I shall be posting a series on my first ever trip across the South China Sea to the other side of Malaysia (Sabah! – namely Kota Kinabalu, Kundasang and Ranau) which I did somewhere early last year.
I’m a Malaysian since birth, yet I’ve never set foot onto East Malaysia’s soil until early last year. I think it’s a fact that the majority of Peninsular Malaysians have not set foot in either Sabah or Sarawak to-date.
Travelling to Kundasang
I took a 2.5 hour flight from KLIA (it’s even longer as compared to flying back to my hometown!) to Kota Kinabalu International Airport with some friends. As my flight descended into the airport, I was awed by the view – the greenery, the blue skies, the blue sea and the surrounding hills. The feel was just so different from the bustling city of Kuala Lumpur.
Upon touchdown at the airport, the first thing we did was to rent a car at the airport (we rented a Myvi for RM280 for two days), as the first thing on the itinerary was to head down to Kundasang to explore the area and spend the night there. It’s a two hour plus drive from the airport to Kundasang (roughly about 100 km+).
First impression of Kundasang town – it is not only less bustling and much greener, but the people were also far friendlier and welcoming (unlike the other side from where I am from). It’s a town in the mountains – with fairly cool weather and moderate rainfall all year round. It is a good place to get away from the city stress.
Fun fact: Kundasang is located at an elevation at almost 1,900 m (6,200 ft), the highest settlement in Malaysia. – Wikipedia
Desa Cattle Dairy Farm
This farm is located at the foothill of Mount Kinabalu, and is home to mainly Friesians cattle. Entrance fee is RM5 for adults and RM4 for children (7 – 12 years old), and is paid at the gate upon arrival. Parking was fairly easy to find.
Over here, there are various activities that you can do, such as feeding the calves with bottled milk, feeding goats, witnessing the milking process and subsequently see how the milk is processed. You can also buy their fresh produce and fresh dairy ice cream. And oh!… the view here is also spectacular! You can see Mount Kinabalu from here on a clear sunny day.
They have fixed times for certain activities though:
|Calf Feeding||: 8:30 AM – 12 noon; 1:30 PM – 4.30 PM|
|Cow Barn Viewing||: 9 AM – 2 PM|
|Milking Process||: 2 – 4 PM|
|Milk Processing||: 8 AM – 12 PM every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday|
With the above timings for certain activities, I would recommend visiting the place around 11 AM so that you need not waste time waiting to experience both activities.
The Milking Process
There’s a indoor viewing deck where you can witness the entire process. I was surprised by the amount of technology that is deployed for the milking process. The milking process is now almost fully automated (other than getting the cows in place). No more traditional milking by hand, but rather pumping milk machines squeezing the milk out of the cows!
You’d also get to see the handlers beckoning the cows to get into the milking centre in an orderly fashion and getting them into position for milking, as well as cleaning the stinky mess the cows leave. Even from the viewing deck indoors, you still can get a whiff of the stinky smell.
Shops in Desa Cattle Dairy Farm
Desa Gelato is popular, there’s always a queue there (RM5.30 for a cup of yogurt gelato). Depending on your luck, you can get one right away or you may need to wait for the next batch, cause it gets sold out pretty quickly. I personally felt that it was nothing to shout about (maybe because I’m not a big fan of diary and I prefer Llao Llao).
There’s also a food store that sells snacks like sausages and fried crispy chicken, and a souvenir shop.
Overall, there really isn’t much to do here really, but the view here is worth it.
P.S. I think it would be rather hard to get around in Kundasang without a car.
Desa Cattle Dairy Farm
8 AM – 5 PM (daily)