Kota Kinabalu

Touched down in Kota Kinabalu on Friday morning. We made all the bookings of air travel and rooms through the internet so didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. Checked into our hotel in the city, the Le Meridien and realised we had unwittingly booked into a five star hotel. Our room was enormous. Even the bathroom was huge. And we even had sea view and city view. And they stilled wanted us to upgrade.

Breakfast was a very tasty tom yum noodle at one of the coffee shop behind the hotel. Although we were staying in the city, there wasn’t really much to see or shop. We walked along the waterfront pretty much and went to the fish port, the markets, the handicraft centres and practically all the malls near the hotel.

Dinner that night was at Seri Selera, a seafood place where there were a few seafood stalls. We had fresh prawns, squid and noodles.
Yummy! Other than that, we didn’t know what else was good to eat in KK unlike say Penang which is famous for its CKT, laksa, etc… Nevertheless, we managed to spot another gem at breakfast the next day.

Breakfast the next morning was at this quaint little coffee shop selling fish meat noodle with yong tau hoo. The noodles are actually fully made of fish meat. Later, after collecting the race kits, went over to 1Borneo, the first hypermall in KK. Unfortunately, the place was new and a number of shops were still not open. Had a so so bak kut teh lunch before going back to the hotel. It rained after that so stayed in the hotel until nearly 8pm before going for dinner at the Chicken Rice Shop. This being the eve of the marathon, didn’t dare to try any street food and we could only look lovingly at the barbecue seafood along the waterfront.

After the marathon, we checked out and went up north to Nexus Resort, another five star hotel. 5-star hotel but no 5-star food. The buffet dinner was expensive but horrible. Unfortunately, while the spirit was keen to explore Mt Kinabalu and the nature reserve, the body was not too willing so we spent the rest of the day lazing around the resort. But other than the beautiful sea and scenery, there wasn’t really much things to do there. Tried to get M to go down to the spa but she baulked at the prices so we went back to the room after dinner for an early night.

After breakfast, wanted to book a day tour but got lazy to arrange and decided again to just explore the expansive hotel grounds. While exploring the beach, both of us got a foot massage and was lucky enough to have it finished off before it started to pour. On the recommendation of the massuer, we went to this seafood restaurant, Gayang, where we had the biggest lobster in our life.We also had a veg, a crab, noodle and another crab but somehow the restuarant got the bill mixed up and we ended up paying for a veg, lobster, crab and shellfish(which we didn’t order). Tried explaining to the cashier but nobody seem to understand what the fuss was about so in the end just paid up and left.

Kota Kinabalu can be quite a boring place with nothing much to do or eat and shop. But it has its charm. The place is clean, the people are friendly and polite and there is a dearth of beggars and touts which are ever present in JB and KL And so I will probably return but this time to scale Mt K:) Complete photo here:

Kota Kinabalu 2008