20 Finest Issues to Do in KOTA KINABALU 2022

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My coronary heart was heavy once I informed my associates that I couldn’t include them. It was our long-awaited barkada journey to Kota Kinabalu, however I wanted some adulting to take care. That was 2016. Quick ahead to 2022: my coronary heart skipped a beat once I realized my Sabah journey was lastly going to occur. Because the saying goes, “There’s a time for every thing.” Time I promised myself I might profit from.

And the way Kota Kinabalu stunned me! In a great way, after all. KK, as it’s fondly referred to as, provides a wide range of sustainable excursions — natour, cultour, adventour! Conquer its nationwide parks — each terrestrial and marine. Immerse within the Sabahan tradition when you roam across the cultural villages and museums. Get swept away (not actually) by the rapids of its wild rivers. Dive into the colourful underwater world.

Kota Kinabalu may not be in your bucket checklist, however give it an opportunity to take your breath away. In case you’re questioning what’s in retailer for you on this a part of Borneo, right here’s an inventory of the issues to do and locations to go to in and close to Kota Kinabalu.


WHAT’S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?

Protruding imposingly from the forested grounds at an elevation of 4,095 meters (or 13,435 toes), Mt. Kinabalu is the tallest peak in Borneo and one of many tallest in Southeast Asia. Essentially the most well-known vacationer attraction in Sabah, it magnets native and worldwide hikers to its lush environment and jagged mountainscape. As for me, and lots of others like me who missed the possibility of climbing it the primary go to, it’s one of many principal causes to return again.

Mount Kinabalu Low's Peak

Cradled inside the dense expanse of Kinabalu Park, a protected UNESCO World Heritage Website in Ranau District, it nurtures a whole lot of species of natural world unfold throughout completely different zones. Low’s Peak (the best level) and the textured rocky space resulting in it are a geological surprise.

Is reaching Mt. Kinabalu’s Low’s Peak one in every of your bucket checklist objects? It’s good to pay attention to the next:

  • Mount Kinabalu is managed by Sabah Parks, below the Ministry of Tourism, Tradition, and Surroundings. Sure, they’ve only one unified physique overseeing all of the tasks concerning surroundings, tradition, and tourism
  • Sabah Parks climb permits should be secured prematurely via licensed and accredited climb operators. Right here’s the checklist offered by the Sabah Tourism Board: Accredited Tour Operators
  • Solely 150 hikers are allowed per day, so you might want to safe a slot prematurely.
  • All hikers should ebook lodging at Panalaban Base Camp prematurely (2D1N), too. Listed below are the present lodging choices: Laban Rata Resthouse, Pendant Hut, Lemaing Hut, Mokodou and Kinotoki. Heated dormitories and rooms are provided by Laban Rata Resthouse.
  • Observe that One-Day Mount Kinabalu Climb permits are at the moment NOT out there.
  • Climbers should be absolutely vaccinated and should current proof of vaccination through MySejahtera App (Digital Covid-19 Vaccination Certificates)
  • Hikers should be accompanied by accredited mountain guides. The variety of guides will depend upon the dimensions of the group and the age of the climbers. Kids under 12 years outdated should be accompanied by absolutely vaccinated dad and mom/guardians.
  • The jump-off level for all hikers is the Timpohon Gate at Kinabalu Nationwide Park.
  • At the moment, there are two open summit trails, each ranging from Panalaban: the Ranau Summit Path and the Kota Belud Summit Path.
  • Select your package deal sort: Non-Ferrata or Through Ferrata. Through Ferrata (Iron Highway) is advisable just for seasoned mountaineers and rock climbers.
  • All hikers should comply with the Covid-19 security protocols and pointers. Examine if you happen to nonetheless have to submit a unfavourable consequence (self-test RTK Antigen) a day earlier than your arrival.

For more information about reserving Mount Kinabalu hike to the summit, go to the this website.

Location: Kinabalu Nationwide Park, Ranau, West Coast Division, Sabah
Kinabalu Park Conservation Payment: RM 15 (Grownup); RM 10 (Baby)
Climb Allow: RM 200 (Grownup); RM 80 (Baby)
Mountain Information Payment: RM 230 (16 y/o and above, 1 per 5 pax); RM 230 (under 16 y/o, 1 per 2 pax)
Porter Fee: RM 65 – RM 80 (10KG, one-way, relying on the route). Routes: Timpohon – Panalaban / Panalaban – Timpohon / Timpohon – Sayat-Sayat / Sayat-Sayat – Timpohon / Timpohon – Summit / Summit – Timpohon
Sabah Parks Contact Particulars: +60 88 523 500 / sabahparks@gmail.com / admin@sabahparks.org.my


Overlaying a complete land space of 75,370 hectares, the sprawling Kinabalu Park is a hotspot for terrestrial biodiversity, sheltering over 100 species of mammals, greater than 350 species of birds, about 100 species of reptiles, round 80 species of amphibians, kind of 1,000 species of bugs (others are but to be specified), and extra.

Kinabalu Park Viewpoint

All these fauna thriving in varied inexperienced habitats encompassing 5,000-6,000 species of vascular crops in several climactic zones — lowland forest, decrease mountain forest, higher mountain forest, ultrabasic rock forest, granitic boulder vegetation, and sub alpine forest.

Essentially the most outstanding characteristic is the magnificent Mount Kinabalu, a significant vacationer and mountain climbing vacation spot in Southeast Asia. Formally declared a nationwide park in January 1964, Kinabalu Park is the primary in Sabah. It covers three districts: Ranau, Kota Belud, and Kota Marudu. The nationwide park was established to guard, protect, and preserve the pure habitat and have, the water catchment space, and its cultural and historic heritage.

Other than Mount Kinabalu, different options are the next:

  • Mount Tambayukon
  • Mount Kinabal Botanical Backyard
  • Poring Butterfly Farm
  • Poring Orchid Conservation Middle
  • Rafflesia Conservation Middle
  • Poring Bamboo Backyard
  • Poring Ethnobotanical Backyard
  • hen watching exercise
  • paragliding
  • Cover Walkway
  • Pure Sizzling Sulfur Spring Water

Into forest bathing? Listed below are eight nature path choices:

Kinabalu Park Botanical Garden

  • Kiau View Path
  • Bundu Tuhan View Path
  • Liwagu River Path
  • Silau Silau Path
  • Bukit Burung Path
  • Mempening Path
  • Pandamus Path
  • Bukit Ular Path

Every path has its personal execs and cons, so select the one which fits your desire and curiosity. Or take all the paths if you’d like and you’ve got time to spare.

The park is managed by Sabah Parks, which is below the Ministry of Tourism, Tradition, and Surroundings. All particulars concerning the varied species of animals and crops have been offered by the Sabah Parks administration. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Website in December 2000 and was included within the ASEAN Heritage Parks checklist in December 2003.

Location: Kinabalu Nationwide Park, Ranau, West Coast Division, Sabah
Conservation Payment: RM 15 (Grownup); RM 10 (Baby)
Different Charges: Kinabalu Pure Historical past Gallery RM 3; Botanical Backyard RM 5 (Grownup), RM 2.5 (Baby), FREE (6 y/o and under); Guided Stroll RM 3 (Grownup), RM 1.5 (Baby), FREE (6 y/o and under); Audio Visible Show RM 2; Botanical-Guided Stroll-Audio Visible RM 8 (Grownup), RM 4 (Baby)
Sabah Parks Contact Particulars: +60 88 523 500 / sabahparks@gmail.com / admin@sabahparks.org.my

Getting There: In case you are not climbing Mount Kinabalu and simply wish to do straightforward walks alongside its shorter trails, you’ll be able to examine the shared shuttle companies or the non-public companies from Kota Kinabalu metropolis heart to Kinabalu Park. The speed ranges from MYR 50 – MYR 90, one-way.

However if you’re on a finances and you aren’t in a rush, you’ll be able to take the minivan/minibus sure for Ranau at Merdeka Sq. or a bus sure for Ranau, Sandakan, or Tawau at North Bus Terminal in Inanam. These automobiles will move by the doorway of Kinabalu Park. The fare is MYR 15-30, a method. The journey time is about two hours.


Situated outdoors town heart, Tanjung Aru is a 2-km seaside stretching from Shangri-La Resort & Spa on the northern finish and the Kota Kinabalu Meteorological Workplace on the southern finish. Due to its shut proximity to the city core, the seaside developed into a preferred seaside hangout place. Going through the South China Sea, it showcases breathtaking sunsets, portray the sky with splashes of assorted hues and depth every day, relying on the climate.

Meals stalls providing native fare line the general public seaside, notably between Prince Philip Park and the DBKK Carpark (beside Shangri-La Resort), so anticipate this strip to be crowded on weekends and holidays, particularly within the morning and round sundown time.

Common actions are strolling alongside the seaside, individuals watching, meals tripping, kite flying, having a picnic, and sundown watching, amongst others.

Other than Shangri-La Resort, the seaside can be house to Kinabalu Yacht Membership and Kinabalu Golf Membership. Whereas within the space, you may additionally wish to go to Perdana Park alongside Jalan Mat Salleh (Mat Salleh Avenue). Your landmark is the Prince Philip Park, positioned on the finish of Jalan Mat Salleh.

Location: Jalan Tanjung Aru, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Opening Hours: The seaside is open 24/7, however the institutions alongside the seaside normally function from 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM.
Entrance Payment: FREE


Take a peek into old-fashioned Borneo at Mari Mari Cultural Village!

Mari Mari Cultural Village in Kota Kinabalu

Launched in December 2008, this huge open-air museum showcases the roots and soul of Sabahans. It options completely different conventional homes of the 5 main ethnic teams in Sabah — the agricultural Dusun and Rungus, the hunters and fisherfolk Lundayeh, the herdsmen and sea gypsies Bajau, and the headhunters and warrior tribe of Murut.

