Kota Kinabalu is the capital of the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo. It is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, but it also has a grim history. KK was leveled during the second world war but nowadays it is one of the most developing cities in Malaysia. It was occupied but the Japanese and been influenced by the English for many decades. Quite an interesting history.
I arrived at the Tanjung Aru Resort. The weather is hot and humid, but you do get the occasional twenty minutes of heavy rain showers every day during lunch hours. Thus it dries up almost instantly.
The resort has a golf course, and some small beaches at the front, but they are full of crabs. The swimming pool area is OK. However, I did not travel this far to spend time at something which I have got back home. I want to discover the world-renowned beaches, snorkeling with the sea life and explore the corals, not to mention, my orange friends – the orangutangs.
It is possible to hire a boat, but I suggest with a guide. The beaches on the nearby islands are marvelous. I highly recommend “Police beach,” which is truly spectacular. Ask the boat driver to make a stop at the restaurant, which is built on pillars in that area (I cannot recall the name), but they will know. The seafood is caught and prepared right in front of your eyes. – it is unbelievably fresh and tasty.
The waters are crystal clear and full of fish and corals but watch out. Towards the end of the afternoon, it will be saturated with poisonous sea snakes. I was trying to catch a gigantic lobster but failed miserably. It was too fierce and evil looking. I could see the guide above trying to communicate with me. I reached the surface, and it was at that point I got to learn about sea snakes. I never crawled into a boat this fast!
Kota Kinabalu has some beautiful spots, but around the commercial harbour district, the waters are not clean. You will find yourself in designated areas within various resorts. You do need to exercise some degree of caution outside the resorts, especially when riding a bike. The people are amicable and very guest free but use your common sense. Be polite and respectful and appease their customs. Most are well educated and have got so much to teach and tell us foreigners about their history, places, and culture. I fell in love with the Malaysian people and cuisine!
Did you know the people in KK love Badminton? I was invited by a fellow named Justin to play some rounds at a nearby school. Holy cow, some of them were playing well and needless to say, I got my butt whooped!
The hotel contains everything you would expect from a five-star resort, It is possible to rent bikes and explore the museums and city as well. I was too impressed with the town as such, it is a vacation spot and full of souvenirs. Kind of Miami “beachish,” if you will! Support them by purchasing some souvenirs to sponsor their economy because they are really hardworking people and their sole source of income derives from tourism. Some arcades reminded me more of an average commercial center in Hong Kong though.
You must pay the Mosque a visit, be dressed and act appropriately when paying this place a visit.
Another fascinating experience is to participate in one of the excursion to climb Mt. Kina Balu and most importantly to pay a visit to the Orangutan Rehabilitation Center. These creatures are phenomenal, and we must protect them from total extinction. I lost most of my photos on my old hard drive and therefore had to use a photo by Frank Wouters. Thank you for this excellent capture, I guess one picture tells a thousand words!
Like this fella here enjoy your time, regardless of wherever you tune in from around the world.