The capital city of Sabah, nested on the Island of Borneo, Kota Kinabalu has become an increasingly popular resort destination sporting a tropical weather all year round. With ample to do on the adventure and history front, considering being a colonial British settlement located in the heart of forest growth and mountains, not to mention the beachside relaxation on its coasts, Kota Kinabalu is a complete package waiting to be tapped for international tourism in Malaysia.
Peak and Off-Peak Season
Although Kata Kinabalu sports an equatorial climate all year round, the idea time to visit this destination is during the months of January to March, as it offers dry season. Although November to January is a tourist friendly phase to pay a visit, visitors are warned of crowds as it’s a busy time of the year with many Catholic festivals taking place.
Tourist Attractions in Kota Kinabalu
Starting with its official heritage, the Mari Mari Culture Village and the Sabah Museum offer diverse exhibitions. The former showcases living cultures ad indigenous folkways including rice making and bamboo cooking, while the latter focuses more on modern structures like housing collections of tribal and historical artefacts. Islam has the dominant influence both in matters of culture and history, represented at the Islamic Civilization Museum. Even though Islamic sites like the City Mosque and the Sabah State Mosque are the largest religious sites designed in line with modern architectural trends, the community is home to multiple other religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and even Sikhism. The Sri Pasupathinath Temple, Che sui Khor Temple, Gurdawarah Sahib and the Sacred Heart Cathedral are all main sites highlighting the religious diversity of Kota Kinabalu.
To appreciate the untouched side of nature, heading out to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park would be the perfect activity. With a variety of birds and other animals and gardens that are lush green, its ideal for picnic purposes along with for kids. The mountainous terrain in the area can be explored along the main Kinabalu Park, the Signal hill observatory and the Kokol hills. Manukan & Mamuntik islands along with the Sapi Island constitute coastal tours, along with Tunku Abdul Rehman National Park and Tajung Aru beach being seaside attractions. The Green connection ad Water World let visitors explore teh local aquatic life in this part of the South China Sea. Among the most exotic features is the Tabunan Rafflesia Reserve, protecting the largest fungal species observed worldwide in the field of botany. Gogo Sabah is a well known tour company providing tourists with a wide range of adventurous tours alongside services such as motorbike rentals, logistics and tour guides.
Hotels and Accommodation
With top end retreats in the form of hotels and resorts alongside bag-packer hangouts multiplying rapidly in the city, there are several spots offering accommodations in the form of apartments and guesthouses. Backpacking industry is quite well established, with a complete association running its entire network. The Shangri La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, for instance, is placed at the perfect place to enjoy the city attractions whilst enjoying the features of the tropical resort. Many of the seaside resorts feature all the relaxation amenities like pools, spas, along with their own restaurants and bars. For a modern feel to your trip, opting for the Ming Garden Hotel & Residences would be an ideal pick, located in the business district and only 10 minutes away from the airport as well. The waterfront of the city nests within it a couple of apartment choices including the Marina Vacation Codis as well as the Jack’s Condo Apartments among many others, in sync with the apartment setting as well as the condominium trend catering for budget stays. Those in favour of splurging on their trip should consider Kota Kinabalu’s most central and outclass accommodation, the La Meridien Kota Kinabalu, offering luxury services alongside spectacular views and endless pampering facilities.
Getting around town
The Kota Kinabalu International Airport is located 7 kilometres from the city centre. Airport bus is a facility providing commute to and from the city at a rather cheap cost. There also exists the option of using a minibus to travel in to the city, however these are less favoured in comparison to the new and efficient airport bus facility. Taxis also remain a standard means of transport that it is budget friendly and safe.
Since it is located on the coasts, regular ferry boat as well as speed ferry services are operated for sea travel to nearby islands and other surrounding ports. A single railroad track is established mainly for leisure purpose to facilitate tours of the countryside as well as flea street market areas. The city centre is quite small. Visitors can walk around to get to know the place, with sidewalks and safety walks. Taxis are also available with rates negotiable; the travel proves to be safe and cheap. Buses and minibuses operate within the city as well as to the suburban areas. The long-route buses are air conditioned and facilitate some comfort, while the minibuses operate on a stop-by-stop basis to cater for every single commuter. Rent a car services are also available for short as we as long ones.
Flights to Kota Kinabalu from UK
Leading airlines including Asiana Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Royal Brunei, Cathay Pacific and Malaysian Airways are all in the top order for flight deals for this route. It takes up to 15.5 hours to travel from UK to Kota Kinabalu, apart from the time spent on single stopover along the itinerary. There are no direct flights operating on this route.
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