I found it interesting to know that you can take a bus from KK at 7:30am in the morning to travel all the way south to Borneo the state of Sarawak, and then to Pontianak (Indonesia). I have called up a friend who has done this before. She said the bus ride was comfortable and it stopped along the way to various cities and towns.
Sabah -> Brunei -> Sarawak -> Pontianak
Bintang Jaya Express (KK)
Tel: 088-743178, 013-8162178 (Ah Liew)
Bintang Jaya Express (MIRI) - Gateway to Mulu Cave
Bintang Jaya Express (Kuching)
Bintang Jaya Express (Pontianak) - Overland to Indonesia
It must be exciting travelling by this bus across Borneo.
Others buses to southern Sabah towns like Sipitang, Beaufort, Lawas, Menumbok (Labuan Island).
Check out Sipitang Express website for more information.
Kota Kinabalu is a small city and easy to get around on foot. The safety to walk around alone in KK has become one of the most common questions asked by travelers specially single female. I would say KK is the safest city in Malaysia, the crime rate is relatively lower than any cities in West Malaysia. Most locals speak basic to fluent English and multiple languages . This makes it easy for travelers to ask direction from one of the friendly locals. You could easily emerge to the locals' culture and lifestyles due to their diverse ethnic backgrounds. There are many foreign expats or retirees choose KK as their second home because the city offers an urban lifestyle with slow pace traffics.
Renting and driving a car might be a good way to explore the city and surround areas. It is easy to drive around in KK due to its uncomplicated streets' layout. The entire city has only few flyovers Highways. The local residents drive slower and are more friendly on the road comparing drivers in West Malaysia. Car rental will cost between RM80 - RM380 per day at KK Airport.
Taxi in KK does not operate by meters. It costs RM30 from the KK Airport to downtown for the distance of 7 Km. Surprisingly, the cost of taxi between Airport to Mt Kinabalu National park is only RM60, 2-hour ride. You may need to bargain to get a better rate!
Taking a local bus is relatively cheap in KK. But they don't have a proper bus system as in the first world. KK is still using the third world public transportation system. You get onto the right bus by looking at a signboard posted in front of the bus or listening to the name screaming by a ticket seller. The main bus-station is located opposite the Wawasan Shopping Mall. You can get a bus to sub-urban town like Penampang, Likas, Luyang, Papar, Ranau and etc. Minivans are commonly used as public transportation in KK.
You can either rent a car at the airport or in downtown. It is not cheap to rent a car in KK, so a good plan will save you some money for transportation. You will see the local Car Rental counters right at the arriving hall, but they also have offices in downtown KK.
Kancil costs between (RM90 - RM100 per day excluding insurance).
Proton costs between (RM160 - RM230 per day excluding insurance).
MPV Toyota or Proton (RM220 - RM380 per day excluding insurance).
The insurance costs RM18 per day for below 1600cc, and RM26 per day for above 1600cc.
Local Car Rental Companies:
KMT Global Rental A Car & Tour Sdn Bhd
Lot G.02, Ground Floor Wisma Sabah, Jalan Tun Fund Stephen
88300 Kota Kinabalu (Next to Wisma Merdeka and Suria Shopping Mall).
Tel: +6088-223022, 239963, 016-8860963, 016-8895963
Brunches: KK Airport Terminal 1 & 2.
KK Leisure Tour & Rent A Car Sdn Bhd
No 14, Lot7, Block A, 1st Floor, Asia City, 88000 Kota Kinabalu.
(Nearby Centre Point Shopping Mall)
Tel: +6088-234607, +6088-232320
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com
Check out its website
It would be a good idea to rent a car at the Airport if you wish to drive for 2 hours to Mt Kinabalu National Park or Kundasan or any sub-urban towns. If you just go to your hotel in downtown, it is cheaper to take a taxi. You don't need a taxi in downtown as it is walking distance to the malls, and attractions in town. You can rent a car at the address above or other car rentals in downtown.
When you arrive KK Airport Terminal 2 (Air Asia Flights), you can either take a local bus or an Airport Taxi to town if you don't drive.
There is a taxi counter where you can inquire or buy a ticket for an Airport Taxi to any place in downtown or other location as you wish. It is only about 7 to 8 KM between the airport and downtown KK. It will cost you RM30 (US$10) which is expensive for Malaysian standard. But on the other hand, if you travel for like 2-hour ride to Mt Kinabalu will only cost you around RM60 (US$20) which is cheap for Malaysian standard. I inquired the fare thru the counter on 26.9.13.
Alternatively, you can walk toward the end of the right side of the Airport to catch a city taxi that drops off passengers from the city. The taxi supposed to be forbidden to take passengers from the Airport, but I think Malaysia "boleh" means can for anything in this situation. There was a city taxi driver approached me for the service. I would have negotiable the fare with him if I needed a taxi at that time.
Bus# 16c stops at the end of the right side of the Airport. It costs RM1.5 for a ride to a terminal opposite a mall, Plaza Wawasan. The bus operates between 5:30 to 18:00. Don't expect an air-conditioning coach. It is a non air-conditioning old bus without much space for your luggages. It will be okay for backpackers.
Ferry from Labuan to KK leaves at 1pm and costs RM34 for lower deck seats or RM39 for upper deck seats. The only difference I could see was that the upper deck seats have a video playing and you can see outside better, however the upper deck was also full while there were plenty of empty seats in the lower area.
If arriving from Brunei get you ticket as soon as you exit the terminal, the window is to the right.
You will have plenty of time to walk around the town. There are plenty of restaurants and duty free stores.
The ferry arives at the Point Jesselton Ferry Terminal in KK and is a short walk into the center of town.
