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The Best 18 Things To Do In Kota Kinabalu – Malaysian Borneo


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Daron Schmitt



Kota Kinabalu, located on the northwest coast of Malaysian Borneo, is a vibrant city that offers a plethora of exciting activities and attractions for travelers. Surrounded by lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and rich cultural heritage, this tropical paradise is a must-visit destination for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.


As the capital of the Sabah state, Kota Kinabalu serves as a gateway to some of Borneo’s most incredible natural wonders. From the majestic Mount Kinabalu to the diverse marine life of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this bustling city.


For those who appreciate cultural experiences, Kota Kinabalu is home to various ethnic communities, each with its distinctive traditions and customs. Visit the Mari Mari Cultural Village or the Monsopiad Cultural Village to immerse yourself in the rich heritage of the indigenous tribes.


As you explore Kota Kinabalu, you’ll be captivated by the warmth and hospitality of the locals. Malaysian cuisine is another highlight, with a tantalizing array of dishes combining Malaysian, Chinese, and Indian influences. Be sure to sample some local delicacies at the Filipino Market or in the numerous street food stalls scattered throughout the city.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, cultural experiences, or culinary delights, Kota Kinabalu has it all. This article will guide you through the best things to do in Kota Kinabalu, ensuring an unforgettable and enriching experience in this tropical paradise.


Explore the Kinabalu Park

Located approximately 90 kilometers from Kota Kinabalu, the Kinabalu Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a haven for nature lovers. Home to the iconic Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak in Southeast Asia, this park is a paradise for hikers, botanists, and wildlife enthusiasts.


The main attraction of the Kinabalu Park is, of course, Mount Kinabalu. Embark on a challenging yet rewarding trek to the summit, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views and a sense of accomplishment. If you’re not up for the climb, there are plenty of other trails within the park that offer stunning scenery and diverse flora and fauna.


One of the must-visit spots within the park is the Poring Hot Springs. Here, you can soak in the warm mineral-rich waters, believed to have therapeutic properties. After a rejuvenating dip, explore the nearby canopy walkway, where you can admire the lush rainforest from a different perspective.


The Kinabalu Park is also known for its incredible biodiversity. With over 4,500 species of plants, including the famous Rafflesia, the world’s largest flower, the park is a botanist’s dream. Guided tours are available to help you discover the fascinating plant life and learn about their medicinal uses.


For wildlife enthusiasts, keep an eye out for unique species such as the Bornean pygmy elephant, orangutans, and proboscis monkeys. The park is also a paradise for birdwatchers, with around 326 species of birds recorded within its borders.


When visiting the Kinabalu Park, it’s important to respect the environment and follow the park regulations. Pack appropriate hiking gear, bring plenty of water, and be prepared for changing weather conditions. Taking a guided tour or hiring a local guide is highly recommended to ensure a safe and informative experience.


Exploring the Kinabalu Park is an unforgettable experience that allows you to connect with nature and appreciate the wonders of Borneo. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature lover, or simply looking for a serene escape, the Kinabalu Park is not to be missed during your visit to Kota Kinabalu.


Climb Mount Kinabalu

No trip to Kota Kinabalu would be complete without conquering the majestic Mount Kinabalu. Standing at 4,095 meters tall, this imposing peak is a dream destination for adventure seekers and hiking enthusiasts.


Climbing Mount Kinabalu is a challenging yet exhilarating experience that offers breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment. The climb is divided into two main sections, the Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata and the Summit Trail.


The Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata is a 6-kilometer trek through dense rainforest. Along the way, you’ll encounter various checkpoints and resting shelters where you can catch your breath and admire the surrounding beauty. This part of the hike is relatively moderate, suitable for hikers of different fitness levels.


Upon reaching Laban Rata, you’ll be welcomed by comfortable accommodations and a well-deserved rest. Here, you can refuel with a warm meal and relax before continuing your climb to the summit the following morning.


The Summit Trail from Laban Rata is where the real challenge begins. The steep and rocky terrain requires endurance and determination. As you ascend, the temperature drops and the air gets thinner, making the climb more physically demanding. However, the reward is worth the effort.


Reaching the summit of Mount Kinabalu just before sunrise is a magical experience. The breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes and the sea of clouds below are truly awe-inspiring. It’s a moment that will stay with you forever.


It is important to note that climbing Mount Kinabalu requires advance planning and a permit. It is recommended to book your climb well in advance, as permits are limited. Hiring a guide is mandatory for safety reasons and to navigate the challenging terrain.


While climbing Mount Kinabalu can be physically demanding, it is an achievable feat for anyone with a decent level of fitness and determination. Take your time, stay hydrated, and listen to your body. Remember, it’s not just about reaching the summit, but also about enjoying the journey and immersing yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds you.


Embarking on the journey to conquer Mount Kinabalu is an unforgettable adventure that will test your limits and reward you with incredible memories. It is undoubtedly one of the highlights of visiting Kota Kinabalu and an experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.


