Met up with some friends from Keningau. They were in town for a Missions Seminar at the Methodist Headquarters. Joined them for the night sessions on Thurs and Fri night. Enrolled for a special program called "The Journey" on Saturday. It was good! I think the program was developed with Wycliffe Malaysia; it's something like a step-by-step station-game detailing the experiences that a Christian worker goes through on entering cross-cultural field. There were stations like Comfort Zone, The Call, Passport Application, Sending Agency, Bible School, Language Class, Culture Class, VISA application, Church Commissioning, Ticketing Agent, Airport, the Flight (complete with Captain Kirk and air turbulence), Customs (with rude officers asking for bribes)... whew! Actually I've gone through many of those experiences when I went to Nepal many years ago through Interserve's facilitation. The organisers arranged a Rungus chap, a Lundayeh lady, and an Orang Sungai to teach us some local words and try out sayur kampung... a first cross-culture experience for many of the city Chinese folks. You should see how their eyes pop out on discovering that tapioca leaves can actually be made into a tasty dish. I biasa sudah.
Yesterday we made a trip to Kudat. Needed to get out of the city, go back to the districts and be in touch with nature. It was a day trip. Two friends from Keningau came with us.
We left the city early. Arrived in Kota Belud for breakfast of Meehoon Sup Ayam. Kota Belud is a very cramped town with narrow roads and haphazard parking.
From the we continued towards Kudat. Made a stop in Matunggong town, where most of the Rungus community dwell. There were a few of tourist attractions there, under the One Village One Industry concept. We visited the Honey Bee Farm and the Traditional Rungus Longhouse, leaving out the Gong Factory and Beads Industry.
The Rungus Longhouse was really worth a visit. Have a look if you pass that way. They sell some really nice handicrafts and reasonable prices. Foreign tourists often stay overnight there for a longhouse experience.
In town, we searched for a stall named 2899 located behind the fish market, which a colleague says cooks good and cheap seafood. We found the stall and verified his claim. We had fried Gong-Bo Fresh Scallops, a steamed Sek-Ban fish, a generous plate of steamed Pai-Kut, with Sayur Manis, drinks and rice... all for just RM 40 or so.
After lunch, we went to buy some local delicacies at the nearby dry market. It was told to us that Kudat is famous for it's rice biscuits and friend peanuts. And so we came, we saw, and we bought. Then we went to explore the fruit market, and found some interesting stuffs.
We then drove to the famous Tip of Borneo, or known by the locals as Tanjung Simpang Mengayau. That's the north-most point of the Borneo island, one of the taller of the two horns if you look at the map of Sabah.
The road to the Tip was BAD. Gravel and mud. I thought my little car enrolled for Camel Trophy Challenge. We knocked down a dog along the way.
Made a brief stop at Pantai Kelambu before going to Tg Simpang Mengayau. Pantai Kelambu was pretty nice and calm, good for a quiet picnic and beach BBQ.
Tg Simpang Mengayau was magnificent. The Tourism people made it into a very nice attraction. Words alone will not be enough. Go see the photos HERE.
Made it back to Kudat town for another meal of seafood. After that, drove 3 hours back to Kota Kinabalu for a good night's rest at home.