Kota Kinabalu is the state capital of Sabah in East Malaysia. Formerly known as Jesselton, it is also the capital of the West Coast Division of Sabah. The city has a population of 579,304, while the larger urban area has an estimated population of 700,000. It is the largest urban centre in Sabah and the sixth largest in Malaysia.
It's never easy finding the hotel that's just right for your stay. Still, by taking a little time to do your research, you increase your chance of getting a good hotel at the best price. Go through the list of hotels in Kota Kinabalu which we've put together, with full description, star rating, address, location map and evaluation. Pick the hotel of your choice and view the rates offered by different booking sites. Yes, we show you prices from different websites, so you don't have to visit them one by one.
More about Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu is on the west coast of Sabah. It lies on a narrow strip of land sandwiched between the Crocker Range and the South China Sea. Five of the islands off the coast of Kota Kinabalu, and within sight of the city, have been designated the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. As Kota Kinabalu is located directly within the flight path of planes approaching the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, there is a strict limit to the height of buildings in the city.
Kota Kinabalu is the gateway into Sabah as well as to the island of Borneo. It has the second largest international airport in the country. Being the industrial and commercial centre of East Malaysiam Kota Kinabalu is one of the fastest growing cities in Malaysia. The city is located about 90 km from Mount Kinabalu, the tallest mountain in Borneo. Kota Kinabalu was formerly known as Jesselton, but besides Jesselton, there are also other names that are claimed to be the original name of Kota Kinabalu. The most popular is Api-Api, or sometimes simply Api, which means "fire" in Malay.
Arriving in Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu International Airport (BKI) is just about 7 km from the city. From the airport, you can take an airport shuttle, mini van or taxi. To take a taxi, buy the coupon at the taxi stand on the ground floor. The fare is fixed at RM20.00.
The city of Kota Kinabalu is small enough for you to walk. For farther away places, I would suggest that you either rent a car at the airport, or take a taxi. For both options, be sure you bargain for the best price. Taxis do not use meter, and the drivers will quote a high price expecting you to haggle it down.
What to see and do in Kota Kinabalu
The following are suggested activities. Contact local tour operator for details.
Cultural Tour Visit the Monsopiad Cultural Village and Mari Mari Cultural Village. Contact Traverse Tours, tel: 088 260501, www.traversetours.com
Diving: The possibilities are endless in Sabah. Contact Borneo Divers, tel 088 222226, www.borneodivers.info, Borneo Sea Adventures, tel: 088 230000, www.borneosea.com, Tanjung Aru Tours, tel: 088 222210, www.tanjungarutourstravel.net
Motorbiking Join motorbiking tours of the Crocker Range and other places. Contact Borneo Biking Adventures, tel: 013 552 7313, www.borneobikingadventures.com
Whitewater Rafing Available at Sungai Padas and Sungai Kiulu Contact Traverse Tours, tel: 088 260501, www.traversetours.com
Wildlife You can go to see orang utans, proboscis monkeys, and other wildlife in the sanctuary, or explore the rainforest. Contact Borneo Wildlife Adventure, tel: 088 213668, www.borneo-wildlife.com or Wildlife Expeditions, tel: 088 246000, www.wildlife-expeditions.com