Expert expat Fiona Hagan's journey suggestions for Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia


Originally from Ballina, in northern NSW, Fiona Hagan moved to Bangkok in 2000, and has been dwelling in south-east Asia ever since. She is on her second posting to Kota Kinabalu (KK to the locals), as common supervisor of Shangri-La Rasa Ria since 2017. “I love Kota Kinabalu and have come to see it as my second home,” Fiona says. “The people and the place remind me of the laid-back culture of home, surrounded by beaches and fresh seafood.”

SEE Explore the streets of Kota Kinabalu by foot, beginning with Sinsuaran close to the waterfront, which is jam-packed with outlets, then to Gaya Street to unravel town’s wealthy heritage and historical past. For a once-in-a-lifetime expertise, head to the Sepilok Rainforest Discovery Centre in direction of nightfall because the rainforest settles and expertise the flight of the squirrels and the magic of the Borneo Rainforest. Especially in case you are caught within the rain.

DO A favorite exercise is climbing up Bukit’s hills for great sunrises over the Crocker Range or Mount Kinabalu. I’m a morning particular person, so I’m up earlier than the solar to stroll to the highest of Bukit Padang (a neighborhood coaching floor for the hike up Mount Kinabalu) or a dawn stroll on Tanjung Lipat alongside the waterfront for lovely views of Mount Kinabalu and the islands off KK. My favorite morning expertise is the Borneo Sunrise expertise on the Shangri-La Rasa Ria – I do know it is my office, although its really magical to see the Mount Kinabalu framed on this setting at dawn,

EAT Malaysia is understood for its meals. A favorite breakfast spot is Sri Latha Curry House for a staple South Indian breakfast of thosai, which is roti canai served both kosong (plain) or banjir – which suggests it is flooded with dahl and curry with a scorching teh si kosong (tea with evaporated milk), simply excellent after that dawn morning stroll. My private favorite is the idiyappam (string hoppers) which they normally have on weekends, served both with grated coconut brown sugar or with curry, 28, Jalan Berjaya, Bandat Berjaya. KK is legendary for its freshly caught seafood. Have your choose of fish, prawns or shellfish from the tanks and they’re going to prepare dinner any fashion you fancy. My absolute go-to is Restoran Jeti, for the steamed fish fillets in black olives (or any fashion), the native vegetable of the day and the particular baked eggplant, 138 Gaya St, Kota Kinabalu.

DRINK Shamrock Bar proper on the Waterfront in Kota Kinabalu, sitting by the water watching the sundown having fun with a Kilkenny ale,

AVOID Best to keep away from the out of doors seafood eating places on waters close to the Filipino Market or the principle markets because the seafood won’t all the time be the freshest.

THRIVE Befriend the locals. They know one of the best markets, the locations to eat, and you may rely on them to lend a serving to hand while you encounter any issues. Even if they can not enable you to personally, they’re going to know another person who can. Come for a vacation and keep a bit longer to get to know the locals as they’re fabulous, heat and pleasant individuals.