7 Must see spots in Kota Kinabalu

I can’t believe I forgot writing about Kota Kinabalu! sorry for the late post, This is my 2nd time traveling to KK the first one was in during Lebaran Eidul Fitri, this time i’m going with my school friends, this was suppose to be the ultimate adventure once in a lifetime experience trekking Mount Kinabalu however from 6 person confirmed down to 3 and sadly ever since the earthquake the trekking routes were damaged and closed for renovation arghh!.but anyhow tickets were already bought so here I go again hoping to find more interesting places to see in KK (stay positive…yayy!)

For those who doesn’t know, if you are traveling from Jakarta there are a direct flight from Jakarta to KK with Air Asia (notes that flights are not everyday saturday,tuesday and thursday) and are mostly night flights so you’ll probably arrived there during midnight lol! don’t forget to eat something before boarding, or at least bring some snack or bread

Our aim to travel to Kinabalu again…as I explained earlier is its heroic mountain, known to be the tallest mountain in South east Asia, and part of the 7 summit around the world its height is 4,096 m. Sadly due to the earthquake that occurred earlier the trek was damaged and closed for renovation. But all that sadness dissapeared after we dsicovered hey there are so much to see in the city itself and oh yaa…Island hopping never tried that one…but it turned out to be amazing!.

Here are the 7 best places to visit Kota Kinabalu – Sabah

  1. Mount Kinabalu – Of course no doubt! the most epic mountain I’ve seen so far in my life,  if you travel by car from KK it takes approximately around 2-4 hours ride you will stop by a souvenir shops many times just to get amazing photos, better to travel in the morning, this is if you are not really, if you are then I would recommend you to stay overnight in Kota Kinabalu national park, I would recommend sightseeing around the Mount Kinabalu, the journey is an adventure itself, other than  beautiful places to take pictures, you can also visit other places too such as Desa Cattle Dairy Farm (yogurt,ice cream, milk)

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2. Tanjung Aru– perfect for sunset located just opposite Shangrila and very near to the airport ( you can see this while boarding the plane, or if you;re in the beach you, see the plane landing

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My feet playing with sand and water

3. Masjid Bandaraya – beautiful architecture, best to visit during the day, bring umbrella if it gets too hot!

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4. Atkinson Clock Tower – Just a clock! lol

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5. Signal Hill – best place for photography, relaxing the view and eat ice cream 😀

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6. Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park – This is a place where you can go Island hopping it opens from 08:30-17:00 takes you around 15-20 min ride only, if you are spending there for a day trip then 2 or 3 islands is enough you spend around 2-3 hours on each Island again it depends how many Island and what Islands you are visiting.

Starting point would be from Jessleton point Kota Kinabalu. here are the list of Island tours you can select

Manukan Island : Adult RM23, Child RM 18
Mamutik Island : Adult  RM23, Child RM18
Sapi Island : Adult  RM23, Child RM18
Sulug Island : Adult RM23, Child RM18
Two island hops : Adult RM33, Child RM28
Three island hops : Adult RM43, Child RM38
Four island hops : Adult RM53, Child RM48

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7. Treetop Canopy Walk (Poring) – This area is located next to Poring hot springs, first time trying this and freaking scared! lol but its so much fun no pictures were allowed, well you have to pay for permission so only one camera allowed, so me and my friends take turns in taking photos! The canopy is over 175 Meters long and 41-43 Meters in height, well for those who are afraid of height wont recommend this unless you are like me, scared but curious! just try not to look down 😀

The entrance fee of Canopy Walkway is RM3 (≈USD0.90) for Malaysian adult, RM5 (≈USD1.50) for foreigner. Add another RM5 (≈USD1.50) camera fee if you bring a camera with you

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Tips to get a Student Visa – Bureau Immigration Philippines

Based on my own experience being in the Immigration can really caused an emotional breakdown, so I decided to help my other fellow friends from Indonesia or any other country’s who are pursuing their studies in the Philippines to get a Student Visa this is for those who decided to get their visa on their own without any AGENT involved unless of course if you want to pay more, but seriously you pay enough just by student visa and ACR- CARD. So, one important thing to prepare is YOURSELF MENTALLY I must say that the immigration people are not the “Friendly” type of person that gives you “Useful information”. Please note that! people here are like your enemies but they are acting as if they are there to serve you. Okay I might sound a bit to harsh on them but this is true! anyways, here are important tips to let you know BEFORE heading to the IMMIGRATION.

