photo slideshow

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

#HitzEscape: Kaamatan Fever!

It's the month of May, and for us Sabahans that means ARAMAITII!!

Yes, Kaamatan is here, so we're ready to celebrate the Harvest Festival the only way we know how: by turning the whole month into party month! What with beauty pageants, food, singing competitions, our own special brew, and lots of dancing, we know how to keep busy:
  • Unduk Ngadau: Queen of the Harvest is a yearly beauty pageant where winners of all different districts compete at the state-level competition. There are 42 districts, and contestants must be of Kadazandusun descent.
  • Food: Hinava, tuhau, sinalau bakas, bambangan, nasi bukit... These are only a few examples of yummy local Kadazan food - I personally wouldn't try butod though! =P
  • Sugandoi: The contestants usually dress in Kadazandusun or Murut costume, which is counted as part of the score, and sing popular Kadazandusun songs. The winner is then invited to perform in the district Kaamatan celebrations.
  • Tapai: Sabah's own special brew will send you to la-la land quicker than you think! Although colourless, fragrant and light-tasting, don't be fooled - it can be quite strong! It's usually served in a big jar, and passed around so everyone can take a sip from the bamboo straw.
  • Dancing: Traditional dances such as the sumazau and magunatip are mesmerising! The graceful Sumazau is the traditional folkdance of the Kadazandusuns, while the agility-based dance of Sabah's Murut tribe, Magunatip, which literally means "clipping" is a well-loved bamboo dance in which the dancers must avoid being "clipped" by the bamboo sticks by having a good sense of timing and rhythm. Missing a beat is painful, literally! Check out a not-so-great example of Sumazau HERE.
And where can you experience all of this? KDCA of course! The Hongkod Koisaan (Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association) is where the district Kaamatan celebrations are held and it's the biggest fusion of traditional and modern you'll ever experience! If you've never experienced Kaamatan, I highly recommend you to put this on your bucket list! 

Kaamatan is celebrated in Sabah, Malaysia every year on 30th & 31st of May. 

What are your Kaamatan tips? Drop me comment! 
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @CalistaLeahLiew & Snapchat @CalistaLeah;
And join me on the Hitz Playlist every weekday 10am - 1pm on hitz fm Sabah
100.8 in Kota Kinabalu & 99.8 in Sandakan! 
*Daily #HitzEscape tips every day at 12pm

Kotobian Tadau Tagazo Do Kaamatan!


Love always,
Calista xx

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

#HitzEscape: Unusual China

Oliver in Shanghai
This week my brother Oliver is in China, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to learn a little more about my ancestral land! As always with the #HitzEscape, I went from a different angle - all things weird!

Weird food: Donkey meat, bee pupae, snake wine, & the strangest I've seen yet: 童子蛋 (tong zi dan), which are - wait for it - eggs soaked and boiled in the urine of young boys. And you thought century eggs(皮蛋)were weird! No thanks!

Weird places: If you love dinosaurs, there's actually a real-life Jurassic Park near Outer Mongolia called Dinosaur Fairyland. It's location is so remote, you'll probably find you'll have the park pretty much to yourself, your friends, a few military men passing through, and both real and fake dinosaur bones! Definitely where the Wild Things are! (Yes I'm referencing Alessia Cara here =P)

Weird Fact: China is almost as big as the USA but while the US has 9 different time zones, China has a standard one called Beijing time, which means you might be watching the sunset at midnight in places like Xinjiang, and the sunrise at 10am! You might wanna take this into consideration when planning your itinerary.

Night view in Shanghai
Photo Credits
So what's the weirdest thing you've eaten/done/come across in China? Drop me comment! Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @CalistaLeahLiew & Snapchat @CalistaLeah;
And join me on the Hitz Playlist every weekday 10am - 1pm on hitz fm Sabah
100.8 in Kota Kinabalu & 99.8 in Sandakan! 
*Daily #HitzEscape tips every day at 12pm

旅游愉快,下次再见吧!


Love always,
Calista xx

Saturday, 21 May 2016

#HitzEscape: Travelling Without Flying

As much as I love travelling, airports can hardly be the best of times. Long queues, to many people, and most airports take forever to get there; wouldn't you skip this process if you could? Well, there are definitely ways to travel the world without ever stepping foot on a plane, just like Graham Hughes did, and you can bet it won't be anything short of an adventure! 

1. Other than taking a flight, you can travel between countries by train, off-roading (we have so many 4wds in Sabah!), bike, or even hike. It's crazy that you can literally just walk into another country!
Penthouse in the sky.   PC
2. The most expensive flight in the world is $38,000 one way, from New York to Mumbai. In comparison, the most expensive train ride is only $3,385/night on the famed Maharaja Express!

