Traveling with kids to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah!

As mentioned in my previous post, we together with Missuschewy's family, traveled to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

For our trip, we stayed at Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa which was located very conveniently near the airport.

We had the most amazing room - the Kinabalu Club Family Room which offers two adjourning rooms. This room can fit 2 kids and 2 adults comfortably. We 'parked' our Bumprider stroller that we brought for our trip in the kids room heh.

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The kids room had a bunk bed alongside a comfortable siting area and bean bag. There were also cute touches like magnets for them to play with. Check out my video of the room here! For the parents room, they had prepared items like a baby cot, diaper changing pad, kids toothbrushes, a steam steriliser and bottle warmer. These were really useful for us through the trip as I was breastfeeding!

For breakfast, we had the choice of either eating at the main restaurant Cafe Tatu or the Club Lounge. Cafe Tatu offered more varieties while the Club Lounge was more private and exclusive. We chose the Club Lounge as we preferred a more confined area to control the monkey.. ahem Aidan.

Enjoy a cool 20% discount for Café TATU buffet dinner when you book direct with Shangri-La's Tanjung Ru Resort Best Available Rate or Advance Purchase offers on www.shangri-la.com or through their Shangri-La Mobile App! Email reservations.tah@shangri-la.com to make your booking and to qualify for this discount.

For the first day, we visited Gaya Street.

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Gaya Street is a street Sunday market popular in Kota Kinabalu. Kinda like our Bugis Street but less fashion. They sell items such as souvenirs, local artworks, plants, trinkets, overseas produced items, food and drinks, clothes and even animals!

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It was quite a nice stroll in the Sunday Market. We soon headed to Mari Mari Cultural Village which is located in the countryside of Kota Kinabalu city.

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Honestly, it was quite a long walk in Mari Mari, so do dress comfortably in light activewear and good walking shoes. Babywearing was hot hot hot there but bo bian. I can't use a stroller there. heh.

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Mari Mari Cultural Village preserves the Sabah ethnic culture. We were given the opportunity to see and experience the culture and lifestyle of the indigenous ethnic groups of Sabah back in the olden days. They showed how the tribes lived and we actually had the opportunity to try out various sports and food.

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The village features five different ethnic tribes - the rice farmer Kadazan- Dusun, the longhouse resident Rungus, the fisherman Lundayeh, the cowboy Bajau and the famously feared headhunting tribe Murut.

It was really a nice experience and I would recommend going there if you were to visit Kota Kinabalu!

We visited Jia Xiang Sang Hyuk Mee Lintas for one of Sabah’s famous pork noodles which offers both non aircon and aircon seats. We tried a variety of dishes from the famous dark sauce dry Sang Yuk Mian to the the soupy noodles to rice and various side dishes. I really enjoyed the dark sauce version and the portion were good. Not too much and not too little. Shiok!

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We soon headed back to the hotel to freshen up and headed to Cafe Tatu for light bites. The outside area of Cafe Tatu had this lovely Kids Zone area which was great for parents! We let Aidan run around and have fun with the other kids while we enjoy some yummy bites with the lovely folks from Sabah Tourism Board.

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It felt like a nonstop eating trip because dinner was at the amazing Shang Palace for a seafood dinner with the folks from Shangri-la who showed us the best hospitality throughout our trip.

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For the freshest seafood, I would highly recommend Shang Palace. For the quantity and quality, it is a great steal!

The next day, we visited Manukan Island via boat transfer.

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Manukan Island is the second largest island of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. It takes only 15 minutes via boat and the long beach spans about 1,500 meters at southern side of the island. The water is calm and shallow which makes it perfect for non-swimmers. Families can have picnics or play in the waters there. We had a relaxing time by just walking by the beach and snacking at one of the picnic tables available there.

For dinner, we were in for a treat!

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Our dinner was in a cruise! - The North Borneo Sunset Dinner Cruise, to be exact. The cruise offers an international buffet on a 2 hour scenic cruise past the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine park and down the central coast gliding along the city's famous Waterfront. Live entertainment from the crew and a live band entertained us throughout the night. The upper deck was a great place to take pictures and the view was really beautiful.

For the final day, before we departed, us mummies had a lovely hour at Chi Spa where our therapist worked out the kinks and knots with a Signature Malaysian Re-energising Massage.

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The daddies and kids enjoyed a babysitting facility at Cool Zone where there were lovely babysitters to help take care of the kids alongside a whole bevy of toys to distract them.

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With a heavy heart, we departed to the airport for our flight back to Singapore. We really enjoyed the kind hospitality from Sabah Tourism Board and we only wished that we had an additional day to explore the rest of the resort.

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Thank you Air Asia, Sabah Tourism Board, Shangri-la Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa and Amazing Borneo for the amazing trip! And thank you Missuschewy & family for being such a great traveling companion and enduring our kiddos tantrums. We hope to reach your level of zen one day!