Visit the Poring Hot Springs

A visit to the Poring Hot Springs is a delightful way to unwind and rejuvenate in a natural setting. Located within the Kinabalu Park, approximately 136 kilometers from Kota Kinabalu, these natural hot springs offer a perfect escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.


The Poring Hot Springs feature a series of open-air hot tubs filled with warm mineral-rich water. Many believe that these waters have healing properties and can provide relief from various ailments. Soak in the soothing waters and let the stresses of daily life melt away.


In addition to the hot tubs, the Poring Hot Springs also offer a unique experience with their canopy walkway. Stroll along the suspended bridges at the treetop level and immerse yourself in the beauty of the rainforest from a different perspective. The walkway provides a rare opportunity to observe the diverse flora and fauna that thrives in this lush environment.


If you’re feeling adventurous, take a hike to the nearby Poring Waterfall. The trail winds through the jungle, offering glimpses of colorful birds, monkeys, and other wildlife along the way. At the waterfall, take a refreshing dip in the cool cascading waters or simply sit back and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.


For those with a fascination for botanical wonders, the Poring Orchid Conservation Centre is a must-visit. This center showcases a vast collection of native orchids, many of which are endemic to Borneo. Marvel at the intricate beauty of these exquisite flowers and learn about their importance in the local ecosystem.


After a day of relaxation and exploration, satisfy your hunger at the Poring Orchid Café, where you can enjoy a delicious meal surrounded by lush greenery.


To make the most of your visit to the Poring Hot Springs, it is recommended to wear comfortable clothing and bring your own towels. Changing facilities and lockers are available on-site. It’s also advisable to bring insect repellent to ward off any pesky mosquitoes that may be present in the area.


Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a glimpse into the natural wonders of Borneo, a visit to the Poring Hot Springs is a perfect addition to your itinerary. Soak in the therapeutic waters, wander through the rainforest, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this enchanting destination.


Discover the Mari Mari Cultural Village

Immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of Borneo by visiting the Mari Mari Cultural Village in Kota Kinabalu. This unique attraction offers a glimpse into the traditions, customs, and daily life of the indigenous tribes of Sabah.


The Mari Mari Cultural Village is located in a remote jungle setting, providing an authentic and immersive experience. As you step into the village, you’ll be transported back in time, surrounded by traditional wooden houses and lush greenery.


During your visit, knowledgeable guides will take you on a cultural journey, explaining the customs and traditions of the various ethnic groups in Sabah, such as the Bajau, Dusun, Rungus, and Murut tribes. From traditional dances and music performances to hands-on activities like fire-making and blowpipe shooting, you’ll have the opportunity to engage with the local culture and learn about their way of life.


One of the highlights of the Mari Mari Cultural Village is the traditional meal prepared by the skilled villagers. Indulge in a delicious spread of local delicacies, including freshly caught fish, bamboo-cooked rice, and flavorful vegetables. This communal dining experience allows you to savor the flavors of traditional Sabahan cuisine while bonding with fellow visitors.


As you explore the village, you’ll also have the chance to witness traditional crafts being made. Watch skilled artisans create intricate beadwork, weave traditional baskets, and craft traditional instruments, gaining insight into the craftsmanship and artistic skills of the local communities.


Visiting the Mari Mari Cultural Village is not only a chance to learn about the indigenous tribes of Borneo but also a way to support and preserve their cultural heritage. The village actively promotes the conservation of traditional practices and sustainable tourism.


To enhance your experience, it is recommended to book a tour with one of the reputable tour operators in Kota Kinabalu. They can provide transportation to the village and ensure a well-guided and informative visit.


A visit to the Mari Mari Cultural Village will take you on a captivating journey through the vibrant culture and traditions of Sabah. It’s a unique opportunity to connect with the rich heritage of the indigenous tribes and gain a deeper understanding of the diverse cultural tapestry that makes up Malaysia.


Explore the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park

Just a short boat ride away from Kota Kinabalu lies the idyllic Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, a group of five stunning islands that offer a paradise for snorkelers, divers, and beach lovers.


The marine park is named after Malaysia’s first prime minister, and each island within the park has its unique charm and attractions. Whether you’re looking for pristine white-sand beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, or vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park has it all.


Take a boat ride from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal and embark on a day of island hopping and exploration. Pulau Gaya, the largest island in the park, is a great place to start. Relax on its beautiful beaches, go kayaking, or take a guided jungle trek to spot wildlife and experience the island’s natural beauty.


Pulau Sapi and Pulau Manukan are popular choices for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. Strap on your mask and snorkel and discover the incredible underwater ecosystem filled with colorful corals, tropical fish, and even sea turtles. Scuba diving is another option, with PADI-certified dive operators offering courses and guided dives for both beginners and experienced divers.


If you’re seeking a quieter and more secluded beach experience, head to Pulau Mamutik or Pulau Sulug. These islands are less crowded and offer a more tranquil environment to bask in the sun, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and enjoy picnics on the beach.


