My Adventure At Kinabalu Park (Part 2)

Posted by : foongpc | Thursday, April 30, 2009 | Published in


Before I went on this Kinabalu Park trip, I was advised to bring along a jacket and a raincoat.

Well, I actually got this advice from none other than Jenny, the boss of Lavender Lodge, where I stayed. Jenny and her husband run the Lodge but during this KK trip, I have never get to meet her husband.

I did not know it would be cold at Kinabalu Park so I did not bring along my jacket from home. But I did not want to purposely buy a jacket so in the end I just brought along an extra T shirt in case it would be really cold. As for the raincoat, I managed to buy one at the Centrepoint Shopping Mall in KK the night before.

However, as it turned out, I had neither the need for the extra T shirt nor the raincoat! The temperature was cooling and just so comfortable for me. And it did rain, but I was too lazy to put on the raincoat!

After I completed my business in the Liwagu washroom, I was eager to go out there and walk the jungle trails. But to my dismay, it had started to rain! So I walked right back in.

Here is the entrance to the Liwagu Restaurant.

I decided to explore the Liwagu Restaurant and its surroundings. And perhaps get more information about what places to visit before I proceed further.

This is the sitting room or the hall next to the Restaurant.

Looks like a nice place to just sit down with a good book, doesn't it?

This is the fireplace in the middle of the hall.

Went out to the balcony and shot this picture.

Took a shot at those lovely flower pots hanging from the ceiling at the balcony.

Looks like a place to "goreng goreng" (fry food)

As it was close to noon time and it was still raining outside, I decided to have my lunch at the Liwagu Restaurant. The restaurant was quite empty at that time. I had a good chat with one of the waitresses there. She told me the places that I should visit and even advised me to leave the park by 4pm or else I may have a hard time finding transport back to KK.

Jenny of Lavender Lodge had already reminded me about this 'leave by 4pm' rule last night. So I guess I better heed their advice! Didn't want to be stuck in Kinabalu Park and forced to stay here for the night! Haha!

Anyway, the waitress suggested that I had my lunch outside by the verandah. I couldn't agree more as the view and ambience was just so relaxing!

Oh look! I was not alone. Haha!

I sat at this table here.

The friendly waitress came and gave me the menu. Sorry no picture of the waitress as she declined to be photographed!

This is the menu.

I decided to have the Liwagu fried rice and a cup of Sabah tea. Well, it's my first time there so I had better try their brand of fried rice and Sabah's very own tea!

Here is my Liwagu fried rice and Sabah tea.

Ooh! The Liwagu fried rice looked absolutely delicious! Maybe I was hungry after all those purging earlier! Haha!

There were the prawn crackers, omelette, fried chicken, acar and two sticks of satay on top of the fried rice. Yummy!

Having my meal in the midst of the Kinabalu rainforests was an experience I enjoyed very much!

I noticed they like to hang lots of flower pots from the ceiling.

Took a shot of the view below me.

The place was so nice I was reluctant to move my butt and just wanted to sit there with a good book! Luckily I did not bring any book with me or else I would have really done that. As it was already lunch time, more and more people came into the restaurant. And remembering the advice about leaving by 4pm, I decided to make my move.

The rain had already stopped by the time I went out into the open. Following the advice of the waitress, I walked towards the botanical garden. Passed by some buildings along the way.

Before I reached the Botanical Gardens, I was attracted by a jungle trail midway and decided to enter the trail. I walked along this nice looking bridge.

The bridge looked wet as it had just rained. I like the look as it just gave a very nice ambience.

Oh! This is a different kind of bridge! It is the shortest suspension bridge across a small stream inside the jungle trail.

A close shot of the stream.

Steps inside the jungle trail.

There was even a seat to rest your weary legs!

If you are wondering why there is no people around, you are quite right. Although I have to say there were some people around but I did not take any photos of them. Haha! However, I realised there was a slight drizzle as I walked the jungle trail. I guess not many people were keen to walk the jungle trail in the rain!

Those who were walking the jungle trail were wearing raincoats. Not me. I love the rain. Didn't you know that? Read my post about my love for the rain here.

Anyway, it was just a slight drizzle. I would have worn the raincoat if it rained heavily.

I looked at my watch. It was almost 2pm. Gosh! I must hurry. I haven't even visited the Botanical Garden yet! And I had to get out of there by 4pm latest.

Just then I heard someone crying. I was stunned. I could not see anyone around me. Who was crying? It sounded like a child. I decided to investigate.

To be continued...


How To Avoid Being Infected With Swine Flu Virus

Posted by : foongpc | | Published in


I know some of you have been waiting eagerly for Part 2 of my Kinabalu Park trip. I would not want to disappoint you all but I just got to interrupt my Kinabalu Trip post with this one today in view of the Mexico's swine flu scare.

The World Health Organization had raised the global alert level of the spreading of this swine flu to Phase 4 two days ago. An alert at this phase simply means that there is sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus causing outbreaks in at least one country.

I hope it won't ever reach the feared Phase 6 which is the pandemic phase, where the outbreaks will be seen in at least two regions in the world.

How Virus Reproduce taken from

Although our Malaysian Government had taken steps to prevent the virus from entering the country, can we be sure that we will be safe from the virus? I really don't think so.

Even the use of the thermal scanners does not guarantee that visitors to the country are free from the virus. A person who has just been infected with the swine flu virus will not show any symptom yet. Therefore, he or she will have no problem getting past the thermal scanners or any other methods of screening at the airport.

It's just like doing the HIV or AIDS Test. If your partner or someone you plan to marry did a HIV Test and came back with a negative result, does that conclude he or she is 100 percent free from the HIV virus? Of course not!

If he or she got infected with the HIV virus during the 3 months before he or she took the test, it won't show up in the test result! That's because once you are infected with the HIV virus, your body would take anywhere between 3 weeks and 3 months to produce enough antibodies to be detected in the test. During this HIV window period, he or she would not have not have any symptoms at all but could still transmit the virus to others!

I believe the same goes for the swine flu virus or any normal flu virus. Once a person gets infected, he or she is able to transmit the virus even though there is no visible symptoms. In other words, the possibility of an infected person entering the country successfully despite all the screenings and checks and spreading the virus to Malaysians is there!

So what is the best way to prevent being infected with the swine flu virus?

In my opinion, I believe the best way is to rely on our God given immune system. When we have a strong and active immune system, we will be able to fight any kind of viruses and pathogens.

I would like to share with you 10 factors that can lower and weaken our immune system. It's from my years of reading and learning about health and getting involved in the alternative health industry.

1. Stress
Stress of any kind will dampen the immune system, especially prolonged stress.

2. Lack of sleep
Our immune system is strongest during sleep, so a lack of sleep will be detrimental to the immune system and make us susceptible to the swine flu virus. Now you know why we need to sleep when we are sick? That's because it's the best way for our body to fight the sickness!

3. Lack of exercise
Regular moderate exercise has been proven to strengthen our immune system.

4. Over-exercise
If lack of exercise weakens our immune system, so does over-exercise! Intensive exercises that make you go out of breath for prolong periods are not healthy. I'm sure you would have noticed that world class athletes may look fit, but they get sick easily due to over-exercise!

5. A diet high in fat and cholesterol
High cholesterol slows down the macrophage, one of our white blood cells. Our white blood cells are responsible for defending us against virus invasion. High saturated fat causes our T cells, another one of our white blood cells, to be slow in recognizing invaders or abnormal cells in our body.

6. A diet high in sugar
Sugar is known to depress the immune system. Especially processed white sugar. The immune depression effect of sugar starts less than 30 minutes after ingestion and can last up to 5 hours!

7. Smoking
Smoking slows down the speed of B cells, which affect the production of antibodies. Smoking also destroys Vitamin C, which helps to strengthen the immune system in our body. Do you know that 1 cigarette destroys 25mg of Vitamin C?

8. Excessive alcohol consumption
Alcohol is a known immune suppressant. High doses of alcohol suppress the ability of the white blood cells to multiply! Do not have more than 2 drinks daily. (One drink is equivalent to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1 ounce of hard liquor).

9. Drugs and medication
This may be surprising to some, but it is a fact that some drugs lower your immune system. A good example is statins, the cholesterol lowering drug. That is why, it is best not to take any drugs unless absolutely necessary and unless prescribed by the doctor.

10. Unstable emotion
This must be the most surprising of all! Most people do not know this, but nervousness, anger, and even sudden feeling of happiness can throw your immune system into turmoil! So make sure you stabilise your emotion at all times!

This is not the swine flu virus but the dreaded avian flu virus (taken from

Now that we know the 10 factors that can weaken our immune system, let me share with you my 10 ways to strengthen our immune system and keep it healthy! This is especially important to fight off the swine flu virus!

1. Avoid stress
This is definitely easier said than done. Ways to get rid of stress include exercising, practising yoga, doing relaxation exercises, watching sitcoms on TV and having a good chat with a good friend.

2. Have sufficient sleep
I would say at least 8 hours of good quality sleep every night is a must for a healthy immune system! Even more important if you want to avoid the swine flu virus!

3. Exercise
The absolute minimum is 20 minutes, 3 times weekly. But do not over-exercise or else you will have the opposite effect! Also try to exercise regularly in the parks or places with trees and grass so that you can benefit from the negative ions and also from the phytoncides that help to elevate the immune system.

4. Eat loads of fruits and vegetables and eat less cooked meat
Fruits and vegetables are devoid of cholesterol and high saturated fat, both responsible for lowering the immune system. Also, they contain high fibre. Take more raw food, and fruits. They are natural immune boosters! Cooked meat and processed or refined foods are known as "dead food" devoid of any living energy that is found in raw food. Thus they should be avoided as much as possible.

5. Avoid food high in sugar
This means cakes, cookies, donuts, ice cream, Coke and any kinds of sweet desserts!

6. Do not smoke
This is like a no brainer that needs no explanation.

7. Drink moderately
Red wine contains antioxidants and is good for raising our HDL, or good cholesterol. But over consumption will see the reverse effect! So drink moderately, never going beyond 2 drinks daily. (Read definition of 1 drink above)

8. Avoid drugs or medication
Avoid drugs of any kind unless absolutely necessary or unless prescribed by the doctor.

9. Avoid fluctuating emotions
Keep your emotion stable and your body will thank you for it!

10. Take nutritional and health supplements
I don't know about you but I believe in health supplements. Good quality health supplements are essential to our body. That's because we just don't get enough quality nutrition from our daily food especially if we eat out all the time! And coupled with our daily stress and the toxic environment, it is even more important we give our bodies the essential nutrition to combat any kind of disease.

Although there are many nutritional and health supplements in the market, I go for high quality ones. I highly recommend any of the following...

USANA Multivitamins and Minerals

USANA Omega 3 fish oil

SHUANG HOR ganoderma (lingzhi)

SHUANG HOR bee pollen

I consume these 4 products on a regular basis and I can tell you the effect is great!

Of course, the best way to avoid being infected with the swine flu virus is not to visit the countries which are experiencing the outbreak. And to always wash our hands and not touch our eyes and nose as this is the easiest way to get the virus!


My Adventure At Kinabalu Park (Part 1)

Posted by : foongpc | Tuesday, April 28, 2009 | Published in


When I said adventure, you may be forgiven for thinking I climbed Mount Kinabalu, one of the highest peaks in South East Asia.

Well, I didn't. I visited the foothills of Mount Kinabalu instead. It was an adventure of a different kind.

You see, on my second day in KK, I had planned to wake up early so that I could go visit Kinabalu Park. I woke up at 7am, which I considered very early for a night owl like me! What to do? The chartered van that I booked the night before would be arriving at 8am to pick me up, so either I wake up early or I take the bus to Kinabalu Park myself!

Coming out of my room which has no window, by the way, I was surprised that it was very bright! Oh my God, was I late? It looked like it was already 10am! I took a closer look at my watch. No, my watch showed 7.05am.

Then it dawned on me for the very first time I set my foot in KK. The morning sun over here rises very much earlier than back home in KL. If you can imagine how 10am looks like in KL, then 7am in KK is like 10am in KL!

Anyway, after having my free breakfast of toasted bread with margarine and kaya with a cup of hot coffee, I was all set for my Kinabalu trip. The van arrived right on the dot at 8am. After picking up 3 other tourists at different hotels, we were off on our way.

The journey took about 1 and a half hours. It was halfway that my problem started. I suddenly felt a little pain on the left side of my abdomen. I felt the urge to go to the toilet. That was strange as I already did my business early that morning before my breakfast. I was thinking, please, not now!

The pain came and went a few times. But I managed to bear with it. After some time, my urge to defecate was no longer there, so I forgot about it.

Ascending the mountain in the van, I was fortunate to be sitting on the left side. That's because I noticed the beautiful view of the mountain and the countryside was more likely to be seen out the left window. So, next time you are traveling up the Kinabalu mountain in a car or bus or a van like me, try to sit on the left side. The downside is you get more of the hot sun blazing down on you!

We reached the Kinabalu Park Headquarters at around 9.50am. I paid RM3 at the entrance gate. The van dropped us all off on the main road. By the way, the cost of the chartered van was RM16. Quite reasonable, I think.

Here's my RM3 ticket entrance. Very clever of them to call it conservation fee instead of entrance fee! Makes the 'environment friendly' spirit in me more willing to pay. Haha!

By the way, are you aware that Kinabalu Park is Malaysia's first UNESCO World Heritage site? It is even stated a World Heritage Site on the ticket itself.

