We flew to Kota Kinabalu on the 27th using AirAsia and the flight took less then an hour. Reached Kota Kinabalu by noon and went straight to the hotel. This time around, Fabian made reservations at De Galleria Hotel which was located in Kampong Air. Checked in, relax for a while and after that we walked around KK town buying toiletries and food. Went to Center Point, Wisma Merdeka and end up at Suria Sabah. Then we realized that we need to buy a backpack as the backpack that we brought to Sabah was already full with clothes, plus it was too big to bring along walking on the streets.
Since we were at Suria Sabah, we head up Adventure Gear which was located at the LG floor (same floor where most of the eateries are located). If you're looking for high quality/branded outdoor gear, this is the place to go. Much cheaper then Miri i would say. So we came in with a NgiuKee plastic bag and left with a Caribee backpack which cost me less then RM150.
After the short shopping trip, we head back to our hotel to rest for a short while. Around 4pm, we head out again to check out Signal Hill Observatory Tower which was located along Jalan Bukit Bendera.
Day 2 : Island Escape to Pulau Sapi
The boat ride took about 15 minutes from Jesselton Point with one stop at Mamutik before reaching Pulau Sapi. Upon reaching, you need to pay RM3 for the park entrance. While at the entrance, I went through the visitors list and most of the visitors that day came from Japan, China and Taiwan.
We managed to find a nice shaded spot under a big tree nearby the beach. Like everybody else, we couldn't wait to get into the water and start swimming with the fishes, But first thing first, apply sunblock (muka ganas tapi takut sunburn). After a few layers of sunblock, we head to the open sea with our snorkeling gears.
If you think that getting tossed off the banana boat is extreme, wait till you try the Fly Fish. The boat can carry up to 6 person (seated) at any one time but since there was only the two of us, we were asked to lay down in the middle. The rise was suppose to last about 10 minutes but the boat operator gave us 20 mins and that was an awesome 20 minutes of my life, and a well spent RM70.How would I describe it?"Getting vertically lifted in the air,being dragged by a speedboat and hoping we don't lose our grip and end up with a faceplant in the ocean..Getting our backs smashed by the waves in high speed while screaming like a little girl.Before going on this ride, please equip yourself with loads of vulgar words.."
20 minutes is more then enough for us to scream our lungs out and after the ride, our wrists kinda hurt a little because we we holding a little to tight to the handle.
Day 3: Off to Labuan
When we arrived at the hotel, our room wasn't ready yet so both of us decided to check out the hotel area. It was a nice place, with extra large pool. We walked a little and we reached the Sunset Bar which was by the marina. Since we were in Labuan, we decided to start drinking beer at 2pm (you have to love the price of the alcohol here.. tax free so if bloody cheap).
After the short drinking session, we checked in our room and rested. I fell asleep straight away after taking my shower and only woke up around 5pm. We went to the Financial Park which was located just opposite the hotel and bought some chocs and mini liquors to bring home. Called dad up and asked if he wanted any specific liquors but he said now. Being the stubborn son, i bought him a bottle of Jack Daniel's. Not long after that, another ex student called and said he was looking for hotel rooms as well. He saw my foursquare check-in that I was in Labuan. He himself has been looking for hotels in Labuan for the past few days. I told him we were at Billion Pavilion and he got himself a room as well. Later that evening, We went down to Sunset Bar for the second time that day to get more beer.
As we were chilling and enjoying our beer, two uncles came with their guitar and started singing for us. I was guessing that they were hired by the hotel to entertain their customers. I guess all three of us looked like some broken-hearted dudes sipping our beer so they decided to sing some oldies.. They sang Anak Kampung, Bye Bye Love by Everly Brothers and another oldies song which i forgot the title. : X
Later that night, My sister's boyfriend who was working in Labuan that time, joined us at Sunset Bar. Roughly we spent our day in Labuan by boozing non stop.
Day 4 : Back To Kota Kinabalu
We reached the Ferry Terminal, queued up only to be told that the ferry tickets for that day has been sold out. But the counter girl was helpful and told us another alternative to go back to KK via Menumbok. Since we were there for an adventure, we took the other option. We bought a speed boat ticket to Menumbok. The speed boat took about 25 minutes to reach Menumbok from Labuan and we were fortunate that when we reached Menumbok, there was a bus going to KK.If we had missed the bus, we have to take the charted van which cost about RM30 (our bus ticket cost us only RM18).
3 1/2 hours later, we reached Kota Kinabalu. Again, no reservations but in Kota Kinabalu, there's plenty of budget hotels and inns scattered around. We got off the bus, carried our bags and start hunting for a place to spend the night. We checked in at Pantai Inn which was located a few blocks away from De Galleria Hotel. I asked Fabian why he chose that place and he answered me " BB cafe is just downstairs -.-" ".
After we settled in and freshen ourselves, we went off to visit the shopping complex again. Visited a few shopping complex and we somehow end up taking a taxi to 1 Borneo. I'm more fascinated with the view on the way to the mall rather than the mall itself.
Done with the malls, we found ourselves wandering along the waterfront area just observing the people around us and enjoying the scenery. Later that night, another round at BB cafe accompanied by live band performing and beers. Two of our current students, Zachary and Mona joined us at BB cafe later that night.
The next day, we just lazed around in our room waiting to check out and head for the airport. Airport means end of holiday lah.. Back to reality and daily routines. Honestly, I fell in love with Sabah every single time i stepped my foot there. Having to go on this trip with my best friend was really something memorable. Perhaps I'll be back here soon.
Till next time..