Travel: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (Day 3)

To continue the story of our Kota Kinabalu adventure, Lewa and I went island hopping again on the last day. We already had the island hopping adventure on the first day and since the port terminal is accessible from our place, we decided to go for a 2nd round adventure while waiting for our evening flight.

We visited Mamutik Island, the smallest among the 5 islands in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. It’s not as crowded as Manukan Island so we enjoyed our free time at the beach. The only downside is that 30 minutes after we reached the island, it started to rain heavily.

Mamutik Island

I started to panic and get nervous because my parents are not aware that I was in KK that time and my excuse for this trip was I went on a “Team Building Activity” at Subic for 3d/2n. Ang sosyal naman ng kompanya namin kung ganun! BWAHAHAHA Thank God I was able to reach the main land safely and still had time to pack our things.

Cloudy skies at Mamutik Island

We had our final stop at one of the market place in KK. The place is actually similar to Dampa wherein you’ll buy the seafood and have it cooked afterwards. So first things first, we chose Twinsky Restaurant and seated at one of their tables. Most of the servers are Pinoy so medyo di na kami nosebleed hehehe.

Twinsky Restaurant

Seafood galore

We had mussels (tahong) and sweet and sour fish for dinner. And in fairness to them, their service is good and they serve food on time. They even gave us peanuts, papaya and wet ones towel prior to serving our orders. I was quite impressed.

Buttered Tahong

But then so much for our ignorance. When we got the bill, we were both shocked to see the freebies were not really “free” at all. Booooo! Na scam kami! BWAHAHAHA. Ambilis pa naman namin kainin yung mani and papaya kase gutom na gutom na kami…may bayad pala! So the ‘Twinsky’ thing is now a running joke between us. We now call each other “Twinsky” whenever we see each other online.

Bill Que Horror

So the valuable lesson of the story: All good things in life are NOT necessarily free. 😉

Travel: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (Day 2)

For our 2nd day, we had the Mengkabong Water Village River Cruise tour. The guide picked us up around 8:00 am to bring us to Batangan Baru Lagoon, which is the port of entry to Mengkabong River. It is an hour drive away from Kota Kinabalu City. But before that, we went to a local marketplace first for a stop over. The guide gave us an hour to walk around and explore the place. Then afterwards, he showed us the Tuaran Suspension Bridge, which according to him is one of the attractions there. I find nothing special about the bridge, honestly. But we took a picture of it anyway since we’re already there.

Tuaran Suspension Bridge

We also tried the different local street foods such as banana fritters, satay and chicken wings. I took a picture of the old guy selling the chicken, who gamely posed for the cameras like a model. 🙂

Mr. Chicken Wings

Banana Fritters and Satay

Yummy Chicken

Fast forward after our food trip and mini tour, we’re now in Batangan Baru Lagoon. Before we started the river cruise tour, we had some short activities first. We tried the ATV ride as well as the Batik Painting. The ATV ride is very short, spending only 10 minutes circling the same spot over and over again. It would be nice if they let us roam around the big resort of Shangri La Rasa Ria Resort which is just behind the lagoon.

Lewa on Wheels

After that, we had the Batik Painting session. This is the part I enjoyed the most because it’s like going back to my grade school days doing artwork and anticipating for the finished product.

Batik Painting Session

After the leisure activities, now we go to the main attraction which is the Mengkabong River Cruise Tour. We will also visit the Water Village where the local fishermen live. We rode a small boat for the tour.

View of Mengkabong River

Water Village

Mangroves on the sides

During the boat cruise, the local guide demonstrated to us the traditional way of crab catching. We tried it ourselves but unfortunately, we got nothing after 2 hours of waiting.

Traditional Crab Catching

After the 2-hour boat ride, we headed back to the jetty and wait for the van that will bring us home. On our way home, we passed by the Atkinson Clock Tower which is also one of the cities attractions.

Atkinson Clock Tower

Later that night, we went out for dinner and had some few drinks to end the day. It was a long and tiring day for both of us but it was fun because we learned new things and we enjoyed the experience.

Few Drinks to end the night

<to be continued…>

Travel: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (Day 1)

For our first day, we spent the first half of the day walking around the city. We’re lucky that our place is at a good location and accessible to almost everywhere – bars, ports, malls, etc. We just roamed around to have a feel of the city.

Kota Kinabalu City

After that, we immediately went to Jesselton Port to catch up on the ferry that will bring us to Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. It is a marine park consisting of 5 different islands.

Jesselton Port

Ferries at Dock

We bought round trip tickets for the island hopping adventure, as well as ticket for the Para-sailing which we’re going to try later on. Exciting!!!

And so the adventure begins. We went to Manukan and Mamutik islands. The first island, Manukan Island, is the 2nd largest island and the most popular among the 5. It is the most developed island and there are many different water activities you can do here such as diving, snorkeling, para sailing, jet skiing and etc. This is where we tried the para sailing adventure. Lewa and I were both excited since it’s our first time to do it. A boat will pull us up in the air and we’ll just sit there for at least 10 minutes. It was only very hot then because we had it around noon time. Nevertheless, it was a one of a kind adventure that I would like to try again. It’s not scary at all up there. 🙂

Parasailing

After that, we just sit, relax and enjoy the rest of the day basking under the hot Malaysian sun. *naks! me ganun!!* The white sand beaches at Manukan and Mamutik islands are just the same as what you see in the Philippines. We just wanted to go somewhere else for a change, to give ourselves a treat after a very hectic week at work.

White sand beach

Under the hot Malaysian Sun 🙂

After a long day at the beach, we headed back to Jesselton Port and walk our way back home. We rest for a while to regain our energy and after that, we walk around again to look for a place to eat dinner. We reached this mall (I forgot the name of the place) and we even bought Nine West shoes for sale. Syeeeeet! Nine West shoes for 99RM (1RM = 13Php)!? That’s cheap!!! I can’t let the day passed by without buying anything, so we bought 1 pair each. hehehe

Cheap Nine West Shoes on Sale!

Travel: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (Arrival)

November last year, Lewa and I, went to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia for a weekend holiday getaway. By the way, Lewa is my friend from HP and we get along really well because we have the same zodiac sign – Leo, known to be fierce and ambitious individuals. hahaha

Lewa and Me

Anyway, so what made us choose Kota Kinabalu? Because we wanted to go somewhere exotic and not the usual place people would go to. Since we’re not really the ‘shoppers‘ type of travelers and we want more of a ‘nature and cultural’ adventure, Kota Kinabalu is the best option. We bought the tickets 3 months ahead from our target travel date and it’s very cheap because we got it on a promo. How lucky that can be!

We arrived Kota Kinabalu around 9:00 PM. There’s no time difference between KK and Manila. Upon arriving at the airport, there were no money changer booths available around so we have to withdraw some money first at the ATM machine. We won’t be able to reach our place unless we have some Ringgits at hand. After withdrawing some money, we hailed a cab and told the driver to bring us to Red Palm Hostel located at Jalan Gaya Street.

Malaysian Ringgit

Upon reaching the place, we didn’t realized we’re in the right place til we saw the signage ‘Red Palm Hostel’. The place is far from what we imagined. It looks like some old dormitory along Dapitan St. behind UST. Nothing fancy, very normal on the outside. But once you get inside, you’ll find the place a little bit cozy and relaxed.

Red Palm Hostel

Inside the Hostel

We left our things in our roomand walked around to look for a place to eat. Luckily, we saw Yummy Chicken eatery which is about to close in 30 minutes time. We ordered our first Malay meal – Nasi Lemak. 🙂

Nasi Lemak

We headed back home to take some rest and prepare for next day’s adventure – Island Hopping.