Every conventional home exhibit additionally presents the costumes, conventional expertise, customs, and day by day actions within the olden days similar to bamboo cooking at Dusun Home, fireplace beginning and conventional craft at Rungus Home, tree bark craft at Lundayeh Home, congkak and kuih jala at Bajau Home, and lansaran at Murut Home.

Mari Mari Cultural Village Food

Two periods of guided tour are provided day by day — morning and afternoon. Every tour lasts about three hours, with the morning session beginning at 10:00 AM and the afternoon session at 2:00 PM. Guests have to register quarter-hour earlier than the official tour begins. Right here’s the movement of the tour:

  • Registration and Briefing on the Reception Space
  • Begin Tour: Crossing the Suspension Bridge
  • Go to 5 Tribal Homes with Demonstrations/Meals Tasting
  • Cultural Efficiency on the Efficiency Corridor
  • Lunch (Morning Sesion) or Excessive Tea (Afternoon Session)
  • Finish of Tour

The cultural village’s key landmarks additionally embody the Predominant Dinner Corridor, Memento Store, Eating Hut “Leka-Leki”, and the Efficiency Corridor, the place a spectacular indigenous dance present is staged.

Restrooms are positioned on the reception space, the efficiency space, and the eating corridor space. It’s positioned 20-Half-hour northeast of town heart.

Location: Jalan Kionsom, Inanam, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Day by day); 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM (Morning Session Tour); 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM (Afternoon Session Tour). The schedule would possibly change, so examine the official web site and Fb web page earlier than going.
Guided Tour Bundle Charges: RM 100 (Grownup); RM 90 (Baby, 5-11 y/o). These charges embody entrance price, in-house information, go to to five ethnic conventional homes, conventional demo & actions, cultural efficiency, and lunch/excessive tea. Examine the official Fb web page for updates and promos.
Reserving/Reservation Contact: +60 13-881 4921 / Mari Mari Cultural Village Fb Web page (@marimariculturalvillageborneo)


By the best way, it’s greatest to get related to the web that can assist you navigate town extra conveniently. Essentially the most budget-friendly choice is buying a traveler-friendly native SIM card.

Take a look at Tune Discuss‘s Traveller SIM. Throughout our journey, we used its Lite Plan overlaying 15 GB information plan with seven days validity upon activation. This allowed us to talk with our associates and households and replace our social media accounts as we explored Sabah!

Tune Talk Traveller SIM Card


Spanning 4,929 hectares, the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park harbors 5 islands and their surrounding waters and reefs in Gaya Bay. It was declared a protected space in 1974, making it Sabah’s second nationwide park after Kinabalu Park. Initially, the marine park solely included Gaya Island and Sapi Island. In a while, Manukan Island, Mamutik island, and Sulug Island have been added in 1979.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park Manukan Island

The park boasts pristine islands, white-sand seashores, snorkeling spots, and diving websites. Common actions are swimming, island hopping, seaside bumming, water sports activities, boating, diving, snorkeling, and the Coral Flyer zipline (linking Gaya Island and Sapi Island). Lodging are additionally out there on the islands, notably in Gaya Island and Manukan Island.

Jesselton Level Jetty Terminal is the jump-off level to the marine park (and its islands), which is about three kilometers off the Kota Kinabalu mainland. You’ll be able to ebook your island hopping tour from one of many many tour operators ticketing cubicles/counters on the Ticketing Corridor positioned on the entrance of the jetty, proper after the outdated picket welcome arch. The charges depend upon the inclusion and add-on actions. If you wish to go scuba diving, it’s greatest to ebook prematurely with accredited dive operator.

Additionally below the jurisdiction of Sabah Parks, its headquarters will be discovered on Manukan Island, however every island has its personal satellite tv for pc workplace. The park goals to guard and preserve the marine ecosystems, together with the underwater natural world.

Location: Gaya Bay, Sabah
Conservation Payment: RM 20 (Grownup); RM 15 (Baby, under 18 y/o); RM 15 (Seniors, 60 y/o and above); RM 10 (under 6 y/o); FREE (PWDs)
Island Switch Charges: 1-Island RM 35 (Grownup), RM 30 (Baby); 2-Island RM 45 (Grownup), RM 40 (Baby); 3-Island RM 55 (Grownup), RM 50 (Baby); 4-Island RM 65 (Grownup), RM 60 (Baby). The charges are inclusive of island terminal price — RM 7.20 for adults and RM 3.60 for youngsters. The island switch service for Tunku Abdul Rahman Park covers solely 4 islands — Manukan, Mamutik, Sapi, and Gaya.
Different Charges: Tenting Payment RM 5 (Grownup), RM 2 (Baby); Diving Payment RM 50/head
Bounce-Off Level: Jesselton Level Jetty Terminal
Sabah Parks Contact Particulars: +60 88 523 500 / sabahparks@gmail.com / admin@sabahparks.org.my

JSK Borneo Reef – Pontoon

Touted as the biggest reef exercise pontoon in South East Asia, the JSK Borneo Reef, typically merely referred to as “pontoon” measures 12 meters excessive, 24.5 meters broad, and 37.5 meters lengthy. This two-level enjoyable heart can accommodate as much as 300 individuals, who can get pleasure from a plethora of actions similar to snorkeling, kayaking, swimming, and sea strolling (aka helmet diving), by which you would stroll on the ocean ground whereas sporting an underwater helmet.

