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Food Trucks of Sabah

food truck

Two types of cars excited me when I was a little boy, i.e. ice cream truck and “Roti Van” (a type of van that sells variety of bread, pastry, candy, snack, and toys). However, these mobile shops had disappeared from my neighborhood for decades.

LOCA Food Truck

Some months ago, when I was playing Pokemon Go at Tanjung Aru Beach, a food truck caught my attention. It brought back my childhood memory, so I was happy to give it a try.

Food truck

Owning a food truck is like owning a mobile shop

It was LOCA food truck which sells focaccia (a flat oven-baked Italian bread product similar in style and texture to pizza doughs). I have tried all three breads on their menu. Personally I highly recommend their “Moo” bread with juicy beef.

food truck

Selling food without a shop is possible

In general, food trucks serve great food because they rely on words of mouth to attract more customers, so they can’t afford to be mediocre.

Food by LOCA

“The Sabahan” by LOCA Food Truck. It’s local favorite “sayur manis” sautee with mushroom, served with wild fried ginger and cheese sandwiched with Loca’s signature fresh focaccia.

Though food truck is common in overseas, it’s quite new in Sabah. If you are interested in special food that is served fresh and hot on the spot, the following is a list of food trucks in Kota Kinabalu City.

Simple cooking area in food truck

Simple cooking area in food truck

You may follow their social media to know their whereabout. They would come to your neighborhood soon!

Business On Wheels (BOW) Club

While ordering my food, I looked at the owners of LOCA food truck, Jonathan and Alexander. From the smile on their faces, they really love what they are doing. Later I learn that I was having a taste of their dream (food).

Food from Food Truck

“The Moo” by Loca: Locally inspired BBQ pulled beef served with locally grown pineapple sandwiched with Loca’s signature fresh focaccia.

You will see such food trucks getting more and more popular in our city. KW Machinery is the promoter behind this.

Delicious food from LOCA Food Truck

Delicious food from LOCA Food Truck

The core business of KW Machinery is selling imported heavy machineries such as cranes and excavator.

preparing food on food truck

However, their owner, Kenny Wong is really fascinated by mobile trucks and decide to build a community to encourage locals to start a mobile business.

Colourful food trucks

Colourful food trucks

He thinks mobile shop is a workable concept, and he just needs to motivate and help the budding entrepreneur to have a great start and sustainable business.

pink food truck

I know some of you are fancy of pink color. Yes, pink food truck exists.

Therefore, the food truck is sold at very affordable price, starting from MYR40,000. For that money, you get a car, and a mobile shop for free!

Latest model of KW Machinery Food Truck

Latest model of KW Machinery Food Truck

Because they want to promote Business on Wheels so they don’t set high profit margin. The food trucks are high quality Japanese cars designed for durability.

Food Truck for display purpose

Food Truck for display purpose

Besides, to make sure the owners to run their business successfully, they also offer training on business model and marketing strategy. For example, LOCA food truck was facing difficulty to generate sales in the beginning. After getting some advice on marketing, they are able to sell really well now.

Advantages of Food Trucks

I’m sure almost everyone has a dream to start a busine$$. Sadly, if without plan and action, 99.9999% of our dreams end up as a daydream.

Food trucks of KW Machinery

Food trucks of KW Machinery are high quality Japanese car

Even if you have a good plan to open a restaurant or shop, very soon you will hold back due to the high rental cost. The No.1 rule of business is good location, and that’s also the no.1 problem for start-up.

Food Truck: Jonathan (left) and Alex (right)

Food Truck makes the dream of Jonathan (left) and Alex (right) comes true

Therefore, the solution is Mobile Shop that allows you to run a business without paying expensive rent. KW Machinery has range of mobile trucks from 1 to 10 tons. Other than food, you also can sell other stuffs and services such as salon, clothing, cafe, mobile advertisement and events.

Food trucks of KW Machinery

Food trucks of KW Machinery

KW Machinery will teach buyers the proper way of running mobile truck business, for example, getting trading and mobile licenses.

Group photo of bloggers and KW Machinery Team

Group photo of bloggers and KW Machinery Team

It’s because the staffs there helped LOCA Food Truck whole-heartedly, they are no longer a “little potato” who works for others like nobody, Jonathan and Alexander said.

If you are interested in starting a mobile business, you may check out the social media of Business on Wheels (BOW) Club below:
Facebook: bowkw and foodtruckbaby
Instagram: @Bowclub_sabah
Workshop: bowworkshop.weebly.com

Special thanks to Kimberly for being the model in this post.

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Climbing Mount Kinabalu via Kota Belud Trail

Climbing Mount Kinabalu

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake on 5 June 2015 destroyed part of the old summit trails on Mt. Kinabalu. On 1 Dec 2015, a new summit trail named Ranau Trail is open and becomes the Standard trail to climb Mt. Kinabalu until now, and I had covered this trail in detail in my article “How to Climb Mount Kinabalu and How Much it Cost?”.

Map of Ranau and Kota Belud Trails

Ranau and Kota Belud Trails (Click to Zoom In). Both start from Laban Rata and meet at Sayat-Sayat (checkpoint 1.6 Kilometres before the summit)

New! Kota Belud Trail

The second new trail called Kota Belud Trail is open on 9 Dec 2016. I had climbed it three months ago (with special permit by Sabah Parks, as it wasn’t open to public that time), and this post will give you an overall of this new trail.

