Monday, July 10, 2006

Pesta Rumbia (Sago Fest)
Date: 8th July 2006
Location: Kuala Penyu

As mentioned earlier (earlier meaning the day before), I went to "Pesta Rumbia" or "Sago Fest" at Kuala Penyu with my parents. We went off at around 8am-ish. Went to a restaurant near my house area for breakfast. I had "nasi lemak", mum had "soto ayam" and dad had "soto daging". Dad said the "soto" very tasty. Mum didn't like it. I didn't like the "nasi lemak", the "sambal" taste like chili sauce. Sadly to say. Forgot how much it cost. But I think it wasn't that expensive. Me and dad got to the car while waiting for mum to pay at the counter. Oooh, she manage to ask the people there how much the rent of the shoplot there cost. They told her that the rent for the shoplot is RM150 a day. O me gawd. RM150 a day? *shiesh. So expensive. That's like RM4500 a month? Isn't that expensive? Oh and the owner is from Kota Belud if I'm not mistaken.

So, what is "Pesta Rumbia" or "Sago Fest", you may ask? Well, the Sago Festival is primarily celebrated, annually, in Kuala Penyu, approximately 2 hours drive from Sabah's capital city Kota Kinabalu (wait, 2 hours? it took us like more than 3 hours). "Rumbia" or "sago" comes from the family of palmae. It is mostly found in Kuala Penyu and the surrounding districts of Beaufort and Papar. The starch or sago that is rich in carbohydrate is an alternative staple food for the Bisayas and Kadazan (Dusun Tatana) people and is locally known as "ambuyat".

No part of the sago palm is discarded. The locals use the leaves as roofing materials and the branches (known locally as kumbar) for making their house's walls. Floor mats and baskets are just some examples of things made entirely from the plant.

Since we've never been to Kuala Penyu before, we were a bit confused which road to follow. We turned right following a signboard leading us to the ferry terminal. It's a long road through village houses. Their house are big. Part of the road are still under construction. Noticed lotsa locals selling watermelons at the road side. We stopped few times for direction. The old man selling watermelons told us the road is still long and we're still far away from the ferry terminal. Mum saw some "hoya" plant at the road side and dad reverse the car and cut those plant to bring home. This is one long road.

We didn't know that we had to actually take the ferry to get to the town area. We reached at the ferry terminal at around 11am, which is the time they go for break. So, for those waited in line at that time, had to wait 30 minutes for the next trip across. Me and mum were holding our bladder for that period of time coz the public toilet there was closed. The local sundry shops didn't have any toilet. I wonder why they didn't have a bridge to get across? *curious. Makes me wonder. Took some shots while waiting.

lotsa these tiny crabs around there

ferry schedule and 30 minute breaks

some rules need to be followed

this is where we at

waiting to get to this side (which is the town area)

It's creepy in a fun kinda way. What an experience! The ferry could fit 11 cars (as we counted). *negative thoughts, go away! We stopped at a public toilet as soon as we reach to the other side. Then we got a bit lost again coz we didn't notice the signboard pointing right at the junction.

Dad had to drive 7km to Sawangan Beach where the festival being held. Mannnnnnnn wut a long road. Long boring road. It's so frustrating. My dad keep on saying "yeah, we reach already", but actually we haven't reach at all. Till the end only we reach. Lotsa people there. Lotsa cars. I took a shot of the entrance but it doesn't look so gewd coz of the dumpster in front of the entrance.

the view from where I'm standing to the jety is certainly beautiful

The locals taking advantage by making business, like fewd stalls, and use their land as parking area with a fee of RM2. Some interesting stuff would be the things I never seen before. A lot of fewd stalls, handicraft stalls, traditional dances and etc. These are taken there.

stalls selling souvenirs and handicraft

people stiring sago (this shot a bit hard to take, got people keep blocking my view, thank gawd, I manage to take a nice shot)

leaves use as roofing materials and the branches (known locally as kumbar) for making their house's walls and roofs

ulat sago, these are eaten raw. very juicy. my dad had one of those. but I didn't get any shot of him eating it coz I was doing something else. sorry dad

another thing use for sago, not sure wut it's for. anybody?

not sure what this thing is called but it's part of those sago. look! got people and sponsors *hiks~

dart game (there's some other games, but didn't take any shot coz too many people)

There's certainly a lot of people and it's very hot indeed.

satay kupang digoreng (fried mussels). tasty! IT'S AN ADDICTION!!! *drools~

Had lunch there and tried kupang goreng. RM1 each. We bought RM15. We missed out on the fishing competition and they were about to have kayak-ing competition. I only took few shots during their warm-up session.

kayak-ing session hee~

Can't remember wut time we went off. But on the way back, I fell asleep for awhile till dad stopped to buy some fish. He bought 3 kinds of fish. I'll take some photos of it later when I get back home. Reached home at around 5pm I think. Or maybe earlier? Not sure.

Overall, the trip was a bit tiring. Maybe coz of the long straight road?

Reference: All, Sabah Tourism Board


  1. hey u knw wat?
    actually thr's Pesta Rumbia package it only cost u less than 200 bucks (inclusive transportation - return & meals)

    wish i was there ya knw, i never been to KP too!

  2. eh i think i saw at daily express. dat one ka?

  3. err... someone told me bout it actually.

  4. ooooo and did u know got gambus festival thinggie at papar end of this month? i think i saw dat on sabah tourism board punya website

  5. Hmm... almost a quarter of a centruy old, and majority of those years spent in Sabah and never been to Kuala Penyu either... saw any turtles there?

  6. real ones? nope didn't saw any. fake ones adalah. yeah a century here but never been there. ahhahaha..ei i'm not alone. hahahaha.