Tag Archives: Mesilau
DESA is a household name in Sabah because most Sabahans grow up drinking milk from Desa Dairy Farm, which produces nearly one million liters of fresh milk annually. But Sabah people feel affection for Desa milk because of more reasons. You will know why if you visit Desa Dairy Farm in Mesilau, which is about 100 KM away from Kota Kinabalu City (KK). In fact, this farm has become a well-known tourist attraction. Throngs of tourists go there every day to enjoy the delicious dairy and beautiful scenery.
Pic: The fresh milk made in Sabah. They also produce goat milk.
Pic: meeting my “milk mother” in Desa Cattle Farm
It took me about 2 hours to reach Desa Dairy Farm in Mesilau by car. The green pasture with grazing cows at foothill of Mt. Kinabalu is a sight to behold. Doesn’t the place look like grassland of New Zealand? No wonder locals call it the New Zealand in Sabah. To see Mt. Kinabalu, you need to be there before 8:30am because the mountain will be covered by dense fog.
The scene is so breathtaking that many tourists taking selfie and photos. FYI, many photographers also come here to use Mt. Kinabalu as the background for wedding shots of their customers. Photo taking is free outside the fence. The photography permit fee is RM100 (≈US$27) for you to enter the farm for better camera angles. In case you worry that the cows will charge at people who wear red dress. No, they won’t. lol
Pic: the entrance of Desa Dairy Farm (ticket booth at the right). It is open to visitor who purchases a ticket.
Good Mooorning milk cows and welcome to the Moo-Moo Land of Sabah. The farm is 199 hectares in size and most cows are Holstein Friesian cows imported from New Zealand, the highest milk producers of all cattle breeds. It’s quite cool and windy here (about 20°C / 68°F) so you better put on a jacket or fleece to keep warm.
Cows are amazing. They are probably the best workers in the world. They turn grass into milk (and cut the grass). They don’t complain a lot. Instead, they ask for Mooooore.. But that’s why cow has no Mooney because people milk them dry. Ok, it’s a cow pun joke, such life sounds familiar though.
The cows were busy grazing and occasionally staring at tourists with “what you want?” expression. They were all pretty relaxing. I didn’t see any cowboy to look after them. Do these cows know when to clock-in at milking station?
For more things to do, the milk processing plant, milking station, office and shop of Desa is about half a KM from the entrance by gravel road.
Pic: welcome sign near Desa activity centre
Pic: There are many big and beautiful granite boulders in the farm. A lot of tourists like to climb up to take photos, so Desa has to put a warning sign “Climb at your Own Risk” next to almost every boulder.
Desa Dairy Farm is more famous than I think. The Desa activity centre was packed with visitors and most parking lots were occupied that day. I chit-chat with some tourists and found that many of them are from Peninsular Malaysia, and some of them are from Hong Kong.
Pic: milk processing plant (left) and shop (right) of Desa
The following are the activities you can do at Desa. Family and student groups would find the tour educational, and it’s important for younger generation to see and learn how food is made and processed.
Milking Process: 2:30pm – 4:30pm (Daily)
Raw Milk Processing: 10am – 3pm (Tue, Thu, Sun)
Calf Feeding: 9am – 4pm (daily)
Toilet is at left-hand side of the building (RM0.30 per entry).
Pic: Desa T-shirts
There is a souvenir kiosk in Desa building where you can buy T-shirt, postcards, fridge magnet, stickers, etc. with Desa branding.
Pic: funny postcards of Desa
Then a long queue caught my attention. It must be something good, I thought.
Seem like milk is not the only product being sold there, they have different snacks made of the freshest milk such as ice-cream, yogurt and pudding. I drove 100 KM to this place so it would be a shame if I didn’t try one of these dairy food.
Pic: enjoying Desa’s vanilla & chocolate ice-cream in cooling weather of Mesilau. Couldn’t be better!
Pic: Durian ice-cream
Their ice-cream and yogurt were sold out very fast. I wanted to go for second round and there was no more. 🙁
New! (Jul 2015): They have started selling fresh mozarella and ricotta cheese at food kiosk. You also can drop by viewing bay and cheese cellar room to see making of yogurt and cheese.
There is a view room for visitors to see milking process through a big window. Too bad I couldn’t wait a few more hours so I moved on.
Calf Pen / Barn
After seeing and eating something at Desa, probably you want to touch something as well. You can head to calf pen next to the main building.
This year is the year of goat, so it would be auspicious to touch goats. Note what the little lamb is doing (see photo above). The farm also rears saanen goats for their milk.
