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Kota Kinabalu

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Nickname(s): "Nature Resort City"
Location in Malaysia and Sabah
Country  Malaysia
State Sabah
Settled by BNBC 1882
Declared capital of North Borneo 1946
Granted city status February 2, 2000
Government
 - Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim
Area
 - City 351 km2 (136 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 - City 617,9721
 Density 1,650/km2 (4,260/sq mi)
 Urban 600,000
 Metro 900,000
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
Postcode 88xxx; 89xxx
Area code(s) 088
Website http://www.dbkk.sabah.gov.my
1 World Gazetteer

Kota Kinabalu (pronounced [ˈkɔtɑ kɪnɑbɑlʊ]; Chinese: 亚庇, Chinese: 哥打京那巴鲁), formerly Jesselton[1], is the capital of Sabah state in Malaysia. It is also the capital of the West Coast Division of Sabah. The city is located on the northwest coast of Borneo facing the South China Sea. The Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park lies on one side and Mount Kinabalu, which gave the city its name, is nearby. Kota Kinabalu proper has a population of 617,972 while the larger urban area has an estimated population of 900,000. It is the largest urban centre in Sabah and the sixth largest in Malaysia.[2]

Kota Kinabalu is often known as K.K. within Malaysia and internationally. It is a major tourist destination and a popular gateway for travellers visiting Sabah and Borneo.[3] Kinabalu National Park is located about 90 kilometres from the city and there are many tourist attractions in and around the city. Kota Kinabalu is also one of the major industrial and commercial centres of East Malaysia. These two factors combine to make Kota Kinabalu one of the fastest growing cities in Malaysia.[4]

Contents

History

In the late 1800s, the British North Borneo Company (BNBC) began to establish colonies throughout North Borneo (now Sabah). In 1882, the Company founded a small settlement in the area known as Gaya Bay which was already inhabited by the Bajau people. The first settlement was on Gaya Island (Pulau Gaya). In 1897, this first settlement was burned and destroyed by the indigenous Bajau freedom fighter led by Mat Salleh.[5]

After the rebellion, the Company decided to relocate the settlement to the more easily defended mainland opposite Pulau Gaya. A nearby fishing village named Api-Api (see Original names below), was the next settlement of the Company. This new location was then designated as the main harbour and port, as well as the terminus for the North Borneo Railway. It was expanded and renamed Jesselton, named after Sir Charles Jessel, the then Vice Chairman of the Company.

Eventually, Jesselton became a major trading post of North Borneo, dealing in rubber, rattan, honey, and wax. The new railway was used to transport goods to Jesselton harbour. The Malay and Bajau uprisings during these times were not uncommon, and the Company worked to quell the long-standing threat of piracy in the region.

A bird's eye view of Kota Kinabalu from Penampang.

Jesselton was razed by the retreating British early in World War II to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Japanese. After the Japanese takeover of Borneo, it was again renamed Api. Several rebellions against the Japanese military administration took place in Api. One major rebellion occurred in 1943 by the group called Kinabalu Guerrillas, consisting of local inhabitants. Japanese forces quelled the rebellion after its leader, Albert Kwok, was arrested and executed in 1944.[6] At the later stages of the war, what remained of the town was destroyed again by Allied bombings as part of the Borneo Campaign in 1945, leaving only three buildings standing. The war in North Borneo ended with the official surrender of the Japanese 37th Army by Lieutenant General Baba Masao in Labuan on September 10, 1945.

After the war, the British North Borneo Company returned to administer Jesselton but was unable to finance the huge costs of reconstruction. They gave control of North Borneo to the British Crown in 1946. The new colonial government elected to rebuild Jesselton as the capital of North Borneo instead of Sandakan, which had also been destroyed by the war.[7]

When North Borneo together with Sarawak, Singapore & Federation of Malaya formed the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, the state became known as Sabah and Jesselton remained its capital. Jesselton was renamed Kota Kinabalu on September 30, 1968 and received official city status from the Malaysian government on February 2, 2000.

View of Likas Bay at dawn. On the far right is Mount Kinabalu
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Etymology

Kota Kinabalu is named after Mount Kinabalu, situated about 90 kilometres east-northeast of the city. Kinabalu derived from the name Aki Nabalu meaning the "revered place of the dead", in which, Aki means "ancestors" or "grandfather", and Nabalu being a name for the mountain in the Dusun language.[8] There is also a source claiming that the term originated from Ki Nabalu, where Ki meaning "have" or "exist", and Nabalu meaning "spirit of the dead".[9]

Kota is a Malay word for a "fort", "town", or a "city". It is also used formally in a few other Malaysian towns and cities, for example, Kota Bahru, Kota Tinggi, and Kota Kemuning. It could also be used informally to refer to any towns or cities. Henceforth, a direct translation of the name Kota Kinabalu into English would be "City of Kinabalu" or "Kinabalu City".

Original names

Besides Jesselton, there has been a number of other claims as to the original name for Kota Kinabalu. The most popular, as mentioned above, is Api-Api, or sometimes simply Api, which is a Malay word meaning 'Fire'. It was apparently named as such by the mainly Bajau locals to denote the blazing of the British administrative office in Pulau Gaya instigated by Mat Salleh,[10] as well as other blazing incidents normally perpetrated by pirates. There were claims however that it was actually named after a nearby river called Sungai Api-Api. Besides Api-Api, another suggested historical name was Deasoka, which roughly means "below the coconut tree" in the Bajau language.[11] The Bajau locals purportedly used this name to refer to a village on the southern part of the city which was filled with coconut trees. Another name was Singgah Mata which literally mean "transit eye", but can be loosely translated as meaning "pleasing to the eye". It is a name purportedly given by fishermen from Pulau Gaya referring to the strip of land of what is today Kota Kinabalu city center.[12] Today, all these names have been immortalised into names of streets or buildings around the city. Some examples are: Lintasan Deasoka, Api-Api Centre, Jalan Singgah Mata, and Jesselton Point.

Capital city

Location of Kota Kinabalu district and the city within the West Coast Division of Sabah.
A rough map of Kota Kinabalu city and urban area. Blue lines indicate main roads, grey lines indicate railway lines, and pink dotted lines indicate district boundaries.

Being the capital city of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu plays an important role in the political and economic welfare of the population in the entire state. It is the seat of the state government where almost all of their ministries and agencies are based. Most of the Malaysian federal government agencies and departments are also located in Kota Kinabalu. The Sabah State Legislative Assembly is located at nearby Likas Bay. There are four Members of Parliament (MPs) representing four parliamentary constituencies in the city: Sepanggar (P.171), Kota Kinabalu (P.172), Putatan (P.173), and Penampang (P.174). The city also elects 9 representatives to the state legislature from the state assembly districts of Karambunai, Inanam, Likas, Api-Api, Luyang, Tanjung Aru, Petagas, Kepayan, and Moyog.[13]

Local authority and city definition

The city is administered by Dewan Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu (Kota Kinabalu City Hall). The current mayor of Kota Kinabalu is Datuk Illiyas Ibrahim. He became the second mayor of the city after taking over the post from Datuk Abdul Ghani Rashid in 2006. The city obtained city status on February 2, 2000, and prior to this it was administered by Majlis Perbandaran Kota Kinabalu (Kota Kinabalu Municipal Council).

The city is defined within the borders of what is the district, formerly the municipality, of Kota Kinabalu. With an area of 351 square kilometres, it is the smallest but the most populous district in Sabah.[14] It encompasses Tanjung Aru and Kepayan in the south, up to Telipok and Sepanggar in the north. The urban expanse of the city however extends into the district of Penampang[15] on the south of the city border, which includes the towns of Donggongon and Putatan. The combined area of Kota Kinabalu (district) and the built up areas in Penampang can also be described as Kota Kinabalu (urban area). The district of Penampang has an area of 466 square kilometres, and is administered by Majlis Daerah Penampang (Penampang District Council).[16]

On one end of the scale, Kota Kinabalu may sometimes only refer to, especially by local inhabitants, the city centre or central business district, area near the sea facing Pulau Gaya. On the other end of the scale, it may also refer to the metropolitan area which includes urban Kota Kinabalu, and the surrounding towns of Papar and Kinarut, in the south, and Tuaran and Tamparuli, in the north, being within its zone of influence.

Sister cities

Kota Kinabalu currently has seven sister cities.[17]

Geography

Sunset over Sutera Harbour, Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu is located on the west coast of Sabah. The city lies on a narrow flatland between the Crocker Range to the east and the South China Sea to the west. There are six islands off the coast of the city. The largest is Pulau Gaya, the site of the first British settlement. Approximately 8,000 people live there.[18] The smaller islands, mainly uninhabited, are named Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Sulug, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sepanggar to the north.[19] Sepanggar island is located north of the National Park opposite Sepanggar Bay.

