At last, after so many attempts to tour other Asian country, I had the chance to stamped my passport at DMIA-Clark Airport and visit Kota Kinabalu. Though our 2D2N itinerary didn’t work out as planned, it’s still a vacation full of happy moments and “unusual” experience for all of us in that DG7312 flight of Tigerair.
EARLY HALLOWEEN TREAT AT DMIA
It is indeed a peculiar experience to finally reach your destination after hours of flight and seeing the glimpse of the city lights 32 miles below when suddenly Mr. Captain announce this line: “I regret to inform all passengers that we have to go back to Clark International Airport… blah blah blah…”.
First night in a hotel at Clark Pampanga is still acceptable but a real nightmare for a passenger in a delayed flight is to stay awake for another night while loosing our precious time waiting for our plane to take us to our final destination. Though we’re advised for options like to adjust our tour dates, process re-booking or even refund our two-way tickets, we can’t afford to take another leave for 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 after staying for two nights in Clark.
It is our third day when our “rescue flight”, as Clark ground handlers call it, departed 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
Upon arrival to KK Airport – Terminal 2, don’t forget to drop here and get free maps & brochure for your guide in touring Kota Kinabalu.
While waiting for the minibus (colored white & red) which is scheduled to arrive every hour to take us to city center, we tried and luckily made a good deal with a hotel-owned tourist bus driver to take us to KK City for only RM20 together with three other newly found friend. Our driver is cool enough to act as our tour guide while sharing information about Kinabalu on our way to our destination. He even point us the directions where we can buy good stuffs, the Jesselton Port and even drop us to this place where we had our breakfast.
SERVING FILIPINO FOODS HERE! (PINAY DIN ANG MAGSESERVE)
Since there’s no need for us to go to any hotels, we decided to go straight in Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal to start exploring one out of five famous island in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, The Pulau Manukan. On our way, a native (who knows Tagalog) offered us a better deal than the normal cost we have to pay for the rental of speedboat to reach the island. I’m not suggesting that you patronize them, so deal with them at your own risk. LOL
Here’s the list of expenses we paid for Pulau Manukan visit:
|Speedboat||RM20.00 / Island (No terminal fee, yeah!) – Not so legal you know.||A cheaper option than the usual: Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal at RM23.00 and additional Terminal Fee of RM7.20|
|Island Entrance Fee||RM10.00||Non-Malaysian, Adult|
|Pair of goggles||RM10.00||Optional / Can bring your own|
|Life Vest||RM 5.00||Optional / Can bring your own|
As soon as we step-out of the speedboat, a school of fish welcome our group. Different species of marine life are all visible throughout the water below us that will truly make you want to swim right away. After passing the entrance where we paid RM10.00 for conservation fee, we run straight to the beach to explore the island.
As soon as we had enough sunburn on the beach front, we decided to dry ourselves and head to their public bathroom. At the side of the restroom is the 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.
After one and a half hour stay in the island, we hurriedly go back to the port and hired a taxi to tour us around KK Center. Paid our driver RM30.00 for a quick stop and photo-shoots to some of KK’s famous landmarks 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.
CITY MOSQUE (KNOWN AS MASQUID FOR LOCALS)
SIGNAL HILL OBSERVATORY WHERE YOU CAN HAVE THE GOOD VIEW OF THE CITY
VIEW OF THE CITY FROM THE FLATFORM OF SIGNAL HILL
THE ATKINSON’S CLOCK TOWER
Overall, this day tour is indeed a very short but a fulfilling experience for all of us. A day in a place where cars don’t 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.