For a unique and unforgettable experience, consider staying overnight in one of the park’s island resorts. Imagine waking up to the sound of gentle waves and stepping out onto the soft sand to watch the sunrise. These accommodations offer a chance to truly disconnect from the outside world and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the marine park.


Remember to bring your snorkeling gear, sunscreen, and plenty of drinking water when visiting the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Be respectful of the marine life and surroundings by avoiding stepping on coral, littering, or feeding the fish.


Exploring the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park allows you to discover the breathtaking beauty of Malaysia’s underwater world and enjoy the serenity of its pristine beaches. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or simply looking to unwind in a picturesque setting, a visit to this marine park is a must during your time in Kota Kinabalu.


Take a River Cruise along the Klias River

Escape the hustle and bustle of Kota Kinabalu and embark on a mesmerizing river cruise along the Klias River. This scenic journey will take you through the tranquil mangrove forests and give you a chance to observe the abundant wildlife that calls this river home.


The Klias River is located about 100 kilometers south of Kota Kinabalu and is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Join a river cruise tour and hop on a comfortable boat to explore the river’s ecosystem. As you glide along the gentle currents, keep your eyes peeled for the elusive proboscis monkeys, a unique species native to Borneo known for their distinctive long noses and potbellies. With luck, you might also spot other fascinating creatures like macaques, crocodiles, and various species of birds.


An enchanting highlight of the river cruise is the firefly sighting. As dusk sets in, witness the mesmerizing spectacle of countless fireflies illuminating the mangrove trees with their bioluminescent glow. It’s a magical experience that will leave you in awe of nature’s beauty.


During the cruise, knowledgeable local guides will provide commentary, sharing interesting facts about the flora, fauna, and the importance of mangrove ecosystems in preserving biodiversity. They will also ensure your safety and make the experience both educational and enjoyable.


The river cruise typically includes a visit to a local village, where you can experience the warm hospitality of the local communities. Learn about their traditional way of life, observe their handicrafts, and perhaps even sample some local snacks or delicacies.


Remember to bring your camera, binoculars, and insect repellent when going on a river cruise along the Klias River. Dress comfortably and in layers, as the weather can be unpredictable.


Embarking on a river cruise along the Klias River is a unique opportunity to witness the rich biodiversity of Borneo’s mangrove forests and get up close to fascinating wildlife. It’s an unforgettable experience that will leave you with beautiful memories of your time in Kota Kinabalu.


Visit the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park

Located just a short drive from Kota Kinabalu, the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is a must-visit destination for animal lovers and families. This conservation park offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with a diverse range of wildlife native to Borneo.


The Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is home to a variety of animal species, including the iconic orangutans, proboscis monkeys, Bornean pygmy elephants, and various bird and reptile species. Explore the park’s spacious enclosures and observe these magnificent creatures in a naturalistic setting.


One of the highlights of the park is the orangutan rehabilitation center. Witness the tireless efforts to reintroduce these intelligent and endangered primates back into the wild. Learn about their behavior, conservation efforts, and the challenges they face in their natural habitat.


In addition to the orangutans, the park also has a dedicated area for proboscis monkeys, known for their distinctive large noses and impressive jumping abilities. Observe these fascinating creatures as they swing from tree to tree and interact with each other.


For a more immersive experience, consider joining the feeding sessions where you can watch the animals being fed by the park rangers. It’s a unique opportunity to observe their natural feeding behaviors and learn more about their dietary needs.


Aside from the animals, the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park also offers recreational activities for visitors. Take a relaxing stroll along the park’s well-maintained walking trails, enjoy a picnic in the designated areas, or let the little ones have fun at the children’s playground.


The park prides itself on its educational initiatives, aimed at raising awareness about wildlife conservation and the importance of protecting Borneo’s unique ecosystems. Visitors can attend educational talks and interact with knowledgeable staff members to learn more about the park’s conservation efforts.


When visiting the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, be sure to follow the park’s rules and guidelines to ensure the well-being of the animals. Respect the animals’ boundaries, refrain from feeding them, and do not litter.


A visit to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park is a fantastic opportunity to appreciate the beauty and diversity of Borneo’s wildlife. It’s an educational and enriching experience that will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the natural wonders of Kota Kinabalu.


Explore the Sabah State Museum and Heritage Village

Immerse yourself in the rich history and cultural heritage of Sabah at the Sabah State Museum and Heritage Village in Kota Kinabalu. This comprehensive museum complex offers a fascinating journey through time, showcasing the diverse cultures and traditions of the state.


The Sabah State Museum, located within beautifully landscaped grounds, houses an extensive collection of artifacts, exhibits, and galleries. Step inside the main building and explore the various sections, including the natural history section, ethnography section, archaeological section, and art section.


Learn about the rich biodiversity of Sabah’s rainforests, discover the ancient civilizations that inhabited the region, and admire the intricate handicrafts and artwork created by the indigenous communities. The museum provides valuable insights into the history, customs, and traditions of the diverse ethnic groups that call Sabah home.


