Friday, September 21, 2012

Kota Kinabalu Holiday

The day has come that my wife and I are flying to Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of the state of Sabah, popularly called the Land Below The Wind, for a whirlwind 3D/2N holiday. This is our first trip to Sabah and it was made out of curiosity particularly in comparison with Kuching in Sarawak which we visited several years ago. As there are similarities in term of culture and nature we will avoid duplicating any of them on this tour, so no cultural village this time.

We are traveling on Air Asia again because they had a promotion earlier this year that I paid about RM470 for return flights with hotel stay for two. It was a good deal. Coincidentally I've booked two tours for the same amount, from Masenang Travel & Tours, to sightsee the Kinabalu National Park and a KK City Tour. Both tours were chosen out of due consideration of our inability for strenuous walks or climbs, which made me wonder how we did in on our Hanoi Holiday less than a year ago. My wife said her sciatic pain wasn't that bad then so we miraculously survived the long treks into the tribal villages in Sapa in the hills of north west Vietnam. But ths trip is different, our choices were limited, and finding what suits us is harder as most tours in Sabah are nature oriented and involve mountain climbing, scuba diving, snorkelling and rafting, taking jungle treks or long river rides to see proboscis monkeys, fire flies and the rare orchids and rafflesia flowers. The packages we chose are quite relaxing and conducive to us, my wife in particular. The physically fit would surely climb the Mt Kinabalu deep inside the national park. Several of my colleagues and friends have 'conquered' this highest peak in South East Asia so it is really not too hard although some training is called for to build up the endurance. For us, the park is as far as we will go.

The flight this morning will take off from the LCCT or Low Cost Carrier Terminal. We will fly out of it once more next March for our Philippines holiday before this terminal is closed and Air Asia operate from the new terminal called KLIA2 for budget airlines due to open in May. The relocation will do good to both the air travel industry as well as the passengers. However travelers will have to pay higher airport taxes. Hopefully departure and arrival traffics will be better managed with removal of monopolies by the public transporters.

The web check in was surprisingly lenient, I was allowed to check in 2 weeks prior to departure and got my boarding passes issued. Having gotten all the paperworks done, including travel insurance, we are ready to go, traveling light. I shall write more, and post some pictures, after the holiday as I doubt I am able to blog from the hotel.

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