Yeah I just returned from a 3 days 2 nights trip to Kota Kinabalu! It was my first visit to Sabah and what a fun and gastronomic experience it was! Had some pretty new and unforgettable experiences that I will never forget for the rest of my life.
The lovely food blogger couple of KampungBoyCityGal.com went on the trip with us too and man did we eat a lot of seafood lol. Like always, this is only a summary of our trip and more detailed posts will be done later.
We flew to Kota Kinabalu from KLIA with MAS, the journey took about two and a half hours.
Reached Kota Kinabalu at 11.30am and took a cab to our budget hotel – Lavender Lodge at Kampung Ayer. I didn’t expect traveling by taxi in KK to be so expensive, with flat rates of at least RM20 per trip (even it’s a short one!) And if you’re wondering, this place is called
Warisan Square Segama Waterfront behind Hyatt hotel.
Doing what food bloggers would do first, hunt for food! First stop Wiya Chicken Rice, where the rice is served in a pyramid shape lol.
Second stop, Yee Fung Ngau Chap (which tasted like Bak Kut Teh more) and Laksa.
Third stop, Roti Kahwin at Fook Yuen Kopitiam, which is basically just fluffy white bread with butter and kaya. Fook Yuen is like the Sabah’s version of Old Town Kopitiam, serving all sorts of toasts and drinks.
Expect to find lotsa marriage drinks in this coffee shop, from Kopi Kahwin Teh C to Susu Kahwin.
Visited the Filipino wet market, where all sorts of seafood is sold here BBQ style. There are also many, and I mean REALLY many BBQ chicken wing stalls around.
Then it was dinner time, seafood! We took a long walk from our hotel to Ocean Seafood Restaurant, a famous restaurant for tourists. Here you get to see A LOT of live seafood in tanks, it was a real eye opener!
Had 1kg of Kim Hiong Crabs (Kam Heong Crabs) and some other seafood that cost us… RM250! After that we went to stroll in Sutera Harbour Resort and along Tanjung Aru Beach. That ended our first day in Kota Kinabalu.
The next day, SL and I went to Sungai Padas for White Water Rafting, while KampungBoyCityGal went to the National Park. I did one of the craziest things in my life at Sungai Padas – body rafting, which was jumping into the river’s rapid and let the current take you.
I don’t know about you but it was definitely crazy for me because I can’t swim! Yeah I drank quite a lot of the ‘chocolate’ river water too lol. When the activity ended it was already 8.30pm, time for dinner! This time we took the hotel owner’s suggestion and went to Luyang Restaurant for their famous crabs. Visit my photoblog for a bigger photo.
But we were too late and all the prawns, clams and shellfish were sold out. So, we had a second round of seafood (lobster!) at the food court just opposite our hotel.
The third and also our last day, we had Mee Goreng Tuaran for breakfast before going to the Sunday Market at Gaya Street. It was niceeeeeeee.
The original Mee Tuaran, kolo mee style served with fish cakes and roasted pork.
The Sunday Market at Gaya Street is a must visit for all visitors to Kota Kinabalu. Very colorful and you can find a lot of unexpected stuff sold here.
Cats. And other pets like rabbits, hamsters, fish and tortoise.
If you are looking to buy souvenirs, this is perhaps the best place. Key chains like these are selling at RM10 every five or six.
Kota Kinabalu’s skies are clear and especially blue, super nice.
Went to Jesselton Point (passenger ferry terminal) to purchase our Island Hopping package. Remember to bargain for everything from food to goods to trips!
Took a speedboat to two islands of our choice: Manukan and Mamutik Island at RM25 per pax, we paid RM12 each for the snorkeling gears.
The jetty of Manukan Island. Although both islands we went are already heavily commercialized with resorts, the beauty still remains.
Do you know you can even parasail all the way from the jetty to Manukan Island?
You can either bring your own bread or purchase it at the counter to feed the fish at the jetty.
Me and SL snorkeling hehe.
Did some funny stunts while we were there as well. That’s me being flying-kicked by KampungBoy lol.
Mamutik Island is a much smaller island but the snorkeling spot here is much nicer compared to Manukan with more types of fish and corals to be seen. I swear I saw a tiny shark here! Too bad it started to rain afterward (look at the dark clouds)
When we reached our hotel it was already 5pm and we only had one hour for dinner before going to the airport. So we had our dinner at Sri Melaka, a Nyonya Restaurant well known for being reasonable price and serves dishes fast. This is ‘Sabah Choy’ aka Sabah Vegetable cooked with sambal belacan. If you ever visit Sabah this vegetable (tastes like kangkung but with a crunchier stem) is a must try.
Overall, I think we only explored like 5% or less of what Sabah has to offer and a second trip will be planned for sure. On the downside, KK’s food is not exactly cheap with the price comparable even to KL’s. And although seafood restaurants are abundance, the cheap ones patronized by the locals are just too far to reach on foot. And did I mention that the taxi drivers in KK do not switch on the meter?