Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Day 1 - Kota Kinabalu

Our flight was delayed last Thursday afternoon but we still arrived on time at Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. Time of arrival was approximately 5:35 to 5:40 pm. It was just like DMIA except it has a 2nd floor where the food shops are. We weren't given any landing cards to fill in which was a bit odd. The cabin crew told us that they would be provided upon arrival at the immigration area. To our surprise, their immigration system doesn't use paper-printed landing cards, they use biometrics. You just hand your passport, the immigration officer asks what flight you took to get there (or what country you came from) and then you place your two pointy fingers on their scanner and voila! They print a small sticky ticket on your passport and sign it... That's your stamp or arrival time stamp thing.

We made our way out of the busy immigration center and headed towards the exit. I fumbled with my mobile phone as I haven't turned it on yet to activate the roaming feature. I texted my Malaysian friend who was kind enough to book us a hotel under her name. The hotel is called Pantai Inn. They don't have a website so if you want to book a room you may have to try emailing or calling them. Or if you have a Malaysian friend like me, just politely ask them to book it for you. The room has a double bed and costs 84 RM per night. It doesn't include any meals but the good thing about it is that the hotel is located within the city centre. There are lots of food shops and restaurants around the vicinity and all are within walking distance. There is also a nearby grocery by the roundabout on the right side of the hotel. That's where we bought our bottled water from and some crisps and snacks. Oh and I almost forgot, they do have a small restaurant in front of the elevator but we didn't eat there. The telly is rather small and only has 5 or 6 channels I think and just one channel with an English program, the rest are all in Bahasa Malaysia which is the widely spoken language. Bed is comfortable, hubby wanted to take it home with us. The sheets are clean. They also provided complimentary bottled waters for us and bath towels. You can ask for the room to be cleaned while you go sight-seeing around the town. For smokers, there is an ash tray provided in the room. They actually allow smokers to open the windows if they want to have a fag so they don't have to go out of the hotel. The bathroom is okay although it is small. Consists of toilet and shower minus the shower curtain nor is the shower separated from the toilet as you can see on the pic below. Only good thing about that is they have hot/cold water both on the tap and the shower. A tiny soap is also provided. I would strongly suggest you bring your own toiletries. As for the hotel staff, they are all nice considering the fact that they don't really speak that much English at all. Still you can tell they are polite and they smile a lot which makes you feel welcomed.

We didn't have time to unpack, well I didn't, Vic unpacked his stuff while I try to chill a bit. Half an hour after arriving there we decided to scout for a good place to eat dinner. We actually got rained on so we decided to head back to the hotel. We saw this modern-looking restaurant called Sugarbun Cafe. The name itself sounds fancy and western-appealing so we decided to take our seats on their open air restaurant. Their menu has loads of stuff to choose from - western food is definitely well-emphasized as they serve burgers, fish and chips, hotdogs etc. Our only mistake was that we ordered something we are not familiar with. We opted for something called Nasi Goreng classic and Nasi Goreng with Chicken Curry. I ordered the former, hubby ordered the latter. Dinner pictures are shown below.
Nasi Goreng with chicken curry

The dish with 4 slices of cucumber is called Nasi Goreng classic

So what does it taste like? My dinner tasted like shrimp paste (bagoong) with anchovies but sweet. There is half of a boiled egg and a tablespoon of peanuts and 4 slices of cucumber and a scoop of rice in the middle. I really didn't like it. Perhaps I wasn't expecting it to taste like that and I do apologize to my Malaysian friends (and those who will read this). I thought to myself I should've gotten the burger and chips. I ordered lemon iced tea for my drink which surprisingly is real tea! Not the powdered/flavored ones that you buy in grocery stores. This one is real lemon tea, cooled or chilled in the fridge and then two slices of lemon were added on to it. Hubby had iced coffee for his drink. Sugarbun Cafe may have other specialties that are famous on their menu, I guess we just didn't know what they are. 

After having dinner we headed back to our hotel room and decided to hit the sack after watching a movie on TV. We didn't really have any set plans for the following day but we will just go where our feet will take us. And that was day 1 or should I say "half-day" of day 1.


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  2. it's nice to try the food of where you are visiting instead of having chicken and chips. at least you can tell your friends you had tried it.

    by the way you write, it seems your husband is an aussie, aight?

  3. Hi Batangala! You are definitely right about trying out the local cuisine served in a different country but for us we didn't know which one is best to try lol. :)

    About my hubby, he is actually British. :) And I was there in their country for almost 3 years that's why I write in a seemingly British fashion-ish LOL. But still 100% pinay at heart. :) Thanks for visiting my blog.


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