Zest Air Maiden Flight to Kota Kinabalu and KK City Tour (Part 1)

Last weekend (May 3-5, 2013), I and nine other travel and lifestyle bloggers were invited by Zest Air to board their inaugural flight to Kota Kinabalu.

Did you know that:
 Kota Kinabalu is Sabah’s Capital City.  
Sabah, North Borneo is a region in Malaysia.
Kota Kinabalu was known before as Jesselton Town also known as Api-Api
Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia
We had some breakfast via Manila Catering at the pre-departure are of NAIA Terminal 4.

We also had some photo-op by the big photo-wall at the pre-departure area where we also left our congratulatory message to Zest Air for another additional flight and travel destination.
inside Zest Air flight Z2501 
Since it was the inaugural flight, our airplane was almost like a chartered flight with just us bloggers, some staff from Zest Air, Fleishman Hillard peeps (their PR), the pilot and his co-pilot and cabin crew and 10 other Zest Air VIP passengers was in the airplane.

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia

We had a short program on the airplane where a lucky VIP passenger, the first one to book a paid-flight to Kota Kinabalu won a round-trip ticket to any Zest Air flight!


Arriving at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) Terminal 2

we had a warm welcome by the locals headed by Tourism Malaysia as we alight the airplane Zest Air flight Z2501 by Tourism Malaysia.

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, MalaysiaDay 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, MalaysiaDay 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia
Inside the KKIA Terminal 2, we were assisted by Bobby Alex, the Marketing Manager of Sabah Tourism Board, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah. We rode a tourist bus to our hotel where we met our tour guide for our entire stay in KK, Philip.

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia

Where we stayed at Kota Kinabalu City

We stayed at one of the 5 star resort and hotel in the city, the Sutera Harbour Resort located 10 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) Terminal 2.

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia
We arrived at lunch time so we head directly to Cafe Boleh, the in-house restaurant of the hotel before settling in our rooms.

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia

Our lunch was scrumptious authentic Malaysian cuisine. We all enjoyed the lunch buffet!

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia
After lunch we were given a time to freshen up and enjoy our rooms for a bit! Iris and I were room mates at Room 444!


Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia

The room was huge! With free broadband internet and all amenities we needed! As we got in the room we were given a welcome fruit basket and chocolates!

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia

I love the bathroom, we had a shower area and a bath tub!

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia
Then it’s time for the city tour!

First stop Sabah Museum

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia

Photography was not allowed inside, so that’s all I can show you. I enjoyed the museum tour as we learned a lot of things when it comes to culture, wild life and history of Sabah.

Second stop Malls


Our tour guide said this mall is very popular because it sells very cheap/affordable electornics from mobile phones, tablets, LED TV, speakers and everything gadgetry

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia
But since majority of us didn’t have Malaysian currency with us yet we had to find a money changer to covert our Peso to Malaysian Riggit.

Along the way we had a view of other

sights to see in KK City

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia

Third Stop Cocoa Boutique

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia

This boutique is famous for selling authentic Malaysian chocolate, this place was preserved and maintained to remind people that Malaysia used to be the top Chocolate exporter in the world. But things changed and now their main industry is petroleum. Next is agriculture and third is tourism.



Fourth Stop: Dinner at Salut Seafood a floating restaurant in KK

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia

I love the view of the restaurant at night, it was very well lit wit a cultural show on the side to entertain guest.

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia

The food was the best part, seafood was serve fresh and food came one after another! We were all so full!

Day 1 Kota Kinabalu City, Sabah, Malaysia


What I think of Kota Kinabalu City

  • I expected Kota Kinabalu as purely an island with over flowing beach area anywhere you turn.   But I was surprised to find out more about this Asian travel destination.   For our first day, we were taken to familiarization tour in the city, yes Kota Kinabalu is a City, the capital of Sabah, Malaysia!
  • Having said that its a city, they too have that traffic jam we all loath here in Metro Manila because of the overly populated highway with pretty tiny auto mainly Proton cars.  Proton is the most popular car brand in Malaysia.   The city proper was very much filled with business establishments, mainly of shopping malls , offices, and places of worship
  • What I love about Kota Kinabalu city is the diverse culture thriving in there, there are Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, churches almost nearby each other.  They all seem to be getting along well.  It was very peaceful in the area, contrary to what I thought at the back of my head was happening there.   Before leaving I even asked of our security while travelling the area as we all know Malaysian election just recently concluded and there is this tension going on because of the Sepadan Island located at Sabah, Malaysia where Kota Kinabalu city is.


That’s all for now, my next post will be about the famous beaches in Kota Kinabalu (Sapian and Manukan beach) and the Borneo Reef World, the first and only of sea adventure facility of its kind in Southeast Asia, and the  Sabah cultural Heritage Tour we had at Mari Mari village!

How about you, have you seen this part of Kota Kinabalu yet?


Stay gorgeous everyone!


Some photos used in this post are from Pinayads.com

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  1. Hi,

    Ask ko lang sa terminal 1 po ba or sa terminal 2 papara yung airplane po?

  2. Ikaw na talaga Ms Earth! You all had quite a feast too with all those food… i wonder if it tastes like our local dishes? they look very pinoy.

  3. What a fun trip!!! Sarap niyo naman!
    ! I have not been to Kota yet,but hubby did na before. So hopefully someday soon we can go with the kids.

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