Kota Kinabalu, located in the northern region of the island of Borneo is a unique coastal destination which is partly covered by rainforests. With the best Things to do in Kota Kinabalu, it offers the unique blended experience of enjoying the sea as well as the rich floral and faunal diversity at the same time. It also effectively preserves the cultural history of mankind in the region as displayed through museums , architecture and its cultural village. A city like none other, Kota Kinabalu derives its name from the mountain of the same name located to its east and is the capital city of Sabah in Malaysia.
Geographically, Kota Kinabalu stands on a flat land between the Crocker Range to the east and the South China Sea to the west. There are five islands opposite to the city ( Sapi, Mamutik, Gaya, Sulug and Manukan) which form a major site of tourist attraction, they together form the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. It is a popular recreational spot for tourists. The rainforests fringing the city have a certain section set aside for a Bird Sanctuary. Bird watchers find the region no less than a paradise for their activity of special interest.
Historically, Kota Kinabalu has much to offer to the tourists. The Padang Merdeka marks the spot where Sabah’s independence and establishment of Malaysia took place. The Petagas War Memorial reminds one of the attack and assault of the Japanese during the Second World War.
Kota Kinabalu also has many leisure spots and conserved areas. Anjung Samudra, Tanjung Aru beach are a few which comes to mind in the context. Hiking, jogging, snorkelling are all on the offer list in this remarkable city. If there ever was a city with inclusivity as agenda for tourists and the best Things to do in Kota Kinabalu, then this is undeniably a destination which has something for everyone.
Things to Do in Kota Kinabalu
People Also Ask About Kota Kinabalu Things To Do
What are the adventure activities to do in Kota Kinabalu?
Adventure in Kota Kinabalu almost ranges with the varied personality of the
landscape. From exploring the tropical rainforests to surfing the sea and
exploring the depths of the ocean, Kota Kinabalu has a range of activities in
store. A few to name in this context are as follows:
- Quad Biking Tour in Kiulu
- Coral FLyer Zipline Adventure at Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
- Sea Walking adventure
- Indoor climbing
What are some of the best things to do in Kota Kinabalu?
The best things to do in Kota Kinabalu can be seen in terms of best activities for
nature lovers, adventure sports lovers, history lovers, etc. To prepare a list of few
of the best activities from each category, the must do list stands as follows:
- Visit Pulau Tiga
- Cycle through the city
- Enjoy steamed buns at old kopitiam
- Visit Grand Illusions
- White Water Raft at Kiulu
- Conquer fear of heights at Zip Borneo
- Mountain Biking Excursions at Kiulu
- Day trip to Ranau
- Enjoy natural beauty of Bukit Padang
- Jog at Perdana Park
- Visit the tip of Borneo at Kudat
- Visit Marine Museum
- Visit Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
- Picnic at Tanjung Aru
Where can we go for fishing in Kota Kinabalu?
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is a good spot for fishing. It is advisable
to book leisure fishing tours to make the most of the experience. There are many
tour operators who arrange for such packages for tourists.
Which are best places for water rides in Kota Kinabalu?
Water rides are very popular in Kota Kinabalu and forms one of the crowning
experiences in overall tourism experience. The best place for water rides is the
Water World Theme Park in Kota Kinabalu. Besides the Water World Theme Park,
one can enjoy jet skiing at Mangrove Eco Safari and Langkawi, fly fish ride at the
Abdul Rahman Marine Park and Banana boat ride at The Abdul Rahman Marine
What are the most romantic things to do on a honeymoon in Kota Kinabalu?
Honeymoon in Kota Kinabalu can be an experience encompassing quite some
variety of activities. At the very outset, the city offers a number of world class
hotels to check into where everything from marvellous local and international
cuisine to rejuvenating spas are offered. There are resorts with golf courses and
provisions of other activities such as tennis and swimming pools to add to the
luxury. Once one steps out of the hotel, the broad walks, markets and the
beaches are good places to go for a casual stroll as the dusk rolls on to
welcome the night. Further, the city offers activities ranging from safari to water
sports, history walk to just plain cycling through the city and meeting locals. For
the party lovers, the nightlife of Kota Kinabalu promises all the fun as any
nightlife friendly city would offer.Complete with late night walks on the beach
besides a few drinks at the local bars, a day in Kota Kinabalu can never end
without the lingering aftertaste of a day well spent and a romance fully lived for
that day itself.
