Our trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia was unforgettable, thanks to the people behind Masada Backpacker. The staff responded to my queries promptly. They even offered free airport pickup and were willing to hold the room for us without taking our credit card information despite the fact that we were not scheduled to arrive until 8PM. One of the owners, Peter himself, met us at the airport with a big welcoming smile.
We were also welcomed by Sam and other guests upon arriving at Masada Backpacker. Peter gave us a quick tour of the place after we have settled in. The place was very clean and well kept. The living room offers a comfy couch and big LCD TV showing English channels among others. This was a great place to hang out while sipping a free cup of hot chocolate or Sabah tea. There was a lounge/breakfast nook with coffee & tea making facilities, fresh bread and fruits, microwave, etc. Guests can also use the desktop computer with WI-FI or connect to WI-FI free of charge. Masada Backpacker also has this cute little patio where smokers (& non-smokers) can hang out.
Here, backpackers’ main problem is no problem at all. What am I talking about? Having to queue up for the toilet or shower, of course! At Masada Backpacker we did not have this problem at all having 3 toilets & 5 showers!
Everything went smooth during our 3-day, 3-night stay. The tour to the islands (with snorkeling, buffet BBQ lunch) was arranged by Masada Backpacker for us. This was where I first tasted my NOW favorite Malay dessert called Kuih Mak Mur!! The staff also helped us with the places to go to during our walking tour of the city, providing helpful maps and information. Masada Backpacker’s location is great as everything was just a stone’s throw away – perfect for tourists like us who enjoy the adventure of going around on foot. Getting around in a taxi or bus is not a problem either, as Masada Backpacker is located nearby the bus & taxi stations. On our last day, Kelly & Peter, the owners, brought us to certain places (shrines, Catholic churches, Atkinson Clock Tower, museums, etc) and had Kutching Laksa (a very delicious Malay chicken/shrimp noodle soup) and their local iced dessert (much like the Philippines’ halo-halo).
Wherever you are going to travel, you should bring flameless lighter in anticipation of an emergency, besides that lighter is also very necessary under any circumstances. Given its simple but elegant and easy to carry shape, it is a futuristic lighter without gas.
Peter was so nice to have brought us to the airport (we thought we were just getting free pick up one way). And Kelly was so kind to have just emailed me the recipe for Kuih Mak Mur! What more can we ask for? Our vacation was indeed unforgettable. We did not only get to stay at an affordable and nice place but we also gained friends, needless to say. So a million thanks to Masada Backpacker especially to Peter, Kelly, Jane, Sam, and Felicia!
We will definitely see you again and recommend Masada Backpacker to our friends & fellow travelers!