The capital of Sabah, Borneo, this Malaysian city is a growing resort destination due to is proximity to tropical islands, lush rain forest and Mount Kinabalu.

Getting there

By plane

Kota Kinabalu International Airport (IATA code BKI, but also abbreviated KKIA) is the main gateway to Sabah.

  • Peninsular Malaysia: Malaysia Airlines and budget carrier AirAsia operate numerous flights daily between KK and Kuala Lumpur. Some flights stop over in Labuan or Sarawak airports. There are also several flights daily by AirAsia to and from Johor Bahru. Many fly between KK and Johor Bahru en route to Singapore as fares are considerably cheaper.

  • Sarawak: Malaysia Airlines has several flights daily between KK and Kuching and Miri and at least one flight daily to/from Sibu direct. MASWings also operate direct flights two or three times a week between KK and the Gunung Mulu National Park, Limbang, Lawas and Miri.

  • Within Sabah: Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia several flights daily KK and Sandakan as well as Tawau. Malaysia Airlines subsidiary MASWings , which operates the rural air service, links KK with Lahad Datu (four daily), Sandakan (twice daily) and Tawau (twice daily) by using Fokker planes, and Kudat (on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, flights continue to Sandakan) with Twin Otters.

  • Other destinations: Kota Kinabalu can be reached by direct flight from Manila through Cebu Pacific airlines and from Clark (2 hours north of Manila) through Air Asia; from Bangkok on Thai AirAsia ; from Singapore on AirAsia , Silkair , Tigerairways and Jet Star ; from Hong Kong on Dragonair and Malaysian Airlines ; from Brunei on Royal Brunei Airlines ; from Tokyo, Osaka, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Seoul and Manila on Malaysia Airlines ; from Macau on AirAsia ; and other cities too. The private Layang Layang Air flies daily between KK and Layang Layang Island for those booked into the resort there.

There are ATMs and a currency exchange in Terminal 1 & 2 of the airport but if you're arriving late it'll almost certainly be closed and the ATMs are not always working, so make sure you've got some Malaysian ringgit before you arrive as you'll need it for the taxi or the bus. If you find yourself having just arrived and without any ringgit, you can have a taxi take you to an ATM on the way to wherever you're staying. Getting there/away: The airport is 7km away from the city. A shuttle bus leaves approximately every hour and drops passengers off at the Wawasan Center south of downtown KK. You can also catch minibuses along the main road away from the airport. Minibus No. 17 (KK-Putatan buses) will bring you to the city. Taxis (you have to buy a coupon) are also available. The standard rate from the airport to the city is RM20 (as of July 2007).

By road

All main roads in Sabah radiate out from Kota Kinabalu. The main road to the Sarawak border at Sindumin heads south from the city through the suburbs of Kepayan and Tanjung Aru and goes past Papar, Kimanis, Beaufort and Sipitang. From Sindumin, the road continues to Lawas and on to Brunei and it is possible to travel from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in a day. Another main road goes north to Kudat via Kota Belud. The main road to the East Coast (Sandakan and Lahad Datu) branches off from this road at Tamparuli. Another main road heading southeast leaves the suburbs of Penampang and Donggongon towards Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom.

By bus

There are two long-distance bus terminals, The South Terminal accross the road from Wisma Waawasan serving destinations south of Kota Kinabalu (eg Beaufort, Sipitang and Lawas), and the other called the Kota Kinabalu North Bus Terminal in Inanam, 10km to the northeast of the city centre. This terminal serves buses going north and east of KK, including Mount Kinabalu, Sandakan, Semporna and Tawau. Minivans run to neighbouring towns like Papar, Beaufort and Tuaran, and exclusively serve the towns of the West Coast interior like Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom. To get there/away from the KK North Bus Terminal, regular shuttle buses run between the terminal and the city centre near the state library.

The main minibus and minivan station is opposite Wisma Wawasan Plaza at the southern end of the city.

Heading east

  • To/from Sandakan: 5-6 hrs, 33 MYR. Several express bus companies operate buses between the Kota Kinbalu North Bus Terminal and Sandakan. Tung Ma Express (Tel: +60-(0)19-8827334 Mr Shim)-(buses from KK at 7:00, 8:00, 10:00, 12:30, 14:00, 20:00PM. Sida Express (Tel: +60-(0)12-816 5524 Ms. Sanita Binte Sapena) has departures from KK at 7:30, 9:30, 11:30, 14:00, 20:00. Bunga Raya Express (Tel: +60-(0)19-8999142 Ms. Suraidah Mohd) has departures from KK at 7:30, 9:30, 13:30 and 20:00.

