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 Things to Do

  • Manukan Island

    Manukan island is one of the 5 islands which make up the Tunku Abdul Rahman national marine park (along with Mamutik, Gaya, Sapi and Sulug). Between 10 and 3, you're spoilt for choice of boats leaving from Jesselton Point pier, and you should be able to negotiate a price of RM20-5 per person including terminal fee. The boat ride takes about 20...

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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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  • 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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Kota Kinabalu Hotels

Kota Kinabalu Restaurants

  • Worth a trip from town

    Brass Monkey is a small bar in the Lintas area of KK. It usually only has a couple of choices of bottled beer (which a large group will get through), but has a range of wines and spirits which rival anywhere else. The food is OK western fare, but nothing special. However the decor is pretty entertaining - lots and lots of monkey themed art and...

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  • Roti in the suburbs

    Selim is a bit of a KK institution. It's a 24 hour roti place (also known as a Mamak) which people visit after their night out in order to carry on conversation. It's also a restaurant for people who haven't been out until the small hours.The food is fairly standard - Indian breads, rice, noodles and curries, with a nasi campur station. Only...

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  • Better than its parent

    Beyond Veggie is a chain of vegetarian restaurants with outlets across peninsular malaysia and Singapore.I admit to putting off a visit to Beyond Veggie, as I don't really rate their parent company, Secret Recipe. The vegetarian options there aren't very good, so I was worried that might be replicated. Was I right to worry?The restaurant is located...

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Kota Kinabalu Nightlife

  • KK's Irish bar

    The Shamrock is an Irish bar on the waterfront. It's as you'd expect - green lights and Guinness signs. However it is quite good fun. The beers are expensive, as all of the waterfront places are. One thing that sets the shamrock apart is their (culturally insensitive?) beer 'cocktail', the Black and Tan, which is a half of Tiger and a half of...

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  • Karaoke in a normal setting

    The reason I say 'normal' is that sometimes karaoke bars here are a front for other, less salubrious activities.Damai Club has a large dancing/karaoke area, a small menu of bar snacks and a range of beers and spirits, plus about 20 cocktails. It's good fun, but best enjoyed in a group of friends so you can control the songs! None.

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  • Local band sets this bar apart from the...

    There's just a lot of clubs out there, with overseas bands.. and there is this local bar that showcases local band.. the verdict? The band is good and that is what blew me away. Live 9pc band plays and resident Dj will keep you grooving.A wonderful place with so much variety of drinks and events. It's hard to find though, but here are some keywords...

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Kota Kinabalu Transportation

  • Speed Ferry to Pulau Labuan

    Speed ferry from the Jesselton Point to Labuan takes about 2 1/2 to 3 hours depend on sea condition. Malaysian pay half price compare to foreign visitors. Business class is RM24.10 and normal class is RM17 but the feeling of jolt are the same as I experienced both trip within 24 hours rushing to a wedding dinner in Labuan and returned to KK...

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  • Speed boat to Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine...

    The Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park has 5 beautiful islands. You can go to all the islands or only the most popular Sapi and Manukan island. The only mode of transportation is taking the speed boat. There are many operators with different name and different type of boat. Please do a brief enquiry at the ticket counter, they are either in snorkeling...

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  • Cheaper package to TAR Marine Park

    Although hire a tour guide and take a snorkeling package inclusive the afternoon buffet meal is the common way but that could easily cost you from RM140-RM180 per person.The cheaper way is to ask and get for the ticket at the ferry terminal, The Jesselton Point.The Summer Criuse, counter No.3 is among one, we bought our tickets there. We chose to...

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Kota Kinabalu Shopping

  • Frozen yoghurt

    Moocow is a chain of frozen yoghurt shops with an outlet in Lintas Plaza. I love frozen yoghurt, and their version is excellent. You can choose from plain and two guest flavours. I've always enjoyed all of them! There's also a counter of toppings for an additional RM1 or 2 each. Get the coco teddies on your yoghurt. They are tasty and have...

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  • Malls in KK

    Shopping in KK town is usually done in one of the many malls. If you want electronic goods, go to Kompleks Karamunsing in the south east of the town, a little way from the centre. Wawasan plaza at the south end of the waterfront has a number of lower market shops including budget clothing. Going north, Api-api centre (next along the road) doesn't...

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  • 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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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

  • Immigration procedure for West Malaysian

    Upon arrival at Kota Kinabalu International Airport, all passengers would need to proceed for immigration clearance. A Malaysian who are from West Malaysia would need to either show his international passport as travel document or his identity card. For passport holders, the immigration officer would chop the passport to allow stay for 90 days in...

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  • The Sabah Tourism Board

    The Sabah Tourism Board is located at the meeting point of Jalan Gaya and Jalan KK 5, the Public Toilet building is at it right and the Hotel 63 is in front of it.It opened weekday from 8 am to 5 pm, while Saturday, Sunday and public holiday, it operates from 9 am to 4 pm.Some tourists decide to make this place as their assembly point.In the...

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  • The Starting Point - 0 km @ Kota...

    I accidentally found this starting point of KK. It is at a place between the Sabah Tourism Board building and the Public Toilet in town near the round about where Jalan Gaya and Jalan Kota Kinabalu 5 meet. Find it when you are in KK.

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