Adjacent to the main museum, the Heritage Village is a living exhibit that showcases traditional houses, longhouses, and huts from different ethnic communities. Take a stroll through the village and observe the architecture, craftsmanship, and daily life of the local communities.


Interact with friendly guides dressed in traditional attire, who can provide in-depth information about the traditional houses and demonstrate various traditional activities, such as weaving, bamboo cooking, and blowpipe hunting. It’s a hands-on experience that allows you to engage with the cultural heritage of Sabah in a meaningful way.


At the Sabah State Museum and Heritage Village, there are also galleries dedicated to the history of Sabah, including its colonial past and the struggles for independence. Gain a deeper understanding of the state’s journey to becoming part of Malaysia and the challenges it has faced along the way.


Visiting the Sabah State Museum and Heritage Village is a great way to spend a day exploring the rich cultural tapestry of Sabah. It provides a platform to appreciate the diversity, traditions, and legacies of the local communities while promoting cultural preservation and understanding.


Make sure to allocate enough time to explore the museum complex thoroughly, as there is much to see and learn. Guided tours are available for a more informative experience, or you can opt to explore at your own pace.


For history buffs, culture enthusiasts, and anyone interested in learning more about the heritage of Sabah, a visit to the Sabah State Museum and Heritage Village is a must. It’s a captivating and educational experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the cultural heritage of Kota Kinabalu and the state of Sabah.


Shop at the Filipino Market

If you’re looking for a vibrant and bustling shopping experience in Kota Kinabalu, head to the Filipino Market. Located along Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, this lively market is a hotspot for locals and tourists alike, offering a wide array of goods and souvenirs.


The Filipino Market, also known as Pasar Besar Filipina, is a cultural melting pot that reflects the influence of the neighboring Philippines. Here, you’ll find a diverse range of products, from fresh seafood, fruits, and vegetables to handicrafts, clothing, accessories, and traditional Filipino snacks.


Explore the vibrant stalls and haggle with friendly vendors to get the best deals. Test your bargaining skills while shopping for unique handicrafts and souvenirs, such as woven baskets, traditional jewelry, intricately carved woodworks, and colorful batik fabrics.


One of the highlights of the Filipino Market is the abundance of fresh seafood. Indulge in a seafood feast with dishes like grilled fish, prawns, lobsters, and squid served with local sauces and condiments. It’s the perfect place to experience the flavors of Malaysia’s coastal cuisine.


The market is also a great spot to sample traditional Filipino snacks and delicacies. Treat yourself to local delights like banana fritters, coconut cakes, and sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves.


As you wander through the market, take in the lively atmosphere, bustling with activity and the sights and sounds of local vendors calling out their wares. It’s an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture and observe the daily life of the market-goers.


Remember to be mindful of your belongings and keep an eye on your surroundings as the market can get crowded. Bargaining is a common practice, so don’t hesitate to negotiate for a better price, but do so with respect and a friendly attitude.


Visiting the Filipino Market is not just about shopping but also about experiencing the lively spirit of Kota Kinabalu. It’s a chance to engage with the local community, savor delicious flavors, and bring home unique souvenirs and treasures that will remind you of your time in Borneo.


Whether you’re searching for fresh produce, unique handicrafts, or simply want to soak up the vibrant atmosphere, a visit to the Filipino Market is a must during your stay in Kota Kinabalu, offering an authentic and unforgettable shopping experience.


Relax at Tanjung Aru Beach

When it comes to unwinding and enjoying the beauty of nature, there’s no better place in Kota Kinabalu than Tanjung Aru Beach. Located just a short distance from the city center, this pristine beach is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.


Tanjung Aru Beach boasts powdery white sand, azure waters, and breathtaking sunset views that paint the sky in a myriad of vibrant colors. Whether you’re seeking a romantic stroll along the shoreline, a fun-filled day of beach activities, or simply a tranquil spot to relax and soak up the sun, Tanjung Aru Beach offers it all.


Find a comfortable spot on the soft sand and listen to the gentle waves as they wash ashore. Take a dip in the warm waters or join in activities like beach volleyball, kite flying, or even a friendly game of frisbee. The beach also offers facilities for water sports enthusiasts, with options for jet-skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides.


One of the unique features of Tanjung Aru Beach is the iconic wooden pier that stretches out into the sea. Take a leisurely walk along the pier for stunning panoramic views of the surrounding coastline and the nearby islands. It’s an ideal spot to capture incredible photos or simply enjoy a quiet moment of serenity.


As the day draws to a close, be sure to stay for the mesmerizing sunset. The sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant hues, casting a magical glow over the entire beach. It’s a sight that will leave you in awe and create memories that will last a lifetime.


If you’re feeling hungry, indulge in a delicious seafood feast at one of the beachside restaurants that offer a wide selection of freshly caught seafood dishes. Savor the flavors of local cuisine while enjoying the cool sea breeze and the beautiful views.


Accessible and well-maintained, Tanjung Aru Beach caters to visitors of all ages and interests. It’s a popular spot for families, couples, and solo travelers alike, offering a serene and picturesque setting to relax and recharge.


