Kota Kinabalu Bucket List: Best Things to do in Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu Tourist Attractions: Best Activities to do and Places to see in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Masjid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu photo by @andywang02021 via Unsplash
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What is Kota Kinabalu famous for?

Kota Kinabalu reminds me of Davao City – one of my favorite cities in the Philippines. Just like Davao City, Kota Kinabalu is blessed with mind-blowing natural beauty, that is why this place is always at the top of the list for people planning a holiday vacation to Sabah Malaysia. Whether you are planning to stay just for a few nights or even for a week, you can find a hotel in Kota Kinabalu for a great price. Most of the hotels are located within walking distance to the beach and other tourist attractions. This will benefit anyone who likes to spend their days relaxing and soaking in the rich culture of Kota Kinabalu.

Pulau Sapi, Kota Kinabalu photo by @fahrulazmi via Unsplash
Pulau Sapi, Kota Kinabalu photo by @fahrulazmi via Unsplash

Tanjung Aru Beach

Sunset in Tanjung Aru Beach
Sunset in Tanjung Aru Beach
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Tanjung Aru Beach is only a few miles away from Kota Kinabalu in the south. For all those who love beaches, this is the perfect place to relax. The two kilometers of sand stretching out on the beach is perfect to take a walk. Swimmers can enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling and explore the untouched beauties of the underwater world. Tanjung Aru is also famous for Sunset lovers. The sun disappearing in the arms of the sea is an exquisite view to watch. Seafood restaurants and food courts in the open air gives a wonderful dining experience as well.

Hike Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu photo by @linglivetolaugh via Unsplash
Mount Kinabalu photo by @linglivetolaugh via Unsplash

Mount Kinabalu is the third tallest mountain in Southeast Asia. Adventurers and non-adventurers can climb the peaks without any specialized training but one must be physically fit. A two hours journey from Kota Kinabalu leads to Kinabalu Park, an eco-friendly place and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Kinabalu Park surrounds the mountain and is spread around 300 square miles.

Mari Mari Cultural Village

Mari Mari Cultural Village
Mari Mari Cultural Village

Mari Mari Cultural Village is situated in a mini forest just 25 minutes away from the City Center. The Village features various traditional houses of major ethnic communities of Sabah like the Bajau, Lundayeh, Murut, Rungus, and Dusun. Aside from the very efficient tour guides, some locals will also show blowpipe-making demonstration, fire-starting demonstration using bamboo, tattoo-making demonstration, and get an in-depth look at the mystical symbolism behind them.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

Sapi Island
Sapi Island

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park consists of five small islands. They are Sapi Island, Gaya Island, Manukan Island, Mamutik Island, and Sulug Island. Each island has its own specific features. Gaya Island is the largest among all and this undeveloped island is not strongly advised for tourists. Except for Gaya all other islands are considered safe. Travelers can enjoy hiking trails, scuba diving, snorkeling, and swimming.

Borneo Reef World Pontoon

Borneo Reef World
Borneo Reef World

Borneo Reef World Pontoon is the largest pontoon in Southeast Asia. Borneo Reef World is a pontoon floating near Sapi Island in Kota Kinabalu. This famous tourist attraction is only 15 minutes away from Kota Kinabalu City.

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park

Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is a rehabilitation center for Borneo’s endangered species like tigers, orangutans, elephants, proboscis monkeys and many more. This wildlife park is only 30 minutes away from south Kota Kinabalu and a must to visit. Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre provides ways to walk through a mangrove forest. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of nature and wildlife by trekking. During all seasons, over 80 varieties of birds including rare types can be seen in the forest.

Monsopiad

House of Skulls" in Monsopiad Cultural Village
House of Skulls” in Monsopiad Cultural Village

Monsopiad is a cultural village that is considered an expensive place for travel bugs. The historical importance of Monsopiad cultural village will attract visitors who are interested in learning information about the past.

Masjid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu photo by @andywang02021 via Unsplash
Masjid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu photo by @andywang02021 via Unsplash

Some other places to visit include Marine Museum, City Mosque, Borneo Art Gallery, Water World Theme Park, The Green Connection, Puh Toh Tze Temple, Seri Selera seafood complex, and Mari Mari cultural village. Other significant sites that are of interest are Petagas War Memorial, Orchid de Villa, Double six monuments, Sunday market of Gaya Street, Ka’andaman traditional healing garden, Kipandi Butterfly Park, South Sea Sanctuary, North Borneo Steam Railway, Sutera Harbor Golf and many more.

The hot and humid climate of Kota Kinabalu is comfortable for all tourists. Most establishment in the City provides good facilities at a reasonable price to any budget traveler.

With the recent strategic partnership of Zest Air with AirAsia (www.airasia.com), Zest Air flight tickets can now be booked online via the AirAsia website.

Searching for the best hotels and affordable flights? Check out our complete list of affordable hotels and resorts via Agoda or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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