If you are flying into Kota Kinabalu with Air Asia, try to get a seat on the left side of the plane. As the aircraft approaches the airport, there are spectacular views of the islands dotted off the coast of Kota Kinabalu.
Plenty of air transport to and from Kota Kinabalu. There are several flights each day from Kuala Lumpur and many flights to places within Sabah. It is important to remember that there are two terminals in Kota Kinabalu and that they are a taxi ride apart. Air Asia flights depart from terminal two. I was at the Air Asia terminal ready for a flight to Sandakan when a small group of people tried to pass into the departure lounge only to be told they were at the wrong terminal.
When travelling to the airport, make sure you tell your taxi driver which terminal you want to go to.
At Kota Kinabalu Terminal 2 - the Air Asia terminal - there is a window selling pre-paid taxi vouchers for travel into the city centre. The price (in July 2012) is set at 30 RM, approx $10. There is a plentiful supply of taxis. Prices from hotels to the airport are generally slighlty higher - around 40 RM - depending on the time of day, whether you book through your hotel, or whether you hail a taxi from the street side.
As of July 2011, the only direct connection between Brunei and Kota Kinabalu was entrusted into the hands of Royal Brunei Airlines. This is a significant monopoly that for some unknown reason has not been broken by the mighty Air Asia or has already been relinquished for some even more mysterious one. This has its bright side in the opportunity to ride his majesty’s plane stuffed with the most beautifully dressed stewardesses ever. And we know how important beauty is in the service industry for both served and serving. The latter are prone to become rich wives and surrender service to the masses in a blink of an eye. Some of the most famous examples are the wives of Putin (he was not so promising at the time though) and his fellow countrymen billionaire Abramovich but also the Sultan of Brunei too. Apparently the sultan fell into uncompromising conflict of interest when expressing more than just a business interest into one of his employees and later precipitated into the famous trap and married her. Mind you this was his second or third so presumably he knew what he was doing. History shows though that this was bad judgment just as all human resource textbooks suggest because it came to a crushing divorce with stripping the poor stewardess from all the titles she had acquired in no time. The way it came it went... So take the flight to Kota and by the time you have finished reading about the superb flying skills of the sultan and the cheesy story about him making the Indian Prime Minister wait on the tarmac so he can wrap up the flight procedures, you will be landing in the capital of Sabah!
It is always a pleasure to travel on Air Asia, if you are only flying less than 3.5 hours.
They offer best food with reasonable price if you compare Air Asia to her competitors in the same area. I would not say they offer the cheapest ticket always, but their do offer lower price more often than others.
As the sole company appointed to provide Taxi Limousine services, SP MULTI SERVICES is accountable offer a high level of service at all times. In response, the company has a code of conduct for drivers, insurance coverage for passengers, doorstep drop off and pick up, ready availability of vehicles at all times and standardised fares based on distance. For your information SP MULTI SERVICES is provide transport services in City Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and all destination in Sabah.Our focus and ambition is to provide the best quality service with Limousine cars and staff for a comfortable and safe journey at competitive rate. We are using multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) Toyota Innova 2.0 which has engine capacity 2000cc. There are many features of Limousine Taxi which make it much more and better than a regular taxi such as more spacious interior , space for luggage and good air-conditioning. We provide 4 to 6 seater passenger vehicles and all of our taxis also fully covered by First Party insurance, while that time all of our passengers are fully covered by the insurance company
As the sole company appointed to provide Taxi Limousine (a round sabah) services, SP MULTI SERVICES is accountable offer a high level of service at all times. In response, the company has a code of conduct for drivers, insurance coverage for passengers, doorstep drop off and pick up, ready availability of vehicles at all times and standardised fares based on distance. For your information SP MULTI SERVICES is provide transport services in City Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and all destination in Sabah. That’s mean client/tourism can make request to go any place in Sabah. provide the best quality service with Limousine cars and staff for a comfortable and safe journey at competitive rate. We are using multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) Toyota Innova 2.0 which has engine capacity 2000cc. There are many features of Limousine Taxi which make it much more and better than a regular taxi such as more spacious interior , space for luggage and good air-conditioning. We provide 4 to 6 seater passenger vehicles and all of our taxis also fully covered by First Party insurance, while that time all of our passengers are fully covered by the insurance company. That price will be difference between 4 passenger and 5 to 6 passenger. If 4 passenger its more cheap between 4 or 6 passenger.
Are they on long stay or short stay? Room rentals are available in the neighbouring residential estates.
Unfortunately, the public bus system in KK is in a shambles. Best to stay within walking distance to each of the 2 hospitals.
We flew to Kota Kinabalu with Royal Brunei from Brunei and booked our flight before leaving home.
It was a short ( about 4o minutes) flight although the plane was kind of beat up looking.
The airport in Kota Kinabalu surprisingly modern.We had booked transportation with our hotel but it would have been easy to catch a cab from airport. ( and cheaper)
We departed for Sandakan with Malayasia Air and once again we arranged this before leaving home.
Both flights were on time.
Going to the islands near KK is possible via the boats. To take those boats you need to get to KK Jetty. Kota Kinabalu Jetty used to be the symbol of this city. In the terminal there are old pictures of it that are pretty interesting.
The price of almost all islands are the same but the time schedules are different. At the jetty there are different boat companies but most of the time they all work together. The price of the tickets are very reasonable! for two persons we paid 50 Ringgit for round trip ( Aug 2010) which is like 17 USD for two persons!!! That`s dirt cheap ! But unlike the dirt cheap prices offered at the jetty , neither the boats nor the jetty itself are dirty.