kota kinabalu blog, kota kinabalu travel blog, kota kinabalu travel guide, kota kinabalu travel guide blog55

Referring to Malaysia, you will immediately think of Kuala Lumpur, Penang or Malacca, right? But this time we will take you to visit a more special place, which is Kota Kinabalu. Considered a paradise for adventure lovers, it owns vast tropical forests, wonderful islands and sea, and even enchanting mountains. In short, it is the land of golden forest, silver sea, green fields, the beauty is blessed by the Mother of nature, summary in a ‘beautiful’ word! Now, let’s check it out our Kota Kinabalu travel blog (Kota Kinabalu blog) with the fullest Kota Kinabalu travel guide blog for a budget and wonderful trip for the first time visit from how to get to Kota Kinabalu to top things to do and what to do in Kota Kinabalu below.

Snorkelling-in-Kota-Kinabalu
Snorkelling in Kota Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu Climb Kota Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu
Pier off Manukan Island
Pier off Manukan Island
Cloud Forest, Mount Kinabalu National Park, Borneo, Malaysia
Rain forest, Mt Kinabalu National Park, Borneo, Malaysia
Kota Kinabalu City Mosque
Kota Kinabalu City Mosque
kota kinabalu blog, kota kinabalu travel blog, kota kinabalu travel guide, kota kinabalu travel guide blog
Jesselton Pier
kota kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu City at night
kota kinabalu blog, kota kinabalu travel blog, kota kinabalu travel guide, kota kinabalu travel guide blog,
Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa
Central Market, Kota Kinabalu
Street food at Central Market

food kota kinabalu blog, kota kinabalu travel blog, kota kinabalu travel guide, kota kinabalu travel guide blog

Kota Kinabalu blog: When is the best time to visit Kota Kinabalu?

forest kinabalu malaysia

You can travel to Kota Kinabalu at any time of the year, but should avoid traveling during the rainy season, which lasts from October to January next year.

best time to visit kota kinabalu

The best time to visit to Kota Kinabalu is from February onwards, at this time the weather is quite cool and not too hot, the average temperature from 22 to 30 Celsius degrees, is very suitable for swimming, traveling and sightseeing.

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Snorkeling

Kota Kinabalu travel blog: How to get to Kota Kinabalu?

kota kinabalu airport

As far as we know, there is still no any direct flight from Vietnam to this city, so you will still have to book tickets to Kuala Lumpur. From Vietnam to Kuala Lumpur (about 2hrs of fly), then fly to Kota Kinabalu – BKI airport (2.5hrs) and then book more tickets to go here. Airlines you can refer to: Vietnam Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Jetstar Asia, Thai Airways … or use Skyscanner, Expedia, Traveloka to find cheap flights of airlines.

Kota Kinabalu International Airport
Kota Kinabalu International Airport

From the airport to the city center you can take a public bus. At the exit hall of the airport, the left hand side is the city bus ticket counter, the ticket price is 5 RM ($0.75).

Kota Kinabalu Airport Bus
Kota Kinabalu Airport Bus

Kota Kinabalu travel guide blog: Getting around Kota Kinabalu

Taxi-in-Kota-Kinabalu
Taxi in Kota Kinabalu

There is no tram or sky train but the main means of transport are still buses and taxis, and if you want, you can rent motorbikes to travel with more actively and economically, just buy 4G SIM card to Google the road map is a good way. However, renting a motorbike will require an international driver’s license or an English-language driver’s license to confirm.

city bus kota kinabalu
City bus

How to move to the islands of Kota Kinabalu

Jesselton Point Waterfront
Jesselton Point Waterfront

The most common way is to get to Jesselton Point Waterfront that located right in the city center, buy a high-speed boat ticket to the island you want to go. When enough the number of guests are 7-8 people, the boat will depart. The travel time to Sapi island or Manukan is about 10 to 15 minutes and Gaya is a bit further. The equipment for activities at the sea such as diving suits, swimming goggles, masks, life jackets … can be rented at the wharf.

Jesselton Point Waterfront

The first boat departs from 7:30am and the last trip from the island returns at 5pm (there is one trip every hour). The round trip ticket for adults is 23 RM ($3.41), children under 11 are 18 RM ($2.67). The entrance fee to the island is 10 RM ($1.48) for foreigners, 3 RM ($0.44) for Malaysians.

Ticketing Hall of Jesselton Point
Ticketing Hall of Jesselton Point

Aerial view Jesselton Jesselton Point Waterfront

Ticketing Hall of Jesselton Point
Ticketing Hall of Jesselton Point

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Labuan Express

Kota Kinabalu travel blog: Where to stay in Kota Kinabalu?

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Hyatt Regency Kinabalu

Here are some hotels from cheap, budget to luxury in Kota Kinabalu, you can refer to and choose for yourself the most suitable hotel.

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Family Room at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa.

