Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (Part 1)

Posted: September 25, 2012 in Blog, Travel
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Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
ITLog No. 02
(January 15-19, 2011)

Kota Kinabalu, formerly Jesselton is the capital of Sabah state of Malaysia, is a growing resort destination due to is proximity to tropical islands, lush rain forest and Mount Kinabalu. It is located at latitude 5.98333° and longitude 116.06667°. As of the 2000 census, its population was 354,153, with an estimated metropolitan population of 900,000. Facing the South China Sea and Tunku Abdul Rahman Park on one side, and with the mighty Mount Kinabalu in the background, Kota Kinabalu sprawls for kilometers along the coast and inland.

The City of Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah. Located on the west coast of “the Land Below the Wind”, under the watchful eye of majestic Mount Kinabalu, and on the fringes of the South China Sea, Kota Kinabalu is the bustling and colourful gateway to Sabah. Here you find the international airport, world-class hotels, innumerable restaurants and café shops, shopping malls and business districts. We call our fast developing and modern city with some 350,000 inhabitants simply and affectionately KK!

The town of Jesselton was renamed in 1968, as Kota Kinabalu. In 2000, Kota Kinabalu officially took on city status. Largely destroyed during World War II, KK, as the locals affectionately call it, has since developed into a modern city. As the capital of the State of Sabah, KK is also the gateway to other major towns and districts and home to around 300,000 people.

In the vicinity of the city, there are various places of interest including one notable landmark the 30-storey Sabah Foundation building at Likas Bay. This building is unique because it is one of the few buildings in the world to utilize a single column structure.

Having not tried any flights originating from Clark going out of the country, we booked a flight via Air Asia at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport. Leaving Manila at 0930hrs and arriving at Clark at 1100hrs where we had lunch in a Lomi House which serves lunch, then headed for the departure are of DMIA but the counter was still closed and was told to wait at the arrival are where we waited. Looking around DMIA, I was disappointed to see that to think that it was an international airport but the facilities was like a provincial bus terminal with their comfort rooms stinking and no working air-conditioning. By 1440hrs we were lounging at the pre-departure area waiting for out flight, and by 1600hrs was leaving Clark and headed for Kota Kinabalu. Nearing Kota Kinabalu, the pilot announced, that due to heavy rain and poor visibility at the airport, we were told that we would be circling around Kota Kinabalu and wait for good visibility to land. After a while, we were told by the pilot that we are landing at Labuan Airport, and while getting ready to land at Labuan, the pilot told us that we will proceed back to Kota Kinabalu and was cleared to land. After a rough landing due to some rain we landed at Kota Kinabalu International Airport where we walked thru immigration and claimed our baggage and took a cab heading to our hotel. Arriving at Century Hotel where we checked-in our bags (after some clarification of our booking) then headed to Sinario Café and Catering where we ate dinner, and after buying some things at the convenience store we headed back to our hotel to rest for the night.

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Waking up around 0700hrs to bath, and by 0800hrs was heading for Gaya Street to see the Sunday Market. One of the main streets of KK, Gaya Street used to be known as Bond Street. The street is closed to traffic and transforms to a mega fair every Sunday morning and is the place where locals come to buy their goods. You can find almost anything at the Fair. From local handicrafts, souvenirs and clothing to food, drinks, Chinese medicines, delicacies and even animals like chickens and pet dogs, can be purchased for very reasonable prices. It also is a good opportunity to try out your bargaining skills.

Having not eaten breakfast yet, we ate at Restoran Nuryana, which we ordered Soto Daging and Teh Tarik. Going around Gaya Street, we saw a lot of cheap goods and food, which we tried to taste the food that we have not seen until now. Buying a lot of souvenirs for back home, then heading back to the hotel by 1100hrs, heading for Warisan Square to take the free bus to 1Borneo Hypermall, where we met up with friends.

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Taking the free 20-minute bus ride to 1Borneo, the much hyped about biggest hyper mall on the island of Borneo at 4.8 million square foot complex, it was indeed spectacular.

1-Borneo the largest Lifestyle Shopping Mall in Sabah consists of 4 international & regional chain Hotels, Condominiums, Auto city, Oceanarium & Discovery centre, Handicraft & Cultural Centre, Spa & Fitness Centre, Amusement Centre, Bowling Centre, Cineplex, Gourmet Lane. Giant Super market is the anchor tenant. 1Borneo is strategically located on 23.3 acres of prime land along Jalan Sulaman Highway, adjacent to University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) with close proximity to the state and federal administrative centers. 7 km southward of KK City along the Jalan Sulaman Highway surrounded by lush greenery overlooking the majestic Mount Kinabalu,

1 Borneo is set to be the ultimate shopping experience in Borneo Island to be enjoyed by locals and foreign tourists alike. 1Borneo is nestled in the middle of a growth triangle formed by the Federal Administrative Centre, the fast growing ultra modern University Malaysia Sabah and the upcoming Alamesra Township.

Eating at a restaurant below the mall, with viands costing just RM1.00 (PHP14.00) each, and drinks costing about RM2.00, and was full after eating. Heading to Tunes hotel to the room of our friend we stayed there for a while and drank some beer, then went around the sides and ate some ABC (Halo-Halo here in the Philippines). Then by 1830hrs was back at the city center and headed for the Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Market (formerly known as the Filipino Market) where we ate grilled prawns, squid, and fish. Costing about RM10.00-15.00 for the big fish (good for 3 persons), RM5.00 for the squid and prawns, with RM1.00 worth of seaweeds (LATO) and the good tasting sauce that they had. Buying some cold colas beside the tables to wash down the good tasting food and then walked around the city heading for our hotel, which by 2000hrs was back and freshening up to rest for the day.

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All photos are owned and copyrighted by Joey Rico (also known under these names: alien_scream).
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use, copy, editing, reproduction, publication, duplication and distribution of the digital photos, without his explicit permission, is punishable by law

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

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