Borneo – Kota Kinabalu – Pulau Sapi

Kota Kinabalu

What surprised me during the flight from Georgetown to Kota Kinabalu (KK) is that the flight attendants were wearing jeans. Branded Air Asia naturally! After landing the usual taxi counter helped us to get transportation to the city. It was already well after dark. We didn’t know where we wanted to stay so again chose a name from our guide. Just for your information Trekker’s Lodge doesn’t exist anymore. We ended up in Sensi Hostel. In KK hostels represent a better standard than the hotels. We found that out later on on our way back from Sandakan. The rooms (doubles without windows) cost MR70 and for 4 people MR120. they also have proper cheap dormitories.

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Georgetwon, Penang, Malaysia

Lots to be said about why we flew to Penang from Langkawi instead to take a ferry. Also let’s not fail to mention that our flight was delayed and even thought we left much earlier than our friend/owner of Rainbow Lodge we arrived in Georgetown much later, so late in fact he gave our reserved rooms away and we had to look for a different accommodation. (Taxi from airport to Georgetown MR44) Which let me tell you wasn’t easy. And to find two rooms with windows in the same hostel. Impossible! Well for us without window (flip of a coin or three I can’t remember) in Kimberley House just around the corner.

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Langkawi cable car

Langkawi skybridge

As promised Langkawi Cable Car, Sky bridge and panorama. (Taxi to get there from Pantai Cenang MR26). The price to get on both middle and higher deck is MR30 but if you would like to add trekking from the highest deck to the middle one total price is MR99 (see they know their marketing). Cable car as a way of transportation might be exciting but the most amazing part is the sky bridge. It was closed for maintenance when we were there. Shame!

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Langkawi Malaysia

Langkawi Malaysia

Langkawi is a duty free island near the Thai border. During the peak season it’s very busy and quite expensive. Off season we were welcomed by rain and more backpacker friendly prices. Langkawi means reddish brown eagle in colloquial Malay and hence large eagle statute is symbolizing the island. We arrived by boat in the harbor without any idea where we want to stay. After quick consideration we chose Pantai Cenang (Cenang Beach). Taxi there costed us MR24. We didn’t know where to start looking for accommodation but the driver got us really annoyed when pretending to be death to our requests to stop. He brought us all the way to AB Motel. Typically it would be the last place where we wanted to go after all this. Maybe he meant well but seemed to be very cheeky about it. It came to verbal scuffles to the extent that a by walked asked what happened. Anyway it was still raining as we sat down to have some coffee. Bent over a guide and telephone already started to lose hope for something in our budget. When the girl from the cafe came over. She advised us to walk pass Restaurant Rasa and turn right into a small street where cheaper accommodation is available. This is how we went from MR170 per night to MR70.

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Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi, train, ferry and the rain

Malaysia Langkawi train

We left Kuala Lumpur on board of an overnight KTM train to Alor Star (Alor Setar). Heads up for anyone looking for sleeping cart: buy the tickets well in advance. You can do it here online.

Another of my dreams came true. Not trans Siberian, but still exciting. I have to say it was more comfortable than I expected. We got tickets for the last compartment on top benches opposite to each other. We didn’t even get a chance to settle in when we saw a small service cart approaching. A girl and a guy were pushing it towards our beds, then stopped foe 20 seconds and started to walk back again. Without a word. This is your service so if you want to buy something to eat or drink here’s your chance.

I woke up before sunrise. Lying on my bed I was considering what the weather will be like and trying to figure out the route of rain during rainy season. Having no idea what so ever about meteorology I made up theories of where it should be raining and where not. I went to the toilet which was thankfully cleaned. Breakfast – terribly sweet cookies and mango juice. God, save us all from forced sweet breakfasts. A. had potato bun which tasted like bread plait. Better option.

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