Sunday, November 14, 2010

2010 April: Kota Kinabalu: City Tour

Travel Date: April 20, 2010 Tuesday
Destination: Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

The next day, I booked for a City Tour at the travel agency at the Lobby of Cititel Express. You can contact them prior to your arrival at I do recommend their tour but not the airport transfer.

The tour guide arrived at 8am at the Hotel Lobby. I really thought that I’ll be joining a group tour, but I was wrong. I was like in a huge van (like can accommodate 15 passengers), where I’m the only tourist to be guided for the half-day! However, I feel safe during the whole trip and thanks to HK Lee who has been very accommodating and act as a driver, tour guide, and photographer all in one.

Our first stop is the Atkinson Clock. It is the oldest standing structure in the whole of Sabah that survived the destruction of Jesselton town during World War II.

The Signal Hill is the highest point in the city. You can see the main road, building strip, and the water front from this location.

Next stop is the Floating Mosque also known as City Mosque at Likas Bay (with Blue Dome). The floating Mosque opens every day for Muslim prayer. You are not allowed to go in unless you are Muslim and do your prayer.

Then, since we arrived ahead of time, we were able to pass this long stretch of walkway going to the sea. Then at 9:30am we entered UMS Marine Aquarium Museum. I’m not happy with their procedure of having a separate entrance for the camera. Like you are non-Malaysian, you will pay 10RM for the entrance and you will need to pay a separate 10RM for every camera you have. It is a museum of the bones and shells of the species they found in the Sabah waters. They do have few aquariums inside. You can skip this if you have been to Sentosa Underwater Aquarium or Manila Oceanarium.

Next, we went to Yayasan Sabah also known as Menara Tun Mustpha or the Sabah Foundation Building. It is a circular tower with 30 floors. It houses auditoriums, theaters, offices and a revolving restaurant. We were able to visit the restaurant but it is still closed during that time. It is very elegant, nice paintings, soft sofas and chairs, and of course nice view to watch the KK city. You can even see the peak of Mount Kinabalu.

We had a quick stop in Filipino Market. They have different dried seafood and seaweeds, also offers traditional bags, clothes and textiles. This place is also the featured in Amazing Race Asia Season 4 Episode 2 (

We ended the trip by returning to the Hotel. I had a quick lunch, then, check-out at the hotel. Lock and left my luggage at their Safe Room and go the airport for my flight going to Brunei.