Friday, May 9, 2014

Kota Kinabalu - the big city

As we were sailing the last few days (and believe it or not, we were actually sailing, not motoring), I kept having these random thoughts… “I wish I could see something big like a whale,”  “Gosh it’s pretty out here,”  “I’m lonely, but am I really ready to go  home?,” “  I hope I can run here, I”ve gotten fat,”  “I wonder if there are any kid boats for Jake to play with,”  “ I wonder if there’s anyone for me to play with”…. And on and on….

We spent a week in the Kudat marina, acclimating ourselves to the friendly Malaysian people and stifling heat.  We were able to catch up with our friends on s/v Creola, unfortunately, now on the hard getting rebuilt after spending two weeks on a reef.  We were introduced to our best meal since who knows when and a swim in a really hot pool (the ocean temp here is 93 degrees).  While staying in Kudat was tempting (hee hee), we decided to move on (crocodiles, box jellies, etc).

The captain taking some selfies.

As we pulled into Kota Kinabalu (known as KK), one theme ran throughout all of us…. Jake put it best “Oh. My. Gosh.  This place is HUGE!”

It’s our first city since San Diego.  Complete with big buildings, 6 lane highways, red lights, and lots and lots of people.  We pulled in yesterday and decided to anchor outside the swanky, swanky marina.  Did I say swanky?  2, or is it 3? Resorts…4 pools, who knows how many restaurants, bowling ally, someone said theater???  Swanky. 

We anchored, took a shower and went in to check it out.  What did we find?  Our good friends Lee and Richard on s/v Before.  Love these people.  Unfortunately, they only had 5 minutes to talk before heading out on a tour for a few days, but enough time to surprise them and get some really good info (like how to catch the “swanky” bus with air conditioning to town for a $1/person).

So today we went downtown to check everything out.  You know we hit the mall…. We found the Japanese restaurant we want to try soon.  We walked through one of the largest markets I’ve seen to date…very cool.  Then we had ‘jugs’ of beer at an Irish pub.

No more itty bitty watermelons...finally, one fit for an American
(have you ever seen the size of a watermelon in Oklahoma?) 
This was just one row of over a dozen.

Dried fish is abundant here.  The smell is atrocious but the taste
is surprising good, especially in soups.

I’m sure we’ll get further into the Malaysian thing tomorrow, but if you’ve read us for very long, you’ll know we get our American on when we hit a place like this ( Can you say ‘Burger King?’  “Pizza Hut?”…actually we got there at 9:30 and nothing else was open…we were starving…Whopper sounded good.).  We need a day to soak it all in, then we’ll hit the streets.  We’re looking forward to the night market.  We here it’s the best in Borneo.  Street food, locals, market…all good things.
While we just arrived, it seems like this is the hub of all things happening….city life (restaurants, bars, people, lots and lots of hotels), jungle, orangutans, caves, rivers, long houses, white water rafting, giant mosques, scuba diving, literally everything. 

It’s also quite pricey in some aspects so we’re going to have to choose wisely (unlike last night when we spent a small bar of gold on our crappy dinner at one of the hotels here), but choose we will….this is the most exciting place yet.  The people are friendly, the food is good, and the possibilities are endless….

A local chain...Andy couldn't resist taking a picture. :)

Stay tuned…


Anonymous said...

We were in KK late last year and had dinner at a great little restaurant called Kohinoor. Along the coast line near a bar that had "Bed" in it's title if memory serves me. We had them do a couple meals to put in the freezer--if they lasted that long-- for the jump to Tioman Island.

Mac Mckaskle said...

wow, sounds like a great change of pace for you guys. Have fun and as you said to use wisely. Love you guys, PS looks like Jake is in watermelon heaven. Happy face

Doug and Carla Scott said...

Enjoy your time in the big city!

Mark Roope said...

Why is there an Irish pub everywhere you go?
The market looks amazing and after sometime at sea a place like this is like a breath of fresh air.. unless you are stood outside of Burger king.
Enjoyed the blog. Thanks for posting

stop said...

Greetings, Today was the first time I checked out your blog and was shocked to learn about Linda Mckeever and Ceola. We (Roger and Judy, aboard S/V Hanoah) met Linda and Bill in Fiji. We were with them in Tuvalu, Marshals, and Palau. We were at Sam's when Bill flew home for the last time. You get the idea, we are friends of Creola. Really sorry to hear about Linda's grounding. If you have any other information to pass along I am interested.
After leaving Palau we sailed to Singapore and sold our boat, flew back to the States, bought a new boat, we're now in Panama planning to go through the canal next Feb.
Good luck on your travels. Regards, Roger Wilson

The Crew of Savannah said...

Loved the Indian rest., anonymous :)
Mark, yes, there does seem to be a theme...
Roger, yes, it was devastating news to us too...if you give me your contact info I can forward it on to Linda if you like. If you google Creola and Phillipines you'll find a few articles...they're full of's a story best told by Linda. She is doing great though considering all things and has a wonderful attitude. Creola actually looks a lot better than we imagined...they're planning on getting her back to " new." Safe travels for you guys...have fun in Panama!

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