Unang Byahe Abroad – Kota Kinabalu | Travel Guide

Dear future anak/apo,

 

I just want to share my solo backpacking experience when I went to Kota Kinabalu, last October 2016. I actually don’t have any idea about Kota Kinabalu. I just booked a flight right away nung mag Piso Fare ang AirAsia. Lol.. Sayang din diba? Less than P2,000 for a round-trip ticket, so why not?

So here are some notes and things to remember:

–  Got my accommodation via Agoda. Sa mga domestic na byahe ko I always use Airbnb, pero this time mas nakahanap ako ng okay via Agoda eh. Sa Sakot Backpackers ako nag check-in, bagong hostel lang sila kaya malinis na malinis yung place at mga kagamitan. If I’m not mistaken, January 2016 lang yata sila nag-open. At dahil nga bago pa lang sila, ginawa pa nila akong model sa isang signage nila sa lobby. Hahaha.. And who am I to decline?  Nasa city lang din sila, so pati location okay din. At yung mga receptionists nila, sobrang babait at very accommodating. I have pictures with them and friend ko na din yung iba sa FB.

– Pero aside sa Sakot, madami pang ibang hostel dun na pwede nyong tuluyan. Kung hindi naman kayo maselan, yung mga dorm-type na room sa KK nasa 300-450php siguro nagri-range. Ako kase private room kinuha ko eh. Di lang talaga ako kumportable minsan sa shared room. Kaya ko magtipid sa transpo at pagkain, wag lang sa room. Hehehe..

– Don’t ride a taxi! Mahal!  Akala ko dati sa Pinas na ang pinaka mataas maningil ng fare sa taxi, mali pala. Mas ginto ang presyo ng taxi sa KK. Sabi ng isang lokal dun na nakausap ko, yung price ng taxi na 1000php, pag sa Uber mo ginamit around 150php lang katumbas nun. Hahaha.. So use Uber instead, or di kaya GrabCar.

– Speaking of Uber and GrabCar, para ma-access nyo yun syempre need nyo ng data. Kaya mas maganda kung bibili kayo ng local sim. Mahirap umasa sa free wifi lang, kase pag nasa kalsada ka na wala ka ng access sa internet. At least kung may data, you can use Google Maps or Waze pag naligaw ka. And yun nga, pati Uber at Grab pwede mo rin magamit.

– I bought my local sim sa airport pa lang. Suggest nila sakin either Celcom or Digi daw ang kunin ko. Nabili ko yung sim ko ng around 200php, may 1.4GB data na yun. Which is sobra-sobra na sa 4 days na pag stay ko. Ask nyo yung nagbe-benta kung anong magandang package ang pwede sa inyo. Sabihin nyo lang kung ilang days kayo sa KK, tapos sila na ang bahala magbigay ng package sim na sakto sa inyo.

– From airport, mag bus lang kayo papuntang KK City. 5 ringgit lang yun, around 55php. Yung ticket booth, nasa loob mismo ng airport. Pag bumili kayo ng ticket, may libre na kayong map. Sabihin nyo sa ticket booth kung saang lugar kayo mag-i stay para ituturo nila kung saan kayo bababa. Ang bus nila dun by station ang hinto, hindi parang mga bus natin sa EDSA na kahit saan nagbababa. Lol.. In my case, sa last station ako, tapos nilakad ko na lang papunta sa hostel ko.

– If plano nyo mag island hopping, just go to Jesselton Point. From the city, mga 10-15mins walk lang yun. May mga counter dun, from counter 1 to counter 11 yata. I think kada counter iba ding company. Suggest sakin ng isang lokal dun na na-meet ko, pili lang daw ako from counter 8 to counter 10. Mas okay yata ang pricing nila. Sa counter 10 ako napunta, at nataong Pinoy pala yung nagbabantay dun.

– You can choose kung anong island ang gusto mong puntahan. Not sure pero parang 4 to 5 islands ang max na pwede. I opted for 2 islands only para makapag relax. My first choice was Sapi and Manukan island, pero si manong na nasa counter 10 suggested me Manukan and Mamutik instead, so sinunod ko na lang din. Ang Sapi at Manukan ay malaking island, pero crowded din. Yung Mamutik ang pinakamaliit sa lahat ng mga islands dun, pero dun ako mas na-relax kase hindi masyadong crowded. Dun na rin ako nag set-up ng hammock ko.

– About sa pagpapalit ng pera, what I did was nagpapalit muna ako ng konteng pera dito sa Pinas, sa Czarina, then the rest sa KK na. Madalas ko mabasa mas maganda daw lagi magpapalit sa mismong bansang pupuntahan mo kase maganda ang rate. Pero in my case, mas maganda ang rate nung dito ako sa Pinas nagpapalit.