1. Kota Belud Trail is 170 Metres longer than Ranau (Standard) Trail

The one-way distance (from Timpohon Gate starting point to the Summit) of Kota Belud Trail is 8.97 KM, while Ranau Trail is 8.8 KM. The starting point of Kota Belud Trail is next to Gunting Lagadan Hut and Panar Laban Hut, while Ranau Trail is started behind the Pendant Hut.

Ranau trail and peak

Ranau Trail is less challenging than the old trail

Please note Kota Belud trail doesn’t start at Kota Belud town, and Ranau Trail doesn’t start from Ranau town too. You can see these districts from the trails on mountain hence their names.

Descending via Ranau Trail

Descending via Ranau Trail

Kota Belud Trail

Though Kota Belud Trail is more challenging, the experience is more thrilling.

2. Kota Belud Trail is more Challenging than Ranau Trail

Ranau Trail is more tourist-friendly and safer because there are a lot of staircase and climbing aid. Kota Belud Trail is quite “raw” with limited support, so it is meant for adventurers who want to do real climbing. You need to be quite fit, and more upper body strength is required for climbing at the steep section.

Staircase on Ranau Trail

Staircase on Ranau Trail

The most difficult part of Ranau Trail

The most difficult part of Ranau Trail is still quite easy to climb

Rock climbing section on Kota Belud Trail

Rock climbing section on Kota Belud Trail

3. Kota Belud Trail is more Rocky

Most of the time you will walk on rock face and rocky ground, while Ranau Trail is flanked by dense vegetation most of the time.

Granite rock trail of Kota Belud Trail

Granite rock trail of Kota Belud Trail

Nice open view at Kota Belud Trail

Nice open view at Kota Belud Trail. You can see Aki Point platform far behind

Nature path of Ranau Trail

Nature path of Ranau Trail

4. Both trails start at Panalaban (then Laban Rata) and meet at Sayat-Sayat

Sayat-Sayat is a checkpoint 1.6 KM before the summit. The following routes are unchanged (before and after the earthquake):

  • Timpohon Gate (Starting Point) → Panalaban (Laban Rata, the location of midway accommodation): 6 KM
  • Sayat-Sayat Checkpoint → Summit: 1.6 KM
Kota Belud Trail ends at Sayat-Sayat

Kota Belud Trail ends at Sayat-Sayat (see green building in photo), where it meets Ranau Trail too.

5. Both trails have very different scenery

Climbing via Ranau Trail is like walking in a garden because climbers will see many flora along the way. On Kota Belud Trail, you climb on bare rock face most of the time, but the panoramic view of the landscape is magnificent!

Panoramic view from Kota Belud Trail

Panoramic view from Kota Belud Trail. You can see Laban Rata Resthouse from there.

Ranau Trail is flanked by dense vegetation

Ranau Trail is flanked by dense vegetation

Aki Point on Ranau Trail

Aki Point on Ranau Trail

Ranau trail

Ranau Trail: See the man in red?

Below is a table to summarize the differences between these two summit trails:

Ranau Trail (Standard) Kota Belud Trail
Distance (one way) 8.8 KM 8.97 KM
Difficulty Easy. Many staircases. Relatively less steep Steep and challenging. Limited climbing aid.
Features Dense and rich variety of summit vegetation along the trail Route on rock face and rocky ground. Beautiful panoramic view.

You know what. You can get better idea by watching the following video of Kota Belud trail. It shows our climb from the starting point to the summit. You can jump to 3:27 to see Kota Belud Trail:

The following is a photo walk-through of Kota Belud trail in chronological order:

Starting point of Kota Belud Trail

Starting point of Kota Belud Trail

20161202_11

Kota Belud Trail is more challenging than Ranau Trail

Kota Belud Trail is more challenging than Ranau Trail

The waterfall section not far from the starting point

The “waterfall section” not far from the starting point

Nice view at Kota Belud Trail

Nice view at Kota Belud Trail

Beginning section of the Kota Belud Trail

Beginning section of the Kota Belud Trail

Climbing along the slope of Kota Belud Trail

Climbing along the slope of Kota Belud Trail

Resting on the rockface

Resting on the rockface

Wide and long rockface section of Kota Belud Trail

Wide and long rockface section of Kota Belud Trail

Staircase on Kota Belud Trail

Staircase on Kota Belud Trail

Starting point of the steepest rock climbing section

Starting point of the steepest rock climbing section

The most challenging part of Kota Belud Trail

This is the most challenging part of Kota Belud Trail.

steep slope of Kota Belud Trail

Steep slope of Kota Belud Trail. It’s no joke if you fall from there.

Climbing via Kota Belud Trail

The most difficult part is almost over

Reaching the Sayat-Sayat Checkpoint (green building at the left). At the right are climbers on Ranau Trail.

Reaching the Sayat-Sayat Checkpoint (green building at the left). At the right are climbers on Ranau Trail.

Both Kota Belud and Ranau trails end and meet at Sayat-Sayat Checkpoint.

girls rest on slope

Relax after overcoming the hardest part

Walking on the rockface

Walking on the rockface (about 1.5 KM before the summit)

Group photo in front of Wishing Pond at the foot of Low's Peak

Group photo in front of Wishing Pond at the foot of Low’s Peak

On the way to the summit of Mt. Kinabalu

On the way to the summit of Mt. Kinabalu

Happy lady climbers on the summit

Happy lady climbers on the summit

Group photo on top of Mount Kinabalu

Group photo on top of Mount Kinabalu

At the moment, I’m not sure if we will need special permit or requirement to climb Mt. Kinabalu via Kota Belud Trail. If this trail is open to public, you can get the most fun by ascending via Kota Belud Trail and descending via Ranau Trail. I’ll update this post when I get the latest information.

Photos taken on Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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