Remember to apply sunscreen, bring a beach towel or mat, and pack some snacks and refreshments for a day of leisure at the beach. Public facilities such as toilets and showers are available for convenience.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply enjoying the beauty of nature, Tanjung Aru Beach is a must-visit destination in Kota Kinabalu. It’s a place where you can truly unwind, connect with nature, and create lasting memories of your time in Borneo.


Explore the Monsopiad Cultural Village

Step back in time and immerse yourself in the rich cultural heritage of the Kadazandusun people at the Monsopiad Cultural Village. Located about 16 kilometers from Kota Kinabalu, this unique attraction offers a fascinating glimpse into the traditions, customs, and legends of the indigenous community.


The Monsopiad Cultural Village is named after the legendary Kadazandusun warrior, Monsopiad, who was known for his bravery and fierce protection of his tribe. As you enter the village, you’ll be greeted by friendly locals dressed in traditional attire, ready to guide you through the cultural experience.


One of the highlights of the village is the House of Skulls, a longhouse that showcases the preserved skulls of enemies slain by Monsopiad himself. This fascinating display provides a glimpse into the warrior traditions and customs of the Kadazandusun people. Learn about the rituals and ceremonies associated with headhunting, and gain insights into the significance of this practice in their history and culture.


Experience traditional Kadazandusun ceremonies, dances, and music performances performed by the villagers. Be captivated by the rhythmic beats of the traditional gong ensemble and witness the colorful attire and intricate movements of dancers as they depict myths and legends through their performances. Participate in interactive activities such as bamboo cooking and blowpipe shooting to further engage with the unique traditions of the community.


Explore the traditional houses within the village, each representing a distinct era and showcasing different aspects of Kadazandusun life. Gain a deeper understanding of their agricultural practices, crafts, and religious beliefs as you venture through the village.


Visit the museum within the cultural village to learn about the history and folk heritage of the Kadazandusun people. The exhibits provide detailed information about their customs, rituals, and traditional medicines, offering a comprehensive insight into their way of life.


Take a moment to appreciate the lush surroundings of the village, as it is nestled amidst picturesque landscapes and framed by the majestic Mount Kinabalu. The tranquility of the setting allows you to fully appreciate the beauty and serenity of the natural environment.


Support the local artisans by purchasing traditional handicrafts, textiles, and souvenirs from the village’s gift shop. These unique pieces make for meaningful keepsakes and provide economic opportunities for the Kadazandusun community.


When visiting the Monsopiad Cultural Village, it’s recommended to join guided tours to gain a deeper understanding of the customs and traditions being showcased. These guided experiences not only ensure an informative visit but also support the local community.


A visit to the Monsopiad Cultural Village is a chance to step into the rich cultural tapestry of the Kadazandusun people. It’s an opportunity to appreciate their history, traditions, and contributions to the heritage of Kota Kinabalu and Borneo as a whole.


Visit the Sabah Art Gallery

If you have a penchant for art and culture, a visit to the Sabah Art Gallery in Kota Kinabalu is a must. Located within the Sabah State Museum complex, this gallery showcases a diverse collection of contemporary and traditional artworks, providing insights into the vibrant art scene of Sabah.


The Sabah Art Gallery is a hub for local and international artists to exhibit their works and celebrate the creative expressions of the region. The gallery features a range of mediums, including paintings, sculptures, installations, textiles, and mixed media pieces, representing the rich cultural diversity and artistic perspectives of Sabah.


As you wander through the gallery’s well-curated exhibitions, you’ll have the opportunity to admire the talent and creativity of both established and emerging artists. The displays are thoughtfully arranged, inviting visitors to contemplate the themes, messages, and stories behind each artwork.


One of the unique aspects of the Sabah Art Gallery is its focus on promoting cultural integration and understanding through art. Many exhibitions showcase the fusion of traditional indigenous motifs with contemporary art techniques, creating fascinating pieces that bridge the gap between the old and the new.


Besides the permanent collections, the art gallery also hosts rotating exhibitions that feature works from local and international artists. These temporary exhibits ensure that there is always something new and exciting to discover upon each visit. Additionally, the gallery organizes workshops, art talks, and other events to engage visitors and foster a deeper appreciation for the arts.


Adjacent to the gallery, you’ll find the Art Shop, where you can browse and purchase unique artworks, prints, and handicrafts created by talented local artists. It’s an excellent opportunity to support the local art scene and bring home a piece of Sabahan creativity.


Visiting the Sabah Art Gallery provides a meaningful and enriching experience for art enthusiasts and those interested in the cultural heritage of Sabah. The gallery serves as a platform for local artists to showcase their talents, and it’s a testament to the vibrant art scene that has flourished in the region.


When planning your visit, check the gallery’s website for information about ongoing exhibitions and events. Keep in mind that the galleries may have different opening hours or restrictions, so it’s advisable to plan accordingly.