Kota Kinabalu Pontoon

As a result of it’s inside the protected Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, the administration rigorously implements strict coverage that can assist preserve and protect the encompassing marine surroundings. In an effort to assist preserve and restore Sabah’s coral reefs, the corporate units up its personal coral farm the place the ocean strolling exercise takes place.

If sea strolling is simply too adventurous for you (as a result of it isn’t for everybody), you’ll be able to nonetheless catch a glimpse of the underwater world by descending into their underwater tunnel.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park Pontoon Underwater Tunnel

In case you choose to remain above the water however nonetheless need your share of thrills, tackle the inflatable island impediment course!

The pontoon is stationed over 100 meters off the southwest coast of Gaya Island, however you too can have an ideal view of close by Sapi Island.

From Jessselton Level Ferry Terminal, the pace boat will take guests to the pontoon in 15-20 minutes. Examine the official web site and Fb web page for the whole checklist of package deal choices and promos. Yow will discover the JSK Borneo Reef kiosk on the Ticketing Corridor.

Location: Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah
Opening Hours: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM (Day by day); 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM (Registration); 8:45 AM (Boarding); 9:00 AM (Departure). The schedule would possibly change, so examine the official web site and Fb web page earlier than going.
Ocean Escapade Bundle: Monday to Thursday RM 149 (Grownup), RM 99 (Baby); Friday to Sunday, Holidays RM 169 (Grownup), RM 109 (Baby); FREE (0-3 y/o). The package deal contains meal, boat transfers, all pontoon facilities ECXEPT sea strolling (separate price).
Ocean Escapade + Sea Strolling Bundle: Monday to Thursday RM 229 (Grownup), RM 179 (Baby); Friday to Sunday, Holidays RM 249 (Grownup), RM 189 (Baby); FREE (0-3 y/o). The package deal contains meal, boat transfers, all pontoon facilities.
Bounce-Off Level: Jesselton Level Fery Terminal

Manukan Island

The crescent-shaped Manukan Island is a 1.5-kilometer island paradise blessed with willowy Casuarina Pine timber (Agoho timber), wonderful white-sand seashores (particularly on the southeastern shoreline), and turquoise waters good for swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. It’s the second largest and probably the most developed within the protected space, that includes 20 models of cabins, a couple of eating places, outlets, a diving heart, a museum, a clubhouse, a swimming pool, and sports activities grounds — soccer, volleyball, and sepak takraw.

Manukan Island

Seaside sights and water-related actions are focused on the japanese facet. The closely forested Manukan has mountain climbing trails for individuals who wish to commune with nature and additional discover the island.

The cabins are managed and operated by Sutera Sanctuary Lodges. In case you are planning to remain right here, you might want to ebook prematurely.

Location: Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah
Conservation Payment: RM 20 (Grownup); RM 15 (Baby, under 18 y/o); RM 15 (Seniors, 60 y/o and above); RM 10 (under 6 y/o); FREE (PWDs)
Different Charges: Tenting Payment RM 5 (Grownup), RM 2 (Baby); Diving Payment RM 50/head
Bounce-Off Level: Jesselton Level Jetty Terminal
Boat Switch: Consult with Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park part. Once more, the island switch service for Tunku Abdul Rahman Park covers solely 4 islands — Manukan, Mamutik, Sapi, and Gaya.

Gaya Island

With a complete land space of virtually 1,500 hectares, Gaya Island is the biggest of the 5 islands. The title got here from the Bajau phrase gayo, that means “large”. It’s also the closest to downtown Kota Kinabalu through Jesselton Level Ferry Terminal.

Its lush hilly panorama reaches an elevation of 300 meters, that includes ridges stretching throughout the island and a 20-kilometer mountain climbing path, which additionally features a plank-walk via a mangrove forest.

Police Seaside is the preferred seaside, nestled on the northwestern coast, dealing with Bulijong Bay and fronting one of many three secluded five-star inns on the island — the Bunga Raya Island Resort. The clear calm waters kissing the 400-meter sandy stretch of white sand is right for swimming. The opposite two upscale resorts are the Gaya Island Resort and the Gayana Marine Resort.

Gaya Island is bejeweled with colourful coral reefs, making it among the best snorkeling and diving locations in Sabah. The native settlement took over the japanese facet of the island.

Location: Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah
Conservation Payment: RM 20 (Grownup); RM 15 (Baby, under 18 y/o); RM 15 (Seniors, 60 y/o and above); RM 10 (under 6 y/o); FREE (PWDs)
Bounce-Off Level: Jesselton Level Jetty Terminal
Boat Switch: Consult with Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park part. Once more, the island switch service for Tunku Abdul Rahman Park covers solely 4 islands — Manukan, Mamutik, Sapi, and Gaya.