Kota Kinabalu city centre

Flat land is at a premium in the city centre, and there is a strict limit to the height of buildings: the airport is 7 km away, and the city is directly in the flight path. Most of the Central Business District (CBD) today is built on land reclaimed from the sea. The original local plant life has largely disappeared, but several hills within the city (too steep for building) are still clothed with tropical rainforest. One of these is Signal Hill, which confines the CBD to the shore. In the area of Likas Bay the remnants of an extensive mangrove forest was nearly lost.[20] In 1996, a perceptive state government stepped in and declared 24 acres of the forest as a protected area. This forest is now known as the Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary was given additional protection as a State Cultural Heritage Site in 1998.[20]

Immigrant dwellings off the coast of Pulau Gaya

The five islands (of Gaya, Sapi, Manukan, Sulug, Mamutik) opposite the city, and their surrounding waters, are also preserved as the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park. The park was named in honour the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman. This is a popular recreational spot for tourists and local people.[21] The Kota Kinabalu city centre, mostly business and government, includes Karamunsing, the port area (Tanjung Lipat), Signal Hill, Kampung Air, Sinsuran, Segama, Asia City, Gaya Street (Old Town), Bandaran Berjaya, Api-Api, Sutera Harbour and Sembulan. Outlying neighbourhoods and residential suburbs include Kepayan Ridge, Tanjung Aru, Petagas, Kepayan, Lido, Lintas, Nosoob, Bukit Padang, Luyang, Damai, Likas and Kolombong. The city is growing steadily and the urban sprawl extends to the towns of Inanam, Menggatal, Sepanggar, Telipok and south of the district border to Donggongon, Putatan, and Lok Kawi.[22]

Kota Kinabalu is generally isolated from the rest of the country; it is located about 1,624 kilometres (1,009 miles) from Kuala Lumpur in Peninsular Malaysia[23] and 804 kilometres (499 miles) from Kuching in the neighbouring state of Sarawak[24].

Climate

A tropical sunset over the sea in Kota Kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu's climate borders between a tropical monsoon climate and a tropical rainforest climate. Two prevailing monsoons characterise the climate of this part of Sabah, the Northeast Monsoon and the Southwest Monsoon. The Northeast Monsoon occurs between November and March, while the Southwest Monsoon occurs between May and September. There are also two successive inter-monsoons from April to May and from September to October.[25] Temperature variation throughout the year is small. However, April and May are generally the hottest months, while December and January are often the coolest. However, rainfall varies markedly through the year. February and March are typically the driest months while rainfall peaks in the inter-monsoon period around October. Relatively humidity is quite high throughout the year.[26]

Weather averages for Kota Kinabalu for 2005 and 2006
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Mean daily maximum temperature (°C) 31.4 32.2 32.1 33.1 32.8 32.5 32.6 32.4 32.0 32.1 32.2 31.9 32.3
Mean daily minimum temperature (°C) 23.3 23.8 24.0 24.2 24.3 24.1 24.1 23.9 23.8 23.8 23.9 23.9 23.9
Mean relative humidity (%) 81.5 81.3 80.9 81.1 81.3 80.2 79.2 78.8 80.3 81.6 82.5 82.7 81.0
Mean total rainfall (mm) 179.3 63.3 119.5 144.7 383.0 646.6 451.8 279.6 288.8 431.6 327.3 360.1 3675.6
Mean number of rain days 12.5 8.5 10.5 11.0 16.0 17.0 13.0 19.5 18.0 20.0 18.5 18.5 183.0
Source: Kota Kinabalu International Airport Meteorological Station, Malaysian Meteorological Service Department

Demography

There have not been any official or popular adjectives, or demonyms, to describe the people of Kota Kinabalu. A simple way to describe the people of the city can be "orang K.K.", where orang means "person" or "people" in Malay. The terms "K.K-ites" and "K.K-ians" have also been used to a limited extent. People from Sabah are called Sabahan.

Sacred Heart Cathedral

Ethnicity and religion

The city's population today is a mixture of many different races and ethnicities. The city consists of mainly Malays, Kadazans, Chineseand Bajaus. The Chinese are mostly Hakkas and can be found mainly in the Luyang area. The area of Penampang is populated mainly by Kadazans, while the Bajaus mainly reside in Likas, Sembulan and Karambunai. The Malays and Bajaus are Muslims. The Kadazans here mainly practice Christianity. whilst the Chinese are mainly Buddhists or Christians. There are a small number of Hindus, Sikhs, Animists, and a small number of secularists also exist.

There is also a sizeable Filipino population in the city. The first wave of migrants arrived in the late 15th century during the Spanish colonization, while some are refugees arriving in the early 1970s because of the troubles in southern Philippines. A significant number of them today, however, consists of migrant workers arriving from the late 1970s onwards. Most of the earlier migrants have been naturalized as Malaysian citizens, however there still remains some living without proper documentation around the city as illegal immigrants.[27] Most of the Filipino migrants are Suluks coming from the southern parts of Philippines. There are also a number of Indonesian migrants living around the city, mostly coming from Flores of the Lesser Sunda Islands.[28]

There is a small population of Indians, Pakistanis and Eurasians scattered around the city. More recently the number of expatriates living in the city, either temporarily or permanently, have also increased. Most have come from South Korea, Japan, Australia, and Europe.

Intermarriage is not an uncommon practice here. The most common of which are intermarriages between Kadazans and Chinese and they are known as Sino-Kadazans or simply "Sinos".

Languages

The people mainly speak Malay Bahasa Melayu, with a distinct Sabahan accent. However, many still speak the language or dialect of their mother tongue when speaking with person of the same race or ethnicity. Mandarin and Huìyáng Hakka (惠阳客家话) are still widely spoken among the Chinese.

The number of Bahasa Kadazandusun speakers is thought to have dropped significantly throughout Sabah especially in larger towns or cities like Kota Kinabalu. However, some efforts can be seen to have been taken by some to revive the usage of the language. Kadazan has been considered an endangered language, along with the culture of ethnic Kadazans.[29] Today most of the people are also able to converse in basic English.

Economy

Wisma Tun Fuad Stephens

Besides being the capital city, Kota Kinabalu is also the main industrial and commercial centre for Sabah. The economy is dominated by the primary sector of industry. Historically, the secondary sector dominated the economy, but due to rapid urbanisation and economic development, this sector of economy is slowly diminishing. More recently, a move towards a more tertiary based industry has become more apparent, especially with regards to the boom in the tourism industry.[3] Many state-level, national-level and international commercial banks, as well as some insurance companies have their headquarters or branches here.

A number of industrial and manufacturing companies also have plants here especially in the industrial districts of Likas, Kolombong, and Inanam. The ongoing construction of the 8,320-acre Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park (KKIP) in Sepanggar is intended to boost the city's industrial and commercial activity making it a major growth centre in East Malaysia, as well for the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) region.[30] Kota Kinabalu also hosts numerous national, regional, and international conferences or trade fairs every year including the biennial Sabah International Expo, the Asia Pacific eTourism Conference by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the ASEAN Australian Engineering Congress, and many others. These events are normally held at the Sutera Harbour resort.

Transportation

Land

The internal roads linking different parts of the city are generally state roads constructed and maintained by the state Public Works Department. Most major internal roads are dual-carriageways. One of the major road here is Jalan Lintas-Jalan Tuaran Bypass, which together serves almost as a ring road, circling the city and connecting the districts and suburbs surrounding the city, namely, Putatan, Penampang, Luyang, Likas, Inanam, Menggatal, Sepanggar, and Tuaran. There is currently no freeway in the city nor in any part of Sabah. The city is linked by highways to distant towns around Sabah and these are mainly federal roads maintained by the national Public Works Department. Highway routes from Kota Kinabalu include:

  • Kota Kinabalu - Tamparuli - Kudat
  • Kota Kinabalu - Tamparuli - Ranau - Sandakan - Tawau - Serudong (part of the Pan Borneo Highway)
  • Kota Kinabalu - Keningau - Lawas - Brunei - Miri - Kuching - Sematan (part of the Pan Borneo Highway)
  • Kota Kinabalu - Keningau - Kalabakan - Tawau

Public transportation:

Regular bus services operate around the city. Minibuses or vans are also used besides buses as an alternative public transportation. There are two main bus terminals in the central business area. The terminal along Jalan Tun Razak provides internal bus services towards different part of the city and its outskirts. Another terminal near Bandaran Berjaya provides intercity services towards destinations south of the city (Papar, Tenom, Beaufort, and others). The North Kota Kinabalu Bus Terminal in Inanam provides intercity buses heading towards destinations north and north-east of the city (Tuaran, Kudat, Ranau, Sandakan, Tawau, Semporna, and others). Taxicabs too can be found around the city.

A railway system formerly known as the North Borneo Railway was established in 1896 by the British North Borneo Company. It was built for the main purpose of transporting commodities from the interior to the port in Kota Kinabalu during the British occupation. The railway line connects Kota Kinabalu with Tenom and several other towns in between, and it is the only railway system operating in East Malaysia. Today the railway is known as Sabah State Railway, and it provides daily services for commuters, travellers, as well as for cargo transportation. A separate company operates the leisure tour also called the North Borneo Railway, which caters mainly for tourists.[31] The train station and terminus is located in Tanjung Aru.

