Travel responsibly. Take nothing but pictures. Conserve.
All photos on this website are copyrighted and exclusive property of Kiran Chakravadhanula
Kota Kinabalu (a.k.a KK) is the capital of the state of Sabah in Malaysia. It is located on the large island of Borneo which is shared by two other countries, Indonesia and Brunei. Borneo is the reason we are visiting Malaysia - to see the rain forest here. KK is our stopover destination before we visit Danum Valley. While we are in KK we decide to see Mt Kinabalu National Park and the Tunku Adbdul Rahman National Park.
One the road to Mt Kinabalu National Park
Mt Kinabalu National Park reception office
Mt Kinabalu National Park which is also a UNESCO world heritage site. They have a great collection of plant species here.
The Palm Fern. Its a fern that grows like a Palm.
The Birds Nest Fern. We saw a lot of these in Danum Valley.
Pitcher plants. These plants are carnivorous, they eat insects.
Some more pitcher plants
There is a little trail that takes us to a viewpoint To see Mt Kinabalu. Our Malaysia trip began with the idea of climbing this mountain but we dropped the idea later. My heart sank after I got a glimpse of the peak hidden above the clouds. The mountain is HUGE and the weather it creates around it is interesting. The clouds below us were literally churning as the mountain was altering the wind flow in very complex ways. It was a beautiful sight. I just cant help feeling a deep sense of respect when I look at it.
They have some nice ladders where the trail gets steep
The forest around the mountain was very interesting. I am seeing this kind of flora for the very first time
Our taxi. His card says "Please think of me always"
As we were leaving we get a glimpse of one of the peaks.
Back in KK we dine at the waterfront
and get a foot massage
Breakfast at D'Borneo, the hotel we were staying, a lovely place very close to the waterfront
Today, we go Island Hopping at Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine park
We get on a city bus to the Jesselton Jetty. It costs 1RM and a load of Durian Aroma to ride in these buses. Someone is always carrying Durian on these buses. If you dont know what a Durian is just search for it on the Internet
Jesselton Jetty. We opted for the 3 island tour. The island jetty system is pretty organized
Thats Jesselton Jetty
Mamutik Island. A tropical island overused by tourists and weekend crowds. The coral near the beaches is powdered to bits by human feet. The fish are still there though.
Thats Meera snorkeling
The city of Kota Kinabalu in the distance
I decide to check if there is anything interesting in the water
Its sad to see shattered coral everywhere that must have died a decade ago. I decide to back float
The beach look
Apparently, there is some strong competition
They have these floating markers so that snorkelers don't end up under fast moving boats.
Manukan Island. They had a jellyfish warning here.
Time to go to Sapi Island
Sapi Island was quite good of the lot. But destroyed coral here too. But I guess its wrong to have such expectations, this the place for picnickers in a hurry. Finding a great place for lunch is probably the highest priority here.
We catch a quick meal of vegetable fried rice
We do some snorkeling in the clear waters here. I swam a little farther and found a live anemone on the sea floor. There were two anemonefish in it. The anemone was a little larger than my palm and the water so shallow that I could stand on it. The rest of the area was filled with dead coral. The anemone fish were swimming in the solitary anemone which is their source of protection and as soon as they saw me they swam towards me from below and kept looking straight into my eyes. I just cant forget the moment. You have two little fish a little over 2 inches in length with absolutely brilliant colours swimming up to me just a feet under my face and looking at me intently as if asking "Are you you going to step upon our anemone ?" I just looked at them for a bit smiling back and I swam back to show Meera the two fish. I really didnt want to alarm the fish so we quickly left them. Its was a memorable sight for us. Shows the fragility of things and how two fish tried to communicate with us and tell us to be careful with their habitat.
We wait to take the last boat to KK from here. The boat guy has to make sure everybody who signed up with his company has left the island so he is screaming calling out to people telling them its the last boat. It was funny watching him. he would scream "Apaaro, you miss this boat you have to swim back laa". Apaaro is the name of the boat company.
Sunset at KK by the waterfront
We explore the fish market. It was quite sad to see all the beautiful sea creatures being sold here. W never grew them. It probably takes a miracle of an ecosystem to create this variety of life and we take them for granted as a food source until the populations run out. I am not arguing for vegetarianism. Whether you eat a plant, seed, bird or animal you kill, many of which we farm. The life that comes from the sea is largely what we don't farm, so perhaps on some moral level we don't have a right to kill it since we are so proud to be advanced enough to grow our own crop and live stock without depending on nature.
What is the cost of a fish ?
Just enough to pay the guy who will catch it for you.
All those campaigns about "Saving the Tiger" or the Polar Bear seem extremely hypocritical. In reality it is just regarding one species and disregarding the other.
Rays and Baby sharks
After the sobering experience at the bustling fish market we walk along the waterfront. A nice place to hang out in the evening
There are numerous restaurants and bars along the waterfront
An approaching thunderstorm
We try some Thai food which was very good
Breakfast at D'Borneo and I am calling Danum Valley just to make sure they know we are coming
View of the waterfront from our hotel room
We are all packed and ready to go to Danum Valley
At Kota Kinabalu airport waiting for our flight to Lahad Datu
View of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Islands from the air where we spent the previous day
See you again Kota Kinabalu.