Mamutik Island

Only a kilometer south of Manukan, the triangular Mamutik Island is the smallest of the 5 islands. Its western facet is characterised by a rocky shore, whereas the remainder of the island is fringed with sandy seashores. Not as crowded because the others, it provides another seaside expertise for individuals who choose a extra rugged however quieter spot.

Swimming and snorkeling are the favored actions right here, so be ready to satisfy a few of these marine wonders — clown fish, rainbow fish, anemones, surgeon fish, zebra fish, and stingray amongst others. The encompassing waters are largely deep, so control your youngsters and companions who will not be good swimmers. It’s additionally greatest to put on seaside footwear to guard your toes from damaged shells and corals.

Facilities on the island embody altering rooms, bogs, benches, picnic huts, a restaurant, and rental store for snorkeling, diving, and tenting.

Mamutik is simply three kilometers off the mainland, so vacationers can view town from the sandy japanese facet of the island on a transparent day. The primary jump-off level is at Jesselton Level, however different terminals, similar to Sutera Harbour Marina Jetty and Tanjung Aru Seaside, have entry to Mamutik Island.

Location: Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah
Conservation Payment: RM 20 (Grownup); RM 15 (Baby, under 18 y/o); RM 15 (Seniors, 60 y/o and above); RM 10 (under 6 y/o); FREE (PWDs)
Bounce-Off Level: Jesselton Level Jetty Terminal
Boat Switch: Consult with Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park part. Once more, the island switch service for Tunku Abdul Rahman Park covers solely 4 islands — Manukan, Mamutik, Sapi, and Gaya.

Sapi Island

Sapi Island

Sapi Island is sort of a remora fish swimming beneath its associate shark — the bigger Gaya Island. Located about two meters southwest of Gaya Island and overlaying an space of over 10 hectares, this densely forested island is unquestionably dwarfed however not likely overshadowed by its larger sister. Come low tide, the sisters hyperlink arms, creating sandbar in between.

The thick vegetation gives shades for guests. Loads of picnic huts and tables are scattered round the primary seaside space. Common actions are swimming, snorkeling, and diving. One of the best spot to go diving is on the southeastern tip of the island. A few of the marine life discovered across the coral backyard are stingrays, cuttlefish, zebra fish, clown fish, and moray eels.

Observe that it could actually get crowded on weekends and holidays, notably the primary seaside; nevertheless, you’ll be able to discover additional and discover one of many few hidden seashores once you traverse the five-kilometer nature path. You should definitely put on snug seaside footwear when exploring the island. The path will lead trekkers to the best level of the island.

Sapi can be house to the wild macaques and two-meter lengthy monitor lizards. Contemplating the wildlife thriving right here, be further cautious. As a lot as attainable, don’t feed them, hold your distance, and simply allow them to be. The macaques would possibly seize a few of your stuff to search for meals. All the time look the place you’re going to keep away from stepping on a monitor lizard.

Location: Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, Sabah
Conservation Payment: RM 20 (Grownup); RM 15 (Baby, under 18 y/o); RM 15 (Seniors, 60 y/o and above); RM 10 (under 6 y/o); FREE (PWDs)
Bounce-Off Level: Jesselton Level Jetty Terminal
Boat Switch: Consult with Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park part. Once more, the island switch service for Tunku Abdul Rahman Park covers solely 4 islands — Manukan, Mamutik, Sapi, and Gaya.


Gentle or Wild? But it surely doesn’t actually matter as a result of the rapids will resolve for you. This can delight thrill-seekers who’re all the time looking out for excessive actions that can make their adrenaline pumping.

Kadamaian White Water Rafting

Benefit from the tough experience because the raging waters from Mount Kinabalu take you on a bumpy rafting expertise alongside the Kadamaian River in Kota Belud, a city tucked about two hours north of Kota Kinabalu metropolis heart.

The entire rafting stretch is about 10 kilometers with speedy classification of Grade 1-2, so that is good for first timers. Our crew had skilled white water rafting in Davao and Cagayan de Oro, each reaching the Grade 4 classification, which is the ceiling for leisure white water rapids.

Talking from private expertise, each Yosh and I acquired tossed into the water right here at Kadamaian, and I had a blast getting carried away for a second earlier than I used to be pulled again up onto the raft instantly. However that’s simply me. Yosh acquired snatched by the rapids for 3 (lengthy) minutes, and for higher or worse, I’m positive it’s now one in every of his most unforgettable journey experiences.

The entire white water rafting exercise lasted nearly two hours. As soon as on the jump-off level, you should have security briefing first. Relying on the package deal you ebook, it normally contains gentle snack or lunch buffet. Don’t overlook to convey the next: further garments, dry bag, waterproof digital camera or GoPro, aqua sneakers or sandals with straps, rash guard or snug rafting outfit, towel, and sunscreen.

