A week in Lupa Masa, Poring, Sabah

Taxi use to go to Ranau and Poring

Couple of weeks ago I met a guy called Tom, in Kuching, happened to be my friends business partner. Told me he had a place in Sabah somewhere near Poring hot spring called Lupa Masa and if I was interested to help him out for a week there. And I said yes. And the only word that came trough my mind was, “buli bah kalau ko”. A word most Sabahans will use if they agree to something. Which means, “sure, i’ll do it if its for you”.

Left Kuching on the first flight out via Air Asia to Kota Kinabalu, on the 6th February. Then took a shared taxi from Kota Kinabalu for RM20
to Ranau. 2 hours 35 minutes later, took another taxi to Poring for RM40. But on the way, we stopped at Kundasang to drop some passengers off. The air there was dry and cold. Reminded me of when I was in the US.

But anyway, when I arrived, the taxi driver invited me for lunch at one of the local stall. It was a muslim stall and I had “sotong asam pedas” (spicy squid). I forgot to take the picture of it. But it was marvellous. The spiciness of that dish was…. Ulalalala…. AWESOME!!!!

Welcome to Lupa Masa Forest Camp

An hour later i met the guy who I was suppose to meet, Michael. My trip there was to take care of Lupa Masa as Michael was on his wedding leave. It really has been a very long time since I hike or walk more them 50 meters, unless in a mall. Hahahahaha. But what i meant was in the jungle. It was supposed to be a 30 minutes walk but it took me almost 50 minutes. Hahahaha. And also had my 1st leech bite on my way in… (Meaning of leech http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leech)

When I reached, there was a volunteer from New Zealand, called Krystle. And there was 4 other guest on the 1st night. 2 were British but stays in Africa, the other two young girls were from Austria and Switzerland. That was the night I had to start cooking for almost every meal. Was happy that the guest enjoyed my cookings. Only vegetarian.

Leech on my foot

That night I slept in a small hut without walls, just a small thin mattress and a tiny mosquito net. I felt really insecure the first night, may negative thoughts went tru my mind. What if there was a tiger? What if the snakes crawl in my net? What if…? What if…? And more what if….? Hahahha but I survived my first night.

On my second day, to my surprise, I met Mr. Moon, who happened to be an old friend whom I have not met for over 10 years. 13 years i think. We were so happy to see each other here. In the middle of the forest in Northern Borneo. Who would have taught. He is engage to on of the local girl here in Sabah. And he and his father-in-law is a guide here. When they left to the overnight stay in the forest with the four guest, Krystle and I went to Poring and a supermarket to get more food and went online in one of the cafe in poring. On the way back, we met a young girl waiting at the meeting point and was waiting for us to bring her to Lupa Masa. She had not done any bookings. But, well, we accept walk in guests too. And 2 days later she decided to volunteer here too.

That night there was only 3 of us. And yeah, i moved to a tent. I felt much more secure. No fear of creepy crawlers, or tiger, or snake. Hahahah.

On Saturday, we din’t do much, just cleared some stuff here. Cleaning and the group from the night trail came back. Then back to town to meet new guest from Australia. Jacob and Emily. A very nice couple. That night the group went for the night walk to the forest. I stayed back. Wanted to dot he dishes, and I saw a pit-viper under the kitchen table. I freaked out and almost scream like a little girl. But if I did, who would hear? No one was around. So I just ran off to the other side where the deck is. Waiting for the rest to come back. Had couple of local “lihing” (rice wine) and it taste almost similar to our Sarawak Tuak.

On Sunday, stayed around and cleared most pipes, leaves from the inlet of the pipe water. Towards the afternoon the guys went for the survival training. I guess they enjoyed it. Learn how to look for water in the forest and they drank from the bamboo. 4 of them got stung by bee’s as the nest was on their way. Well, see the video and photos. Hehehhehe

There was not much activities on Monday, just the normal routine. But I realise I was getting better hiking in and out of Poring. Not much stops on the way. I guess i did loose some weight there. But the best thing there is in the morning, you get to bath in the waterfalls, about 3 minutes away. Cold waters. Ulalala. And the evening swim at the river. Awesome!!!!!

Bruise from my fall
Bruise from my fall

Tuesday, no new guest, we spend the morning clearing up the camp, plant some vegetation, the girls did a nice job make the path visible by getting small rocks from the river. And it started raining. So we just sat around playing card games.

