On the 4th day of the trip, we went on a Half Day City Tour, organized by Sutera Tourism Board. It was good to have the chance to explore the city as we didn’t have any chance to explore the city centre as everything had been self-contained within Sutera for the past 3 days.
The first location we visited was the Museum of Sabah also known as Muzium Sabah (RM15 for non-Malaysian). It’s kind of upsetting that we were not allowed to take any photos inside the museum, not even without flash on Handphone Cameras. I really like the landscaping of rocks and waterfall for the signage. Due to the very good but hot weather, the picture below looks great (Thanks to my new Canon Camera)!
The entire museum complex comprises of the main museum, the heritage village, an ethno-botanical garden and a Science and Technology Center.
Inside the main museum, there’s a 22m-long skeleton structure of a Bryde’s whale which had been found on the shores of Gaya Island back in 2006.
Together with a very knowledgeable tour guide, we were given a brief tour of the museum, covering the various ethnic groups, their cultures and ethnic wear, the living history of the indigenous Sabah people and the natural history (both animals and plants). The explanation was so fantastic that I wished I had time to go on an eco-tourism tour too! The nature offerings of Sabah as showcased in the museum was simply too amazing. Topping the list of things to see would be a uniquely-Borneo Proboscis monkey. They look so funny.
We didn’t have enough time to explore the museum completely but we had an itinerary to keep up with. Then, we proceeded to the Heritage Village, also known as Kampung Warisan.
Inside here, we could see replica of the houses of their indigenous tribes. It was really nice to see that the houses were built with natural materials (real bamboos). There was even a trampoline inside one of the houses!
Here’s the trampoline. The one in the middle.
Due to the heat and mosquitoes, we did not stay too long in this village. It was a pity as there were still other houses we did not explore due to the lack of time.
Stop #2 was a Buddhist temple. Can’t really remember much details for this but it was a relatively big temple. It was very crowded when we were there as it was the 1st or 15th of the month and people were there for prayers or to eat the free vegetarian meal.
Stop #3 was a 30-storey battery-look-a-like building. It is the Menara Tun Mustapha, second tallest building in Borneo.
Stop #4 was the famous “floating” mosque – Masjid Bandaraya Likas. also known as Kota Kinabalu City Mosque. Completed in 2000, it is surrounded by this man-made lagoon which gives the mosque the floating effect. Sadly, we went there on a Friday and we were not allowed to enter the grounds as it was prayer-day. Not sure if tourists are allowed to enter on the other days but this is an amazing photo opportunity!
Stop #5 – Signal Hill Observatory Tower.
This place is the highest point in the city and from the tower, you will be able to see Gaya Island and the iconic buildings of Kinabalu.
The huge island that you see behind all the buildings is Gaya Island.
(Below) At the centre of the photo, there’s a clock tower known as Atkinson Clock Tower and this is oldest structure existing in Kota Kinabalu. It was built in 1905, in memory of Borneo’s first district officer who died at a young age of 28 due to yellow fever.
This is a rooftop of a historical building (1 of the 3 buildings which survived during the war). It is located in the heart of the city, along Gaya Street and it is currently the office of Sabah Tourism Board.
(Last) Stop #6 was at Hua Hing Seafood Restaurant
We had a 7 to 8 course seafood meal and the food was quite delicious!
Salted Egg Crab
Black Pepper Clams
Steamed Prawns (really fresh!)
I tried so hard to finish all the food on the table and we were so full after that :/
Anyways, after lunch we went to buy avocado juice at a coffee shop and I was really shocked when I saw the prices of their food. MAYBE it as because we were in the city centre but for malaysian standards, I felt that it was pretty steep. A plate of chicken rice was costing RM 5-6. It seems like east malysia is definitely pricier than west malaysia (including Johor & Kuala Lumpur).
Oh wells. Half-day city tour for Kinabalu is definitely not enough. The next time I return, I hope to be climbing Mt Kinabalu, visiting the indigenous tribes in their villages, going on an eco-tourism trip to sight birds and animals and to be diving at Sipadan!
Hopefully these plans would not simply remain as a ‘hope’ 😉
Check out my other entries in this series:
(7) Kota Kinabalu – Half Day City Tour by Sutera Tourism Board