Monday, July 27, 2009

Gallivantings: Part 1

This new post officially means that I'm back from my roadtrip. In case you're wondering where it was that I went to it was that town in the east coast of Sabah that was once dubbed "Little Hong Kong". Know which town I'm referring to yet? It's Sandakan. Since my in-laws are here, and my wife and I have been toying around with the idea of driving to Sandakan for quite some time now, it gave us the perfect reason to go.

I think this is the furthest I've ever driven anywhere in Sabah, though not the furthest I've ever driven. A one-way trip from my place to Sandakan town is about 350km, so the round trip means that I've probably clocked 700km in within three days. And that's not including the day trips to the various places of interest around Sandakan. what can I say about the drive there? Nothing short of bumpy. Really, really, really bumpy. There were a few stretches along the road where putting my foot down on the brake pedals was an almost minute by minute affair because I would suddenly see a depression ahead of me. But, once we got to within 40km of the town, the roads are actually quite good. I'd say the roads around Sandakan and its suburbs are even better than the ones I find around Kota Kinabalu!

We made only two stops along the way. The first was at the cool highland town of Kundasang. We made the Pine Resort our resting place to get something to bite and to also enjoy the refreshing air. After that, we made our way until we reached a small row of shops (I don't remember the name of the place now) which was probably about an hour's or so more to reach Sandakan. By the time we reached our supposed place for lodging, it was almost 4 pm. That made it almost 7 hours of travelling. Whew!

Our initial plan was to stay at this interesting place we found on the Net which is situated very near Sepilok, that renowned spot for orang utans. My wife chanced upon it while reading up on places to stay in Sandakan, and this place sounded intriguing and received some good reviews. So, we arrived at Paganakan Dii and the place looked just like in the pictures on it's website: a one-of-a-kind place.

Place for happy times

Paganakan Dii - The Family

But, and this is a big but, the place was full! Thinking that since it wasn't a public holiday, or a school holiday, there would be no need to make any reservations, we just went there confident that rooms would be available. Not only were there no rooms available there, there we no rooms available at the other resorts around Sepilok as well! Not one single room. Everything was fully occupied.

So, that basically laid to rest our plans of seeing the orang utans first before heading into Sandakan town the next day. So, we asked the person serving us if their sister hotel, Nak Hotel, in town (we read up on this as well) had any vacancies and they had one left - thankfully for us, a family-size room that could fit all five of us. So, since our accommodation was settled and there was nothing much else to do, we got back into the car and drove to town. But not before we got a tour of the place first!

Unique embellishments decorating the whole place

This is the place for some serious R & R!

White drapes provide shade at the open-air viewing deck

Clever use of the kuali as a washbasin!

The whole place is surrounded by these views!

Kamsan who kindly showed us around the place

We're definitely staying here the next time we visit. Stay tuned for the next post!

No comments: