Discover Malaysia: Time Travel back to 2015

Walkway going to Victoria Hotel.

For starters if you follow my blog you know that I just recently do blogging and have not posted my international travel debut. So in preparation for my second travel outside the country this year (2017) YES! Allow me to recollect the memories of 2015 and share it with you.

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Basically it was my first time to travel abroad, be in a foreign land and be with foreign people- it is quite intimidating and challenging at the same time. Intimidating in such a way that you might feel dumb because of language, norms and cultural differences, you may not be understood but also challenging where your people skills and ability to adapt will be measured.

Here are some memorable experiences in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

Driver seat on the right side of the car! As soon as we had our Peso changed to their local currency (Ringgit) we headed straight to the taxi bay where bunch of cars parked and on the other side drivers were chatting with each other while waiting for passengers. As we approached the bay, one guy came to us and asked if we needed a cab and we said yes, then he helped us towards the cab. As always,  I seat next to the driver’s seat so I opened the car door on the right side and got surprised to see the steering wheel staring back at me.  I looked over my shoulder and saw the driver’s face turning red bursting with laughter and so my friends and the other drivers in the airport! I exclaimed “hala!” and laughed with them.

Here’s a picture of four of us with me next to the driver. (I am sorry kuya I forgot your name,  it’s been awhile now so I hope you understand).


Don’t worry I am not driving.


After we checked-in in our hotel,  we went out to the nearest mall to look for money changer.  Tip: have enough money changed to local currency at the airport and the rest of your budget in a local money changer. Exchange rates at the airport is considerably higher compare to regular money changers at the mall.

They say that in every country there is always Filipino. True enough, past lunch time and we had not eaten yet, we decided to look for some local food close to our hotel. While we were discussing which way should we look for we were interrupted by a familiar language from unfamiliar voice asking, “Saan ba kayo pupunta?” (Where are you going?) and you know what happened next.

Thanks to our friendly kababayan who helped us with directions, we found a restaurant. As we order food we were arguing which one from the menu is better than the other. Funny cause we have not tasted any of them before but basing our judgment on the pictures then the waitress said, “Mas masarap pa po yung halo-halo natin diyan.” And we were stunned.

You might guess that some of the hotel staff where we stayed are Filipinos,  you bet.

Enough with the chit chat and start with our first stop. Mount Kota Kinabalu view point.

Mount Kota Kinabalu view deck. Behind is the famous Mt. Kinabalo draped with clouds.

Mt. Kinabalu Botanical Garden.

Canopy Walk

Mari Mari Cultural Village.

Parasailing and Island hoping.

These are some good memories in 2015. Looking forward for Indonesia this July!

(pictures of flowers were taken by @salingkatkat)


Mt. Daraitan: Beauty and Madness Alike

Mount Daraitan, a true spectacle within the heart of Sierra Madre mountain range capturing all types of moutain enthusiasts- behind its natural beauty is unexpected madness.

Between General Nakar, Quezon and Tanay, Rizal can be found this beautiful wonder with its own unexpected beast to discover. Approximately three to four-hour travel from Manila which makes it one of the best destinations to get away from the buzz of the metro and its hectic schedule.

According to pinoymountaineer Mount Daraitan is considered a minor climb with 4/9 difficulty and trail class of 1 to 3. Its looks so easy to climb when you look at it in paper.

While trekking all the way up to the summit, anyone can appreciate tropical rainforest and different limestone formations which is predominantly evident among mountain ranges in Rizal. At the summit you can see Laguna de bay, Pililia Wind Mill, Mounts Maynoba, Batosulong, Makiling, Sombrano, Susong Dalaga, and many more.

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Enjoying the summit after more than 2 hours of trekking.

Then upon descent, Tinipak river offers various water activities and not only that, adjacent to it is Mount Mamara which has different caves to visit with natural pool in it.


Tinipak River. Just where the water from the cave is coming out. We did not go to where the crowd are.


Inside the cave where you get to enjoy running water pool.

Yes it has its own madness. If you think that the hike to the summit is just easy, think again, you must be mad. The mountain is approximately 740 meters above sea level (masl), relatively higher than Mount Hapunang Banoi in Montalban which is only 517 masl. More than 600 meters of that height is a straightforward assault with 70 to 90 degree angle. For those who are not experienced hiker, this will be a challenge. Weather condition will also play a big part in the level of difficulty.

Check out our Itinerary guide HERE.

Ang Lakwatserong Pangit