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Kota Kinabalu Things to Do – Attractions & Must See

Kota Kinabalu Things to Do

Kota Kinabalu is one of the fastest-growing cities in Malaysia. Travelers come here to explore regional islands and see the diverse wildlife local to the area.

The Waterfront

The mild climate in Kota Kinabalu makes being outside enjoyable, and there are plenty of things to do outside in Kota Kinabalu. The city has a huge waterfront district filled with restaurants and handicraft shops that are adjacent to the waterfront. Taking a walk there during the day means a chance to get access to cooling breezes and watch as sea birds dive for the abundant native fish. The open-air food court offers many lunch options.

Walking in the Kota Kinabalu waterfront area, particularly at sunset, can also be a memorable experience. Many waterfront restaurants allow you to sit down and have a fine dinner as the sun sets over Kota Kinabalu.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Park

Another major attraction for visitors to Kota Kinabalu is the world-famous Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, which consists of five major islands and several minor islands directly off the coast of Kota Kinabalu. These islands have a native population that engages in local activities such as fishing and creating handicrafts.

Boats travel from Kota Kinabalu to Tunku Abdul Rahman Park all the time, making it easy to schedule a day trip at your leisure. Some of the most attractive islands are Pulau Gaya (the largest island in the park), Pulau Sapi or Cow Island, Pulau Manukan (the second-most visited island), Pulau Mamutik (the smallest of the five major islands), and Pulau Sulug (the least traveled island in the chain).

You can hire a charter boat to take you to any of the islands, or use one of the several public ferries that go between each island and Kota Kinabalu. Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is a huge tourist attraction, so expect to see crowds all year long.

Swimming and Diving

Traveling to Tunku Abdul Rahman Park means the chance to explore both the islands and the sparkling waters of the South China Sea. Those who love to camp can stay here overnight for a small fee. This can be a great way to get away from the city lights and see nature up close.

For those who love to swim and dive, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park also makes an ideal destination. Diving shops can be found on nearly all the islands, making it easy for you to get the equipment and guidance you need to see lots of local sea creatures, along with the remnants of the area’s many shipwrecks. Spending time on the beach is also a great way to pass the time in Kota Kinabalu. Many tour operators offer day trips to Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, complete with a fine buffet lunch.

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Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about Kota Kinabalu things to do.

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