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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.