Kota Kinabalu Land Below the Winds : Travel Ideas

City view of KK

Kota Kinabalu is located at the tip of the Borneo island, being the capital city of the Sabah state. As a travel destination, Kota Kinabalu has a lot to offer and it is always a delight to be visiting.

Lovers of sea-side, going island-hopping is one activity that can occupy your time for the whole day. It is very convenient to take the many boats from the Jesselton Ferry Point to the island. Take a pick of the many islands available – Sapi, Manukan, Mamutik, Gaya, Suluq.

Leaving Jesselton Ferry Point, the main transport to the beautiful island

Interesting titbit #1 Jesselton is the old name for Kota Kinabalu, also known as KK

These islands are part of the Tunku Abdul Rahman marine park, whereby conservatory efforts are made to maintain the clean beach for reef. On a bright day, the island has clear water with school of fish swimming alongside. Bring along a traditionally woven mat for the beach, build a sand castle underneath the tree shades, take the goggles and snorkelling gears to enjoy the sun and the colourful fish.

Fish in the sea from the jetty
Hiding under the shades of trees, with clear views of the translucent sea water
Waves along the beach in one of the island

On a rainy day, the boat services to the island may be halted for safety purposes. Take another route to visit the Chinatown centre, or take a ride to the suburb to visit the Upside Down House in Tamparuli district. Spend an hour or two snapping away with beautiful shots of the interesting scenes of the upside down house.

Upside Down House

Further up to Tamparuli is the way towards the mountainside. A great way to travel is to drive up to Kundasang town, with stops along the way for a visit to the tea plantation and enjoying yogurt & ice cream at the dairy farm. Kundasang is a fairly small town, with cooling effect from the mountain.

Rest with an ice cream on the dairy farm

Spend the day at the Poring hotspring, either in a private bathhouse or just dipping the legs in the public areas. Inside the huge hotspring, there are walking trails to enjoy the nature with hanging bridge to see the jungle.  

Bridges walk in Poring Hotspring
Small stream running from the mountain

There are quite a number of chalets and homestays along the plantations which are great places to stay overnight, to enjoy the sunrise & sunset. Take a slow walk along the natural surroundings of the homestays, have some snacks for afternoon tea before adjourning to see the sunset.

View from the homestay

The ultimate adventurers will be excited for a hike up Mount Kinabalu, which does require some stamina. Waking up in the middle of the night, the hike up is with experienced guides in total darkness with the ultimate prize of watching the sunrise at the top.

Interesting titbit #2 Mount Kinabalu experiences tremor from earthquake in recent years, and annually shaves off a few centimetres in heights

Food-lovers rejoice. There are loads to try in Kota Kinabalu. Being a seaside township, there is plenty of seafood with many restaurants offering various methods of cooking the fresh catch. If you are into street food, head towards one of the many markets in town – Filipino market, Metro night market, waterfront seafood market. The variety of food available entices everyone.

Interesting titbits #3 Be careful of children lounging around the market asking for money.

Picnic by the seaside

There are so many other things to do & explore in KK. KK has a special place in my heart, and so looking forward to visiting this special place again.

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