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Kota Kinabalu

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cmon0005

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Well its that time again, planning another trip :mrgreen:

One of the destinations I am planning on going to is Kota Kinabalu, have heard of people going there and liking it but would like some AFF advice on this destination.

Specifically:
1.) How many days would you plan for there, I am thinking 4 days?

2.) Best hotels/areas to stay?

3.) Must see sights/attractions?

4.) Anything else I should be aware of?

We'll be flying from KUL to BKI in MH J.

Any advice is appreciated!! :)
 

Alanslegal

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I will be following this thread with interest. I have a friend's destination wedding there next year at the Shangri La Tanjung Aru which looks pretty impressive, luckily as wedding guests we got some pretty good rates.
 

Pushka

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As a family holiday we went to Kota Kinabalu perhaps 7 years ago. We stayed at the resort next to the Orangutan sanctuary. (Rasa Ria). It's about 40 minutes from the main CBD. The trip to see the Orangutan lasts about an hour around lunchtime but they don't know from week to week if it will be done as it requires inspections. Resort guests get priority.

If you do get to do the trip don't go down too early. People got a bit bored as the Orangutans tended to stay high in the trees with the crowd. As soon as the numbers dwindled they came right down to the ground. We weren't allowed to approach them but they came right on up to us.

I'd spend at least four nights there.

The resort is fabulous. Wonderful beach and great food.

I've got some photos of them somewhere and a video which I'll post tomorrow.
 

kpc

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Following with interest as I'm thinking of visiting KK next year :)
 

DrA

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Depending on how energetic you're feeling, you can also take the extra time to climb Mt Kinabalu. Pretty easy hike, and great views :)
 

Pushka

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We also took a boat trip to the Tunku Abdul Marine Park. It was a cloudy day so visibility wasn't the best. if you are a Survivor TV tragic like me, this is the location of the very first Survivor series.

I'm uploading the Video we took at the moment, but here are some photos of the orangutan walk. Fantastic to not have any bars between us!

IMG_0079.jpg

IMG_0112.jpg

IMG_0107.jpg

IMG_0110.jpg

IMG_0109.jpg
 
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Pushka

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Couple more plus the Youtube


[video=youtube_share;EuUN4Sp_4bc]http://youtu.be/EuUN4Sp_4bc[/video]

IMG_0104.jpg

The Resort from a high vantage

IMG_0067.jpg
 

k_sheep

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If you do climb the mountain, you have to allow 2 days for it - you hike up to a hut near the summit the first day, summit at sun up, then head down. You'll need a hot bath after the trip down :)

If you're into into snorkelling or diving there's a marine park that is pretty good. Also check out the fresh seafood market by the waterfront - the local one, not the tourist trap.
 

aerotravel

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I'm doing 2 day hike to Mount Kinabalu in December 2014.
Thanks for the suggestion for snorkelling, love doing that...

I'm visiting KK with family for a week. The activities above should keep me busy for 3 days. Then 4 days of chill by the beach, eat and be merry...
 

moa999

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There is a 1-day hike option (which I have done) but you need to be reasonably fit (for them to accept you) and you are not guaranteed as good weather at the top (as it tends to be better in the morning).
Basically was picked up from hotel at 6am and started climbing by 7.30am. Think we peaked about 1pm, then started descent, and was down by about 6pm

Advantage is you don;t have to stay out overnight, and you do all the climb in daylight (some of the sections that you would do in the early morning on the overnight stay are fairly tricky).
Disadvantage is it is a very very long day - and you literally are exhausted at the top.

--

As for hotels - relatively small commerical centre - with ShangriLa, LeMeridien probably the picks.

--

Also believe you can do day trips by boat to Brunei
 

cmon0005

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It just occurred to me about travelling between KL (mainland) and Kota Kinabalu (Sabah) and whether there are any weird visa/entry rules regarding travel between Mainland and Sabah.

We're flying into KL from HKG, then spending a day in KL followed by a MH flight from KUL-BKI, question: is KUL-BKI considered a domestic flight hence no need to clear immigration at KK after already clearing immi the day before at KL?
Or do we need to clear immigration at both KUL and KBI?
After our trip to KBI we're heading back to Penang via KL.

I am on an AUS passport but my +1 has a passport that requires a Malaysia visa, which we need to get before hand.
 

moa999

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There are some additional immigration checks in Sabah and I think separate stamps, so would investigate that issue further
 

moa999

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Have you checked using the Timatic tool - available on Star alliance website
 

cmon0005

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Emailed consulate and got a speedy reply that it will be ok.
Will take a print out with us in case of any troubles!
 
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Ric

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cmon0005,

Good Choice for both destination and hotel! I believe you can do a deal with Shangri La for both their properties i.e. a few days at each and they provide the transfers.

Shangri La Tanjong Aru is good for exploring the city and doing the islands while Rasa Ria is good for exploring the mountain and surrounding villages. Rasa Ria have a very good beach with a golf course to boot.
But why stop there? There's a lot more places beside KK and surrounds, e.g. Tip of Borneo/Kudat, East Coast - Sandakan where infamous the Death March started. Theré's Sepilok which have the Orang Utan sanctuary, The Kinabatangan River cruise to watch the Proboscis Monkey (who sport a permanent er**tion!!) and if you are into diving, the famous Sipadan Island.

Check out Welcome to Sabah, Malaysian Borneo Official Tourism Website or PM me if you need more info

ric
 

cmon0005

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Hi All,

Back from our trip now, KK was amazing will definitely make second trip here to discover more.
Shangri La Rasa Ria, was virtually flawless and the staff were some of the best I have encountered at any hotel I have ever stayed at.
Booked a Garden View room, received a pool/sea facing room :)

The quality of food was excellent (expect for Naan - the indian restaurant which was average at best).

It was my wifes birthday so I told them in advance, the airport pickup lady that greeted us, wished her happy birthday whilst getting into the car, there was a birthday card and a plate of chocolates. Then at our dinner at Coast, they surprised her with happy birthday song with all the staff as well as a complimentary birthday cake.

This is the first time I have been to a resort secluded away from everything, but thoroughly enjoyed being away from everything.

There were some surprisingly good offers at the hotel, like 80MYR for 30 pieces of laundry, which is far cheaper than most hotels i have been to in Malaysia.
 
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