Monday, June 15, 2009

Down in Turtle Land of No Turtles

The weekend was spent at Kampung Sawangan, Kuala Penyu. I woke early Saturday morning and took the 7:30 am bus from KK terminal to Menumbok, where I had arranged to meet with the sidekick.

The penyu roundabout. I am still not convinced the town got its name from turtles. The only turtles I saw were these.

Hot hot sunny weather. Arrived in Menumbok at a minute before 10:00 am. I was sorry to leave the bus as the onboard movie had yet to end; they were showing PotC : Dead Man's Chest. Yupp, nothing like watching Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom first thing in the morning :)

We left Menumbok after a quick drink and headed to KP. This is where we stayed:


Our little lodge.

The owner plants various local vegetables in the backyard. We took some belimbing besi to make a simple appetiser.

There is a common kitchen just outside in the main house that is occupied by the owners. We decided to have BBQ for dinner instead. Arriving early afternoon we quickly settled in, had yummy pulut panggang bought in Menumbok for lunch, and took a nap. Easily fell asleep lulled by the sea breeze. Late afternoon was spent at the beach - bathing, seashell collecting, walking - till almost sunset. No pics though as I didn't bring the camera along. The beach was deserted save for one or two fishermen at the other end.

The seabed was rocky in some parts, sandy in some parts. Shame there's debris here and there on the beach. Well, at least the water quality was good and quite clear.

The common kitchen.

Dinner.. and er, drinks.


Hammock. For me, the symbol of an unhurried life.
And of course I tried it out.

The next morning, after breakfast we went for a beach walk again however it was really hot and humid so bathing was out of the question. Back at the lodge, took a nap as it was nice and breezy. I read my book and managed to finish it. Decided to make an early move so we packed and left just after noon.

Reached KP town, I went walking around the shops while waiting for the ferry.

Soon, old shophouses like these will be sadly gone.

The only shops open in this row at that time were 2 sundry shops and a billiard saloon. I peeked behind the back of the shops and saw that the families still lived there, saw some ancestral altars and modest living arrangements on the ground floor. Furniture from 50-60 years ago I think.

I decided to forego the ferry and took a shuttle boat instead for 50 sen. It takes less than a minute to the other side,while the ferry takes about 7-8 minutes.

The ferry. Free of charge, can you believe it. Operates from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm daily. Takes about 6-8 cars per trip, depending on size.

The shuttle boat I was on.

I paid 40 sen as I didn't have exact change.
It was unmanned anyway. The horrible thought of not paying
did go through my mind very briefly, but I couldn't do it.

Wooden kampung house on stilts in Kg Palu-Palu.
I love it when they have a lot of plants and flowers,
no matter what the setting may be.

One of the small, almost hidden roads in Purun.

A peek at Binsulok Training Centre.

Brown selipar shot :)

I collected some nice seashells at the beach just before Binsulok. Then, we made a quick swing by Binsulok Training Centre, then the Borneo Golf Resort at Bongawan, then straight ahead to Papar, stopped by Beringgis for a late lunch and reached home at about 5 pm.

One of those lazy, do-nothing weekend; next time, another new place beckons.


  1. I think weekend getaways are a blast! It's not too long, not too short and doesn't cost a bomb!

    Why no pics of the beach at Sawangan Beach Lodge?

  2. I think you're quick becoming the number one guide to little-known places in Sabah

  3. Hi Julie,

    My thoughts exactly on weekend getaways!
    No pics cos I was too lazy to bring the camera to the beach :P. Sand and saltwater = no good.

    Hi LT,
    Can take the girl out from the kampung, but not the kampung out from the girl :)