Kota Kinabalu Travel Guide

  • Kota Kinabalu
    by barbie_sunrise
  • Kota Kinabalu
    by kenstan
  • Sunset over Klias River
    Sunset over Klias River
    by muratkorman

Kota Kinabalu Highlights

  • Pro
    daryll profile photo

    daryll says…

     Kinabalu is beautiful beaches, islands and mountains 

  • Con
    RINNAZ profile photo

    RINNAZ says…

     Public Toilet yukkss.. 

  • In a nutshell
    yipsufen profile photo

    yipsufen says…

     Eco treasures from mountain high to ocean deep 

Kota Kinabalu Things to Do

  • Manukan Island

    Visited the Manukan island as a part of Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park 3 island hopping tour. TARP consists of 5 islands ,the Gaya, Mamutik, Manukan,Sapi and Sulug, but we just visited Manukan , Mamutik and we had our lunch on Sapi island. Departed from Jesselton Harbour , and it just took about 15 minutes to reach. Pay the Harbor tax,Sabah Park...

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  • Gaya Street

    Wet,day,night ,and sunday markets ,are always in our itinerary to be visited. This Gaya Street Sunday Market opened from early in the morning , about 6.00 as i remembered. The market stretched along the Gaya Street , can find a lot of stuffs ,eateries , pets , fishes , plants , souvenirs ,'antiques', handicrafts, fruits and etc. Just visit here...

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  • Poring Hot Spring

    Here is the best place to soak away your sores and aches of muscles in the hot sulphuric minerals of the spring, claimed to have curative powers and very popular among the locals. Pay a nominal fees then you can soak in the outdoor hot spring for relaxing bath or the kids can have a fun time in the rock pool. If you prefer some privacy, rent a...

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Kota Kinabalu Hotels

Kota Kinabalu Restaurants

  • Famous Fish Noodle in KK

    Sabah is very famous for its seafood. This coffee shop owner has a way to use the fish paste to make noodles. It was my first time having noodle made out of fish paste. It tastes good when it cooks with the seafood soup with some vegetable and fried tofu. This restaurant is famous among the locals, and the coffee shop can get crowded during...

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  • The Best Italian Food in Town

    Little Italy is one of the well known Italian restaurants in KK. It is strategically located in the center of downtown KK, right opposite Wisma Merdeka and a short walk from Suria Sabah. It is on the ground floor of the Hotel Capital. I know this restaurant through a local food program, Axian, and learnt that it is owned and managed by a real...

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  • A dinning experience

    Angling at contemporary Far East practice of design, hypnotic rhythms and sounds as well as atmosphere and cuisine, Peacock Garden (previously Buddha Bar) is the latest addition to Kota Kinabalu’s nightlife. The geniuses behind the establishment are doing everything right; Peacock Garden is designed to pleasure the senses of the wild and refined....

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Kota Kinabalu Nightlife

  • Good time

    I came from South Africa with friends to dive in Sabbah and we Stayed a couple of nights in Kota Kinabalu.We planned to go to the Bed bar on the waterfront and as this one was still not open,we ended up next door at a place called STEP IN BAR,We played some pool and we drank some ice cold draught beer while the girls were having French wine, at a...

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  • very positive surprise

    Awesome decoration (the place is the ex Buddha Bar) and hot atmosphere, affordable price and friendly staffs, the best place we have been during our two weeks travel in Malaysia. no dress code a mix-up of travelers and locals

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  • Worth a visit

    Sullys Bar is situated just outside the centre of KK in KK Times Square.KK Times Square is becoming 'the' place to go at night in KK.Sullys is run by an english couple who recently moved to KK.What makes it different from all the other bars in KK is the quality of the music and the fact that you can still have a conversation even with the live band...

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Kota Kinabalu Transportation

  • Long-Distant Bus-Stop Opp High Court

    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...

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  • Getting Around KK

    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...

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  • Car Rental Service 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...

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Kota Kinabalu Shopping

  • Seafood Heaven Shop

    This is the best place you can look for seafood in town. They have varieties of seafood, from frozen, fresh or dried one such as Lobster, Tiger Prawn, Flower Crab, Lots of coral fish, Abalone, Scallop, Dried Sea Cucumber, Seaweed, Cuttlefish, Dried Fish,Prawn, Anchovies, and many more. The price is quite cheap compare to the other frozen shop in...

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  • The Most Luxury Mall In KK

    Suria Sabah Shopping is the latest shopping complex and most luxurious mall in downtown KK. It is located in a strategic location nearby the Jesselton Point Water Front and the downtown harbor. You can find shops of international brands, major outlet stores, beauty and cosmetic stores, and boutiques. The Suria Food Court is the highlight of this...

