Lounge Review: Kota Kinabalu (BKI) Plaza Premium Lounge, 05 November 2016

Plaza Premium Lounge Kota Kinabalu

The Kota Kinabalu Plaza Premium Lounge is of a decent-sized, and offers food cooked to order. I probably wouldn’t pay for it, but it’s an average international lounge, and was pretty empty when I visited.

Plaza Premium Lounge Kota Kinabalu

The space is pretty large, and is divided into the dining area, and the lounging area. There are monitors displaying flight information scattered around the lounge.

While the buffet available is rather unappetizing, they do have cooked-to-order food options. When I was there, I was interested in the black pepper chicken, but they were out of that. They only had the pasta option, which I had zero interest in, so I didn’t get anything to eat in the lounge.

Plaza Premium Lounge Kota Kinabalu

They do have sodas and other beverages in the fridge for self service. I did go to the bathroom, and it was clean. One source of annoyance? While the place is outfitted with USB chargers at the base of their lamps, it seems like none of them worked!


Malaysia – Kota Kinabalu, 15 May 2005

Our muscles were screaming when we woke up. We were certainly taking things slow. Not much on the itinerary, except to go get ferry tickets for our boat trip out to the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park the next day.

After that, there was just some leisurely walking around. The other two decided to go check out the mall, and I just waited around while Elaine went shopping.

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Mall in Kota Kinabalu

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Street Market

Malaysia – Kota Kinabalu to Mount Kinabalu, 12 May 2005

Day started out with Yi Hao turning his bags upside down, as he did not know where his passport was, but thankfully it was found in one of the compartments in his bag, and after this slight delay, we proceeded towards Mt. K with our driver, Hezrond, after a breakfast of toast with jam and butter.

On the way, our excellent driver cum knowledgeable tour guide pointed out many places of interest in KK, including the modern, circular Foundation building, which is the tallest building in KK at 32 storeys. Other interesting factoids which Yi Hao managed to fish out of Hezron include land prices (20-80 RM psf), prices of sports cars and future developments in KK, including a 100 hectare hypermall beside the largest university in Borneo, famous for marine conservation studies.

Arriving at Kinabalu Park at around 12 noon, we were an hour early for the check-in time, and hence, Hezron recommended a nice local restaurant to us, where we tucked in to our sumptious lunch of curry beef, fried rice, fried noodles and hot and spicy soup, which eventually just cost us 7 RM per person!!!

After lunch, we were brought to our cabin, the Nepenthes Lodge, which was posh beyond our imagination, as it had 2 storeys, 2 bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room. In addition to the above, it actually has a functional fireplace and a porch with branches poking into our place. Way, way, way too cool! Hope we get to play with the fireplace at night!

Snapping out of our reverie, we decided to head down to the Kinabalu park HQ to see if we can find some form of transport to bring us to Poring Hot Springs, which is approximately 56 km away from Kinabalu Park. To our shock and disgust, the guy at the ticket counter said taht it would cost us RM 65 to charter ONE WHOLE BUS to bring us there, one way. Deciding that it was on the steep side of things, we decided to snoop around for alternative options, and the moment we walked out, we saw Hezron, our trusty guide, who was willing to bring us there and back for less than half the price quoted by the guy at the counter.

Arriving at Poring Hot Springs, Hezron kindly volunteered to lead us to the springs, and he also pointed out interesting things along the way including the lantern bug which crawls up the tree in a circular fashion, and various species of the ginger plant, the banana etc. He also led us to the canopy walk, which though not spectacular (as we were too busy watching our steps), was an adventure as it involved us walking through 3 suspension bridges hanging high above the forest.

After a sweaty and mildly tiring walk, we finally sat in the bathing tubs, waiting for the tus to fill for a well-deserved soak. Of course, while wandering why my tub took forever to fill, Elaine finally figured out that it was because I did not plug the hole in my tub, leading to the water draining out about as fast as it was filling up.

At around 5.30 pm, we left Poring to head back towards Kinabalu Park, hoping that we’ll make the journey before dark. En route back, the sharp-eyed Hezron spotted a sign saying “Refflesia [sic] blooming” and so, he immediately pulled over and after some skillful bargaining, we managed to enter the place for a view of the legendary plant for RM 12. The flower was about half a meter in diameter, with five petals. Although it was supposed to be smelly according to our textbooks, we detected no stench, as it was just the second day, and the stench is supposed to set in on the fourth day. Apparently, we’re pretty lucky, as this parasitic flower blooms only for 7 days, after 9 months as a bud, and only one in six buds bloom!

Dinner was a set meal, which was part of our package. Although the ambience was great, dinner was a challenge for me, as it involved 3 dishes comprising purely of vegetables and nothing but vegetables. I suppose this comes of Mt. Kinabalu being situated beside the vegetable distribution centre in Sabah.

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Poring Hot Springs

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Sign for Rafflesia


Rafflesia – biggest flower in the world

Singapore to Malaysia – Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, 11 May 2005

Welcome to the world of budget airlines! This is my first experience and it involves a flight on AirAsia from Senai International Airport to Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah.

Arriving VERY early for the flight, the counters of the airport were still closed, and hence, a small venture of the airport was launched, leading to the discovery of Dunkin Donuts, which the Rube was salivating about. Under his influence, I got three donuts, including the double chocolate, chocolate pudding and crunchy peanut butter. Apart from that, Ealine and I had some fun trying to practise whatever Malay we could, though must say that our level of Malay is high inadequate!

When the counters opened, we were told that there would be a flight delay of 30 minutes for some generic reason which I did not catch, so we found ourselves with WAY too much time on our hands, and way too little to do in a small airport.

But well, finally it was time to board and unfortunately for Elaine, although she wanted to sleep onboard the plane, some little tyke sitting behind her with itchy legs decided to kick her chair for the duration of the flight! But for me, flight was a peaceful event which alternated between naps and reading.

Arriving at Kota Kinabalu at around 21 00, our growling stomachs were some cause for concern, as we feared that we might not be able to find cooked food at this hour, but thankfully, our fears were allayed as the fastfood joints in KK don’t close till midnight, giving us ample time to fill ourselves for the next day.

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Lone Peanut butter jelly donut from Dunkin