1st Make a lot of Photocopies of Important Documents
That includes your passport, bio-page, arrival dates, and quarantines stamp any other important documents needed at least 5 set’s or more of copies because the photocopy at the Immigration is expensive one page for 1.50pesos, you can get as cheap as 50-60cents outside. Another Important thing is PICTURES yes in here people need your 2×2 picture so at least prepare 5 of those.

2nd Go to the Public Assistance/ Affair for your Student Visa Applications form
Some people would directly go to the student desk and start to fall in line and wait, but the first thing for you to do is get the application form you can get at the Public assistance desk as you enter the immigration it’s located in the middle. Also ask NOT just the application form but also the detail forms of the kind of documentation needed. They are in numbers like a checklist for the documents that you must have, your is VISA CONVERSION from TOURIST VISA to STUDENT VISA.

3rd Always Ask Questions if You Don’t Know
When you wait in the line, after reaching the counter sometimes the person behind the counter wont say much, they will start doing things to your documents and give you a note. It’s always important to repeat or ask again or just to make sure so you wont get the wrong idea. This happens when I wanted to apply for the ACR I-Card after getting all documents ready into (2 sets) and filling the ACR-ICARD application I went to the next counter the old man started writing something on the computer and gave out the receipt, and this was a total of 3 different receipts. It was almost 4pm and knowing that the total amount of getting ACR ICARD was alot we decided to go home and come back the next day. The receipt isnt clear they give 3 different amounts 50 us$, 500 pesos for fast lane and  2670pesos legal fee. our bad we thought it was 2670pesos and the 50 was the amount in usd if you want to pay in US dollar. But we were wrong after the next day we ask another person they say the total per person is the total of those 3 amounts which resulted for almost 5300pesos/person. You will experience this a lot, but its always good to come back to the public assistance for questions.

4th Best time to come is in the Afternoon after Lunch
This varies and depends actually but based on my experience going there around 10-11am you will start falling in line for an hour or more then it’s lunch break from them. So it’s best to come around 1.30pm after they have filled their tummy hopefully they are in a good mood.

5th GET  The right format for student visa application Letter
Again, when we first heard the information they say we should write a letter that said all documents are legally obtained, but actually they have their own format and we must follow it, so I will give you the format and later you have to go to a Notary Publicy and get it stamped, another tips its better to get the stamps near your home where the price is cheaper arund 50pesos, if you get the notary stamp in Intramuros you will get double than that.

So here are the steps
1. After having all documents compiled, get a file and filed it up according to the checklist numbers (on documents needed) the Public Assistance will check again for you PS: you need to get NICA clearance which takes 2 weeks normally, this is on the 3rd floor (photocopy of passport, bio page and arrivals + pictures 2×2)
2. Go to Student desk (Receiving) Window 6
3. After they check all your documents, you would have to go to Window 8 and give your passport then they will give you a colored note, and receipt in which you have to pay in this case around 6550 pesos/ pax STUDENT VISA, they will tell you to come the next day to get your passport
4. Go to window 13, the Cashier get it payed
5 Go to Window 7 show them your receipt and later you will get your notes stamped “paid” then you would have to call to a number in 10 days
6 Normally this takes 2 weeks, not 10 days after calling you go to Immigration at window 8, they they will ask you to sign and photocopy some papers and ask you to wait an hour or come back again the next day, they would ask for your passport
7. after waiting or come back the next day you will receive the letter of approval from the Bureau of Immigration and have your passport stamped conversion to 9f student visa for 1 year.
8 Proceed to the ACR I-CARD counter window 38, fill in application get the documents photocopied 2 sets (the documents which you receive from window 8 and passporit copies) after photocopied get stamped on window 7
9. Go back to Window 38 she will check again, and refer to the next window 39 which the person will give you the receipt for your ACR amount payment
10. Pay in window 41-42, after paying they will refer back to window 39 the person who gave you the receipt
11. After window 39 already checked your receipt after payment go to window 40 for another check
12. Then go to window 43

Namibia Land of the brave

For those who’ve been traveling to Namibia knows for sure that this country have so much adventure,natural attraction and culture to explore, Namibia is 70 % savannah with extensive grasslands and acacia bush, it is not just a Kalahari desert land in the South West Africa, but it is the land of of the brave, just as it stated in the national anthem. Namibia is surely a sunny place, with 300 days of sunshine in average. It is best to travel during the winter holiday which is June- September, don’t get surprise when you travel to Namibia during winter season and experience -1 °c temperature; yes it gets freezing cold down here as well.

