Tropical Paradise Kota Kinabalu Part 1: When Nature Calls!

Benny_SB2018_005As the previous post gave some tips on how to plan your trip to the beautiful Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia, today I’m gonna go into details to my 4 days trip there; picking out some highlights from the trip!

MUST DO: Snorkeling

Sabah= Beach time

Probably there’s no other more direct link than these two. Can’t say you’ve been there without a dip in the water and getting shades of tan.

DSC00757With the tropical weather, the low pollution ocean and its biodiversity in the coral reef, diving is one of the most popular activities in KK. For a beginner like me and still, want to make the most of it? Snorkeling is a MUST TRY and it’s suitable for a family activity. Don’t even have to know how to swim since the lifejacket will keep you floating on the surface anyway, the only thing you need to learn is just breathing through the duct.

tribord-easybreath-full-face-snorkelling-mask-06Or buy this kind of full faced mask that you can just breathe normally in the water!

Since KK is surrounded by the sea, it offers different island for water activities. We’ve picked the Mengalum Island in the West Coast and according to my cousin who has been to KK before, that is so far the best island to dive since it has population limitation, so the day won’t be overly crowded.

IMG_0288We took an hour speedboat ride and reached there, got change then hope onboard again. After about 45 minutes we arrived the middle of the ocean, over a big piece of coral reef. I’m a bit nervous since this is my first time doing that. This is what I remembered—face down, floating, and my eyes can be wild open with clear vision under water, watching dozens of fishes swimming beside me while.

Ha! So this is what it feels like to be a fish!!

Benny_SB2018_004Our guide spotted a sea turtle so I used my all mighty strength to catch up with it and lucky me, I swim with it for a while and took a very good look of the wise creature.

We spent 2 sessions snorkeling that 45 min each and headed back to the island for lunch. After that, it was 2 hours free time for instagramable photo :p

DSC00105.JPGMUST DO: Proboscis Monkey and Firefly Watching Cruise

A popular day tour option and the experience ensure to have an amazing encounter with these unique species.

We arrived KKIA around noon, grabbed a quick bite and our tour took us on a bus ride for 2+ hours then arrived the Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. The first round of cruise is to look for the funny looking yet precious Proboscis monkey. We were given a telescope so that we could have a closer look at the monkey that usually stays on the tip of the tree while we were on the boat.

The Proboscis monkey is well known for their abnormally long nose, that are native species in Asia. The guide told us that the bigger and lighter color one is the male and the opposite with a tiny pointy nose are females. As expected, in the animal kingdom, their big nose symbolize as a sexual attraction (Don’t tell me this never occur to you when you look at them:p), she also told us that if we’re getting close enough to the wood, we could spot that the male monkeys are always ‘on’, and the local call the organ ‘little chilli’ coz of the red color and pointy shape.

You can spot them as the brown things on the tip of the tree or even easier when they jumping around.

After about 45 min on the boat, we headed back to shore settle for dinner. Then we head out for the second round after dark to firefly watching! Fortunately, no photo can be possibly taken in the pitch dark wood and extra light is gonna scare the firefly away, we could finally enjoy the experience without phone out and camera clicks. I’ve seen Firefly but never ever with soooo many of them brighten up the dark!

So imagine this: the woods are lit up with Firefly, like a Christmas tree with sparkling light blubs, hundreds of them; Our guide try to attract them with a soft yellow blub by imitating their light so they started to fly over to our boat, gracefully approaching like tracks of tinker bell.

Bare in mind to respect the nature and please don’t feed the monkey with anything, it’s very surprising that the long-nose monkey will get sick eating banana. And for the firefly, of course, don’t get too excited and crush them while you try to spoon them.

Day tour to Mount Kinabalu

DSC00774As we’ve been to the river low, it’s time for the mountain high to the famous Mount Kinabalu.

The day tour will take you to the mid-mountain, suspending bridges with hot spring and their cow ranching farm there, get a glimpse of its beauty.

If you feel like more adventurous and feel like to be more active, you could join the 2D1N tour that will take you to the top with a bit hiking needed.

Stay tuned for more eats and shopping tips in Malaysia!

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