Whether you’re an avid art collector or simply appreciate the beauty of creative expressions, a trip to the Sabah Art Gallery offers a captivating journey through the artistic landscapes of Sabah. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the dynamic world of art and gain a deeper understanding of the cultural legacy of the region.


Explore the Signal Hill Observatory Platform

For panoramic views of Kota Kinabalu and its breathtaking surroundings, a visit to the Signal Hill Observatory Platform is a must. Located on Signal Hill, the highest point in the city, this viewpoint offers a vantage point to appreciate the beauty of the landscape and the vibrant cityscape below.


To reach the Signal Hill Observatory Platform, you can either hike up the hill or opt for a short drive. As you ascend the hill, you’ll be surrounded by lush greenery and can catch glimpses of the city skyline peeking through the trees.


Once you reach the platform, prepare to be mesmerized by the bird’s-eye view that awaits you. Feast your eyes on the panoramic vistas of Kota Kinabalu, the shimmering South China Sea, and the nearby islands dotting the horizon. The view is particularly captivating at sunset, as the sky is painted with hues of orange and pink, casting a magical glow over the city.


The platform provides ample space to walk around and take in the scenery from different angles. Don’t forget your camera to capture stunning photographs and create lasting memories of your visit to Kota Kinabalu.


While at the Signal Hill Observatory Platform, take a moment to appreciate the surroundings and enjoy the tranquility of the hilltop. The platform is a serene and peaceful spot where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the city below.


The area surrounding the platform is also a popular spot for picnics and leisurely walks. Take some time to explore the nearby nature trails, enjoy a peaceful stroll amidst the trees, and breathe in the fresh air.


There are several benches and seating areas available, allowing you to sit back, relax, and fully take in the beauty of your surroundings. Bring a picnic or grab a snack from one of the nearby food stalls to enjoy a meal with a view.


As with any outdoor excursion, it’s important to bring along sun protection, such as sunscreen and a hat, as well as a water bottle to stay hydrated during your visit. Comfortable walking shoes are also recommended if you plan to explore the surrounding trails.


Whether you’re a nature lover or simply seeking a breathtaking view, the Signal Hill Observatory Platform offers a memorable experience in Kota Kinabalu. It’s a place where you can take a moment to appreciate the beauty of the city, soak in the stunning vistas, and create lasting memories of your time in Borneo.


Take a Trip to the Tuaran Crocodile Farm

If you’re fascinated by wildlife and looking for a unique experience in Kota Kinabalu, a visit to the Tuaran Crocodile Farm is a thrilling choice. Located about 34 kilometers from the city center, this farm offers an up-close encounter with these magnificent creatures in a safe and educational environment.


The Tuaran Crocodile Farm is one of the largest crocodile farms in Malaysia, housing over 1,000 crocodiles of various species. As you enter the farm, you’ll have the opportunity to witness these ancient reptiles up close and learn about their behavior, biology, and conservation efforts.


Join a guided tour to explore the farm and gain fascinating insights into the crocodile’s lifecycle. Knowledgeable guides will provide information about the different species, their natural habitats, and the challenges they face in the wild.


Experience the thrill of feeding these powerful creatures during the daily feeding session. Watch as the crocodiles launch themselves out of the water to snatch their meals, showcasing their incredible strength and agility.


For an even more immersive experience, you can hold a baby crocodile and snap a photo to capture the moment. This unique opportunity allows you to see the crocodiles up close and appreciate their scaly texture and impressive features.


Aside from crocodiles, the farm is also home to other animals such as birds, monkeys, and reptiles. Explore the mini zoo area and encounter wildlife that coexist with the crocodiles, providing a diverse and educational experience for visitors of all ages.


The Tuaran Crocodile Farm is committed to conservation and education. Through the guided tours and information provided, visitors gain a deeper understanding of crocodiles and their ecological importance.


While at the farm, you can also explore the souvenir shop, where you’ll find a variety of crocodile-themed items and merchandise. Take home a unique reminder of your visit and support the farm’s conservation efforts.


It’s important to note that the Tuaran Crocodile Farm prioritizes the welfare and safety of the animals and visitors. Be sure to follow the regulations and instructions provided by the farm guides for a safe and enjoyable experience.


A visit to the Tuaran Crocodile Farm promises an exciting and educational adventure for animal enthusiasts of all ages. It’s a chance to learn about these ancient reptiles, witness their impressive behaviors, and appreciate the efforts made towards their conservation.


Whether you’re seeking thrills, educational experiences, or simply a unique attraction to add to your itinerary in Kota Kinabalu, the Tuaran Crocodile Farm offers a memorable adventure that combines excitement and learning.


Visit the Atkinson Clock Tower

A historic landmark in Kota Kinabalu, the Atkinson Clock Tower stands as a testament to the city’s rich heritage. Located atop Signal Hill, this iconic structure is a must-visit for those interested in discovering the colonial past of the region and enjoying panoramic views of the city.


The clock tower was built in 1905 in memory of Francis George Atkinson, the first district officer of Jesselton (now known as Kota Kinabalu). Standing tall at 15 meters, it is one of the few surviving structures from the British colonial era.


