Thursday, June 25, 2015

Last Day of My Kota Kinabalu (KK) Trip!



Many people would have make the last day of their trip as free and easy as possible; sleep in late, have a leisurely breakfast in a posh cafe and then possibly do some window shopping in an air-conditioned premise.

Sleeping in proved to be more difficult as i get older but i did manage to have the most important meal of the day in a pretty nice setting; Kudos with its European style decor; breakfast was rather normal, if i may add.

Strolled over to Atkinson Clock Tower as we were too lazy to run under the blazing hot sun.

From the map that i read a few days ago, Signal Hill Observatory Platform should be quite near to the Clock Tower and we decided to trek along the road that reminded me of the 99 turns in Singapore!

Apparently, we were not the only crazy ones.

The hopes got high after seeing the above signage eight minutes into our walk! By then, we were already sweating buckets!

There was a fork road and i figured taking the one of the right, which led to a higher elevation, would be the correct way! An observation platform should be at the highest point right?

Damn the steep gradient although the promise of a spectacular view of Kota Kinabalu kept us trudging forward! That building, hidden behind the trees, should be our destination!

Eh! How come it was closed for renovation?! Or so we thought until i asked one of the workers there. We were at the wrong location!!! He kindly directed us DOWN the hill and told us to take the road on the right.

Remember the battery building!?

From the road down, this narrow passage was to our right. I was skeptical but thought we might as well check it out; what's with a few more hundred meters of walk?!

I know it was likely the wrong way to to observation tower; the piles of dead leaves were giveaways that the road was less frequently used and if the platform was listed on travel guides, i believe the authorities would try to build a wider road!

Not to mention its super close proximity to the exclusive bungalows!

Nearing the end of the road - all hopes were abandoned even though personally, i was curious to see what was ahead of us.

A bungalow on my left which i guess would have great sea view.

On the right was a much bigger premise that could do with better landscaping and frequent watering to drench the parched vegetation.

It was barely 9.15 am and the sun was scorching hot! Time for the descent; i had a rather good idea by then where Signal Hill Observatory Platform was.

The mountain range in the background. See that white house to the right of the photograph? That's where we were ten minutes ago!

An abandoned car; in Singapore where motor vehicles can cost a leg and arm, car owners would likely scrap their car and get some cash back than leaving it to rust!

This was the fork road and why did i miss that noticeable signage pointing to Signal Hill Observatory?!?!?! I think i might need a new pair of glasses or maybe, just more sleep.

Amazing panorama of Kota Kinabalu city at the Observatory Platform! For more information of Signal Hill Observatory Platform, click here.

Split with Alex as he wanted to buy some more souvenirs whereas i have had enough of shopping and decided to walk around with a camera in my hand and no plan in mind. 

The Signal Hill Observatory Platform as seen from the ground level! Cannot imagine i overlooked the position and got ourselves lost for that short period of time!

After taking a good bath, we received a call from the reception of Jesselton Hotel; the taxi limousine we booked had reached to pick us up.

With the AirAsia flight scheduled to depart at about 2.45 pm to Singapore, i purposely chose an earlier timing for the taxi pickup as i wanted to check out the airport terminal. Furthermore, early is better than late when it come to catching a flight home!

Zara has a boutique hotel subsidiary?!?! Likely would be sued for infringement of brand name in time to come.

KLIA and KKIA - almost similar but one stands for Kuala Lumpur International Airport while the other stands for Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

AirAsia's flights would land and depart from KKIA Terminal 2; in my opinion, it was the equivalence of the budget terminal in Singapore.

Catch a bite before your flight - the catchphrase was so memorable on the first night we arrived in KK; we knew we had to have KFC before we leave!

Our pre-flight lunch and the menu prices as appended for your reference. I think KFC standard in Malaysia had dropped quite a lot over the years; in the past, KFC was THE place to go when we visited Malaysia. 

Departure lounge after clearing the immigration customs.

Aside from a few booths selling jewellery and a liquor / wine / cigarette book shop, my favourite commercial entity was the one marketing Malaysian products; be it souvenirs, local delicacies etc. Prices, as expected, were higher than outside.

Rest N Go Station - pay a few dollars for a few minutes of massage when you have plenty of time to spare; like us! At this point, we had around two more hours to go. If we were at Changi Airport, we could have watched a movie in its comfy theater! 

Famous Amos cookies are way more affordable in Malaysia! It's quite common for me to buy a few kilograms back to Singapore..... 

My favourite has to be Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nuts - you may use the price guide as above and compare it to Singapore prices! There could be additional promotions like get 20% more if you buy 200 grams from 1 to 5pm etc.

Getting bored and i plugged on my earphones to catch a movie using a phone app. Alex took this opportunity to grab my DSLR and shoot many pictures! I am sharing only three; AirAsia plane on a runway, refueling of a plane and the use of a stopper to prevent the plane from sliding off.  

Proceeded to the plane on the tarmac at 2.20 pm! Would you prefer the use of aerobridge instead where you are sheltered from the sun, would not be affected by the rain and it is also air-conditioned? I prefer stepping onto the tarmac and climbing the stairs up to the plane. 

Can take pictures like this mah. 

Our luggage was within them i guess. 

Saying our farewell to Kota Kinabalu! Would i be back? In a way, i found my trip to be busy yet quite boring. Having said that, Sabah is darn huge and my seven days there could only cover a tiny portion! 

Need the coffee as i do not sleep well on the plane; tend to have body ache after that and not to mention i have the tendency to drool!!! Wahahaha

Flew past this land mass two hours into the flight. My estimate put us at above Batam Island of Indonesia where there were numerous industrial zones. 

Less than six minutes later, it's home sweet home at our beloved Changi Airport. 

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For the summarised itinerary of my seven days, six nights Kota Kinabalu trip, please click here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Tube - Only Bridge to Cut Across Orchard Road @ Orchard Gateway [Singapore]

Stroll leisurely along Singapore's busiest shopping belt and you would have noticed something; there was literally no overheard bridges connecting pedestrians on both sides of the walkway.

And it was true. No overheard bridge for the entire stretch of Orchard Road until 26 April 2014 when Orchard Gateway was officially open, together with the glass sky-bridge you see in the above picture!

I have been waiting to check it out for the past year and the chance finally came last month when the Teo siblings decided to have dinner at 313 Somerset! 

Its title as Orchard Road's first bridge didn't seem to attract much attention from the shoppers that were filling the stalls a few floor below; oh well, no complaint from me since i have always preferred places with less people.

Surrounded by a layer of glass, this bridge linking Orchard Gateway to Orchard Gateway@Emerald was air-conditioned although the setting sun created a greenhouse effect; making it slightly warmer for curious pedestrians.

The use of glass did help to provide weather-proof access for shoppers getting to the other side of the road but it somewhat distorted the view of Orchard Road that should have been more impressive! 

Didn't stop visitors from taking photographs though. 

3D artwork always injects an element of fun to a place and this particular art piece was aptly designed for the bridge! 

Given how superstitious Asians (especially Chinese) are, it was a shocker to find this on a bridge! Bet the last thing customers want is a hole in the middle of the bridge! 

Design of the bridge didn't quite blow me away in the insides even though it was a different story from the outside! 

Curvature glass panes that gave the bridge its eye catching body - really hats off to those designers / architects! Guess the bridge must have cost a bomb!

To prevent the 3D art from being a reality, do note the structure limitation and that no dancing is allowed! Okay, it wasn't mentioned explicitly that dancing is prohibited but you can infer from the words "events that generate rhythmic response / vibrations".

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Location
Orchard Gateway, Singapore 
[Connected to Somerset MRT Station]

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