July 26, 2013

Kota Kinabalu Free and Easy - part 2

Continuation from here ...

As soon as we reached Kota Kinabalu, it's time for a longggg hot shower! We haven't bathed since we arrived at Kinabalu Park. hahaha... And right after that, I went for a foot massage at a nearby spa to relieve the muscle pain.

The next morning, as expected.. the muscle pain became worse! It was still bearable though, thanks to the massage. I won't be able to get up from the bed if I didn't go for it. As I was having my breakfast, I was still contemplating on whether or not to go diving, cos I was afraid my legs would cramp during the dive. But after walking for a while, my legs felt not so bad so I decided to go.

So I went to Scuba Junkie office at around 8.30 am. There were 2 students who would be doing Open Water course, while fun diver for the day was only me. For fun dive, the rate is RM320 for 3 dives in KK Marine Park (Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park).

At around 9.15 am, we walked to Jesselton Jetty and took the speed boat to the marine park. It's very near, just around 15 - 20 minutes boat ride from the town. The marine park features 5 amazing islands comprising Gaya Island, Sapi Island, Manukan Island, Mamutik Island and Sulug Island. It is protected and monitored by Sabah Parks thus all visitors (divers or non divers) must apply for a permit to enter it.

As soon as our permits were settled by Scuba Junkie, we were dropped off at our respective dive sites. For the first and second dive, James, my divemaster brought me to Sulug Island. According to them, the diving here is ranked among the best in the marine park. We took a break for lunch at a restaurant on Mamutik Island, and for the final dive, we went to a dive site just north off the island.

The dive sites weren't as good as in Sipadan, Mabul or Perhentian but I still enjoyed it. And Thank God my legs were OK. Well.. the staff at Scuba Junkie actually told me diving even helps to relieve the pain.

Fun Dive 1 : Sulug Reef, 43 minutes, 19.2m max depth

Fun Dive 2 : Sulug North, 57 minutes, 16.3m max depth

Fun Dive 3 : Nemo Playground, 60 minutes, 10.2m max depth

Sorry no photos from the dive, cos I had no camera already since it died on me on Mount Kinabalu! -_-
The next morning, I woke up rather early cos the sun was already shining oh-so-brightly by 6 am! Still early but I went out wandering around the town. My legs were still in pain but I forced myself to go out and enjoyed what Kota Kinabalu has to offer.
Atkinson Clock Tower

This clock tower is very near to my hostel, like only 2 minutes walk. Built in 1903, it has the distinction of being the oldest standing structure in the whole of Sabah that survived the destruction of Jesselton (former name of Kota Kinabalu) town during World War II.
stairs to Signal Hill Observatory Platform

You can get a good view of Kota Kinabalu at Signal Hill Observatory Platform, the highest point in the town. But I didn't go to the observatory platform since I couldn't bear the thought of climbing up the stairs, and the climb down later. My legs would hate me forever if I went for it. T_T
there's a lot of roundabouts in the town centre

The locals call this roundabout as Todak Roundabout.
 row of male tailors outside of the Filipino Market

From the roundabout, if you walk to the left you'll reach the famous Filipino Market. Formally known as Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Centre, it's a bargain place for traditional arts and crafts, as well as souvenirs like the gorgeous pearl jewellery, beautiful sarongs and pareos and key-chains.

Next to Filipino Market is the Central Market. Don't forget to buy Kuih Cincin here! This is a traditional snacks in Sabah and what the state is famous for. I've never seen it in other parts of Malaysia so do remember to bring some back home.
varieties of local snacks at Central Market
one of the best Sabah souvenirs - Kuih Cincin
It was getting hotter by afternoon so I just spent the rest of the day at Suria Sabah shopping mall reading books while chillaxing at Starbucks and watched a movie.
Loved that all these attractions are within walking distance from my hostel. I think I liked Kota Kinabalu already. As I boarded the plane back to Kuala Lumpur the next day, I was already thinking of a repeat trip. After all, there's still a lot more in Sabah (and Borneo!) that I need to explore.

No comments: