15 Oct - 24 Oct 2009 Kota Kinabalu

Malaysian Borneo
Sabah aka Land Below the Wind
Lucy’s Homestay +6088261495
Double room with internet, fan and breakfast for MYR 50.- or US$ 15.10 per night.
Laundry: MYR 15.- per 8-kg load.

Click below for an interactive road map of Lucy's Homestay in Kota Kinabalu, which we would highly recommend, and for directions:

Extending our return trip to Kota Kinabalu, making a detour to Kampung Serusup, located on the shore of a vast estuary and only a few clicks north of Tuaran, chartering a local motorboat for MYR 60.- or US$ 18.- for the round trip, exploring Kampung Penambawan, a picturesque stilt village of the Bajau people built over the estuary, and learning that the friendly villagers trace their roots back to the Islamic Sultanate of Sulu, which once ruled present-day East Sabah, and that their ancestors were hardened sea nomads who came only ashore in order to bury their dead.

Digesting our week-long, very intense tour to the Tip of Borneo and enjoying relaxed down time for a few days in our close friend Lucy’s cosy backpacker homestay in Kota Kinabalu (located in an area which is called Australia Place since the Aussie soldiers camped here when they landed in Jesselton in 1945 CE), thus (i) editing photos and catching up on our Konni & Matt Travel Blog, (ii) wining and dining (our favourite: 1 kg of chilli crabs, cooked to perfection, for MYR 13.80 from the Hua Hing Seafood Restaurant +6088231668), (iii) reading entertaining books (our favourite: Agnes Newton Keith’s Land Below the Wind) and watching interesting films on the laptops (our favourite: Tong Tana about activist Bruno Manser and the Penan people), (iv) drinking beer on the balcony (three-packs with 330-ml cans of ice-cold Carlsberg for MYR 10.- per pack from any of the Chinese kopitiam) and staring into space, (v) relaxing with the professional help of Kota Kinabalu's clean City Reflexology Centre + 6088221881 (60-min foot massage for MYR 28.- or US$ 8.50), (vi) sunbathing on the flea-infested beach and snorkelling over mostly dead coral gardens on the southeast side of Pulau Mamutik which belongs to the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park (speed-boat ride for the return trip from the Jesselton Point ferry terminal MYR 19.- per person, admission to the park MYR 10.- per foreigner) and (vii) watching spectacular black-and-orange sunsets over the South China Sea from the seafront esplanade.
"When I pulled them off they fastened onto my hands, and then I rolled and squeezed and pinched them till they burst. Harry has a book called Hints to Travelers which says that leeches do not go above the knee, but the leeches have not read the book..."

Visiting the famous, entertaining and crowded Sunday Gaya Street Fair in Kota Kinabalu, one of it's major tourist attractions, where (i) highly skilled practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine with at least 5,000 years of experience cure their patients on the spot, (ii) highly skilled Filipino pickpockets ply their trade up and down the market street and (iii) highly skilled traders from all Bornean races, religions and cultures sell almost anything, from guaranteed uncooked dogs via guaranteed unsealed snake oil to guaranteed unused underwear.

Matt: Borrowing a pair of long trousers and applying for two 60-day visitor visas for Bali/Indonesia (requirements: one copy of a return ticket, two photos each and MYR 170.- or US$ 50.- per person) from the relaxed but very Islamic Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia +6088218258 (large sign in front of the entrance to the compound: “No entry in short pants.”) at Kota Kinabalu which issued the visas within 36 hours - friendly, fast and painless.
“Willpower subverts passion.
Bureaucracy subverts willpower.
Idiocy subverts bureaucracy.” 

Taking the public bas mini from Kota Kinabalu to Kota Belud and paying MYR 8.- or US$ 2.40 per person for the 75-km long ride along the coast of the South China Sea, one of the world's most hotly disputed bodies, with Red China laying claim to nearly the entire sea, overlapping with the maritime claims of Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines.

Click below for more blog posts about Kota Kinabalu
27 Jun - 11 Jul 2013 Kota Kinabalu
30 Jun - 13 Jul 2011 Kota Kinabalu
26 Oct - 27 Oct 2009 Kota Kinabalu
03 Oct - 10 Oct 2009 Kota Kinabalu

 Click below for more blog posts about good snorkelling and scubadiving
22 Feb - 10 Mar 2013 Tioman Island
26 Sep - 24 Oct 2012 Tanjung Karang
20 Mar - 07 Apr 2012 Iboih Beach
04 Mar - 23 Mar 2011 Havelock
25 Oct - 09 Nov 2010 Unawatuna
Click below for a summary of this year's travels
2009 Map Konni & Matt

Visit the Konni & Matt Online Albums and order high-res travel photos

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