Break From the Law travel blog

We are sharing a coconut drink.

Coconuts ready to be imbibed by thirsty customers.

Coconut drink stands.

Fruits of Borneo.

The dophin of Kota Kinabalu.

A roundabout near the waterfront in Kota Kinabalu.

The view of the sunset from the pier.

The sunset in Kota Kinabalu.

I am enjoying the sunset in Kota Kinabalu.

I am enjoying the sunset in Kota Kinabalu.

I am enjoying the sunset in Kota Kinabalu.

A fishing boat coming home at sunset.

Sunset in Borneo.

KK is, as we saw while wandering around the city today, quite a developed place. Anyone coming to Sabah expecting to find KK to be some gritty third world city in the jungle out of an Indiana Jones movie will need to look elsewhere. Burger King, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and a number of other international chains are well represented here. There are upscale outdoor areas along the waterfront and out on a renovated pier with a number of restaurants, cafes, gelato parlors and schi schi bars serving expensive cocktails and mixed drinks. There is even indoor arena soccer out on the pier. And the café below our hotel even has WiFi strong enough to allow us earlier this evening to upload pictures to the internet. With its sweltering humidity, seemingly high level of prosperity and fairly modern appearance, my first impression is that KK bears more resemblance to Florida than some rustic adventure travel destination in the thick of the jungle. It will be interesting to see if this holds true for other parts of Sabah which we will be visiting.

Given Sabah’s status as a leading eco tourism destination for this part of the world, KK as the capital city has scores of tourist agencies booking eco tours, diving vacations, trekking trips up Mt Kinabalu - the highest peak between the Himalayas and Papua New Guinea thousands of kilometers to the south of here - and a host of other eco- and sport-oriented activities. After dropping off our passports at the Indonesian consulate in KK in the morning to obtain our visa for travel to Indonesia, we spent the rest of today inquiring about and making various travel arrangements for the next two weeks or so.

As this is the tourist high season and the tourists - both western and Asian - are here in droves, it is necessary to book certain activities well in advance. Unlike what we have been previously doing as of late - i.e., merely showing up and expecting to arrange everything last minute and on the spot - , such ad hoc trip planning does not work as well when all of the tourist highlights are already booked up by other tourists. I’m always loathe to lock ourselves into an excessively tight travel schedule, as the unexpected surprises at various destinations often make for trip highlights, but some planning here in Sabah is necessary.

Fortunately, I expect we will tie up our remaining loose ends tomorrow and be on our way by the day after tomorrow at the latest.

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