Welcome to Kota Kinabalu, located in East Malaysia. Better known as “KK” to its many international visitors, this resort city—set in gorgeous tropical surroundings—has lots to offer. Its proximity to the South China Sea makes it a fantastic trip if you love fishing and scuba diving, and its blend of natural beauty, historical buildings, and modern construction have made it a growing tourist destination.
Kick off your Kota Kinabalu tour by exploring the downtown area. Just a half-mile from the waterfront is a tall piece of history: the Atkinson Clock Tower. Built in 1905, this tower stands 50 feet high and was at one time the only land-based point of reference for incoming ships. Today, it’s one of the major landmarks on any Kota Kinabalu sightseeing bucket list.
Kota Kinabalu is right on the South China Sea, so get ready to enjoy its warm, blue waters. Book a boat tour for scuba diving or snorkeling and get up close and personal with the local sea life. If you find the swimming critters irresistible, then stop by the Green Connection Aquarium once you’re back on dry land. That’s where you can really learn about the aquatic creatures that call the South China Sea home.
In the evening, head for the boardwalk that runs along the waterfront. This is the place to find all the food, drink, and merriment you could hope for. Explore the Filipino Night Market, a famous and fabulous group of vendors offering delicious food and souvenirs. From flowers, fruits, and vegetables to fresh-caught fish, pearls, and local crafts, this is the place to find dinner or the perfect gift for your friends back home.
What do you want to see in Kota Kinabalu?
Visit our Kota Kinbalu travel guide page for more information or to plan your next vacation!
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