Bus from Kota Kinabalu to Sipitang is available at the bus terminal next to Wawasan Plaza, at 8AM, 12PM and 4PM. The ticket costs RM13 and the ride takes 3 hours. This was the second time I went to Sipitang. Last year I was there for the Gasing and Tamu Besar Festival (GATA 2005) and stayed in a scary hotel (FYI, it was TBB Hotel). Nothing much change to Sipitang, only the old wooden shoplot next to the beach was demolished.
There was a Lundayeh Festival from April 21 to 22, at Sipitang’s Dewan SFI, which is about 8 KM away from town. The taxi wanted to charge me RM15 one way, so I decided to take the mini bus in front of the Sipitang market. That costs me only RM1.50. But the mini bus will only move when there are enough passengers. Have to wait.
Sipitang is a place where you can find something not commonly seen in KK city. For example, I found the frog purse above. It looks so real. I was impressed and took picture of it. Then the hawker told me that it was made of real frog skin (only the eyeball is faked). She said the vendor caught the frogs in the padi field, injected some chemical to harden their skin, so they could use the skin like leather. Quite hard to sell too coz most girls don’t dare to touch it. So disgusting… I bought one for RM9. But whenever others see this frog purse, they would cry, “YAM KUNG (kesian) loh! The frog died in such a horrible way.” I feel a bit regret now..
Another interesting stuff is the headhunter sword of Murut people. I don’t know why I can’t find it in KK. Probably it is too expensive, about RM300, a lot more expensive than the Bajau’s parang and knifes, which cost between RM60 and RM200 only. But nowadays, headhunter sword is mainly used in performance only. I also liked the batik banner from Indonesia. The Dayak fierce-face motif is so cool. But it costs RM120…
The things below looks like dumpling right? Actually they are salt wrapped in leaves. The people collected the salty water from salt spring. Then cook it to vaporise the water, to leave only the salt. There is no sea in the interior area, so that’s how they got the salt.
On the first day of the Lundayeh Festival, I wanted to go to Kampung Kaban longhouse to see the longest “Nuba Tingaa” line (nasi bungkus), made to be listed in Malaysia Book of Records. But the village is 16 KM away, with gravel and uphill road, so there was no bus going there. Taxi would charge me RM30 one way. Luckily I found the Vice President of Persatuan Kebudayaan Lundayeh Sabah (PKLS). He was very kind and pleased to take me with him. I ate quite a lot of dust, but fun anyway.