Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Kota Kinabalu Trip

Roaming around the City

This is the continuation of my previous post "Mt. Kinabalu." I'm telling this once again, one of the best parts of my passion to climb is the exciting "add on" of being able to travel. We intended to spare one more day to do some side trips after the climb. Here's a short post of our side trip.

We're in Sabah! It felt like home! It felt like I was just on the other side of our country after we landed at KKIA (ooops, but I hope they could improve the cleanliness of their airport!)

 It was a fine morning and we could hardly move our legs. It was our fourth day in Kota Kinabalu and being fresh from the climb, everybody was having muscle pains. LOL. 

Well, we still managed to walk around the city without the assistance of any cab or bus. Just plain walking. Because half of us were able to roam on their first day, they were already familiar. 

a mall in Kota Kinabalu City
 The city is free of heavy traffic and is relatively small yet still very progressive and busy. We visited some malls and  ate our lunch in an Indonesian restaurant. We visited some landmarks like the Atkinson Clock Tower and viewed the sunset at Marina. We bought pasalubong at a nearby market. We spotted some Filipino vendors there. Actually, it felt like we were just visiting a place in Southern Philippines. The Muslim communities are very much the same with those in Mindanao. The feature of people which is Malay is very Filipino. Some Filipinos that we met even migrated there to work or build small businesses. The only that is far different from The Philippines is that their cars follow left-hand driving.

seafood feast
giant lobster!!!

shop! shop! shop!
We had a seafood feast at night for our dinner and it was my first time to eat a lobster. Everybody was full. We had some bonding and walkathon going back home but we never felt the tiredness and pain. We dropped by at a small convenience store and ate ice cream (thanks sir Frank for the treat!). 

But we didn’t settle for that, sir Frank gave us a dessert treat again at a nearby store, just few steps away for our lodge. 

By the way, we stayed at Kota Kinabalu Backpackers Lodge at Lorong Dewan. It was clean practical and "sulit" dorm type lodge for a short stay of a team. They also serve complimentary breakfast.

Actually, if this was not just a side trip, we could have gone to more places in Kota Kinabalu. Somebody offered us to do some island hopping. We're even told that there's a seafood restaurant with a cultural presentation (but this is not so near from the city proper). Given a limited time, we just enjoyed what we can do within the city.

It’s time to leave with such beautiful memories of our first ever international climb. The only sad things that happened were the lost expensive eyeglasses of Sir Frank (thankfully, it was delivered and returned the following day) and the lost USD400 that Bev and Paulo realized when we arrived at the Lodge. They are suspecting the money was lost during the climb. We reported it in Amazing Borneo and the advice they’ve given us was to claim via travel insurance. Who is who? With this experience, I am reminding you to bring your valuables at all times when you visit this mountain. Even the staffs in Pendant Hut were always reminding us to always bring them with us and never leave these important things. They seem to know that it normally happens in the place. Apart from this, we found everyone else nice during the climb as well as the whole trip. :-)

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