Visiting the Atkinson Clock Tower allows you to step back in time and appreciate the architectural beauty of the past. The tower’s distinctive design, with its octagonal shape and white-painted wooden panels, reflects the colonial influences of the time.


Climbing the stairs to reach the top of the clock tower rewards you with a breathtaking view of Kota Kinabalu. From this elevated vantage point, you can admire the city’s skyline, nestled between the emerald green hills and the sparkling South China Sea.


The clock tower also serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by the early settlers of Kota Kinabalu. Perched on a hill, it provided a crucial navigational point for ships arriving at the Jesselton Port, ensuring safe passage for sailors and traders.


As you explore the clock tower and the surrounding area, take a moment to appreciate the peaceful atmosphere and enjoy the serenity it offers. It’s an ideal spot to escape the bustling city streets and find a quiet retreat amidst the natural beauty of the hilltop.


The Atkinson Clock Tower is conveniently located near other popular attractions in the area, such as the Signal Hill Observatory Platform and the Sabah State Mosque. Take advantage of its central location to explore the other nearby sites and make the most of your visit.


Whether you’re a history enthusiast, architecture lover, or simply seeking a peaceful spot to enjoy a panoramic view of Kota Kinabalu, a visit to the Atkinson Clock Tower is well worth it. It’s a fascinating piece of the city’s history and serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy of its colonial past.


Entrance to the clock tower is free, allowing anyone to explore and appreciate this significant historical landmark. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the charm of this iconic structure and the beautiful vistas it offers.


Immerse yourself in the rich history and captivating views of the Atkinson Clock Tower, and experience a slice of Kota Kinabalu’s past while enjoying the beauty of its present.


Explore the Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct

For a fascinating and educational experience centered around agriculture and agro-industry, a visit to the Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct is a must. Located on the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu, this sprawling complex offers a range of activities and attractions that highlight the agricultural abundance of the region.


The Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct serves as a platform to promote sustainable agriculture, showcase innovative farming practices, and educate visitors about the importance of agriculture in the local economy. It encompasses various components, including farms, gardens, research facilities, and interactive exhibits.


Embark on a guided tour to explore the different farms within the precinct. From fruit orchards and vegetable farms to livestock and aquaculture facilities, you’ll gain insight into the diverse agricultural activities happening in Sabah. Learn about organic farming methods, animal husbandry practices, and sustainable techniques implemented by local farmers.


For a hands-on experience, participate in farming activities such as fruit picking, vegetable harvesting, or feeding farm animals. Engage with the local farmers and gain practical knowledge about their daily activities, challenges, and the impact of agriculture on the community.


Don’t miss the chance to visit the research facilities within the precinct, where ongoing studies and experiments take place. These facilities provide a glimpse into the scientific advancements and efforts being made to improve agricultural productivity, sustainability, and crop diversification.


Stroll through the beautiful gardens that showcase a variety of local flora, including tropical flowers, medicinal plants, and herbs. Learn about their uses in traditional medicine, culinary practices, and the cultural significance attached to them.


The Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct also features interactive exhibits and educational displays that highlight the importance of preserving biodiversity, conserving natural resources, and promoting sustainable practices. Learn about the connection between agriculture, climate change, and food security, and discover ways in which individuals can contribute to a more sustainable future.


After a day of exploration, take a break at one of the on-site restaurants or cafes. Indulge in delicious dishes made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients, showcasing the flavors of Sabah’s agricultural produce.


Visiting the Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct offers a unique opportunity to connect with the agricultural heritage of the region. It’s a chance to learn about the challenges and possibilities in sustainable agriculture and gain a deeper appreciation for the work of local farmers.


When planning your visit, check the precinct’s website for tour availability, as advanced booking may be required. Wear comfortable clothing and footwear suitable for outdoor activities, and bring a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent.


Whether you’re an agriculture enthusiast, nature lover, or simply curious about sustainable practices, a trip to the Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct is a rewarding experience that offers a deeper understanding of the role of agriculture in Sabah’s economy and its impact on the world.


Take a Day Trip to the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park

Located just a short boat ride away from Kota Kinabalu, the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park is a pristine marine paradise waiting to be explored. Comprising a cluster of five picturesque islands, this national park offers a day trip filled with white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs.


Embark on a boat journey from Jesselton Point Ferry Terminal and discover the beauty of the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. Each island within the park has its unique charm and attractions, providing a range of activities for visitors to enjoy.


Spend your day snorkeling or diving amidst the vibrant coral reefs and colorful marine life. Equipped with your snorkeling gear or scuba equipment, you’ll have the opportunity to observe the stunning underwater world teeming with tropical fish, coral formations, and possibly even sea turtles or rays.


If you prefer to stay dry, you can still admire the marine life from the comfort of a glass-bottom boat. These boats offer a unique perspective, allowing you to see the underwater wonders without getting wet.