Where can we go for a wildlife safari in Kota Kinabalu?
Kota Kinabalu is blessed with abundant rainforests and hosts a number of wild
animals and plants. Few of the most popular places for wildlife safari around the
city are as follows:
- Kilas RIver and Nature wildlife tour
- Lok Kawi WIldlife Park
- Kinabalu Park Canopy Walkway and Poring Hot Springs tour
- Sandakan Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Center
Which places are best for scuba diving and snorkeling in Kota Kinabalu?
Kota Kinabalu is famous for watersports and diving experiences in and around
beaches. A few of the most popular places for scuba diving and snorkeling are
- Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
- Gaya Island
- Sapi Island
Which are best cruising experiences in Kota Kinabalu?
Cruising experiences are very popular amongst tourists as it accords the sight to
the sea as well as the varied landscape of the shoreline half immersed in dense
Rainforests. Few of the most popular cruising experiences are as follows:
- Sutera Harbour, North Borneo cruise
- Nippon Maru cruise
- Mv Mega Bhakti cruise
Where can we go for paragliding in Kota Kinabalu?
Paragliding is an exciting sport which when conducted from just the right spot
and elevation, can be an experience of a lifetime. In Kota Kinabalu, the Kokol
hills are the most popular site for paragliding.
Where can we go for zip lining in Kota Kinabalu?
Ziplining can be best enjoyed while partaking in the ride from Gaya island to Sapi
Island. It is an exciting experience where one gets to zip over the clear turquoise
waters from one island to the other.
Where to experience parasailing in Kota Kinabalu?
Parasailing is an activity which can be enjoyed both in Tunku Abdul Rahman
Marine Park as well as on Sapi Island.
What are the best nightlife experiences in Kota Kinabalu?
Kota Kinabalu has a reputed nightlife with world class bars and pubs, restaurants
for the night owls amongst tourists. A few of the most popular places to go to for
the evenings are as follows:
- The Shamrock irish Bar
- El Centro
- Sunset Bar
- M- Cubed Bar
- Sullys Bar
- Cock and Bull Bistro
- Q Bar
Which are the best areas to try out the street food in Kota Kinabalu?
Street food in Kota Kinabalu gives one a taste of local lifestyle and is a must
have if one intends to experience first hand, every bit of life in the city. Few of the
most popular street food joints are as follows:
- Shoney’s Kitchen and Bar
- Mad Ben Cafe
- Tavern kitchen and Bar
- KK Food Street
- Yee Fung Restaurant
- Little Italy
- Fong Ip Cafe
- Gusto Food and Wine
- Sri Latha Curry House
- Yuit Cheong
The Manukan Island Resort is a luxury private island resort. This serene retreat offers exquisite accommodation, sophisticated cuisine and unparalleled water sport activities in one of the most pristine corner of the world. Manukan Island is surrounded by a protected coral reef, and the island boasts a pristine rainforest and beautiful white sand beaches. Location: Manukan Island, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia Highlights: This resort features an outdoor pool, a restaurant and spacious villas with private terraces and dining areas. The resort offers a wide range of activities such as diving, snorkeling and trekking. For views of marine life, glass-bottomed boat rides are available. Price: Approximate price for a room starts at 700 MYR.
Also known as Swallow Reef, Layang Layang is one of the islands located towards the north of Sabah Coast in Borneo Island. Highlights – This is a very remote island, as it located in highly deep waters. The diving spots are close to 2000m deep. There is a naval base here and tourists are prohibited from entering into this area. There are lots of restrictions for tourists in these waters, due to which marine life is well-preserved. You will be able to spot Hammerhead sharks, whale sharks and abundant coral reefs here. Scuba diving is the main activity here, with the island providing maximum depths of up to 40m. Some famous diving spots in Layang Layang are Crack Reef, D-Wall, The Point, Pier Diving, Dog Tooth Liar and Wrasse Strip. Location – 300km towards the north the Sabah Coast, Borneo Island. Timings – March to August. Price – Depends on the package.