Playtime in Kota Kinabalu (KK)

“I swear, I had millions of dollars but I only have thousands left. Wait, what currency are we in?” Katy Langham. British traveller, as she searched through various currencies trying to find money for the bar.

It’s a necessary luxury to allow for some flexibility in your travel itinerary. One of the joys of travelling is meeting new people and forging a connection in a short amount of time when one would not typically do otherwise. The Mt. Kinabalu climb was one of those experiences where talking while climbing gives you a chance to pass the time quicker, sharing lives with one another. Typically travellers are more adept at cutting to the quick and often share more with people they may never see again.

After the climb our group of three was about to lie down for our pre-descent nap when Katy mentioned to me that it was unfortunate that I was headed to Sandakan while everyone was headed to KK to party together before they parted ways. I realized I didn’t need to be in Sandakan until Sunday night and I had my Hyatt points, so, I invited Katy to stay with me at the Hyatt and we all returned to KK. Joining us were two teachers from the American School in Bangkok, Andrew from Kingston, Ontario and Dan from Detroit.

The next two days were spent by the pool, doing laundry, getting a massage (thank you Katy!) and enjoying the luxury that is the Hyatt Regency KK. One of the best afternoon/evenings I have had in a long time was on Saturday when the boys (Josh, Andrew and Dan) joined us at the pool and then each paid RM65 ($23 CAD) for all you can eat/drink on the Executive Club Level with Katy and it was quite the steal when a vodka/Red Bull is RM 43 ($14 CAD) at the club. We laughed so hard, crying with jaw (pronounced jar) ache as per Katy and cheeks aching as per North Americans. This led to happy hour until 9pm at the Rainforest Café and then to Bed, KK’s biggest nightclub. How good of an evening was it? Let’s just say I planked it out for the first and last time!

The con to meeting other like-minded travellers is that it reminds you of your friends at home; while at Bed, the 12-hour time difference enabled me to BBM friends at home. I still haven’t got the spring back in my step that I had before meeting them, it was one of those moments I’ll forever cherish. Thanks to all of you, you know who you are.

The one thing we did manage to do before we left KK was to visit the water village that was visible from the Executive Club Lounge. Katy, Josh and I felt that we had done very little in the time we had spent in KK and this was at least something we could accomplish. I definitely didn’t want to regret not visiting when I had looked at it a minimum of fifteen times from the EC Level and had asked the concierge about how to go about visiting it. I corralled the three of us, leaving our bags with the porter and headed down to the waterfront to find us a boat. I haggled the captain from RM100 to RM50 for the three of us and we enjoyed 45 minutes driving over, viewing the village from the water and taking pictures. It was incredibly cool and single planks of wood connect the homes. It made me think that perhaps Cirque du Soleil should be recruiting their tightrope walkers from this village as the children are quite adept at running along them when visiting their neighbours.

Shortly thereafter it was goodbye for Josh, Katy and I. You all are welcome at mine anytime, as I know I am at yours.

What Was Spent In This Post: Shared van transport from Mt. Kinabalu to Hyatt RM20, Friday night out RM160, Saturday night out RM100, massage tip RM5 (thanks Katy!), water village taxi/photos RM 10. Total: RM 295 / CAD $91.93

Much was saved because of the food/drink on the Executive Level of the Hyatt. Without, add approximately RM 300 / $100 CAD for ten drinks, two nights.

Remembering loved ones at home; thanks all for following me you have made me feel loved.

 Xo.  J

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