3. If you can't qualify as an air stewardess, you could always get a job on a cruise ship instead! My friend Abigail is currently into her 3rd year on Princess Cruises, and she's already visited all of the Pacific Islands - places I've never even dreamed of!

4. Love road trips? How about one that crosses from Malaysia to China? There's a group that drive across South East Asia to reach China - all in 4WDs! Only for the adventurous, and those who don't mind spending more than a few days in the jungle!

5. You can cycle all around South East Asia or even Europe - a group of amateur cyclists did it, and they cycled on average 80km per day! If you're an avid cyclist, have you got this on your bucket list?

Have you ever entered a different country without flying? Drop me comment!
Don't forget to follow me on 
Instagram @CalistaLeahLiew & Snapchat @CalistaLeah;
And join me on the Hitz Playlist every weekday 10am - 1pm on hitz fm Sabah
100.8 in Kota Kinabalu & 99.8 in Sandakan! 

*Daily #HitzEscape tips every day at 12pm

Chugga choo choo, and I'll see ya next weekend!

Love always,
Calista xx

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Hitz Playlist Travel Recap - Under The Sea

Continuing on from last week's adrenaline rush, this week was all about frolicking in the ocean, because if there's nothing else we have more of in Sabah, it's definitely the sea!
Yes, that is me, graceful as always.
1. If you love to have fun, the options are endless: snorkeling, surfing, jet skiing, banana boating, and my ultimate favourite? Scuba diving!

2. You can actually do a "trial run" if you don't wanna throw down a big chunk of money to get your Open Water diving licence. Discovery Dives cost about RM200 and the instructor will guide you down to about 12m. If you fall in love with the underwater world, then get your licence to go down to 20m!


3. Sabah is actually home to some of the top dive sites in Malaysia, and Sipadan Island is ranked one of the top in the world! You're definitely missing out if you're not diving; all of this beauty is right in your backyard! Even Tunku Abdul Rahman Park (Pulau Manukan, Sapi, Gaya etc) makes the list of cool dive sites, and they're just 15mins away!

4. SCUBA actually stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.

5. A lot of people have a fear of running into sharks underwater, but a man in Florida actually cuddled one! Also, the chance of running into a man-eating shark in Malaysian waters, is basically 0%.

6. Diving bucket list: 
i)Wreck diving
 ii) Underwater museum in Mexico
iii) Underwater cities
 iv) Between plate tectonics
 v) Sipadan Island - best marine life, coral and caves! PC: wsj.com

Where's the best place you've dived so far? Drop me comment!
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @CalistaLeahLiew & Snapchat @CalistaLeah;
And join me on the Hitz Playlist every weekday 10am - 1pm on hitz fm Sabah
100.8 in Kota Kinabalu & 99.8 in Sandakan!

Swim amongst the fishies, and I'll see ya next weekend!

Love always,
Calista xx

Monday, 9 May 2016

Hitz Playlist Travel Recap - High In The Sky

I'm somewhat of an adrenaline junkie - I love heights and speed, and I have a pretty long bucket list. This week we talked up in the air:

1. Skydiving is definitely top of my to-do, and South Africa is my dream location!
    Freefalling at 192km/hour means it only takes 30secs to fall 4000ft, and then you
    tug open that parachute, and enjoy the view for the next 5mins. Age is not a
    limitation in this case as there have even been 80 year olds doing the jump for the
    first time; just make sure you don't lose those false teeth! Oh, and myth busted:
    unlike the movies, you can't hear anyone talking / screaming while in freefall! 

2. There are many different types of bungee jumping
     i)   Off a cliff in New Zealand
     ii)  Off a tower like in Macau 
     iii) Off a crane like in the UK
     iv) The highest bungee jump in the world is off a bridge in South Africa, and
     iv) The most extreme? You can bungee from a helicopter, into a volcano in
          Chile!

3. Cliff diving in the Philippines is fun, but if you're teeny tiny like me, don't do it
     long term k? Diving from a professional level actually makes your body shrink over
     time! =O

4. This one is actually gonna be happening really soon: Paragliding from the top of
     Kokol Hill! Yes, you can paraglide right here in KK, from Kokol or even Ranau, right
     in front of Mount Kinabalu; talk about set to scenery!

5. Zip-lining across a river? Check. From island-to-island?  
Check! Pulau Gaya to Pulau Sapi
Both right here in 
KK too!
I also zipped from one end of the forest to another in Taiwan!
What's on your adrenaline bucket list? Drop me comment!
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @CalistaLeahLiew & Snapchat @CalistaLeah;
And join me on the Hitz Playlist every weekday 10am - 1pm on hitz fm Sabah
100.8 in Kota Kinabalu & 99.8 in Sandakan!

Reach for the sky, and I'll see ya next weekend!

Love always,
Calista xx

Friday, 6 May 2016

Hits Playlist Travel Recap - Theme Park Joy!