Air

Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) provides flights linking the city with other domestic and international destinations. It is a secondary hub for Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia and it consists of two terminals. It is the second busiest airport in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur International Airport and it is a major gateway into Sabah and East Malaysia.[32] It serves international flights to Bandar Seri Begawan, Shenzhen, Seoul, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Manila, Cebu, Singapore, Taipei, Kaohsiung, and other domestic cities. It is also a secondary hub for MASWings, which serves flights to smaller towns and rural areas in East Malaysia.

Sea

Kota Kinabalu Ferry Terminal provides daily services to Pulau Manukan, as well as other islands, throughout the day. On the right is a typical boat used to ferry passengers around

Kota Kinabalu has two ports: Kota Kinabalu Port and Sepanggar Bay Container Port (SBCP). Kota Kinabalu Port mainly loose/bulk cargo, while SBCP operates as a naval base for the Royal Malaysian Navy, oil depot and all containerised cargo.[33] In 2004, Kota Kinabalu Port handled about 3.6 million tonnes of freight cargo, the third highest in the state after Sandakan Port, and Tawau Port.[14] It however handles the most number of containers in the state, with 153,793 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of containers handled in 2006. Sepanggar Bay Port will have the capacity to handle 200,000 TEU annually when its container terminal is completed.[34] All ports in Sabah are managed and operated by Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd.[35]

Kota Kinabalu Ferry Service is a passenger ferry terminal located at Jesselton Point near the K.K. port. It provides ferry and motorboat services to the nearby islands for tourists as well as for commuters living on the islands. There are also regular scheduled ferry services to Labuan.

Other utilities

Courts of law and legal enforcement

The court complex is located along Jalan Pantai in the city centre. It contains the High Court, Sessions Court, and the Magistrate Court.[36]

The Sabah Police Contingent Headquarters is located in Kepayan. There are two district headquarters in the city, the Kota Kinabalu District police headquarters is located in Karamunsing, and the Penampang District headquarters. Both also operate as police stations. Other police stations are found in KKIA, Tanjung Aru, Putatan, and Menggatal. Police substations (Pondok Polis) are found in Luyang, Likas, Telipok, and Babagon.[37] The city's traffic police headquarters is located along Lorong Dewan nearby Gaya Street, and the marine police is located nearby the city ferry terminal along Jalan Tun Razak.

Kota Kinabalu Central Prison is located in Kepayan. Temporary lock-ups or prison cells are found in most police stations around the city.

Healthcare

There are three public hospitals and one public health clinic in Kota Kinabalu. Queen Elizabeth General Hospital, located along Jalan Penampang is the largest public hospital in Sabah. Built in 1957, it is the most important healthcare centre in the city and one of only three general hospital in Sabah. Another hospital is the Hospital Pakar Likas (Likas Specialist Hospital). Hospital Mesra Bukit Padang (Bukit Padang Mental Hospital) which opened in 1971, provides psychiatric services for the entire state. The health clinic, Klinik Kesihatan Luyang, is located about 6 kilometres from the city centre. There are a number of public dental clinics around the city, and also rural clinics in the outskirts.[38]

Sabah Medical Centre in Damai is the largest private hospital in Sabah. Another private centre is the Damai Specialist Centre. There are many other private clinics operating around the city.[39]

UMS Chancellory Building

Education

There are many government or state schools in and around the city. Among the well-established and prestigious boarding schools in Sabah is Sekolah Menengah Sains Sabah which is located at Bukit Padang. KK's most notable secondary schools are Sekolah Menengah Taman Tun Fuad, Sekolah Menengah Likas, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Perempuan Likas, Sekolah Menengah La Salle, Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan St. Francis Convent, Sekolah Menengah All Saints, Sekolah Menengah Saint Michael, Maktab Sabah, KK High School, Sekolah Menengah Lok Yuk and Sekolah Menengah Shan Tao. There are also a number of independent private schools in the city. Among them are Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School, Kian Kok Middle School, Maktab Nasional and Seri Insan Secondary School. Classes usually begin at 7am and end at 1pm except for boarding schools, in which classes begins as early as 6.30 and end at 2pm. Children aged 7 are subjected to attend primary education which consists of six years learning while those aged 13 could pursue their study in lower secondary education for three years. After completing their Lower Secondary Examination, students enter Upper Secondary education, where they will be streamed into either the Science stream or Arts stream based on their examination result. Students chosen to be enrolled at boarding schools will be placed into the science stream. Currently, there are four boarding schools in Sabah.

There is also an international school called Kinabalu International School (KIS) located in Bukit Padang. KIS is part of the Federation of British International Schools in South and East Asia (FOBISSEA). Another international school is the Kinabalu Japanese School, one of four Japanese schools in Malaysia. It caters to children's of Japanese expatriates working and living around the city.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) is the largest university in Sabah and was founded in 1994. Its main campus is located on a 999 acre piece of land, on a hill facing the South China Sea at Sepanggar Bay, about 10 kilometres north of the city centre. It also has a branch campus in Labuan. It is considered as one of the most beautiful universities in Malaysia.[citation needed] The oldest University in Sabah is Universiti Teknologi MARA Sabah Campus which was co-founded by UiTM and Yayasan Sabah in 1973. The university has earned local and national reputation.[citation needed] There is also a number of private colleges operating in the city which are Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, AlmaCrest International College, INTI College, Kinabalu Commercial College, and Informatics College. An established Public College Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman also available at Donggongon area. Many affluent residents send their children overseas to pursue either secondary or tertiary education.

Libraries:

The Sabah State Library Headquarters is located off Jalan Penampang and is the largest library in the state. Other public libraries include Kota Kinabalu City (Regional) Library, Penampang Branch Library, and Menggatal Village Library. These libraries are operated by the Sabah State Library department.[40] Other libraries or private libraries can be found in schools, colleges, or university campus.

Culture and leisure

Attractions and recreation spots

Cultural

There are a number of cultural venues in Kota Kinabalu. The Sabah Museum, situated near the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, is the main museum of Sabah. Around the vicinity of the museum is the Science and Technology Centre, Sabah Art Gallery, and the Ethno Botanic Garden. Wisma Budaya Art Gallery in the city centre hosts some national as well as regional art exhibitions. The Hongkod Koisaan building in Penampang is home to the Kadazan-Dusun Cultural Organisation (KDCA). It hosts the annual Kaamatan or Harvest Festival, and the concurrently held Unduk Ngadau beauty contest in March. Monsopiad Cultural Village (Kampung Monsopiad) features cultural shows relating to the Kadazan-Dusun culture. It is named after the legendary Kadazan-Dusun headhunting warrior, Monsopiad.

Historical

The Padang Merdeka or Town Padang (field) is the site where the declaration of Sabah's independence and formation of Malaysia took place. The declaration was announced by Sabah's first Chief Minister, Tun Fuad Stephens, on September 16, 1963, also known as Malaysia Day. Today the site hosts the annual City Day celebration on February 2, Merdeka Day celebration on August 31, and a number of other celebrations and functions.

The Atkinson Clock Tower nearby Bandaran Berjaya, was built by Mary Edith Atkinson in 1905 in memory of her son Francis George Atkinson. It was formerly used as a navigation aid for ships. It is one of only three pre-World War II buildings to survive the war. The Petagas War Memorial, located nearby KKIA, is a reminder of those who died opposing the Japanese forces during World War II. It is situated at the place where the Kinabalu Guerillas were killed by the Japanese army in 1944. The Double Six Monument, located in Sembulan, a memorial which marks the site of the June 6, 1976 plane crash known as the Double Six Tragedy most notably the first Chief Minister of Sabah, Tun Fuad Stephens.

Sunset at Tanjung Aru beach. Pulau Sulug can be seen on the left and Pulau Manukan on the right of the horizon.

Leisure and conservation areas:

The boardwalk in Kota Kinabalu at dusk

There are many leisure spots and conservation areas around Kota Kinabalu. Anjung Samudra (KK Waterfront) is a waterfront entertainment spot in the city centre which features restaurants, cafes, pubs, and a nightclub. The Royal Sabah Turf Club in Tanjung Aru hosts weekly horse racing events but had since closed and moved to Tambalang Race Course in Tuaran due to the expansion of Kota Kinabalu International Airport. The North Borneo Railway which begins its journey from Tanjung Aru station, offers scenic tour of the countryside in the West Coast Division and the Interior Division. The railway journey ends in the town of Tenom. Sutera Harbour Golf & Country Club near the city centre was built wholly on reclaimed land. It features a golf and country club, a marina, and two hotels.

Tanjung Aru, located about 6 kilometres from the city centre, is one of the beaches in the West Coast. It derived its name from casuarina trees (locally called Aru trees) that grows on the shoreline.[41] The beach is over 2 kilometres in length and is complemented with a number food and drink stalls, restaurants, and night entertainment clubs. Within the Tanjung Aru vicinity lies the Kinabalu Golf Club, Prince Philip Botanical Park, K.K. Yacht Club, and Shangri-La's Tanjung Aru Beach Resort. This beach is famous for its sunset.

