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Saturday, February 21, 2009

First Day in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Arrived in KK, capital of the East Malaysian State of Sabah at midnight - the Air Asia flight from Singapore was half an hour late.  B.J. of Kinabalu Backpackers Lodge picked me up at the airport for the 15 minute drive to the lodge in Australian Place, downtown KK.  This is a small city and certainly very quiet at that hour.  Checked email over the lodge's WIFI, then went to bed.
 
Woke up early as the China tourists next door was packing their things in a noisy manner. Had quick breeakfast and strolled through downtown.  The coffeeshops were only beginning to open.  The pace of life is obviously slower than in Singapore. The whole place has a very sleepy feel.  The coffeeshops sell broadly the same noodle-and-rice mix you see in Singapore neighbourhoods, but I was surprised by the high price levels.  Most meals would cost about 70% or more of Singapore levels when I would expect them to cost alot less, at about 50%.  Cost of living seem awfully high for the locals given Sabah's status as Malaysia's poorest state. 
 
Visited downtown landmarks including the markets, State Museum and State Mosque.  The State Museum has an impressive bookshop with interesting but expensive books about Sabah.  I bought a book about ethnic and cultural adaption in Sabah (Cultural Adaptation in Borneo - Sabah Museum Monograph Volume 7) and another about the origins of Kadazandusun people (Sabah's largest tribe many say has Taiwanese origins) - Inland People of Sabah: Before, During and After Nunuk Ragang - by P.S. Shim.


 
 

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