The tallest mountain in Southeast Asia and one of the highest trekkable peaks in the world, Mount Kinabalu is a stunning climb and a must-go place for any adventurer. Slightly over 4,000 meters, the climb is relatively approachable for most, and the path is well-trodden. Experienced hikers can manage to finish the climb in a day or two, but it’s generally advised to take up to three days to fully acclimatize yourself.
Klias River Cruise
A relaxing and lovely way to enjoy the forest scenery of Kota Kinabalu is through taking a river cruise on the Klias River. This takes a day trip into the Klias Wetlands reserve near Kota Kinabalu. Sit back and be treated to gorgeous views of where the river meets the sea and a spectacular view of Mount Kinabalu. In this place, you can get the chance to cruise through a mangrove area all while trying to spot the incredible wildlife of monkeys and birds. And if you book a late-evening cruise, you could be lucky to catch some incredible displays of fireflies.
While in Kota Kinabalu, don’t miss out the chance to check out the City Mosque. Situated near the sea, this majestic white mosque is a marvel of Islamic contemporary architecture and truly a sight to behold. This floating mosque has a prayer hall which houses three madrasahs and accommodates up to 12,000 people. As beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside, travelers can venture inside for free, the mosque is open for public visits daily except Fridays.
Kota Kinabalu Waterfront
If you’re looking for a place to unwind after a long day of walking around, the Waterfront is the place to be. The entire esplanade of the Kota Kinabalu waterfront is within walking distance across the street of hotels. Along the waterfront are rows of pubs and restaurants as well as a shopping mall. In addition, the place comes alive at night and is best enjoyed sitting on the boardwalk with drinks or fresh seafood, whilst watching the sunset on the horizon.
For culture lovers, this museum shouldn’t be missed. Packed with information on the diverse aspects of Sabahan culture, visitors can browse through sections such as the ceramics and pottery, natural history, ethnography, all peppered with colorful displays and even animal exhibits. Also on the museum grounds is a Heritage Village where visitors can enter and experience different types of traditional houses of the various indigenous groups of Sabah. Admission fees for the museum are priced at RM15 and opened daily from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park
Accessible through a 20-minute speedboat ride from Kota Kinabalu, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park is a playground for the adventurous. The Marine Park consists of a cluster of islands: Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik, and Pulau Sulug. Each of these islands offers a plethora of activities; Gaya and Manukan are the most tourist-equipped and the best islands for leisurely beach strolls and a quick swim.