– Another tip, sa Malaysia yata hindi nila ugaling mag point (magturo) using index finger. Ang gamit nila ay yung thumb. So practice using your thumb if you want to pin point something.

 

ITINERARY:

DAY 1
11am: ETA KK Airport (Proceed to Hostel)
12pm – 1pm: Lunch
1pm – 3pm: Rest
3pm – 5pm: Mall tour (papalit na din ng pera)
6pm: Sunset viewing at Tanjung Aru
7:30pm: Dinner
8:30pm: meet with locals

DAY 2
9am: Breakfast
10:30am: ETA Jesselton Point
12pm: Lunch
1pm – 4pm: Island Hopping (Manukan / Mamuntik Island)
5pm – 6pm: Watch sunset at Jesselton Point
7pm: Dinner
8pm: Filipino Night Market
9pm: Hang out

DAY 3
9am: Breakfast
10:30am: Gaya Sunday Market (bili pasalubong)
12pm: Lunch
1pm: City Tour
– Sabah Art Gallery
– Puh Toh Tze Temple
– Kota Kinabalu City Mosque
– Atkinson Clock Tower
6pm: Watch sunset/night shot at Signal Hill Observatory
7:30pm: Dinner
8:30: Coffee/Tea Shop

DAY 4
7am: Breakfast
8am: Check out at hostel / Proceed to KK Airport
11am: Departure to Manila

 

EXPENSES:

DAY 1
– Taxi to NAIA 3 – 220php (hindi nag metro si manong)
– Phil. Travel Tax – 1,620php
– Breakfast at Tapa King- 95php
– Digi sim card: 200php
– Bus for 55php
– Lunch at KFC for 90php (wala silang gravy)
– Dinner for free (nilibre ng isang lokal)

DAY 2
– Breakfast at Kedai Kopi Sin Houng Kee – 80php
– Baon sa island– 80php
– Island hopping – 480php
– Conservation fee – 100php
– Meryenda – 200php
– Dinner 100php
– Inuman with locals – 300php

DAY 3
– Lunch at Kedai Kopi Yee Fung Laksa for 80php
– Uber to Puh Toh Tze Temple for 100php
– GrabCar to KK City Mosque for 40php
– Meryenda for 50php
– Uber to Observatory for 60php
– Dinner at Suriah Sabbah Mall for 250php

DAY 4
– Bus to airport – 55php
– Breakfast at airport – 150php
– GrabCar from NAIA 3 to house – 180php

Sub Total: 4,525 + (1600 airfare 1600 & 1950 accommodation)

TOTAL: 8,075php

Yan po lahat-lahat ng nagastos ko for 4 days. Mula paglabas ng bahay namin hanggang sa makauwi..  Included na rin dyan yung airfare, accommodation, travel tax, etc.. Pwede nyo pa mabawasan yan sa pagkuha ng mas murang tutuluyan at murang makakainan.

For the conclusion, I must say that Kota Kinabalu is also a-must place to visit, esp sa mga first timer. Madalas very “underrated” ang place na ito, kase pag sinabi mong Malaysia ang unang iisipin ng tao Kuala Lumpur agad. In Kota Kinabalu, kung trip mo ang mag city tour lang, pwedeng-pwede. Kung hilig mo naman ang pag-akyat ng bundok, there’s Mt. Kinabalu. Kung beach lover ka naman gaya ko, 15mins away lang makakapunta ka na sa mga isla nila. Lahat ng trip mo pwede dito. Less din ang traffic sa KK, very cheap ang presyo ng mga pagkain at ibang mga bilihin, maraming Pilipino, ang mga locals ay friendly at marunong mag-english, at few miles away lang ang Kota Kinabalu sa Pinas. Yan ay ilan lamang sa mga dahilan on why you should include KK on your bucket list.

Anyway, I hope makatulong itong post ko sa pagtravel nyo sa Kota Kinabalu. You can also watch the video that I made when I went to KK.

 

[vimeo 190459867 w=640 h=360]

 

NOTE: To those who are browsing via mobile phone, if the video is a bit laggy, try to open this link https://vimeo.com/190459867 using a third-party browser.

 

For more pictures, browse nyo na lang po pababa.

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque
Night shot of KK City Mosque

 

Kota Kinabalu_Observatory Hill
Night view in Observatory Hill

 

Yee Fung Laksa
Yee Fung Laksa – the best Laksa I’ve ever tasted so far

 

Sakot Backpackers
The friendly receptionist of Sakot Backpackers – Diana, Amy and Ireene

 

Manukan Island_Kota Kinabalu
At Manukan Island

 

Kota Kinabalu_Mamutik Island
At Mamutik Island

 

Kota Kinabalu Waterfront Esplanade
Kota Kinabalu Waterfront Esplanade

 

At Puh Toh Tze Temple
Puh Toh Tze Temple

 

Carpe Diem! God bless everyone..

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