Kota Kinabalu, the vibrant capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state, is nestled in the northern region of the magnificent island of Borneo. Affectionately known as KK, this coastal gem boasts a unique blend of urban energy and natural splendour. Jackie Jomieuce from STAAH shares her reasons why she loves this place so much.
As you explore this enchanting city, you’ll find yourself immersed in bustling markets, strolling along a modern boardwalk, and enjoying the tranquil beauty of beaches that coexist harmoniously with the lush rainforests that partially envelop the city.
Here are 10 reasons why Jackie Jomieuce from STAAH Malaysia loves Kota Kinabalu:
1) Island Paradise:
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park consists of 5 Islands ( Gaya Island, Sapi Island, Manukan Island, Sulug Island & Mamutik Island ),and is accessible by boat . These islands are known for their white sandy beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life, making them perfect for snorkelling, scuba diving, and island hopping.
2) Spectacular Sunsets:
Kota Kinabalu is famous for its stunning sunset. You may have heard Kota Kinabalu being mentioned as one of the best places in the world to watch the sunset. It’s hard to miss the skies being wrapped under one of Kota Kinabalu ’s gorgeous red, orange, and magenta-hued sunsets. Apart from the nearby beaches like Tanjung Aru Beach, you can also watch the sunset from the Kota Kinabalu waterfront which is a lovely place to hang out and have a cocktail.
3) Warm Hospitality:
The people of Sabah are known for their warm and friendly nature. Visitors often praise the welcoming and hospitable locals who make their stay memorable and enjoyable.
4) Natural Beauty:
Kota Kinabalu is surrounded by stunning natural beauty. It is situated on the shores of the South China Sea and boasts breathtaking sunsets, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters. The city is also a gateway to Kinabalu Park and Majestic Mount Kinabalu. Standing at the height of 4095 meters, many visitors come to Kota Kinabalu to climb the mountain. Even if you don’t hike, visiting Kinabalu Park is a must as it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and protects more than 4,500 species of flora and fauna.
5) Rich Cultural Heritage:
The city is a melting pot of different cultures, including indigenous tribes like the Kadazan-Dusun and Bajau. If you want an authentic experience of local culture, there are a couple of miles away that you can visit such as Mari-Mari Cultural Village for instance. Here, you will have the opportunity to learn about the tribe’s myths and legends, hear stories and take part in experiences such as fire-making skills and ways of cooking.
6) Delicious Food:
As a state with more than 30 different ethnic groups, Kota Kinabalu has a unique cultural mix of people and cuisine. You can find a wide variety of culinary delights such as Bak Kut Teh ( Pork Ribs in herbal Soup ), Ngiu Chap ( Beef Noodles ) Tuaran Noodles ( Home-made egg noodles ), fish noodles, hinava (a traditional Kadazan-Dusun raw fish salad), and of course fresh and cheap seafood for Seafood lover!
7) Vibrant Nightlife:
When the sun sets, Kota Kinabalu comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. You’ll find an array of bars, clubs, and live music venues where you can dance the night away, enjoy live performances, or simply relax with a drink while overlooking the city skyline. In addition, you can join North Borneo Cruises – KK City Night Dinner cruise. While enjoying your dinner, be mesmerised by dazzling views of Kota Kinabalu’s city night lights as you glide along the coastline then hit the dance-floor for some unforgettable fun.
8) Outdoor Adventure:
Kota Kinabalu offers thrilling outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts. Apart from climbing Mount Kinabalu, visitor can opt for white water rafting in Padas or Kiulu River, jungle trekking at Kinabalu National Park, or even try paragliding for a bird’s-eye view of the city.+
9) Local Market Experience:
The city is famous for its local market ( Gaya Street Sunday Market ). This market is open for visitors starting from 0600 am – 1200pm every Sunday where you can easily find local foods, souvenirs, handicrafts, plants , pets and so forth here.
If you are a food lover, then Api Api Night Food Market is a playground for you. The night food market is a popular night time activity for locals and tourists alike as they are offering drinks, local comfort food and guilty pleasures.
10) Gateway to Wildlife and Rainforest Adventure:
Kota Kinabalu serves as a convenient gateway to explore other parts of Sabah. From unique wildlife to untouched rainforest, few attractions can match the natural drama of Sabah such as a visit to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, exploring Kinabatangan Wildlife Safari where you can spot Orangutan or Pygmy Elephant in their natural habitats or even experience true luxury at the Borneo Rainforest lodge and explore Sabah’s hidden gem – Danum Valley Conservation Area.
These are just a few of the many reasons why people fall in love with Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Its natural beauty, cultural richness, outdoor adventures, and warm hospitality make it a remarkable destination for travellers seeking an unforgettable experience
Looking for a place to stay? Check out some of the hotels in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia:
There is a wide variety of accommodations in Kota Kinabalu, with a wide price range for visitors to choose from resorts, hotels, motels, B&Bs and Vacation rentals to suit any budget.
Jackie’s Personal Favourite:
If you’ve heard of Sabah before then you already know that it’s the ultimate destination for nature and wildlife lovers. Kota Kinabalu is surrounded by pristine beaches, and lush rainforests and Mount Kinabalu is just a short drive away.
The food is amazing, with a wide variety of delicious local dishes to try on. There are so many places to explore and things to do in Kota Kinabalu but for me it is the – Unique Sabahan Hospitality that makes visiting Sabah so special. So book your flight, and ’ Feel Sabah , North Borneo ‘ Yourself. See you in KK ! 🙂
About Jackie Jomeiuce:
Jackie has more than 10 years of professional experience in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry, she always believes that passion is a key to achieve outstanding success. With her current position as Business Development Manager – East Malaysia at STAAH, she is content to help an accommodation provider to grow their revenue online.