Situated against the scenic backdrop of Mount Kinabalu, Kota Kinabalu is the main gateway to Borneo islands and Sabah. This striking city lures tourists with its breathtaking scenery, vibrant music, arts scene, and stunning landmarks. Adventure seekers can have an exciting trek up to Mount Kinabalu and enjoy breathtaking views from the top. Amidst the sprawling malls and all the modernism, the city still keeps its old-world charm alive in its local markets bustling with busy fishermen. Experience the city’s natural charm by taking the Klias Wetlands River Cruise to the Klias Wetlands reserve and spot Silver Languor Monkeys, Long Tail Macaques, various bird species, etc. Visit Kota Kinabalu and fall in love with the place instantly!
Useful Tips for Tourists Flying to Kota Kinabalu
Shopping in Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu’s popular shopping sites include the City Mall, Oceanus Waterfront Mall, Tanjung Aru Plaza, Warisan Square, etc. These malls offer quality products at reasonable prices. However, if you are more into street side shopping, then head to the Gaya Street Sunday Market, Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Market, and Sinsuran Complex to get your hands on handmade chocolates, electronic items, souvenirs, and handicrafts. Most villages and towns in Kota Kinabalu feature Sunday Flea Markets selling products from fruits, vegetables, orchids, arts and crafts to even traditional music instruments. The Handicraft Market is an ideal place to shop for budget souvenirs like pearls, seashell crafts, textiles, jewelry, and bamboo goods.
Kota Kinabalu offers endless options for foodies, with numerous cafes and restaurants serving the best dishes in town. Some of the famous dishes include Sang Nyuk Mian (pork noodle), Kon Lau Mee (dark sauce dry stirred noodle), and Tenom Mee (noodles) You can visit Borenos Fried Chicken to taste their tender fried chicken or head to Yoyo for their milk tea which is incredibly tasty. Pay a visit to Sri Latha Curry house to try their renowned banana leaf rice. You can select chicken or lamb meat to go with the vegetarian leaf rice set.
A Few Malay Words
The official language of Kota Kinabalu is Malay. However, due to its ethnic diversity, the majority of the people also speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. Here are a few phrases in Malay that will help you during your visit to Kota Kinabalu.
• Thank You:
Terima kasih (TREE-muh KAH-seh)
• Where can I find a taxi? Di mana boleh saya mencari teksi
• Pleased to meet you:
Dos and Don’ts
• Drink sealed bottled water as tap water is not safe.
• Food and other things are over-priced at some places. So, check before you pay.
• Take enough safety measures when you go swimming in Kota Kinabalu waters.
Emergency contact numbers
• Emergency services: 999
• First-aid ambulance: 088-250555
• Fire: 994
• 24-Hour Emergency & Ambulance: +6088-518 911
• Which airlines offer cheap air tickets to Kota Kinabalu?
The airlines offering cheap air tickets to Kota Kinabalu are Thai Smile and Air Asia.
• What is the time zone used in Malaysia?
The time zone of Malaysia is GMT+8.
• What are the most popular airlines flying from Bangkok to Kota Kinabalu?
From Bangkok to Kota Kinabalu, the most popular airlines are Malaysian Airlines
, Malindo Air
, and Air Asia
• What is the shortest time for a Bangkok to Kota Kinabalu flight?
The shortest time for a direct Bangkok to Kota Kinabalu flight is 3 hours and 20 minutes.
• What are the top tourist destinations of Kota Kinabalu?
Some of the must-visit tourist destinations in Kota Kinabalu are Mount Kinabalu, Kinabalu Park, Museum of Islamic Civilisation, Monsopiad Cultural Village, and Tanjung Aru.
• What is the currency of Malaysia?
The currency used in Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR).
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