We took the reverse of the route we took getting into KK except that this time we could see the view against the night time when we arrived. There were many new developments along the way. New roads/highways and buildings were being constructed that will change the view of the urban area but at the countryside things appear to be the same all round with nothing new observed. Some parts of the road we took runs alongside the touristy heritage railway line where a special train for tourists runs the Kota Kinabalu – Beaufort heritage country route. We did not get to see the train but from the brochures the train still runs the route a number of times per week. There were mostly oil palm estates along this route but it was still a nice view to savour along the way, especially for the uninitiated tourist!!
Our destination on this portion of the journey was
We arrived at our hotel just at about dusk and settled in our rooms. The next morning, Christmas day, we took a drive around the city and viewed the well known ‘Kampong Air’ or literally water village where clusters of houses were built on stilts over the river. Even the school and community hall were built on stilts over the water. This was how riverine villages were built many many years ago. I remember these types of houses in JB when I was a little kid but all these houses are gone now.
We also visited the Empire Resort, touted as the biggest hotel resort, and spent about two hours going around the complex. It was really huge and it was crowded too ……. The entrance lobby has tall ceilings and there were four levels of lobby area. The very large pool connected to several smaller pools along the expanse of the hotel garden and its utility buildings, were crowded with people, families with children and in all sorts of swimming pool dressings, frolicking in the water. It appeared as though there were no proper dress code for the pool. There were people in shorts and t-shirts in the pool. The beach was also just a short distance away from the swimming pools. An 18 hole golf course surrounds the main entrance part of the complex with the club building annexed to the main building.
We went for another drive around the town taking a different route this time and stopped for lunch at one of the restaurants that appeared to be more crowded than others, indicating we suspect, that they serve good food. In deed, the food that they served was good. The basic dish was chicken rice but there were a wide variety of chicken dishes served giving us choices. As usual we picked a few varieties and shared them amongst us.
After the children had their afternoon nap and after we had our rest too, we took them to
The following day we checked out of the hotel at about 9.00am and headed for Miri. There were only two checkpoints to pass through, one to exit
It had been a very interesting week. We enjoyed the overland travel and the experience of going through the various checkpoints and the ferry crossings, of the countryside, the small towns and villages along the way, observing the people and their lives and livelihood. Now we need time to reenergize. It was quite tiring but it was very enjoyable and pleasant….
MKI Ramblings Unlimited