You can buy grass (RM1 per bunch) or milk (RM1.50 per bottle) to feed the calves. They really know how to milk the money of tourists lol.
Pic: tourists buying grass and milk. Please note the calf may not take your food when they are full, and there is no refund for that. Anyway, they all looked hungry during my visit.
Hold the grass tight while feeding. The calf is quite strong and would pull the grass out of your hand.
Pic: bottle-feeding the young dairy goat. Oh My Goat, it’s so cute.
Next I went to cow barn where I could see hundred of milk cows laying or standing under the roof. Tourists can only see them from a distance (I believe some curious tourists would squeeze their udders if they are allowed to touch the cows, haha). Milking a cow is not as easy as it looks. If you upset the cow, it would kick the milk bucket, and you.
A cow emits nearly 300 Litres (about 80 gallons) of methane a day, which is enough to power up an average size refrigerator for a day. No kidding, cows can turn grass into milk and also bio-fuel. The cows in photo above look dirty because it rained heavily the previous night.
Pic: a cow enjoys rubbing its body against rotating cow brush, which said to make cow healthier and happier thus better milk production.
Ticket & Contact Info
The following is more information of Desa Dairy Farm.
Visiting Hours: 8am – 5pm (Daily)
Ticket Fee: RM5 (≈US$1.30) per Adult, RM4 (≈US$1.10) per Child / Student (Free if under 6 years old). Prices as of Jul 2015
Company: Desa Plus Sdn. Bhd.
Address (office): Level 3, West Wing, Wisma 2020, 18, Lorong Belia Karamunsing, 88991 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 88-889562
How to get there
Desa Dairy Farm is in Mesilau and about 100 KM away from KK. Though far, it’s quite accessible if you own / rent a car. There is no bus goes directly to Desa Dairy Farm. However, you can get a bus to Kundasang town, then hire a taxi to go to the farm (you may need to arrange with taxi driver for return trip), which is about 10 KM away from Kundasang.
GPS Coordinates: 6°00’59.0″N 116°35’28.9″E (see Location Map)
Pic: the road to Desa Dairy Farm
Pic: you will see a few direction signs of Desa next to the road in Mesilau
The road to Desa Dairy Farm is mostly on paved road, until you reach the last junction, which is the start of 2 KM gravel road to the farm. The road is not well-maintained but you still can get in easily using standard saloon car. Just drive slowly and carefully.
You may check out my photo album if you want to see more photos.
Photos taken in Mesilau, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo
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Travelers always look for good attractions to visit and nice food to eat. After the tour, we all need a great place to stay. It is cool to be served by 5-star hotel but I prefer accommodation with nice surrounding. For me, Little Hut (Chinese Name: 寒舍) of Mesilau is special, not just because of its cooling temperature of 13-30°C (55-86°F) and spectacular view of Mt. Kinabalu, its homely atmosphere is something unique in homestay of Sabah.
Located at 1,460 Metres above sea level, Little Hut is only 12 KM away from Kinabalu Park and 3 KM from Mesilau Park, a convenient spot for me to stay a night and to enjoy the refreshing air far away from bustling Kota Kinabalu City (KK).
Pic: at the left is my hut (named Incredible Hut)
I checked into my chalet at 8pm and spent a night in Incredible Hut, a small house that have 3 beds and the only hut without kitchen. The tungsten light of the house looked warm and comfy from outside in the cold and windy evening, I really couldn’t wait to get in.
Pic: ground floor of Incredible Hut
After I collected the key from their staff, the 2-storey chalet was all mine. It’s like living in your own house, no room service that reminds you are an outsider. You would appreciate the sense of belonging and freedom here.
Pic: Incredible Hut has one bed in ground floor and two on top floor.
The space in Incredible Hut isn’t spacious, just nice for medium size Asian like me. If you are almost as big as Incredible Hulk, you may not be able to move so freely. Please note they have bigger chalets and I only show the photos of the smaller hut.
Mesilau is cool at night but not down to freezing point. The feeling is like being inside an office with strong air-conditioning. Putting on a jacket or fleece is enough to keep you warm. There is no heater (and not necessary) in house. Don’t worry, hot water shower is available.
The interior is simple and decorated with interesting ornaments. Each chalet has TV (with Astro satellite TV) and DVDs to kill your time. But the best activity to do here is to eat some hot stuffs in cold evening together with your friends and family, e.g. BBQ or steamboat. Little Hut can rent you the equipment but you need to bring your own food, which is readily available in Kundasang town only 6 KM away.
Pic: guess what is inside the treasure chest?
