Kota Kinabalu: My First Birthday Trip

It was my birthday trip.  Kota Kinabalu was the pioneer birthday-trip destination.  The first among many places that I would visit while celebrating my birthday.  I was supposed to go with one of my friends but she bailed out on me so I ended up going alone with Moche.  And that was the end of it.

Kota Kinabalu Day 1

The day started early with a very bad news.  But everything was set and we must proceed.  I was having some migraine and the queue at the Kota Kinabalu immigration was a mile long.  But Tropical Holidays Paradise was a really good travel agency.  Their manager actually went inside the airport to try to speak for us when I texted him that we were taking too long with the immigration.  But thankfully, we finished before he got to the immigration area.

Later on, the same manager treated us to dinner at a diner beside our hotel.  After that, we checked in at Cititel Hotel, a three-star hotel with a very central location.  A few minutes later, the receptionist was ringing our door to give me some medicine for my migraine.  Again, a treat from the manager.  Their customer service was really superb!

Cititel Triple Room Kota Kinabalu

Cititel Triple Room

Cititel Triple Room Kota Kinabalu

Cititel Triple Room

Kota Kinabalu Day 2: Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Spring

Mt. Kinabalu is the highest peak of South East Asia and its peak was visible when we visited it.  We were blessed with clear skies so we had the perfect view.

Mt. Kinabalu Kota Kinabalu

Mt. Kinabalu

Mt. Kinabalu Kota Kinabalu

Mt. Kinabalu

Tongkat Ali Coffee Kota Kinabalu

Tongkat Ali Coffee

Meanwhile, it was in Poring Hot Spring where I first had the chance to see Muslim girls swim.  It was pretty disconcerting watching them swim in long-sleeves, pants and Hijaab (veil).  I was really concerned about them catching a cold or something since once they get out of the water, they will be really cold all over because of all those garments retaining water.

Poring Hot Spring Kota Kinabalu

Poring Hot Spring

Later on, we got the chance to see the Raflesia, the world’s biggest flower.  According to the locals, they stink because of the rotten meat placed near them.  These meat attract flies which are in turn food to the Raflesia.

Raflesia - the biggest (and stinkiest) flower

Raflesia – the biggest (and stinkiest) flower

Kota Kinabalu Day 3:  Sapi Island Tour

The Marine Jetty was really impressive.  It was mandatory for everyone to register before getting on any of the boats.  And the water was really clean and so clear that you could see all the fish that were happily living there!

Auto-boats at the Marine Jetty Kota Kinabalu

Auto-boats at the Marine Jetty

the super clean waters of the Marine Jetty

the super clean waters of the Marine Jetty

This was where we learned the trick in fish feeding:  fill an empty mineral water bottle with bread, then as you go snorkeling, hold out the bottle before you and let the sea water fill up the bottle, soaking the bread and making it so soft that they float out of the bottle.  The fish would be guaranteed to swim to you.

Sapi Island Kota Kinabalu

Sapi Island

Sapi Island Kota Kinabalu

Sapi Island

Sapi Island Kota Kinabalu

Sapi Island

Sapi Island Kota Kinabalu

Sapi Island

Sapi Island Kota Kinabalu

Sapi Island

Dinner at the hawkers place

Dinner at the hawkers place

Kota Kinabalu Day 4

Free time a.k.a. wandering around the streets of Kota Kinabalu

chasingjayce at Kota Kinabalu

where next?

 

4D/3N Kota Kinabalu Itinerary courtesy of Tropical Holidays Paradise.  Thanks to Holidays Paradise for the wonderful KK experience. 🙂

March 12-15, 2010

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Jayce Cairo

Jayce is a linguaphile who speaks four languages and currently works as a translator to finance her various interests. Scoring very high on “Openness to Experience” on the Big Five Personality Test, she is an avid globetrotter who aspires to retire at 35 and travel for the rest of her life.

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