Category Archives: Food

Sunset, Fireflies, Sambah River Cruise

Beautiful sunset at Tenghilan

River cruise in mangrove forest is one of the most popular tours in Sabah. Normally tourists pay about MYR200 to see long-nosed monkey, sunset and fireflies in wetlands of Klias, Weston or Kota Belud.

Sambah River Cruise

FYI you can see these in Tenghilan (in Tuaran district) for about half of the price (MYR80), but without wildlife such as proboscis monkey. Anyway, its advantages are: (1) the destination is less than an hour drive from Kota Kinabalu City (KK), (2) You will have a chance to sample a delicious snack called Udang Salai (Smoked Shrimps).

smoking fresh shrimps

Udang Salai (Smoked Shrimps) is a special product of Sambah Village

This tour is named Sambah River Cruise because it is based in Kampung Sambah (Kampung means Village in Malay language). Before the river cruise, my group was invited to the house of David (our host) in Kampung Bunga, where welcoming drink and light refreshment were served, and an introduction about the trip was given.

Briefing at Kampung Bunga, Tenghilan

Briefing at Kampung Bunga, Tenghilan

Then we moved to the jetty in Kampung Nouga (GPS: 6.233895, 116.307495) around 5pm to start our first river cruise in mangrove forest.

Jetty in Kampung Nouga, Tenghilan

Jetty in Kampung Nouga, Tenghilan

Mangrove Forest

As part of the Sulaman Lake, this wetland has been a fishing zone. If you are an avid angler, you can request them to include fishing as part of the activities.

river cruise in mangrove

Mangrove is the breeding place for seafood.

Technically this swamp is a lagoon as it is directly connected to the sea via a channel. During high tide, fishes such as grouper follow the sea current to enter this mangrove to forage and breed, so it’s not uncommon that you can catch very big fish here.

River cruise at Kg Sambah

The river cruises are between 5pm to 8:00pm

Tuaran has one of the best mangrove forest near KK. The area we visited was mostly intact and large. The brackish water may look dirty, but crabs and prawns grow faster and fatter in such environment. The mudflat of mangrove is also the best place to harvest clams.

Navigate in maze of mangrove forest

Navigate in maze of mangrove forest

Located between sea and river, mangrove swamp is one of the most peculiar forest in the world. The trees can grow in the water and tolerant to saline water, and they breathe with roots. Living among the trees are some weird animals such as the walking and jumping fish, mud-skipper and colorful fiddler crabs with huge pincer.

Approaching Kampung Sambah, a fishing village

Approaching Kampung Sambah, a fishing village

Our boat navigated in a maze of mangrove forest network. The panoramic view of lush mangrove forest is impressive. Some trees grow over 10 Meters. I think Sabah Wildlife Department can bring in some proboscis monkey families. I’m sure they can live happily here.

Group photo at jetty of Kampung Sambah village

Group photo at jetty of Kampung Sambah village

59% of the mangrove forest of Malaysia is located in Sabah. Do you know Sabah has both the smallest (KK Wetland) and largest (Kinabatangan) Ramsar sites of Malaysia? Ramsar Site is a wetland site designated of international importance in terms of conservation, ecology and biodiversity.

Kampung Sambah next to Sulaman Lake of Tuaran

Kampung Sambah is a small fishing village next to Sulaman Lake of Tuaran

Udang Salai (Smoked Shrimps)

Around 5:30pm, we arrived Kampung Sambah, a water village next to the lake.

Taking a stroll in Kampung Sambah Village

The tour includes a stroll in Kampung Sambah Village

stilt houses in Kampung Sambah village

The houses in Kampung Sambah are on stilt to avoid flood and high tide

We took a walk in the village, which has a population of 200 of mainly Bajau people. Most of them live in wooden houses on stilt on the mudflat of mangrove, a typical view of fishermen village in Sabah.

Smoke House for making Smoked Shrimps (Udang Salai)

Smoke House for making Smoked Shrimps (Udang Salai)

Only two villages, Kampung Sambah and Kampung Penimbawan, produce Smoked Shrimps (Udang Salai)

Only two villages, Kampung Sambah and Kampung Penimbawan, produce Smoked Shrimps (Udang Salai)

However, this ordinary village has an extraordinary snack called Udang Salai (Smoked Shrimps). Believe me. The taste of Udang Salai is unforgettable. Once you try it, you would crave for it occasionally.

The burning wood for Smoked Shrimps

The burning wood gives Smoked Shrimps (Udang Salai) very nice aroma

Shrimps are abundant in this area. Only fresh shrimps (no frozen shrimp) are used in making Udang Salai.

Udang Salai (Smoked Shrimps) is one of the tastiest Sabah snack

Udang Salai (Smoked Shrimps) is one of the tastiest Sabah snack I’ve ever tried

They have a simple small hut with wood burning stove to smoke the shrimps. The small shrimps are placed on mesh wire above the burning wood and being smoked until they are totally dry and cooked. The taste is yummy and crunchy with nice barbecue flavor. Even the shell is edible. You can’t stop once you start eating it.

Udang Salai (Smoked Shrimps) in a plate

A small pack of Udang Salai can cost about MYR30

Sambah Village is one of the largest producers of Udang Salai, apart from its neighbors Kampung Penimbawan in Tuaran. Smoked shrimps are sold at tamu (morning open market) of Tenghilan on Thursday and Tuaran on Sunday. It’s always sold out before 8am.

Making Smoked Shrimps (Udang Salai)

You can buy Smoked Shrimps (Udang Salai) in weekly open market (tamu) of Tenghilan (Thu) and Tuaran (Sun)

Sunset & Firefly

Though I wanted to stay back to eat more Udang Salai, we had to start our second river cruise at 6:10pm.

Departing for sunset and firefly cruise

Departing for sunset and firefly cruise

Waiting for the magic hour of sunset

Waiting for the magic hour of sunset

Soon our boat approached the estuary, where we could see the sun started sinking into the ocean. The blazing sun ray gradually turned into warm and golden beam, marking the start of twilight.

Love shape cloud

See the love shape cloud?

nice sunset at estuary

WOW!!!

The sunset view was hypnotizing. Even though it rained earlier, the extra moisture in the air is the recipe for making of a beautiful sunset. The colors of the sky and cloud went wild and intense, and we were lucky to see the famous flaming sunset of Sabah.

Beautiful sunset at Tenghilan

Spectacular sunset at Tenghilan

After the sunset, our boat cruised slowly in the total darkness in mangrove. We saw some congregating fireflies flashing on the mangrove tree like summer Xmas tree. The density and scale of fireflies here are small, but good enough for people who never see firefly.

Dinner at the end of tour, rice with fried chicken, crabs, mixed vegetables and some fruits

Dinner at the end of tour, rice with fried chicken, crabs, mixed vegetables and some fruits

Fresh crabs from the mangrove

Fresh crabs from the mangrove

The river cruise ended around 7:30pm and we enjoyed our dinner at David’s house.

How to get there

This destination is less than 50 Kilometers from KK. The tour operator can pick you up at your hotel. The fee is about MYR80 (about USD$20) per person for this half-day tour (3:30pm-8:30pm).

Below is contact information and more details for you to find out more:
Tel: +60 14-6751256
E-mail: sambahrivertour@gmail.com
Facebook: sambahrivercruise
Instagram: @sambah_river_cruise
Website: sambah.weebly.com

Photos taken in Tenghilan, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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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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