Location: Kadamaian River, Kadamaian, Kota Belud, Sabah
Getting There: Essentially the most handy method is to ebook a package deal tour with roundtrip switch between Kota Kinabalu and the jump-off level in Kadamaian.


When in Kota Kinabalu, don’t move up any alternative to stuff your face with delicious seafood!

Skewered Prawns

KK is surrounded by the richest waters on the planet, offering scrumptious bounty to metropolis’s common eating places and meals meccas just like the Waterfront Seafood Night time Market alongside Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens and Api-Api Night time Meals Market at Gaya Avenue. You’ll be able to get pleasure from them grilled, deep-fried, steamed, or topping your favourite noodle dish.

One other common culinary model is Welcome Seafood Restaurant with three spacious branches: Asia Metropolis (KK Metropolis Middle), Inanam (North KK), and Penampang (South of KK). We dined at Asia Metropolis department and the place was actually full of diners, locals and vacationers alike. Outside and indoor seating can be found.

We had their bestselling kam hiong crab (kam heong crab), a preferred Malaysian dish that mixes Malay, Chinese language and Indian influences. Kam heong actually means “golden perfume”, referring to the candy, fragrant scent that steams out from its sauce, which is cooked with chillies, curry, and different spices. Welcome takes delight of their particular sauce, which is a good mix of salty and spicy.

Kam hiong crab

Fried Fish in Sweet and Sour Sauce

We additionally had their dry butter prawns, deep-fried squid (calamari), and fried fish in sweet-and-sour sauce.


Kota Kinabalu serves as a key gateway to the North Borneo areas, welcoming individuals from varied cultures. This made Sabahan delicacies eclectic, however largely mixing native with different Southeast Asian and Chinese language flavors.

However probably the most intriguing delicacy might be sinalau bakas, a local Kadazandusun deal with. The title interprets to “smoked wild boar”. Many roadside eateries and stalls can provide you a style of this meaty goodness, however most tour operators let friends attempt it at one of many stalls on the best way to or from Kinabalu Park. Sadly, we didn’t get to do this ourselves because the stalls have been closed after we dropped by.

Sin Kee Bah Kut Teh

Bak kut teh is a staple dish, extra like a consolation meals, that’s normally served at dinnertime. However prior to now, farmers normally consumed the steaming scorching gentle broth early within the morning earlier than they go to the fields. Actually means pork rib tea, the pork is cooked or added (when meat are already partially cooked) in a cloudy natural broth. Some eating places provide hen, seafood, and beef apart from pork. Innards and dimsum balls can be added.

Malaysian bak kut teh is served with you char kway (fried dough). Locals normally eat the meat by dipping them in a soy sauce with chili and minced garlic. Chinatown (or Gaya Avenue space) is dotted with eating places serving bak kut teh, and one in every of them is Sin Kee, which we had the pleasure of making an attempt after we visited.

Halo Halo Kota Kinabalu Tambayan at Kainan Pinoy

You’ll additionally discover Filipino meals spots all through town together with Tambayan at Kainang Pilipino at Api-Api Middle. Owned and run by a Pinay immigrant, this 24-hour-open restaurant has a menu that boasts quite a lot of Pinoy favorites from scorching plates of sisig to icy desserts like halo-halo.


Immerse within the Sabahan tradition and expertise the approach to life of the locals right here!

This bustling strip of business institutions, each outdated and new, dates again to 1902. Initially named “Bond Avenue” in the course of the British colonial interval, the road developed from an industrial buying and selling railway observe — transporting rubber between Tenom and the wharf in Jesselton Harbour, which was then the primary gateway to North Borneo earlier than industrial flights have been made out there — right into a busy industrial road the place many outlets and eating locations flourished.

Spanning from Lintasan Deasoka close to the Kota Kinabalu Metropolis Corridor and Mandarin Resort all the best way to the outdated Jesselton Put up Workplace, Gaya Avenue is house to outdated household companies handed from era to era, most of them are espresso outlets and eating places operated by Chinese language households; therefore, the realm can be dubbed because the Chinatown of Sabah. The top of the road close to the KK Metropolis Corridor is marked by a Chinese language arch gate erected in 2005.

On Sundays, it transforms right into a pedestrian-only road the place common market truthful is held, notably within the morning. Native retailers, in addition to international merchants (Indonesians, Filipinos, and so forth.), promote varied varieties of things and merchandise: agricultural produce, native snacks and road meals, arts and craft, flowers, souvenirs, footwear, garments and textiles, and lots of others.

Location: Kota Kinabalu Central Enterprise District, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Avenue Truthful Hours: 6:00 AM – 1:00 PM (Sundays). The schedule would possibly change, so examine first with Sabah Tourism Board earlier than going.
Contact Element: +60 88 212 121 (Sabah Tourism Board)


Plaza 333 is a industrial advanced housing leisure and meals institutions, from homegrown eating places to fast-food chains to bar and eating places.

