48hours of Bongawan – Ranau Road Trip

Earlier this year I have started my Bullet Journal with some goals for 2019. One of them is to have my own version of COURT (it stands for Camping, Outing and Road Trip) at least once a month.

I did the first unplanned court to Polumpung, Kota Belud.

It was again the unplanned trip I did on the 2ndday of February. It was unplanned because my good friends and I had just decided on having the trip one day before. It was also unexpected because Ahoon just came back from Bali, and Sylvia just came back from Kuala Lumpur.

It was impromptu, as I typed out the very brief itinerary on our Whatsapp group.

2ndFeb 6am – KK to Bongawan for a BBQ picnic near the river
2ndFeb 3pm – Bongawan to Ranau for Durian Fest (overnight)
3rdFeb 8am – Ranau to Kudat for Simpang Mengayau and back to KK

Three of us in the group made it for the itinerary but unfortunately, we had to skip Kudat.

2ndFebruary, 6am – Ahoon and I departed from our place as early as at 6am in the morning. It took us 2 hours to reach to the small town of Bongawan. It was my first time in the town. Thank goodness that I made it this year before I get any older. I just loved my early morning experience in Bongawan. where I can see those pre war, colonial shop houses. The Japanese army, the Australian forces were once occupied this small town.

Bongawan name is taken from the local word of egrets – Bangau

Ahoon suggested that we should get ourselves the Kopi Lang. It’s the black coffee drink in a bottle, and it’s chilled in the refrigerator before it is served to the customers. That’s Ahoon browsing to her phone. And, that’s my hand holding a bottle of Kopi Lang.

We had the Kopi Lang at Kedai Kopi Sam Hing, one of the old wooden shoplots built in 1922. The coffee shop was once featured in the local newspaper. A paper cutting is placed on the table we sat. I was lucky to have some insights about the history of Bongawan.

What a scene to enjoy as early as 8am in the coffee shop. I had the chance to listen to the chatty customers next to our table talking about what’s reported in the printed newspaper – the husband and wife sitting face to face waiting for their menu to be served – the old man with his tobacco pipe – the family of five having their pau (the white round pastry stuffed with meat). I’m glad that I woke up so early and didn’t miss that opportunity to witness such a peaceful environment.

After Kopi Lang, we visited the weekly market of Tamu Bongawan held every weekend where you get to see fresh vegetables and most important is that you get to see friendly locals with their generous smiles.

After buying some stuff from the market, we then headed to Sylvia’s home for the BBQ picnic, which took us 20-30 mins drive from the town. I just loved the fact that her house is not far from the river where we had the small and simple BBQ. We had some fishes, prawns and chicken wings. I’m not going into details on this part, I’m letting the picture to do the story for itself.

I do not want to be so dramatic to describe the feelings of awesomeness for this event, but it was indeed satisfying. I love everything about being close to my good friends. Laughing to each other and being tired for the day. How can it not be one of my most memorable adventures in my life?

Let me continue with my sharing and I’ll let you to imagine the kind of adventure you want from here.

We departed for Ranau exactly before 4pm from Bongawan. We reached Lohan Damai Eco Ranch just before 10pm. We had simple dinner before we checked in to our room where we got it for complimentary stay. Thanks to Sylvia’s previous connection in the district. We were tired and all we wanted was a good night sleep to have our things to do the next day. Lights out and off we went to the dreamland that first night.

3rdFebruary – We woke up quite early not because we wanted it. If I wanted to point out the distressing moment during the trip is of course our good sleeps that were disturbed by the crying sound of a baby next room. Ahoon and Sylvia are so going to agree with me on this. We had no choice but to get ourselves from the bed for bath and breakfast. Despite the crying baby, we totally had a blast for our second day in Ranau – Kundasang.

We’ve made it to Sylvia’s family place in Ranau for durian, rambutan and langsat! And delicious lunch. Too bad, we were enjoying that moment and forgot about taking photos.

We’ve made it to Ranau Rabbit Farm (photo below).
From left; Sylvia, Ahoon and I. 

We’ve made it to Rosary Hills (photo below).

We’ve made it to BW Bus Restaurant, Kundasang (photo below)

We reached home (Kota Kinabalu) by 6pm. It was the complete 48 hours of making friendship memories.

In life, we do not want to make enemy, we do not want to judge and hate people just because they sinned differently than us. We just want to be good to ourselves and the friendship we have. I hope and pray you would have a blossom friendship as well. Cheers!END/

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Road Trip To Polumpung, Melangkap – Kota Belud

The best trip is always the unplanned trip, at least for me. Oh by the way, Happy New Year 2019!

