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Kota Kinabalu
Related Link: Kota Kinabalu Package | Kota Kinabalu Hotel | Kota Kinatabu Destination Guide

Kota Kinabalu Destination Guide

Located in East Malaysia with Sarawak, Sabah is Malaysia's second largest state and northernmost province. Its natural attractions entice travelers in search of a different kind of Southeast Asian experience. Those with a taste for adventure will find that Sabah has almost everything. Most visitors head straight for Mount Kinabalu, which is one of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia. Sabah is also legendary among nature lovers. Its lush tropical forests have more than their fair share of unique wildlife. And their easily accessible national parks and reserves ensure that certain animals, such as the rare orang utans can be seen in their natural environment. One can choose to jungle trek, explore caves, try water rafting, visit secluded beaches, dive in remote tropical islands, or visit longhouses to meet their genuine friendly and hospitable people and be intrigued by their traditional lifestyles. Sabah is simple yet sophisticated. It has retained its traditional charms despite keeping up with modernization. Sabah will certainly impress you with its unique and unspoiled character.

Sabah's natural riches have drawn both traders and raiders for centuries. Its history dates back to 1881. Sabah was then known as North Borneo and was administered by the British North Borneo Company. The British continued to rule the colony until 1942 when the Japanese invaded it. However, Britain recaptured the state in 1946 and converted it into a Crown Colony. The British rule ended in 1963 when the state obtained its independence by joining the Federation of Malaysia.

But Sabah's natural wealth still attracts other prospectors. Sabah's proximity with Indonesia and Philippines ensures both nations claim parts of the state as their own. There are close cultural ties with the Philippines although Sabah shares strong Islamic traditions with Peninsula Malaysia.

Car Rental
Car rentals are easily available at major towns and city especially the best point to hire a car is from Kota Kinabalu. Types of vehicles available ranges broadly from a basic sub compact sedans to vans and coaches depending on your travel needs.

Public Transport
There are two types of public transport. One is the normal short distance within the city or town limits and the other is the long distance taxis and buses which is the most economical way to travel to destinations around Sabah. The journey will take longer but it is well compensated by the scenic of the surrounding environment along the journey.

Kota Kinabalu has an extensive bus and minibus system. There are bus terminals behind the City Park (Jalan Tugu near Post Office) which go to Penampang. Also, there are plenty buses from the stop behind Centerpoint for Tanjung Aru and Tuaran. Most places in the surrounding areas such as Tambunan, Ranau and Kota Belud can be reached by buses from the regional bus station.

The Sabah Museum & Heritage Village
Discover and learn about Sabah’s rich history and culture at the Sabah State Museum. Deemed one of the best in the region, the museum is home to an impressive collection of artefacts that reflect Sabah’s cultural, ethnic and natural history. Some of the archaeological findings here dated back 28,000 years ago.

Kinabalu National Park
Mt Kinabalu, standing at 4101meters above sea level. Is the highest mountain in South East Asia, its foothills and surrounding area has an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. The Kinabalu Park covers an area of 754sq km, with an altitude range up to the summit of Mt Kinabalu thus encompassing the five main vegetation zones. The park has become the focus of naturalists and nature lovers.

Poring Hot Springs
Is part of the vast Kinabalu National Park. It is some 13 kilometres from Ranau, or about 40 kilometres from the Kinabalu National Park Head Quarters in Kundasang. First developed by the Japanese during World War II, it is now amongst Sabah’s top tourism destinations and very popular amongst foreigners and locals alike. The sulphuric, hot waters of the spring are piped into open-air Japanese-style baths, where you can rest your tired limbs after the climb of Mt Kinabalu.

Canopy Walkway at Poring Hot Spring & Nature Reserve
Some may prefer an easy hike along streams that lead to waterfalls and limestone caves. The Canopy Walkway permits you to stroll 70 metres above the rainforest floor.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
This is the top of the list diving site for enthusiasts with its many offshore islands and coral reef. Manta rays, giant turtles, myriad species of coals, lionfish and sharks are just few of the marine denizens that inhabit the warm waters of the park.

Kota Belud Sunday Market
Bajau bring out their local produce, handicraft, & other wares to be sold in this large open air market. Today, you may be able to see the Bajau horsemen with their traditional colourful costume on parade in the field. Buffalo are used widely in the rice cultivation in the areas around Kota Belud.

Mengkabong Water Village
A settlement of the Bajaus, the descendant of 19th Century pirates. Today, this tribe are fishermen who reside on a village built on water. The tour includes the open market at Tuaran, suspension bridge, Chinese Temple & a pottery factory.

Atkinson Clock Tower
One of the most enduring landmarks in Kota Kinabalu, which has stood prominently on the bluff along signal Hill Road, is the Kota Kinabalu's clock tower. It was built in 1902 as a memorial to Francis George Atkinson, the popular first District Officer of Kota Kinabalu. This memorial has distinction of being the oldest standing structure in the whole of Sabah that survived the air raids and blitz of World War II.

Kota Kinabalu has no dearth of restaurants and eateries that serve a wide array of gastronomic delights, from Western to Oriental, American to Continental, contemporary to traditional and cheap to the very expensive. Dining out is an adventure in itself!

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