  • To/from Semporna: 9-10 hrs, 58 MYR. Dyana Bus, leaves twice daily from Inanam station around 7:30AM & 7:30PM. Shuttle from KK city to Inanam is 1.50 MYR, 20 minutes, departs from bus station on Jalan Padang.

  • To/from Tawau: ~9 hrs, 55 MYR. Several express bus companies operate bus between the Kota Kinabalu North Bus Terminal and Kota Kinabalu-Tawau. Tung Ma Express (Tel: +60-(0)19-8827334 Mr Shim)-Andisba Express-(013-8797779)-Alitopan Express-013-8862348/0198634797/089767858-(bus from KK at 7:00, 8:00, 10:00, 12:30, 14:00.

  • To/from Mount Kinabalu and Ranau: 1.5-2 hrs, 25-35 MYR. All the above buses pass by the entrance of the Mount Kinabalu National Park, Kundasang and Ranau (for Poring Hot Spring). You can get off or board at these locations. You can also catch buses/minibuses doing the shorter run to Ranau. The journey from KK to Mount Kinabalu should take about two hours.

Heading north

  • To/from Kudat:

  • To/from Kota Belud:

Heading south

  • To/from Lawas: The Sipitang Express Bus Sdn Bhd (Tel: +60-88-213722 or +60-(0)16-8149332) runs one bus at 07:30 daily from the City Centre bus terminal to Lawas in Sarawak. From Lawas, buses depart at 12:30. The journey takes about four hours and cost RM20 one way. The Lawas Bus Company also operates an express bus daily to Lawas, departing Lawas at about 8AM and returning from KK's City Centre terminal at 1PM. Both buses go through Beaufort and Sipitang. You can also make the journey by minivans but you may have to change at Beaufort or even at Papar and Sipitang. Catch them from the minivan station opposite Wawasan Plaza. If you are continuing to Brunei, see Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in a day.

  • To/from Beaufort and Sipitang: The Sipitang Express Bus departs the City Centre Terminal for Beaufort (one and three quarter hours, RM9) and Sipitang (two and three quarter hours, RM14) at 8:30, 12:00 and 16:30. The 07:30 bus to Lawas also goes through Beaufort and Sipitang. From Sipitang, buses depart at 08:00, 12:00, 13:30 (bus comes through from Lawas) and 16:30 and an hour later from Beaufort. You can also catch the Lawas Bus Company's express bus between KK and Lawas. Again, you can do this do this by minivans throughout the day, although they are more frequent in the morning. You may also have to change at Papar if you cannot get a direct minivan.

  • To/from Menumbok: The Sipitang Express Bus runs two buses from the City Centre terminal to Menumbok where there are ferries to Labuan. They depart at 07:00 and 13:00. From Menumbok, buses depart at 10:15 and 15:15. One way tickets cost RM14. Minivans also do the journey although you may have to change at Papar and Beaufort.

  • To/from Papar: Regular minivans run to this coastal town 38km south of Kota Kinabalu.

Heading to the south-west interior

  • To/from Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom: Most public transport to this part of Sabah is by minibuses and vans which leave from the minibus station opposite Wawasan Plaza. Again, it's best to get started early. You should be able to catch a direct minibus from KK to Keningau. Change there for Tenom.

By boat

Ferries use the Jesselton point Ferry Terminal, a 20 minute walk from the center of town. The most popular service is to Labuan where there are frequent ferries daily. The journey takes about 3 hours. From Labuan, you can continue all the way to Bandar Seri Begawan in one day if you get an early start. A package ticket to Brunei costs RM56. See the Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in a day page for details.

Boats also leave for the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu from the ferry terminal. Regular departures to Manukan, Gaya and other islands. Cost per person is between RM15 and RM40 depending on island. See the park's page for details.

By train

The North Borneo Railway operates a 134km network from Tanjung Aru south of the city centre to Tenom in the interior via Papar, Kimanis and Beaufort. Four trains daily except for Sunday, when there are only two trains, run between Tanjung Aru station (Tel: +60-88-254611) and Beaufort, where you change trains if you want to continue your journey to Tenom. Journey time between Kota Kinabalu and Beaufort is about 2 hours, making it more attractive for travellers to take the bus for part of the journey. You can then change to a train at Beaufort for the more interesting stretch to Tenom.

Traveling around

Taxi - Short fares around RM10, longer trips around RM20. A whole day shouldn't cost more then RM300. It should be STRESSED that haggling is vital in order to get a fair price. Many taxi drivers in Malaysia are infamous for raising their fare prices, ESPECIALLY upon unknowing tourists.

Bus - RM1.50 from Kota Kinabalu International Airport (Petagas) to the city centre, while RM1.00 from Terminal 2 International Airport (Tg.Aru) to City Centre.

