Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Holiday Yearnings



Mount Kinabalu

Sepilok Sanctuary

It has been such a long while since the family holidayed together that I can’t even remember for sure the last time we did. By that I mean ‘holiday’ in every sense of the word, not the occasional trips back home to attend weddings or bury loved ones.

Any which way you look at it, such milestones hardly merit being called a holiday. In the case of a wedding, especially if it involves close kin like siblings, your presence is a must and your contribution, financial or otherwise, is expected.

In the event of a death in the family, it is highly unlikely that anyone would treat the sorrowful trek home as a jaunt. You are returning to bury Grandpa or Grandma, or worse still, Mum or Dad; how jovial could you possibly be?

For us, the last time we journeyed together as one was in May last year when we trooped back to Dungun for the wedding of my niece Reeta and the death of my mom, both of which, unfortunately, happened on the same day, within ten minutes of each other (read here).

Since then we had not gone together anywhere as a family. With everyone having their own work commitment, it is getting twice as hard to organise a proper getaway.

The last family outing we had that truly qualified as a holiday was eons ago, when the ‘terrible trio’ of Naj, Joe and Ann were mere school kids and Awwa had not yet made her presence felt in our lives. We went to Penang during one school term break.

Considering Awwa is 23 going 24, I can safely say a quarter of a century on, and the time has got to be ripe for another family outing! If we wait a moment longer, someone is bound to get married and drop off the ‘holiday with mom & dad’ scene.

The kids and I got to talking about this some weeks back. By ‘this’ I mean the holiday, not matrimony, the latter being a highly sensitive, super-duper touchy issue and an absolutely no-go area for us perennially hopeful parents.

As usual, I was casting my net far and wide - Greece and Italy, to be exact – because I had missed the opportunity of visiting these two countries while living in Britain.

Joe, who shared my interest in history and whose Holland jaunt last year was still fresh in his mind, concurred with my choice.

Awwa was the easy one to ‘kowtim’; she would agree to anything and anywhere Mak decided. Left to her, she would probably pick all the known shopping havens like Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta and the like.

Naj had been to almost all the major cities of the world - courtesy of his five years spent flying with Malaysia Airlines before deciding journalism was his lot in life - so he was not exactly hyped up about where to go.

It was Ann who suddenly piped up: “How about Sabah and Sarawak? After all, apart from Naj, none of us has ever been to East Malaysia.”

Three pairs of eyes turned to shoot daggers at her, their visions of a European holiday crumbling before their very eyes. The fourth pair of eyes looked up and responded: “Hmmm, why not?”

Last night, over dinner, the subject of family holiday surfaced again. This time around, I am quite determined to see it through and the kids seemed thrilled at the prospect of Sabah or Sarawak, or both.

Naj specifically mentioned the orangutan sanctuary in Sepilok. Ann, ever the ‘lasak’ one, vaguely contemplated the idea of climbing Mount Kinabalu.

Awwa would be fine anywhere, as long as she could shop till she dropped. Joe was more in my mould, revelling in history and nature, so he would be fine wherever I was.

All the while, poor Pak Abu, the would-be financier of our enthusiastic escapade plans, sat there glumly, puffing away while observing our antics, no doubt making some quick mental calculations on the forthcoming 'damage' to his pocket ....


Bijou said...

I would recommend U to go to Sabah.

bergen said...

Sarawak is nice. Sabah is nice too. If you like the interior. You may wanna to think twice about Sarawak though, they've been having a lot of rain the late few months.

MrsNordin said...

Hee.. hee... kesian Pak Abu...

Anonymous said...


Which ever destinations,both are equally adventurous but you should consider what had been said by bergen. Anyway I have sent an email last friday and would like to confirm whether you have recieved it.

Roslan said...

I have always liked Sabah ever since I first step my foot on it. The place is different. The people are nice and friendly. The sea is clean and full of fish that you can go fishing everyday to get the "lauk" for the day. Sabah is not affected by air, river or sea pollution because there are no heavy industries there. If you like to take seafood, then you can find fresh and cheap seafood in Sabah.Even for the grouper fish (ikan kerapu) there are so many varieties with different colours to choose from.

There are many interesting places to visit - the marine park at the islands near K.Kinabalu, Gunung Kinabalu, Poring Hot Spring or the floating restaurant at Sempurna near Tawau, where you can choose your own fish, lobster or crabs from the sea and tell them how you want them to be cooked.

I always look forward to go to Sabah and have never regretted visiting the state each time.

Sarawak is different and nice too, especially the food, but the seafood there are not as fresh and cheap as Sabah's and there are not many interesting places to visit. I think Kuching is the most well-planned city in Malaysia, though.

If you wish to visit both states, I suggest you spend more time in Sabah and most "important" of all, every town or city in Sabah has a karaoke lounge ;-)

Furthermore, visiting both states are going to be lighter on Pak Abu's pocket too if compared to going to Europe. I won't comment on the nice golf courses there...hehehe

ray said...

Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Seronok jugak kalau dapat pegi Rom, kata Pak Malim sambil bermain jarum.
Satu hari saya nak berlagak macam ni -
-"When in Rome, do as the Romans do."
(Kelihatan Pak Malim sedang makan budu).

Ĺaptop™ said...

Dont go Europe of EM yet.
Aloq Jangguih also you didn't cover fully. I bet you even intentionally missed Kola Kedah and the hard-to-describe laksa Teluk Kecai.

Kama said...

