Kota Kinabalu Sabah Malaysia

Kota Kinabalu is the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah State in the northern part of the island of Borneo. Unlike Kuala Lumpur or known as KL that is a very busy city,  Kota Kinabalu or known as KK is a very laid back city partly surrounded by rainforest. Its known for the bustling markets, mosque, waterfront and beaches.Its also the gateway of the Kinabalu national park and the place where you will find the majestic 4095 meter high Mt. Kinabalu.

After a long bus travel from Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei. We arrived in this very calm and nice city around 5:10pm. It was raining that time and good thing is that i booked a hotel that is very near to the bus station.

Another option to travel  to Kota Kinabalu from Brunei is via Plane which will take only 40 minutes but yes its more expensive. Or via bus, ferry and another ferry that all in all it will take about 6-7 hours of travel, but if you are prone to sea sick i don’t recommend you to take ferry ride.

Lastly is by taking car, bus and train but that’s quite tiring as u need also to change time to time.

So i can recommend either Plane travel or via Bus.

Day 1

After walking around 2 mins i easily found and located the Hotel i booked for 3 nights.

Hotel Traveler. It was strategically located in the city area which is almost walking distance to almost everything.The Hotel is near to food establishments, 5 mins walking distance to Centerpoint Mall, 5 Mins walking distance to Gaya street market, 5 mins to night market, 10 mins walk to Sabah Suria mall. and lots of food establishment around the area.

Our first night was spent through walking around the Centerpoint Mall ,Money exchange, Grocery for our snacks and some Pasalubongs back home and dinner. It was such a very long day indeed.



and more coffee

Day 2

Kinabalu Park and Poring Hot spring Tour. This was booked through Klook.

We started our day early as the pick up time was scheduled at 7:30am. The agency picked us up on time. The tour guide named Clement was a nice jolly and funny guide. the Travel time to Nabalu town is about 1.5 hrs

First Stop – Nabalu Town – It was a small town with lots of local sellers of fruits and even souvenirs. This place is where you can have  a good view of Mt. Kinabalu.Also here you can have the chance to help local peoples by buying fruits especially their durian and mangosteen. Nice place to check out the Mt kinabalu if its not cloudy and less crowd. We Stayed here for about 45mins.

 Mt Kinabalu

some kind of souvenirs

2nd Stop –  Desa Farm – About 30 mins of travel we arrived in the Desa Farm but we need to get down from the bus and take another short ride through smaller van. The Place is very nice, cool and green. Here you have the chance to taste the Gelato they are selling for  about 68 pesos each cup. Its worth it, taste very nice as i love yogurt i really appreciate that. They are also selling different  flavours of yogurt and even cheese. I bought one small cup of Strawberry yogurt and Toma Cheese for about 140 pesos. Aside from taking photos , you can also see the cows and even feed them for only 15 pesos per bunch of grass.Again i can say it would be better if you will visit the farm on weekdays than saturday and sunday as it gets very crowded. The Experience is great i enjoyed.

grass feeding

love this yogurt

Breaktime – 12nn. We arrived in the Sabah  Poring . We had lunch with different variety , meat , and veggies and fruits. Good lunch and i enjoyed.

3rd Stop – Poring Hot Spring – The poring hot spring is interesting as its a natural Hot spring which is very beneficial to our body but, again it was saturday and it was sooooo crowded. as in the pool is full of local people enjoying their weekend with family. We just take a look and continue walking to our next destination.

4th Stop-  Canopy Walk -This is the highlights of our tour. I liked walking, trekking and hiking so i enjoyed this little trek up to the canopy. The management allows only 1 camera per group  to use  when you are inside the park especially in the canopy walk hanging bridge. The rate per camera is 68 pesos per camera. They have 4 Hanging bridge and the highest was the third one. It was a bot scary when you are not used to that kind  and you are afraid of heights,but it was really safe.

1 camera cost 5 MYR not registered will be confiscated

love this canopy walk

co traveller mostly filipino

5th Stop – Kinabalu Heritage Site – After an hour trip and taking nap in the bus we arrived in the last stop of our adventure. The Heritage Site where is used to be the Jump off area to those who wanted to do the Mt. Kinabalu Hiking. Those who wanted to do the hiking needs to have a license and approval from the office.In our case we just went there to see the view and take some photos around.It was so cold in that area and very relaxing. It would be nice to stay a night or 2 in the hotel and enjoy the sunrise or sunset. It was nice side trip though.

the peak is showing

Time to go back home and we are ready for the 2 hrs journey back to hotel. Almost all guest are tired and just sleeping in the entire trip. I was just watching movie in the bus. Kind of making everyone dizzy as the road is  zigzag and if u are not into that then you will have a problem as most of the travel time is passing by to the zigzag mountain.

Day 3

It was Sunday and i did not plan much to do.

 9:am – My Plan is just to visit the Gaya Sunday Street Market which is 5 mins walk from the Hotel we are staying. It was very hot outside even if its still early so i suggest that if you want to visit Gaya Market better do it earlier. The Street Market is quite interesting as they have almost everything i can say its like a Divisoria type. Mostly they are selling stuffs like clothes, souvenir items, food, milk teas, fruits, silks, soaps, seeds , bags, cookies and some rice cakes, shades, etc.