Some budget, cheap with interior, basic services hotels in Kota Kinabalu

Celyn City Hotel Kota Kinabalu
Celyn City Hotel
  • Celyn City Hotel: Lot 21, 1st Floor, Block A, Warisan Square, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, Central Business District, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88000 / with rental price from $24.54/room/night.
  • Hashtag 12 Boutique Hotel: Lot 12, First Floor, Block 3, Api-Api Commercial Centre, Khu trung tâm, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88000 / with the lowest rent from $26.84/room/night.
  • OYO 597 Winner Hotel: No 9 & 10 Jalan Pasar Baru, Kg Air, Khu trung tâm, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88000 / with rental price from only $25.62/room/night.
  • Asia Adventure Lodge: 112, 1st Floor, Gaya Road., Central Business District, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88000 / with room rate from $12.07/room/night.
  • Borneo Global Sipadan Backpackers: Ground, 1st & 2nd Floor, Bangunan SeaFest, Jalan Causeway, Taman Bandar Semporna, Semporna, Malaysia, 91308 / with room rate from $9.98/room/night.
  • Century Hotel Inanam: 34, 1st Floor, Block E, Inanam Business Centre, Central Business District, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88450 / with rental price from $8.05/room/night.
OYO 597 Winner Hotel
OYO 597 Winner Hotel

Mid-range hotels, fully equipped and convenient to travel with good ratings in Kota Kinabalu

MC Holiday Apartment @ Marina Court Resort Condominium
MC Holiday Apartment
  • MC Holiday Apartment @ Marina Court Resort Condominium: Lebuhraya Pantai Baru, Central Business District, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88000 / with rental price from $68.25/room/night.
  • Ming Garden Residence: Lorong Ming Garden, Jalan Coastal, Central Business District, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88000 / with room rate from $56.34/room/night.
  • C’haya Hotel: Lot 7, Jalan Tanjung Aru (Beside Tanjung Aru Police Station), Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88100 / with room rate from $48.27/room/night.
  • Cititel Express Kota Kinabalu: No. 1 Jalan Singgah Mata 1, Asia City, Central Business District, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88000 / with room rate from $31.50/room/night.
  • Hotel Eden54: 54, Gaya Street, Central Business District, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88000 / with room rate from $30.65/room/night.
Cititel Express Kota Kinabalu
Cititel Express

Upscale, luxury hotels, ideal resorts in Kota Kinabalu

Gayana Marine Resort kk
Gayana Marine Resort
  • Bunga Raya Island Resort: Polish Bay, Gaya Island, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park , Gaya Island, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia / from $229.85/room/night.
  • Gayana Marine Resort: Malohom Bay, Gaya Island, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Gaya Island, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia / room rate from $220.32/room/night.
  • Gaya Island Resort: Malohom Bay, Pulau Gaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Gaya Island, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88000 / with room rate from $208.32/room/night.
  • Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa: Pantai Dalit Beach P.O. Box 600, Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia / with rental price from $236.98/room/night.
  • The Pacific Sutera: 1 Sutera Harbour Boulevard, Central Business District, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88100 / with room rate from $140.31/room/night.
  • The Magellan Sutera: 1 Sutera Harbour Boulevard, Sutera Harbour , Central Business District, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia / with room rate from 195.48/room/night.
  • Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa: 20 Jalan Aru, Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, 88100 / with room rate from 195.48/room/night.
Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa

Kota Kinabalu travel blog: Best places to visit and top things to do in Kota Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu

Kinabalu-7 unforgettable experiences on the Borneo Island

Dubbed as the “highest mountain in Southeast Asia and is one of the highest peaks in the world, with a height of more than 4.000 meters, Mount Kinabalu is one of the ideal places for adventure lovers. Although it is said to be risky, conquering this mountain is also quite easy with climbing trails have extremely good conditions, not having to hang up and climb dangerous anything. To climb the mountain will take about 2-3 days, so you can prepare for training, health care as well as planning for conquering this mountain. You can also book the 2-day and 1-night mountain tour of travel companies such as Klook or KKday.

Kinabalu-7 unforgettable experiences on the Borneo Island1

Kinabalu-7 unforgettable experiences on the Borneo Island9

Kinabalu-7 unforgettable experiences on the Borneo Island8
Can you conquer the might Mt Kinabalu?
Kinabalu-7 unforgettable experiences on the Borneo Island7
Climb Mount Kinabalu for majestic views across Sabah.
Kinabalu-7 unforgettable experiences on the Borneo Island6
Picture: kota kinabalu travel guide blog.

Kinabalu-7 unforgettable experiences on the Borneo Island5

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Kinabalu-7 unforgettable experiences on the Borneo Island3

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Mt Kinabalu. Credit: kota kinabalu travel blog.

If you are not very interested in climbing, you should still come here to enjoy the spectacular and majestic beauty, fresh air, at the foot of the mountain are endless stretches of grass with the cows are gnawing and grazing, the scene is exactly the same as in the old days we write a description about a beautiful scene.

Mount Kinabalu Climb Kota Kinabalu

How to get there?

