KOTA KINABALU BABY!

OR THE TALE OF THE ETERNAL BUFFET AND SUNSET COCKTAILS.

Strange Pleasures while Travelling.

When I left my stopover hell in KL I noticed the things that can oddly bring you calm and equilibrium after travels more challenging times. They come in small bumpy gluts. The printout of a boarding pass managed without a drama, security being quiet and well organised, a cafe that has proper milk for your tea. The happiness when your case is a little overweight and they just tell you to flatten it out a bit. The relief after boarding when you finally have added your very heavy Russian coat to your suitcase and still be able to lift it up to the overhead compartment (like an athlete with all the adrenaline still pumping in her body). That stiff drink on the plane that soothes your ragged nerves. The dinky little meal with all those packets of wonderful snacky things and the kindness of strangers.

My sanctuary for two days kip.

Arriving in KK was like coming home. The twenty minute drive from the airport to my hotel was one of the places extra bonuses and I had found a gem of a hotel. By paying a smidgen more I had secured a room on the Executive floors. At the Promenade Hotel they are old school. The top two floors are the posh ones where you have access to the roof restaurant and bar and the food and drink are free. The glamour of this arrangement did not escape my notice, obviously I was in seventh heaven in a shocking reversal of my fate of the previous day. A lot of hotels have this but I’ve never indulged and oh my god it was heaven. The solo traveller should try this when they see a massive discount on the hotel booking site and rein in the hippy for a few days and release the luxuriant snob. Here I met, who shall in future be called Darling Daughter or DD for short, my new fabulous friend.

Afternoon buffet.

I needed a two day sleep and eat binge. Exhaustion sneaks up on you when you have a stretch of very difficult times whilst travelling, and my journey from KL was an adrenaline fueled last push. The beautiful view and oh so soft bed at the Promenade was chicken soup of the soul. I would sleep then scuttle up to the roof for either breakfast or high tea or sunset cocktails, write my journal out on the terrace and scuttle back to my room and crash.

Cake racks of super sugary sweetness

Alert: Rest stops are vital if you start to get run down. If you’re not quite as enthusiastic it’s either fatigue or burnout. Listen to your body and obey it. Have local soups, plenty of water and sleep. These broken nights of sleep will eventually catch up on you and you should carry some Sleepeeze or a similar over the counter product to ensure an uninterrupted kip once in a while. Being kind to yourself doesn’t mean you’re missing out and it’ll save you heartache later. If you’re tired you are open to infection. If you’re tired you become clumsy from not being able to concentrate and have an accident. My accidents have always been when I am over tired so be warned.

From my Diary

“I had a surprisingly shitty cold and was completely drained. I hadn’t allowed myself a rest since being on the three day stretch on the Trans Siberian Express. So in essence, I had been busy for nearly three months without a break. Although it had been an exquisite experience I was running on fumes and they weren’t from my stiff cocktails.”

Malay sweet tooth evident.

“I guzzled my free vodkas and chomped away at the huge variety of delicious savories and made in house cakes and sweets. I gazed at the Borneo sunset each evening, a dramatic pink affair which competed with the gaudy pastries. For a poorly chuck it was perfect, I would trot off to my room after and watch TV or listen to my Audible books (Was still trying to finish Anna Karenina which was supposed to be done by the end of the Trans Siberian Express trip for gods sake, would I still not have finished it by the time I got back to Blighty?) Going to the restaurant now, it’s beer o’clock!”

View from my room at dawn

“OK resuming! The fatigue and head cold was severely mimicking last years BIG TRIP flu which had been severely debilitating and had finally forced me back to the U.K. (that and the rainy season) If you’re sick and alone it’s no joke and add to that an injury? (I broke my big toe in Chiang Mai on a jungle trek two days before travelling home one time ffs!)”

“When you’re older fatigue and stress will leave you open to viruses, especially when you’re in Asia with a whole larder full of various Asian flus. [very pertinent now] These are very foreign to your immune system so STOP before anything happens and rest up. Eat the good healthy fare and stop flying, use air con only in moderation and chill. Don’t stress. Use the time to read, watch crap on your laptop and sleep. You will thank me for this advice”

Savoury snacks

And so I relaxed for those first two days and ate. The breakfasts were huge and superb. All things eggy were available to order with toast and jams and English breakfast tea and for the more exotic you could try noodles and dim sum that came in huge tureens on the breakfast buffet. vegetables in sauces and spring rolls. Sweet buns and different kinds of bread rolls. Juices from all the fruits you could think of and gallons of fresh coffee. Champagne was also there, but even I’m not that bad.

Sunset from my room

The eagerly awaited sunset each day had more to do with the food and cocktails I reckon but the colours of those skies? So incredible and just as lovely as I remembered from the last time I was here. The food buffet in the afternoon always had expertly presented appetisers so dainty and tasty that you were in heaven along with dim sum, satay, chicken nibbles, shellfish, noodles (always noodles), rice and all matter of goodies. So you see my friends I was able to eat a feast and not have any other expenses while I was there.

OVER AND OUT FROM A TIRED OLD BIRD

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2 comments

  1. Good advice about making time for rests! It’s easy to think that traveling means go-go-go, cram in every activity you can while you’re there, but you’ll end up with less time if some is not spent taking care of yourself.

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