2020,  Malaysia,  Sabah

Sabah Trip 2020 : Kota Kinabalu

We had our connecting flight by Scoot to Kota Kinabalu departing in the afternoon from Singapore. The flight was calm and enjoyable, and we managed to get a few hours of much needed nap. We arrived at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKIA) at 7.20pm. After breezed through immigration, we proceed to the arrival hall and headed to Digi counter to collect our pre-booked SIM card. Once activated, we went outside and ordered a Grab Car to our accommodation downtown.

Designated area for Grab Car pick up at BKIA

We stayed for 2 nights at Hotel Five 2, located at Kampung Air. The room is on the small side, but enough to crash the night. Bathroom also got working water heater, which is a plus. Room is also made daily (or so i assume for my 2 nights stay). Electric kettle is provided, but no bottled water in room. They do have a water dispenser at the lobby, though. But since our room was on the 4th floor with no elevator, it was quite a trip to make. I know i forgot something from my hotel checklist when booking this hotel : finding out whether they’re a high raised building with an elevator or not. We both hate stairs. But it was a good stay overall, where we had good undisturbed sleeps during the night.

Hotel Five 2 Kota Kinabalu. Pic taken from booking.com but same as the real one

After checking in, we then walked around to find some dinner. We crossed the big road passing through Sinsuran Night Market, mostly sells apparels and trinkets, and on to the KK Waterfront, the center of night food market in KK. Here, most of the stalls are offering fresh seafood and the BBQ chicken wings. Feeling sleepy and didn’t have much more energy for a combat with crabs or lobsters, we then decided to just head back to the hotel, making a stop at *tadaaa* KFC that we passed earlier.

God, i love Malaysian KFC!!! Their chicken is 100% better than Indonesian (though our chili sauce is a lot better, to be fair).

The next day, we have a plan on picking up our rental motorbike. We headed out from the hotel at 9AM, and went to the mamak stall next to our hotel for a breakfast.

Then we ordered a Grab Car to Wisma Sabah, where our motorbike is. We have scoured the internet for the best company that offer an unlimited usage. As you know, we will have long miles ahead of us. After a careful consideration and back and forth Whatsapp messaging, we decided to use the service of Gogo Sabah. We got charged MYR 300 for a 6 days rental of Honda Wave 110cc. After finished with the paper works, we are free to bring our motorbike around.

At Gogo Sabah’s office

Initially, we planned to visit every highlights of the city, like the Bandaraya Mosque (was  closed for outside visitors because of the virus at that time), Signal Hill Observatory Tower, and finish it all up at Tanjung Aru Beach for sunset. I planned everything perfectly, enjoyable for our pace and interest.

But the heat was barely bearable.

So we decided to head to Imago Shopping Mall to escape the heat and probably find some lunch. But most of the restaurant were closed (either due to the virus or this place is more of a night hangout place, we don’t know for sure), and ones that opened didn’t wet our appetite much. Then we make a turn to visit Mr. DIY, the one store that everyone needs yet loathe, to find the kids some toys.

We came in with something in mind, and went out with bags of unimportant stuff. Tell me we’re not alone.

Then we quickly Googled on where to have our lunch, and found that we had to try Sinsuran Sang Nyuk noodle while we’re in KK. So off we went. The place was located in one of the busy shophouses complex. We came past lunchtime, so the place wasn’t too busy. Alvin picked the noodle soup, and i picked the kon lau mee or the dry noodle (in Peninsular Malaysia it’s popularly called wantan mee), with a separated soup bowl. And dang, it was GOOD!! The pork broth was so thick and savory, mixed well with my sweet soy sauce covered noodles. Total cost for 2 noodles, 1 iced tea, and 1 iced coffee was only MYR 22.90.

It was 3.30PM, and actually a good time to head to Tanjung Aru Beach for a good relaxing time and the sunset, if it’s not burning hot. So being the lazy sloths that we are, it was then decided that we just go back to the hotel for a nap. Hey, we’re on a holiday, after all!

The perks of our accommodation in KK is that it’s surrounded by lots of eateries. KFC, coffee shop, seafood place, mamak stall, all is there. So we tried another mamak stall for dinner, where i ordered fried noodle, and Alvin had is fixed of rice with fried chicken.

Then we head back to the hotel, spent some time online catching up with the world, and then went to sleep. The next day will be a long and arduous journey, including the hunt for petrol for tens of kilometers.

Keep watching the space for the next part (hopefully) soon, and STAY HOME TO STAY SAFE!


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