Have you ever heard stuff that deep within you, you know it is too good to be true? You know, stuff like ‘Slimming Programs’, diet fads and the vague but saccharine sweet 1Malaysia concept?
There’s an old saying, “No matter how much makeup you apply to a monkey, it’s still a monkey” – meaning no amount of sugar coating can hide the ugly truth.
If you’re normal like me, you would probably visualize a Shangrila like place nested in the foothill of the majestic Mount Kinabalu. The vicinity would be surrounded by water fountains, chirping birds and other exotic flora and fauna. Within, the guest rooms would be heated, the beds made with clean sheets of white linen faintly smelling of lavender. And nearby, there would be a cafe serving piping hot Tenom Valley Coffee or Sabah Tea.
Instead, I recall a harrowing ride to the place, located about 30 minutes away from the Kinabalu Park. It was dark (around 7.30 pm) and the road leading to the place was in a bad shape with certain sections totally obliterated by road works and landslides. Once or twice our van’s traction on the road almost gave way, giving all 11 of us in the van a near heart attack. The fact that it was raining didn’t help matter at all!
The so called golden resort did not even have a proper entrance. It wasn’t until the driver suddenly made a sharp right turn into a gravel road (and hitting the underside of the van onto the road shoulder) that we realized we have reached our destination.
It was too dark to see anything clearly and it took us a long time to locate the dormitories allocated to the various groups. We discovered that the dorms were not heated (it was so cold then!) and the toilets did not have heated showers! What we had was a tiny little kettle which we used to boil water over and over again in order to fill up a plastic tumbler in the bathroom so that we could take turns to wash up (there were 5 of us). There was a double queen size bed and a double-decker in the room but there were 5 of us. In the end one of us had to sleep on a mattress on the floor without a blanket (as it was not provided) and since the upper deck of the double-decker was in danger of collapsing, another had to sleep on the floor as well. In the night, cold moisture would seep in through the gaps in the floor board and wet the mattresses thoroughly!
Here are some pictures of the dorm we stayed in:
But things did look less bleak the next morning.
So, was the Golden Resort Kundasang golden? Hardly.
Would I recommend the place? No!
Would I go back there again? Not if I could help it.
When I looked at the details of expenses (which was sent to me a few days ago by the organizers of the climb), I noted that it cost less than RM 40 per person for that one night stay at the ‘golden’ resort. For 5 fellas in a room, that would mean our dorm costs about RM 200 per night! That’s rather exorbitant for a pretty run down place, don’ you think?
Sat, 180910 @ 1219