Kota Kinabalu, Sabah–don’t change in a hurry please
Kota Kinabalu in local Chinese dialect means “City of the Chinese Widow.”
Located in the northwest coast of the world’s 3rd largest island, Borneo, Kota Kinabalu or “KK” as it is known to locals, is clearly different from state capitals in West Malaysia.
Beautiful sunsets–Visitors and locals alike can be seen strolling along the waterfront in KK enjoying the glorious sunsets
The most obvious difference is the way the city is laid out and how it is much cleaner than Georgetown, Penang or Kuala Lumpur.
When I sat down and ordered my food, I didn’t feel like the folks serving me were rushing me to finish so they can clear the tables and make room for the next customer.
Food to die for–The mouth-watering fragrance of of vendors barbecuing fish over banana leaves makes me wish I had asked for their recipe.
On our trip from the KK airport to our hotel, Seri Borneo Hotel in the Sinsuran Kompleks, it was amusing to hear our cabdriver lament that there was a traffic jam ahead when the flow of traffic slowed a little and speeds returned to normal within minutes.
Evening fun–From our 2nd floor hotel room, we had a choice view of the happenings around town. Late night crowds gathered at open air coffeeshops to watch all of things, WWF Wrestling on tv!
Seri Borneo hotel shares the same owner as D’Borneo Hotel located a block away.
If you’re looking for a budget hotel in the range of 80 ringgit for a single room, this is a good choice.
My family of 2 adults and 2 kids slept comfortably in a good sized room with 2 queen sized beds for 147 ringgit a night. That is currently about US $42!
Seri Borneo is walking distance to Center Point where you can find moneychangers, internet cafes and shopping. We especially liked its proximity to the waterfront area which featured pubs and outdoor restaurants.
Right in front of the hotel is where cabdrivers gather, so if you need to catch one, what else could you ask for?
On the same block as Seri Borneo are a strange collection of businesses.
Paul Kana, owner of Mega Laundry runs a no-nonsense business yet maintains a great sense of humor about things.
But worthy of mention is Mega Laundry. In fact this little laundromat owned by an Indian gentleman by the name of Paul Kana is mentioned in 2 travel books.
Paul’s business is the only laundromat mentioned in the Lonely Planet’s “Guide to Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.”
Paul’s business is open everyday of the year. I struck up a conversation with this very personable man when I asked about his sign. “Rules of the Shop”
- No Utang He doesn’t do work on credit.
- No Pinjam He doesn’t loan out clothing
- No nonsense
- No Politik.
- No Smoking.
Great rules to live by if you ask me for any business owner.I brought him 3 kg of laundry in the evening around 5pm, and he had it ready for me a little after noon the next day.
He charged me a whopping 11 ringgit! (US $3.15) And that was for a rush job! Too bad I live so far away in California or he’d be getting all my business.
If I had a word of advise to first-time visitors, it would be to head over to the east coast of Borneo because of the major attractions are a closer drive from the city of Sandakan.
Also if you happen to fly Air Asia, do have their phone number handy. Be sure to call a day before you fly to see if they are any delays.
They had this nasty attitude that they can delay flights on a whim without informing its passengers. And the delay wasn’t just for a couple hours.
The charm of the place was unmistakeable.
No hustle and bustle and the folks were very friendly.
Since this very reclusive primate is found nowhere else on Earth except in Borneo, we really couldn’t say we were here without seeing them in their natural habitat, could we?
This excursion to see these monkeys in their natural habitat by a river included tea when we arrived and dinner following our river cruise cost 145 ringgit (US$52) a child and 185 ringgit (US $53) an adult.