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Kota Kinabalu 'must dos'

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Kota Kinabalu 'must dos'


I am arriving in Kota Kinabalu in early september and havent (yet) purchased a guide book. What would anyone recommend the must dos were in the city?

I really want to go to the beaches - Tunku Abdul Rahman Park islands, is there a particular one that is nicest? is getting boats easy?

Is the cultural village worth a visit or is it more aimed at children (we are a couple travelling, age 28)

What else is there to do?

we are in the city for about 3 days before going to Kinabatangan and later for a further 4 days on coming back from Lankayan Island.

Hope you can help :)


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1. Re: Kota Kinabalu 'must dos'

Boats not a problem. Readily available.

Go island hopping at Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. Manukan island and Sapi very nice. Do your snorkelling there.

Enjoy the sunset at the Waterfront while sipping coconut juice.

Seafood galore in KK, cheap,fresh and delicious.

Kota Kinabalu...
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2. Re: Kota Kinabalu 'must dos'


I personally think that you should visit the Sunday Market at Gaya street. It is bustling full with small shops and interesting items. You can bargain for your prices. Although some shops have fixed prices. You can find almost everything in this Sunday Market. Locals love this market.

Boats going and coming from the islands are plentiful. If you are interested in diving then going to Gaya island the place to go as they have a small diving company that will plan your dive trip and provide equipment. Sapi and Manukan island are both beautiful for snorkling and relaxing. Sapi however is less crowded and have less shops. Snorkling there I find is better as the water is clearer although the rocks are sharp. Manukan is busier and finding a quiet spot to relax is a lil difficult. As it is the biggest, most popular island, there are many shops and restaurants as well as a resort where you can stay over. The water is sometimes a lil mucky and far too many people are in the water on weekends.

The cultural village is definitely worth a visit. The shows are interesting and the way they present to you the different cultures are entertaining. It might be scary to younger children. You will definitely enjoy it. Not to mention, they provide delicious,fresh malaysian snacks and free hana tattoos.

Hope this helps :)


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3. Re: Kota Kinabalu 'must dos'

7 days in total sounds quite alot for KK.

You could also go to the night market and try the BBQ fish.

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4. Re: Kota Kinabalu 'must dos'

Thanks for all your suggestions so far. I got my timings mixed up and am there for about 5 days in total so look forward to trying out your ideas!

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5. Re: Kota Kinabalu 'must dos'

Besides the Sunday marktet at Gaya Street, you might want to drop by Philippine Market during the day. It's a nice place to get souvenir esp pearls & t-shirts. Gentle reminder you'll need a bit of 'bargaining skill' over there to get a good price.

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6. Re: Kota Kinabalu 'must dos'

I mainly go to Kota Kinabalu for TAR Marine Park (malaysia-islands.com/html/…sapi.shtml) just a few kilometres off the city centre but if you have plenty time to spare, you may try out Mount Kinabalu NP, "Tamu" market in Kota Belud or even explore Kudat's surprisingly awesome beaches (malaysiahotelreview.com/kudat/destination/pa…).

For TAR marine park, advance booking is not required. You just drop by at Jesselton Point in downtown and arrange your snorkeling / beach-lazying trip there and then. Boat ticket prices are more or less regulated by Sabah Port Authority.

7. Re: Kota Kinabalu 'must dos'

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