“This article is part of the Mount Kinabalu article which is separated into 5 parts for easier reading. If you missed the previous parts of this article, click here”.
The drive to Kundasan takes around 2 hours and involves driving up the mountain range following a single-lane long and winding road. You will find yourself stuck behind many trailers and lorries who also uses that road which is the only link to the east of Sabah. Along the way, we stopped by a small town called Nabalu, which is a must stop for any tourist. Nabalu is where one can find the most extensive selections of handicrafts and souvenirs. Every stall there is operated by the locals, so buying your souvenirs is always a good idea as it helps with the local market and the local people.
After the short detour, we continued on the road towards Kundasan. The plan was to overnight at one of my friend’s very nicely designed mountain huts (which you will see and agree, and will be featured in the next part).
The temperature around those areas is always cold. It is like living in an air-conditioned earth, that is the easiest way I can describe it. Not too cold, which is just nice during the day. Therefore, it would only make sense that we would have a nice steamboat for dinner that night! And the best place to get all the ingredients for our steamboat would be Kundasan’s Vegetable Market.
Like the Handicraft market in Nabalu, the stalls at Kundasan’s Vegetable Market are all operated by locals. Rows and rows of vegetable sellers can be found in the long stretch of wooden stalls. The vegetables are fresh from the farms nearby, and buyers from all over would come to buy these as-fresh-as-you-can-get vegetables.
By the time we were done with the ‘marketing’, it already already near 3 pm. It was time for our next stop, a farm… but not a farm for vegetables… the Desa Fresh Milk Farm. The cattle farm’s operating hours is 7.30 am to 4.30 pm daily, and one can visit it anytime within those hours, but my advice is to go at 3 pm, because that is the time where the cows will all be herded from the valley into the nearby milking facility to be… milked!
Egrets with their long wings and white weathers are common visitors to the cattle. They often stand close to, or sometimes on top of the cows, feeding on the flies and insects that are attracted to the cow’s stench.
I was surprised with my visit to the farm this time as much has changed! Other than their main business of producing milk, the Desa Fresh Milk Farm has become a very tourist oriented business. For example, they now have a section which holds young calf and goats where we get to play the roles of mothers and feed the calves with bottled milk and also feed them with grass.
Walking into the main building where one can witness the cow milking process; from the queue of cows being led into the facility, and seeing the automatic suckers (I don’t know what’s the formal name for these instruments) being attached to the four teats of the cows (Yes, cows only have four working teats), and witnessing the milk pumped into the clear storage tanks located above them.
This is the milking facility where the cows are queued from the back and is led into the ‘booth’. Each cow gets their own booth and is given cow feed to keep them busy while the ‘automatic suckers’ are attached to their teats. The whole process takes no more than 10 minutes, and then finished batch is led away while the next batch takes over. The cows seems to be extremely familiar with the routine as they do so without even the need of any herder.
If you are interested to know how really real fresh milk taste like, you can buy the milk which is sold at the main building. I highly recommend buying at least one small box, and taste real fresh milk straight from the factory!
The cattle is not only home to black and white cows, but also home to many beautiful flowers which are also for sale. Flowers in cold temperature like these always seems to be prettier!
After departing Desa Fresh Milk Farm, it was time for us to make our way to my friend’s mountain hut called “Little Hut” for our long awaited steamboat dinner. In my next part of this Mount Kinabalu article, I am dedicating a whole post to write about the “Little Hut” experience as it is truly an amazing place to stay!
Click here for Part 3 of the Mount Kinabalu adventure!