Where to go and eat from a founder of a Sabah-based social enterprise.
Joanna Moss is the co-founder of Changgih Designs, a social enterprise that produces culturally inspired collections of clothing and accessories made by artisans in villages all over Sabah, Malaysia.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I am a Singaporean born and raised in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. My parents (both Singaporean) migrated here many, many years ago and I’ve been blessed to have grown up on this gem of an island.
What would a perfect day in Sabah be like?
In Sabah, I think we are spoilt for choice in terms of what you would see as a perfect day. But for me personally, and I am sure for most Sabahans alike, it would be a day by the beach with a fresh coconut!
Mantanani Beach, Sabah. Photo courtesy of flickr/Eddie Yip.
3 places we should add to our Sabah travel itinerary?
- Any of the Islands (Sapi Island, Gaya Island, Manukan Island)
- Kundasang (Mt Kinabalu)
- Kiulu River (White Water Rafting)
If we were to have one meal in Sabah, what should it be?
Tuaran mee! It is completely unique to this part of Malaysia and is probably something anyone could quite easily get addicted to.
Editor’s note: Tuaran mee is a dish of fried-egg noodles with egg, char siu, pork egg roll and choy sum. The Guardian gives a great summary – history, taste and all.
Tuaran Mee. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.
What is one misperception that people have when travelling to Malaysia?
For East Malaysia (Sabah), I know a lot of people have the idea we are not as modern in our development. However, I can assure you that although Sabah isn’t AS cyber-ready as say, Kuala Lumpur, it is one of the reasons why people love it. Sabah is a laid-back place to escape the hustle of a concrete jungle. A dream to me!
What is something you always travel with?
Other than the obvious essentials, I always have with me the Changgih Infinity Scarf. Perfect for the plane and comfortable enough to ball up into a make-shift pillow. Its also pretty useful that its Wrinkle-Resistant!
What suggestions can you give mothers who are planning to travel with children?
As a mom to a 3-year-old and with another on the way, the best suggestion I can give is to pack your snacks! A hungry baby is an angry baby. That, and also while travelling it is really ok to be flexible a little. So if your kids skip a nap or don’t go to bed at the same time they’re meant to, that’s ok. There’s always the next day to catch up.
On a trip to Sabah, I should pack…
Each time you buy a Changgih Designs item, you contribute to Give 10 Sabah, the company’s commitment to investing 10% of its profits into the community.
Products from Changgih Designs can be purchased at www.changgihdesigns.com or at all resort gift shops in Kota Kinabalu, including YTL Gaya Island Resort, Shangri-La Tanjung Aru and Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort. For inquiries, email changgihdesigns[at]gmail.com and don’t forget to check them out on Instagram!