Plaza 333 Kota Kinabalu
Having a drink at Plaza 333

Though positioned outdoors Kota Kinabalu, over six kilometers south of town heart, it nonetheless attracts individuals, each younger and outdated, to its varied meals institutions. It’s also one of many favourite hangout spots for nightlife amongst locals.

Location: Kobusak Industrial Centre, Penampang, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Opening Hours: The entire advanced is open 24/7, however every institution has its personal working schedule. Examine the official Fb web page or web site of the institution you want to go to.
Getting There: It’s fairly difficult to go right here if you happen to re taking the general public transportation, so one of the best ways is to take a Seize service from Kota Kinabalu. The journey time is about 20 minutes.


This place is THE memento haven! Also called the Filipino Market, it’s composed of retailers managed largely by residents originating from the Philippines.

With stalls flanking a portion of Tun Fuad Stephens Avenue, this waterfront market is a well-liked purchasing vacation spot for locals and vacationers in search of particular objects and even attention-grabbing items that they “out of the blue want”. Wink wink. With seemingly infinite array of choices, it’s unattainable to depart empty handed. Apply your bargaining expertise and study useful phrases of their native language for higher probabilities of getting reductions.

A few of the merchandise offered listed below are native handicraft, musical devices, garments, materials, conventional garments, jewellery, equipment, key chains, and extra. Do you have to get hungry, meals stalls and seafood pop right here and there.

Location: Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen, Pusat Bandar, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM (Day by day). The schedule would possibly change, so examine first with Sabah Tourism Board earlier than going.
Contact Element: +60 88 212 121 (Sabah Tourism Board)


“The Floating Mosque”

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

Ensconced in a diamond-shaped artifical lagoon, Masjid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu (aka Kota Kinabalu Metropolis Mosque) covers an space of about six hectares on Pasir Avenue alongside the shores of Likas Bay. The mosque is hooked up to the southeastern facet of the lagoon the place the doorway can be positioned.

Formally opened in February 2000 after Kota Kinabalu acquired its metropolis standing, the mosque attracts not solely worshipers but additionally vacationers with its blue and gold dome and 4 minarets. The fashionable Arabic architectural type was impressed by the second holiest website within the Islam faith, the Nabawi Mosque in Medina. It’s also one of many common pictures topics in Kota Kinabalu.

Non-muslims are welcome to go to the mosque outdoors prayer occasions and should put on correct apparel — no sleeveless and shorts. Cowl up clothes will be rented from the administration. All guests are additionally required to register at Kota Kinabalu Metropolis Mosque Tourism Administration. Comply with the principles and respect the place.

Observe that this isn’t town’s principal mosque. That title belongs to Sabah State Mosque (Masjid Negeri Sabah) in Sembulan.

Location: Jalan Pasir, Kampung Likas, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Visiting Hours: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM, 4:00 PM to five:30 PM (Saturday – Thursday); CLOSED (Fridays). The schedule would possibly change, so examine first with Kota Kinabalu Metropolis Mosque Tourism Administration earlier than going.
Entrance Payment: RM 5/head
Cowl Up Rental: RM 5 – RM 10
Contact Particulars: +60 88 435 891 / mbrkk2015@gmail.com


From its humble beginnings at a shophouse alongside Gaya Avenue in 1965, the Sabah State Museum now sits on a 17-hectare land at Bukit Istana Lama, the place the previous palace of the British North Borneo Governor was located.

From the gathering of images and diaries of George Cathcart Woolley, the museum’s treasured possessions burgeoned into an enormous assemblage of artifacts, installations, and displays housed in a number of galleries by class — historical past, arts, ceramics, brassware, pure historical past, archaeology, ethnography, and Islamic civilization amongst others.

From the devoted palms of Sabah Society, the administration duties of the museum was bequeathed to the State Ministry of Neighborhood Providers in 1981 earlier than it was handed over to the State Ministry of Tradition, Youth and Sports activities. Lastly, in April 1984, the museum transferred to its new house the place it’s presently positioned. The present museum advanced dates again to 1985.

Other than the museum’s principal constructing, the advanced additionally hosts a zoo, a botanic backyard, and a heritage village with a couple of of Sabah’s indigenous teams’ conventional homes. The museum is positioned close to Sabah State Mosque.

Location: Sabah Museum Advanced, Bukit Istana Lama, Jalan Muzium, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Day by day). The schedule would possibly change, so examine the official web site earlier than going.
Entrance Payment: RM 15/head


‼️ The Sign Hill Observatory Platform is below renovation till September 2023, however individuals can nonetheless trek to the highest and nonetheless get good views from completely different spots across the hilltop.

As the best level in Kota Kinabalu, Sign Hill is without doubt one of the greatest locations to soak up panoramic views of town, Gaya Bay, and among the islands of TAR Marine Park.

Benches are offered by the sidewalk do you have to get drained otherwise you simply wish to spend extra time admiring the breathtaking surroundings.

Padang Merdeka and Gaya Avenue are the 2 entry factors to the trailhead. Padang Merdeka primarily caters to guests who choose to drive, whereas Gaya Avenue caters to those that wish to go there on foot.

