10 May 2010

Kota Kinabalu Highlights

KOTA KINABALU, the capital city of Sabah is our (me and wife) first stop, after 10 hours in the air via MAS, into our Malaysia holiday this year. It is the start of our holiday to see our respective families and friends after five years and to do some meaningful shopping given the strong Aussie dollar.

Sabah, is situated on the island of Borneo, for those who don't already know. It shares the island of Borneo with Sarawak, Brunei and Indonesian Kalimantan and is the second largest state in Malaysia, one of the thirteen states which make up Malaysia.

Sabah has the world’s largest flower - the Rafflesia and is said to have the worst smell that could come out of a flower ...not that I have personally smelled it. Sabah also boast to have the highest mountain in South East Asia - Mount Kinabalu and one of the world’s top dive sites - Sipadan Island. None of these will I get to smell, see or do on this trip, as the Rafflesia is in the jungles, Mount Kinabalu is covered by clouds and Sipadan is another day flight, drive and boat to get to.

The flower on the left is the hibiscus flower, the national flower of Malaysia. The orang utan on the right is one of the endearing personalities of Sabah.

Kota Kinabalu, KK for short, climate is generally hot and sunny all year round, at 32C. It is also humid and often the days are such that you may find yourself taking two or three showers a day. Thank God for air-conditioners. And when it rains, I mean really rains, it pours. That would explain much of the lush green trees and bush out in the jungle and the brownish water that flow from the waterfall which nevertheless is enjoyed by the local children.

While Sabah holds many potentially exciting adventures, with all it diversity in plants and animals, amazing places to see inland and off shore, the unique cultures and people, this trip will primarily be in and around KK. Still there is much to see and do in KK, like the waterfront and the islands just outside KK with its beautiful beaches. Friendly people to meet and capture in photos. I even got two extra dognuts for taking a photo of the women-folk at their store. There is of course the food, glorious food, the street food, the cuisines and deserts (kuih) that awakens long lost memories of smells and taste.

Hmmmm ....this trip will definitely add another centimetre or two to my waistline. Oh well, it is my holiday afterall.

One memorable moment during my time at KK, is watching the sun set over the horizon, seeing this from the peak of one of the many hills overlooking the city. Then after a hearty meal, it is an early night to bed with the air-conditioner and/or fan on, to dream about the hot sandy beaches, only to wake up bright and early, for a morning dip at the pool.

Now, isn't that living LIFE!

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