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  • Local Handicrafts

    If you are looking for something special as inexpensive gifts, go shop around in the pedestrian bridge at Segama Complex. The bridge is next the big Post Office building or the KK Plaza. You will see some indigenous locals selling their hand-made handicrafts for a living. The handicrafts that they made you won't find anywhere else. I think they are...

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Kota Kinabalu Local Customs

  • Modesty should be considered

    KK is not KL by any mean ! Though both are under the same flag and central government they are unlike one another. KL is very cosmopolitan and therefore more westernized and open while Kota Kinabalu is more local and modesty must be considered while there. Though there would be no punishment for improper dressing neither there is a dress code ,...

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  • Where to stay..

    I'm from sarawak..Marina court is a good place to stay if going holiday with a large group of family member e.g 4 and above..the apartment/condo has 3 bedroom and we can cook if we want.Been here several time with my family of 5 pupils. For me its cheaper than rent a hotel rooms. i suggested this to my all virtual friend. last month i rent 3 unit...

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  • Central Market

    The Central Market is located near the waterfront, just to the north of the Filipino market and doubles as an outdoor food court. The market sells fruit and vegetables along with meat and fish. We visited it at night after having a pizza at Little Italy.

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Kota Kinabalu Warnings and Dangers

  • ALWAYS CARRY PLENTY OF FRESH WATER

    When travelling here make sure that you ALWAYS have plenty of fresh bottled water as the water quality here is not good..DO NOT drink the tap water...also make sure that you check the caps when purchasing water to make sure that the seals on the caps have not been broken and that they are not "refills"..I purchase my water at the supermarket and...

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  • Camping is not possible on the islands

    It`s not danger but something important that you should know ! If you like camping I have some bad news for you , you can not camp on the islands of Kota Kinabalu! it`s NOT against the law or anything , it`s just not possible due to humidity ! Me and my friend wanted to do it but as soon as we got in to our tent we realized it was like hell and...

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  • The Filipino village near Jetty

    There`s a Filipino village near the Jetty ( you can see it from the jetty of Kota Kinabalu ) which is an on water kind of village. People of that village are Muslim Filipinos who were not wanted by the Philippine government and yet were not accepted by the Sabah either so they were kind of pushed to live there ! Most of their women wear Burka , do...

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Kota Kinabalu Tourist Traps

  • Guided tours for snorkelling - not...

    Even as a somewhat budget traveller, I would always promote the use of local guides and companies to get a real insight into the areas I am visiting.But, if you just want to go snorkelling at one of the islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, you are wasting your money getting a guided tour. Most of the four to six hour tours were priced at around 160...

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  • Changing Money at the Airports

    I flew to Kota Kinabalu with Air Asia via Kuala Lumpur. When exiting the plane at Kuala Lumpur LCCT there is a Money Changer inside the terminal building (before luggage pick-up). There is no need to change money here - exchange rates are low. Once you have picked up your luggage, you can get a much better exchange rate in the concourse of the...

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  • Dining along the Waterfront & Port View

    There are several restaurants along the waterfront, just south of the Handicraft Market. Please bare in mind that these restaurants are well overpriced. Granted, the location is nice and if the weather is cooperative, siting on the back deck is pleasant.However, if you walk into the city, you could have similar quality of food for a fraction of the...

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Kota Kinabalu What to Pack

  • NECCESARY AND HANDY ITEMS TO CARRY

    I always carry a small backpack while out and about to carry neccesary everyday items;ALWAYS CARRY FRESH BOTTLED WATER HERE..(check the caps to make sure they are not refills) Have good hiking/walking boots:I carry a small rolled up poncho that covers me and the backpackA pair of sunglassesA hat for sun protection A reliable Insect and Mosquito...

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  • always remember the sunscreen

    You must leave enough room to fill with all your shopping great exchange rate means good buys Always remember some comfy shoes or sandals for walking especially if you have large feet. The largest sized shoes for women are size 8 (Australia) a 38 or 39 European. Not much large sized women's clothing you really have to hunt it out, so bring enough...

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  • Carry tissues

    Tissues - I would suggest you always carry one of those pocket size packets of tissues with you.Useful for many things, last but not least is cleaning up after gorging on those fantastically messy chicken wings the hawkers sell which are iresistable.

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Kota Kinabalu Off The Beaten Path

  • Excellent place to take pictures of Mt....

