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20 Things To Do In Kota Kinabalu

  • Find out some of the most exhilarating things to do in Kota Kinabalu, an island surrounded by crystal clear water and it is one of the best tourist destinations in Malaysia. The cottages built on water remarkable stands out as the predominant attraction of the place. Apart from this, Kora Kinabalu is popular for providing the best opportunities for the most fun-filled and thrilling activities that include Parasailing, Scuba diving, Paragliding, Island hopping, fishing, culture and heritage walk, climbing Mount Kinabalu, Canopy walk, River safari, underwater scooter ride, sea walking, zip-lining and many more.

    These activities obviously let go everyone crazy and Kota Kinabalu is considered as the prominent place where weather and circumstances blend together for perfect adventurous trips round the year. Along with it, serenity prevailing around is quite fascinating as well.

    Here are some of the best things to do in Kota Kinabalu:

  • 01Scuba Diving

    If you love fun and adventure and ready to take up any challenges than Scuba Diving in Penang is the best option for you. Dive deep into the water and explore the sea life and dive among the turtles and sharks of these region. The fun part is that you will be seeing this in live.

    Image Credits : Lee & Ayu

    Highlights: Explore the underwater flora and fauna and get a closer view of the coral reefs. The diving  in the clear blue  water is surely going to be one of the best experience for a lifetime you and your friends. If you are a beginner then there will be some professional diver who will help you dive better.

    Location: Kota Kinabalu

    Price: Approximately 120 - 400 MYR
  • 02Island Hopping

    Image Credit : deepgoswami

    Experience the fun and thrill like never before as you hop through different islands of Kota Kinabalu. Feel the joy of exploring various islands with their unique identity. This will be the best experience of your life exploring something which is completely new.

    Image Credits : angela7dreams

    Highlights: Explore the twin islands in Kota Kinabalu which is considered as a heaven on Earth.Each of these paradise has a beauty of its own. The lush green forest and the clear blue water is the perfect combination which creates a different view for the people. The best thing is that you get to explore different islands with its unique views which they store in them.

    Location: Kota Kinabalu

    Price: Approximately  200- 350 MYR
  • 03Paragliding

    If you are looking for some serious adrenaline rush then Paragliding is the definitely the perfect activity for you. Imagine yourself flying freely across and enjoying the view of the valleys and the mountains slowly drifting with the cloud.Amazing isn’t it? Indulge yourself in paragliding in Kota Kinabalu and have the best experiences of your life.

    Image Credits : ben bell

    Highlight: Indulge yourself in this exciting activity of paragliding in kota Kinabalu. This will be a lifetime experience for you. Nothing can be better than observing the amazing landscapes from a whole different perspective. Even if you are doing it for the first time you will have trained professional who will help you to paraglide and fly like a bird.

    Location: Kota Kinabalu

    Price:  Approximately 300- 400 MYR

  • 04Climb Mt. Kinabalu

    Image Credit : johnjodeery

    With a mighty elevation of about 4100 meters Mt. Kinabalu is the tallest mountain in South Asia. It provides the best terrain for rock climbing and a perfect refuge from the tropical hot and humid climate. The topography of the mountain makes the climb to the summit really tough as the climbers have to jump through barbaric hurdles and cross mesmerizing cliffs.  

    Image Credits : bluefuton

    Highlights:  Those who don’t want to climb up to the summit, there are a few restaurants for them at the ground level to relax and gaze at the mesmerizing beauty if the summit. There is also an option of guided tour which takes you on a shot hike across the fire-path paved on the mountain.

    Location: Mount Kinabalu is about 100 Km from the World Heritage site of Kinabalu Park and is easily accessible from the local near about.
  • 05River Rafting

    Image Credit :

    Nothing can beat the thrill of rowing through the class IV and class V rapids. The thrill of this water sport is incomparable when you triumph the large waves and guide your raft through the strenuous snag along the course of time. It’s the perfect adventure activity for those who want to kick-off the thrill during their vacation.

    Image Credits : sisifoylaroca

    Highlights:  The place offers unique class VI rapids which can be challenging even for the professionals. Smash through the huge waves while trying to steering through the hazardous rocks and sudden drops.

    Location: The best place for river rafting is the Padas River at the southwestern part of Kata Kinabalu. This place is easy accessibility by public transport.  

    Price: Approximately 200 MYR per person

  • 06Mari Mari Cultural Village tour

    Image Credit : oldandsolo

    What is the point of visiting a place when you don’t understand its local culture and traditions? Explore the Mari Mari village give the travelers a unique chance to learn about the skeptic lifestyle of the local tribes. Grab the wonderful opportunity and gather knowledge about the regional cuisines and the ethnic lifestyle of the people. Witness their hunting skills and their precise fishing techniques.

    Image Credits : oldandsolo

    Highlights:  The settlement inhabits five different kinds of pagans. Learn their hunting skills. Get a chance to relax in the huts during the hot and humid days. Satisfy your taste-buds with mouth watering tribal food.

