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North Borneo, Sabah

Kota Kinabalu

Malaysia Tourism & Travel Information


Kota Kinabalu was at one time known as Api-Api (Fire-Fire) because of the pirates’ troublesome habit of repeatedly putting it to the torch. Known as Jesselton until 1963, Kota Kinabalu is the state capital of Sabah and a thriving seaport and is the modern gateway to the rest of Sabah. Kota Kinabalu was razed during WWII to prevent the Japanese using it as a base. KK as it is locally known, has since developed into a thriving city.


The Sunday Gaya Street Fair  is held every Sunday. This is a boisterous open-air market and Pasar Malam (night market), where you can polish up your bargaining skills.  A 15 min walk from here is ‘Signal Hill’ atop of which sits Signal Hill Observatory.

Location: Jalan Gaya in the Eastern edge of Kota Kinabalu old quarter of town.


Sabah State Museum, based on the architecture of Murut and Rungus longhouses, consists of several galleries.  Interesting exhibits include a cluster of human skulls, totemic figures, old photographs, stuffed animals and antique Korans.

Open: Mon – Thur (10 am – 6 pm), 

Sat & Sun (9 am – 6 pm)

Location:  Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, 

Kota Kinabalu


Tanjung Aru Beach has quaint water villages and idyllic off-shore islands. Located here are the Kinabalu Yacht Club, Prince Phillip Park and an international class resort.


The State Mosque is an example of contemporary Islamic architecture. It lies in the outskirts of town and will be visible on the way to and from the airport.


Withing the vicinity of the Science and Technology Centre and Art Gallery is the Ethno botanic Garden, with its myriad of tropical plants.  Also found in the garden are replicas of traditional houses.

Location: Jln. Tuanku Abdul Rahman


The Central Market is in two sections - the waterfront area for fish and an area in front of the harbour for fruit and vegetables.  Next to the main market on the waterfront is a market, known locally as the Filipino Market, where the stalls are owned by Filipinos who sell a wide variety of handicrafts

Location: Waterfront, Kota Kinabalu


The Sabah Foundation Building is a unique glass shrouded tower of 72 sides.

Location: 10 mins drive north from K. Kinabalu


Kampung Monsopiad is a Kadazan cultural theme park, the Village consists of a museum and handicraft workshops.

Location: 10 km south of K. Kinabalu


Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park is made up of the offshore islands of Gaya, Mamutik, Manukan, Sapi and Sulug.  These tropical islands offer some of the best beaches in Borneo featuring crystal-clear waters and a wealth of tropical corals and marine life.  The Marine Park is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including one of the most intriguing birds, the megapode or Burung Tambun, a chicken look-alike with large feet and meows like a cat!

Location: 20 minutes speedboat ride from K. Kinabalu  


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