For those seeking relaxation, each island within the national park boasts its own serene and pristine beach. Sink your toes into the soft sand, soak up the sun, and take refreshing dips in the clear turquoise waters. Enjoy a picnic on the beach, or simply unwind and listen to the calming sounds of the ocean.


Explore the lush rainforest on some of the islands by hiking along the designated trails. These trails offer a chance to encounter the diverse flora and fauna of the national park, including tropical birds, monitor lizards, and various plant species.


When it’s time for a break, indulge in a delicious meal at one of the picnic areas or have a barbecue on the beach. Many visitors bring their own food or take advantage of the available facilities and enjoy a delightful beachside feast.


As with any eco-tourism destination, it’s important to follow the park’s guidelines to help preserve its natural beauty. Avoid stepping on or damaging the coral reefs, refrain from feeding or touching marine life, and carry out any trash or belongings you bring with you.


Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or simply seeking a tranquil beach escape, a day trip to the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park offers a slice of paradise just a stone’s throw away from Kota Kinabalu. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Borneo, connect with marine life, and create unforgettable memories of your time in tropical bliss.


Visit the Sabah State Mosque

A visit to the Sabah State Mosque, also known as the Masjid Negeri Sabah, is a must for those interested in Islamic architecture and cultural heritage. Situated in Kota Kinabalu, this magnificent mosque is a symbol of religious devotion and a remarkable testament to the rich Islamic heritage of Malaysia.


The Sabah State Mosque is known for its stunning architecture, blending modern design with traditional Islamic elements. The mosque’s golden dome and elegant minarets create an impressive silhouette against the sky, while the intricate geometric patterns and ornate calligraphy adorning the interior walls are a sight to behold.


Visitors can explore the mosque’s exterior and enjoy the serene surroundings of the beautifully landscaped gardens. Take a peaceful walk around the compound, admiring the tranquil reflection pool and the carefully manicured lawns, which serve as a picturesque backdrop for the mosque’s exquisite façade.


As you step inside the mosque, you’ll be welcomed by the grand prayer hall adorned with intricately woven carpets, elaborate chandeliers, and exquisite stained glass windows that filter soft, colored light. Take a moment to embrace the serene atmosphere and observe the meticulous craftsmanship that went into the mosque’s interior design.


Guided tours are conducted at specified times, allowing visitors to learn about the history, architectural details, and significance of the Sabah State Mosque. Local guides provide insights into Islamic traditions, cultural practices, and the role of the mosque in the community.


It’s essential to dress modestly when visiting the Sabah State Mosque. For both men and women, clothing should cover shoulders and knees, and women may be required to wear a headscarf. Visitors may also need to remove their shoes before entering the prayer hall, so it’s advisable to wear easily removable footwear.


Visiting the Sabah State Mosque provides an opportunity to appreciate the beauty and significance of Islamic architecture and experience the peaceful ambiance of a place of worship. It offers a glimpse into the vibrant Muslim community in Kota Kinabalu and showcases the cultural diversity of Sabah.


Remember to be respectful during your visit by keeping noise levels to a minimum and refraining from any disruptive behavior. Photography may be restricted in certain areas, so be sure to follow any guidelines and instructions provided by mosque staff.


A visit to the Sabah State Mosque allows you to immerse yourself in the religious and architectural heritage of Sabah. It’s a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the local Muslim community, admire the intricate artistry of Islamic design, and witness the interplay between faith, culture, and architecture.



Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia’s vibrant coastal city, offers a plethora of engaging and immersive experiences that showcase the natural beauty, rich culture, and diverse heritage of the region. From exploring the lush rainforests and conquering the majestic Mount Kinabalu to immersing yourself in the vibrant markets and indulging in delicious cuisine, Kota Kinabalu has something for everyone.


By visiting the Kinabalu Park, Poring Hot Springs, and the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, you can discover the incredible biodiversity of Borneo, witness stunning landscapes, and get up close and personal with unique wildlife species. Exploring cultural attractions such as the Mari Mari Cultural Village and the Sabah Art Gallery allows you to delve into the rich traditions, artwork, and craftsmanship of the local communities.


For relaxation and leisure, Tanjung Aru Beach offers a pristine coastline and breathtaking sunsets, while the Signal Hill Observatory Platform provides panoramic views of the cityscape and surrounding landscapes. The Filipino Market and the Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct allow you to experience the vibrant markets and agricultural heritage of the region.


And lastly, the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, with its stunning islands and marine diversity, as well as the Atkinson Clock Tower and the Sabah State Mosque, immerse visitors in the history and cultural fabric of Kota Kinabalu.


Kota Kinabalu truly captures the essence of Malaysia, combining natural wonders, cultural diversity, and warm hospitality. As you explore this captivating city, remember to immerse yourself in the local customs, be respectful to the environment and the local communities, and preserve the natural beauty for generations to come.


Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, cultural experiences, or a mix of everything, Kota Kinabalu presents a dynamic and unforgettable destination that will leave you with cherished memories and a deeper appreciation for the wonders of Malaysia’s Borneo.