Located within the Likas Bay area is the Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary. With an area of 24 acres, it is the only remaining patch of mangrove forest that once existed extensively along the coastal region of Kota Kinabalu.[42] It was designated in September 1996 by the State Government to assist and foster a better understanding and awareness of the value of wetlands area. The newly opened Sabah Zoological and Botanical Park (Lok Kawi Wildlife Park) in Lok Kawi, about 20 kilometres south of the city, is the first zoo in Sabah. Set on a 280-acre piece of land, it is arguably the largest zoo in Malaysia.[43]

Tun Fuad Stephens Park, located in Bukit Padang, is a popular jogging and hiking spot among locals. It is surrounded by forests and also features a man-made lake. It has a few food stalls and restaurants. Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is a National Park consisting of the islands of Sapi, Mamutik, Manukan, Sulug and Gaya. It is a popular spot for snorkelling. The park is about 15 to 30 minutes boat ride away from the city ferry terminal. Babagon River, in Penampang, and Kiansom Falls near Inanam are also popular places for picnics and leisure bathing.

Outside the city, Crocker Range National Park, located about 70 kilometres away from the city near Keningau, is a popular spot for jungle trekking and camping. Kota Kinabalu is also the gateway to one of the most popular national parks in Malaysia, Kinabalu National Park. The park is a two hour drive away from the city and it contains Mount Kinabalu which is the fifth highest peak in South-East Asia, and the highest in Malaysia. The Rafflesia Forest Reserve near Tambunan, 30 kilometres away from Kota Kinabalu, is also within the Crocker Range National Park boundary. The world's largest flower species, the Rafflesia, can be found here. Nearby here is the Gunung Emas Highland Resort which is another spot famous for its scenery and cool climate. The Tuaran Crocodile Farm, about 30 kilometres north of the city, has around 1000 crocodiles in its enclosure, making it the largest of its kind in Sabah.[citation needed]

Other sights:

Other buildings and sites in the city are the stilt villages found in the areas of Sembulan, Tanjung Aru, Kampung Likas, and Kampung Pondo in Pulau Gaya. These houses are built on coastal shallow waters and are typical homes for the Bajau and Suluk inhabitants. The Sabah State Mosque in Sembulan is the largest mosque in Sabah. The City Mosque on Likas Bay is another significant landmark in the city. The Signal Hill Observatory near the CBD offers a scenic view of the city centre, the islands, and the sea. Tun Mustapha Tower (formerly Sabah Foundation Building) is about a 10-minute drive from the city centre. This 30-storey glass building is supported by high-tensile steel rods, one of only four buildings in the world that is built with this method. At 122 metres, it is the tallest building on Borneo island.[citation needed]

Shopping:

Filipino Market along the waterfront

Kota Kinabalu also features a number of shopping malls, which attract many visitors. These include Kompleks Karamunsing, Centre Point, Wisma Merdeka, Warisan Square, Plaza Wawasan, Kompleks Asia City, City Mall, KK Plaza, and the largest hypermall in 1 Borneo. Karamunsing, where Kompleks Karamunsing is situated, is an area that has more computer shops per capita than anywhere else in Sabah.[44]. The weekly Gaya Street Sunday Market features a gathering of locals hawkers selling a wide range of items from traditional ethnic cultural souvenirs to pets and flowers. The Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Market(formerly known as the Filipino Market) features vendors selling traditional handicrafts, souvenirs and foodstuffs.

Entertainment:

There are four cinemas in Kota Kinabalu - 2 Golden Screen Cinemas (commonly known as GSC), Cathay Cineplex and Growball. GSC is located in Kota Kinabalu and in 1Borneo. The GSC building in Kota Kinabalu has 4 cinemas whilst the one in 1Borneo has 8 cinemas and is the latest cinema in Kota Kinabalu[44]

Sports

The Likas Sports Complex in Kota Kinabalu provides various sporting and recreational facilities for public use. It has, among others, a 20,000-seater football (soccer) stadium, badminton, tennis, and squash courts, a gymnasium, an Olympic size swimming pool, a driving range, and hockey fields. It is the largest sports complex in the state and has hosted numerous national as well as international sporting events. Likas Stadium is home for Sabah FA football team (Sabah Rhinos) which is currently competing in the Malaysian Premier League. There is another sports complex in Penampang which also has a full-sized football stadium.

There are four golf courses in Kota Kinabalu; Sabah Golf and Country Club in Bukit Padang, Kinabalu Golf Club in Tanjung Aru, Sutera Harbour Golf and Country Club, and Karambunai Golf and Country Club.

Kota Kinabalu has played host to a number of national sporting events such as the 2002 Sukma Games, international tournaments such as the 1994 Karate World Championships[45] and the 2008 BWF Super Series Masters Finals badminton tournament.[46] It is also the starting point of the annual international Borneo Safari 4x4 Challenge.[47] Kota Kinabalu also hosts and is one of the circuits for the F2 Powerboat UIM World Cup Series in December every year since 2007.[48]

Notable personalities

Kota Kinabalu is home to a number of independent musicians who have had success in West Malaysia such as singer-songwriters Pete Teo, Mia Palencia, Jerome Kugan, and acoustic guitar virtuoso Roger Wang. It is also the native city of Popular Malaysian television personality, Daphne Iking. Australian-based R&B singer Che'Nelle (Cheryline Lim) came from Kota Kinabalu.

The first Asian-born member of the Australian Cabinet, Penny Wong, was born in Kota Kinabalu. She moved to Australia at the age of eight.

Tan Sri Sylar Goh is among the famous conglomerates, and he graduated from Monash University. Pursuing his industry in many fields. One of the famous industry he is expanding is the tea industry in malaysia. He is currently holding the presidential post of the Tea Association in Malaysia.

