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Help please - five nights in Kota Kinabalu - love nature

Melbourne Australia
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Help please - five nights in Kota Kinabalu - love nature

Hi only have five nights in Kota Kinabalu, and really desire to see as much nature as we can. Love shopping too.

So my questions are:

the best places on day trips to go to see wildlife in the wild - any jungle type cruise?

Would we be better off going to Sandakan for two nights? Although that might cost us a lot of our holiday budget (and time)

Markets - are they every night and do you bargain?

Is Sepilok worth it or not? I've heard mixed reviews there.

Do the islands off KK have wildlife? We are especially interested in monkeys.

Thank you for any information.

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1. Re: Help please - five nights in Kota Kinabalu - love nature

I'm sure you'll get some good answers here (I haven't even been to Borneo yet -- our trip is in April), but right off my head, I am thinking the Klias Wetlands tour would be enjoyable . . .

Have you already bought your plane tickets? You may enjoy five nights based out of Sandakan, instead -- you could spend time at Sepilok and the Proboscis Monkey sanctuary, maybe visit Turtle Island and/or Lankayan, or visit the Kinabatangan -- one of the richest (and most accessible) areas for wildlife-viewing in all of Borneo.

Melbourne Australia
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2. Re: Help please - five nights in Kota Kinabalu - love nature

Thanks for your advice, you might be able to help me actually, I am not booked to go till 1st week July. We've bought tickets to KK from Singapore but can book to Sandakan also. We would love to visit the islands off KK and go to the markets but that would take a maximum 2 days. the rest of the time we are happy to go to Sandakan. I'm a little concerned of the expense as tours I have seen from Australian companies for 2-3 nights have been $700-ish each from KK. That seems a little steep to me.

By the way, is there a dress code being a predominantly Muslim country? (in other words do I just wear dresses and leave shorts at home?)

Edited: 09 February 2011, 20:04
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for Kota Kinabalu, Wangaratta, Sandakan
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3. Re: Help please - five nights in Kota Kinabalu - love nature

Sorts and a short sleeve top will be fine. If in jungle areas wear trousers (Cargos) and perhaps a long sleeve top. Use plenty of mozzie repellant.

Check this link to help you.


BTW Sabah is a place of many diverse cultures and religions. You will find local indiginous people, Malays, Chines, Indians etc. You will find Budddists, Christians, Muslims etc. The Muslims in Sabah are not strict in their dress. You are unlikely to see a Burka, some women wear head scaves and long pants.

Edited: 10 February 2011, 01:10
Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Help please - five nights in Kota Kinabalu - love nature

Hi there,

We were in Sabah in June/July and spent 4 nights KK (Mt Kinabalu park, TARP island - Gaya, and markets etc) as well as 2 nights Kinabatangan and 3 nights Sandakan (Sepilok, Labuk bay Proboscis monkey sanctuary and town area). For wildlife, Sandakan area will suit you better and Kinabatangan for sure. We used DoveDownBelow and I think it was about 2000MYR (can't remember 100%) for two people for two nights, staying at Myne resort - You may be able to book through Myne directly... We visited Sepilok and Labuk Bay on our own. We actually just went into Sandakan town, found the taxi stand area, found a driver and settled on a price. They will set a price for a the day and wait while you do stuff...

As far as dress code, KK was pretty relaxed, but Sandakan wasn't. Our friends had a teenage daughter who was stared at and made to feel uncomfortable wearing shorts and singlet. So if you're in town, dress modestly (i.e. cover sholders and knees). At resorts, it's fine to be in pool-ish attire...


- K

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5. Re: Help please - five nights in Kota Kinabalu - love nature

I had a 6 day trips in Sabah and Brunei last Oct. It was a wonderful trip.

I went to the TRP marine park in KK. I joined the tour offered by Excellence tour, which was great. The Chinese tourist guide was friendly, responsible and helpful. My tour-mates were mannered Taiwanese.

I then headed for Sandakan. I joined the 1N/1D Kinabagatan River tour. I don't think the Bird Cave is worth visiting. Better skip it.

I stayed in air-conditioned lodge in the rain forest. The room was decent and spacious.

Last but not least, air ticket was NOT costly at all. I travelled on Air Asia from KK to Sandakan. The single trip was MYR45.

I travelled with MAS Wing on the return trip, as it's the latest possible flight from Sandakan to KK. It merely cost me MYR 80, which I thought was reasonable.

In Sandakan, don't miss out the delicious sea food. I went to a local seafood restaurant recommended by a Chinese tourist guide (book).

I Can旅遊系列02 沙巴與自然同行

The book is colourful and full of photos. No matter you read chinese or not, it gives you useful information about the place.

Details of the tour agent for the river trip:

Sepilok Tropical Wildlife Adventure Sdn Bhd

(Company No. 275569-V)(KKKP No. 4116)

Ground Floor, Lot 3A, Block 13, Jalan Tiga,

P. O. Box 2082, 90723 Sandakan, Sabah.

Tel: (+6089)235108, 235109

Fax: (+6089)235107

Email: yunisah@stwadventure.com, info@stwadventure.com

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6. Re: Help please - five nights in Kota Kinabalu - love nature

If you're going to stay in KK and are still trying to see everything its worth going to the Wildlife Park at Lok Kawi. Its not the world's most amazing zoo, but it isn't dire either. The proboscis monkeys have a really nice enclosure, as do the OrangUtans and the aviary is lovely.

Do go early in the day though, as the paths are not astoundingly shady and it gets very hot. Everything is more active early on too. I'd aim to be there before 10am and gone by noon.

The easiest way is to hire a car and drive (about 30minutes South of the city). But you can also negotiate a price with a taxi and have him take you and wait. I wouldn't pay more than RM150 though, and for that price you can hire a car for the day.

The Green Connection also have an unusual selection of 'nature'. Pig nosed turtles, huge pythons, blue blooded crabs... You could easily do them after the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park too since its a more shady site.

As for your other questions:

Day Trips: - Klias for monkeys. Padas for adventure

Sandakan:- Shouldn't be that expensive, but get your schedule really organised otherwise you'll waste time trying to find bus/taxi/lodge/lunch etc.

Markets:- Kpg Air has a market every night. It's much the same stuff as the Filipino market and the Sunday market but generally cheaper. Haggle!! You want AT LEAST 30% off their first price.

Sepilok:- Has good days and bad days. Worth it if you're going to be on the east coast, not worth going over there just for that though.

TARP:- Has monitor lizards, macaques and lots of small mammals/birds/reptiles etc. Gaya is better than the others for trails and quiet.

7. Re: Help please - five nights in Kota Kinabalu - love nature

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