It seems that Kinabalu Park is one of the world's most important biological sites. It contains high biodiversity with representatives from more than half the families of all flowering plants. And the majority of Borneo's mammals, birds, amphibians and invertebrates are found here!

And do you know the size of Kinabalu Park? It covers an astonishing area of 754 square km which is bigger than our neighbouring country, Singapore!

This is the main road where we were dropped off.

This photo was taken when I was about to go back. Forgot to take photos when I arrived there! Anyway, did you see the mists? It covered the mountains which were hardly visible.

The weather was cooling, not as cold as Genting Highlands, but cooler than KK town of course. How I hope the weather back home in KL is always like this!

I did not know where the other 3 tourists went, but I was off on my own.

Walking along the quiet road side, I was enjoying the greeneries all around me. There were not many people around. I guess most people who come here aim to climb the mountain and not walk around the park.

After walking along the road pictured above for some time, I reached a quaint looking building.

It appeared to be a hostel by the name Grace Hostel.

Look at the row of flowers beside the hostel. Nice?

There was another hostel a few metres below beside this one. It's called Rock Hostel, if I am not mistaken.

I really don't mind staying here for a night just to enjoy the cool mountain air!

Passing by this rather picturesque road, I looked up to my left and saw more lodgings on top of the hill.

Probably the higher end accommodation since it's on higher ground!

After passing these lodgings, a further walk up the road brought me to these signboards.

I must admit I did not do proper research before embarking on this trip so I was not very familiar with the places that I should visit. In fact, I did not know where will all this walking lead me to! I hoped to walk some of the many jungle trails like the Pandanus Trail in the photo above, but I wanted to see what was ahead of me so I decided against it.

Walking along further up, I reached the Liwagu Suites and Restaurant. I knew from my rather sketchy research that there was a Botanical Garden near the Liwagu Restaurant. But I did not know the building in front of me was the Liwagu Suites at that time as I did not see any sign board. I only saw this.

And this.

Wow! Can you believe it? These superhumans could climb up and down Mount Kinabalu in record breaking 3 hours! In fact, in the men open category, the champion did it in an incredible 2 hours and 44 minutes! Whereas us mere mortals would need to accomplish such feat in 2 exhausting days!

Game for the upcoming 23rd Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon on 24th October 2009? Register yourself here.

Passing these signboards, I continued to walk up the road. And that's where my pain started again. The pain in my abdomen. I had the urge to pass motion. Should I turn back or continue to walk up the road? I decided to continue walking. I was hoping that maybe somewhere further up, I would find another lodging or hostel where I could just drop by to make use of their washroom.

But it was not to be. I walked for more than 20 minutes and the road ahead looked like this.

It was an endless stretch of road and I really did not know how far I got to continue walking! The road was getting steeper too. Somehow, I knew I got to turn back. Meantime, my stomach pain increased, and I had to stop walking for a while to ease myself of the pain. I really thought I must find a toilet somewhere!

Just then, a backpacker passed by. He was from the opposite direction walking downhill towards me.

He said, "Hey, where are you going?"

I told him I was trying to find the Botanical Gardens.

"Oh! You have passed it!" he said. "If you continue walking in this direction, you'll reach the Timpohon Gates! That's about 3km from here and the road is awfully steep."

Timpohon Gates is one of the starting points for climbers of Mount Kinabalu.

I could not thank him enough for pointing me out. So I walked with him down the road but my pain in my stomach had not subsided. I needed to get back to the building I passed by earlier (which was the Liwagu Suites) to use the toilet! But I really did not know if I could make it in time.

I told the backpacker guy my predicament. He said, well, I better hurry along or else I may have to do it inside the forest! I didn't like that idea one bit! So I said bye to him and raced down the road. Somehow I got to reach the Liwagu Suites.

I know, I know! When your poo is about to come out, you can't run, can you? It'll make them come out even faster! But I had no choice! Either they come out now or they come out now!

I really did not know how I did it. But when I saw the building in front of me, I just raced like mad. Raced down a series of steps, I entered the building and searched for the washroom. Luckily, I saw it. Went in and did my business! Phew!!

What a close call! If I were to join the Amazing Race at that moment, I am extremely positive I will win the race!

I never got to meet up with that backpacker guy again. I did not even know his name! Which was a pity as he was a rather pleasant fellow. Well, backpacker guy, if you happen to read this blog, please email me! I would like to be your friend!

For the benefit of my readers, here is the map of the Kinabalu Park taken from Kinabalu Blog.

