Katie's Live and Unleashed 05/06 Worldwide Tour travel blog

Don't even need to name my water bottle here - and the...

See, they knew I was coming!!

Sapi Island

Beach at Sapi

Creature encountered on our jungle walk

Blocking our path...lethal walk this!

KK lit up in sun over the sea

The speed boat to the island, as it drifts having not started!

John and a French couple on the speed boat with Jack-the-Captain

Sun set over the South China Sea

Looking towards Manukan

Fishing boat

Ireen and Uma in KK's Sunday market sampling all the Chinese foods

Foot massages by blind people

My new friends from Singapore at the Sunday Market in KK

Fishes by the pier


Manukan pier from the shade of the beach

Manukan beach

Little fishing boat

Snorkelling corner

Fishermen at work

Back of Philippines's Market

Traditional fishing boat

Kota Kinabalu is the state capital of Sabah, and is commonly referred to as "KK" in daily speech - cool hey?? Kota means city in the Malay language, and Kinabalu is taken from the famous Mt. Kinabalu, which is the highest mountain in S.E. Asia at 4095m - you may hear me mention that just once or twice more...

Now for some brief history...it dates back more than a century when it used to be a small fishing village, situated on a narrow strip of land with hills on one side and the south China Sea on the other. It was named Api-Api, loosely translated as fire-fire, to denote the blaze that destroyed the former administrative centre on Gaya Island. It was later renamed Jesselton, after Sir Charles Jessel, then Deputy Manager of the British North Borneo Company. The city received its present name in 1968, and received city status on 2nd February 2000.

Yet, despite all the progress and control of the city changing from British to Japanese, then back to British, and finally back to the people of the land, the rich cultural diversity and stronghold to traditions and customs still remains.

Today the natives, comprising the Malays, Chinese and some 36 ethnic groups, have assimilated well with the immigrants (loads from the Philippines) who flock the state in pursuit of better opportunities.

And I may mention this subject just a few times too, but the cost of everything here is fantastic, and apparently it should be getting cheaper as I travel up through S.E. Asia! For the equivalent of 3 GB pounds, I got my dorm room (I was the only person in it both nights as I went for the cheap option not realizing it was without a/c, but the fan was fine), a pick-up from the airport which is 15 mins away and breakfast!!

So having finally managed to book my accommodation to climb Mt Kinabalu I decided to visit one of the 5 islands forming Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. to do thins you just turn up at the ferry terminal, sign up for the island of your choice, and wait until at least 8 people have their names down....sounds easy, but advise is to go early. After 1100 it proved not to be too popular and having waited for a bit and chatted with John (who works for some conservation project out here) and a French couple, we decide to pay double and head straight there before the sun went in. The sun didn't go in and I enjoyed some snorkeling in the clear water just off the small sandy beach and john and I walked around the island through the jungle, but saw very little wildlife! Went home a little redder....

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