I did most of the study for this trip from Lonely
Planet guide book. The launch of the budget airline "
Air-Asia " from Johor
Bahru, Malaysia made it easier to get a cheap ticket to Kota
Kinabalu. The tickets can be booked on-line.
Asia-Hotels website offers the best rates for Hotel
accommodations in Asia. I got my reservations done thru them for
Hyatt Regency in Kota Kinabalu.
Day 01 (Sunday Dec
The day started early in Singapore as I headed to Kranji MRT
station to board the causeway link bus to get me across the
border to Malaysia. As I went through the Malaysian immigration I
flagged down a cab to get me to Johor Airport (Senai). Air
Asia flights happen to fly from this airport.
I was to board the afternoon flight to Kota Kinabalu. The
flight was smooth without delays. I took a pre-paid taxi from
Kota Kinabalu airport to Hyatt Regency.
The downtown Hyatt is ideal
if you like to be near the good restaurants and Pubs.
In the evening I had dinner at
Ocean sea food
restaurant in Api-Api centre. The food was great
especially the Chilli Crab and steamed sea bass. I checked out
the Shenanigans Pub at Hyatt Regency. The music wasn't that
Day 02 (Monday Dec 08
Having booked the day trip to Kinabalu national park the
previous day. I was picked up at the hotel early at 7.30am.
The trip includes a long drive from Kota Kinabalu to Poring
hot spring stopping at a few souvenir shops along the way. The
canopy walk at 80m in Poring hot spring is great. The
trek on the dangling rope bridge does give a close up feel for
the flora and
fauna of this equatorial rain forest.A sumptuous
lunch was served in a restaurant at poring hot spring.
The next stop was at Kinabalu national park
which is 1623m above sea level. Having decided not to do
the trek up the mountain. I spent some time walking around
some trails at the park.
the way back there was a stop scheduled to
see the world famous Rafflesia flower.
Tried some Chinese food for
dinner at Port
view Sea food restaurant. This place was popular
with group tours. Popular items on the menu are butter prawn and steamed fish. The food was
awesome. Later I
Walked around the downtown and tried some local pub called
Day 03 (Tuesday Dec 09
Took a day trip to Tunku Abdul Rahmen National Park. The trip
was mainly to the islands of Sapi and Manukkan which happens to be
the best diving and snorkeling places in Borneo.
The package tour also included a introduction to sea walking which
happens to be new in Borneo. The marine life in Sapi was great. A
lot of colorful fishes very close to the shore.
A great barbeque lunch was organized in the island of
Manukkan. Lazed around the beach until the evening and hopped
on to the last boat back to the mainland.
The dinner today was at
Nelayan Floating Village restaurant
with Sabah cultural dance included. This place happens to be
the most popular sea food restaurant in Kota Kinabalu.
Surprisingly it wasn't expensive. The cultural show was also
well layed out.
Day 04 (Wednesday Dec 10
Started the day with a great
break - fast at a local food court. I had a early check out to
get my flight from Kota Kinabalu to Kaula Lumpur. After a
short flight for 2hrs I was at the bursting Malaysia capital.
A word of advice its easy to get to downtown by the new KLIA
express train. The taxi's are always caught in the traffic
jams. I had booked a room at the 5 star
Pan Pacific Hotel.
The location is great but the staff at front office are
The evening was spent
walking around the numerous shopping malls in KL. Tried some
Chinese food at Jalan Alor (near Jalang Bintang). Don't miss
barbequed Sting ray fish. It is very popular here.
China town is a great place to shop if you are looking for
some bargains and good local food.
The pubbing scene is great in Kuala Lumpur. Bangsa has good
selection of pubs. Its also a good place to get a feel of the
Day 05 (Thrusday Dec 11
The whole day was set aside
to explore KL by local trains and the mono rail. Its easy to
get around once you get a hang of it. The train lines link
China town, Little India and all the shopping districts.
Another land mark in KL never to be missed is the twin tower.
Its still the tallest building in the
world. The first few floor house a huge shopping centre and
some fine restaurant.
Checked out from Pan Pacific
in the evening to get my flight from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru.
the KLIA express train to the airport. It was a breeze. The flight
back was great and on time. There is also a connection bus
from Johor airport to
Singapore at a very reasonable price. But I choose to go to
duty free zone in Johor and try some seafood.
After the immigration at the border I was back again in
Singapore. What a great trip it was.