Flying in without any reservations for a place to stay, without any itinerary of places to go, not even having a simple map of the city wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for my first trip abroad. All I had were tips and bits of information taken from the travel blogs of my friends Gael and Gay written on my notebook as I hopped into my AirAsia flight bounded for Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia.
Me, together with fellow blogger Marky, touch down at Kota Kinabalu  airport around 6pm and going through immigration and a cab ride for 30 Ringgit took 45 minutes more to reach the city center. It was getting dark and we still did not have a place to stay so we decided to grab a bite first at the first affordable food joint we saw to gather our thoughts.

I browsed thru my notes as I chow down on my Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice) and Mee Goreng (Fried Noodles), Gael did suggest that we stay at Lucy’s Place or wander around Jalan Gaya to find other hostel to stay in, so we asked a waitress for instructions on how to get to Jalan Gaya but she had a hard time comprehending our fluent-carabao english. We were caught surprised though when she suddenly answered “Tagalaog kayo?” No, she wasn’t a Filipino, she’s a Malaysian citizen of somewhat an Indian decent but I guessed with just too many Filipinos roaming around the city that she has to deal with; it just came natural to learn Tagalog.

We made our way to Jalan Gaya mainly looking for Lucy’s Place when we saw Borneo Backpackers Inn across the street, another place written on my notes. But just before we cross the street we saw this humble place called Sensi Backpackers Hostel and decided to check it out first just to compare prices. The receiving area was quite small but was very neat and had a warm and relaxing ambience. We were greeted by a Malaysian boy name ‘Yak’ or “Yat” who was very friendly and accommodating. He spoke in slang English which prompted me to nickname him as Lil Bow Wow.  It was 30 Ringgit a night for the dorm room which will be shared with other travelers; we were both tired from the flight and walking around the city looking for Lucy’s Place has taken its toll so we opted to stay and not bother to check out any other places.

the Dorm
This is not a sponsored post or anything like that; just sheer appreciation and satisfaction of my stay in Sensi Backpackers Hostel. The staffs were very warm and accommodating, which includes a two Filipinas, one of them is Tita Tupaz. The rooms were very clean and so was the shower and toilets. I did mentioned the relax atmosphere. It has a common kitchen where you can watch cable TV, meet Caucasian friends, have free breakfast (Unli bread and margarine and fruits), free wifi, free maps at the lobby and the deal-maker for me was for just 30 Ringgit a night (around 400 pesos) is you have unlimited access to free coffee anytime.

image from
The dorm room has three double-deckers and a couch, air-conditioned and has a nice view of the street for using a 300mm teleboso (photo) lens. Located a block away from Jalan Gaya where the restaurants are located and about 500 meters across the street is the Atkinson’s Clock which is also the way to Signal Hill Observatory.
with Tita Tupaz
I highly recommend this place to stay in whenever you visit Kota Kinabalu. It’s a value-for-money decision for the comfort and amenities versus the price alone, then as a bonus you’ll be welcomed by their warm and friendly staffs with much hospitality. It was just a joy to stay at Sensi Backpackers Hostel and I’m hoping that I can find more affordable places like this when I spend my holidays to Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau or any other countries with a much higher standards of living.  

For more details or reservations you may visit their website:
Located at Lot No 103, 88000 Gaya Street, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

Rates of the rooms : Per bed basis
3 double decker bedroom           MYR 30.00
2 double decker bedroom           MYR 30.00

Rates of the rooms : Per room basis

1 double decker and 1 queen MYR120.00
1 queen bed                              MYR 70.00