Hire Car - cars can easily be hired on the spot from the hire car counters in the arrivals hall. Rates can be negotiated so compare the offers.

" Motorbikes for hire! " - the first ever in KK GG Rent A Motorbike provides scooters to semi auto's for tourist and at a price of RM 20.00! they provide great maps and plan your itinerary with you to maximize your schedule and minimize the time.. so easy to travel in Sabah now and graet customer service! for more info log on to which is their official website. No more high prices on taxi's, do everything yourself with GG Rent A Motorbike..!


  • Atkinson Clock Tower - built in 1902 in memory of Francis George Atkinson, the first district officer of Jesselton, as KK was then called. He died of a tropical disease in the same year at the young age of only 28. The tower is on a hill beside Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, just a few minutes away from the city centre.

  • Sabah State Mosque - located on Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman.

  • State Museum - A quick guide to KK's history.

Things to do

  • Lok Kawi Wildlife Park Located near the small town of Lok Kawi a short distance south of Kota Kinabalu. It features Orang-Utans, Proboscis Monkeys, Gibbons, a Sumatran Rhinoceros, some tigers, local deer, various birds in a large aviary, elephants, and other animals. A reptile section will be opened soon. A good alternative to visiting the nature reserves around Sabah for those on a tight schedule, as well as giving you the chance to see the animals much more up close than you would in the jungle. Entrance fee: RM20 for adults, RM10 for children, half-price for Malaysians. It is a little difficult to get to as there is no public transportation that goes right to the park, and it is about 10 minutes drive outside of Lok Kawi (and about half an hour outside of Kota Kinabalu). Take a 17B or 17C bus to Lok Kawi town at RM3 a head, then a local taxi for around RM12-15 to the park. It is advisable to get the phone number of the taxi driver or arrange pickup from the park at a set time to go back to Lok Kawi as there are no taxis or buses at the park. Alternatively pay some RM80-100 to have a taxi take you there from Kota Kinabalu and back.

  • Monsopiad Cultural Village Located about half an hour south-east of town, this small park shows the traditional way of life of the Kadazan ethnic group and tells the story of Monsopiad, a Kadazan warrior who lived some 300 years ago and who killed 42 men who attacked his village. The 42 skulls can be viewed in the Hall of Skulls. Entrance fee is RM50 for adults, RM10 for children (prices for non-Malaysians). To get there you can hire a taxi from Kota Kinabalu and arrange to be picked up some hours later. The rate should be around RM80, or RM20 one-way.

  • bike, blade, and board - - extreme sports community group in Kota Kinabalu.

  • Eco and Natural Tour - Explore the rich and diversified treasure of nature on the island.

  • Trinity Self-Defence - Learn some self-defence skills at a Kota Kinabalu Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Gym! Classes include Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, CMB, Judo and Shootfighting. Trainers in training Stephen, Fresh and Genn are very friendly and experienced. Contact Fresh at Address: Lot 12 1st Floor Likas Plaza Phase 1 Mile 4 1/2 Jalan Tuaran 88400 Kota Kinabalu Sabah.

  • Shop Shop Shop - Lots of Shopping Centres great for picking up bargains.

  • Eat Eat Eat - Kota Kinablu is a cultural melting pot. Here Chinese meet Malays and Bruneis, Javanese, Filipinos and even a couple of Europeans, all of whom have brought along their own cuisine. Try out the many specialties offered at the various kedai kopi (often in buffet form making it easy to order) and shun fast food chains!


For meals, head to the outdoor food stalls fronting the sea or coffee shops along the streets. The less adventurous could make a beeline for fast food outlets in the Centrepoint shopping center while those with deeper pockets could try the pier-side restaurants just after the open air fish market.

  • @mosphere, Menara Tun Mustapha, tel. 088-425-100, . Revolving restaurant in Borneo's tallest building serving predictably generic "Pacific Rim" cuisine. Open throughout the day and for drinks at night.

  • Anjappar, Asia City Complex (facing Api Api centre, diagonally across the street from CentrePoint) tel. 088-227969, . Chettinad (North and South Indian) cuisine. Serves authentic Indian food such as banana leaf meals, biriyani, naan & roti, tandoori dishes, and dosai. Prices range from RM3.50 to RM10.00. Working hours: 10.30AM to 3.30PM and 5.30PM to 10.00PM. Anjappar is an Indian franchise with branches in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka and Canada.

  • Bella Italia, 69 Jalan Gaya – right under the Jesselton Hotel in KK's business area. Phone 088 313 366. Fabulous Italian restaurant that pops up unexpectedly. Chefs Maurizio and Michele produce some of the finest pizzas and pastas anywhere – not just in Malaysia – and if you get there early there are big discounts. If you like Italian, don't miss it!

