Kota Kinabalu Tourism, Malaysia 2020 (50 Tours & Activities)

Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Sabah, Borneo. This place is gaining increasing popularity as being the perfect resort destination especially due to the island city’s proximity to beautiful locations such as the luscious, green rainforests, the pretty tropical islands and the spectacularly heighted mountains.

Kota Kinabalu is situated on the west coast of Sabah and is the largest city in the state. The location serves as the main gateway into the island of Borneio. This island city overlooks the grand South China sea which is essentially bordered by hills and the very famous Crocker Range. The urban, bustling life of Kita Kinabalu can be discovered in the northern and southern region of the city.

The city is developing at an extremely fast pace too. The place now consists of 500,000 inhabitants and has experienced a surge of economic growth being the sole result of its instant development.

Kota Kinabalu which was previously recognized by the name, Jesselton was initially under the British colonial rule between the years, 1880 and 1963. It was only after the British left that Sabah along with Kota Kinabalu became a part of Malaysia.

Although most of the town was destroyed during the bombings of the second world war, the city developed greatly. These ruins still remain as a form of memory of what took place back then.

As far as the tourism experience is concerned, the place is quite friendly. For the convenience of the tourists, there are endless resorts, restaurants and hotels designed to suit the varied needs to the people staying. Transportation wise, the city is well connected and therefore, you can definitely experience a smooth stay and touring around.

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08 July 2019
Snokerling is one of the best experience of my life till now. Superb day out with amazing experience
08 July 2019
This is an offbeat but one of the most wonderful destinations in Malaysia. Enjoyed here a lot!
08 July 2019
guide was good, helpful and professional highlight of the trip is the fireflies.
08 July 2019
This was the best so far from my other water rafting experiences and our guide is very cheerful, easy going and friendly.
08 July 2019
It was indeed a very different experience for me especially the visit to the Butterfly farm.
Our guide was superb and knowledgable. He was funny yet professional. In all, it was an amazing experience. Would definitely recommend!!

Frequently Asked Questions About Kota Kinabalu

  1. Travel Advice:

    • Tip at restaurants: If you’re staying at a resort of a hotel then it is quite obvious that you won’t be required or expected to end a certain matter with a tip. The same applies to restaurants as well. Most of the times, it is your well-trusted guide that takes care of such situations and if you’re without one then do as you may without feeling obligated.

    • Planning is crucial: Malaysia certainly is a big country and there are tones of must-do experiences in this destination. Although, ensure that you don’t rush into things. Conduct your research well and carry on with travelling through the country. You will get to do what you want but be alert of any sham packages and guides while you’re hurrying into planning your trip.

    • Avoid the crowd: Malaysia is one of the most popular holiday destination in the world. Thus, tourism in this place is ever rising. Crowds from all over the world flock to Malaysia every year. And thus, it can get quite crowded. Check for the peak period and avoid staying in clichéd regions of the city. Instead opt for central mountains or the western coasts that are more chilled out.

    • Choose the right stay: The place can get quite crowded and it is obvious, with crowd coming in, the reservations can get full too. Thus, it becomes essential for one to choose the right type of hotel or resort that you will be staying in. Find your perfect spot in the perfect destination for the right kind of experience in this beautiful city before it is too late.

    • Drinking laws in Kita Kinabalu: In Malaysia, alcohol consumption is banned in all public places between 10:30pm to 7am. Even the retail shops are not allowed to sell alcohol to the customers. Make sure you follow the rules well while you’re in Malaysia.

  2. Things you will like in Kota Kinabalu:

    • Visit the Atkinson Clock tower: The Atkinson Clock tower was built back in 1902 in dedication to the great Francis George Atkinson. He was the first district officer of the Kota Kinabalu. Unfortunately, he passed away due to malaria. The clock tower is situated on a hill beside Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and surely worth a visit while you’re in town.

    • Discover aquatic life at the Green Connection Aquarium: The Green Connection Aquarium is among the best places in the city that offers visitors the opportunity to experience aquatic life in their natural surroundings. There are a lot of things to do and see at this beautiful location.

    • Take a casual store by the Tanjung Aru beach: The Tanjung Aru beach is perhaps one of the most popular beaches in the city. This location is often visited by locals and tourists for casual strolls or perhaps picnics. The destination also consists food stalls and bars and one can quite easily enjoy the night-life and the delicious food of this place.

    • Appreciate the Double Six Monument: The Double Six Monument is situated in the Grace Point region of Sembulan and serves as the memorial site for the plane crash that occurred in 1976 wherein the state chief minister was killed. There is a food court that offers all types of food cuisines such as Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, Korean and Thai.

    • Adventure cruising through the northern coast of Kota Kinabalu: The northern coast of Kota Kinabalu is filled with undisturbed scenic geographical features – the kind you will never ever see before. Go on an adventure cruising through the place. There are numerous other activities such as boat rides and jet-skiing that you can volunteer for.

  3. What will you like in Kita Kinabalu:

    • Beauties of the Kokol hills: Get a spectacular view of the city from the Kokol hills which are located approximately 30km away from the heart of the city delivers a birdeye’s view to the entire city base. It is extremely delightful to watch this.

    • Rural living at Kinarut: Kinarut is a small town located approximately 40 minutes away from the city of Kita Kinabalu. The place is prevailed by the typical rural and simple life that you won’t mind being a part of.

    • Shopping in China town: Shopping is perhaps one of those must-have experiences in any of these popular holiday destinations. Visit the China town and shop from products galore.

  4. Recommended reads for destination

    Government website: 

    Govt Tourism Website


    TripAdvisor Travel Forum

    Books on Kita Kinabalu: 

    A to Z of Malaysia, Stolen – Malaysia.

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