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Another resort island with one of the best beaches in Malaysia, Mataking Island is the furthest from Semporna in east coast Sabah where a boat trip takes nearly an hour one way. Just stroll around the island to look for your own secluded place. One of the unique things about the island is that they have an underwater post office where you can literally post a letter or postcard. Highly recommended for those who want a 'Maldives' experience in Malaysia.
Highlights: This is the perfect romantic getaway as the island has a spa, private bungalows, an outdoor Jacuzzi by the sea and all the romantic walks by the beach you want. Special arrangements can be made for honeymooners, weddings or private parties. The only way to get here is by booking a tour package from the resort. There are no day trips or visits here.
How to Get There: It is about 40 minute’s boat ride from the mainland of Semporna in the province of Sabah.
If you are an adventure seeker, have a passion for wildlife photography, and you love to live close to mother nature, Tabin Wildlife Reserve welcomes you, as this place can give you a right and perfect taste of nature. Visiting the Tabin Wildlife Reserve can really be a priceless experience. Especially, if you are a birdwatching and wildlife photography enthusiast, there can no better place than the Tabin Wildlife Reserve. Not only for the photographers and animal activists, but also for the normal regular visitors, this place can be a paradise
How To Reach: The Tabin Wildlife Reserve is a 7 hour drive from the main Kota Kinabalu city. Or the other option is to take the direct flight from the Kota Kinabalu to Lahad Datu, which takes around 1 hour and from Lahad Datu, you can reach the Tabin wildlife reserve in one and half hours.
Price: The day trip to Tabin Wildlife Reserve costs around 570 MYR.
Bohey Dulang Island is a mountainous island forged by the remains of an ancient volcano. The southern side of the lagoon is open but just below the surface is a protracted stretch of reef which represents the southern cratered fringe. The island is best known for its spectacular views at the top of its peak. It is possible to trail around the island at low tide by following the narrow edges of the beach and mangroves, although this involves scrambling over rocks or through vegetation's.
Highlights: Prepare to be greeted by a host of
tropical flora and fauna during the arduous but rewarding hiking trail to the
top of Bohey Dulang Peak. Majestic views of the sapphire blue lagoon await
those who make it through the hour long climb.
How to Get There: Bohey Dulang is located about 35 minutes by boat from Semporna, 20 minutes from Pom Pom, 30 minutes from Mataking and 1.5 hours from Mabul.
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.
You can never say you have visited the Kota Kinabalu until you have swung over the Poring Hot Springs. It is one of the most liked places by the locals as it has perfect spots where you can de-stress, soak the sores and aches of your muscles inside the hot sulphuric minerals springs, which are said to have the healing properties. Apart from the Poring Hot Springs, there are various other interesting places, which include the butterfly farm, tropical gardens, the Poring canopy walkway, Poring Orchid Conservation Center and the Rafflesia flower site.
Location: The Poring Hot Springs is around 136 KM from the Kota Kinabalu city.
How to reach: You can either take a direct bus, which will cost you around 16 MYR per person or a taxi, which will cost you around 160 MYR, from the Kota Kinabalu.
Price: The entry fees to Poring Hot Springs is approximately 15 MYR.
Timings: 7 AM to 6 PM
Along the roads to the Atkinson Clock Tower, the Signal Hill Observatory Platform has a great view of the East side of downtown KK. The view has a mix of old and modern buildings of KK and out to the ocean with islands. It is the main financial and shopping district of KK where the major banks and the attractions were located.
Location: Located in the west coast division of Kota Kinabalu.
How to Reach: Just a couple of minutes’ drive from Padang Merdeka will bring you to the airy deck where you can get amazing views that extend to the outlying islands.
Timings: Open daily from 8 AM to 12 PM.
Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is the second most important mosque in the whole Kota Kinabalu after the State Mosque, located in Sembulan. It is a perfect blend of modern and Islamic architecture and can hold more than 12,000 people in a single time. The architecture of the mosque highly resembles the Nabawi Mosque in Medina. The man-made lagoons surrounding the mosque gives its visitors an elegant and dramatic look, especially on a full moon night and is the largest mosque in Kota Kinabalu.
Location: The mosque is just 3 KM from the main Kota Kinabalu City and is easily accessible.
How to reach: Either you can take a local taxi, which will cost you around 15 MYR per way or you can take Bus No. 5A from the front of Hotel Shangri-La, which will cost you around 1.50 MYR per person per way.
Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM (Fridays closed)
If you are done visiting the islands and beaches and are looking for some scenic beauty in the Kota Kinabalu, Kokol Hill is a place you must go. It is a place, which can give you a perfect view of Mount Kinabalu and you can also enjoy a serene and elegant sunset with your someone special. The place is a must visit, especially if you are looking some quiet time, away from the hustle and bustle of the city amidst hills and close to the nature. You can even spend some great nights over the Kokol Hill as there are various home stays and resorts allowing you to enjoy the weather and scenic beauty of the place.
How to reach: The Kokol Hill is just a 1-hour drive from the main Kota Kinabalu city
Also known as the Sunday market, Gaya Street should be in every traveller’s bucket list. The place has been of importance to the traders for over a hundred years. It’s the perfect place for those who want to tour the local markets. Tourists can buy a variety of things like, authentic Malaya ingredients, a large variety of sea food, Malayan art and craft etc.
Highlights: If you are looking to buy some souvenirs to take back home, then this is the correct place to do so. People can also find traditional Malaysian artifacts. If you are a food lover, then you can explore the various ingredients for authentic Malaysian cuisines.
Location: It is located in the center of the city; hence people can stroll down to this place. The market is well connected with the public transport as well, so reaching there is not a problem.
Timing: The best time to visit the market is during the daytime on Sundays.
Beautifully impressive and romantic but the island is actually a sand bank island and is one of the most enchanting islands in Sabah Borneo. What makes this beach special is that the resort is a stand-alone unit with no one else around it. Usually when the tide is down, the sand bank becomes a spectacular beach, otherwise, they have an elevated man-made beach deck with special white sand where you can chill.
Highlights: This private island is well known as the romantic paradise for special honeymooners and exclusive private weddings.
How to Get There: The unique Kapalai Island stands above a huge sand bank which is about 1 hour by boat from Semporna in east coast Sabah. It is also a 10 minute boat ride from the well-known Mabul Island.
This spectacular sweep of sand begins around the Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Resort and stretches south to the airport. Tanjung Aru is a local beach, nestled with picnic spots and white sandy coast’s. Tanjung Aru has one of the best shorelines where visitors can enjoy shinning crystal clear ocean and powder-fine sands. This area is absolutely secluded and therefore, it gives a very peaceful and quiet ambiance. Imagine you basking in the sun while listening to the sound of the waves or plunging into the crystal clear water for a swim.
Highlights: The main attraction here is the beach, which stretches to over 2 kilometers long with stunning sunset views.
How to Get There: The beach can be accessed through any local transport.
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