Friday, October 16, 2015

Nick Ups Sticks: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysian Borneo

Kota Kinabalu is a small town sandwiched between the sea and mountainous jungle. It feels a lot like southern Thailand: low, terraced buildings, tangy sea air and corner shops. It’s small enough to traverse by foot and is the gateway to exploring Borneo’s wilderness.

We flew in from Bangkok via Kuala Lumpur. The transit was rather hairy as our flight was delayed, which meant legging it through the ridiculous maze that is KL international airport.

We caught the airport bus into town (5 RM for a total travel time of 1 hour, including a 30 minute wait at terminal 2).

There isn’t a huge amount to do in KK and you’ll probably end up seeing most of it just by walking to and from bus stops.

The night market (mostly food) is interesting and fruit vendors will happily let you try before you buy. 

Food-wise, Suang Tain‘s seafood is fresh and well-priced. We should know, we ate there three nights in a row.

Instead, we spent our time trying to get away from KK and the hoards of Chinese tour groups.

Excursion 1: island hopping

The islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park are just 15 short minutes away from KK by speedboat. Get your tickets at Jesselton Point ticketing hall. Do not be alarmed by competing tour operators yelling prices at you.

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