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Kota Kinabalu Travel TipsKota Kinabalu Travel Tips
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authorshipCEphoto, Uwe Aranas

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B. Melayu

Kota Kinabalu is my personal travel guide to Kota Kinabalu (GPS: 5.980057, 116.073611), (British: Jesselton; Traditional Chinese: 亞庇; Simplified Chinese: 亚庇; Pinyin: Yàbì), the state capital of Sabah in East Malaysia. Formerly known as Jesselton, it is also the capital of the West Coast Division of Sabah. The city has a population of 579,304, while the larger urban area has an estimated population of 700,000. It is the largest urban centre in Sabah and the sixth largest in Malaysia.

Kota Kinabalu is located on the northwest coast of Borneo facing the South China Sea. The Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park lies on one side and Mount Kinabalu, which gave the city its name, is nearby.

Map of Kota Kinabalu

Sights in Kota Kinabalu

  1. 1Borneo Hypermall (GPS: 6.036, 116.12906)
  2. All Saints' Cathedral (GPS: 5.97289, 116.07227)
  3. Api-Api Centre (GPS: 5.97548, 116.06906)
  4. Atkinson Clock Tower (GPS: 5.9819, 116.07745)
  5. Basel Christian Church of Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu (GPS: 5.97746, 116.09518)
  6. Basel Christian Church of Malaysia, Penampang (GPS: 5.94535, 116.08502)
  7. Cap Kuda Coffee Company (GPS: 5.97892, 116.11691)
  8. Chapel of the Holy Light (GPS: 5.99066, 116.10777)
  9. Christ Church, Likas (GPS: 5.99079, 116.10376)
  10. Church of the Good Samaritan (GPS: 5.9397, 116.0737)
  11. Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club (GPS: 6.15636, 116.15179)
  12. Double Six Memorial Park (GPS: 5.96221, 116.0618)
  13. Filipino Market (GPS: 5.98169, 116.07207)
  14. Gaya Street Sunday Market (GPS: 5.98306, 116.07663)
  15. Jesselton Poing (GPS: 5.99007, 116.0798)
  16. Kinabalu Golf Club (GPS: 5.95025, 116.04491)
  17. Kipandi Butterfly Park (GPS: 5.8713, 116.25028)
  18. KK Esplanade (GPS: 5.98446, 116.07391)
  19. KK Times Square (GPS: 5.9705, 116.06607)
  20. (GPS: 5.98883, 116.08944)
  21. Kota Kinabalu City Mosque (GPS: 5.99571, 116.10771)
  22. Lingzhi Museum (GPS: 5.92123, 116.06914)
  23. Lok Kawi Wildlife Park (GPS: 5.8516, 116.07066)
  24. Mari Mari Cultural Village (GPS: 5.9739, 116.20375)
  25. (GPS: 6.11312, 116.10743)
  26. Orchid De Villa (GPS: 5.95884, 116.14357)
  27. Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church (GPS: 5.93675, 116.07956)
  28. Petagas War Memorial (GPS: 5.92111, 116.05439)
  29. (GPS: 5.99304, 116.11682)
  30. Pulau Gaya (GPS: 6.01799, 116.02984)
  31. Sabah Golf & Country Club (GPS: 5.95692, 116.10196)
  32. Sabah Islamic Civilisation Museum (GPS: 5.96336, 116.07396)
  33. Sabah Museum (GPS: .96061, 116.07146)
  34. Sabah State Mosque (GPS: 5.95996, 116.06715)
  35. Sabah Trade Centre (GPS: 5.99127, 116.0918)
  36. Sacred Heart Cathedral (GPS: 5.96425, 116.07297)
  37. Shern En Methodist Church (GPS: 5.9773, 116.08309)
  38. Signal Hill (GPS: 5.98581, 116.0797)
  39. St Michael Church, Penampang (GPS: 5.90762, 116.10967)
  40. Stella Maris Catholic Church (GPS: 5.95584, 116.05192)
  41. Sutera Harbour (GPS: 5.96498, 116.06178)
  42. Sutera Harbour Golf & Country Club (GPS: 5.96759, 116.05969)
  43. Tun Mustapha Tower (GPS: 6.01722, 116.10944)
  44. UMS Aquarium and Marine Museum (GPS: 6.03992, 116.11277)
  45. UMS Mosque (GPS: 6.03814, 116.12517)
  46. Water World Theme Park (GPS: 5.94974, 116.10776)

