Adventure, Local, Travel

Day 1 & 2: Snorkel + Rain + Hell @ Kota Kinabalu

22nd March 2007 Thursday (Day 1)
The journey from LCCT to Kota Kinabalu took about 2 hours and 30 minutes. We touched down at Terminal 2 about 3 minutes before midnight. *yawn* Because we booked the KK mountain climb and hostels stay with a local KK tour operator, they provide transport to pick us from the airport. Yipeeee!

Our accommodation for the night and the next 2 nights was at Step-in Lodge, a budget hostel that cost RM35 per pax a night (air-conditioned).

Step-in Lodge is strategically located near the famous Filipino market @ handicraft market, night market, restaurants and shopping malls. I like this lodge because it makes me feel at home. Besides that, the place is clean and the staffs are ever helpful.

23rd March 2007 Friday (Day 2)
We woke up a little late due to our ‘midnight’ journey yesterday. Our first stop is the first floor of Step-in Lodge where we had our breakfast=ROTI CANAI=Very bland.

After breakfast we gave our tour operator office a visit before heading towards Jesselton Point where we boarded a boat to Sapi Island. The 5 coral islands namely Sapi, Manukan, Mamutik, Gaya and Sulug formed the fame National Park known as Tunku Abdul Rahman Park.

We stopped by Mamutik and Manukan Islands for others to disembark before being dropped off at Sapi Island. The boat ride cost RM17 per pax. Renting of snorkeling gear cost RM5, life jacket RM5, flippers RM5.

Both sis and me have been yearning to snorkel for a long time and now this is our chance. The first few tries were quite awkward.

I definitely like snorkeling. Maybe I’ll aim for Langkawi next with my parents. Hope they’ll share our passion as well.

We didn’t go deep as we’re not so confident in the water although my sis knows how to swim better than me. So it’s just these tiny little fishes and us.

Unlike us, Dreamcatcher and Jidane had plenty of chance to view the large fishes and ‘dead’ corals in deeper water. Yes Dreamcatcher, we should have gone to Manukan Island. Next time then!

About 1.5 hours later rain started to pour… shit! We continued to snorkel until at a point decided to give up.

Not long after that our 2pm boat arrived. It was still raining but we just do what we gotta do… boat arrives, we jump in, sit down, boat moving and then I realised the sea was very rough. I’ve never been on a wild sea before. Ohmygod!!! It was one hell of a bumpy and SCARY ride. Our face was fired with hundreds of bullets rain. Now I know how motorcyclist feels. But hor the rain provide some kind of face massage leh.

Jidane has another idea:

Like it’s not hell enough, the boat stopped at Manukan and Mamutik Islands to bring in more passengers.

All in all, we arrived at the jetty safely (thank god!), drenched with rain+sea water! We waited for quite sometime in Jesselton Point for the rain to stop. Then we took a taxi back and rested at our cosy lodge until night.

For dinner, we circled nearly all the Kampung Ayer area before settle in at the Kampung Air Food Court. At first glance I knew it’s gonna be an expensive dinner but we couldn’t go anywhere else as another batch of rain started to pour.

Well the foods were great actually; the local sayur manis is wonderful, peach chicken is tasty and patin fish is yummy. Total damage RM80+. We had 3 rounds of Scrabble before retiring to bed. What a day man!

My parents had seen the wild sea ride photos and luckily they didn’t panic. I guess the pictures didn’t paint the situation well enough and also without the live sound effect like Ahhhhh, Ouchh, Woooo, Dup Dup-loud heard beats, Brrrrrr-cold.

I like KK town a lot but I don’t fancy the night life as I can see many ‘karat faces’ there. Ohh btw my sis friend informed that the area behind Kampung Air Food Court is da place where ‘chicken’ roams. If you know what I mean. 😉

p/s: karat faces mean people who looks like bad people.

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  • Reply Sha April 3, 2007 at 10:49 am

    That budget hostel looks nice and cozy. I’ve stayed in several, and not all of them are in livable conditions. Like can you believe that was no heating system in the middle of winter in Vegas? 🙂

  • Reply amanda April 3, 2007 at 11:27 am

    6 days n 6 nites….is tat too much for u? n do v actually need to spent 6 days there…to me it sounds to long…3days, is ok..

    btw, they had nice room there for u…i thought u need to camp..

  • Reply hcfoo April 3, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    The budget hotel looks nice wor.

    The water is aqua blue! And very clean.

    So no place to hangout at night, eh?

  • Reply moz monster April 3, 2007 at 5:16 pm

    Sounds like you had fun ! I’m definately going to KK … now there’s a HUGE reason for me to go there … 😀

  • Reply J April 3, 2007 at 8:05 pm


    Looks like you had a lot of fun!
    (Nice photos!)

  • Reply Che-Cheh April 3, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    Sha, yeah the place is very cozy.
    I understand how you feel. I experienced the same thing at Gunting Lagadan….no heater!

    Amanda, 6days 6nights is too short for me. I wish I have 2weeks. I still have tonnes of places to visit like Tamu at Kota Belud, Sepilok, etc.

    Hcfoo, there’s place to hangout but we prefer our cozy room. Haha

    Moz Monster, hmm what’s the HUGE reason? :hehe:

    J, wait till you see the mountain. Hai can faint. So beautiful.

  • Reply dreamcatcher April 4, 2007 at 7:05 am

    heh!heh! with all that sputtering n swallowing of sea water, clumsy balancing… n not so many fishes to be had, i didn’t think it exactly as a great first time snorkelling experience. glad u enjoyed it tho’. 😉 😉

  • Reply Mo-C April 6, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    The hostel looks very comfy.
    Glad that you make it – the climb and the snorkeling.

  • Reply Che-Cheh April 6, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Dreamcatcher, aiyooo I was that bad meh? :tongue: hehehe

    Mo-C, thank you. :skull:

  • Reply narrowband April 7, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    Wow!!! Damn fun wehh!! I hope to climb Mt K this year! Last week I went to the Kuala Tahan National Park – It was damn fun too. Will write about it soon.

  • Reply Che-Cheh April 8, 2007 at 10:40 am

    Narrowband, WOW Yes tell us your story. Did ya climb Gunung Tahan?

  • Reply Yvy April 9, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    hhhmmm…..good leh!!! i love snorkelling too….if u want to go to langkawi – dunno la if still good or not. too commercialised liow lor. also, did u manage to visit the cultural village arr? monsopiad or something like that – i heard it’s nice leh.

  • Reply Che-Cheh April 9, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    Yvy, I visited Langkawi once more than 10years ago. This time I’m going there mainly to just relax by the sea…and hopefully can snorkel. Hehe.
    Nope didn’t go to cultural village. I think the place is way out of KK city.

  • Reply Pei August 1, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    May i know what local tour u all join for the 5 island hopping and also whitewater rafting ??

    • Reply Che-Cheh August 1, 2017 at 11:21 pm

      Hi Pei, our Mount Kinabalu climb, accommodation and whitewater rafting were booked with Exotic Adventure.

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