ‘Altec Lensing’ was my numero uno target but ‘Edifier’ jugak boleh tahan lah). Didn’t find a good set of ‘Altec Lensing’, so went for the ‘Edifier’ M3300 model which had a pretty good subwoofer and 2 channel speakers with twitter. RM 230, expensive anot ah? KL selling how much also I dunno lah haha. Bought it and went for dinner at the KK Waterfront. It was ok, with lots of bars and restaurants catering for to the foreigner crowd. We dined at ‘Oregano Café’ which had local fare and a reasonable price. We missed the sunset though, abit sad at that but nevermind lah, there will be other chances for that….

But there was bad news. SL’s afternoon flight back to KL was cancelled and had to be brought forward to the next day. We were damn pissed off of course. But, honestly I wasn’t surprised. A certain domestic red-colored airline always cancels flights whenever passenger numbers do not meet their required quotas. So many of my friends that travel this airline for business and pleasure already kena, and the most f**ked-up part is that as long as you receive their call notifying you of the cancelling within 24 hours, no compensation is entitled to you!!! I mean WTF, 24 hours is not enough to re-arrange everything to accommodate their screw-ups!!! AIRASIA ARE YOU HEARING THIS??!! IT IS NOT ENOUGH AND IT PISSES EVERYBODY OFF!!!!!!!!! *phewww* But luckily for us, our departure back to Labuan was tomorrow and the flight was at night, so SL still can make it, although it is going to be damn tired…So kelian…Sigh…

The next day it was time for our departure back to Labuan, and the ferry ride was at 1pm. We went to the jetty early and arrived around 11pm. Feeling sad that I didn’t touch water except for rain throughout my trip, I decided to take photos instead of the surrounding jetty haha. Click here to see more. Anyway, the ferry ride back to Labuan was not as smooth as we hoped. The water was choppy and the ferry was like a freakin’ mini roller coaster. People all around started to pengsan and SL eventually succumbed to the dizziness. I was feeling it too, but luckily no plastic bags were needed if you know what I mean…Oh, and I bought a rice cooker too. A computer speaker, rice cooker, luggage and more alcohol, hand carried all over KK and Labuan. We should have been in the Olympics hahaha….

Anyway, night time came and it was time for SL to board the plane. She wanted to bring over 2 bottles of alcohol. So we hide one inside the check-in luggage and another as hand carry. But upon check-in, the ‘AirAsia’ counter attendant asked SL if there was any alcohol inside the bag. She said YES. OMG. Why?? The attendant immediately asked the alcohol to be removed. So we tried to hide in SL’s hand-carry bags, 1 bottle in each bag. Once SL reached the security check point, SL got stopped. OMG. The security guard said only 1 bottle can be brought over. Sigh. So, luckily I was still around and brought the bottle of ‘Johnnie Walker’ Black Label back to my Labuan home instead. Too baddd…

I took a taxi back home, and I got a text saying SL is going to board the plane. I reached home and I was hit by an immediate pang of loneliness. The room seemed quieter and it overwhelmed me with its colder and wider empty spaces. The room seemed smaller, warmer back then, filled with a zest of life. Now it’s just a room. Sigh. I guess now I realized something, it’s easier to leave then to be left behind… Sad….

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