Besides white water rafting and climbing Mount Kinabalu, island hopping through Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine National Park is another major activity in Sabah, especially if you’re at Kota Kinabalu. There are many tour boat companies providing return trips to the islands that depart from Jesselton Point, the ferry terminal at KK next to the royal custom department.
The boats leave at a half-hourly to hourly frequency, with the fare priced at RM20-30 per pax depending on the boat size as well as the number of islands you are going to visit. It is advised to start the island hopping as early as possible because there are quite many islands you can choose to visit like Manukan, Manutik (smallest), Sapi, Gaya (largest) and Sulug.
Our first stop was Manukan Island and the boat journey was only 15-20 minutes since the islands are not too far away from the mainland. You could still see the buildings at the mainland side from the island. A resort named Manukan Island Resort provides the accommodation and only one restaurant is serving food there.
Once you reach Manukan, a few Ringgit of entrance fee is collected from each tourist at the small office used to preserve the Marine Park. To be honest, although the view is great snorkeling would be the main activity here or you will get bored soon. The equipments could be rented at the island itself, or you could rent them from the tour boat companies at a cheaper price.
Do you know how many shapes chicken rice can take in Malaysia? As far as I know there are three with the most common one served in a semi-spherical or bowl shaped. We can all agree there’s nothing fancy about this. In Melaka, their chicken rice is available in the shape of a ping pong sized ball, which is something quite special for Northern Malaysians. Then in East Malaysia specifically Sabah in the town of Kota Kinabalu, the Hainan Chicken Rice at Wiya Coffee Restoran is served in a pyramid shape!
But before I claim pyramid shaped chicken rice is only available in KK, luckily I did some research first and found that it is also available in Singapore’s Boon Tong Kee. Phew, I saved myself from embarrassment there lol.
When KampungBoyCityGal and us went to KK, Wiya’s chicken rice was on our must-try list just because of the pyramid shaped rice alone. I honestly didn’t know it existed until we researched for the food in KK. When it comes to uniqueness, this pyramid shaped rice takes the cake. But the shape aside, the rice was nothing special really.
I just remembered these photos taken during my trip to Kota Kinabalu. It was a seafood dinner me and SL took together with KampungBoyCityGal at Ocean Village Seafood Restaurant (海王城海鮮村).
But before I continue, first let me just say that the food wasn’t spectacular and the price was very expensive, mainly because the restaurant is to cater to tourists mostly. I don’t think any Sabahan with the right mind would want to dine there and get chopped like us lol.
Then again, this post isn’t really about the food nor the prices. It’s about visiting perhaps one of the largest and most awesome seafood restaurant with the most live seafood on display in Malaysia. If you thought Bali Hai‘s display of seafood was impressive, wait till you see Ocean Seafood Village’s.
A large prawn statue greets the customers at the entrance of Ocean Seafood Village Restaurant.
Once we stepped into the restaurant, instead of making orders we made way to the live seafood area like kids who couldn’t wait to go to the playground. Our jaws literally dropped looking at the arrays of aquarium tanks housing the countless live seafood ranging from prawns to clams and fish.
The front rows mainly housed live prawns, mantis prawns at the middle, fishes at the back and clams on the side with crabs crawling around on the ground.
These red colored tiger prawns price increase ten bucks for every upsize: RM20 each for small, RM30 for medium and RM40 for large. Pricey? Oh yes, certainly. But do keep in mind that even the smallest prawns are at least twice the length of an average adult’s finger.
Mee Tuaran, a special kind of fried noodle has always been the hawker food I wanted to try in Sabah. To me, this hawker dish’s reputation in Sabah is equivalent to Char Koay Teow in Penang, or Kolo Mee in Sarawak. But since I wasn’t able to go all the way to Tuaran to try the authentic ones, I had to settle for those in Kota Kinabalu – hoping that they would be as good.
Seng Hing Restaurant at Sinsuran 2 was recommended by the locals for their Mee Tuaran Goreng (Fried Mee Tuaran) and Tom Yam Noodles. Lucky for us, the coffee shop was only 5 minutes’ walk away from our hotel so we had our breakfast there before heading to Gaya Street’s Sunday Market.
The Mee Tuaran @ RM5 (if not mistaken) was worth my long anticipation. I don’t know the exact words to describe it but it tasted somewhere between Wantan Mee (of the light soya sauce) and Sarawak Kolo Mee. The noodles was springy, with generous toppings of roasted pork and slices of fried egg rolls (thanks to the clarification of a Sabahan, I thought they were fish cakes initially) Click here to continue reading >