Travel Day to Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu Travel Blog

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One of the many KFCs in town
This morning was my first day to sleep in so I tried to take advantage of it, but I woke up to the sound of the dive shop loading the air tanks on the truck just like the past two mornings.

After watching Jurassic Park on HBO, I spent the morning messing around and waiting for my taxi to the airport. After the best Mango smoothie ever at Uncle Chang's restaurant, we were in the taxi the hotel booked for 100 RM. I mention the price because I paid 95 RM from the airport into Semporna, in a big, air conditioned taxi. The taxi we had was much smaller and had no A/C. The best part was about 10 minutes into the taxi ride, he gets a phone call and then pulls over. In a few words of English and us asking a few questions, it sounded like we were getting a new taxi with A/C. So when a car pulled up behind us, we got out to get into the new taxi (which was now surrounded by goats). Our taxi driver yelled at us and we got back in his cab. A guy got out of the other car and sat in the passenger seat saying he was a spare driver. I'm not sure why we needed two but at least he didn't rob us. Chris told me (after we were in the airport) that the last time that happened, a guy demanded money from him. Ah well, we got to the airport on time with time to spare.

Arriving in Kota Kinabalu, me and Chris parted ways as he had met local people when he was here a week before and they had invited him to stay with them while he was in town. I took a taxi into town and after what happened going into Semporna, I had the address of the hotel written down. Of course, the taxi driver didn't know the street or the hotel. Good thing I had my Lonely Planet KK map handy and I somehow managed to direct him near my hotel and then we found it.

KK definitely has a big city feel and is in no way comparable to Semporna. I can see why people would come here first and then go to Semporna instead of the culture shock from going from a Western country to a small town in Borneo. I walked around and saw a few KFCs, a Starbucks, Roxy, Quicksilver, an Aussie restaurant next to an Irish Pub, all stores and restaurants we'd see at home all the time. This was a bit too boring so I sought out the night market and ate some food a guy cooked up in a wok. I bought some super fresh melon that the girls were cutting up in front of me and some dried bananas for tomorrow. After that I found the Filipino market where everyone seems to be selling sunglasses, wallets, watches or jewelry. I might have to make my way back there tomorrow night and do some shopping. It started raining and it felt soooo nice since it's about 30 degrees before the 95% humidity.

As I was walking around trying to find an internet cafe, I walked along a street with a few open air restaurants that had their seating out in the sidewalk. There were TVs pointing out towards the tables. On one of them (the busiest on the street), Baywatch was being played. Good ol' Hoff! It took me awhile but I found an internet cafe. It's in a 4 storey shopping mall hidden on the top floor. I will also come back here and do some shopping in the air conditioning :)
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One of the many KFCs in town
One of the many KFCs in town