After the disappearance 6 days earlier of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 out of KL, we were a little apprehensive about our forthcoming flight with the same airline, also travelling into and out of the same airport.
Flight Transfers from Kuantan to Kota Kinabalu
We boarded our first Malaysia Airlines flight at Kuantan airport around 6:30 am, after an early morning start and taxi from the hotel (a transfer by taxi takes about 25 minutes, and costs RM50). The 45-minute flight from Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur was uneventful.
After just a 1-hour stopover, we took our 2nd flight for the 2½ trip to Borneo, getting us to Kota Kinabalu just after 11 am. The flights from Kuantan to Kota Kinabalu cost RM321 per person (booked online 3 weeks in advance).
We had a pre-arranged taxi pickup from the airport to the Oceania hotel, just outside the city center (cost RM35).
The Oceania Hotel Kota Kinabalu
We had paid €40 for 1 night at the Oceania hotel, including breakfast. The hotel was very modern and clean, with a really comfortable bed. It was also well located for trips in and out of the city.
They also provide a free shuttle service to and from the center, operating a few times during the day.
It’s actually not that far to walk (maybe half an hour), which is what we did. The city is not huge, but it’s handy to have a map, which you can pick up fro free at the Malaysia Tourist Board, located on Lebuh Raya Pantal Baru.
We wandered around the city in the afternoon, so we could get our bearings before our departure the following day.
We needed to find the main bus stop for coaches running south down the coast: Our next destination would be Kuala Penyu, a small town about 90 kms south. We found the bus station next to one of the attractive city parks in the center (Jalan Tun Razak – see map).
Not far from there, there’s a large shopping mall called Center Point. It offers good value shopping and places to eat: We had a late lunch at a good Japanese restaurant inside (just for a change).
Kota Kinabalu Borneo – Sedco Fish Market
For a late afternoon or evening meal, it would be hard to beat the Sedco “Seafood Paradise”. Located on Jalan Sapuloh, this open-air food court is a popular venue both for locals and tourists.
The prices are mid range and five or more seafood restaurants operate here. You can first checkout the many aquariums that stock a vast variety of sea creatures.
Live free culture shows are performed at the center stage every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7:30 to 8:30 pm. Business hours are from 4 pm to 2 am.
We didn’t have too much time in Kota Kinabalu, but we did visit the central fish and fruit markets. They have a great selection of fresh products, as well as stalls selling fried savouries, and a good selection of open-air eateries: You can choose your food, then sit down and watch them cook it.
As always, we loaded up on fresh fruit for the evening, and for our trip the following morning.
Breakfast at the Oceania Hotel was a very good buffet, offering a variety of food styles: both Western and Asian. We then prepared to head off again by foot back to the central bus stop for the next leg of our journey.
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