    Location: The cultural village is isolated modern civilization and deep into the country side of Inanam in Kota Kinabalu.

    Price: Approximately 200 MYR per person.
  • 07Fishing Trip – Timpangoh River

    What could more interesting than trying your fishing skills. Don’t get disappointed if you can’t master the art of fishing, you will be assisted by professionals to get a great catch. Trek along the river bank to reach the fishing site. Once you are done fishing, you can also relax by taking a dip in the river. There is also an option of savoring a great picnic.

    Highlights:  Timpangoh River provides a nice fishing experience as there are a plenty of catch in the river. If people aren’t getting a hold of a fish, they can also enjoy a relaxing swim in the river and a lavish picnic by the riverside.

    Location: The fishing location at the banks of Timpangoh River in Kota Kinabalu.

    Price:  Approximately 250 MYR per person.

  • 08Parasailing

    Image Credit : calebdzahnd

    Kota Kinabalu is the perfect destination for the tourist to enjoy the thrill of floating high above the sea. Enjoy the scenic bird’s eye view of the coastline and the city. Witness the beautiful coral reef under the canopy of your parasailing. If you are parasailing for the first time, then you needn’t worry, as you will receive all the safety instruction and tip from the professionals.

    Highlights:  Fly above the beautiful blue sea under the supervision of professionals. This activity is conducted by licensed professionals and all the safety measure and standards are taken care of.  The technical crew will take care of the take off and the landing to avoided hazards.  

    Location: You can enjoy the parasailing experience at the Manukan Islands, Kota Kinabalu.

    Price:  Approximately 200 MYR

  • 09North Borneo Railway Train Ride from Kota Kinabalu to Papar

    Enjoy the soft, sweet and smooth ride through the beautiful landscape of Kota Kinabalu. Hop into the old style steam engine driven train which will take you chugging through the rice fields, and traditional village homes.  

    Highlights:  It’s a once of a kind train journey which will take you back in time when you ride in the 1900’s steam engine driven train. The pantry in the train will provide refreshments for you to experience the most lavish service.  

    Location: Enjoy the train journey from Kota Kinabalu to Papar.

    Timing: Monday to Friday: 10:00 Am to 06:00 PM and Saturday: 09:00 Am to 05:00 PM

    Price:  Approximately 350 MYR per adult
  • 10Canopy Walking

    Image Credit : cornstaruk

    Have you ever felt the urge to explore the canopy of a forest and the fauna at which resides at about 500 m above the ground level. Canopy Walking does the same for you. Explore the forest from a whole new perspective. It’s a once a lifetime experience to walk across the forest suspended at an elevation of about 500 m.  

    Image Credits : oldandsolo


    Highlights: Get a chance to spotting birds which inhabit in the canopy of the forest. Discover the rainforest like never before, by waking above the ground level which is best suited to explore the wildlife of the forest. Once can also enjoy the panoramic view of the Danum Valley.

    Location: One can enjoy canopy walking in Sabah.

    Price:  Approximately 350 MYR per adult.
  • 11Klias Wetlands River Safari

    Sail through the calm and quite wetlands in search of the wildlife. Sense the delightful sounds of the chirping birds and the dense growl of the forest. It’s the perfect opportunity for those who love to spend time close to nature. If you are lucky enough to avail the moonlight river safari, which allows you to witness the nature’s marvels, you will find yourself surrounded by fireflies which will add charm to your tour.

    Highlights: The best part of this safari is that you will get to see some of the endangered species of the wild, which you will find nowhere else. If luck favors you, you can spot the rare Silver leaf Monkey, Proboscis Monkeys and Myriad Species of birds.  

    Location: One can enjoy this safari by travelling southwards into the Klias Wetlands.

    Price:  Approximately 200 MYR per adult.
  • 12Gaya Street Sunday Market

    Image Credit : yumievriwan

    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.

    Image Credits : incanus

    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.

  • 13Scuba Doo (underwater scooter)

    Image Credit : jkc916

    Similar to scuba diving, Scuba Doo provides an upgraded access to the underwater world. Passengers can put their head inside an air locked bubble which allows them to breath at ease while explore the spectacular coral reef and the marine animals. It allows people to explore the marine world with ease and with comfort.

    Image Credits : bradjward

    Highlights: It’s a safe and an affordable way to explore the underwater life. You needn’t worry about propelling yourself forward in order to explore, the under water scooter will help your wok easy.  

    Location: You can avail the activity near the beaches of Kota Kinabalu.

  • 14Sea Walking

    Image Credit : oldandsolo

    Have you ever imagined walking on the sea bed and exploring the underwater marvels? You don’t need to posses super skills, it’s as easy as taking a walk in the park. Explore the marine life and the coral reef and get a chance to see a variety of fishes, corals and other marine life.

