A major gateway into Sabah and the island of Borneo, Kota Kinabalu is also the jumping-off point for visitors travelling to nearby attractions. But there is more to Kota Kinabalu City than being just a gateway. Here are some city highlights to get you inspired:
Kota Kinabalu Heritage Walk
The KK Heritage Walk unravels Kota Kinabalu’s rich history as you stroll along its streets. The walk is a guided tour of the city’s streets and landmarks, each with an interesting story of its own which dates back to pre-war, post-war and post-independence days. The walk then takes you past other historical buildings and monuments such as the Atkinson Clock, Community Centre, Sabah Tourism Building, Jesselton Hotel, Malaysia Monument, War Memorial and the City Council Building. For added fun, there’s also a short treasure hunt!
Mari Mari Cultural Village
In this village you will be introduced to various traditional homes of Sabahan ethnic communities—the Bajau, Lundayeh, Murut, Rungus and Dusun—which are built by descendants of the tribes which they represent.
For a more hands-on experience, check out the little huts in the village where daily routines of traditional Sabahan life come alive. You’ll have the chance to see a blowpipe-making demonstration, a fire-starting demonstration using bamboo, a tattoo-making demonstration, and get an in-depth look at the mystical symbolisms behind them. Visitors will also be able to sample Sabahan traditional delicacies from each ethnic group.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
The Marine Park is a cluster of islands; Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. About 20 minutes by speedboat from the city, visitors can snorkel, dive or do some sea walking. Or stay on the shore and bask in the sun with a picnic basket. Another popular activity is the Coral Flyer, a Flying Fox ride across the beautiful Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. It is Borneo’s longest island-to-island zipline at 250-metres-long and stretches from Gaya Island to Sapi Island.
Gaya Street (Sunday Market)
In the heart of the city, Gaya Street has been the centre of business for over a hundred years. Every Sunday morning the length of Gaya Street is closed off to traffic to make way for the market. Shop for anything under shady trees and over-sized umbrellas – think batik sarongs, fruits and flowers, arts and craft, footwear, antiques and souvenirs, cakes, even pets and herbs! This is the best place to experience the cross-section of the local population when entire families enjoy a Sunday outing.
Our Discover Borneo & Brunei small group tour finishes in Kota Kinabalu, so why not extend your stay to discover more of what this vibrant city has to offer?
For more information on Borneo, you can visit Sabah Tourism’s website here.