Photo gallery

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ "Kota Kinabalu". ABC Sabah. http://www.abcsabah.com/index.php/kota-kinabalu/. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  2. ^ Urban area figure obtained after combining population Kota Kinabalu with Putatan and Donggongon; Helders, Stefan. "Malaysia: metropolitan areas". World Gazetteer. http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=1173152037&men=gcis&lng=en&des=gamelan&dat=32&geo=-152&srt=pnan&col=ohdq&va=x&pt=a. Retrieved 2007-03-06. 
  3. ^ a b "Tourism hub set to lift Sabah real estate". TheStar. June 11, 2007. http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/6/11/business/17978745&sec=business. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  4. ^ With a 233% increase in population from 1991 to 2007; Helders, Stefan. "Malaysia: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". World Gazetteer. http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=1171083875&men=gcis&lng=en&des=gamelan&dat=32&geo=-152&srt=pnan&col=ohdq&va=&pt=c. Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  5. ^ "Mat Salleh Fort". History of Malaysia. Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia (National Library of Malaysia). http://sejarahmalaysia.pnm.my/portalBI/detail.php?section=sm04&spesifik_id=312&ttl_id=49. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  6. ^ Fujio, Hara. "The 1943 Kinabalu Uprising in Sabah". Anti-Japanese Movements in Southeast Asia During World War II. Association for Asian Studies, Inc. USA. http://www.aasianst.org/absts/1996abst/inter/i181.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-04. 
  7. ^ "Sabah's Heritage: A Brief Introduction to Sabah's History". Muzium Sabah, Kota Kinabalu. 1992. http://www.sabah.org.my/bi/know_sabah/history.asp. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  8. ^ "Mount Kinabalu". Virtual Malaysia. http://www.virtualmalaysia.com/destination/mount%20kinabalu%2Fkinabalu%20park.html. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 
  9. ^ Sorudim, Lesaya (May 2, 2005). "KINABALU: Kina Balu , Aki Nabalu, or Ki Nabalu?". KDCA Publications. http://www.kdca.org.my/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=101&Itemid=112. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  10. ^ "History of Sabah". Sabah Travel Guide. http://www.sabahtravelguide.com/features/. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  11. ^ "Original name still a poser". TheStar. February 2, 2000. http://161.139.39.251/akhbar/history/2000/st00202.htm. 
  12. ^ Sawatan, Jackson. "Adakah Gaya Sekadar 'Singgah mata' Untuk Pembangkang?". BERNAMA. http://www.mykmu.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2698. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  13. ^ "Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies". Election Commission of Malaysia. http://www.spr.gov.my/index/parnstlass.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  14. ^ a b Monthly Statistical Bulletin: Sabah, Department of Statistics Malaysia, Sabah, January 2007 
  15. ^ "Satellite image of Kota Kinabalu". Google Maps. http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&om=1&z=11&ll=5.944583,116.087036&spn=0.329866,0.466919&t=k. Retrieved 2007-03-17. 
  16. ^ "Main Page". Penampang District Council. http://www.sabah.gov.my/md.ppg/. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  17. ^ "Misi 3K asas kejayaan DBKK" (in Malay). Berita Harian. http://www.bharian.com.my/m/BHarian/Thursday/EdisiSabahSarawak/20070201090853/Article/. Retrieved 2007-02-03. 
  18. ^ "Cops storm Pulau Gaya, clash leaves one dead, four injured". The Star. August 5, 2006. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/8/5/nation/15060803&sec=nation. 
  19. ^ Google Maps, retrieved 14/12/2008
  20. ^ a b WWF Malaysia, A City Oasis, 28 December 2006. WWF Malaysia website, retrieved 14/12/2008 [1]
  21. ^ Sabah Parks website, retrieved 14/12/2008
  22. ^ Sabah Travel Guide website, retrieved 14/12/2008
  23. ^ Distance from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Retrieved on 2009-06-05
  24. ^ Distance from Kuching, Malaysia to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Retrieved on 2009-06-05
  25. ^ Coastal Profile of Sabah, Sabah State Government website, retrieved 14/12/2008 [2]
  26. ^ "Kota Kinabalu climate graphs". Allmetsat. http://en.allmetsat.com/climate/philippines.php?code=96471. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  27. ^ Sadiq, Kamal. "When States Prefer Non-Citizens Over Citizens: Conflict Over Illegal Immigration into Malaysia" (PDF). International Studies Quarterly (2005) 49. University of California–Irvine. p. 101–122. http://www.cri.uci.edu/pdf/ISQ2005FinalCopy.pdf. Retrieved 2007-03-13. 
  28. ^ Mantra, Ida Bagoes (1998). "Indonesian Labor Mobility to Malaysia (A Case Study: East Flores, West Lombok, and The Island of Bawean)" (DOC). National Workshop on International Migration at Yogyakarta. Population Studies Center, Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia. http://www.unesco.org/most/apmrlabo6.doc. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  29. ^ Reid, Anthony (1997). "Endangered Identity: Kadazan or Dusun in Sabah". Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol. 28. http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&se=gglsc&d=5000484947&er=deny. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  30. ^ "Introduction". Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park. http://www.kkip.com.my/DataBases/KKIPWeb.nsf/IntroPage?OpenPage. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  31. ^ The tour, North Borneo Railway. Accessed April 9, 2007.
  32. ^ "KKIA to become key air hub". The Star. February 15, 2007. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/2/15/nation/16889464&sec=nation. 
  33. ^ "Sepanggar Container Port Terminal ready". Daily Express. August 8, 2006. http://dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=43646. 
  34. ^ "SPSB raih pendapatan RM157.9j" (in Malay). Berita Harian. http://www.bharian.com.my/m/BHarian/Friday/Ekonomi/20070302061825/Article/. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  35. ^ "Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd". Suria Group. http://www.suriagroup.com.my/sabahports/spsb_main2.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  36. ^ "List of court addresses". Malaysian Court. http://www.kehakiman.gov.my/courts/address.shtml. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  37. ^ "Direktori: Alamat dan telefon PDRM". Royal Malaysian Police. http://www.rmp.gov.my/contact/contact_page.cfm?mod=20&recID=%2015&con=15&Dis=6. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 
  38. ^ "Senarai hospital kerajaan". Ministry of Health. http://www.moh.gov.my/MohPortal/govhospPublic.jsp?search=&search3=12&action.x=&action.y=&action=search. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 
  39. ^ "List of member hospital". Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia. http://www.hospitals-malaysia.org/index.cfm?menuid=4#Sabah. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 
  40. ^ "Introduction". Sabah State Library Online. http://www.ssl.sabah.gov.my/aboutus/introduction.asp. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  41. ^ http://www.cuti.com.my/Sub/Sabah/guide_tjgarubea.htm
  42. ^ http://www.sabah.org.my/kkcbs/
  43. ^ "Sabah's first zoo ready soon". Daily Express. February 22, 2005. http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=32749. 
  44. ^ a b "Reign226's Guide to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah". Malaysia Students. June 6, 2006. http://www.malaysia-students.com/2006/06/reign226s-guide-to-kota-kinabalu-sabah.html. 
  45. ^ "WKF World Championships results". Karate News. http://www.karatenews.us/Tournament%20Results/WKFresults.html. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  46. ^ "Lee Chong Wei claims win at Kota Kinabalu tourney". Taipei Times. December 19, 2008. http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/sport/archives/2008/12/19/2003431531. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  47. ^ "Borneo 4x4 Safari 2008". mysinchew.com. July 31, 2008. http://www.mysinchew.com/node/14488. Retrieved 2008-12-20. 
  48. ^ "F2000 powerboat race heads for Sabah". The Star. October 10, 2007. http://thestar.com.my/sports/story.asp?file=/2007/10/10/sports/20071010120504. Retrieved 2009-08-18. 

Others

  • Sabah State Government and DANCED (Danish Co-operation for Environment and Development): Sabah Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)
  • Department of Statistics Malaysia, Sabah: "Monthly Statistical Bulletin, January 2007: Sabah". ISSN 18231659

External links

Coordinates: 5°58′17″N 116°05′43″E / 5.9714°N 116.0952°E / 5.9714; 116.0952


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Downtown Kota Kinabalu
Downtown Kota Kinabalu

The capital of Sabah, Borneo, this Malaysian city is a growing resort destination due to is proximity to tropical islands, lush rain forest and Mount Kinabalu.

Get in

By plane

Kota Kinabalu International Airport (IATA code BKI, but also abbreviated KKIA) is the main gateway to Sabah.

  • Peninsular Malaysia: Malaysia Airlines [1] and budget carrier AirAsia [2] operate numerous flights daily between KK and Kuala Lumpur. Some flights stop over in Labuan or Sarawak airports. There are also several flights daily by AirAsia to and from Johor Bahru. Many fly between KK and Johor Bahru en route to Singapore as fares are considerably cheaper.
  • Within Sabah: Malaysia Airlines [3] and AirAsia [4] several flights daily KK and Sandakan as well as Tawau. Malaysia Airlines subsidiary MASWings [5], which operates the rural air service, links KK with Lahad Datu (four daily), Sandakan (twice daily) and Tawau (twice daily) by using Fokker planes, and Kudat (on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, flights continue to Sandakan) with Twin Otters.
  • Other destinations: Kota Kinabalu can be reached by direct flight from Manila through Cebu Pacific airlines www.cebupacificair.com and from Clark (2 hours north of Manila) through Air Asia; from Bangkok on Thai AirAsia [6]; from Singapore on AirAsia [7], Silkair [8], Tigerairways [9] and Jet Star [10]; from Hong Kong on Dragonair [11] and Malaysian Airlines [12]; from Brunei on Royal Brunei Airlines [13]; from Tokyo, Osaka, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Seoul and Manila on Malaysia Airlines [14]; from Macau on AirAsia [15]; and other cities too. The private Layang Layang Air flies daily between KK and Layang Layang Island for those booked into the resort there.

There are ATMs and a currency exchange in Terminal 1 & 2 of the airport but if you're arriving late it'll almost certainly be closed and the ATMs are not always working, so make sure you've got some Malaysian ringgit before you arrive as you'll need it for the taxi or the bus. If you find yourself having just arrived and without any ringgit, you can have a taxi take you to an ATM on the way to wherever you're staying. Getting there/away: The airport is 7km away from the city. A shuttle bus leaves approximately every hour and drops passengers off at the Wawasan Center south of downtown KK. You can also catch minibuses along the main road away from the airport. Minibus No. 17 (KK-Putatan buses) will bring you to the city. Taxis (you have to buy a coupon) are also available. The standard rate from the airport to the city is RM20 (as of July 2007).

By road

All main roads in Sabah radiate out from Kota Kinabalu. The main road to the Sarawak border at Sindumin heads south from the city through the suburbs of Kepayan and Tanjung Aru and goes past Papar, Kimanis, Beaufort and Sipitang. From Sindumin, the road continues to Lawas and on to Brunei and it is possible to travel from Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in a day. Another main road goes north to Kudat via Kota Belud. The main road to the East Coast (Sandakan and Lahad Datu) branches off from this road at Tamparuli. Another main road heading southeast leaves the suburbs of Penampang and Donggongon towards Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom.

By bus

There are two long-distance bus terminals, The South Terminal accross the road from Wisma Waawasan serving destinations south of Kota Kinabalu (eg Beaufort, Sipitang and Lawas), and the other called the Kota Kinabalu North Bus Terminal in Inanam, 10km to the northeast of the city centre. This terminal serves buses going north and east of KK, including Mount Kinabalu, Sandakan, Semporna and Tawau. Minivans run to neighbouring towns like Papar, Beaufort and Tuaran, and exclusively serve the towns of the West Coast interior like Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom. To get there/away from the KK North Bus Terminal, regular shuttle buses run between the terminal and the city centre near the state library.

The main minibus and minivan station is opposite Wisma Wawasan Plaza at the southern end of the city.

Heading east

  • To/from Sandakan: 5-6 hrs, 33 MYR. Several express bus companies operate buses between the Kota Kinbalu North Bus Terminal and Sandakan. Tung Ma Express (Tel: +60-(0)19-8827334 Mr Shim)-(buses from KK at 7:00, 8:00, 10:00, 12:30, 14:00, 20:00PM. Sida Express (Tel: +60-(0)12-816 5524 Ms. Sanita Binte Sapena) has departures from KK at 7:30, 9:30, 11:30, 14:00, 20:00. Bunga Raya Express (Tel: +60-(0)19-8999142 Ms. Suraidah Mohd) has departures from KK at 7:30, 9:30, 13:30 and 20:00.
  • To/from Semporna: 9-10 hrs, 58 MYR. Dyana Bus, leaves twice daily from Inanam station around 7:30AM & 7:30PM. Shuttle from KK city to Inanam is 1.50 MYR, 20 minutes, departs from bus station on Jalan Padang.
  • To/from Tawau: ~9 hrs, 55 MYR. Several express bus companies operate bus between the Kota Kinabalu North Bus Terminal and Kota Kinabalu-Tawau. Tung Ma Express (Tel: +60-(0)19-8827334 Mr Shim)-Andisba Express-(013-8797779)-Alitopan Express-013-8862348/0198634797/089767858-(bus from KK at 7:00, 8:00, 10:00, 12:30, 14:00.
  • To/from Mount Kinabalu and Ranau: 1.5-2 hrs, 25-35 MYR. All the above buses pass by the entrance of the Mount Kinabalu National Park, Kundasang and Ranau (for Poring Hot Spring). You can get off or board at these locations. You can also catch buses/minibuses doing the shorter run to Ranau. The journey from KK to Mount Kinabalu should take about two hours.

