Posted by: James Shannon | April 3, 2011

Kota Kinabalu Kapers, Part II: Tour Of The Town, The Food And The Beaches … Yes Indeed!

With regards to the last post: April Fools!  As if getting rickrolled didn’t clue you in 😛

The last photo essay documented the journey from the Malaysian peninsula to the island of Borneo.  Kota Kinabalu is the capital of the Malaysian state of Sabah on its side of the territory (the southern half is governed by Indonesia), and after getting settled the night before, it was time to experience everything this exotic locale had to offer…

Claypot chicken with rice and mushrooms … good start to the day!

Kota Kinabalu’s harbour … Gaya Island is on the right, Manukan on the left … hmm, these islands took tempting, might have to visit them later!

Naturally, a tropical island on the equator produces alot of tasty produce … a massive bunch of not yet ripe bananas sits on the concrete at the Filipino market (in case you aren’t aware, the southern Philippines are a hop, skip and a jump off Sabah’s eastern coast).

Decorative fish along KK’s waterfront plaza

In WWII, Kota Kinablau (then Jesselton) was carpet bombed by the Japanese, and then when it was occupied by the Japanese, by Allied forces.  The entire city was rebuilt, except for the ruin of this building, kept in its present state as a monument to the destructive legacy of war.

The next day, after finding the Jesselton pier and finding the prices of reaching Tunku Abdul Rahman Islands National Park, I set out on a water taxi for these coral beauties, planning to do little more than snorkel and soak up the sunshine (at least until the daily rainshower arrived, a recurring theme after only having been in Borneo for two days already…

On the beach at TAR Islands Nat’l Park most popular destination, Manukan Island

Off to look for some multi-coloured fish … alas, there were mostly just white fish (but a couple blueys)!  I was about to be taken from famine to feast however, as my next destination was Semporna in Eastern Sabah, which is in the epicentre of the best coral reefs on Earth, and the focal point of the next photo essay on this blog … don’t change that channel, ladies and gents!

Idyllic doesn’t begin to describe this photo…

More reminders of WWII … shells and mortars from days gone by …

After a tough day on the beach, time to refuel … how about some pork in a gravy sauce, chicken soup, served with a pineapple shake to wash it down?  Yes, please and thank you! 🙂

As alluded to in the photo captions above, after several days in the capital, it was time to bounce in search of richer snorkeling grounds … next stop, the Coral Triangle, home to one of the, if not THE densest concentration of coral and marine life on Earth!


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