    Image Credits : oldandsolo

    Highlights: This activity allows you to admire the marine organisms up close and personal. None the less it allows you to explore the underwater life without muscling with heavy scuba diving equipments.

    Location: You can find this activity in all almost all the beaches of Kota Kinabalu.

    Cost: Approximately 200 to 500 MYR

  • 15Fly Fish

    Image Credit : buruno

    There is no doubt in that fishing is something which is loved by all. Now imagine catching lying fish in the Sabah, Borneo in Kota Kinabalu. This will be a hell of an experience for you. Feel the thrill and the magic catching these flying fish which will be very exciting in itself.

    Highlights: The Rivers in this region is teeming with fish in its clear cool water. This is even after the fact that it has been just recently been harvested but still they have quite a lot of fish there which makes it a pleasant sports for the people to catch flying fish in this area. One thing you need to keep in mind is that you need to be very careful while you catch the fling fish as you will have to move together with it.

    Location: Sabah, Borneo in Kota Kinabalu.
  • 16Ziplining

    Image Credit :  Madi R

    Kota Kinabalu, not only has some of the most beautiful islands and beaches, but also has some enthralling and adventurous activities, Ziplining being the one. The thrilling ziplining here offers a 250m long ride, which stretches across the channel, dividing the Gaya and Sapi Island. The ride gives the most beautiful view of the Tunku Abdul Rahman, which no other activity can give. It is also the second longest ‘Island to Island’ Zipline in the world.

    Image Credits : Canadian Veggie

    Location: The Ziplining activity in Kota Kinabalu can be carried out in the TAR park, which is just at a 10-minute boat ride from the Kota Kinabalu. You can take the ferry from the Jesselton Jetty ferry terminal

    Price: The activity cost approximately starts from 195 MYR.

    Timings: 8.30 AM to 4 PM

  • 17Gaya Island Jungle Trekking

    Despite the trekking is not very famous and beloved adventurous activity in Malaysia, the country has some enthralling spots for the same, Gaya Island being one of them. The  Jungle tail of this place is around 4 KM long, which takes approximately two hours to finish. You can start your trek from the Gaya Island and finish it at the Hornbill Beach or you can take the other way round for it. While trekking, if you got lucky, you can behold various beautiful wild animals, which include wild boars, snakes, monkeys, etc. However, the jungle is so dense in some of the places that it may be difficult for the photography.

    Image Credits : Venson Kuchipudi

    How to reach: You can easily reach in 30-minutes from the speed boats, which you can take from the Jesselton Jetty ferry terminal in the Kota Kinabalu city.

    Price: The approximate cost for the trek per person starts from 231 MYR.

    Timings: 8.30 AM to 4 PM.
  • 18Snorkeling

    Image Credit : ZERO7 IMAGES

    Stretch your legs and get ready to explore the tropical beaches by snorkeling in the clear water of Kota Kinabalu. The  stunning islands here are surrounded by coral reefs and a plenty of aqautic life, discover the amazing marine life by snorkeling in Kota Kinabalu. The vast ocean has so much hidden in its bosom and the best thing is that you get to feel that ultimate excitement while snorkelling underwater.

    Image Credits : POPOEVER

    Highlights: The underwater life is something which is totally different from what we actually see. The green plants and the marine life will attract you as you snorkel deep into the water.Feel the difference as you float through the astonishing clarity of the water and the mesmerizing colours of the underwater life.

    Location: Kota Kinabalu

    Price: Approximately 120-135 MYR
  • 19Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

    The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre is yet another place, which is focussed towards the conservation of Orangutans while keeping them in their natural habitat. If you love wildlife and wildlife photography, this is a must visit place as it allows you to get very close to this amazing creature and you are allowed to feed them from the feeding platforms with the help of rangers.

    Image Credits : CarolineG2011

    Location: The Rehabilitation Center is located in the Sandakan town, which is approximately 23 KM from the Kota Kinabalu City center.

    How to reach: You can take the public transport from the Sandakan town, which will cost you around 2.10 MYR per way. You also can hire a taxi, which will cost you around 100 MYR.

    Price: The entry fees starts from around 30 MYR per adult.

    Timings: 8 AM to 5 PM

  • 20Mountain Biking

    Image Credit : Natesh Ramasamy (Thanks for 1.8 Million+ views)

    The Kota Kinabalu is not just about the beautiful beaches and islands, the place also has lots of amazing adventurous activity, Mounting Biking being the one. It is one of the coolest ways to explore the countryside of the Sabah area. You also get to meet the Dusun people, the villages situated alongside the river, jungle plantations and the elegant coastal plains, where you will end your ride at the Linangkit Cultural Village. You will even get a chance to enjoy the lip-smacking Malay cuisines during the lunch time.

    Image Credits : adwriter

    Location: The activity takes place in the countryside area of Sabah, which is just 1KM from the city center of Kota Kinabalu

    Price: The approximate cost per person starts from 260 MYR