A relaxing day in Kota Kinabalu

After saying goodbye to our friends and thanking them for a wonderful two days in Kuala Lumpur, we headed to the train station for the express train to the airport. I was thrilled to find out at the train station we could check in for our flight and check our bags at the Malaysia Airline desk. It’s always nice to get rid of our bags right away. When we arrived at the airport all we had to do was get through security and then find our gate. Everything was so simple and effortless. When we arrived in Kota Kinabalu our driver was waiting for us and the ride to the hotel was less than twenty minutes.

We checked into the hotel and took care of some details for the following day’s climb. Then we were free to explore Kota Kinabalu (the locals call it KK).Β  The city is the capital of Sabah, a state in East Malaysia, and is located on the coast of Borneo facing the South China Sea.

Since we had a busy day planned the following day we decided to chill most of the day. And the best place to do that is along the water. The sights on our way to the waterfront.

We browsed through the Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Market, which used to be called the Filipino Market. Here you can find food, souvenirs, and handicrafts.

Then we located a spot to relax and to enjoy some cocktails while waiting for the sunset.

The following day, our ride was arriving at 6 a.m. The big climb has almost arrived. Yikes!

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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62 Responses to A relaxing day in Kota Kinabalu

  1. Great pictures – I’m really enjoying this trip you’re taking us on, but I find that I’m getting nervous in anticipation of your big climb :).

    • TBM says:

      Oh man I was nervous the entire day. Seriously. Now I’m going to be mean and not write about the big climb until Monday. Please accept my apologies, I’m a tad bit tired today. And this weekend is my birthday weekend so I need to rest up to enjoy it.

  2. Caroline says:

    Those markets are always so great. How was the smell? In Sri Lanka I almost fainted because of the smells. It’s the humidity … It was quite overpowering.

    • TBM says:

      Fortunately for us the heat and humidity wasn’t too bad during our stay. The day we flew back they started a heat wave. These markets didn’t have too much of a smell. But I should say I have horrible allergies so I hardly ever smell anything. My partner read an article about Sri Lanka on one of the planes and is now determined to go there. Did you like it?

  3. The Hook says:

    Great pics and good luck!

  4. Beth Ann says:

    Cant wait to read about the climb but the pics from today were pretty darn wonderful!!! I loved the market pics—looks like you could get a lot of great things!!!

  5. fgassette says:

    Following your blog is gaining knowledge and experiencing so many different things. I salute you here. http://wp.me/p23TG1-2GQ


  6. I love to hear you relaxed with some cocktails with the sunset…doesn’t get much better than this does it?

    • TBM says:

      It really doesn’t. At the end of that day both of us remarked, “What a great day.” Sometimes you don’t have to do much to enjoy life. The simple things are the best.

  7. Geoff W says:

    Might be a strange thing to observe but they all have really good posture! Can’t wait to see your hiking photos.

  8. nrlymrtl says:

    The market looks like a festival – and that is just daily market? Very cool.

  9. niasunset says:

    Wonderful photographs… Thank you for taking me too in this travel. By the way, I wish you to have a wonderful Birthday, Happy Birthday to you dear TBM, love, nia

  10. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Oh I’m really loving this! The sunset by the waterfront was spectacular when I was there πŸ™‚ Also I remember a big market by the water, I kept seeing BIG rats running between the stalls but my three friends couldn’t see them and thought I was hallucinating. After about half an hour of being the only one jumping out of my skin they finally saw some too πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • TBM says:

      Goodness, I didn’t see any rats and thank goodness. I admire rats and their smarts and survival skills. However, I like to admire from afar. Like in books. Even in movies they scare me.

  11. IsobelandCat says:

    Enjoy your birthday TBM.
    What camera did you take in the end?