Categories of sights in Kota Kinabalu

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Places within Kota Kinabalu

Streets in Kota Kinabalu

Railway Lines in Kota Kinabalu

Universities in Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu skylineKota Kinabalu skyline
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Neighbouring Towns to Kota Kinabalu

Islands off the coast of Kota Kinabalu

Cinemas in Kota Kinabalu

  1. Golden Screen Cinema,, 63 Jalan Laiman Diki
  2. Mega Pavilion,, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman

Kota KinabaluKota Kinabalu
photo source,_Kota_Kinabalu.jpg
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Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, Kota KinabaluJalan Tun Fuad Stephens, Kota Kinabalu
photo source,_Kota_Kinabalu#mediaviewer/File:Coconut_trees_Kota_Kinabalu.JPG
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Swordfish Monument, Kota KinabaluSwordfish Monument, Kota Kinabalu
photo source
authorshipStefan Fussan
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Sembulan, a predominantly Bajau neighbourhood in Kota KinabaluSembulan, a predominantly Bajau neighbourhood in Kota Kinabalu
photo source
authorshipUwe Aranas
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1 Borneo Hypermall, Kota Kinabalu1 Borneo Hypermall, Kota Kinabalu
photo source
authorshipStefan Fussan
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Sacred Heart Catholic Cathedral, Kota KinabaluSacred Heart Catholic Cathedral, Kota Kinabalu
photo source
authorship© CEphoto, Uwe Aranas
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Geography of Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu is on the west coast of Sabah. It lies on a narrow strip of land sandwiched between the Crocker Range and the South China Sea. Five of the islands off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, and within sight of the city, have been designated the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. As Kota Kinabalu is located directly within the flight path of planes approaching the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, there is a strict limit to the height of buildings in the city.

Kota Kinabalu is the gateway into Sabah as well as to the island of Borneo. It has the second largest international airport in the country. Being the industrial and commercial centre of East Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu is one of the fastest growing cities in Malaysia. The city is located about 90 km from Mount Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in Borneo. Kota Kinabalu was formerly known as Jesselton, but besides Jesselton, there are also other names that are claimed to be the original name of Kota Kinabalu. The most popular is Api-Api, or sometimes simply Api, which means "fire" in Malay.

Aerial view of Kota KinabaluAerial view of Kota Kinabalu
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Kota Kinabalu International AirportKota Kinabalu International Airport
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Arriving in Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) is just about 7 km from the city. From the airport, you can take an airport shuttle, mini van or taxi. To take a taxi, buy the coupon at the taxi stand on the ground floor. The fare is fixed at RM20.00.

Getting around

The city of Kota Kinabalu is small enough for you to walk. For farther away places, I would suggest that you either rent a car at the airport, or take a taxi. For both options, be sure you bargain for the best price. Taxis do not use meter, and the drivers will quote a high price expecting you to haggle it down.

What to see and do in Kota Kinabalu

  1. Cultural Tour Visit the Monsopiad Cultural Village and Mari Mari Cultural Village. Contact Traverse Tours, tel: 088 260501,
  2. Diving: The possibilities are endless in Sabah. Contact Borneo Divers, tel 088 222226,, Borneo Sea Adventures, tel: 088 230000,, Tanjung Aru Tours, tel: 088 222210,
  3. Motorbiking Join motorbiking tours of the Crocker Range and other places. Contact Borneo Biking Adventures, tel: 013 552 7313,
  4. Whitewater Rafing Available at Sungai Padas and Sungai Kiulu Contact Traverse Tours, tel: 088 260501,
  5. Wildlife You can go to see orang utans, proboscis monkeys, and other wildlife in the sanctuary, or explore the rainforest. Contact Borneo Wildlife Adventure, tel: 088 213668, or Wildlife Expeditions, tel: 088 246000,

Kota Kinabalu is on the map of Towns in Sabah

List of Towns in Sabah and State Capitals of Malaysia

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