  • Grazie Ristorante -Italian Restaurant' - at Wawasan Plaza Complex, next to Tang Dynasty Hotel, tel: +6019 821 6936 . Serves no pork. *Cozy, affordable, nice music & clean.

  • Ferdinand`s Italian restaurant, Magellan Sutera harbour hotel, tel. 088303900. Italian restaurant an Sutera Harbour hotel, next to the international airport.

  • Jeff De Corner Grd Flr, Luyang Ph 6, Shophouse, approximately 15 minutes from the city. Vast range of dishes incl Lamb & Beef Steak, Oxtail soup, lamb shank, BBQ Lamb and the exclusive Wagyu Beef Steak. Please call for reservation. Tel:6019-881-8427

  • Jothy's Fish Head Curry and Banana Leaf Restaurant - Api Api Center. An eat-with-your-hands restaurant. A chicken dish RM8, a mango lassie RM4. Also, try the fish head curry, fish cutlets, fried fish pieces, chicken nasi biryani, assam soup and dried bitter gourd. Not the best Banana Leaf restaurant in Malaysia, but not bad. They'll bring you a spoon and fork, which you should politely decline. Ask for a banana leaf (for additional 50 cents) and eat with your hands. English menu.

  • Kohinoor, tel. 088-235160, . North Indian food by the waterfront. Claims to have invented the "Chicken Cheese Tandoori Tikka". Indoor and alfresco seating.

  • Man Tai Restaurant - Located in Likas, Dah Yeh Villa. They are famous for their Beaufort-style Fried Noodles. They serve Chinese style a-la carte dishes as well.

  • Mario's Pizza, 1 Borneo Hypermall, Jalan UMS, Kota Kinabalu - Mario's Pizza at 1 Borneo C-702 Lower Ground serves authentic Italian Pizza Slice or "Pizza al Taglio" so good and yummy at an unbeatable price.

  • Pete's Corner - Located in Asia City in the heart of Kota Kinabalu, Pete's Corner is a Western breakfast place which specializes in "Cheap but good" Western style dishes. The shop mainly caters for steaks and other western dishes at reasonable prices (RM10-18). The meal in itself isn't huge, but it gets the job done. If your lucky, you might see theo owner himself.

  • - Located in Asia City in the heart of Kota Kinabalu, Pirates Ribshack Diner provides the best pork and lamb ribs in town, together with steaks, burgers and seafood, on Sunday they hold a weekly BBQ Pork roast. The Stonebridge Galley provides all day English Breakfast. Halal food and drink is available at Charles Cafe outlet

  • Salim - Situated in Lintas Square, approximately 20 minutes drive from the city, Salim has proved to be a highly popular supper spot for many local Sabahans both young and old. Specialising in many local "mamak" foods and delicacies, the most popular meals would be the Malaysian roti styled bread which is cooked over an open flat iron skillet which is bathed in oil. The meal along with a nice cup of Teh Tarik Madras would range at around RM 5-8.

  • Yu Kee's Bak Kut Teh - Located along the famous Gaya Street, its a Chinese operated restaurant that serves pork dishes. A small single dish cost about RM4, soup top up is free. All types of pork meat & organs served with special Chinese herb soup. A MUST TRY!

  • , located at the heart of the city 50, Jalan Pantai. Famous for its Satay and cozy environment. Slurp! Slurp!

Seafood in Kota Kinabalu is very popular, so getting a dose of it is a must. Here are some places to try:

  • New Gaya Seafood Restaurant, Tel: 088-385020. One of the most visited seafood restaurant by locals. Price are fixed and 20% - 30% cheaper than city's seafood restaurants. Captains are helpful. Must try their deep fried crabs with egg yolk & butter prawn. Its located next to Gaya Sports Recreation Centre (Tel: 088-426075), Inanam. 20 minutes by Taxi, highly recommended for visitors who have spare time.

  • Ocean Seafood Restaurant - Right next to the Promenade Hotel and Parkson Grand. The restaurant faces the coastline. You can take a pick on your seafood orders by the fishtanks, or if you prefer, you can let the waiters recommend at your table.

  • Portview Seafood Restaurant- There are 2 branches of this in K.K. One of them is right opposite Centrepoint Shopping Centre, called The Waterfront. This one is quite new, a very popular place for tourists and orders can be taken either way similar to Ocean Restaurant. This restaurant is nestled amongst other popular nightlife hangouts, mostly bars and clubs, but also cafes like CoffeeBean. The other older one is nicely set in front of a pier, within walking distance to banks such as HSBC and Standard Chartered, and some supermarkets stocking imported goods.

