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Go to the waterfront complex in the city (where all the bars are) have a drink and a meal and watch the sunset.
If you dont want to eat there, have a drink, watch the sunset, and then walk 100 yds to behind the craft market and join the locals at the night food market there (see my eating tips.) Well worth the experience.
Updated Oct 12, 2008
Address: The Waterfront
The City Mosque is located at Likas Bay.
The "floating Mosque" is surrounded by a man made Lagoon, try early morning for good reflections, the wind had got up a little by the time we got there. They say it is pretty on a full moon night.
The prayer room houses 9 - 12,000 worshippers at a time. It is another impressive example of a marvelous architecture, it is said to resemble in some ways the design of the (The Prophet´s Mosque) in Medina, in Saudi Arabia.
The City Mosque was officially opened on 2nd of February 2000, following a proclamation of Kota Kinabalu as city status.
It is a beautiful Mosque, well worth having a look at.
Its open every day from 8 - 5pm, but NOT ON FRIDAYS.
Admission is FREE.
Updated Mar 30, 2011
We took this trip on an old steam train that was renovated by our hotel The Magellan Sutera Hotel. Originally built for the British North Borneo Company & was used to move rubber & wood. The old train now runs every Wed & Sun departing 10am in the morning travelling very close to all the houses that have been built next to the old railway line. All the little kids come out of their houses to wave.
The first stop is Tien Shi Temple at Kinarut. By 11.45 you arrive at Papar Town. Here the train stops to have the engine moved from the front to the back of the passenger carriages. We walked & had a look at the local market. Reboarding the train at 12.30 we had been in the last carriage on the way to Papar. Now we found ourselves at the front with the noisy, smokey engine just in front of us. At least we'll never forget the trip. They serve lunch on the return journey. Malaysian style lunch, chicken, satay stick ,rice, tropical fruit. All this was included in the price. You do have to pay for your drinks though including water. All in all a day not to forget
Written Dec 30, 2005
Address: Kota Kinabalu to Papar by train
Pulau Gaya is another choice of the islands near KK but is not in the national marine park list.
On the island is actually a fishing village but the tourists have no chance to get in contact with any locals except those working in Gayana Island Ecoresort.
The resort arranges boats to and from the island which departed on time regardless of the number of passangers.
The round trip boat fare cost Rm10. There is nothing much on the island. There is a massage centre on the island, a restaurant, a marine research centre and a water sports equipment renting centre, all belong to the resort.
The time table from KK to Gaya island is:
8am, 9:30, 11, 12:30, 3:15, 6pm, 7, 9:30, 11pm
The timetable from Gaya Island to KK jetty is:
7:15am, 8:45, 10:15, 11:45, 2.30pm, 5pm, 6:45, 8:45, 10:30pm
Updated Jan 15, 2005
The RAFFLESIA FLOWER is the largest in the world and also the RAREST flower in the world.
At Tambunan, located 65ks from Kota Kinabalu, is an education centre on the flower.
The Rafflesia flower is a parasitic plant that grows on the lower slopes of mountain ranges, and is only found in certain areas of Southeast Asia. It has no roots, stem or leaves and starts life as a small, dark brown bud attached to its host, the stem or root of a jungle vine.
After taking approx 9 months to mature into a cabbage-sized bud, the plant opens. The petals, usually five, sometimes six, are red in colour and covered with lighter coloured spots. When in full bloom the flower emits a foul odour which attracts flies and other insects. The Rafflesia only flowers for 5 to 6 days, before the petals blacken and the flower withers.
The flowers are either male or female and the pollen is most likely transferred from one plant to another by flies.
Although the Rafflesia can grow up to one metre in diameter, the flowers found around here are usually half that size with the occasional monster-sized plant appearing from time to time.
If a flower is in bloom, a ranger will take you into the jungle and show you it,
We were lucky, as the 1st one for the season had just opened, so we went for a trek with the Ranger to see it. (see photo)
The centre is open from 8 - 3pm daily
Updated Dec 26, 2009
We set off from the jetty at the Tanjung Aru hotel and a few minutes later we landed on Gaya, the biggest of the 5 islands in this Marine Park.
On Gaya, we were given a guided walk through the rainforest and mangrove swamps, which took a couple of hours and I saw my first "wild" chameleon! We finished up on a beach, from where our boat picked us up and took us across to Sapi island.
On Sapi, we spent about an hour snorkelling over the live coral and saw the most fabulous fish I've ever seen. A delicious bbq lunch was included and after lunch our guide took us to see the monitor lizards and macaques, then we went back to the beach for another snorkelling session.
All in all a fantastic day out!
Written May 9, 2004
Address: Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
About 43 km from the Kinabalu Park headquarters is the Poring Hot Spring. The major attraction here are the open air sulfur baths, located in a beautiful landscaped garden. RM3 entrance fee per pax.
Best visited after you have descended Mt. Kinabalu. Soak and relax your body in the warm and soothing spring water.
Can be quite a noisy place with kids running around. For peace and quiet, avoid this place.
Written May 18, 2004
Pulau Manukan is one of the 5 islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park which is 25 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu by speedboat. A conservation fee of RM 3 per pax will be charged upon arrival.
The island has very clear waters and good venue for snorkelling, kayaking and swimming. The beach is somewhat rocky (laden with corals remnants), so beach barefoot jogging is an absolutely a no no. Snorkles and masks can be rented at a small fee from a sundry shop.
There are some chalets if you want to spend more time in this beautiful island.
I personally love the 1.5 km "jogging trail". The trail passes along cool lowland forest. Many species of birds can insect can be seen along the trail.
Updated May 18, 2004
This facility which is well worth a visit, is situated about 30k outside KK.
It is a 280 acre facility that houses a variety of animals in conditions far better than some I have seen in other SA Asian zoos. The animals all appeared to be well cared for.
The park has been re-opened in 2007 and is still being renovated in some parts. The Orang-o-tang enclosure was one that was being refurbished when I was there (typical of me to be there then)
The stage an animal show in the ampitheatre twice a day
Updated Oct 12, 2008
Address: 30 k out of the city
The Rasa Ria hotel has a nature sanctuary with 3 young orangutans (as at April 2004), ranging from 2 years to 6 years old.
Visiting times are twice a day, mornings and afternoons, with the best one being in the afternoon when it's feeding time. Visitors are limited to about 30 per session, so it's necessary to book a day or two in advance. The entrance charge was 25 ringgits for hotel residents and 50 for non-residents whilst we were there, which we thought was a bargain.
The rangers also organise daily jungle treks and birdwatching walks which are free and last about two hours.
Written May 9, 2004
Address: Rasa Ria Hotel near Kota Kinablau
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