What I love about Namibia is the wilderness, the game reserve, the biltong, the Himba tribe and much more, if we go to the northwestern part of Namibia, you will find Swakopmund and Walvis Bay as one of the main tourist attractions. Swakopmund a city on the coast used to be the main harbor for the German-South West Africa, people normally go there during summer time to experience the colder temperature. Swakopmund beach are cold, people would swim but very few the sunset is beautiful to watch, or if you’re into collecting sand stones, Swakopmund beach have very attractive sand stones.

Walvis Bay is actually one of the natural harbors with large bays and sand dunes, and one of my favorite things to do is quad biking in sand dunes. This is surely a lifetime experience, quad biking can be dangerous for beginners with no experience therefore it is important to stay in line and follow the guide, people could fall off since the roads could be very steep, quad biking is definitely “to do list” there are other activities you can do such as sand boarding, skiing even camel rides, if I’m not mistaken the movie Tomb rider actor Angelina Jolie shot the movie there.

Another exotic place to visit is Etosha National Park located in the far north around 8 hours drive from Windhoek, one of my favorite and memorable place to visit, I truly experience the real Africa being out in the middle of nowhere watching all these cute and wild animals wanders freely in its natural surroundings I mean a real safari adventure, I remember one time our car got hit by “Kudu” Namibian Antelope our car almost broke down, we also saw elephants and giraffe walking passed our glass windows, and groups of cheetah sleeping. And just before reaching sunset we must be back to our lodge, and at night we watched all these animals gathering at the water dam, and we would have to sit very quiet not to disturb these animals, all you hear is the sound of these animals calling each other, drinking or hear a zebra fart. I remember one night heading back to bungalows, we were followed by fox we were amazed and ended up chasing the poor fox just like Tom and Jerry, hehe. If you’re an animal lover just like me, Etosha is a true wildlife adventure that you should experience.

The Namibians tribes varies their are the Owambo, Damara, Herero, Kavango, Himba, Nama, Coloureds, Rehoboth Basters, Bushmen, Tswanas and the Whites, if you’ve seen the movie “The Gods must be crazy” a 1980 record breaker movie in the country, famous for its coca cola bottle falling from the sky, that describes “the bushmen” tribe in Namibia, another famous tribe is the Himba tribe an ancient tribe based in Kunene region, I never visited that place but my parents and brother have and looking through their picture can tell that the Himba tribe have retained their cultural heritage the same way till today just like in the movie “The babies” about four babies from 4 different cultures, one are from the Himba tribe it is so unique, interesting and great experience.

Namibia- A true adventure experience

For those who’ve been traveling to Namibia knows for sure that this country have so much adventure,natural attraction and culture to explore, Namibia is 70 % savannah with extensive grasslands and acacia bush, it is not just a Kalahari desert land in the South West Africa, but it is the land of of the brave, just as it stated in the national anthem. Namibia is surely a sunny place, with 300 days of sunshine in average. It is best to travel during the winter holiday which is June- September, don’t get surprise when you travel to Namibia during winter season and experience -1 °c temperature; yes it gets freezing cold down here as well.

What I love about Namibia is the wilderness, the game reserve, the biltong, the Himba tribe and much more, if we go to the northwestern part of Namibia, you will find Swakopmund and Walvis Bay as one of the main tourist attractions. Swakopmund a city on the coast used to be the main harbor for the German-South West Africa, people normally go there during summer time to experience the colder temperature. Swakopmund beach are cold, people would swim but very few the sunset is beautiful to watch, or if you’re into collecting sand stones, Swakopmund beach have very attractive sand stones.

Walvis Bay is actually one of the natural harbors with large bays and sand dunes, and one of my favorite things to do is quad biking in sand dunes. This is surely a lifetime experience, quad biking can be dangerous for beginners with no experience therefore it is important to stay in line and follow the guide, people could fall off since the roads could be very steep, quad biking is definitely “to do list” there are other activities you can do such as sand boarding, skiing even camel rides, if I’m not mistaken the movie Tomb rider actor Angelina Jolie shot the movie there.

Another exotic place to visit is Etosha National Park located in the far north around 8 hours drive from Windhoek, one of my favorite and memorable place to visit, I truly experience the real Africa being out in the middle of nowhere watching all these cute and wild animals wanders freely in its natural surroundings I mean a real safari adventure, I remember one time our car got hit by “Kudu” Namibian Antelope our car almost broke down, we also saw elephants and giraffe walking passed our glass windows, and groups of cheetah sleeping. And just before reaching sunset we must be back to our lodge, and at night we watched all these animals gathering at the water dam, and we would have to sit very quiet not to disturb these animals, all you hear is the sound of these animals calling each other, drinking or hear a zebra fart. I remember one night heading back to bungalows, we were followed by fox we were amazed and ended up chasing the poor fox just like Tom and Jerry, hehe. If you’re an animal lover just like me, Etosha is a true wildlife adventure that you should experience.

