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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mt. Kinabalu - Part 1 (The City)

When Choong told me sometime early this year that he would be climbing Mt. Kinabalu, I immediately asked if I could join him (since it coincided well with our school's term holiday). And lucky for me, both MAS and Airasia were competing with free air tickets. When else could be a better time to get the tix?

We spent approximately RM920 per person for accommodation, flight, and airport transfer and some meals.

Return flight KL-KK : RM240
Mt. Kinabalu climb (2 lunches, 1 breakfast, 1 dinner) : RM600
Airport transfer : RM20
Accommodation at
Beach Lodge : RM40 (2 nights - with a/c)
Porter fees -shared (3kg) : RM24
Walking stick : RM3

On the morning of 6th Sept, mom sent both of us to the KLIA (thanks mom!). We got ourselves MAS tickets for flight to KK, as it was slightly cheaper than Airasia. We had a pleasant surprise too, as I was not expecting a meal on board a short distance flight. I thought we'd probably just get some juice with peanuts or maybe the best it would be a sandwich. But I had roti canai (which was quite good), and TW had omelette, and both lunch boxes came with yogurt drink, bread and biscuits.

Our lunch boxes on board MAS flight - not bad

Another unexpected surprise was a short stopover at Labuan, my birth town! I don't remember having a transit stopover when I bought the tickets. But anyway, I haven't been back there for at least 25 yrs or more, so that stopover was definitely welcomed, even though we arrived KK perhaps 30 - 45 mins later than the original scheduled time. We got out of the plane for a walk in the airport... just to get a breath of Labuan air... he he he...

TW posing at the Labuan Airport

As soon as we arrived KK airport we called TC who arrived very early in the morning with the others on a separate flight. But he was already in the ferry with his friends to Pulau Manukan!!! And he didn't wait for us :( . Anyway, both TW and I took a cab straight to the Beach Lodge to check in first. I asked the taxi driver about the new shopping center in town and he told us about 1Borneo. That'll be a nice place to visit on such a hot day!

Within 15 minutes we arrived at the door step of the Beach Lodge. TW was clearly put off by the condition of the place from the outside. Not forgetting to mention that it is on the 3rd floor with no elevator! The gate was locked when we reached, so we rang the doorbell. We were greeted by a nice chap. And it didn't look too bad inside too... as advertised in their website, its a little laid back, but everything was clean :) For me cleanliness was very important. Towel and blanket are also provided. What more can you ask for only RM20/night? ;)

View of our room at The Beach Lodge, clean and comfortable

As soon as we settled down, we asked for directions to 1Borneo since TC and gang won't be back until later that afternoon. From the lodge, it would take about 15-20 minutes depending on the traffic. We decided to take the bus, well... to be exact it was me who decided to take the bus (TW hated the heat). Most of the public transport were just vans but they were called mini bus. We had to take the City Bus in order to get to 1Borneo.

The City Bus that travels to 1Borneo

After just 5 minutes of waiting TW wanted to take the cab instead (which will cost about RM20/way). I suggested to wait for another 5 minutes, and finally we managed to board the bus (only RM1/person). Anyway we had to take the cab back as it was raining quite heavily after that (what a change in weather!) and we didn't want to get wet.

1) TW squinting under the hot sun, 2) TW posing in the bus

When we got back to the lodge that evening, TC and gang also arrived. Lyne only arrived about 8pm that evening. After dinner we debated and discussed on what to bring and what not. Lucky for us, Kuan's sister brought us an additional backpack to stuff some of the heavy warm clothing. We decided to leave that backpack to the porter.

We went to bed between 10.30 -11.30 pm that night.

Mt. Kinabalu - Part 2 (The Climb) next!

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