I had my breakfast in this street market i got a cake one is cookies n cream and the other one is purple yam cake for only 50 pesos each and fresh pineapple shake for 170. I love the concept of pineapple shake very fresh and refreshing no sugar no milk just pineapple and they shake it inside the pineapple it self. Awesome breakfast and lots  of shopping

yummy cake



Lunch time. We headed  to the Imago Mall and we had our lunch at Lucy’s Kitchen. Price are reasonable and food is tasty ranges from 10 MYR to 20 MYR. We roam around the mall for another 30 mins and then we went out to visit the Sabah State Museum.

yummy i love my lunch biryani rice and roasted chix malaysian way

About 3:30 pm we headed to the Sabah Museum via Grab for about 10 MYR so just 2 MYR each.

15 minutes travel time is very cheap for the fare. The entrance fee for the museum is 15 MYR for non Malay residents and you have access to see and visit the Mari Mari Cultural Village just right outside the Museum. We have only 1 hr left to check out the museum and we did it fast and dropped by to the the cultural village for 10 mins. Such a nice quick tour for us.

giant whale

5:00pm we walked about 1.5KM to check out the Masjid Negara State Mosque. No entrance fee , we just took some photos  and stayed there for 10 mins or so and i booked grab going to the Marlin Statue.

5:30pm Just right on time . Sunset  is amazing in the waterfront. i got the chance to see the last seconds before the sun hide behind the mountain. Such a nice timing. We also did photo ops to the famous I love KK sign.

6.00pm. We walked around the night market and checked out what they offer. Mosly grilled foods and fresh seafoods that you will ask them to cook for you. Price varies depending on what type of food you eat.

7:00pm. Back to hotel. We had a dinner downstairs and rest then lights off. Such a tiring day.

all of this is about 18 MYR

expensive durian ice cream 15 MYR

Day 4 – Solo Travel Time

Sapi and Manukan Island tour. I booked this tour c/o Klook again. The Klook Agent picked me up in the hotel lobby around 8:45am and then picked up other 4 people from other hotels. 9:00am Waiting in the Jesselton Point for the boarding in the ferry.

1st Stop – Manukan Island. This is more laidback Island and not that crowded if your looking for a place that you can relax and away from much crowd just go to the far left side of the beach, the right side is for guest checked in in their hotel. The beach here is bluish green and child friendly. There are lots of fishes swimming around even in the swallow part of the beach. we stayed only for 1.5 hr but i really enjoyed. I would love to stay here for the entire day.

2nd Stop –Sapi Island. The island for usual stop over for lunch. The water here is really really nice as in nicer than Manukan Island but the downside here is that it gets very crowded. Lots of tourist around so if you want to relax its not really nice place or maybe i was just there in the wrong time. But i can say its really beautiful island. The lunch they served exceeded my expectation plus the filipino tour guide is very accommodating and she even made sure that i get enough food. It was fun experience.

im so hungry no breakfast

3:30pm. Back to Hotel. Washed up and prepare for my next destination.

4.30pm. Took Grab to the Kota Kinabalu State Mosque. About 13 MYR fare for 20 mins travel.I payed 10 MYR for entrance and Muslim Clothes to enter the mosque. It was solemn and very nice mosque. I love the mosque in the middle of the water. They call it Floating Mosque too. I had a chance to see the inside of the mosque took some photos and observe. Nice place to visit.

5:15pm. Took Grab to the Signal Hill Observatory. About 9 MYR for 15 mins ride. I read some reviews about this place and i want to see it to my own eyes. I wanted to see the entire Kota Kinabalu. Truly right. Nice view of the city. it would be amazing if you will catch the sunset here, but unfortunately i went there after the rain. I advise that going back to city, is to take the stairs going down its about 250m and its easier to go down than to go up so good exercise.

6:00pm. I go down the stairs inside the mini jungle and head to the Sabah Suria Mall to buy some stuff and souvenirs its another big mall in KK aside from the Imago Mall.

7:00pm. Had Dinner and a little walk in the street. Go Back to the Hotel and pack up for my flight at 2:00am. Chill and relax then head to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

Bye Bye Kota Kinabalu. Thanks for the memories and experience!

Breakdown of Expenses

1,616.00 Accommodation

182.00 Non -Malay Tax

2,134.00 Kinabalu Park Tour c/o Klook

2,147.00 Sapi Island and Manukan Island Tour c/o Klook

2,025.00 Food Expenses

553.00 Grab Transpo

3,505.00 Kota KInabalu to Manila Plane with 20Kgs Baggage


Hope you enjoyed this Blog and hopefully helped you in planning your upcoming trip. See you again on my next blog. God Bless!!

Please check out my other 2 Blog

Brunei to Kota Kinabalu via Bushttp://wanderingron.com/crossing-kota-kinabalu-from-brunei-via-sapitang-bus/

Brunei – Abode of Peacehttp://wanderingron.com/brunei-abode-of-peace/

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