Mini Escapism + Event : JAM, Sabah


We went to Sabah 2 weeks ago !

We originally planned to go to Sabah for an event invitation by Salt x Paper in Kota Kinabalu. They were organizing a monthly event called 'Jesselton Artisan Market : Inktober'. I thought it was good for us to visit Sabah for the first time and at the same time making little money out of our trip. So it was a work-holiday trip :D

Two sunsets in Sabah

This time we went in a group of 5 : Aja (my older sister), Ma, Wati + her baby, Af and me. We booked a 3-room apartment in Marina Court Resort right in the middle of the KK city. 

The places we went :
  • Mount Kinabalu National Park - We wanted to take some photos of the mountain top but we had a long tough car ride from the city, so we were considered late. We can't see the mountain top in the afternoon, it was blocked by a huge dark cloud. Around 2 hours+ ride. 
Gunung Kinabalu
  • Desa Dairy Cow Farm in Kundasang - fresh milk, froyo and ice cream without any preservatives ! Also a nice view of the green field and black+white cows that reminds you of New Zealand. Fees - RM 5 each person. 
Gelato from Desa Dairy Cow Farm in Kundasang
  • Filipino Market - Super affordable seafood dinners ! We dined twice in different food stalls during our stay :
Seafood galore near Filipino Market - Super affordable seafood dinners ! We dined twice in different food stalls during our stay.
  • Handicraft Market - where people sell local items : pearls, batik shirt, coconut wallets, hand-made items. This was where we spent our money buying souvenir to people at home :F
  • Gayang Restaurant - A recommended restaurant by someone we met at the event. 
  • Signal Hill Observatory Tower - A short car ride to the tower on the hill where you can have a view of the city (but mostly tall buildings nowadays). Sunset view from the tower would be great, I think ? Fees - Free. The view :
A view from Signal Hill Observatory Tower
  • Tanjung Aru Beach - A short visit before we headed home that afternoon. I'm guessing that we would have a really nice view of sunset from here :(
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Things I'm quite surprised about Sabah :
  • It feels like we are 1-hour early than Semenanjung because the sunrise time is around 6 am and sunset is around 6 pm. 
  • We need to have a visa-like document when we arrive, show your IC/passport for them to give you a 90-days visitation time even though both sides are Malaysia. (Note : I should have remembered, I use to love history - and I'm pretty sure we learned this somewhere). Oh, and make sure that the document stays with you, don't lose it or you'll need to make a report to the local police.
  • So many affordable seafood ! I looooooove ♥
  • Everything ends with '-bah'
  • When people ask "are you local?" that means I need to say "no, I'm from Semenanjung" even though I'm pretty sure we are all local Malaysian. I don't even know why there's such a question.
  • In Sabah, they are very welcoming and super-friendly but I feel like an outsider. 
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The event (Jesselton Artisan Market) :

This event was organized by Salt x Paper (thanks Aaron & Chrystin!) and Riverson. I sent my products to Salt x Paper since Dec last year so we've been communicating through Whatsapp & emails for the past 10 months. I felt like I know them even though we've never met.

When they invited me to join for their event, I thought about it for several days before I said yes. For this event, I shared my booth with Eureka ArtStudio - a young independent illustrator/painter that I've come to adore (remember that I've been searching high & lo for local independent illustrator that I could partner up? Well I think I found one). You guys can check-out her works on her IG.

Her most famous item at the event was :


Anyway, the 2-days event was a success.
My sales was quite high and I should be happy, but considering our expenses to come all the way from KL and the 5-days stay and the car rent, it wasn't enough. This was a paid trip to Sabah instead of business trip, because we didn't managed to get any extra money to bring back home BUT everything else was paid using all the money from the event.


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Expenses (per person) :
  • Car rental (Bezza) + Gas (for 5 days) : RM 90 + RM 18
  • Apartment - 5 days : RM 213
  • Luggage : RM 76
  • Flight : RM 310
  • Food : RM 64
  • Tickets : RM 8
  • Groceries : RM 10
  • Grand Total : Roughly around RM 800 per person 
How to improve in next events in Sabah (as an independent artist) :
  • booth sharing (in a small group, 2-3)
  • sales must exceed RM 1,500 (per person)
  • conduct a workshop/class at the event (multi-income on the event day)
  • restock items at Salt x Paper (save the postage cost !)
Glorious seafood galore
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