Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What To Do In Kota Kinabalu

Mamutik Island, Kota Kinabalu

I know this has been a long overdue post, excuse me while I get away from concrete jungle and get back to the awesome carefree life. Anyway this has been a long post I know but just to refresh your memories, this is the last post of a 3 part travel post from Brunei – Labuan – Kota Kinabalu.

Tips in Traveling Brunie (and what to do in Brunei): http://wanderinganneskie.blogspot.com/2013/04/tips-in-traveling-brunei.html

So with those links, you know how to get to Kota Kinabalu by ferry. Click those links above if you want to visit Brunei and Labuan of if you are coming from Brunei and heading to Kota Kinabalu.

We got to Kota Kinabalu (KK) in the afternoon of March 29, 2013. We came from our overnight stay in Labuan from a previous travel in Brunei. It took us about 3 hours to reach Kota Kinabalu from Labuan. Here are the breakdown of what to do in Kota Kinabalu.

If you are traveling from Brunei again click here: http://wanderinganneskie.blogspot.com/2013/04/tips-in-traveling-brunei.html

If you are traveling from Brunei to Labuan to Kota Kinabalu click here: http://wanderinganneskie.blogspot.com/2013/04/overnight-stay-in-labuan-malaysia.html

Reaching Jesselton Point, we took a taxi to our hotel (RM 14), De Galleria Hotel located at No 14, Jalan Sentosa, Kampung Air, 88000 Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Tel. Nos. +6088-264166 Fax: +6088-259166 email: contact@degalleriahotel.com. 

Jesselton Point Kota Kinabalu

Albeit the room is quite small and has one queen size bed (for those rooms without windows), the hotel was pretty neat and within our budget. It was RM 88 per night per room which is about Php 1,320 (if my multiplier is Php 15). We stayed there for about 4 nights. This hotel is actually a right choice if ever you want to go around the city. It is not near any malls but then again, it’s a walking distance from the night and food markets.

We roam around on our first night to check where we could eat and decided to try a street diner. Food was quite cheap too, you have to realize that we came from Brunei which was x2 of our actual expenses here. Anyway, our biggest mistake on our first night was not to ask where the night and food market is first, we did it after we ate our dinner. Good thing tho, we were able to see where it was and decided to eat there the next night.

Eat at the Night Market

Night Market, Seafood (Shrimps)

The night market is about 5-10 minute walk from De Galleria Hotel and its right in front of the Le Meridien Hotel. 

Tip in eating at the night market: Make sure you choose the fresh seafood, do not order the pre-cooked fish or squid or shrimps or any other. Make sure you get those that are still fresh. There are a lot of Filipinos there, you can speak to them in Tagalog if you want, they are usually very accommodating. Prices range from RM 10 to RM 30 for food.

Buy Treats and Gifts at the Night Market

Kota Kinabalu, Gift Market

If you are planning on getting people some stuff, you can get it at the shops near the night market, still in front of the Le Meridien Hotel. You can get Sarongs, Keychains, and the likes from there. Prices range from RM 10 to RM 50, depending on which you will get.

Go Island Hopping, or Swimming

Mamutik Island, Kota Kinabalu

On our second day, we were still deciding which island to visit, it was a toss between the famous Manukan Island or Mamutik Island, the locals there told us that Mamutik Island is better than Manukan. Besides, there were less people in Mamutik compared to Manukan Island. We stayed there until 4pm. 

Mamutik Island, Kota Kinabalu

Tip in going to the Islands, there are groups of companies who offer a boat to and fro transfers to either Manukan, Mamutik or provide island hopping, diving and snorkeling services. You can choose from any of them at Jesselton Point.

Manukan Island, Kota Kinabalu

The cost for the boat transfer for 1 island is RM 23 (Php 345) + Terminal fee RM 7.20 (Php 108) and Conservation Fee - paid on the island RM 10 for non-malaysian (Php 150) totaling to: RM 40.20 or Php 603 per person. 

Mamutik Island, Kota Kinabalu

If you are to go for 2 islands, they can give you discount instead of RM 30, they can give it to you for RM 30 plus the other fees such as terminal fee and conservation fee mentioned above.

Beware of the stingers in the island tho, as much as it is great to swim, there are a lot of jellyfish in these islands which made it difficult for us to enjoy what the ocean can offer.

Go for Canopy Walk and Enjoy Poring Hot Spring

Canopy Walk, Poring Hotspring Nature Park Kota Kinabalu

On our third day, we didn’t have any plans yet. We have not decided what to do or where to go on our supposed second full day in the island. We asked the staff of De Galleria Hotel (they were so nice to us and very accommodating that is why I recommend you guys to stay here), if they could give us someone who could provide a cheap package to Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Spring for the Canopy Walk.

It takes about 2 hours land travel from our hotel to Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Spring. The hotel staff told us to reach Qandra at Tel. No 014-3597814 (just add the area and country code) for the tour. She gave us a package worth RM 150 or Php 2,250 which includes land transfer, entrance fees and lunch. This was already a great deal as most of the packages ranges from RM 180 to RM 200 if you are in a small group.

You may email Qandra at gayagemilangs@gmail.com and check her website at http://www.intrasabah.com to book a tour.

Canopy Walk, Poring Hotspring Nature Park Kota Kinabalu

It was very refreshing to be with nature once again, the hike to the Canopy Walk is about 500meters then you have to get down from there, the walkway is 157.8 meters long and 41 meters high. If you have heart condition or afraid of heights, I suggest you stick to the Hot Springs. You can rent a room for 4 people for about I think RM 20 per room.

If you have RM 25 to spare per person to see the worlds largest flower (if its blooming), Rafflesia you can do so, just tell your guide that you want to see it so that he can drive you to another area where they have a garden. We did not do this even though Rafflesia was in bloom due to the price.

Watch a Movie in Suriah Sabah

Although this is not a touristy thing to do, we watched a movie and went malling in Kota Kinabalu, one of the biggest malls is Suriah Sabah which had cinemas. We didn’t have anything to do the next day as our flight got moved to the wee hours, so we decided to just chill and relax. Amazingly, the weather was quite gloomy that day. Good for us since we didn’t have to endure it.

Watching a movie here is cheaper than in Manila by about Php 50 haha. Just walk to the mall and don't take a taxi, taxi is quite expensive versus taking a bus or walking.

Anyway, should you be in Kota Kinabalu on your next trip. Be sure to get those in mind. Have a fun and safe travels.

No comments :

Post a Comment