Diamond Restaurant

A good place to experience good tasty Chinese cuisine, yet keeping the wallet friendly is Diamond Restaurant. Popular dishes for Diamond Restaurant include the lemon chicken, steamed fish, pork chop Chinese style, ginger beef, and sweet & sour prawn, just to name a few here. Actually they have many more dishes for customers to choose from which consist of vegetables, soups, and meats. For seafood, clients can choose from prawn, crab, and cuttlefish. Apart from these dishes, Diamond fried noodles dry or wet which are also very popular, whether one chooses to dine in or take away. Like most other Chinese restaurants vermicelli and flat rice noodle (kui teoy) are also available. Diamond Restaurant was established in the early 70s, and KK Lites have been coming here for decades, while some of the local residents at the suburb of Luyang even grow up with this eatery. The older folks would have remembered that the restaurant was called Red Lantern, before changing to the present name in 1979.

Pork Chop with Sweet Gravy

Fishes Around The Waters of Semporna

The Semporna region is the diving and snokelling paradise of Sabah. At this vicinity there are two marine parks, including the world-famous Sipadan Island Park and Tun Sakaran Marine Park which have a very high level of marine diversity. Both Parks were established about the same time in 2004. Sipadan the only oceanic island in Malaysia, attract scuba divers from all over the world. Reef Sharks, Hammer Head Sharks, Barracudas, Sea Turtles, and host of fishes are what made the divers come back for more. The Semporna Islands Park, which is another name for Tun Sakaran Park, is formed by eight islands and three reefs. Hard and soft Corals, with a wide varieties of reef fishes like, Anemonefish, Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Cardinalfish, Damselfish, Surgeonfish, and Wrasse are found here.

Beaked Coralfish

Tun Sakaran Marine Park

For much of the history of the Semporna region on the south-eastern part of Sabah, this region consists of a sleepy town and a few villages with the main occupation being fishermen. This is not the case any more, since the last two decades this region has become the underwater paradise for the state. To protect the marine diversity of this region, Tun Sakaran Marine Park was established in 2004 and managed by the Sabah Parks. This Marine Park has eight islands as well as three large reefs and the park is surrounded by the Celebes Sea. Because of its proximity to the world’s reknown Sipadan Island Park, divers, snorkellers and tourists are also taking time to visit this park. If one comes from the Semporna Jetty, this would take about 30 to 45 minutes and covering a distance of 15 to 25 kilometres, depending of which island is the destination.

Christmas Tree Worms at Sebangkat Island

Habiba Suites

The beautiful capital city of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu (KK) lies at a long strip of land that is sandwiched between the South China Sea and the Signal Hill. While many accommodations can be found in the city area, Habiba Suites chooses to be different, since it is perched on much higher ground up on Signal Hill. By road it is about a kilometre away from the downtown area, but the view from Habiba Suites has the whole city of Kota Kinabalu placed right below its foothill. The apartment complex where Habiba Suites occupies now was once used as government housing quarters for the senior servants. This building has been around since the 70s. After some serious renovations in 2009, the Habiba Suites, a service apartments, was opened for business in March, 2010. These apartment units are divided into Apartel Suites and Studio Apartments. There are 17 units in total.

Habiba Suites (Side View)

Hotel Suang Hee

Situated at the Segama Shopping Centre which is very much in the centte of Kota Kinabalu (KK), Hotel Suang Hee provides comfortable and affortable accommodation for the visitors. Established in 1978, this hotel is a small scale venture with a total of 22 rooms only. Guests can choose from three types of rooms namely standard, deluxe and family. Standard rooms consist of just a single bed and have the lowest room rate. As for the deluxe rooms, these are further divided into twin bed, queen bed and triple, while the family rooms range from four single beds to six single beds. Therefore travellers do have quite a few choices for rooms at Hotel Suang Hee to choose from, and they can decide on the one that suits them most.

All these rooms are air-conditioned, there is small television, and an attached bathroom with hot and cold showers. Do note that the family rooms are equipped with fans too, apart from the air-conditioners. Good security is also provided by having CCTVs on all the hall ways. For the convenience of customers a water dispenser with hot and cold water is located on each floor. Internet service is available at the lobby.

