Malaysian Ringgit (MYR or RM) | = RM 4~ = Php 47~
Photos by Daniel Pietzsch / CC
NOTE: Go for a guided 2-day tour up to Mt. Kinabalu! Book NOW online to reserve your spot.
Facts about Kota Kinabalu
- Kota Kinabalu or KK is perched on the northwest coast of the island of Borneo and it is the capital of the state of Sabah (one of two states of East Malaysia).
- It is actually named after Mount Kinabalu, which is located about 50 kilometers northeast of the city and it is also the highest mountain found in Malaysia.
- This is deemed the largest city in Sabah and it is also the main gateway into the island of Borneo.
- Islam is the most professed religion, that’s why Malaysia as a whole is fairly conservative. Rest assured, most cities are liberal so you should have no problem wearing shorts for example (and besides, they would understand since you are a foreigner). However, it helps to not bare too much flesh with very revealing clothes or whatnot, most especially if you go to rural areas.
- The citizens are comprised of Brunei Malays, Bajau, Chinese, Kadazandusun, and immigrants who are mostly from Indonesia and the Philippines.
- The languages used on the island are Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese, English, and Hakka dialect. (Rest assured, almost everyone can speak English so it shouldn’t be a problem for you as a tourist).
» Quick Travel Planning
1. Island hop in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park
- Gaya: The largest island in the park and the closest to downtown Kota Kinabalu. In here, you can find a lot of hiking trails so it makes for a scenic stroll since it is a dense virgin tropical forest reserve after all. Resorts are also speckled across certain areas, and of course, there is one beach stretch that you shouldn’t miss: Police Bay which has immaculate white sand and turquoise waters. Other activities to try are scuba diving and sea walking.
- Sapi: Located just on the southwestern part of Gaya, this also has one of the nicest beaches in this marine park! A lot of tourists flock here for snorkeling, diving, barbecuing, and even camping.
- Manukan: The 2nd largest island in the park and arguably the most popular destination for things to do in Kota Kinabalu that’s suggested by locals. Perhaps because of this fact, Manukan has the most developed tourist facilities. (TIP: for the best beach, go to the eastern part)
- Mamutik: This may be the smallest island of the five but it is the perfect place to go if you want to escape the tourist crowd.
- Sulug: This is the farthest island which makes it the most remote and underdeveloped of them all. But certainly, that doesn’t stop some travelers from stopping by and enjoying the ‘peace’.
A couple of months after I made the decision to quit my job and start a travel lifestyle, I was browsing through cheap flight options with a friend of mine so that we can plan a quick getaway. During our search, a trip to Kota Kinabalu (KK) caught my eye and it quickly piqued my interest. (Things to Do in Kota Kinabalu)
Kota Kinabalu is a melting pot of cuisines and it’s no surprise since there are a lot of nationalities and cultures mixing (and matching).
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2. Visit the Mari Mari Cultural Village
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3. Soak in the city’s sights
4. Go on a food trip!
5. Explore around Mt. Kinabalu — or better yet: climb it!
6. Take on a river cruise
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Kota Kinabalu Travel Guide
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Hello (informal): Hai (Hi)
Thank you: Terima kasih (TREE-muh KAH-seh)
Yes: Ya (YUH)
No: Tidak (tee-DAH)
Goodbye: Selamat tinggal (SLAH-maht tin-GAHL) [“Safe stay!”] or Selamat jalan (SLAH-maht JAH-lahn) [“Safe trip!”]
» Top Kota Kinabalu Tours «
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