Initially landed in Kota Kinabalu (commonly referred to as just KK) prior to the Mt. Kinabalu climb, and upon returning to the capital of Sabah I had the chance to explore it for a few days and rest my legs.
Sabah is essentially the gateway to East Malaysia and slowly becoming a tourist hotspot being close to several islands and just a stone’s throw away to lush tropical rainforests and obviously, Mt. Kinabalu + park. With a year round average temperature of 22C-32C (so bomb) and adjacent to the South China Sea, I felt that Borneo had so much more to offer than what I had allocated it for and it definitely feels like a place I can return to explore more.
Stayed at the Masada Backpacker Hostel, highly recommended and rated. Welcoming staff, decent facilities, and a central location close to bus station, main bus station, malls and markets.
Common area littered with Mt. Kinabalu pictures, and movies constantly playing.
Complimentary breakfast and fruits. +1
Cubby shelves for backpacks and locking lockers for personals. In my opinion, perfect set up.
They run their cars here on tequila.
Seafood food and beer garden, typical Malaysian sight.
Time for some Malaysian food.
Didn’t know why I did this to myself. Probably thought this was going to satisfy my Popeyes craving. It did not. It gave me a stomach ache instead. I hate you KFC, I will remember this …until the next time.
One of the places to grab good food, head to China Town otherwise known as Gaya Street. Many budget hostels, cafes, and restaurants found here.
Seems like I’ve seen that font from SOMEWHERE.
Scarborough Town Centre.
Yee Fung (怡豐茶室) @ Gaya Street, the hottest place on the strip lol. There were a lot of people here.. the best way to tell if a shop is popular or has good food = look inside at the people and their food.
They make things easy with a menu limited to just 3 items plus some veggie side dishes you can order. Too easy.
I was so down for some Laksa as the last one I remember having was probably in Singapore. Easily the best laksa I’ve had in my life.
Followed by what is only described as a tea pulled from the heavens. I shall dub this, Heaven’s Pulled Tea. Yea, best I’ve ever had. Why you so FAR?!
Atkinson Clock Tower built in 1902 to commemorate Francis George Atkinson, the first district officer of Jesselton, which was Kota Kinabalu’s original name! Fun fact.
Chinese tourists… each with 2-3 giant bags of what? They look liked crisps.
Kota Kinabalu Central Market. You won’t miss it.
What is he selling exactly?
Dried seafood market.
A crowd started gathering to watch snooker, an ancient traditional Malaysian game of sticks and balls. Not. ^^. It got intense as people cheered, I watched for a bit.
The Pidgeon Man.
GAHHHHH. But got some good pictures.
Boardwalk like area.
South China Sea! Unbelievable I got to come here. It’s funny how I’ve become so grateful and humble to be in places I’ve never once given thought to go to, nor was ever important to me. Interesting.
The spot where the night market takes place just a few more pictures below. It really morphs into something else at night in just a few short hours.
Infamous Ballers. They have bad taste.
Missed this flower but I apparently found the hotel… officially.
Stewed pork, eggplant, and rice. $2 CAD.
Next day, I had to catch my flight out back to KL, here is the main bus terminal across from the Wawasan Center where you can catch the local bus to the airport. You just wait here until you see bus #16, A, B, or C should all take you to the airport (but ask first just in case).
The minivan shuttles look like this.
$1.50 RM one way.
The air conditioning was broken at the airport… nearly had heat stroke. Too many people not enough air.
So here I leave Borneo without exploring Kuching of the West and the diving islands in the East off from Sabah. Also no Brunei nor the Indonesian half of Borneo. Too much left behind, likely giving me enough reason to return here in the future!
Currently off for Chinese New Year holiday, so I finally have some time to catch up on posts! Get ready for a good influx. Also, Happy Chinese New Year! I miss everyone from home. =)