We took the bus from Medan Selera to Kota Kinabalu (took about 5 hours) which was pretty painless. You get water on the bus, which is comparable to a nice greyhound bus, as well as entertainment (random malaysian movies playing on a large screen at the front of the bus). The bus also stops at a place for lunch at the middle of the journey, where you can get all kinds of snacks (prawn crackers!). In Kota Kinabalu, we stayed at the Hotel Shangri-La (not to be confused with the Shangri-La chain, which is way pricier than this hotel), which was close to the markets downtown and provided a clean and large room for only $50/night. We ate at Twin Sky Seafood (in the Sedco Complex) for dinner where you choose the seafood you want and your host can recommend a way of preparation. We had a very delicious meal of steamed fish and lots of local vegetables. The aftermath of the meal is shown below. The next morning for breakfast, we went to a cafe that I can’t remember the name of (but it was about a block and a half north of Yuit Cheong and they have a bao holder in front) and consumed many tasty pork baos and kaya baos. They also made a very good hot tea with milk and sugar and were super friendly.