    • TBM says:

      I took my larger canon and a Nikon Coolpix P7700, which is the new camera. I’m really impressed with the zoom ability of the Nikon and ended up leaving the Canon behind more since it’s heavier and it can be a pain changing the lenses, especially in the heat and in situations when you don’t have enough time to get the perfect photo. Monkeys just won’t hold still πŸ™‚

  12. gkm2011 says:

    Great photos. We went to KK in either 2009 or 2010, beautiful place. We did not climb the mountain though so I’ll be following along to see what I missed!

  13. Beautiful photos. i think what i like about your site the most is that i really do feel as if i’m there as well and your excitement and the fact that you are grateful for these experiences comes through in every word and every photo.

    • TBM says:

      Ever since I was a kid I wanted to travel the world and many people said I wouldn’t. Now that I am I feel extremely fortunate. Each new experience sends shivers up and down my spine and that excitement never leaves the entire time I’m in a place. Traveling for me is like Christmas morning the entire time I’m there. It’s special, exhilarating, and unique. Thanks for your kind words.

  14. Novroz says:

    The first two photo sets are soooo alike to my country. Haha being neighbour and all, no surprise there πŸ˜‰

    Love the sunset pic the most.

  15. samokan says:

    It’s your birthday? Happy Birthday !!!

    Kota Kinabalu sounds like an interesting place to visit. Great shots, as always.

  16. Fergiemoto says:

    Those are awesome photos! I enjoyed seeing the various markets.
    It seems like it would be easy to relax watching that beautiful sunset!

  17. pattisj says:

    6:00 a.m. YIKES. LOL I’m glad you were up and ready to go. πŸ™‚

  18. I know so little about Malaysia, so this is fascinating to me. Happy Birthday!

    • TBM says:

      Thanks Carol. Malaysia is on my 192 list, however, if we hadn’t met our friends I’m not sure we would have gone so early in the project. I’m glad we did. Not only did I love it, but now I want to explore more countries in Asia. I only wish it wasn’t so far away. The long flights are brutal.

      • Yeah, I’m getting so I can only tolerate about six hours in the air now. Can’t imagine how I’d do 18 hours!

      • TBM says:

        On the way there I watched movies on the first flight and then slept (kinda) on the second. On the way back, I read on the first flight and then fidgeted on the second flight. I wanted to sleep on the second flight, but we had three or four kids crying and screaming. It wasn’t pleasant, but not much can be done about it. Each flight was 7 hours. The flights back are always harder on me and my mood is not great.

  19. aFrankAngle says:

    Gotta love local markets!

  20. poppytump says:

    Super pics TBM ! The market looks terribly organised and well stocked with packaged and fesh fruits and food . Nice photo of the little one on Mums hip πŸ™‚
    Wonder what they were running up on the old sewing machines …
    Many Happy Returns for your Birthday … one ..two… three … big blow NOW … and make a wish ;-)…..

  21. Markets are always so interesting – best places to check out the local culture and chat with people. Can’t wait to read about the hike.

    I see you mentioned you’re celebrating your birthday this weekend. Will you be doing a pub review? πŸ™‚

    • TBM says:

      We did manage to visit a couple of pubs for my bday, which I hope to review. Probably won’t start the pub reviews until after this week. Still trying to get caught up on so much.

  22. The Guat says:

    That sunset looks pretty awesome, and how great was it to get rid of your bags and be free to wander around. Very cool and nice pics of the sun on the water. So glad you didn’t have any hostile tourists taking pics in your pic, like last time πŸ™‚

    • TBM says:

      Everyone was really friendly here. And many people when they found out that we used to live in Boston made it a point to say how sorry they were about the bombing. Their words were genuine. This world is getting smaller and smaller and it’s a good feeling to know tragic events are felt all over. We are all connected.

      • The Guat says:

        That is so cool that they did that and you’re right sometimes tragic events connect people from far away distances. That whole Oklahoma thing that’s going on is really terrible.

      • TBM says:

        My heart goes out to the people and families in Oklahoma. I couldn’t believe when I saw the email alert yesterday morning.

  23. Love all of your pictures! Truly inspiring following your blog!

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