The Namibians tribes varies their are the Owambo, Damara, Herero, Kavango, Himba, Nama, Coloureds, Rehoboth Basters, Bushmen, Tswanas and the Whites, if you’ve seen the movie “The Gods must be crazy” a 1980 record breaker movie in the country, famous for its coca cola bottle falling from the sky, that describes “the bushmen” tribe in Namibia, another famous tribe is the Himba tribe an ancient tribe based in Kunene region, I never visited that place but my parents and brother have and looking through their picture can tell that the Himba tribe have retained their cultural heritage the same way till today just like in the movie “The babies” about four babies from 4 different cultures, one are from the Himba tribe it is so unique, interesting and great experience.

Mabuhay Philippines | Bestfriend visit!

“ OMG it’s so HOT !!!”

“I need Buko Shake” @Mall of Asia

“Please more chilli’s” @Mang Inasal restaurant

“Salamat po” @ Everywhere

“I can see the ocean, now where the hell is the beach?!!! @Lost in Batangas Marini

“We are lost, kuya drive down the beach is not up in the hill “ @Marini

One of the best feelings is excitement and seeing your bestfriend after years apart should be super excited and very comforting! Ninie and I know each other since 2002 back when we were still in high school in Windhoek, Namibia. We had a blast! Life as a teenager for some people could be stressful but for us it was absolutely fun fun fun! I last met her when she visit me in Indonesia in 2008, and now after 4 years she finally coming to Philippines to visit me wohoo!

NINIE’S ARRIVAL & THE ANKLE INCIDENT

She is flying with Air Asia from Kuala lumpur, taking a morning flight (to early morning I guess lol) and since Air asia is not landing in Manila little Ninie had to take the bus ride to Manila around 2 hours drive, and me on the other side have no clue where the hell this bus stops in Manila, did my research! Aha I found it, riding with LRT heading to EDSA and then from there I depend on my own intuition hahaha! Well from the map it’s located near the LRT station (Pasay Victory Liner) I suppose it’s a walking distance and so I walked in the packed traffic of human lol. I didn’t dare to take out my phone and see the map, so with my “fake” comfortable look I just walked straight ahead….too straight that I felt this is not humanly possible to walk, the road is getting wider, the pedestrian is getting very small it felt as if I walked in a toll road and all the HUGE cars was driving towards my direction, so I stopped and asked the police and surprisingly I just passed the place like So far! With my yellow umbrella (extreme heat of sun) I walked back towards the gas station coz the terminal is nearby. One important fact that I know is that in Manila you would have many terminal station, its not like they have one big terminal station with all kinds of bus, but its the opposite each company own bus have their own terminal station, so there you go!

So I waited in the bus terminal, feeling worried lol cause I didn’t want her to get lost in a foreign country and since im also a foreigner here I want to make sure she is safe. Took a while since I realize I was waiting at the departure station (silly me) and she was waiting at the arrival bus station, duh! No wonder we didn’t see each other, but then when the bus left! Just like in those bollywood movies except this one maybe a lil bit like Mr. Bean!I saw her across the road and we were screaming of excitement running toward the middle of the road in the HOT weather, and when we finally hugged eachother I accidently twisted my ankle and fell down and it was so painful!! But I quickly got up again come on in the middle of the road with all those people starring at you! Jthaa…I was like a fool hahaha, so we took taxi heading home for rest.

MALL OF ASIA & ALIEN MOVIES

Later that afternoon we ride to one of the biggest mall in Philippines oh wait South East Asia! Seriously I’ve been here many times but get lost many times!!! You get so tired it’s like you’re not walking in mall anymore it’s like a whole cluster of neighbourhood or a small town, only with aircon lol well we walked and walked and explored the whole mall, decided we are extremely tired and maybe a movie would make us relax abit, so we watched Prometheus, I love the whole movie effect! But story kinda lame about human trying to seek it’s creator and the creator is an Alien LOL! Mall of Asia is a great place to hang out, the place is so huge u get all u want there, plus the bay is great!

INTRAMUROS & TRICYCLE TOUR

Intramuros is known to be an old city in Manila with Spanish architecture influence, great historical buildings we went to fort Santiago to witness the place and history of assassination of Hose Rizal one of Philippines national hero, after that we walked around and visit the famous San Agustin church took some photos and thats when we met our kuya with tricycle offering us a short city tour around Intramuros with affordable price hey why not! Sounds cool!, so off we go with his cute green tricycle holding his tourist map, we went from one building to another…well it’s more or else just buildings, statues etc etc was too many of them we even ended up walking into a wedding venue, even a governmental office haha well I think the Kuya really wanted us to visit all office buildings as well LOL! After a tiring day we headed for lunch in the nearest SM mall.

