Kota Kinabalu: Countryside Riding

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State: Sabah

HALF DAY – from RM190/pax {min. 2 pax}
Dominating the biggest number among all ethnic groups, Kadasan-Dusun has a population of circa 180,000 in Donggongon – a main town located in one of the districts in Kota Kinabalu, which is called Penampang. In this region, the natives are mostly Roman Catholics.

It was a clear and bright morning, we began our tour at Jalan Penampang Tambunan heading to Donggongon Traffic Circle and witnessed a spectacular 1 Siga in the midst. Siga is a traditional headcover for Kadaza-Dusun, which is usually worn together with other traditional garments. This is a busy junctions. Cyclists must be cautious when riding along the roads.

We continued our ride to discover the characteristics of houses in Donggongon and were struck by a 2 striking wooden house with astounding architecture. It is common to see stilt houses in Donggongon as these houses were tall enough to avoid floods. Along the way through Jalan Penampang Proper, we kept on cycling until we reached a steep hill. It was a short tough climb but we were rewarded with the spectacular view of 3 St. Michael Church. It is the oldest church in the district of Penampang and the second oldest stone church in Sabah, after St. Michael’s and All Angels Church in Sandakan. What has made the church so special is that it’s built with stones.

The Roman Catholics Church has two tombs, a bell tower, a grotto of Mart, the rectory, parish hall and a religious centre. Speaking of which, the late minister of Sabah, Datuk Peter Joinod Mojuntin was laid to rest here for his contribution to the society. He lost his life in the Double Six Crash tragedy on the 6th June 1976. Next was the tomb of Rev. Anthony Paul Michael, who passed away on the 20th June 1945. We paid our respect upon acknowledging their glorious stories.

What goes up, must come down! Heading to our next stop, we felt thrilled while riding down the steep hill from the church. The steep descent was scary but fun.

At 3.5km, we rode along Kampung Kambau up to the entry of 4 Kasigui Suspension Bridge. This suspension bridge is beside a row of shops connecting to another side of Moyog River, and you can stroll around the village at the opposite. We were immediately blown away by the wondrous abundance of banana trees being planted amidst the village. The bridge was constantly swaying side to side but we busted our guts to go on it, and that was exactly how riders should be!

Our fatigue instantly went away the moment we spotted plentiful fruit trees in the village. Gaping at those a. banana trees, we could not fathom our excitement but eagerly wanted to pick a whole bunch of it. Not only the bananas grow flourishingly, but the trees also look humongous! Unfortunately, they were mostly unripe, so we decided to move forward to chance on another type of fruits. Bunches and bunches of b rambutans promptly caught our attention as we were yearning to pluck some fruits. Malaysians are always proud of our tropical fruits, and rambutan is a part of the family! It is a small round shaped fruit, similar to a lychee, and definitely taste as sweet and yummy! In spite of having a ludicrously hairy skin, rambutan is juicy and has succulent flesh that surely makes you drool. You must always remember to be alert of its inedible seed in the middle!

In order to quench our thirsts, we intended to pluck some crose apples right away. Don’t get misled by the name, it is neither rose nor apple but a pear-shaped fruit in the colour of pink! Popularly known as jambu, it has a very different texture, flavour and scent from apples. Comparably, rose apples are delightfully sweet as apples! Then, we had to grudgingly cycle away to an amazing view of d. coconut trees. The wonder of a coconut is that it is so versatile, be its meat, juice and shell. The climate in Malaysia is warm all the time, the local people treat its juice as the ultimate thirst quencher as it offers a taste alternative to water. Most of all, coconut juice helps in rehydration. Coconut meat, on the other hand works like a magic that it can be eaten raw, cooked, or even preserved. From appetizing desserts, filling dishes, to nutritious coconut oil and powder, say nothing but wow at its wonderment!