Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Road Trip to KK

Just a few weeks ago, the family went for a road trip to Kota Kinabalu. It was really unplanned, one day my sisters were telling me that they were on leave for the two weeks and they wanted to go to KK but they did not have any male companions.  So I thought about it; I had always wanted to drive to KK and it had been a while since I went to KK with the family, so I thought why not. 

We stayed at Marina Court Resort Condominium, which was within a walking distance to KK Centrepoint and Warisan Square, two of the more visited place within the city of KK. We were in KK right in the middle of the end-of-year school holidays and the place was filled by Bruneians. At the hotel carpark, for every 2 Malaysian-registered cars, there would be 6 Bruneian-registered cars!

Here are some tips if you decide to drive to KK:
  1. Choose a time when there would be less traffic at the borders. Perhaps, the school holidays and the days around the payday should be avoided.
  2. Start early. If it is school holiday, start even earlier! Apparent--ly, during the last school holiday, the queue at Kuala Lurah started to form as early as four o'clock in the morning!
  3. Be ready to be stuck in a queue. There are eight immigration posts to go through (three Bruneian ones and five Malaysians) and two ferries to board. During our trip, we spent three hours q-ing. 
  4. Bring some food. If you don't intend to stop to buy food, bring some food to munch along the way or while being stuck in the queue.
  5. You might want to top up your tanks in Lumapas and Temburong. A full tank in Temburong will take you into KK and a few days driving in KK. However, Premium Gasoline (minyak hijau) is slightly more expensive in Temburong; it is 54.7 cents per litre in Temburong but 53 cents per litre everywhere else. When you are about to leave KK, fill up your tanks and it may take you upto Lumapas where you could fill up with the cheaper Bruneian petrol. However, this will depend on your driving styles, the time you arrive in Lumapas and if you have to queue. Keep an eye on your fuel gauge as you drive. 
  6. Bring your favourite CD's or load your favourite songs onto your iPod. You will be glad that you have something you like to listen to, rather than listening to radio stations with languages not familiar to you.
  7. Have at least one of your passengers awake throughout the journey. You may chat and avoid boredom and monotony. It may even prevent you from feeling sleepy. Or sing along to your CD's and iPod. And don't forget to bring something to munch and drink, so canned coffee or energy drinks may be useful.
  8. If you have to drive in the evening, reduce your speed and be more alert. The road may not be familiar to you and it is more difficult to drive in an unfamiliar road in the dark. And you do not know the driving habits of the people there.
  9. Look out for the junction to Papar as you get closer to KK. Take the road that takes you along Papar road. It may have more traffic, but it is less hilly and it has less curves.
  10. When you park your car in foreign land, always ensure that you lock your wheels by turning your steering wheel when the engine has been switched off. 
  11. When you return to Brunei, leave early. You may not want to be stuck at Kuala Lurah and have to sleep overnight in your car. It may be a case of so near, but yet so far.....
  12. Enjoy the drive. Drive safely and rest when you are tired.
If you have any other tips, drop them here and let share them!

1 comment:

kakarrot said...

Any similarities or learnings with the drive to KK vs. the drive to Bintulu?
Any 'hidden farmers' waiting to throw eggs?