Next stop, Borneo!

Kota Kinabalu Travel Blog

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Julia confused at the train

People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Julia (Russia)

Arriving into Kota Kinabalu airport, we were surprised that there was no public transport running into town at 7pm, so walked to the main road and flagged a taxi, saving us 25% on the price of one from directly outside the airport. We were dropped in the centre and didn't really have any clue which hostel to stay in, but a security guard grabbed us and took us to his uncle's hostel, Summer Lodge. This proved to be a great deal as the hostel came with free internet, free breakfast, living room with TV and board games, hot showers and air conditioning all for $5 a bed. After freshening up, we walked around to find a bank and eat some street food and i was really surprised at how modern and clean the city was.

Mosque in Kota Kinabalu
It didn't have the edginess of Filipino cities, but it made up for that with its orderliness and lack of street children, if that makes sense?!

The following day we walked around the city a little bit and checked out some tours around Sabah. Unfortunately the weather wasn't too good and we got caught in a couple of downpours, so we got to play some Ludo and look at the Marlin in a roundabout for an extended period! Later in the day we sat in the hostel taking advantage of the free internet to update my wonderful travbuddy account and also we played some scrabble. Julia's surprisingly good to say English isn't her native and she even beat me with a score of 262 in one game!

On Sunday, the weather was pretty nice in the morning, so we took a long walk around the town and went to visit Sabah Museum.

Stilt house village
Outside there was an old steam locomotive and after studying it for a few minutes, Julia turned to me and questioned rather puzzlingly 'I don't understand where all the people sat'. After a bout of rolling around on the floor laughing, i finally put her out of her misery and explained that there used to be carriages and this was only the engine. For a smart woman, she sometimes says some really funny things! Anyway, we decided against going into the museum as they had tripled their prices for foreigners and were now trying to extort $5 for entry, which in Asia really is a lot for a museum. To put it in context its cheaper to visit the Forbidden City in China or Royal Palace in Cambodia.

Having changed our plans we headed to the nearby state mosque, which is really pretty, before heading into a poor area of town where there is Kampung Air (Stilt village). It was amazing to see these buildings sat on dirty smelly water, sat right beside brand new beautiful buildings. The people were really friendly though and seemed surprised at our presence. We walked back into the centre and got back to the hostel before the heavens opened. We never made it out again, opting for scrabble in the dry hostel conditions. Even though it is supposedly Borneo's dry season, it seems to rain every day!

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Julia confused at the train
Julia confused at the train
Mosque in Kota Kinabalu
Mosque in Kota Kinabalu
Stilt house village
Stilt house village
A Marlin escapes the fishing net
A Marlin escapes the fishing net
Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu
Mosque in Kota Kinabalu
Mosque in Kota Kinabalu
A local scaling a fish
A local scaling a fish
Stilt house village
Stilt house village
Contrast of rich and poor
Contrast of rich and poor