Top 5 Interesting Places to Visit in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

4 min read

Kota Kinabalu (KK) won’t immediately overwhelm you with its beauty, but you’ll soon notice its friendly locals, breathtaking fiery sunsets, blossoming arts and music scene, and a rich culinary spectrum spanning street food to high end. Alongside swanky new malls and expensive condos, old KK, with its markets stocked to the gills with sea creatures, pearls, and busy fishermen shuttling about the waterfront, happily endures. This may be a city on the move with the 21st century, but its old-world charm and history are very much alive.

Gaya Street (Sunday Market)

Originally called Bond Street, Sunday Market is located right in the heart of Kota Kinabalu’s Central Business District. The shops are made of wood and have a traditional Nipah roof. Most of the businesses are passed down from the owners’ parent or even grandparents.

The popularity of the market is so large to the extent that the street is closed off to traffic, allowing the Sunday Market Fair to take place. Even if you don’t have any idea of what to buy there, after browsing a couple of shops, you are bound to buy something. Be it food, toys, clothes, flowers, crafts, antiques, souvenirs and etc.

You can literally shop for anything there, under the protection of the shady trees and over-size umbrellas. Allowing ladies to not have to worry about getting a shade darker.

Opening Hours: Every Sunday from 0630 to 1300.


Kinabalu Park Canopy Walkway & Hot Springs

This will be a full day tour from Kota Kinabalu, you will be picked up from your hotel and have a scenic drive through the picturesque Cocker Mountain Range. You would feel like you are in a movie, driving past forests, rolling hills and Mt. Kinabalu as you soak in the sights of one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world.

During the tour, you will be greeted with indigenous flora and fauna along with the beautiful landscape of the countryside. You will also witness sights of beautiful scenic waterfalls and streams whilst enjoying a canopy walk up in the treetops. Lastly would be enjoying a tasty local lunch followed by a relaxing dip into the hot springs.


Manukan Island

White sandy beaches and Turquoise water are the prominent aspects of Manukan island. It is like spending a day in paradise on this beautiful island near Kota Kinabalu. There are also many activities to partake in during your sojourn there, snorkelling, volleyball, sunbathing, 1.5km walking trail and also an included barbecue lunch to provide a memorable day.


If you aren’t in the mood to do any activities or get into the turquoise waters, you can always bring along a book and lay on the beach with your feet soaking in the water. This is bound to relax and rejuvenate your entire body and will also allow for a nice even tan!

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

Tunku Abdul Rahman is a marine park consisting of a cluster of islands; Pulau Gaya, Pulau Spi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau, Mamutick and Pulau Sulug. They are all only a short boat ride away from Kota Kinabalu. It is a very popular destination amongst both locals and tourists, however, it can be quite crowded on weekends.

Most of the attractions at Tunku Abdul Rahman revolves around activities pertaining to the water. It is known to many that this is also a very popular diving area, with well over 25 dive sites in total. Some of the resorts have their own dive center, where you can learn scuba diving to explore the deep blue ocean.

If you are not really an underwater person, fret not, as you can do some light jungle trekking. There are over 15km of trails all over the island of Pulau Gaya, on your trekking journey you may even encounter hornbills, snakes and even bearded pigs. So do take the necessary precautions before setting off on your trekking.

Mount Kinabalu

Mount Kinabalu is a whopping 4095m high mammoth mountain. It is one of South East Asia’s highest peaks and is only about a 2-hour bus ride from Kota Kinabalu.

The ascent of Mt. Kinabalu typically takes two-three days depending on individual capabilities and fitness level. There are guest houses to stay the night and don’t try to find the nicest and most expensive place to spend the night. As you will have to leave the place early in the morning to continue with the climb.

It may look like a daunting experience, however, once you reach the peak and watch the sunset from up above. You will immediately forget about the tiring arduous journey up the mountain. This is an example of the “sunrise shot” that everyone so desires.


Get started with your exploration at Kota Kinabalu with your stay at Sutera Harbour Resort!

Being the largest integrated resort in Kota Kinabalu with 384-acre, it comprises of The Pacific Sutera Hotel, The Magellan Sutera Resort as well as Sutera Harbour Marina, Golf & Country Club.

The Magellan Sutera Resort

Enjoy a luxurious getaway at this ethnic-themed resort that takes pride in its fine timber furnishings and unique local artifacts combined with the natural beauty of Kota Kinabalu to provide guests with a glorious 5-star experience.


The Pacific Sutera Hotel

Set back and relax in this tropical resort-style hotel, with a panoramic view of the sea right before the 5-star hotel.



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