Pic: Toilet paper, shower gel and shampoo are provided. You need to bring your own towel and toothpaste.
Poetic Dream Houses
I had a very good night sleep in Little Hut. When everything lit up by the sunrise, I started to see the beauty of Little Hut. Seem like they “gardenize and villagize” every corner to give an idyllic and nostalgia touch to their place. They also insert some humorous elements for you to discover here and there.
Pic: Little Hut in the morning
The morning view of Mt. Kinabalu is a pleasant surprise. I didn’t know I could see it from Little Hut.
Pic: The little farm + garden in Little Hut is planted with variety of vegetables and flowers such as roses and spring onions. Housewives find this farm intriguing and are excited to tell their children what are those plant.
If I show the photos above to others without saying the location, most would think these are taken in countryside of European countries.
Pic: balcony of Hut Attack
Pic: village and farm view from the balcony
Pic: funny direction signages just to make you smile.
Pic: backyard of Little Hut
Hey, come and meet Miyao, the chubby and friendly 3-color cat of Little Hut. She acts like the owner of Little Hut and loves to hang out with people.
Pic: The Cat Residence. Miyao also has her own Little Hut, but she always looks for a chance to sneak into your hut, probably she enjoys the warm cuddling offered by the guests.
Pic: Miyao lazes around and as relax as the guests.
Little Hut is in Kampung Mesilou Village and surrounded by village houses.
You can take a stroll around the village, a friendly neighbourhood where you can explore around and say Hi to the locals.
Pic: the plantation in village. The property of Sabah city is super expensive nowadays, so I’m kind of envious of the big land they have here. I believe that’s the concept of Little Hut, which allows city people to experience the peaceful rural life once in a while.
Little Hut has a total of 5 chalets, each with different size, theme and amenities, so it’s important that you select the right hut prior to booking. You can visit their website for more photos and details.
Pic: Little Hut uses pun for naming their huts. The names are just for fun and don’t mean anything, so don’t be serious about them.
The following table is a summary of the chalets for your quick reference:
|Hut||Rate (per day per hut)||Remarks|
|Incredible Hut||Mon-Fri: RM150 (≈US$42)
Weekends, Holiday*: RM180 (≈US$50)
|Accommodate up to 3 people, suitable for small group of friends and family. No kitchen|
|Bizza Hut||Mon-Fri: RM250 (≈US$70)
Weekends, Holiday*: RM300 (≈US$83)
|Accommodate up to 5 people, suitable for family and group of friends. Kitchen available. Good viewpoint for Mt. Kinabalu|
|Unbreak My Hut||Mon-Fri: RM150 (≈US$42)
Weekends, Holiday*: RM180 (≈US$50)
|Accommodate up to 2 to 3 people, suitable for couple. Blue & white Greece theme. Kitchen available.|
|Hut Attack||Mon-Fri: RM280 (≈US$78)
Weekends, Holiday*: RM330 (≈US$92)
|Accommodate up to 5 people. Kitchen available. View of Kg. Mesilou village and mountain range|
|Hut Leluyaa||Mon-Fri: RM210 (≈US$58)
Weekends, Holiday*: RM250 (≈US$70)
|Accommodate up to 2 to 3 people, suitable for couple. Kitchen available. Farm and village view|
Rate as of Feb 2015. Please visit their website for latest rate and updated details.
*Public Holiday & School Holiday
Though Little Hut has no restaurant, most chalets have a kitchen with cooking utensils for you to cook, or you can rent BBQ rack and steamboat from them (food not provided).
Contact & Booking
You can book the accommodation with Little Hut up to 6 months in advance by e-mail or phone. You need to pay 50% deposit to secure your booking. The chalets could be full during peak season so it’s better to book earlier.
Tel: +60 16-8601416 (9am-8pm)
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
GPS Coordinates: N 6.014536° E 116.599023° (see Location Map)
Little Hut is in Kampung Mesilou Village, about 100 KM away from KK (see Location Map). There is no bus going directly to Little Hut, so you need to get there using your own car or hire a taxi at Kundasang town. Most of the time you will drive on paved asphalt road until you reach Kampung Mesilou. After the village, turn to the 3rd junction at the left (which has two tyres as marker), then you have to drive carefully on the narrow concrete road, which you will reach Little Hut near the end (estimated 600 Meters).
I strongly advise you to go there during daytime so you can see the small road or signages clearly. If your car has low body and you can’t see the road clearly in the dark, the bottom of your car would hit the big rocks. You can find detail picture guide and map in their website and Facebook.
Photos taken in Mesilau, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo
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