Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Sabah, known fondly by the locals as KK, is situated by the sea, against the backdrop of the majestic Mount Kinabalu and within easy reach of the mountainous inlands. It is a modern and bustling city with a population of more than 400,000, composed of Malays, Chinese and some 32 local ethnic groups.
Covering approximately 350 square
kilometres, the city centre is small enough to
explore on foot in less than a day. Explore the various attractions, shops,
entertainment outlets, day and night hawker-style markets and
department stores in the city area. Kota
Kinabalu also offers an extensive range of
accommodation, ranging from budget guesthouses
and lodges to exclusive hotel resorts.
Nature lovers can venture beyond the city's perimeter, further inland, to discover natural treasures. Places such as Mount Kinabalu, Kinabalu National Park, Poring Hot Springs and more can be reached in a matter of hours, by bus, or through organised excursions.
For water sports enthusiasts, there is also a wide variety of activities and tours available. Visit the nearby Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, with its five unspoiled islands off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, just half an hour by speedboat from the city pier. Other outdoor activities such as golf, fishing and even white water rafting can also be arranged.
Being a major industrial and commercial centre, Kota Kinabalu is one of the fastest growing cities in Malaysia. The city is named after Mount Kinabalu which lies about 50 kilometres to the east-northeast.
Located on the west coast of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu is situated on a narrow flatland between the Crocker Range to the east and the South China Sea to the west. Six islands lie off the coast of the city, the largest being Gaya Island. Five of the islands (Gaya, Sapi, Manukan, Sulug, Mamutik) are preserved as the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park.
Most of the Central Business District (CBD) is built on land reclaimed from the sea. Several hills within the city are still covered with tropical rainforest.
CLIMB MOUNT KINABALU – 3 Days / 2 Nights ex Kota Kinabalu
Conquer South East Asia's greatest peak, Mount Kinabalu, combined with a nature guided tour of the surrounding UN world heritage park.
Day 1: Depart Kota Kinabalu at 08:00 am on a 2 hour (88 kilometre) drive to the foothills of Mt Kinabalu at 1,524 metres. Spend the first day sightseeing and acclimatising to the altitude. Overnight en-route.
Day 2: Be immersed in the mountain highland surroundings whilst trekking with your mountain guide either via the slightly longer and more challenging Mesilau Trail (6-8 hours trekking) or via the Timpohon Gate Trail (4-6 hours trekking). Enjoy the scenery and keep a look out for some amazing flora along the way. Stay overnight on the mountain in dorm accommodation at Laban Rata (3,261 metres) or in similar un-heated huts.
Day 3: Awaken in the dark at 02:00 am. After a quick breakfast, start your ascent at 03:00 am to make your way to the summit at 4,095 metres for a once in a lifetime experience of seeing the sun rise high above the clouds. Return to Laban Rata for a quick breakfast before heading down to Park Headquarters to receive your certificate and a late high tea. Transfer back to Kota Kinabalu.
KINABALU PARK AND PORING HOT SPRINGS – 2 Days / 1 Night ex Kota Kinabalu
Explore all the richness that Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Springs have to offer including the treetop canopy walkways, one-of-a-kind fish foot spa at the Moroli River in Luanti, Kipungit Waterfall, majestic views of Mount Kinabalu, Kinabalu Mountain Garden, and the Kundasang War Memorial Park. Stay overnight in Kundasang.
There is also a shorter full day tour option to visit Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot Springs.
DAY TOURS TO TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN NATIONAL PARK
Choose from either a day tour to Gaya Island including a 2km or 4.5km nature trek, picnic boxed lunch and relaxing time to swim or snorkel at the beach or a day of swimming, snorkelling, sunbathing and exploring jungle trails on Mamutik Island. Scuba diving options are possible.
The Northeast Monsoon occurs between November and March, while the Southwest Monsoon occurs between May and September. There are also two successive inter-monsoons from April to May and from September to October.
The weather pattern in Kota Kinabalu differs from the rest of Malaysian Borneo as it is protected by the Crocker Range. The driest months of the year are January to March and this is when humidity is at its lowest. The wettest months are generally September to November. April and May are the hottest months.
Daytime temperatures average between 31-33°C, whilst evening temperatures drop to 23-24°C.
It is cooler and less humid on Mount Kinabalu. The best time to climb Mount Kinabalu is between February to April when there is the least rainfall. October to December are the worst months to make the climb having the most heavy and frequent rain. Temperatures at the summit of the mountain can get to freezing.
There are many accommodation options in and around Kota Kinabalu suitable for all budgets.
Please contact us for accommodation options in Kota Kinabalu.
Please enquire with us if you would like to dive around Kota Kinabalu.
Most scuba diving around Kota Kinabalu is conducted in the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Marine Park. There are three Japanese WWII wrecks at Usukan Bay, laying between 26 – 45 metres, suitable for experienced divers and technical divers.