Heading north

  • To/from Kudat:
  • To/from Kota Belud:

Heading south

  • To/from Lawas: The Sipitang Express Bus Sdn Bhd [16] (Tel: +60-88-213722 or +60-(0)16-8149332) runs one bus at 07:30 daily from the City Centre bus terminal to Lawas in Sarawak. From Lawas, buses depart at 12:30. The journey takes about four hours and cost RM20 one way. The Lawas Bus Company also operates an express bus daily to Lawas, departing Lawas at about 8AM and returning from KK's City Centre terminal at 1PM. Both buses go through Beaufort and Sipitang. You can also make the journey by minivans but you may have to change at Beaufort or even at Papar and Sipitang. Catch them from the minivan station opposite Wawasan Plaza. If you are continuing to Brunei, see Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in a day.
  • To/from Beaufort and Sipitang: The Sipitang Express Bus [17] departs the City Centre Terminal for Beaufort (one and three quarter hours, RM9) and Sipitang (two and three quarter hours, RM14) at 8:30, 12:00 and 16:30. The 07:30 bus to Lawas also goes through Beaufort and Sipitang. From Sipitang, buses depart at 08:00, 12:00, 13:30 (bus comes through from Lawas) and 16:30 and an hour later from Beaufort. You can also catch the Lawas Bus Company's express bus between KK and Lawas. Again, you can do this do this by minivans throughout the day, although they are more frequent in the morning. You may also have to change at Papar if you cannot get a direct minivan.
  • To/from Menumbok: The Sipitang Express Bus [18] runs two buses from the City Centre terminal to Menumbok where there are ferries to Labuan. They depart at 07:00 and 13:00. From Menumbok, buses depart at 10:15 and 15:15. One way tickets cost RM14. Minivans also do the journey although you may have to change at Papar and Beaufort.
  • To/from Papar: Regular minivans run to this coastal town 38km south of Kota Kinabalu.

Heading to the south-west interior

  • To/from Tambunan, Keningau and Tenom: Most public transport to this part of Sabah is by minibuses and vans which leave from the minibus station opposite Wawasan Plaza. Again, it's best to get started early. You should be able to catch a direct minibus from KK to Keningau. Change there for Tenom.

By boat

Ferries use the Jesselton point Ferry Terminal, a 20 minute walk from the center of town. The most popular service is to Labuan where there are frequent ferries daily. The journey takes about 3 hours. From Labuan, you can continue all the way to Bandar Seri Begawan in one day if you get an early start. A package ticket to Brunei costs RM56. See the Kota Kinabalu to Brunei in a day page for details.

Boats also leave for the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park just off the coast of Kota Kinabalu from the ferry terminal. Regular departures to Manukan, Gaya and other islands. Cost per person is between RM15 and RM40 depending on island. See the park's page for details.

Due to repair work and an accident, the North Borneo Railway has temporarily halted operations until November 2008.

The North Borneo Railway [19] operates a 134km network from Tanjung Aru south of the city centre to Tenom in the interior via Papar, Kimanis and Beaufort. Four trains daily except for Sunday, when there are only two trains, run between Tanjung Aru station (Tel: +60-88-254611) and Beaufort, where you change trains if you want to continue your journey to Tenom. Journey time between Kota Kinabalu and Beaufort is about 2 hours, making it more attractive for travellers to take the bus for part of the journey. You can then change to a train at Beaufort for the more interesting stretch to Tenom.

Get around

Taxi - Short fares around RM10, longer trips around RM20. A whole day shouldn't cost more then RM300. It should be STRESSED that haggling is vital in order to get a fair price. Many taxi drivers in Malaysia are infamous for raising their fare prices, ESPECIALLY upon unknowing tourists.

Bus - RM1.50 from Kota Kinabalu International Airport (Petagas) to the city centre, while RM1.00 from Terminal 2 International Airport (Tg.Aru) to City Centre.

Hire Car - cars can easily be hired on the spot from the hire car counters in the arrivals hall. Rates can be negotiated so compare the offers.

'" Motorbikes for hire! "' - the first ever in KK GG Rent A Motorbike provides scooters to semi auto's for tourist and at a price of RM 20.00! they provide great maps and plan your itinerary with you to maximize your schedule and minimize the time.. so easy to travel in Sabah now and graet customer service! for more info log on to www.gogosabah.com which is their official website. No more high prices on taxi's, do everything yourself with GG Rent A Motorbike..!

Atkinson Clock Tower
Atkinson Clock Tower
Sabah State Mosque
Sabah State Mosque
Entrance to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park
Entrance to Lok Kawi Wildlife Park
Hall of Skulls at Monsopiad Cultural Village
Hall of Skulls at Monsopiad Cultural Village
  • Atkinson Clock Tower - built in 1902 in memory of Francis George Atkinson, the first district officer of Jesselton, as KK was then called. He died of a tropical disease in the same year at the young age of only 28. The tower is on a hill beside Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, just a few minutes away from the city centre.
  • Sabah State Mosque - located on Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman.
  • State Museum - A quick guide to KK's history.
  • Lok Kawi Wildlife Park

Located near the small town of Lok Kawi a short distance south of Kota Kinabalu. It features Orang-Utans, Proboscis Monkeys, Gibbons, a Sumatran Rhinoceros, some tigers, local deer, various birds in a large aviary, elephants, and other animals. A reptile section will be opened soon. A good alternative to visiting the nature reserves around Sabah for those on a tight schedule, as well as giving you the chance to see the animals much more up close than you would in the jungle. Entrance fee: RM20 for adults, RM10 for children, half-price for Malaysians. It is a little difficult to get to as there is no public transportation that goes right to the park, and it is about 10 minutes drive outside of Lok Kawi (and about half an hour outside of Kota Kinabalu). Take a 17B or 17C bus to Lok Kawi town at RM3 a head, then a local taxi for around RM12-15 to the park. It is advisable to get the phone number of the taxi driver or arrange pickup from the park at a set time to go back to Lok Kawi as there are no taxis or buses at the park. Alternatively pay some RM80-100 to have a taxi take you there from Kota Kinabalu and back.

  • Monsopiad Cultural Village [20]

Located about half an hour south-east of town, this small park shows the traditional way of life of the Kadazan ethnic group and tells the story of Monsopiad, a Kadazan warrior who lived some 300 years ago and who killed 42 men who attacked his village. The 42 skulls can be viewed in the Hall of Skulls. Entrance fee is RM50 for adults, RM10 for children (prices for non-Malaysians). To get there you can hire a taxi from Kota Kinabalu and arrange to be picked up some hours later. The rate should be around RM80, or RM20 one-way.

  • bike, blade, and board - [21] - extreme sports community group in Kota Kinabalu.
  • Eco and Natural Tour [22] - Explore the rich and diversified treasure of nature on the island.
  • Trinity Self-Defence - Learn some self-defence skills at a Kota Kinabalu Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Gym! Classes include Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, CMB, Judo and Shootfighting. Trainers in training Stephen, Fresh and Genn are very friendly and experienced. Contact Fresh at trinityselfdef@gmail.com. Address: Lot 12 1st Floor Likas Plaza Phase 1 Mile 4 1/2 Jalan Tuaran 88400 Kota Kinabalu Sabah.
  • Shop Shop Shop - Lots of Shopping Centres great for picking up bargains.
  • Eat Eat Eat - Kota Kinablu is a cultural melting pot. Here Chinese meet Malays and Bruneis, Javanese, Filipinos and even a couple of Europeans, all of whom have brought along their own cuisine. Try out the many specialties offered at the various kedai kopi (often in buffet form making it easy to order) and shun fast food chains!
  • Exchange Rate: US$ 1.00 = RM 3.48
  • Kota Kinabalu Handicraft Market[23] is next to the waterfront. Formerly known as "Pasar Filipino", it is always synonym with pearls, local handicrafts, home decorations and even crystals lately. Don't forget to bargain for good prices, the attendants here are very friendly and they will always greet you with warm smile. You can also find souvenirs such as keychains, t-shirts with Sabah themes, carved wooden statues, batiks and sarongs, rattan handicraft and floor mats, Islamic caligraphies, brooches etc. Some of the items are imported from Austria and others from neighbouring Asian countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Korea, and there is little actual Sabah handicraft available, but it is a very colourful place that will stay in your memory as a 'souvenir' from Sabah.
  • Gaya Street Tamu: KK's Sunday Market - everything from Malaysian delicacies, ground coffee, t-shirts, handicrafts, hardware and anything in between at bargain prices. Held every Sunday morning, 6AM - 1PM, along Jalan Gaya right in the heart of town.

