Some people pick their accommodation based on comfort and services. Me, personally: I don’t plan on spending that much time in my room. So long as it has a bed I can crash on, and a bathroom to wash the kids – I can manage almost anything else.
Instead, I am pretty much about the location.
As mentioned previously, while in KK we stayed at Hotel Eden 54. Great little hotel. Cosy, modern, clean. Make sure you ask at the desk for the free WiFi.
And the location!! Fantastic!! We were lucky enough to be in KK for the Gayan Markets – every Sunday, starting right outside our Hotel! These were definitely the best Borneo markets we had been to – and a LOT of shopping was done that day! I usually hate shopping, but it was a pleasure wandering around these markets, although it does get ridiculously busy from about 10am onwards.
Massages (*sigh*), giant pythons, music, side-walk chess, and of course Air Ban-dung. There are plenty of opportunities to pick up side-walk food and drink, but even better is the option to duck into a cafe here or there for a bit a/c for the kids as well.
The other thing about our location was that we looked out to a big, huge hill. The kind of hill that says “I have an awesome vista up here you want to see.” The type of hill where you say to the kids “Let’s walk up that big hill to the look-out”, and they look at the hill and say “Yeah! Let’s do it!!”
I love those types of hills. Almost as much as I love the kids.
As a warm-up, we hiked over to the Clock Tower you see in the picture here. We climbed up the 60 or so steps. We looked around. It was nice. But the kids wanted more.
So then we started hiking up the hill itself. We couldn’t see an actually path, and when we asked a local they said it was up the road this way. And then suggested a taxi. And then shook their heads when we said we would prefer to walk. We get that a lot.
We were so proud of S that day – he walked up the hill, the whole way all by himself. N maintained morale from his standard cheer-leading position on B’s back. In all honesty, the destination was great but the journey with this little team was simply awesome. Everything I love about travelling with them – and all during an activity that was purely spur of the moment.
At the top we rested, gazed, played a few games, and checked our map for the next grand adventure – Dinner for the night.
Watching a sunset over the water is a must in KK. Our goal was to grab some seafood dinner and watch the sunset melt into the water. It was recommended in one of the travel guides to eat at The Seafood Markets – but we were sorely disappointed. It was very much like an open-air restaurant, with a number of vendors vying for your tourist dollar. Considering that B and I both hail from the East Coast of Australia, we have both been spoilt when it comes to seafood (quality and availability).
While we were waiting for dinner, B noticed the time and quickly ran off to the Esplanade for photos of the sunset. He was lucky to make it, capturing this beauty.
Do you see the storm brewing to the right? Yeah, so did most of the market vendors down by the water as well. This ended up being a regular occurrence over the next couple of nights – we later discovered there was a typhoon a little north of Borneo, in the Philippines. The next night, another storm brewed while we ate the seaside markets (much better for food and prices). It was amazing watching the market stalls react like clockwork at the first signs, while still maintaining the organised hustle/bustle of the market.
If you are looking for dinner, head to the Esplanade and the markets there. Don’t waste your time with the ‘Official Seafood Markets’ located a good 5 blocks from the water.