MEET UP WITH VICTORIA IN BONIFACIO

A nice hangout, modern place remote place far away from the main traffic and city hustle a dinner or coffee is a must. We came here to meet an old friend of ours from Philippines named Victoria which Ninie also met during her stay in Namibia, we had dinner at market market nice semi outdoor foodcourt that offers also fresh supermarket. Our meeting is crazy! Yes it is! We were filled with excitement, stories of life, love life, career etc etc…oh ya and of course remembering our great times in Windhoek. Aah those we’re the days! There are also awesome water fountains, me and ninie had our moment there took some crazy videos and photo shoot!

TAGAYTAY TRIP & THE WINDY LUNCH

This was a prepared trip and I’m super excited as always! It takes us 1 hour and 30 min to reach tagaytay, its basically a volcanic mountain “Taal Volcano” we stopped and had a lunch with magnificent view of the volcanic mountain and it happened to be a strong windy lunch! But we manage to still keep our tummy full, moving on…

THE LOST BATANGAS & THE INVISIBLE BEACH

After Tagaytay, we planned to see some beaches in batangas I’ve heard there are great beaches there well at least is the nearest beach around Manila, it took us 2 hours drive from tagaytay to batangas, reaching the city we headed straight to the sea/ocean to explore the beach, hours have passed by and seems like we are not reaching our destination and ended up being abit lost up in the hill, but the view was beautiful up there as well, we were in the Marini area searching for beach but the road lead us nowhere but going up and downhill, so since we didn’t want to waste more time we decided to head back to Manila.

MALLS IN MAKATI & NINIE PHOTOGENIC POSE

Today we are just going to relax around manila, I’m taking ninie to explore the metropolitan city of Manila and of course the mall located in Makati city they are all inter-connected, the malls are Glorietta, Landmark, Greenbelt and SM malls, several hours later going around every mall sitting in the park and garden. Eating and chatting in every food court we are simply out of ideas what to do hahaha, took pictures and just talk. We had dinner in Spaghetti factory and talk and talk til we are exhausted.

NINIE’S LAST DAY & IN SEARCH OF MANG INASAL IN CLARK

Ninie’s last day we headed to clark for her Air Asia flight back to Malaysia, before that we manage to stop by Resort world and check around for a while. Our journey to Clark went smooth, I prefer clark much better than Manila its so green and beautiful not packed no traffic just pretty. The problem was that we wanted to have lunch in clark but ended up hard finding a nice place to eat. We were craving for Mang Inasal, so we had to drive out of the main airport area to the main/packed city of Clark. And finally after 30 min in search of food we found our cravings! Mang Inasal is probably the best food ever!!!! and yea we love spicy food, chilli is a must for us  later after lunch drop ninie back to Airport said goodbye, surely a sad one but things will get better anyways J but it was a comforting feeling to have someone visit you from far distance and we know for sure our friendship just grew stronger and stronger, love you girl thanks for the effort, time and support.

Tips to get a Student Visa – Bureau Immigration Philippines

Based on my own experience being in the Immigration can really caused an emotional breakdown, so I decided to help my other fellow friends from Indonesia or any other country’s who are pursuing their studies in the Philippines to get a Student Visa this is for those who decided to get their visa on their own without any AGENT involved unless of course if you want to pay more, but seriously you pay enough just by student visa and ACR- CARD. So, one important thing to prepare is YOURSELF MENTALLY I must say that the immigration people are not the “Friendly” type of person that gives you “Useful information”. Please note that! people here are like your enemies but they are acting as if they are there to serve you. Okay I might sound a bit to harsh on them but this is true! anyways, here are important tips to let you know BEFORE heading to the IMMIGRATION.

Continue reading “Tips to get a Student Visa – Bureau Immigration Philippines”

The adventure into the underworld river – Puerto Princessa Subterranean River

 

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Puerto Princessa is a quiet and calm city with population around 200,000 the city have so much natural heritage to offer, you can already see the view above the plane this place surely have more green trees and eco tourism therefore a place for world-class tourist attraction. I stayed in a nice affordable hotel in Puerto Princessa, you can find many hotels/motels along the Rizal avenue in Puerto Princessa, and if you want to travel around the city then tricycle is the best way to travel, with only 8-10pesos per person they can take you around the city for souvenir, dining or even bar hopping if you are interested.

Continue reading “The adventure into the underworld river – Puerto Princessa Subterranean River”