Thursday, February 28, 2013

KK Trip Part 2: Kota Kinabalu

Last night we were the only few ppl left in the resort. We only saw one other group having breakfast this morning. after breakfast we start packing and head out to our next destination - KK. The journey down from Kundasang was much faster, it took around 1h 45mins to reach KK. We stopped at the 1Borneo shopping mall for lunch. We purposely went there today as we heard its jam packed during weekend. Parking was abundant and there were not so many ppl around. Managed to do 1 round of shopping before heading out to our hotel in KK city.

After some desktop research, we chose the Klagan Hotel for our accommodation. Check in was fast and smooth. We booked The Atrium Room - it has no view but it was compensated with the large room and huge bed. The room design is modern and it looked like it was recenlty renovated. However, we were disappointed with the housekeeping service. They only made our bed and empty the dustbins but nothing else. The carpet was not vacuumed, mugs were not washed, shower area was wet and slippery among other things. We really liked the room and the location and would love to come back sometime.there is a 24 hrs convenient shop just next to the hotel entrance, and shopping area is within walking distance (warisan square, the filipino market). After getting some rest, we went out again to explore the market and have seafood for dinner. 

1 Borneo

 it was a right decision to go there at night - we did not really feel the distance as it was cool and windy. KK as one of the city with  the highest irradiation in Malaysia can be really hot and humid during the day. we did not expect that the filipino market was still open at 9.00++ pm. however only half of the shops were still open by then, which is not an issue to me as did not plan to buy except for the pearls.. im more interested to buy seafood produce as its very fresh and much cheaper than in the peninsular. the seafood produce market opens until late .then we had dinner at the port view seafood as we do it was the nearest seafood place. the price is on the high side, however the food was good. we went there on a
weekday so it was not that crowded.

jam packed area.

seafood produce

pearls galore

Port View Seafood Village

The next day, our destination was to Pulau Manukan. Pulau Manukan is situated in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park National Park. There are a few other island in the area with Pulau Sapi being the best in terms of the beach and less crowded - according to my desktop research. However, we chose to go to Pulau Manukan as it was the most developed and has complete infrastructure as i was travelling with toddler. To get there, you have to go to Jesselton Point to catch a 15-20 minutes boat ride to the islands. Again, we were there on a weekday, so it was not crowded at all. Take note that it can get really crowded on weekends.
There are a number of operators, just pick one of them. However, be prepared for one hell of a ride. Most of the skippers here drives the boat like crazy. I was quite concerned as i was travelling with my 2 yo daughter. It was a really bumpy ride and it really felt like the boat can capsize just anytime. I did gave the skipper a concerned look but he chose just to ignore me and continued to drive like mad. hmm.. Well, i used to be adventurous, but i think i have mellowed since im now travelling with my daughter. :P

When u book ur tickets, u have to let them know in advance the time u intend to return to the jetty. However, in actual fact, the timing is not really being observed by the operators. it can be quite confusing as u wouldnt know ull be going back by which boat. u just have to be at the jetty and ask each boat operators if thats ur ride. 

All in all, Pulau Manukan was a disappointment to me. Visibility of the water is very poor. u can barely see anything. and the beach is very shallow, which is not really good to swim in (for me) - i like deeper waters. Maybe it was not the right season, i don't really know. It really can't compare to the Terengganu islands. Oh, how i miss the crystal clear waters and powdery sand beaches....... :( i havent been to any island for 3 years now. Before that it used to be a yearly ritual for me. We just spent a couple of hours on the beach and head back to the main island. U can also opt to island hop if u have the time and u want to do so. By this time (1 pm) the weather was really hot and humid - on the island as well as the mainland. We really just wanted to be indoors. Had lunch at the Nasi Padang Ibu (air conditioned :)) which was located in the Jesselton Point are - price was on the high side but the ambiance is nice as its located by the jetty and u can get a view of the jetty and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze if u choose to dine at the outdoor area. The rest of the day was spent in the city and our flight back to KL was early in the morning the next day.

Manukan Island Jetty

Nasi Padang Ibu, Jesselton Point

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