Cheap Flights to Kota Kinabalu
The word "Borneo" evokes visions of deep jungles, secluded tribes and exotic beasts. Visit Malaysian Borneo and you'll find them all. You'll also discover the cultured and relaxed coastal town of Kota Kinabalu.
Capital of the state of Sabah, it's a place where old world charm remains intact among the frantic building of glitzy malls and lofty apartments.
Know as KK to insiders, Kota Kinabalu is compact and easily explored on foot. You can enjoy visiting stately mosques, colourful Chinese temples and Christian churches.
KK is also the perfect gateway to view the fabulous hinterlands. Outdoor types can hike up Mount Kinabalu, spend the night in an Iban Longhouse, swim in waterfalls, go whitewater rafting and trek through the Maliau Basin, known as the Lost World of Sabah. As one of the few places where sun bears and orangutan live in the wild, Borneo is a must for wildlife aficionados.
If beach life is your thing, you can head to the eastern coast for snorkelling, diving, turtle and whale watching and a host of other aquatic pursuits.
As a true multicultural society, rarely a week passes in Kota Kinabalu without a vibrant festival.
Things to do
Kota Kinabalu is a city of modest charm and well worth a few days browsing. No visit to Sabah is complete without a visit to Kinabalu National Park and wildlife buffs will love the jungle.
Kota Kinabalu is a treasure trove of history and local culture. Shop for pearls in the Central Market, pop into museums, relax in coffee shops, snack on barbecued seafood in the night market and don't forget to clamber up to Signal Hill for a panoramic view of the city and bay.
Home to imposing Mount Kinabalu and the Botanic Garden with its 1000 + species of orchid, the park also offers the Poring Hot Springs to soak your weary limbs.
Borneo's jungles still retain a primal mystery that's rare in this day and age. You can trek through ancient rainforests as monkeys chatter high above in the canopies, and chug along the Kinabatangan River in a riverboat, keeping an eye open for crocs and orangutans.
Calendar of Events
As a multicultural society, Kota Kinabalu celebrates a grand range of Malay, Chinese, Indian and international festivals.
Sabah International Dragon Boat Race. A Chinese tradition of great antiquity, this event takes place in Likas Bay on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month and features spirited boat races involving local and international crews. Drums beat spur the rowers as they race to the finish line. Enjoy from the shore while snacking on traditional rice dumplings.
Sabah Fest. Experience multicultural Sabah all in one place at the Sabah Festival held each May. The region's diversity is celebrated via cultural programs, exhibitions and the sales of local handicrafts.
Mt. Kinabalu International Climbathon. Runners from around the globe compete to sprint up to the top of Southeast Asia's highest peak each October. Catch the start of the action in Kinabalu Park and cheer the athletes as they strive to hit the peak in as little as four hours.