  • Minivan: Take the minivan from the bus station (15 RM each way and journey takes 1.5 hours)
  • Bus: Take the bus from the bus station in the North of Kota Kinabalu in Inanam, 10km from the northeast of the city center. (10-15 RM – about 1-2 hours). The bus to Ranau, Sandakan or Tawau will pass through the park entrance. In addition, in case you want to see the beautiful mountain view when reaching it, it is best to depart before 8:00 am and sit on the left side of the bus.
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Credit: kota kinabalu travel blog.
1mount kinabalu borneo sabah malaysia
Picture: kota kinabalu travel guide blog.

1mount kinabalu borneo sabah malaysia

1mount kinabalu borneo sabah malaysia

Masjid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu (City Mosque)

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque
Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

This mosque is almost the main symbol of Kota Kinabalu. Built near the sea, on an artificial lake, this mosque is one of the places not to be missed when visiting Kota Kinabalu. This mosque is quite large, can accommodate more than 12.000 people. Not only majestic and magnificent outside, inside the mosque is also an artistic sky for you to explore. Do not be afraid to go inside and explore inside, the mosque is open for free all week (except Friday) for tourists and people to visit.

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Inside the Floating Mosque, Kota Kinabalu

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City Mosque
Address: Jalan Pasir, Jalan Teluk Likas, Kampung Likas, 88400 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Phone: +60 88 212 121
Hours: hours vary
Admission: free (except Fridays)

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Interior

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How to get there?

  • Bus (No.5A, going towards UMS): 1.5 RM/person/way, you can pick up your car at the front door stop of Hotel Shangri-La. The bus runs from 6.30am to 8.00pm.
  • Taxi: 12.00-15RM/way.

Gaya Street Sunday Market

01 Gaya Street Sunday Market @ Kota Kinabalu [Sabah, East Malaysia, Borneo Island] (Large)

If you visiting Kota Kinabalu on a weekend day, the Gaya Market is really worth a visit, on early Sunday morning. This market sells a lot of cool things that are visited by both locals and tourists. The market is open at 6am, so it’s best to go early to avoid the heat and crowds. Gaya Street is a convenient place to shop for souvenirs; It is full of local shops selling all kinds of interesting jewelry such as handicrafts, clothes and antiques. However, if you buy items here, you remember bargaining to buy good goods at affordable prices.

01 Gaya Street Sunday Market @ Kota Kinabalu [Sabah, East Malaysia, Borneo Island] (Large)

Fresh fruit - Gaya Street Sunday Market Kota Kinabalu Malaysia
Fresh fruit
Gaya Street Sunday Market Kota Kinabalu Malaysia
Credit: kota kinabalu travel blog.

01 Gaya Street Sunday Market @ Kota Kinabalu [Sabah, East Malaysia, Borneo Island] (Large)

Gaya Street Sunday Market Kota Kinabalu Malaysia

Gaya Street Sunday Market Kota Kinabalu Malaysia
Picture: kota kinabalu travel guide blog.
Gaya Street Sunday Market Kota Kinabalu Malaysia
Handicrafts
Gaya Street Sunday Market Kota Kinabalu Malaysia
Clothing

Gaya Street Sunday Market Kota Kinabalu Malaysia

Weaved Baskets on Gaya street Market
Weaved Baskets. Picture: kota kinabalu travel guide blog.

Sunday Market (Gaya Street) Sabah
Address: Jalan Gaya, Pusat Bandar Kota Kinabalu, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Hours: Opens 6:30AM–1PM every Sunday.
Phone: +60 88-232 121

Visit the islands and diving

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One of the most popular activities, attracting many tourists to Kota Kinabalu is the visit to the islands around this city as well as extremely exciting diving activities.

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Scuba divers onboard. Photo: kota kinabalu blog.

kota diving

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kota diving
Credit: kota kinabalu travel blog.

kota diving

kota diving
Photo: kota kinabalu blog.

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Some of the islands you can visit are: Gaya Island (the largest island of Kota Kinabalu). Gaya Island is a beautiful island in Malaysia dubbed as the Maldives of Malaysia. There is a beautiful 5-star resort floating on the water, there is an oceanographic research area on the island. Sapi Island has a blue beach, white sand and many attractive services. This is a play area for a day so there are no hotels, you can only camp. Mamutik Island is the smallest island in Kota Kinabalu. There are many facilities for bathing and camping. Manukan (the second largest island), etc. You can go to these islands for sightseeing as well as diving and fishing. Whether you know how to dive or never experience diving, you can still join because this activity will have different levels of diving.

Continued reading …

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Living Nomads celebrates and is inspired by explorers and their passion for travel, curiosity about the world and unique points of view. Travel is eye-opening. Curious. Daring. Fun. We are here to help you travel better, cheaper & longer! Discover the art of traveling anywhere you want.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hi. We have a 3-storey homestay located in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah with 13 bedrooms that can accommodate up to 29 guests. All bedrooms in GlenCove Villa are equipped with air-conditioners, wardrobe, working table. Wish you can share in your post. Thank you.

  2. Hi, it was a treat reading your blog on kota kinabalu 🙂

    Only thing to point out, Malaysian Currency is RM and NOT RMB (This is usually china renminbi / yuan)

    Saw it on the airport bus part.

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