Borneo – Kota Kinabalu – 4 days off

After four weeks here we had four days off, so I decided to make the most of it and go somewhere different.  Four of us decided to fly to Kota Kinabalu, 30 minutes away, at a cost of £24 return.  Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state in the northern part of the island of Borneo. Often referred to as KK, it’s a coastal city partly surrounded by rainforest.  I didn’t fancy spending 4 days in a city, so found a great play to stay on the coast. We had 2 x 2 bedroom apartments, and it was a real bit of luxury compared to our accommodation here at Sepilok.

As we’d caught an early flight, we arrived there mid-morning, and spent the rest of the day just relaxing, swimming, and wandering on the beach.

 

I was pleased to see that my favourite flower was growing everywhere – the frangipani.  Its scent is just gorgeous.
Just before sunset there were hundreds of tiny crabs on the beach, and they’d scurry into their holes as soon as we approached.  They (or something else) made the most amazing patterns on the sand.   I think the one on the left looks just like a dove.

Whilst there, we had some beautiful sunsets.

The following day we went into KK to see the sights. We visited the Sabah State Mosque, the Sabah Foundation Building) which is a 30-storey tower block and one of the few buildings in the world that utilises a single column structure, the museum, the waterfront, and Signal Hill from where there is a good view of the city.

We finished our day with a visit to some markets, where they sell everything.  Fruit & veg, Meat, (smelly!)  Fish (also smelly) clothes, cheap plastic children’s toys, cheap jewellery, and dream-catchers.  Several cats were lounging around too, but not for sale!

It was interesting to see that clothes alterations are carried out on the street, and this man had obviously just bought a pair of trousers and was having them altered whilst he waited.

One day in the city was enough for me, and I was glad to return back to the ocean and another beautiful sky.

We had made the mistake of leaving a packet of crackers out in the apartment, and discovered three geckos quite happily sitting in it!  Needless to say, they went in the bin (the crackers, not the geckos – they were released safely outside!) The following day we went on a snorkelling trip to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park.  The sea was beautifully clear and there were quite a few colourful fish although it was sad to see that a lot of the coral is dead – a global consequence of rising temperatures in the ocean.

We also did a zipline over the sea from one island to another.  It was beautiful, but too quick, and I wanted to do it several times!

After we had returned to the mainland, we strolled along the waterfront, where tables & chairs were being set out, fires were being lit for cooking, and fish, lobster and crabs were being pulled out of ice filled cooler boxes and displayed on more ice so that people could choose their dinner which would be freshly cooked.  Street food at its best 🙂

Back at the hotel, there was another beautiful sunset.The following morning there was time for a swim and a walk on the beach before heading back to the airport and back to see our ginger babies!  It had been a lovely break 🙂


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