At the beginning of this week my favourite vlogger's Snapchat was full of snaps from her trip to Disneyland, and it made me wanna go to a theme park so bad! Obviously, since I just started work that's not gonna happen any time soon, so I decided to just reminisce on the times I had at Disneyland Hong Kong last year, and other theme parks before that! 

To make a day out almost foolproof? Make sure you're prepared:

1. When we think of amusement parks, names like Disneyland, Universal Studios and  
    other big international names come to mind, but did you know Malaysia is fast
    becoming the theme park capital of the world, with new parks mushrooming like
    crazy these past few years! Big on fun, easy on the pocket! 

2. Still wanna go to Disneyland? Closest to home, there are 3 Disneylands in Asia - 
     Japan, Hong Kong, and the latest, Shanghai, China. They all mainly operate in their
     native languages with some (not all) English. Japan even has Disney Sea, a
     one-of-its-kind water park! 

3. Go on weekdays! Skip the weekends & school holidays, and if you avoid having
     your lunch / dinner at the normal hours, you'll miss most of the crowd, and get on
     more rides, faster! Just don't skip out on school just to scream on the rollercoaster;
     else your teacher will be screaming at you instead!

4. All Disney employees are actually required to have a water bottle with them while on
    the job, and you should too! Theme parks are notorious for the sweltering heat, and
    that means you will dehydrate fast. Water is usually expensive at parks anyway, but
    if you can't take your own in, buy ONE bottle, keep it and refill them at the water
    stations around the park!

5. Best way to enjoy a long, hot, amazingly fun day? Dress comfortably!
    Leggings/shorts, loose T & sneakers, and shove the bare minimum into a
    (small) backpack. Take as little as you can because you don't wanna be lugging a
    heavy bag around, and you have to put it away during the rides anyway. Don't forget
    the sunblock! 

Any good tips I've missed out? Drop me comment!
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @CalistaLeahLiew & Snapchat @CalistaLeah;
And join me on the Hitz Playlist every weekday 10am - 1pm on hitz fm Sabah
100.8 in Kota Kinabalu & 99.8 in Sandakan!

Wander with lust, and I'll see ya next weekend!

Love always,
Calista xx

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Hitz Playlist Travel Recap - Packing Without Screaming

If you've been tuning in to hitz fm Sabah (or just being spammed by my social media pages), you might have heard that I've joined the crazy house! I'll be yappin' and snappin' while bringin' the beats (wow, ok Calista, calm the heck down) every weekday at 10am - 1pm; yes, Calista has
officially been forced to become a morning person!


I wanted to revamp the Hitz Playlist to give it a lil Calista zing, and one of the things I'm most passionate about is of course, travel! Every day I'll share a travel tip that has worked for me, and at the end of the week shove them into a blog post - welcome to Post Numero Uno!

This whole week, I talked about packing: how to pack light, how to save on luggage money, how to clear more wardrobe space, and how to fill it back up!

1.  Hate doing laundry?
     If you like to pack light when travelling (or just literally live in your jeans), did you know that     you can put them into a ziplock bag, put the ziplock bag into the fridge overnight, and in the morning, they’ll smell just like new! Yep, lazy level: UP!!

2.  Gadgets galore?
     Hotels are notorious for only having a couple of sockets per room, but we all have more than 2           devices to charge when travelling, especially if we’re sharing! Always bring a strip extension - you can get some that are pretty lightweight - and you’ll be able to charge that phone, camera, power bank, laptop, secondary phone, GoPro...... at least 3 devices with one plug! Now you can vlog, selfie, AND update social media on the go!

3.  Hassle-free duty free!
     Always leave a little space in your hand luggage for duty free purchases! Get all that yummy               chocolate through kastam (aka customs) without a hitch!

4.  Luggage weight limitations? 
     So this one has helped me a lot: Wear your heaviest clothes and shoes on the plane to save weight. When I travel for work I rarely travel light, so I will most likely wear my jeans, a comfy top and wedge sneakers to fly, along with a jacket in my backpack. Or, you could just do what this guy did.

5.  Revamp that wardrobe.
     Here’s a tip I haven’t tried yet, but after reading about it, definitely will: You know that pile of           “to donate/throw/finally get around to wearing” tops & dresses sitting in your closet that you               just can't bring yourself to get rid of? Get a final wear out of 'em during your next getaway, then ditch them when you’re done and lighten the load for the trip home. More pros? No laundry to get home to, and new wardrobe space for purchases you make during your holiday.”

Any good tips I've missed out? Drop me comment!
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @CalistaLeahLiewSnapchat @CalistaLeah;
And join me on the Hitz Playlist every weekday 10am - 1pm on hitz fm Sabah
100.8 in Kota Kinabalu & 99.8 in Sandakan!

Wander with lust, and I'll see ya next weekend!

Love always,
Calista xx