Previously – Snippets
Malaysia comprised of West Malaysia or the Peninsula and East Malaysia. And East Malaysia consists of Sarawak and Sabah, situated on the island of Borneo. I have always wanted to visit those 2 states. Being a Malaysian, I think I can’t consider myself a true Malaysian until and unless I have visited all the 13 states forming Malaysia.
And finally, my dreams came true. At least partially. After 26 years of living, I managed to visit Sabah, thanks to… no, not Air Asia this time. Thanks to Malaysia Airlines!!… for making this dream a reality. Haha.
My visit to Sabah with my best buddy, Akmal, was not a long-planned journey. Instead, we bought the ticket soon after we returned from our journey to Cambodia and Vietnam in May 2013, and the ticket was for July 2013. Yeah, I was so lucky to get a ticket to Sabah for a trip barely 2 months after my earlier trip, for the price of RM 136 return! That was the reason we bought the ticket without thinking twice. It was cheaper than Air Asia, and a premium airline!
I was so excited as it was going to be my first visit to East Malaysia and my first time flying with Malaysia Airlines.
The journey was a 4 days 3 nights trip, from 4th July 2013 to 7th July 2013. Thanks to my boss for approving my leaves! ;D
And so, this is my Kota Kinabalu travelogue—
4th July 2013
I did not sleep properly the night before. I was very excited and looking forward for this trip. Our flight was the first flight in the morning, at 7.30 am. By 5.30 am, we were already at the main terminal of the KLIA airport, thanks to my brother who sent us there. It was my first time flying out of Kuala Lumpur from the main terminal of the KLIA, instead of the LCCT.
As I have never flown out of the city from the main terminal, both of us were scrambling looking for our ways inside the airport. Finally, we noticed everyone was lining up for baggage drop, so we did the same. After we had checked-in the baggage, we were given our boarding pass at the counter, replacing the self-printed boarding pass that we had earlier on.
As we were flying with Malaysia Airlines [Economy Class], we were given 30 kg checked baggage allowance. It is the same for all Malaysia Airlines destinations except for North and South America.
After we had checked-in our baggage and performed other obligations, we went to the cafe for a quick breakfast. We even met our lecturer here, bound for Terengganu.
By 6.30 am, we went to the departure area, as our flight to Kota Kinabalu was supposed to be at around 7.30 am.
After we had lined up to the departure area, passed the security check and got our body scanned [yes, all passengers must get their body scanned], we went and looked for our boarding gate.
Please show your i/c together with the boarding pass before passing the security. And please, follow queue. Come early to avoid long queue and missing your flight.
I was so stunned because it was my first time at the departure area of KLIA. Having used to the cheapskate design of the LCCT-KLIA, without the travellator and all the hi-tech looking design, KLIA main terminal really impressed me. ;)
At around 7.00 am, the boarding gate was opened and we were allowed to board the flight. Being my first time flying with Malaysia Airlines also means being my first time flying with a Boeing. ;)
When we arrived at the plane’s door, I asked Akmal whether I can take the newspaper provided in the plane. He smiled at me. Oh was it a smirk? Haha. Oh yeah, I forgot. This is a premium airline and not a no-frills airline. Of course I can take it for free!! Hahaha.
Sharp at 7.30 am, the flight took off. There was no in-flight entertainment for this flight because I think we boarded the old plane. But I did not mind, because I was so sleepy, I slept as soon as the flight took off.
I only woke up when the sweet stewardess smiled and asked me “What do you want for breakfast, sir? Nasi lemak or chicken noodles?“. The flight to Sabah from Kuala Lumpur takes 2 1/2 hour and so, they provide breakfast. I had a tummy problem, so I did not want the nasi lemak because I was afraid the ‘sambal’ will make it worse. So, I opted for chicken noodles.
2 1/2 hours later, at around 10.00 am, I saw the soil of Sabah.
The flight to Kota Kinabalu from Kuala Lumpur by Malaysia Airlines will touch down at Terminal 1 of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.
If you are going to Kota Kinabalu from Kuala Lumpur by Air Asia, it will normally touched down at Terminal 2 of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Although it seems like 2 different terminals in the same airport, the fact is, THEY ARE NOT. Both terminals are like 2 separate airports with 2 different entrances. Therefore, please ensure where your flight is heading to.
When we arrived at the airport, after we had passed the customs, we went to the immigration checkpoint to get our visa/ entrance slip.
Although Sabah is a state within Malaysia, they are given autonomy in several areas including immigration. So, Malaysians coming from the Peninsula must have their MyKAD or passport in order to gain entry to the state.
The visa/entrance slip will be given upon entry at the immigration checkpoint, and it must be kept safe at all times, It must be signed and returned at the immigration checkpoint upon leaving the state.
Malaysians from the Peninsula can enter and remain in Sabah for 90 days from the date of arrival.
After the immigration check point, I collected my bag and we waited for our friend, who is a Sabahan, outside the terminal building of the airport, which looks like the mini version of the KLIA. ;)