Top areas in Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu on the island of Borneo is the capital of Sabah, Malaysia. It lies on the coastline, close to Mount Kinabalu and the Kinabalu National Park, a World Heritage site. Kota Kinabalu also serves as a gateway to the tropical islands off Malaysian Borneo, such as Gaya, Selingan and Lankayan, and is fast becoming a popular resort destination in its own right. Since Kota Kinabalu is a coastal town, visitors can have the best of both worlds and find a hotel on the city waterfront and be close to both the beaches and the center of town.
Borneo's tallest mountain, Mount Kinabalu is a place of much biological importance. The mountain and surrounding national parkland are home to some 6000 species of plants, a significant proportion of which are endemic to the area. Thanks to this biodiversity and the range of different terrains in the park, it's a popular place for hiking and climbing, the peak at over 4000 meters above sea level.
For beach-lovers, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is just 10 minutes away from the city center by speedboat. The beaches are virtually uninhabited, carefully protected against pollution and very beautiful. For views of the city and beyond to the islands, the Signal Hill Observatory is a 30-story building from which visitors can enjoy unspoiled panoramas.
The State Museum in the city center offers a glimpse into Sabah's history, with artifacts from various South East Asian countries. The Sabah Museum is surrounded by lush jungle and has Ethno Botanic garden, a zoological garden and a Heritage Village. For shopping, Gaya Street Fair is held every Sunday and is a great place to pick up a bargain on anything from sunglasses to live rabbits, or just to try out some local coffee and snacks.
Kota Kinabalu is served by Kota Kinabalu International Airport, only eight kilometers outside the city center.
For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Kota Kinabalu, click on the interactive Kota Kinabalu map on the left-hand side of the page.