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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Kota Kinabalu City, Malaysia

Where to stay in Kota Kinabalu


First Day
We arrived in Kota Kinabalu on 23rd April 2015. Our sole purpose for this trip is to climb one of  the highest mountains in Southeast Asia. 

Arrival 8:05 pm in the airport, we took the cab from the taxi counter. Taxi fare to hostel: MYR 20

Check in Borneo Backpackers
SGD 15 /MYR 35 for 1 pax (dormitory) 



The Borneo Backpackers is a perfect place to stay just for the night. The hostel is just 30 minutes away from the airport and accessible to other food and shopping outlets. We were 10-15 minutes away from the night market where we had our seafood delight dinner. 

Sweet and Sour Fish: MYR 18
Crispy fried Prawns: MYR 18
Calamari: MYR 12
Mixed Vegetable
Watermelon Juice (ordered twice)
Lime Juice 
Coconut Juice
Plain Rice
Total: MYR 85 (3 pax)

We passed by a 7'11 outlet which is  10 minutes away from the hostel where we brought our water supply for MYR 10 each bottle. I didn't manage to bring any water bottle with me because it was taking up much space in my bagpack. The Evian 1 litre water bottle was the perfect carry-on luggage for our mountain climb, its not the usual long, thin plastic bottle. This bottle was medium in size , wider and whats really important is that it fits inside my small backpack for the climb. 

(24th-26th April Mt. Kota Kinabalu Climb)


Second Day

The next day we woke up early for a light breakfast provided by the staff. They offered coffee and bread for everyone. Afterwards, we went for a short hike in the Jungle trail located across the street away from the highway to see the Observatory Tower. A great warm up exercise for our dormant muscles. 

One of us was looking for a camera shop so we dropped by Suria Sabah Mall along the way, and decided to have lunch there too. Gadget is more expensive there maybe because its the only mall around the city area, or we just don't know where to look. 

We went back to the hostel to get our things ready, carelessly forgetting the check out time of the room. Good thing the staff was cool about it. 

12:30 Pick up from Hostel
From City to Kota Kinabalu HQ
Travel time: 2 hours (depends on the traffic)

It was raining with lightning and mild thunderstorm when we drove to Kinabalu Park. All three of us were looking at each other, knowingly praying for the rain to stop. We stopped by a small fruit stall to buy some bananas. It cost just around MYR 2 only and it might be even cheaper than that. The seller accidentally said MYR 1 at first then asked someone to translate for her that the fruit is more than the amount she said. It was still cheap compared to the grocery store so we still bought the banana.

The rain was calmer as we reached Kota Kinabalu Park HQ. We stayed positive that tomorrow the sun will shine brightly for our first climb. The great about that day is when the staff offered to upgrade our bed bunks to a small lodge for free! They actually offered two rooms for us but we declined the other room. The room was spacious, clean, with a bathroom and even has a heater fan. They didn't mind providing us extra blankets and a pillow. The genuine service they've provided made our stay comfortable even just for a short time. The view from the room was beautiful too, we can see the peak of the mountain peak from our window. 

The wifi zone was only located in one place around Kota Kinabalu HQ so say goodbye to gadgets and enjoy nature. Great thing about this hotspot place is that they have comfortable seats and a nice fireplace interior. They also sell souvenirs, gloves, head torch,socks, foods and a few necessary things for the climb.



Our Mount Kota Kinabalu Package was booked with Amazing Borneo. The trip itinerary in the package are as follows:

3D2N MOUNT KINABALU CLIMB: KINABALU PARK STAY 
Meals as Stated, 02 Nights Accommodation, Entrance Fee, Return Airport/Hotel Transfer (Seat-In-Coach), Return Transfer (Park HQ - Timpohon Gate - Park HQ), Mountain Guide, Climbing Insurance, Climbing Permit and Certificate, English Speaking Support Team

TOUR CODE: ABK-MK02 DATE OF TRAVEL: 24 - 26 APR 2015 GROUP SIZE: ADULT 03, KINABALU PARK HQ
DAY 01 PICK UP: BORNEO BACKPACKERS DROP OFF: KINABALU PARK HQ. 
Pickup from your hotel lobby and depart on a 2 hours journey to Kinabalu Park Headquarter. En route passing by villages and a panoramic vista of the valleys of the Crocker Range. Along the way, take a brief stop at Nabalu. Nabalu is a place where the local natives gather to sell local produce, fruits, home grown vegetables and handicraft souvenirs. Check into Kinabalu Park Hostel or similar. Rest of the day you are free at leisure. Dinner will be served at Balsam restaurant and overnight.

25 Apr 2015 PARK HQ / TIMPOHON GATE / ASCEND MOUNT KINABALU / LABAN RATA DAY 02. 
Breakfast at Park Restaurant. Thereafter, collect your packed lunch. Proceed to the Park HQ to register for the climb. Our guide will arrange for all necessary registrations, assign you a mountain guide and apply for your ID TAG. Remember to wear your ID TAG at all times. You'll then be transferred to starting point – Timpohon Gate – where your journey and quest to the summit of Borneo’s highest mountain begins! The climb will take approximately 4-5 hours. The trek will pass by different vegetation zones from Oak and Chestnut to mossy and eventually to alpine type of vegetations. Arrive and check in the late afternoon. Buffet Dinner at Laban Rata restaurant and overnight. 

26 Apr 2015 LOW’S PEAK / DESCEND MOUNT KINABALU DAY 03 PICK UP: KINABALU PARK HQ DROP OFF: SKY HOTEL. 
Wake up for early supper and depart for continuation of journey towards the summit of Mount Kinabalu. The journey up to the Low's peak @ 4,095m will test your fitness and determination. Depending on speed of trekking, you might be able to experience the glorious sunrise over the majestic Mt. Kinabalu if weather permits. (07:00hrs) Descend back to Laban Rata for late breakfast and check out. Trek down to Timpohon Gate for transfer back to the Kinabalu Park Headquarter (est. arrival 13:00hrs to 15:00hrs). Congratulations, you can now collect your Certificate of Achievement! Buffet Lunch will be served at the Balsam restaurant in Kinabalu Park. Transfer back to Kota Kinabalu City. Journey takes approx. 2 hrs. Note on Meals Arrangement: 1) Lunch will be converted to packed lunch today (Mt Kinabalu Descent) for climbers who arrived late and missed the lunch timing. Balsam Restaurant Lunch Time: 12:00 - 16:00 hour.

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