Eat

For meals, head to the outdoor food stalls fronting the sea or coffee shops along the streets. The less adventurous could make a beeline for fast food outlets in the Centrepoint shopping center while those with deeper pockets could try the pier-side restaurants just after the open air fish market.

  • @mosphere, Menara Tun Mustapha, tel. 088-425-100, [24]. Revolving restaurant in Borneo's tallest building serving predictably generic "Pacific Rim" cuisine. Open throughout the day and for drinks at night.
  • Anjappar, Asia City Complex (facing Api Api centre, diagonally across the street from CentrePoint) tel. 088-227969, [25]. Chettinad (North and South Indian) cuisine. Serves authentic Indian food such as banana leaf meals, biriyani, naan & roti, tandoori dishes, and dosai. Prices range from RM3.50 to RM10.00. Working hours: 10.30AM to 3.30PM and 5.30PM to 10.00PM. Anjappar is an Indian franchise with branches in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sri Lanka and Canada.
  • Bella Italia, 69 Jalan Gaya – right under the Jesselton Hotel in KK's business area. Phone 088 313 366. Fabulous

Italian restaurant that pops up unexpectedly. Chefs Maurizio and Michele produce some of the finest pizzas and pastas anywhere – not just in Malaysia – and if you get there early there are big discounts. If you like Italian, don't miss it!

  • Grazie Ristorante -Italian Restaurant' - at Wawasan Plaza Complex, next to Tang Dynasty Hotel, tel: +6019 821 6936 [26]. Serves no pork. *Cozy, affordable, nice music & clean.
  • Ferdinand`s Italian restaurant, Magellan Sutera harbour hotel, tel. 088303900. Italian restaurant an Sutera Harbour hotel, next to the international airport.
  • Jeff De Corner Grd Flr, Luyang Ph 6, Shophouse, approximately 15 minutes from the city. Vast range of dishes incl Lamb & Beef Steak, Oxtail soup, lamb shank, BBQ Lamb and the exclusive Wagyu Beef Steak. Please call for reservation. Tel:6019-881-8427
  • Jothy's Fish Head Curry and Banana Leaf Restaurant - Api Api Center. An eat-with-your-hands restaurant. A chicken dish RM8, a mango lassie RM4. Also, try the fish head curry, fish cutlets, fried fish pieces, chicken nasi biryani, assam soup and dried bitter gourd. Not the best Banana Leaf restaurant in Malaysia, but not bad. They'll bring you a spoon and fork, which you should politely decline. Ask for a banana leaf (for additional 50 cents) and eat with your hands. English menu.
  • Kohinoor, tel. 088-235160, [27]. North Indian food by the waterfront. Claims to have invented the "Chicken Cheese Tandoori Tikka". Indoor and alfresco seating.
  • Man Tai Restaurant - Located in Likas, Dah Yeh Villa. They are famous for their Beaufort-style Fried Noodles. They serve Chinese style a-la carte dishes as well.
  • Mario's Pizza, 1 Borneo Hypermall, Jalan UMS, Kota Kinabalu - Mario's Pizza at 1 Borneo C-702 Lower Ground serves authentic Italian Pizza Slice or "Pizza al Taglio" so good and yummy at an unbeatable price.
  • Pete's Corner - Located in Asia City in the heart of Kota Kinabalu, Pete's Corner is a Western breakfast place which specializes in "Cheap but good" Western style dishes. The shop mainly caters for steaks and other western dishes at reasonable prices (RM10-18). The meal in itself isn't huge, but it gets the job done. If your lucky, you might see theo owner himself.
  • Pirates Rib Shack Diner - Located in Asia City in the heart of Kota Kinabalu, Pirates Ribshack Diner provides the best pork and lamb ribs in town, together with steaks, burgers and seafood, on Sunday they hold a weekly BBQ Pork roast. The Stonebridge Galley provides all day English Breakfast. Halal food and drink is available at Charles Cafe outlet
  • Salim - Situated in Lintas Square, approximately 20 minutes drive from the city, Salim has proved to be a highly popular supper spot for many local Sabahans both young and old. Specialising in many local "mamak" foods and delicacies, the most popular meals would be the Malaysian roti styled bread which is cooked over an open flat iron skillet which is bathed in oil. The meal along with a nice cup of Teh Tarik Madras would range at around RM 5-8.
  • Yu Kee's Bak Kut Teh - Located along the famous Gaya Street, its a Chinese operated restaurant that serves pork dishes. A small single dish cost about RM4, soup top up is free. All types of pork meat & organs served with special Chinese herb soup. A MUST TRY!

Seafood in Kota Kinabalu is very popular, so getting a dose of it is a must. Here are some places to try:

  • New Gaya Seafood Restaurant, Tel: 088-385020. One of the most visited seafood restaurant by locals. Price are fixed and 20% - 30% cheaper than city's seafood restaurants. Captains are helpful. Must try their deep fried crabs with egg yolk & butter prawn. Its located next to Gaya Sports Recreation Centre (Tel: 088-426075), Inanam. 20 minutes by Taxi, highly recommended for visitors who have spare time.
  • Ocean Seafood Restaurant - Right next to the Promenade Hotel and Parkson Grand. The restaurant faces the coastline. You can take a pick on your seafood orders by the fishtanks, or if you prefer, you can let the waiters recommend at your table.
  • Portview Seafood Restaurant- There are 2 branches of this in K.K. One of them is right opposite Centrepoint Shopping Centre, called The Waterfront. This one is quite new, a very popular place for tourists and orders can be taken either way similar to Ocean Restaurant. This restaurant is nestled amongst other popular nightlife hangouts, mostly bars and clubs, but also cafes like CoffeeBean. The other older one is nicely set in front of a pier, within walking distance to banks such as HSBC and Standard Chartered, and some supermarkets stocking imported goods.
  • Salut Seafood Restaurant- It takes about 20 minutes car journey from the city center to Salut where the restaurant is located near the Sepanggar Bay and Telipok. It is a famous place for cheaper seafood dishes as the prawns are bred by the restaurant owner.
  • Sutera Rimba - 7PM to midnight.
  • Pirates Bar - Located in Asia City in the 3 colour T food Court accross the road from Centrepoint behind the Mercedes Bendz Dealer. Features the largest outdoor bar in Kota Kinabalu with prices from RM 25+ for 5 cans of house beer. Live sport including AFL, NRL, Rugby, Cricket. Live music at weekends
  • Shenanigan Fun Pub - Located at ground floor of the Kinabalu Hyatt Regency.
  • Shamrock Irish Bar - The Waterfront Lot 6. Pint of Tiger or Guinness RM20+. The usual Irish fare, with outdoor seating. Add 16% tax.
  • Cocoon - One of KK's most notable nightspots. It is a relaxed bar in the day and a lively bar/club by night, with the action carrying on into the small hours.
  • Bee Kim KTV - Located at Sadong Jaya around Karamunsing area.
  • Strawberry KTV - Located near segama and central market.
  • Razz-Ma-Tazz - Located just outside the central business district along Jalan Tuaran, it is one of the largest and most popular nightclubs in the city. Features two rooms, the larger one, Z'Razz, features a live band rotated with DJ spinning mainly hip-hop tracks. The smaller room, Zuave, plays mainly house, trance, and other dance tracks.
  • Bed - located on the Promenade near the night markets. One room with a cover band, Pool table and DJ.
  • Beach Road Pub and cafe, live band, pool.

Sleep

Kota Kinabalu has accommodation in all price brackets. For lodgings on and around Mount Kinabalu, see the Mount Kinabalu article.