Borneo Express

Located at the City Park Terminal in the heart of Kota Kinabalu (KK), Borneo Express is a transportation company that provides bus services to the towns and cities south of Kota Kinabalu. The Borneo Express buses or coaches are of modern fleet, which have comfortable seats, air-conditions, and attached toilets. For entertainment on a long journey a movie is often shown. One of its main destinations is Menumbok on the Klias Peninsular, which will take about two and half hours from KK. The main reason travellers come to Menumbok is to take the ferry to Labaun Island. On selected days Borneo Express also has bus services to Lawas, Limbang and Miri in Sarawak. To Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei the passengers will have to disembark at Kuala Lurah and take another bus from here.

Borneo Express Bus

Ba Lin Roof Garden

If there is an award for roof top bar or cafe on Borneo Island, Ba Lin Roof Garden in Sandakan will definitely be high on the list of winners. Located on the eighth floor of Nak hotel, the beautiful Ba Lin Roof Garden is a secret that is dying to go public. The cafe and bar open daily from the late afternoon until midnight. Take a lift from the ground floor of Nak Hotel and head straight up to the seventh floor where the lift would stop. Then one would have to walk up another floor to the eighth floor where a small wooden door awaits. The small wooden door acts like a password, once inside guests will pretty much feel that they are ushered into a fantasy world unlike any other places in Sandakan.

Well designed furnitures, special rooms, pockets of small garden and the rooftop views are surely going to get the guests attention. The Ban Lin Roof Garden is designed in three levels, where each level is placed on top of the other while becoming smaller in size. For drinks, guests are served with cocktail, wine, liquor, whisky and beer. Non-alcoholic drinks like soft drinks, coffee and tea are also available. To fill up the stomach, a simple western menu with items like burger, spaghetti and sandwich will do the trick. But the best things up at Ba Lin Roof Garden are the evening and night views, where guests can marvel at nature and chat the night away.

Suang Tain Seafood Restaurant

For the last few decades Kota Kinabalu or KK in short has gradually developed into a seafood destination. With the high numbers of seafood restaurants in the city and suburbs, Kota Kinabalu is surely the best place for seafood on Borneo Island. While in town most tourists would take this opportunity to dine at a few seafood restaurants. Kampung Seri Selera, which is located right in the city and within walking distance from most parts of KK, is a convenient place for tourists and locals to enjoy a good seafood dinner. As many as four seafood restaurants are found here, so customers can expect to have some good bargain as well as a wide variety of seafood to choose from. Situated at a corner lot Suang Tain Seafood Restaurant which is also popularly known as Twinsky has been in business at the same location for almost three decades now. Here customers can choose from a large variety of sea produces which are kept at the rows of aquariums.

Seafood Dishes at Twinsky

Sepilok Jungle Resort

The orangutan, a close relative of a human being, is one of the main reasons for tourists who frequently visit Sandakan. Every day Sepilok Orangutan rehabilitation Centre attracts hundreds of visitors just for a glimpse of this extremely endangered wildlife. A few accommodations are located near the vicinity of the centre, but the nearest of them all, would have to be the Sepilok Jungle Resort, situated immediately next to the entrance of the centre. The resort offers a few kinds of accommodations to cater for various types of travellers, even the budget conscious ones are counted.

Sepilok Jungle Resort

Nipah Resort

After a long day watching the proboscis monkeys, silver-leaf monkey and hornbills at Labuk Bay, Nipah Resort offers guests a good night sleep at the wonderful surrounding of the swampy forest. One would like to know that nipah is a local tree which belongs to the palm family. Guests can choose the exclusive chalets which were built on stilt and wooden structure, and these chalets also blend in well with the surrounding nature. Each chalet comes with a king size bed or twin bed, air-conditioner, and an attached bathroom. For a good relaxing time, guests can sit down at the classy balcony at the front of the chalet. Here guests can absorb the calm nature of the swampy forest, where only the sound of insects can be heard, a big contrast from the big city night life. The chalet would be an excellent choice for couples.

For the bigger group like next of kin the family house will be just right. The larger chalet contains a living room plus dining area, and three bedrooms. Each bedroom has a built-in bathroom equipped with cold and hot shower. Six to eight persons can easily fit in. The family house also has a small balcony with sitting area. Talking about early bird, one might get to see hornbills munching fruits on some of the trees right around the building.