Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia (2017 December)

Kota Kinabalu (KK), Malaysia

I have never been to East Malaysia. Since I wanted to go back to my family at Malaysia, and, AirAsia has Hong Kong-Kota Kinabalu route, we decided to give ourselves a short vacation here before flying back to west. We booked everything just to realise it’s going to be rainy season.

Travel type: Couple
When: 2017, December 9-13
Weather: Rainy
Flight: Airasia (Hong Kong >Kota Kinabalu, 3 hours)
Flight fare: HKD1900/2 pax, with one 20kg checked baggage (HKD150) & insurance (HKD60)

Our Itinerary

Day 1
We reached KK Airport around 1pm and took Uber (merged with Grab since 2018 April) which cost about MYR11 to Horizon Hotel in 20 minutes. Wanted to swim at the pool but it was raining. Nothing much in our plan, so we headed to have body massages at the hotel. Not good.  :-|
horizon-room-kk kk-horizon-hotel-washroom horizon-hotel-kk-massage

Dinner at Signal Hill Eco Farm. Uber fare, MYR11. Nice ambience, but the steam chicken we ordered was quite expensive, MYR70 for half chicken. We like the kale juice by the way. Favourite item of the meal!
dish-eco-signal-farm-kk kale-juice-eco-signal-farm-kk signal-hill-eco-farm

Day 2
Gaya Street Sunday Market, just right in front of our hotel.
gaya-street-sunday-market-kk kk-gaya-sunday-market-bookmark gaya-street-sunday-market-coconut-shell straw-broom gaya-street-sunday-market-bonsai kk-sunday-market-handicraft

Drove from Kota Kinabalu to Kundasang  after lunch with our rental car. Made a few stops along the way:

Mount Kinabalu Lookout
The weather wasn’t that great, the cloud was so thick, no blue sky, so we couldn’t get a nice view of Mount Kinabalu.

Kundasang War Memorial
The memorial is to commemorate the brave Australian and British Prisoners of War who died in Sandakan and during their marches to Ranau during World War II. It also recognises the Natives who risked their lives to help the prisoners of war. Entrance fee: MYR2 for Malaysian, MYR10 for others.
mt.kinabalu_from_kundasang_war_memorial potrait kundasang_war_memorial_board

Reached our Kundasang accommodation, Dream World Resort around 4.30pm. Unable to get a good night sleep because of the noises the strong wind made.

Day 3
Double rainbow on the morning we woke up! How wonderful!

We walked to the nearby Sosodikon Hill after breakfast at the resort. Small hill but you get beautiful views there. Entrance fee: MYR3
sosodikon-hill-gatesosodikon-flag-malaysia-torn sabah-sosodikon-hill-kundasang sosodikon-view sosodikon-hill-photo

Nearby is Desa Dairy Farm, Malaysia version of New Zealand, where you find those black & white cows. It was a Monday, and was very crowded. Well, it was school holiday. We thought it will be cooler up there, but that day, was a very sunny day. Entrance fee: MYR5.
You get to feed the cows & goats: milk feeding MYR1.50, grass feeding MYR1.
desa-dairy-farm desa-dairy-farm-black-white-cowsdesa-dairy-farm-feed-cow-milk desa-dairy-farm-feed-cow sabah-desa-dairy-farm-black-and-white-cows

Next, drove further to Poring Hot Spring. Didn’t get into the hot spring. The pool was super crowded. Instead we went for the Canopy Walkway. Entrance fee: MYR3 for Malaysian, MYR5 for others. Check other entrance fees in the image below.
canopy-walk canopy-walkway-poring poring-hot-spring map-poring-hot-spring-ranau-sabah-kinabalu-park entrance-fee-poring-sabah-kinabalu-park

I noticed a signboard saying “Arnab Village” while on our way to Kundasang. So we decided to check this place out on our way back. Arnab Village is a large rabbit park in Sabah, and the first there. Arnab = Rabbit. Entrance fee: MYR5
sabah-arnab-village-white-rabbitsabah-arnab-village-rabbit-park sabah-arnab-village-rabbit arnab-village-sabah-rabbits

Finally drove approximately 3.5 hours back to Kota Kinabalu in the heavy rain. Stayed at The Pacific Sutera Hotel for 2 nights.

Day 4
Fortunately the weather was fine. We were worried since it had been raining a lot for the past few days and we planned to go to the beach. We only opted for an island worrying the weather might turn worse later that day, which it didn’t. There are 3 islands to choose: Manukan, Mamutik & Sapi. We chose Sapi Island. MYR28/person including life vest and snorkelling set. Also another MYR10 as Environmental Conservation Fee upon reaching the island. Was a bit disappointed because the sea water was full of litters. Not sure if it was caused by the heavy rain for the past few days or…. The water got clearer later in the afternoon, and the fishes can be clearly seen swimming around. Lots of them!
sapi-island-beach sapi-island-sabah sapi-island-clear-water-fishessnorkelling-sapi-island-sabah sapi-island-snorkelling-fishes sapi-island-sabah-2 sabah-kk-sapi-island-3 sapi-island-jetty sabah-kk-sapi-island-jetty

Spend the evening relaxing in The Pacific Sutera Hotel. Swam a bit in the pool and enjoyed the beautiful sunset.
pacific-sutera-hotel-beach pacific-sutera-hotel-sunset-1pacific-sutera-hotel-swimming-pool pacific-sutera-hotel-beach-kids pacific-sutera-hotel-sunset-2

Dinner at Seafood Place Restaurant. Expensive and I ended up with terrible diarrhoea for the next few days.  :cry:

Day 5
Spent the final day visiting some tourist spots of KK.
Kota Kinabalu City Mosque
kk-city-floating-mosque-1 kk-city-mosque

Kota Kinabalu Waterfront
kk-waterfront-seafront-ferry kk-waterfront kk-waterfront-fish-statue

IMAGO Shopping Centre - We were stuck here for some time due to my diarrhoea. Must be the dinner last night.
imago-mall-kk-sabah imago-mall-kk-xmas

I think I will visit Kota Kinabalu again in the future, with clear sky and another beautiful island! I love Malaysia! Cheers!  8-)