Bijou - Left to me, I want to go both..:)

Bergen - The trip is not likely to happen any time soon but I want to try NOT to go during the school holidays. That would be madness. Sabah sounds nice.

Mrs N - Hehehe, I agree, but he can always hit a ball or two at the many golf courses there..

Det - Thanks for the e-mail, I've got it (baru baca).. will respond soonest..

Roslan - Wah, you are a good promoter of Sabah tourism! I forgot you spent many years in East Malaysia. Did I hear karaoke? This is doubly interesting!

Ray - pi europe best tapi mahal
kata kama yg takmau buat hal
so east malaysia pun ok jugak
kata kama sambil tengok gagak
(burung gagak tau, bukan Pak Itam!)

Laptop - Macam mana nak pi Kola Kedah, orang tak sudi jemput kita pi mkn laksa Teluk Kecai! At least Aloq Jangguih I tawaf byk kali dah..lol

Zabs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zabs said...

Salam Putri,
Pulau Layang-Layang di Sabah is quite a good place to go to. Scuba diving maybe..

Nong said...

Salam. I blog-hop here and thought i know this lady from RMM time :)

Last year we spent nearly 3 weeks in Italy, Tunisia and Greece. We took the train from Genoa to Palermo, then took the ferry cruise to Tunis, rent a car into the sahara and flew to Athens for islands hopping then back to Rome again. It was a good trip, u should try this....

Kama said...

Nong - Tq for dropping by. Blast from the past from Royal Mint days, eh? Please refresh my memory. Dah tua, recall capability dah diminish..hehehe.. Btw, you hv such a nice 'travelogue' blog..

Zabs - Tq for dropping by. The children would love Pulau Layang2 for sure because all of them are dive enthusiasts who frequent Redang/Perhentian..

Zendra said...

Kama, we(family of 5), went on a short trip to KK recently. The weather was unfriendly, but we decided to go to the Poring Hot Springs, anyway. There we went on the canopy walk (quite doable for some mak ciks), had a very cool dip in the waterfall, then a warm one in one of the hot-spring kolahs. Highly recommended. On the drive back to KK, the skies cleared at one point, and it was then the majestic Mount Kinabalu appeared in full view in front of us. A sight to behold! The kids are raring to climb it now. Next trip guys!
BTW for shopping, you get real bargains at the handicraft market if you go just when it opens.
Sabah - a must-go.

Kama said...

Zendra - Aduh! You hv just locked it in for me! After all thnice things the others say abt Sabah, and now this, sure looks like it's Sabah above Sarawak for the first one. I was surfing for good packages yesterday and there are so many..

Desert Rose said...

Kak Puteri...

Just pack & go. Sabah is heaven.

Kemana pun as long as we r with family is a Great a.k.a Disastrous Vacation with FUN.

I'm d only one in family of four siblings yg sunnguh gigih plan and book ticket for every body - parents, sister yg dah branak pinak & adik2. I will just beli ticket during promotion for everybody, using what???My hubby credit card la of course. So everybody tak sempat jwb pun my sms, alocation time is only 10 min, while they are stuill ar uh ar uh , ticket confirmed already, no excuse.Kalau tak buat gitu, tak berjalan mana kak, adik beradik i tu lembam sume.

Pokku said...

I would recommend Sabah too. You get Manukan island just 10 minutes from Kota Kinabalu, Pak Abu can try the golf course at Nexus, Karambunai while you take the river cruise. A short drive from there is the other Shangrila where I remember they have cheeky urangutans and some other creatures.
If you feel up to it, there is white-water challenge and mountain-climbing too.
As for shopping, there is the Filipino Market.
Of course there are more attractions if you move your base away from Kota Kinabalu.

The Ceramic Designer said...

we were also thinking of sabah a few years ago, but went to bali instead.. but this year we're thinking it should be new zealand, kak.. we're going to places where there're friends residing to keep us company and add to our holidays enjoyment.. yeah, old age does this to us.. ;)

Kama said...

DR - what a darling you are to take the initiative to get the ball rolling.

Pok Ku - Filipino Market? this is getting better by the day! Pak Abu has been to both Sabah & Sarawak, so he ain't fussy. Of course Karambunai is always a draw to him I guess.

CD - My son Naj's favourite destination is Bali. He never seems to get enough of it. Bali was on the itinerary, but itseems Sabah has an edge this time around.

kay_leeda said...

Kak Puteri,

Sabah is highly recommended If you are in KK on a Sunday, be sure not to miss the Gaya Street Market. Then, take a slow drive to Mount Kinabalu Park. On the way up, stop at one of the local stalls serving Kelapa Bakar....best and so refreshing.

Enjoy your hols :)

Aida said...

Kak Puteri,

Oh wow planning for a holiday is one thing that gets my juices all flowing. Kalau boleh nak circumnagivate the world hehehehe but the budget is the limitation ehehehe

My trip to Sabah was 30 years ago at least ehhehe to visit my auntie and her family when my late uncle was posted there with RTM Sabah. My husband makes monthly trips there for work and he highly recommends it. Its better than stodgy old Miri (he says. The seafood is to die for. Just don;t come back with gout cukup.

Have fun deciding and travelling.

Kama said...

Kay - Ini macam kalu, it's Gaya Street Market la for me.. hehehe..

Aida - 30 years? Kalau masa tu baru kawin, sekarang sudah dapat cucu, weh.. lol..

Indeed I am hearing all the nice things abt Sabah. Takder ke orang Sarawak amongst you all nih yg nak bagi feedback pasal S'wak?