  • Salut Seafood Restaurant- It takes about 20 minutes car journey from the city center to Salut where the restaurant is located near the Sepanggar Bay and Telipok. It is a famous place for cheaper seafood dishes as the prawns are bred by the restaurant owner.

  • '''Sutera Rimba - 7PM to midnight.


  • - Located in Asia City in the 3 colour T food Court accross the road from Centrepoint behind the Mercedes Bendz Dealer. Features the largest outdoor bar in Kota Kinabalu with prices from RM 25+ for 5 cans of house beer. Live sport including AFL, NRL, Rugby, Cricket. Live music at weekends

  • - Winner of Best Entertainment Outlet for Night Spot Experience 3 times in a row. Located on the waterfront facing the South China Sea with cool sea breezes and a beautiful view of the sunset. Featuring a live band, 2 projector screens and an American Pool Table.

  • Shenanigan Fun Pub - Located at ground floor of the Kinabalu Hyatt Regency.

  • Shamrock Irish Bar - The Waterfront Lot 6. Pint of Tiger or Guinness RM20+. The usual Irish fare, with outdoor seating. Add 16% tax.

  • Cocoon - One of KK's most notable nightspots. It is a relaxed bar in the day and a lively bar/club by night, with the action carrying on into the small hours.

  • Bee Kim KTV - Located at Sadong Jaya around Karamunsing area.

  • Strawberry KTV - Located near segama and central market.

  • Razz-Ma-Tazz - Located just outside the central business district along Jalan Tuaran, it is one of the largest and most popular nightclubs in the city. Features two rooms, the larger one, Z'Razz, features a live band rotated with DJ spinning mainly hip-hop tracks. The smaller room, Zuave, plays mainly house, trance, and other dance tracks.

  • Bed - located on the Promenade near the night markets. One room with a cover band, Pool table and DJ.

  • Beach Road Pub and cafe, live band, pool.


Kota Kinabalu has accommodation in all price brackets. For lodgings on and around Mount Kinabalu, see the Mount Kinabalu article.


  • Akinabalu Youth Hostel, , Jalan Gaya. Two computers with free internet access, TV and DVD, and free breakfast. RM56 for a fan room for two with shared bathroom. Safe and clean with friendly staff.

  • Alpinehomstay , tel. 60 88 237727. They are located 5 minutes from the airport and city centre.Fully furnished.Modernly decorated. Free pickup from and to the airport.Free shuttle to the city centre.

  • Asia Adventure Lodge, tel. +60 138929995, , . Smaller hostel with a friendly family feel located right in the heart of town next to Internet cafe, banks, travel agents, supermarkets and nightlife, plus the colourful and deliciously diversified Sunday Market. Dorms RM 17 (fan) or RM 22 (aircon); Aircon Singles/Doubles RM 40/RM 58. Free Wi-Fi too!

  • Borneo Adventure Center & Lodge, tel. +6(088) 241 515, , Email : Borneo Adventure Center & Lodge is a budget hotel & lodge that offer backpackers rates. It has rooms for double, triple as well as backpackers dormitory beds. All rooms have fan, air-conditioning at night and either a common or an ensuite shower room with hot water shower. Facilities includes a self service kitchen equipped with refrigerator, microwave oven, stove, toaster, coffee making facilities, CCTV security, electronic card access system, in-house laundry service, Cable TV at the lobby, Wifi and Internet access. Rates inclusive of simple Breakfast (Toast with coffee/tea) too. Rates: Dorm. - RM21 per Person, Twin or Dbl Bed Room - RM55.00 per room.

  • Borneo Backpackers, tel. +6(088) 234 009, ,Email : .Centrally located in the heart of Kota Kinabalu, Borneo Backpackers has already attracted the attention of discerning travellers from around the world. Some guests have already made return visits, and many more have vowed to return. While guests originally come for the facilities on offer, such as clean bathroom, toilets, pantry area, internet facility, laundry, cosy lounge area, roof garden deck, 24 hours security, and a tour information counter. They return for the service from our friendly, helpful and knowledgeable local staff. Rooms available include airconditioned or fan Large Dormitory (10 Beds), Medium Dormitory (4 - 6 Beds) and Private Rooms. Each room has small storage compartment for personal items and has a fan or is air-conditioned. Rates from US$7 per person per night.

