We’ve recently returned from a holiday in Kota Kinabalu (or KK) to celebrate the Mister’s birthday. To be honest, when we were first talking about booking this holiday, I had no idea where Kota Kinabalu was! Now I know that it’s the capital city of Sabah, which is a state of Malaysia, but is located on the island of Borneo.
41,000 feet above the South China Sea
Flight time from HK was just 2-and-a-half hours. As expected, the weather at this time of the year in KK is very warm and humid, but more comfortable than HK. We stayed at the Shang-ri La Rasa Ria resort, which is a 45-minute drive from the airport. The resort is absolutely gorgeous with lots of lush vegetation, a huge pool (made up of 5 pools with varying depths and water slides), a short walk from the rooms to the beach, and a great selection of activities, and places to eat.
The view from our room
The main reason we chose the Rasa Ria was that it had an Orangutan Reserve located on resort grounds. At the reserve, they care for orphaned/abandoned orangutans up to the age of about 5 years old. This is where their rehabilitation journey begins. After this age, they move on to another, larger reserve where they are further re-habiltated and then released back into the wild. From inside the resort, we undertook a short hike through the forest up to a feeding platform, where two of the younger orangutans soon appeared for feeding time (and some comedic playfulness with the handlers!). The girls loved seeing them in action. It was a treat to see the orangutans up close and in their natural habitat.
Mulan the Orangutan at the feeding platform
Tan-Tan the Orangutan – she’s only 1 year old
Apart from seeing the Orangutans and learning about their conservation, we ended up spending most of our holiday in the pool and by the beach :-)
The girls writing their names in the sand
Loving the powdery, soft sand under their feet
KK put on some amazing sunsets
Spending our last sunset in KK in the pool
I cannot recommend the Shangri-la Rasa Ria highly enough. We were greeted by the bang of a gong, a round of cooling drinks, and refreshing face towels. The staff were incredibly helpful, responsive, and friendly – the best service we’ve received at any hotel. The room we had was perfect for a family of four with two small kids. We’ve never allowed the girls to go to a kids club before but we dropped them off for a few hours on one of the days we were there and they absolutely loved it – especially since they got to do some batik painting. Also, the food? So good. So, so good. In fact, the sudden tightness of my clothes attest to how good it was. And as I mentioned, the resort itself is just a fantastic place to relax.
Golden sunset by the beach
The Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort
Pantai Dalit Beach