The capital of the Sabah State, Kota Kinabalu (known locally KK), is one of the fastest growing cities in Malaysia. Although predominantly used as a gateway for exploring Borneo’s wildlife-rich rainforests, the city itself has a lot to offer for the willing traveller including delicious cuisine, lively hawker markets and the towering peak of Mount Kinabalu.
KK’s famed Central Market and night markets are a reason in themselves that the city should not be neglected. Here you can feast your eyes (and your stomach) on a wealth of culinary delights from across the globe in fabulous hawker stalls. This paired with charming Chinese temples, a magnificent city mosque and fascinating museums means there is definitely more than meets the eye in Sabah’s capital city.
The city’s centre of attention is undoubtedly the immense and impressive Mount Kinabalu, visible from most parts of Sabah. Mount Kinabalu was declared Malaysia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a fantastic climb for those looking for a bit of adventure with a summit just shy of 5,000 metres. The journey is just as fabulous as the destination, where a fantastic array of wildlife and flora embroiders your ascent, culminating with breath-taking views at the top. The surrounding Mount Kinabalu National Park, home to more than 90 lowland mammals and 5,000 flora species including the giant Rafflesia flower also boasts beautiful rainforest walking trails and a comfortably cool climate.
As well as offering convenient entry to Borneo’s rainforests and nature parks, Kota Kinabalu also offers access to the tropical islands of Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, just a 20 minute boat ride away. Boasting the gorgeous Gaya Island, Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park offers exotic sea life, pristine coral reefs and sensationally clear waters – the perfect island-hopping day trip.