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Kota Kinabalu - a bustling gateway into the heart of Borneo

04 Nov 2015

Kota Kinabalu, located on the West coast of Sabah is the starting point of your Sabah adventure.

Even though KK, as it is locally and internationally referred to, is isolated from the rest of Malaysia, it is the perfect gateway to visiting Sabah’s unique attractions.Travel 90km North of KK and you will find yourself in the Mt Kinabalu National Park with Malaysia’s highest peak at 4095m: Mount Kinabalu, after which the city has been named.

To the East of KK , only 20 minutes by speed boat, the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park made up of five smaller islands is the ideal playground for swimming, snorkelling, diving and parasailing.

KK has a year round constant equatorial climate with average temperatures of 26C-28C, high humidity and occasional rain showers. November-March and May-September generally have higher than average rainfalls.

KK boasts an eclectic mix of different races. The majority of the population is Non-Malay with the Chinese of Hakka origin making up about 50%. The rest is a mix of indigenous tribes, Bruneian Malay, Indians and Filipinos. This cultural mix is also reflected in the food, the languages spoken with English generally spoken by all and the religions practised with all major religions present. Throughout the year KK celebrates many festivals like the Chinese New Year, Sabah Fest, the annual Jazz Fest, International Film Festival and plenty more. 

Attractions close to KK are the Sabah Musuem, the Tanjung Aru beach, the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, the Zoological and Botanical Park and Tuaran Crocodile Farm. The shopping enthusiast will not be disappointed either with various malls and markets around. The weekly Gaya Street Sunday market is not to be missed, but come early, like 7am,  as the heat rises quickly.

Once you discovered all that KK and surroundings have to offer, extend your exploration to visit the rest of Sabah like the Orang Utans in Sepilok, go hiking in the National Park, learn about the WWII history around Sandakan, experience primary rainforest in the Danum Valley, see wildlife up close and personal along the Kinabatangan River or scuba dive around Sipidan Island, one of the best dive sites in the world.

KK, a bustling gateway with lots to offer and not to be missed!

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