    The Kinabalu Park HQ is the most popular place for climbers to take the "me-and-the-mountain-I-had-conquered" picture.The spot is OK but sometimes the view gets marred by passing vans and pedestrians making the setting less "natural".I found this great spot to take the great view of Mount Kinabalu with all its glory. It is at a small hotel called...

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  • only chilled out classical thai beach in...

    woowweee..finally after looking around for a non package..non breakfast included..non samsonites..non per pax(400-900RM) a nite beach huts..I found IT!!!Manana Borneo...thru a friend I was recommended and these guys dont advertise man!!Solely from the word of mouth and their networks from Perhentians Islands...cool plp and great vibes here...books...

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  • Atkinson Clock Tower

    One of the most enduring landmarks in KK which has stood prominently on the bluff along Signal Hill Road. Built as a memorial to Francis George Atkinson (the first District Officer of KK). It has the distinction of being the oldest standing structure in the whole Sabah that suvived the air raids and blitz of WWII. The Clock Tower was gazetted as a...

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Kota Kinabalu Sports & Outdoors

  • It`s all about water sports

    Kota Kinabalu`s sports scene is all about water sports! You can do them all , snorkeling , Scuba diving , swimming , jet skiing and etc . Just jump on one of the hourly boats to one of the islands very nearby(ls than ten minutes away) and do all the water sports you want. Don`t worry about the scuba and snorkeling equipment , you can rent them at...

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  • Snorkel in the marine park

    There are 4 islands in the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park that you can visit.The snorkeling is great at all of them, you can dive also.There are however coral graveyards on most islands, but out past them the coral is regenerating and the fish are fantastic. Take your own snorkel gear if you have it, the hire stuff available is not that good

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  • Horse Riding

    We enjoyed "beach riding" & "kampong (village) riding" at Kindawan Riding Centre.But the centre moved to Tuaran from Kinarut beach, and Ms Dale Sinidol, Manager & Instructor, backed to Australia.The centre is operated by Tuaran Beach Resort now.(These photos were taken at Kinarut.)

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Kota Kinabalu Favorites

  • Climbing Mt Kinabalu - advanced...

    I happened to enquire on this, from someone familiar with it, so I can answer such questions on VT Forum! ;-)The answer is that last minute climbs are only possible if there is a last minute cancellation and you are lucky to get it! Otherwise it is 6-9 months booking ahead, even for base camp :(

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  • The great outdoors

    If you are an outdoor kind of a person, the KK is just the place for you. You can either explore the mountains and forests, or you can do water sports as well. Having a relaxed time in a very nicely paced city.

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  • Easy answers to easy KK questions.

    Hello -Supermarkets-There's 2 (not so big) in KK town itself - Centrepoint has Pacific Nu Kui, near the Hyatt there's a Millimewa. On the fringes of the CBD at Karamunsing, you'll find a mid-sized Giant. At City Mall, a good 20 minutes by taxi, there's a larger Giant, and at 1Borneo Shopping Centre there's the biggest Giant of them all. Flea...

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Explore Deeper into Kota Kinabalu
Tanjung Aru Beach
Things to Do
Lok Kawi Wildlife Park
Things to Do
Signal Hill
Things to Do
Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
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Canopy Walk
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Mount Kinabalu
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Interesting Flea Market @ Gaya Street
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270 Degrees Bird's eye view of KK
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One of the Islands of TARP
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Sabah State Mosque
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Long way up
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Lok Kawi Wildlife Park
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Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
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Jesselton Point Waterfront
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Signal Hill Observatory
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Sabah Tourism Building
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Community Hall
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Atkinson Clock Tower
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KK Airport Terminal 2 - Airport Bus or Taxi
Transportation
Sensational Italian delights in Kota Kinabalu
Restaurants
Dry noodles with Fish suop
Restaurants
Sunday Market
Things to Do
Tour Company Exotic Borneo
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Seafood with Entertainment
Restaurants
Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
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Sabah State Mosque
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Jesselton Point Waterfront
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Sutera Harbour
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Signal Hill Observatory Tower
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Waterfront Night Market For Dinner
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Ferry from Labuan to Kota Kinabalu
Transportation
Get a seat of the left
Transportation
Gardens in the Museum precinct
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Healthy cheap eats
Restaurants
Malls are good but....
Shopping
Waterfront Esplanade dining
Restaurants
Gaya Street Sunday Market
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An afternoon walk - Atkinson Clock Tower and Views
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Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal
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A walk along the waterfront at sunset
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Map of Kota Kinabalu

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