Hello from KL! We are finally back from our two-week stay in Sabah for the consular mission that my husband led. The past two weeks were so hectic and enlightening. Aside from the consular mission, we were also able to get to know undocumented Filipino kids who only have access to education through alternative learning centres.
But I’ll write about those things next time.
For now, I wanted to share with you photos of our walking tour of Kota Kinabalu’s (KK) main district which we did on a Sunday – our only break during the mission. We couldn’t go far even though I was dying to see the fireflies at the Kinabalu National Park because the following day was expected to be hectic.
No time for the beach either (insert sad-faced emoji here) so we decided to just explore the city and not go too far – make do with what little time we have there. KK’s main district is filled with budget hotels/hostels and restaurants that offer great food at very low prices. My husband and I actually gained weight there from all the eating we did.
It’s great for those who wish to go backpacking. When visiting KK, I suggest you make sure your visit falls on a weekend. That is, if you want to see and experience how Southeast Asian locals get their shopping on.
During my husband’s courtesy call on the mayor (where again, I was made to come with), he and his press officer told us to drop by the Gaya Sunday Market as most tourists end up with great experiences and finds there. So on Sunday morning, my husband and I walked to Gaya Street to find it closed to traffic as stalls selling almost anything you could imagine, lined up one of the city’s busiest streets.
But the ‘find’ that we wanted so bad was something we couldn’t have. We were ready to shell out for her, granted that she was going to to be filed under “impulse purchases” and she wasn’t cheap. However, customs restrictions in bringing her to KL and our condo not allowing pets, decided for us. We couldn’t make it happen. It was rather heartbreaking but we had to walk away.
We were told that the museum is open everyday from 9am-5pm and we can either walk to the place which may take over an hour or take a taxi for around 10-15 minutes. So we decided to drop by the harbour and the Filipino market first (which were nearer) before taking a taxi to the museum.
The Filipino market in Kota Kinabalu comes alive at night – around 6 or 7 pm. When we dropped by at day time, there were a good number of shops that were closed so it’s best to go in the evening. We then took a cab to the Sabah Museum. We paid RM15 for the 10 minute ride. Note that taxis in Kota Kinabalu do not use their metres. Even if the cab’s sign says ‘Bermerter’ (metered taxi). The minimum charge within the city is RM12 and it increases as you go further. It’s useless to ask the cabbies to use the metre instead as it’s common practice in KK to use fixed rates for cab rides.
Photos are not allowed inside the Sabah and Islamic Museum. But they’re both worth a visit as they discuss history and culture not just in Sabah itself but in neighbouring Asian countries as well and how people from different islands (now separated by modern borders) interacted with each other and lived harmoniously hundreds of years ago. The museum also discusses the not-so-distant history with old models of cellphones and computers used by Sabahans on display. Remember the Nokia 3310? Yeah, it’s a museum piece now. 😉
After the museum complex, we took a cab back into KK’s main district so we can get a massage and have dinner after. Our feet were sore and a short session of foot reflexology and a back massage was just what we needed. Posting more later. Love, Carol