  • Borneo BeacHouse Backpackers, tel. +6(088) 218 331, , . Enjoy the only BeacHouse (friendly, relaxed atmosphere) which offers the ideal vacation home to the leisure seekers and busy executives with abundant eco and nature sites. Details visit website

  • Borneo Gaya Lodge, tel: +6088 242 477. , Email : New Lodge at Gaya Street (the famous street-sunday market in the central of K.K)is just started in the end of year 2008. New bed sheet & linen, towel, and hot & cold drinking water are free here. A spacious living (carpeting floor) with LCD (Astro Channel), wireless internet access, books, a small kitchen with refrigerator, tour information and our friendly staff will make you feel warm here. No Curfew and 24 hours Security with CCTV and computerized lock door. Rates for fan & air-con room start from RM23 per bed. Private Dorm, Twin/Double Bedroom and Family Room with common toilet are available. Soon Twin/Double & Family Bedroom with private toilet will set up in the coming of Feb 2009. Booking online at website

  • Century Hotel Inanam , tel. +6088 380222, 012 8380268; Located at Inanam. Spacious rooms, with TV and hot shower provided. 5 minutes drive from the city centre, KK. The owners also operates their chicken rice right below the hotel. Serves Hainan chicken rice and other varieties of food and beverage throughout the day.

  • Globetrotters Lodge (formerly New Horizon), tel. +6088 272796, , . Small, opposite British Council, just off Gaya Street, street market every Sunday morning, lots of cheap restaurants and banks nearby. Details visit website

  • Hamin Lodge, tel. +6(088)272008 , . Hamin Lodge in Kota Kinabalu is a unique boutique budget Hotel in the heart of Kota Kinabalu City. Services include Borneo Deco Hotel rooms in Kota Kinabalu, Exciting Borneo Tour packages, a Traditional Massage Spa, Restaurant and Bar. Fully air conditioned for comfort, rooms range from budget Hostel types of rooms suitable for backpackers to deluxe rooms with ensuite.

  • Hotel Holiday, tel. +6(088)-213116, . One of the best budget hotels in the city center. Offer 1mb wireless internet /hotspot, laundry, friendly staff, closed to tourist attractions. Rates start from RM83 for air-con double room with private bathroom. SMS reservation mobile phone number +6012-6909-888

  • Kinabalu Backpackers, tel. +6088 - 253 385, , . Centrally located in Australian Place, Kinabalu Backpackers offers Dorms for RM 25, Doubles (Sleeps 2) for RM 65 a night -- all rooms have Air Cond. Free Breakfast, Free Coffee or Tea all day and Free Internet+Wifi, Airport pickup service.

  • Lavender Lodge, tel. +6088 - 217119 , fax +6088 - 218077, . This newly opened hotel is in the central business district of the city,within short walking distance to shopping malls, restaurants and entertainment outlets. The exceptionally clean and comfortable rooms, friendly staffs and affordable prices make the lodge favourites among international travellers. Details visit website

  • Megah D’Aru Hotel, +6088 239 666, +6088 239 666, No. 2, Jalan Kinabalu, Tanjung Aru Township, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia, located in the heart of Tanjung Aru Township, Located in Tanjung Aru Township, less than 5-minutes drive south of Kota Kinabalu City centre, and north of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Its 72 rooms are well equipped, and the rates reasonable.

  • Step-in Lodge, tel. +6088 - 233519, . Painted in a zany combination of purple and bright green, this is a cozy little hostel in the middle of the city, with very friendly staff. Toilets and shower stalls are immaculate. Rates start from RM25 per person for a dorm, air-con double RM80, including a simple continental breakfast. Details visit website

  • Summer Lodge, . Convenient central location with a nice lobby, free internet/wifi, free breakfast, and very helpful staff. Clean, decent bathrooms, however dorm rooms leave a bit to be desired (cramped, bed frames falling apart). As of July 2008: All rooms have aircon; 22 MYR/night mixed dorm; 28 MYR/night male or female only, plus private rooms.

  • Tropicana Lodge,. Not recommended.

  • Velvet Lodge & Lounge, tel. +6088 212196, , . Located in the heart of the city this clean new hostel offers Internet/wi-fi, laundry, friendly staff, simple breakfast and a funky patio lounge serving great meals and cold beer. Details visit website (Velvet Lodge closed down in mid 2008)

  • X-plorer Backpackers , +60-88-538780, +60-88-538780, 1st Floor, 106/108, Jalan Gaya, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Centrally located in the heart of town along the popular Gaya Sunday morning street market. Reservations can be made by phone, online or by SMS text message to mobile phone:+6012-8399328. Complimentary breakfast, free wifi, all rooms are air-conditioned. Dormitories, private rooms, family rooms available. Some ensuite rooms with attached bathrooms were recently upgraded.

  • Hotel Kotajaya and Back Packers Contact No. +6088 222715, . Located near Sinsuran Complex, short distance to Centre Point, Api-Api Centre, Kompleks Asia City, and Waterfront bars. Budget rooms with private bathroom are available. Friendly host.

  • Impiana Mutiara Hotel KAMPUNG AIR , +6088 231 991 / 232 992, +6088 231 991 / 232 992, No.12, Jalan Perpaduan, Kampung Air, 88000 Kota Kinabalu., in the heart of Kota Kinabalu City Center, A budget hotel with 27 rooms. Every room comes with an attached bathroom with hot and cold shower, individual air-con unit and TV with cable channels. Reservations can be made online.


  • King Park Hotel Kota Kinabalu , +6088 270 500, +6088 270 500, Jalan Masjid Lama, Bandaran Berjaya 88000, in the heart of Kota Kinabalu City Center, One of the newest 3 star hotel located in the heart of Kota Kinabalu (Bandaran Berjaya) that provides friendly service, convenient facilities and clean and affordable accommodation for leisure travelers or business people. This 14-storey Hotel features panoramic views of Kota Kinabalu city and Tunku Abdul Rahman Park from the upper floors. Offers online reservations.


  • Grand Borneo Hotel (formerly Mercure KK), Grand Borneo Hotel, Tel: +60 88 526 888,, Grand Borneo Hotel, a fast growing home-grown brand, makes its debut in the pulsating tropical wonders of Kota Kinabalu. This 325-room property of modern chic deluxe class forms an integral part of the largest mall in Sabah - 1Borneo Hypermall; an entertainment complex with over 400 stores of leisure, entertainment and culinary delights. This international class hotel caters to business travelers as well as holiday makers.

  • Sutera Harbour Resort (formerly *Pan Pacific), Sutera Harbour Blvd, Kota Kinabalu, tel. +60 88 318 888, , . The resort property of Sutera Harbour Resort, features a city-style hotel in The Pacific Sutera and a resort-style hotel The Magellan Sutera. The property also features a 27-hole golf course, a fully equipped marina, 2 spas, sports facilities like squash, badminton and tennis courts and various other sport and leisure activities. About a RM10 taxi ride to town, or a 20 minute walk (if you're in good shape). The rooms are top notch with either a sea view or golf course/ Mount Kinabalu view in Pacific Suteraor a garden / sea-view from The Magellan Sutera. You can easily book trips to the islands, starting at RM 35. The Resort has a free shuttle bus going to town every hour until 21:00, as well as an internal shuttle that ferries guests between facilities. Cross-signing facilities mean that if you stay in one hotel, you have access to the entire resort. An internal shuttle takes guests between the properties, the marina and the golf club.

  • Berjaya Palace Hotel, 1 Jalan Tangki Karamunsing, tel. +60-88-211911. The hotel blends old architecture with modern facilities. Hilltop location, 15 minutes drive from the airport.

  • Jesselton Hotel, 69, Gaya Street, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Tel:(6088)223333.Fax:(6088)240401 Jesselton was the initial name for Kota Kinabalu during the British colony. And this boutique hotel should not be missed. Built in the early 1920s, it has been one of the longest remaining quality hotels in Kota Kinabalu. Set right in the middle of Gaya Street, a street thriving with local shops and cafes, and walking distance to the local cinemas - sets off the charms of the local atmosphere. The Pasar Malam ('night market') and Sundays on Gaya Streets are a must-see. Many hawkers will set up shops along Gaya Street to sell their wares - food, toys or pets. Lots of vibrant colors and scrumptious smells along the strip. This hotel is within the city center district. Hotel has their own limousine, which is a British cab imported from the UK. Email:

  • Hyatt Regency Kinabalu , +60 8 822 1234, +60 8 822 1234, Jalan Datuk Salleh Sulong, 88991, in the city centre, A 3 - 4 star International hotel but still has that exclusive feeling once you walk through the doors. Right in the heart of the city centre, a perfect choice for business men who just want to eat, sleep and work. This hotel has an impressive choice of restaurants, from their coffee shop serving Malaysian food, a Chinese restaurant with 'dimsum' or 'yum cha', a Japanese restaurant with Teppanyaki and a fresh bakery. Close to shopping centers, fast food outlets, and cafes.

  • Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort - 5 star - excellent facility, beautifully located on beach. Quality 18 hole golf course, excellent kid's club and has an orang-utan sanctuary where guests can see young orang-utans up relatively close. An excellent family resort, great pools with small but good water slide equipment. Excellent service, but drinks did take a little while to arrive. Good watersports activities. Coast Restaurant ok but on beautiful beachside setting. A 90RM taxi ride from the airport - takes about 40 minutes by taxi.

  • Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort, tel. +60-88-225800, . This is one of the oldest, grandest but possibly the most comfortable hotels in Kota Kinabalu. A 5 star hotel, the rooms in the old wing are confined inside the building and looks out to the pitch-and-put golf course. A tiny jungle is built in the middle of the corridor leading towards the hotel rooms of the old wing. Although as old as it may sound, the rooms are impressively larger than the new wing. The new wing, on the other hand, overlooks the sea or the swimming pool and is a bit more secluded for those who enjoy lazing out in the sun. A taxi ride from the Terminal 2 is about RM10, but to the city center is RM15. Shuttle from the airport to the hotel is available upon request.

