At last, after many attempts to tour other Asian country, I had the chance to stamped my passport at DMIA-Clark Airport and visit Kota Kinabalu. Though we didn’t meet our 2Days-2Nights itinerary, it’s still a vacation full of happy moments and not-so-usual experience for all of us in that DG7312 flight of SEA-AIR.
EARLY HALLOWEEN TREAT AT DMIA
It is indeed a peculiar experience to reach your destination and have the glimpse of the city lights 32 miles below when suddenly the captain announce that he regret to inform us that we have to go back to Clark International Airport. First night in a hotel at Clark is still acceptable but a real nightmare for a passenger in a delayed flight to stay awake for another night while loosing our precious time waiting for our plane to take us to our destination. Though we’re advised to adjust our tour dates, process rebooking or even refund our two-way tickets, we can’t afford to take another leave at work because of the stupid “no-runway-lights-on-Kinabalu-airport” reason. To put it in a nutshell, we can’t tour the city & visit the Kinabalu Park to view Mt. Kinabalu as planned but we decided to go on and just maximize our remaining 9 hours stay in Malaysia.
It is our third day when our rescue flight, as Clark ground handlers call it, departs at 4:30 am which is unusual for Tigerairways’ flight schedules. We arrived at Kota Kinabalu airport at 6:30 in the morning, passed immigration and waived our goodbyes to some of our co-passengers whose with us for two consecutive days in Clark.
TOURING KOTA KINABALU FOR JUST A HALF-DAY
While waiting for the minibus (colored white & red) scheduled to arrive every hour that will take you to city center, we manage to approach a hotel-own tourist bus paying our driver 20RM for six person to drive us to KK City. Our driver give us a brief tour and shared details about Kinabalu on our way to our destination. He even point us directions where we can buy good stuffs, the Jesselton Port and drop us to this place where we have our breakfast.
Since there’s no need for us to go to any hotels, we decided to go straight in Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal and start to explore only one of the five famous island in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Pulau Manukan. On our way, a native offer us a much better deal than the usual cost we have to pay for the rental of speedboat to reach the island.
Here’s the list of expenses we acquired for Pulau Manukan visit:
1 Island – RM20.00 (No Terminal Fee of course)
Much cheaper from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal at RM23.00 with additional Terminal Fee of RM7.20
In the island:
Entrance Fee (Non-Malaysian Adult) – RM10.00
Optional / Can bring your own:
Pair of goggles – RM10.00
Life Vest – RM5.00
I’m not suggesting that you patronize them, but make sure your dealing with the right person.🙂
As soon as we step-out of the ferryboat, a school of fish welcome our group. Different species of marine life are all visible throughout the water below us that will truly take your breath away. Once we pass the entrance where we pay RM10.00 for conservation fee, we run straight to the beach to explore the island.
After we have enough sunburn on the beach front, we decided to dry ourselves and head to their public bathroom. At the side of the restroom is a view of the other island next to Pulau Manukan but a rocky road is on the way below so we just settle to seat there and enjoy the view.
Have to go back to city after one and a half hour stay in the island, we hired a taxi to tour us around KK Center. Paid our driver RM30.00 for a quick stop and some photo-shoots before dropping us in BARTER (Filipino Market) where we bought our PASALUBONGS. Since we have our city itinerary, we just informed our driver which attractions we want to visit.
Overall, this day tour is indeed a very short but a fulfilling experience for all of us. A day in a place where no cars blow their horns, no heavy traffic, clean and green streets, low cost-delicious treats and a modern city surrounded of green forest and blue ocean within our reach. How I wish that someday-somewhere in Metro Manila, there will be a place just like Kota Kinabalu City.