After an expensive 3 day break in Brunei it was time to head back to Malaysian Borneo to explore the eastern state of Sabah.
My first full day in Kota Kinabalu I got to meet up with another member of my Australian family as she was finishing up her own group tour of Borneo.
After not seeing each other for 3 years we had plenty to catch up during lunch and an excursion to the mall.
It was great to see her and made me even more excited for my upcoming trip to visit them in Australia!
The next two days consisted of many hours of work and an occasional break to watch Netflix.
Then it was time for Halloween! A welsh girl from my hostel and I decided to attempt the Greek toga look so we spent a few hours at the mall compiling pieces of our last minute costume.
We ended up looking pretty good for only spending $15 and a couple of hours shopping! After we got dressed we headed out to dinner and got plenty of strange looks from locals, who don’t celebrate Halloween, but we took it all in stride.
Our first stop was a popular bar for backpackers just around the corner from our hostel and we had a few drinks there before heading out to the next bar.
The second bar we ended up at was ALL locals and us but these locals actually dressed up!
The Welsh girl got called up for the “best dressed” competition and of course the westerner wins!
She collected her bottle of whiskey and we were on our way to a third bar with a group of locals.
We arrived at the bar just as they were closing and I asked for a glass of water.
The bartender told me he couldn’t give me one because he was closing the till but I begged him and he finally relented.
Much to my surprise as I took a GIANT gulp, my water tasted like vodka. That burned. a lot.
Then he tried to charge me for it?! I gave him a look and then we got the people we were with to drop us back at the hostel. All in all a great Halloween evening!
The 1st of November was a recovery day and I managed to get some work done as well.
The next day we went to see the Martian and it only cost 8.50 RM (about $2.25)! Great movie.
On the 3rd of November I caught an early morning flight to Tawau in the south of Sabah to reach the city of Semporna.
Semporna is the gateway to Sipidan Island and other great diving spots and where I got to do my open water diving course.
We caught the afternoon boat out to Mabul Island which would be my home for the next 4 days.
It was movie night the night I arrived and we watched Sharkwaters, which is a documentary about the shark finning trade.
I bawled like a baby. Think Blackfish but for sharks. If you can find it you need to watch it. Seriously.
Continue reading (Incl. Pics) at: The Phuket List: Sabah - Eastern Borneo.