What did I do next at Kinabalu Park? Well, that will come up in my next post, so stay tuned!


My First Day In KK

Posted by : foongpc | Sunday, April 26, 2009 | Published in


Landing on Kota Kinabalu International Airport at exactly 3.20pm, I was feeling very upbeat about my first solo travel. From the airport, I took a taxi to the place where I was going to stay for the next 3 nights - Lavender Lodge at Jalan Laiman Diki in Kampong Air.

It took about 20 minutes to reach the hotel. I paid RM20, which was the standard fare, to the taxi driver. I should not have taken the taxi in the first place. I will tell you why in a minute.

See the "The Lavender Lodge" signboard? If you think I would be staying in some high class 5 star hotel, then you must have missed my previous post where I said that I would be backpacking this time around.

How did I know about this place? Well, it was where blogger QuaChee stayed the last time he went Kota Kinabalu (KK). He recommended it, so I guess why not give it a try!

Lavender Lodge is situated on the first floor of the shoplot. It is basically a bed and breakfast hotel, specially for backpackers. I was given a warm welcome by the Filipino staff there. She was surprised I arrived there by taxi. Didn't the boss meet you at the airport? she asked.

I was like, what?! The boss was supposed to fetch me at the airport?

She quickly made a call to her boss and told him I have already arrived. It seemed he had been waiting at the airport for me!

Now before you think I am some big shot who needs to be chauffeured driven, here's exactly what happened. When I booked this hotel 2 weeks before my trip, I learnt that they provide free transport from the airport if I stay for more than 2 nights. So I requested for it. At that time I was talking to the boss' wife. But 2 days before my trip, I called the hotel to re-confirm and the person in charge at that time told me I had to email the boss and make the request, otherwise I would not get the free ride. Well, I thought it was too much of a hassle, and decided to just take a taxi instead.

But it turned out that the boss kept to his words. It's a case of miscommunication, but I just lost RM20! Oh well.....

This is how the hotel lobby looks like. More like a sitting room in an average house, right?

This is one of the two tables where we ate our breakfasts. What did we have for breakfast? Well, they provided us with just bread with margarine and kaya, and either tea or coffee. Basic stuffs. Oh, and some bananas too. I guess bananas were the cheapest fruit they could find. Haha!

When I told my female friend back in KL that I ate bananas for breakfast in KK, she could not stop laughing. Aiya, so narrow minded one, my friend.

My room was on the 3rd floor. When I entered, I thought, how very small! And there was no window at all!

There was just a double bed, a small table and a cupboard inside the room. But I was not complaining. At only RM65 a night, I was satisfied. At least it was very clean. That's the most important thing!

I took a fancy to the mirror in front of the cupboard and took a snapshot of myself taking a snapshot! Haha!

Oh, did I mention there was no attached bathroom? They only have common toilets and bathrooms. To be precise, two toilets and two bathrooms on every floor. At first, I thought it would be a hassle, but I got used to it very quickly.

Besides, after some time, I thought it was a very good idea. It was the perfect way to bump into other backpackers staying in the hotel. There was one time I was washing my hands in the bathroom, when someone walked past and said hi. I looked up and was stunned to see a pretty young Caucasian lady who looked like Nicole Kidman, wrapped only in a bath towel! She was walking to the bathroom next door. I quickly recovered, smiled and said hi to her. Wow! Now you see why I don't mind not having attached bathroom?

By the way, the toilets and bathrooms were very clean! I was impressed.

Having checked into the hotel, I went out to explore KK town.

This is the food court opposite Lavender Lodge where you can find cheap seafood.

Next to the Food Court is the SEDCO complex which houses shoplots and other backpacker lodgings.

After walking around town for some time, I reached the KK Waterfront which faces the sea. I realised it was almost sunset and decided to stop by there to take some pictures.

Well, it was not really sunset time yet, so I decided to walk across to the evening market area, opposite Le Meridien Hotel. There were a lot of people and I did not take any photos here. But I could see the sea food that was on sale. They were huge! The fishes were big! And I have never seen squid that looked so big. At least I have never seen sizes like that in KL!

After walking in the crowded market for some time without buying anything, I walked back out again and realised the sun was setting. Quickly I snapped a few more pictures.

There were a lot of people here snapping photos like me and enjoying the sunset view. As my stomach started to growl, I decided to have dinner at one of the restaurants at the Waterfront.

After dinner, I headed over to the shopping malls to get myself a raincoat. Why raincoat? Because I would be going to Kinabalu Park the next day and I was advised to get a raincoat in case it rains!

Coming up next - My Adventure At Kinabalu Park