Kota Kinabalu is the capital of the Sabah state of Borneo, Malaysia, and the gateway to this enchanting jungle paradise.

It’s known for its beaches, its rainforests, its close proximity to Mount Kinabalu, and protected coral reefs.

10 Reasons to Visit Kota Kinabalu

Here are 10 reasons to visit Kota Kinabalu as a destination in itself, and not as a gateway…

To see the Mari Mari Cultural Village

The Mari Mari Village is possibly the best reason to visit Kota Kinabalu because it offers visitors the chance to see how the land’s ancestors used to live.

It’s the Gateway to Kinabalu Park and Mount Kinabalu

Kinabalu Park is most famous for being the home to the highest mountain in Borneo and even Southeast Asia, Mount Kinabalu. 

There are some great snorkelling spots

Take a boat tour over to Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park, a protected reef off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, where you’ll find tons of colourful fish and corals.

For the beautiful Sunset at Tanjung Aru Beach

Tanjung Aru Beach is a small beach near to Kota Kinabalu Airport, which faces directly west, so it offers the most surreal sunset.

For the hiking trails

Just a short drive out of the city centre and you will find the Bukit Padang Hiking Trail, which takes you up to a lake on top of the mountain.

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