The trailhead from Gaya Avenue is on the facet the place the Sabah Tourism Board workplace is positioned. It’s on the finish of the road between the Outdated City Espresso store and Jesselton Resort. You’ll spot the path signal from the Kota Kinabalu Neighborhood Corridor (Dewan Masyarakat DBKK). You’ll attain the highest in kind of 10 minutes.

Location: 78, Jalan Asrama, Sign Hill, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Path Head Bounce-Off Level: Kota Kinabalu Neighborhood Corridor close to Gaya Avenue
Opening Hours: 24/7 (Hilltop Space); CLOSED for Renovation (Observatory).


Devoted to Monsopiad, the legendary headhunter warrior of the Kadazandusun individuals, the biggest ethnic group on this facet of Borneo.

Privately owned and managed by the direct descendants of Monsopiad, the heritage village was constructed on the very website the place the famend warrior lived about 300 years in the past. Aiming to spotlight the life and time of Monsopiad and the wealthy historical tradition of the Kadazandusun, it was opened to the general public in 1979, that includes cultural actions just like the Sumazau dance, the Kadazan cuisines, and the normal bamboo fireplace lighting.

The most well-liked attraction is the Home of Skulls (Siou Do Mohoing), the place 42 skulls cling on show as trophies and proof of Monsopiad’s energy and energy as a warrior and defender of his village. Different options are the huge monolith, the suspension bridge, the normal restaurant, the Grainery (Tangkob), and Monsopiad’s Predominant Home (Kotos di Monsopiad) the place some objects together with padi grinders, ceramic jars, bamboo instruments, and costume, are showcased.

The heritage village is positioned in Penampang, just some minutes’ drive south from Kota Kinabalu metropolis heart.

Location: Kampung Kuai Kandazon, Jalan Putatan Ramayah, Penampang, Sabah
Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Monday, Wednesday – Sunday); CLOSED (Tuesdays). The schedule would possibly change, so examine the official web site or Fb web page earlier than going.
Cultural Efficiency Schedule: 11:00 AM (Morning Session); 2:00 PM (Afternoon Session)
Bundle Tour Fee: RM 55 (Grownup); RM 50 (Senior Citizen, 60 y/o and above); RM 35 (Baby, 4-12 y/o); RM 30 (PWD). These are worldwide charges inclusive of guided tour, tour information, cultural actions, cultural present, complimentary drinks, and complimentary reward.
Contact Particulars: For reserving and inquiries, contact +6011-14196484 / +6011-14196488 / information.monsopiadheritagevillage@gmail.com


Nestled off the northwestern coast of Sabah, this group of three islands is a fast day journey from Kota Kinabalu, offering various seaside vacation spot choice for vacationers who wish to take in the solar and swim in an uncrowded tropical paradise. Other than swimming and seaside bumming, the frequent actions are diving, snorkeling, and birdwatching.

Mantanani Besar, the biggest of the three and the preferred, homes a couple of scuba diving resorts. Nature trails additionally scribble throughout the island. The opposite two islands are Mantanani Kecil, housing a small dive lodge, and Lungisan, the smallest of the three. The waters surrounding the islands are house to coral reefs, dugongs, and different marine creatures.

Getting There: The jump-off level is Kota Belud, which is about an hour’s drive north of Kota Kinabalu. From Kota Belud mainland, notably Kuala Abai Jetty, the journey time by speedboat to the islands is sort of an hour.

You’ll be able to ebook a tour package deal inclusive of roundtrip transfers from Kota Kinabalu, boat transfers, lunch, snorkeling gear, jetty and entrance charges. Two choices can be found — Snorkeling Solely or Snorkeling + River Cruise.


As nations proceed to ease their COVID-19-related journey restrictions, many airways are additionally reopening routes for industrial flights. AirAsia Philippines has just lately resumed its Manila-Kota Kinabalu service twice per week. Journey time is over two hours.

AirAsia Aircraft for Kota Kinabalu

Every reserving is inclusive of a complimentary 7kg carry-on baggage allowance. For a hassle-free and extra snug journey, you would possibly wish to examine its Worth Pack, which covers 20kg check-in baggage allowance, customary choice, a meal, and Tune Defend insurance coverage (for luggage delay & 1 hour on-time assure safety). In the meantime, their Premium Flex choice means that you can change the date and time of your flight as much as two occasions.

AirAsia Manila-Kota Kinabalu

For comfort, seamless reserving of flights and inns, and nice offers, chances are you’ll wish to obtain and examine the corporate’s fully-integrated platform, the airasia Super App, providing flight reserving and different supplementary companies and merchandise similar to on-line purchasing, insurance coverage, and ride-hailing and supply companies (when relevant/out there).

AirAsia Kota Kinabalu Flight


Written by Asta Alvarez
Photographs and extra phrases by Yosh Dimen

Our latest journey to Kota Kinabalu was made attainable by AirAsia Philippines.





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