Arriving in Kota Kinabulu was disappointing. Not only because our airport pickup never arrived (perhaps due to a small flight delay) and the one working pay phone had volume issues, but the city was shabby and lacked charm or character. This was definitely another side to Malaysia - the Borneo side.
After deciding not to check into the accommodation that didn't pick us up, we headed for the backpacker area, finding an abundance of low cost/low quality establishments, eventually settling into one when we couldn't carry our bags any further.
Distracted by various day trips out of the city (snorkelling on a nearby island was tempting), we felt we needed to move on quickly and reminded ourselves why we had travelled to Borneo...Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, and the possibility of climbing Mount Kinabalu.
Despite only having a few hours sleep after watching the world cup final until 05:30 on +8 GMT, and with a little help from our slightly mad land-lady, we managed to book ourselves onto the 2pm bus from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan (near to Sepilok) and reserved two places on the Mount Kinabalu package for 18th July. This was a good result (unlike the football) and our Borneo adventure was re-energised as it felt like we were getting closer to nature.