So … after saying goodbye to my bestie in Temburong, we boarded the coach that would take us to the next stop of our week-long holiday: Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah. The coach ride took about 5 hours (including a break in between) and it was quite comfortable with plenty of vacant seats for us to choose from.
Some stretches of the journey from Temburong to Kota Kinabalu which passed through parts of Sarawak were quite scenic. The coach stopped for about 15-20 minutes at Lawas, Sarawak for a toilet and refreshment break. But, of course, naive that we were, we did not know that we were in Sarawak but instead happily thought that we were already in Sabah at that time! 🙂
It was only when we reached the immigration checkpoints below that we realised our innocent mistake! ish, ish, ish … 😉
Having just cleared the two immigration checkpoints which are located just next to each other … one for departing from Sarawak and the other for entering Sabah!
Although we had been told by my bestie about this peculiarity before departing from Temburong, it still came as a kind of surprise to discover that we had to get our passports stamped in order to enter two different Malaysian states as we had never experienced having to do so in Peninsula Malaysia. An interesting experience, … but since there were no long queues unlike at the Singapore-Johor immigration checkpoints, we could not really complain lah 🙂
Finally arriving at Kota Kinabalu city centre a few hours later. Fortunately, the terminus for the coach was not too far from the hotel where we were staying at in Kota Kinabalu. So from the terminus, we decided to walk to our hotel located at 63, Gaya Street.
This was the view from the window of our family suite at the hotel called Hotel Sixty3, one of the newer hotels in the area. There was the Sabah Tourism Board just across the street from our hotel … and, we could even see quite clearly, the Signal Hill Observatory Tower (just behind the Tourism building).
To help us make the most of our short stay in Sabah, we decided to book a private taxi (which was recommended by my bestie) and arranged for a day of Kota Kinabalu City sightseeing and another day of visiting the famous Mount Kinabalu Park.
Here are the photos of our tour around Kota Kinabalu … starting with Signal Hill Observatory Tower, which is located not far from our hotel …
The observatory tower as seen on the hill itself.
Admiring the view of the city of Kota Kinabalu from the tower.
The view to the left of the tower.
The view in the middle … which is also the direction of where our hotel is located. It is in the building (with a blue/white dot) to the left of the roundabout. So, as you can see, … we were not far from the sea front.
And the view of the right. Obstructed by the trees, I decided to walk further up the road to get a better shot of the area on that side.
The view of the marina at Kota Kinabalu from Signal Hill.
Since Kota Kinabalu is situated by the sea, we were thus able to enjoy beautiful sea view as the taxi made its way from Signal Hill Observatory Tower to our next stop …
… the Menara Tun Mustapha (or formerly known as Sabah Foundation Building) … which, according to the taxi driver, would offer a beautiful view of the area from one of the floors, which was supposed to be opened to the public.
So we made our way to the entrance of the tower and tried to find out from the security officers in the foyer whether it was possible for us to go up the tower … only to be told that it was no longer possible to do so! Hmmmm ….
Since we could not go up the tower, we therefore decided to go out through a different entrance/exit …
… in order to check out the sea view on the other side of the tower.
Quite a nice view of the South China Sea … and nobody was there except us, either! Before leaving the area, we stopped by their gallery for a quick look inside … as suggested by the security officers … which was OPEN to the public.
A government building, known as Wisma Innoprise … as seen across from the steps of Menara Tun Mustapha.
Driving past Sabah’s government administrative complex (Kompleks Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan Sabah) to our next destination, the One Borneo, the biggest shopping centre in Borneo. However, since we did not really come to Sabah to shop … so we did not spend the rest of the day in that shopping centre, lah! 🙂
Instead, after more than an hour there (during which time we naturally did not manage to check out every single floors or shops in the shopping centre!), we soon made our way to the next stop …
… the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque (Masjid Bandaraya).
Popularly known as the floating mosque, since it is surrounded by a man-made lagoon, … its other claim to fame is its similarity to the Nabawi Mosque in Medina.
There were several foreign tourists here … busy trying to take photos of the mosque and its beautiful setting. I found it quite interesting to see that paddle boats were provided for a fee to those who wished to paddle across the lagoon that surrounded the mosque. A recreation cum spiritual centre … what an interesting combination.
From here we proceeded to our next destination … which we decided would also be the last attraction for that day …
… the beach of Tanjung Aru.
The view of the beach of Tanjung Aru to the left of where we were standing.
And the view to the right.
We walked for a while along the promenade simply to enjoy the view and the ambience… but we did not stay long in the area. We did not even go into the water!
We chose to make this our last stop for the day … and decided that we would rather do a bit of shopping before going back to our hotel to rest since we had an early appointment the next morning with the taxi driver (before 7.00am) … to go to Mount Kinabalu Park!
Other entries related to my trip to Sabah: