Back from our amazing couple of days in Sandakan, it was time to explore Kota Kinabalu some more.
Kota Kinabalu, formerly known as Jesselton, is the capital of the state of Sabah, Malaysia. The city is located on the northwest coast of Borneo and Mount Kinabalu, which gave the city its name, is located to the east.
We decided to do a day trip to one of the five islands which make up the nearby Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park – Gaya, Manukan, Sapi, Sulug and Mamutik.
Our hotel had a tour desk however the only tours on offer didn’t appeal to us, so we made our way down to the jetty where there are plenty of stands selling tickets to the islands. Not having any preference or idea of which island we wanted to visit, we picked out a stand at random and the boat ticket was a reasonable price, so we booked it!
We had a little bit of time to wander along the jetty checking out some of the stalls, and to grab a fresh pineapple juice, before heading off to our boat.
Day 2 of our trip to Borneo had us up at the crack of dawn, ready for the next adventure. This time it was back to Kota Kinabalu airport, ready for a 30-minute flight across the island to Sandakan, the former capital of British North Borneo.
Kirsty was lucky enough to be sitting on the left hand side of the aircraft, which is the best place to get a great view of Mount Kota Kinabalu.
Air Asia, who we flew with, doesn’t let you choose your seats and since the flight was full, we couldn’t sit together, so I’ve borrowed her pictures of the mountain!
After my adventures in Australia it was time to jet off to the next destination. I flew out to Hong Kong to meet Kirsty, where we had a bit of time to catch up before our 3-hour flight to Kota Kinabalu, Borneo.
Having let Kirsty do most of the planning (she’s on maternity leave so was more than happy to gather all of the info and make plans!) I was excited to be visiting a new country, which I knew surprisingly little about. We arrived late at night and after a quick taxi ride to our hotel settled in, ready for an early start the next morning.
Our plan for the day was the North Borneo Railway, a steam train ride which runs twice a week and takes you from Kota Kinabalu to Papar, through the lush landscapes of Sabah.
As you may have noticed it’s been rather quiet over here on the blog…I’ve been off work for a few weeks and have been making the most of my staff travel benefits and time off and have been visiting several different countries this month!
I started off with a trip to Australia to see my grandparents, who I don’t get to visit very often. They live in Canberra, next door to my aunty and Uuncle, so I decided since I had a bit more free time I would pay them a visit. I flew with Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong to break up the flights a bit, and with only a small amount of drama (forgetting that I needed to apply for a visa to Australia!!!) I made it first to Sydney, then on to Canberra.
On a recent layover in Fort Lauderdale, having visited Miami the previous time, I decided to head out to the Everglades in the hope of spotting some alligators.
Once again we had a 50-something hour layover, which gave us plenty of time to do some exploring. After getting a few hours of sunshine in by the pool (which the hotel forgot to mention was empty and under construction …. at least I got a tan!) 6 of us met for dinner.
Our captain had hired a car big enough for everyone to fit in, so we drove down to Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, which wasn’t too far.
We had a recommendation for a restaurant called Aruba Beach Cafe, and it was a great choice! We got a table out on the terrace, and ordered up a seafood feast.