(Mapping the plans in KK @ KBL’s balcony)
Kota Kinabalu is the capital city of Sabah, Malaysia, formerly known as the Jesselton. The city is easy, although because I am not used to the place yet I walk a lot to see more of it. There were local transportation such as buses, vans, and teksis (taxi).
If you’re looking for places to sleep, then there are a lot of backpackers places and mid-range hotels in the area. I suggest you book your hostel accommodation online, you’ll get cheaper. A friend got a dorm bed for 12RM/night (PHP156) booked online while walk ins would be charged 20-25RM (PHP 260-325) dorm bed/night. I think Singapore and Malaysia, you should book it online (although that is not practical to do for Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand).
(Kinabalu Backpacker’s Lodge – KBL)
Coolest hostels are near the ferry terminal, I stayed 3 days in Kinabalu Backpacker’s Lodge and was actually my favorite. I got it 25RM/night (PHP325)for a dorm bed with breakfast, air-conditioned, WiFi, and near the ferry terminal location. The place is clean and the staff are very friendly and helpful. I did not like the vibe of the first hostel, Lucy’s Homestay, they seem reluctant to help and give information to their guests, untidy, a bit smelly, no aircon, breakfast, and WiFi is not good for 23RM/night (PHP299). Borneo Beach House Backpackers is okay for 20RM/night (PHP260) with WiFi, fan dorm room, without breakfast and found out from the receptionist that they give it 18RM if its booked through their website and cheaper through 3rd party websites like Hostelworld.com etc.
Just research your best options online before heading to your next destination, it was just I have no access to the Internet from my current boarding house which is why I got a little ripped off here and there. Lessons learned, but I think I’ll be a little the same to my Bali trip due to the last minute local air fare booking.