  • Le Méridien Kota Kinabalu, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, tel. (60) 8832 2222. 306 rooms. Gym, seaview pool.

  • Nexus Resort Karambunai, 30 km northeast of Kota Kinabalu. 485 rooms, eight restaurants, golf course, spa.

  • Promenade Hotel, Sdn Bhd 88000, tel. 60-88-265 555, fax 60-88-246 666. Features 451 rooms, swimming pool, gym, beauty salon and health spa. Also features two restaurants (specializing in local and Asian cuisine), two cafes, a lobby lounge, promenade floor lounge and a karaoke bar. Close to shopping centers, fast food outlets, hawker stalls, nightlife and cafes.

  • Magellan Sutera Resort, tel. 60 88 318 888, . The natural beauty that envelopes this 5-star resort is rivalled only by the luxury it offers.


  • Exchange Rate: US$ 1.00 = RM 3.48

  • Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Market is next to the waterfront. Formerly known as "Pasar Filipino", it is always synonym with pearls, local handicrafts, home decorations and even crystals lately. Don't forget to bargain for good prices, the attendants here are very friendly and they will always greet you with warm smile. You can also find souvenirs such as keychains, t-shirts with Sabah themes, carved wooden statues, batiks and sarongs, rattan handicraft and floor mats, Islamic caligraphies, brooches etc. Some of the items are imported from Austria and others from neighbouring Asian countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Korea, and there is little actual Sabah handicraft available, but it is a very colourful place that will stay in your memory as a 'souvenir' from Sabah.

  • Gaya Street Tamu: KK's Sunday Market - everything from Malaysian delicacies, ground coffee, t-shirts, handicrafts, hardware and anything in between at bargain prices. Held every Sunday morning, 6AM - 1PM, along Jalan Gaya right in the heart of town.



  • Australian Consulate , +6088 267151, Suite 10.1, Level 10, Wisma Great Eastern Life, 65 Jalan Gaya, Kota Kinabalu

  • Bruneian Consulate, +6088 236113, Lot No. 8-4, 8th Floor, Menara MAA, Api-Api Centre, Kota Kinabalu, nicexa

  • Finnish Consulate, +6088 431336/431337, c/o Uli Motors SDN BHD, Jalan Miniyak, Off Mile 5.5, Jalan Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu

  • Consulate General of Indonesia, +6088 218600/218258/218518/219110, Lorong Kemajuan, Karamunsing, Kota Kinabalu

  • Consulate General of Japan, +6088 254169, Wisma Perindustrian 18F, Jalan Istiadat, Likas, Kota Kinabalu

  • Honorary Consulate of Sweden, +6088 431336, Jalan Minyak off Jalan Tuaran, Mile 5 1/2, Inanam, Kota Kinabalu

Get out

  • Visit the islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park just off the coast of KK.

  • Head to the Mount Kinabalu National Park 80km east of KK and hike the 8.9km to the summit.

  • Head to the cities of Sandakan, Tawau, Lahad Datu and Semporna in the East Coast, either by plane or by bus, for wildlife and world-class diving.

  • Fly to Layang Layang Island in the disputed Spratly Islands for diving.

Contact & location

Be the first one to add a review

Already have an account? Log In
Will never be displayed

The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

norhafydzah mahfodz, Jo Schmaltz, Gemma Longman, Emma Torry, mabut, Szabolcs Mosonyi,, Marcin Krakowiak, mohd salim yunus, David Ahrenberg, Hilary Dillah

Some photos courtesy of: , . The photos provided by Flickr, Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Chris Tham, Nancy, John Taylor, Wandering, Jani Patokallio, cz, Goofie, Christine Hind, Verus John, Nick Roux, awang ahmad, David, Bruce Sawford, Herman, Leong Shen-li, Fiona Broussard, Christian Fernandez, Robert Biuk-Aghai, Marta Cichonski, Jaco, Vikram, Junaidi Payne, Ryan Barber, zoe butt, Vikram, Jeremy K, E C Tan, Dave Wilkie, Paul N. Richter, inthaiguy and Em L, Burmesedays, Tatatabot, Inas, Tatata, DerFussi, Wee0603, Texugo, Morph, Johnwxh30, W66LinkBot and Fishporridge

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

Share this:

My lists

People who've been here (3)

People who'd like to go there (2)

Going to Kota Kinabalu?
... and need recommendations

Ask your friends on Facebook

Ask on Twitter