I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S OCTOBER ALREADY.
2016 went by in a snap. 2015 feels like a week ago.
I’ve been working for 10 months now and boy, how life has changed.
I never really understood what people meant by school being just the “beginning” when it felt like everything in the moment. But now, being thrown into the real world, I finally understand! I’ve been molded so much in the short 9 months I’ve been working – yes, it’s been difficult (at first) but I’ve really liked the change I’ve seen in myself. Here’s to work life!
OKAY, BEFORE I GET ALL SENTI HERE, LET’S MOVE ON TO MY KOTA KINABALU TRIP!
Yes, with work comes income, and with income comes TRAVEL!
(Well, in my case, as I starve myself to save for trips HAHA)
I went to KK with my best friend, Bea. Yes, just us – two very independent 5-foot 21 year-olds who have known each other since freshmen year HS. No, we do not do this often. Yes, this was our first trip. Hell yes, we were crazy excited!
We arrive at KK around 1AM in the morning and quickly get a cab to our AirBnb. We get assigned to this old looking car driven by an even older looking man. And of course we get lost on the way to our Airbnb, in the middle of the night, in a country we’ve never been to. HAHA our cute old cab driver was counting house numbers for us! Gladly, we eventually did find our way to the our Airbnb – which was a RELIEF! Since we almost missed our flight (cause we were busy strolling through duty free) and almost didn’t find our way to our Airbnb, but we still did – we were sure it was gonna be a good trip!
Intinerary (Day 1)
Kota Kinabalu / TARP Island tours (800AM-400PM)
KK City Night Tour with Seafood Dinner (430PM-900PM)
We went island hopping and snorkeling first thing in the morning. KK waters were BEAUTIFUL. I can say that these were the most beautiful corals I’ve seen in my entire life (And I have snorkeled a lot in the Ph). The corals were bright neon colors and they looked endless to my eyes. I was sooo lost in the beauty of it all. It was so nice and refreshing to have nothing to worry about and just be overcome by the colors of the corals and the swimming of the fish. After our island hopping, we went around town to see the mall and the market. Kota Kinabalu is a small city you can probably walk around in an hour or so. It’s simple and cute and I instantly fell in love with it. I don’t know, there’s something about the small city and the friendly people that just pierced at my heart. Later on, we had a Malaysian dinner and a nice foot massage before heading back home to crash and catch some zzzz.
White Water Rafting (900AM – 200PM)
Klias Wildlife Cruise & Fireflies with Dinner (230PM – 900PM)
We started Day 2 extra early to visit the Gaya Street Sunday Market. As expected there was a lot of food and clothing vendors. I had myself a delicious radish cake and went splurging on clothes and gifts. Of course I hunted for the perfect pair of elephant pants, and in the process bought myself three gorgeoouuusss pashminas.
Amazing Borneo (The best tour service evaa) picked us up at the market for our morning white water rafting. It was a 2 hour drive to the rafting place (which we spent happily sleeping). We shared the raft with another tourist (Danielle) who was a doctor and was going to hike Mt. Kinabalu the following day (lucky her!). One thing I didn’t expect from rafting was the water wars we had with the other rafters! Our guides just pitted us against each other and I can proudly say that our raft was the weakest team of the bunch HAHA. In our defense, we were up against buff asian guys and a family of elders LOL.
We took a 3-4 hour drive to the wildlife cruise where we spotted a bunch of monkeys. I personally enjoyed the watching the pretty clouds and the sunset along the river more. It was beautiful ❤ My breath catches now just thinking of it. Our last activity for the day was the fireflies cruise! I didn’t know what to expect cause honestly, I’ve only seen fireflies in cartoons. Before getting on the boat, I made sure to slather myself with Off lotion cause it was written to do so on our itinerary! I would now like to apologise to all the fireflies I possibly poisoned! Okay, so getting on the boat, we were instructed to keep all our devices off. It was pitch black and out of nowhere, we saw twinkling lights to our left. As the seconds ticked, the lights multiplied and began flickering. I was awestruck. They looked like the Christmas lights that moved in circles. To make the experience even better, our guide started to call them. Before we knew it, they were in the boat with us. I felt like a child chasing after the flies in the boat. It was such a wonderful experience.
Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Spring tour (700AM – 700PM)
Last day at Kota Kinabalu! And we hit the famous poring hot springs! We took a long drive to the national park first in our very own private bus lol we felt like royalty! Apparently, it was the opposite of peak season for tourists so the travel agency let us take the entire bus! Woo! The tour guide was so sweet! He told us he was excited to meet us cause he heard lots of good things about us from his colleagues. This made my heart swell ❤
We visited Kinabalu Park where we took a million photos. On the way there we stopped by at a small town that was famous for their Tamparuli Mee – it’s a noodle dish with egg yolk and veggies. The dish is famous at the town cause it’s where the noodles are freshly made. I finished the entire plate cause it was DELISH. Little did I know that my stomach was sensitive to said dish and that I would end up with food poisoning! My tummy was upset, but nothing could ruin the day for us! I powered through and still enjoyed the mini hike at poring hotsprings whilst throwing up in my puke bag. HAHA the hotsprings were a great experience, I just wished we had managed our time more wisely (more time at hotsprings, less time taking photos).
And we’re on the way back to the city! I got to see the beautiful sight of Mt. Kinabalu on the ride back where I promised myself I would definitely come back to Kota Kinabalu. I fell in love with the small city, the people, the food – everything. There was a certain calm that came with the place and it was absolutely refreshing against the busy streets of Manila. Hopefully on my trip back I get to hit the volcano mud baths at Palau Island and definitely go scuba diving. Until then. ❤