My friend, Ahoon and I had some small talks via WhatsApp few days before the end of 2018. She was on vacay to Kuching.  Ahoon came back from Kuching on January 1st 2019 and texted about going somewhere. I suggested for a camping night out and both agreed. I then booked a spot for camping at Polumpung, Melangkap – Kota Belud.

Then came the day of 2nd January 2019. Ahoon and I departed for our first COURT in 2019. (COURT – Camping~Outing~Road Trip). That was pretty much how the unplanned trip taken its place. You won’t be reading a complicated how-to-plan-your-road-trip-to-Polumpung in this post, what we did for the trip was impromptu and follow-your-heart kind of gateway. Have a good reading 🙂

2nd January 2019
We started the drive at around 10.15am in the morning. A one (+-) hour drive, we reached Kota Belud Town at 11.00am-11.15am. We took few hours for lunch, chit chatting and bought few stuff to bring to the campsite of Polumpung. Just for the record; we bought Maggie cups, canned food, biscuits, buns and bottled water. We wouldn’t want to buy those if only we had known it earlier that the campsite do provide a cafe 🙂

From the small town of Kota Belud, we drove for another 35-40mins (29km) to Polumpung, Kampung Melangkap Baru. I used Waze for the earlier part but followed the roadsigns most of the time. I am pretty sure that you won’t get lost to the village/campsite.

The village has quite a few campsite operators. You can see it along the village road when you are already in the village. We made our way to Polumpung Campsite. According to some infos, it was the first campsite opened for public.

I had a chat with one of the campsite owners, the campsite was originally a place full of trees. Polumpung means small island. The earthquake at the foothill of Mount Kinabalu followed with the big flood in 2015 had changed the landscape of the place. No more trees, no more two rivers and the small island. It has changed to a flat land full of sand and only one river left. According to the Uncle I talked to, it was a blessing in disguise, the place now offers a breathtaking view for outdoor enthusiasts. And, I agree with him! I love the place so much that it gives me my inner peace that I needed the most. Away from the city, and with the DIGI connection that is not available for internet; this is the place where I should be.

I love the big signage showing “I LOVE Polumpung” at the entrance of the campsite. It makes thing easier for a driver to find a place. We drove in from the entrance and went to the registration counter to confirm the booking under my name. All was good. We had our camp tent, a canopy, sleeping bags and a mattress; the mattress is the thin one just to keep the body at its best comfort. I would want to have the smiley with two tears at the side emoticon to compliment the mattress part. LoL!

After paying all fees, we went straight to the campsite. Had our tent ready and putting all our stuff in the tent. We didn’t want to waste so much time. We went to the cold Melangkap River close to our tent. It was raining but I didn’t care much of catching a flu and fever. I was shivering but I carried on sitting in the river and let those unnecessary feelings on my mind be flown away following the river. I just love the moment. Really, I do. Thank you Polumpung!

I spent the night with the not so stargazing moment. My blurry eyesight wasn’t helping. I ended up with writing/setting up my Bullet Journal. I also read the writing about “My Helplessness” by Mahatma Gandhi from his book. And, oh yeah…nothing beat the hot black Kopi O with some crackers, I just LOVE it!

You can choose how you want your night out at Polumpung to be.
If you opt for barbecue, you may have your chicken wings marinated overnight before. If you opt for an easy night, just bring your canned food and Maggie cups. We bought rice from the cafe at the campsite. So, if you don’t want anything to dirty your hands – just get yourself to the cafe and take away food from there. The earlier the better, the cafe is close at 7pm.

All those basic needs for toilet, bathroom, chairs, table, BBQ pit, canopy, tent, portable gas, pillow, sleeping bag, mattress etc is provided at the campsite. You can next time bring just your good-self, things are easy and will make your life and mind easier at Polumpung.

3rd January 2019
We woke up with our tent facing to the majestic view of Mount Kinabalu. Breathtaking as it is! Pro tip: Don’t put your tent where there are tents in front of your tent. This was the only thing that spoiled the moment I must say.

I had to fix it. I got up from the tent and went straight to the river for a better view. I took my time to meditate as well on the big rock in the river. After a moment of peace, I decided to take the last swim before we drove back home.

Polumpung Campsite is pretty much a place where I wouldn’t want to mess my mind with all other stuff. I wanted a quiet place and moment of heart-to-heart conversation with a good friend. The camp out at Polumpung suits to my whole ride journey for my inner peace this year. And, what I think about Polumpung is the moment of peace it offers. I can just be happy not thinking for anything else. Polumpung helps to rejuvenate the goodness, kindness, and happiness in me. Thank you Polumpung!/END