Holiday from the Holiday: Stop-over in Kota Kinabalu

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After six days of doing nothing but diving, eating and sleeping, it was time to take a break from the stresses of it all and unwind at a nice resort. We checked in at the Shangri-la Tanjung Aru Resort to relax and wash our gear. Yes, you saw it right, we like to unwind in a place where we can wash and dry our gear in peace so that we don’t have to deal with it when we get home. It’s nice to really chill out and do nothing while waiting for our wet suits to dry. Here’s the lovely view of the bay from our room.

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We had very decent weather the whole time, with hot, clear days (ideal for drying our stuff) and clouds rolling in only in the evenings. It was lovely how a rainbow hovered over the resort just as we were strolling round checking out places to eat.

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There were two casual dining places at the resort, one was al fresco and only served barbecues, and the other was the cafe where the sumptuous buffet breakfast was served. Lunch here was pretty decent too, with a good selection of western and local favourites. My Sarawak laksa was very decent. Not having been to Sarawak, I wouldn’t know whether it was authentic or not, but I enjoyed what tasted like a cross between curry and mee soto. A winner in my books!

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Sunset here was very beautiful. The resort was built on a shallow bay and the curves dotted with coconut trees looked lovely silhouetted against the evening sun…

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… as did this wader looking out for fish.

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We sat under some coconut trees for happy hour drinks, waiting for sunset to arrive.

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It was lovely to put up our feet and sip our cocktails.

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Post-cocktail shishas and more drinks didn’t hurt either! It was fun messing about blowing out vanilla-scented smoke through our nostrils. No incriminating pictures here though, sorry!

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What a lovely end to our holiday.

Wild Oats and Cider

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It was a long trek up to Mount Emily for this drinks session. Good thing the aircon was cold and the drinks came very promptly. The specials of the evening were two ciders, Weston’s Oak Conditioned Medium Sweet (4.5%) and Weston’s 1880 Extra Strong Premium (8%).

The Oak Conditioned Medium Sweet was pale yellow, sweet and very fragrant with lots of, well, red apple flavour. It tasted a bit like alcoholic Zapple, just a little less sweet. I liked it. If you’re not careful, it’s very easy to quaff it like a soft drink.

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The 1880 Extra Strong Premium was darker and heavier. It had a bit more depth and had a bit more bitter and fruit to it. Still quite Zapple-like. This time it tasted somewhat like Zapple mixed with a hoppy beer.

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Long hike up notwithstanding, Wild Oats is a great place to chill out. The music is down tempo and unobtrusive and the building is old colonial, very atmospheric. We didn’t get our act together and order what are supposed to be very fabulous chicken wings or hot dogs, but we’ll do so next time.

Wild Oats
Emily Hill
11 Upper Wilkie Road
Tel: 6336 5413