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Kota Kinabalu Adventure

Here’s a confession… A friend booked me on a flight to Kota Kinabalu and about a month before our trip I didn’t even know if Kota Kinabalu is in Indonesia or Malaysia. Much to the chagrin of my friends. Hehehe!

So why book a flight to Kota Kinabalu in the first place? Because of this bunch of crazies!

Positive Peeps on the way to Kota Kinabalu
Positive Peeps on the way to Kota Kinabalu

Yup, I gave in to peer pressure and the temptation of a seat sale. Kezia booked our flight for us on January 1, 2015 and we were scheduled to leave sometime September. Along the way, we were able to convince bully a few more friends to go with us. Including this guy, Fra…

Fra on the way to Kota Kinabalu
Fra on the way to Kota Kinabalu

Renz (the guy in glasses) who had already been to Kota Kinabalu (KK) promised us we would enjoy our trip and that we don’t even have to spend a lot to have an awesome KK experience. He made us an itinerary that consisted mostly of eating, island hopping, eating, walking around, and even more eating. And we did exactly all that for for three days. Without spending over PhP5,000.

FYI a Ringgit (RM) is equivalent about PhP11 – PhP12.

Cebu Pacific Air flies from Manila to Kota Kinabalu daily at past 11 pm. To prepare for the trip, I opted to stay at home and rest for at least 24 hours before the flight. We had planned to do our Island Hopping the day we arrived in KK so I had to have energy. The flight takes around two hours. Luckily, our flight was on time. When we arrived at the airport, we got a large cab that would fit the five of us and our luggage. Our Kota Kinabalu Adventure was about to begin!

To facilitate paying for our cab and other common expenses, we decided to pool RM100 per traveler and we would use this pooled money for cab rides, some meals, taxes, and other expenses which we all had to pay for. I was the trip’s designated Group Leader so I kept and managed the pooled money. I got this smart travel tip from Kuya Andrew during our Hong Kong trip in December 2014.

From the airport we went straight to Sensi Backpackers Hostel. The entire cab ride, me and Kezia (the girl in glasses) were on the lookout for food places that were still open. And we were more than ecstatic to find out that there was one Azlina Sulawesi Kafe and Katering was right beside Sensi and it is open 24 hours a day, everyday. HURRAH! They serve Halal Food. Our favorite is the Roti Kosong.

Roti Kosong by Azlina Sulawesi at Jalan Gaya, Kota Kinabalu
Roti Kosong by Azlina Sulawesi at Jalan Gaya, Kota Kinabalu

We ate this with some hot noodle soup, enough to keep us full. After eating we went back to the hostel, discussed our itinerary and went to sleep. We agreed on waking up by 7 am so we could eat breakfast and start our island hopping early. So wake up early we did and we went just across the street to Fong Ip Cafe for coffee, milk tea, soft boiled eggs, and toast.

The hostel managers helped us secure a cheap package for island hopping and parasailing. After we got our temporary receipt from them, we walked along Jalan Haji Saman towards the Kota Kinabalu Ferry Terminal. We looked up the tour agency that our hostel referred us to, paid the remaining fees and taxes, and off we went.

A view of Kota Kinabalu while Island Hopping
A view of Kota Kinabalu while Island Hopping

We chose to do only two stops, one at Pulau Mamutik and another at Pulau Manukan. Basically, we did this at Pulau Mamutik.

Camwhoring at Pulau Mamutik, Kota Kinabalu
Camwhoring at Pulau Mamutik, Kota Kinabalu

And this…

Buko Juice at Pulau Mamutik, Kota Kinabalu
Buko Juice at Pulau Mamutik, Kota Kinabalu

We reserved eating lunch and swimming for our next stop. But first…

Parasailing at Pulau Manukan, Kota Kinabalu
Parasailing at Pulau Manukan, Kota Kinabalu

My four companions tried Parasailing en route to Pulau Manukan. And they enjoyed it. A lot. Parasailing is just one of the many advenuture and aqua sports activities you can do around Kota Kinabalu.
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