Wednesday we had to go back to Poring to pick up a guest from Germany, and his name was Haik. Nice guy. On my way out, i think i got 6 or 7 leeches on me… Eww that was grrrrr…. And on or way in, it was started raining again. But stopped after 5 minutes. And more leeches! The river was rough. Cant swim in it. Water was brown. I think it was because of the rain. And we decided to go to the waterfalls instead. On my way there, i slipped and fell on my bum at the stairs, and a wood hit my balls. OUCH!!!!!! But just got minor scratch near my knee and elbow. About 6pm it started raining heavily again. There were bats flying around freaking me out, and a huge spider on Emer’s tent that freak her out too. Leeches? Everywhere this time… Arrrggghhhh I hate them…

Thursday, my last full there in the camp! Now I wish I could spend more time here. But work back home is piling up. It rained the whole night last night. If the temperature in Kuching is like what it felt on wednesday night, I’m guessing all air condition companies will go bankrupt. It was cold and I liked it. But had trouble sleeping that night. The pain on my leg got worse and the bruise got bigger. Thank God I still could walk. As usual, the normal routine, but this time I tried looking for bamboo’s for the walkway. But there were leeches everywhere and decided not to risk it. The day was damp, wet, chilly, no sign of sun.

Later that afternoon, I had a text from Mr. Moon, inviting me go go over to his place and enjoy a short dip in the hot tub down at Poring Hot Springs… Asked for permissions from the manager if I could leave early. Then packed my stuff and started walking back to Poring alone. It was almost dark when I set off. But this time, maybe because of the damp temperature and the after rain, there were more leeches. I think there was more then 20 of them on me and in my bags… But the sad thing is I found out that my camera is broken… 🙁 I think it’s because of the cold temperature they had at the place. Can’t take anymore picture with it. But anyway, we finally went to the hot pool at about 7pm. It was AWESOME!!!! To those who reads my post, I highly recommend that you go there for maybe a day trip. That evening, spend dinner at Mr. Moon’s future-in-law’s house. Get to know his future family-in-law. They were really cool and they are expecting me to be at Mr. Moon’s wedding on the 29th of March 2014.

The next day, woke up real early and repacked my stuff. Was heading back to KK. Was excited but sad to leave Poring. I am sure I will be back soon. Already in the van from Ranau I felt like I left my heart back in Poring. On the way to KK, this time I had to sit right at the back of the van and cramp myself up with 2 more other passengers. But along the way I saw beautiful view of Kundasang, and other places which I don’t know the name. And as soon as we reached KK, the heat really got into me. Distance of almost 130KM away, temperature was a huge difference.

Off to the camp
After almost a week in and out of the camp. I think I did loose some weight!

Checked in at this nice little hostel called Sansi Backpackers Hostel, down at Gaya Street. Got a single room, which can put up 4 persons in the room for RM120, but I got it for RM100 because I was alone. Din’t want a shared dorm as I had few expensive equipments with me. Till now, I still can’t believe that time has really fly so fast. It felt like yesterday was the 6th of February, and the day I got back to KK was already the 14th. Ironically, when I was able to get internet access again, all I see was “valentine’s day” wishes or “would you be my valentine?”

Later that evening was invited for dinner by my cousin, Elizabeth, and her husband Julian for dinner at their place. Been a long time since I met Julian. Later after dinner went out for couple of drinks and after that met some old buddies. And I was kidnapped by them till bout 6.30am.

Kota Kinabalu
Awesome view from the plane of Kota Kinabalu

Only had about 3 hours of sleep and then freshen up just because I wanted to see to sea side of KK. But it was too hot, then decided to just walk around and kill time till it was time to get to the airport.

There was a few interesting difference about KK and Kuching. First I notice there were a lot of building design or structure new and old that looks like the ones I saw in USA. It really felt as if I’m not in Malaysia. A lil bit like in Pattaya, Thailand too. But I was a lil bit disappointed about the food there in Sabah. To be honest, I’d rate them 6/10. I was expecting something higher. I think Kuching has better taste of food.

If you guys wanna chill and unwind outside of the city, and you are in Sabah, go over to Lupa Masa, and you can contact me to connect to them.

Enjoy the short video and photos below. =)

A week in Lupa Masa Forest Camp, Poring, Sabah from Seth Peli on Vimeo.


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