  • Akinabalu Youth Hostel, [28], Jalan Gaya. Two computers with free internet access, TV and DVD, and free breakfast. RM56 for a room for two with shared bathroom. Safe and clean with friendly staff.
  • Alpinehomstay [29], tel. 60 88 237727. They are located 5 minutes from the airport and city centre.Fully furnished.Modernly decorated. Free pickup from and to the airport.Free shuttle to the city centre.
  • Asia Adventure Lodge, tel. +60 138929995, [30], [31]. Smaller hostel with a friendly family feel located right in the heart of town next to Internet cafe, banks, travel agents, supermarkets and nightlife, plus the colourful and deliciously diversified Sunday Market. Dorms RM 17 (fan) or RM 22 (aircon); Aircon Singles/Doubles RM 40/RM 58. Free Wi-Fi too!
  • Borneo Adventure Center & Lodge, tel. +6(088) 241 515, [32], Email : Borneoadventurecenter@yahoo.com. Borneo Adventure Center & Lodge is a budget hotel & lodge that offer backpackers rates. It has rooms for double, triple as well as backpackers dormitory beds. All rooms have fan, air-conditioning at night and either a common or an ensuite shower room with hot water shower. Facilities includes a self service kitchen equipped with refrigerator, microwave oven, stove, toaster, coffee making facilities, CCTV security, electronic card access system, in-house laundry service, Cable TV at the lobby, Wifi and Internet access. Rates inclusive of simple Breakfast (Toast with coffee/tea) too. Rates: Dorm. - RM21 per Person, Twin or Dbl Bed Room - RM55.00 per room.
  • Borneo Backpackers, tel. +6(088) 234 009, [33],Email : info@borneobackpackers.com .Centrally located in the heart of Kota Kinabalu, Borneo Backpackers has already attracted the attention of discerning travellers from around the world. Some guests have already made return visits, and many more have vowed to return. While guests originally come for the facilities on offer, such as clean bathroom, toilets, pantry area, internet facility, laundry, cosy lounge area, roof garden deck, 24 hours security, and a tour information counter. They return for the service from our friendly, helpful and knowledgeable local staff. Rooms available include airconditioned or fan Large Dormitory (10 Beds), Medium Dormitory (4 - 6 Beds) and Private Rooms. Each room has small storage compartment for personal items and has a fan or is air-conditioned. Rates from US$7 per person per night.
  • Borneo BeacHouse Backpackers, tel. +6(088) 218 331, [34], [35]. Enjoy the only BeacHouse (friendly, relaxed atmosphere) which offers the ideal vacation home to the leisure seekers and busy executives with abundant eco and nature sites. Details visit website
  • Borneo Gaya Lodge, tel: +6088 242 477. [36], Email : info@borneogayalodge.com. New Lodge at Gaya Street (the famous street-sunday market in the central of K.K)is just started in the end of year 2008. New bed sheet & linen, towel, and hot & cold drinking water are free here. A spacious living (carpeting floor) with LCD (Astro Channel), wireless internet access, books, a small kitchen with refrigerator, tour information and our friendly staff will make you feel warm here. No Curfew and 24 hours Security with CCTV and computerized lock door. Rates for fan & air-con room start from RM23 per bed. Private Dorm, Twin/Double Bedroom and Family Room with common toilet are available. Soon Twin/Double & Family Bedroom with private toilet will set up in the coming of Feb 2009. Booking online at website [37]
  • Century Hotel Inanam , tel. +6088 380222, 012 8380268; Located at Inanam. [38] Spacious rooms, with TV and hot shower provided. 5 minutes drive from the city centre, KK. The owners also operates their chicken rice right below the hotel. Serves Hainan chicken rice and other varieties of food and beverage throughout the day.
  • Globetrotters Lodge (formerly New Horizon), tel. +6088 272796, [39], [40]. Small, opposite British Council, just off Gaya Street, street market every Sunday morning, lots of cheap restaurants and banks nearby. Details visit website
  • Hamin Lodge, tel. +6(088)272008 [41], [42]. Hamin Lodge in Kota Kinabalu is a unique boutique budget Hotel in the heart of Kota Kinabalu City. Services include Borneo Deco Hotel rooms in Kota Kinabalu, Exciting Borneo Tour packages, a Traditional Massage Spa, Restaurant and Bar. Fully air conditioned for comfort, rooms range from budget Hostel types of rooms suitable for backpackers to deluxe rooms with ensuite.
  • Hotel Holiday, tel. +6(088)-213116, [43]. One of the best budget hotels in the city center. Offer 1mb wireless internet /hotspot, laundry, friendly staff, closed to tourist attractions. Rates start from RM83 for air-con double room with private bathroom. SMS reservation mobile phone number +6012-6909-888
  • Kinabalu Backpackers, tel. +6088 - 253 385, [44], [45]. Centrally located in Australian Place, Kinabalu Backpackers offers Dorms for RM 25, Doubles (Sleeps 2) for RM 65 a night -- all rooms have AC. Free Breakfast, Free Coffee or Tea all day and Free Internet+Wifi, Airport pickup service.
  • Lavender Lodge, tel. +6088 - 217119 , fax +6088 - 218077, [46]. This newly opened hotel is in the central business district of the city,within short walking distance to shopping malls, restaurants and entertainment outlets. The exceptionally clean and comfortable rooms, friendly staffs and affordable prices make the lodge favourites among international travellers. Details visit website
  • Megah D’Aru Hotel, No. 2, Jalan Kinabalu, Tanjung Aru Township, 88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia (located in the heart of Tanjung Aru Township), +6088 239 666 (). checkin: 2.00p.m.; checkout: 12.00noon. Located in Tanjung Aru Township, less than 5-minutes drive south of Kota Kinabalu City centre, and north of the Kota Kinabalu International Airport. Its 72 rooms are well equipped, and the rates reasonable. RM128-RM188.  edit
  • Step-in Lodge, tel. +6088 - 233519, [47]. Painted in a zany combination of purple and bright green, this is a cozy little hostel in the middle of the city, with very friendly staff. Toilets and shower stalls are immaculate. Rates start from RM25 per person for a dorm, air-con double RM80, including a simple continental breakfast. Details visit website
  • Summer Lodge, [48]. Convenient central location with a nice lobby, free internet/wifi, free breakfast, and very helpful staff. Clean, decent bathrooms, however dorm rooms leave a bit to be desired (cramped, bed frames falling apart). As of July 2008: All rooms have aircon; 22 MYR/night mixed dorm; 28 MYR/night male or female only, plus private rooms.
  • Tropicana Lodge,. Not recommended.
  • Velvet Lodge & Lounge, tel. +6088 212196, [49], [50]. Located in the heart of the city this clean new hostel offers Internet/wi-fi, laundry, friendly staff, simple breakfast and a funky patio lounge serving great meals and cold beer. Details visit website (Velvet Lodge closed down in mid 2008)
  • X-plorer Backpackers, 1st Floor, 106/108, Jalan Gaya, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, +60-88-538780 (, fax: +60-88-538781), [51]. checkin: 1400; checkout: 1300. Centrally located in the heart of town along the popular Gaya Sunday morning street market. Reservations can be made by phone, online or by SMS text message to mobile phone:+6012-8399328. Complimentary breakfast, free wifi, all rooms are air-conditioned. Dormitories, private rooms, family rooms available. Some ensuite rooms with attached bathrooms were recently upgraded. Rates start from RM20.00.  edit
  • Hotel Kotajaya and Back Packers Contact No. +6088 222715, [52]. Located near Sinsuran Complex, short distance to Centre Point, Api-Api Centre, Kompleks Asia City, and Waterfront bars. Budget rooms with private bathroom are available. Friendly host.
  • Impiana Mutiara Hotel KAMPUNG AIR, No.12, Jalan Perpaduan, Kampung Air, 88000 Kota Kinabalu. (in the heart of Kota Kinabalu City Center), +6088 231 991 / 232 992 (), [53]. A budget hotel with 27 rooms. Every room comes with an attached bathroom with hot and cold shower, individual air-con unit and TV with cable channels. Reservations can be made online. Promotion rate starts from RM 65.  edit
  • King Park Hotel Kota Kinabalu, Jalan Masjid Lama, Bandaran Berjaya 88000 (in the heart of Kota Kinabalu City Center), +6088 270 500 (), [54]. checkin: 2.00p.m.; checkout: 12.00noon. One of the newest 3 star hotel located in the heart of Kota Kinabalu (Bandaran Berjaya) that provides friendly service, convenient facilities and clean and affordable accommodation for leisure travelers or business people. This 14-storey Hotel features panoramic views of Kota Kinabalu city and Tunku Abdul Rahman Park from the upper floors. Offers online reservations. RM128-RM198.  edit
  • Grand Borneo Hotel (formerly Mercure KK), Grand Borneo Hotel, Tel: +60 88 526 888, mailto:info@grandborneohotel.com, http://www.grandborneohotel.com. Grand Borneo Hotel, a fast growing home-grown brand, makes its debut in the pulsating tropical wonders of Kota Kinabalu. This 325-room property of modern chic deluxe class forms an integral part of the largest mall in Sabah - 1Borneo Hypermall; an entertainment complex with over 400 stores of leisure, entertainment and culinary delights. This international class hotel caters to business travelers as well as holiday makers.
  • Sutera Harbour Resort (formerly Pan Pacific), Sutera Harbour Blvd, Kota Kinabalu, tel. +60 88 318 888, [55], [56]. The resort property of Sutera Harbour Resort, features a city-style hotel in The Pacific Sutera and a resort-style hotel The Magellan Sutera. The property also features a 27-hole golf course, a fully equipped marina, 2 spas, sports facilities like squash, badminton and tennis courts and various other sport and leisure activities. About a RM10 taxi ride to town, or a 20 minute walk (if you're in good shape). The rooms are top notch with either a sea view or golf course/ Mount Kinabalu view in Pacific Sutera Theor a garden / sea-view from The Magellan Sutera. You can easily book trips to the islands, starting at RM 35. The Resort has a free shuttle bus going to town every hour until 21:00, as well as an internal shuttle that ferries guests between facilities. Cross-signing facilities mean that if you stay in one hotel, you have access to the entire resort. An internal shuttle takes guests between the properties, the marina and the golf club.
  • Berjaya Palace Hotel, 1 Jalan Tangki Karamunsing, tel. +60-88-211911. The hotel blends old architecture with modern facilities. Hilltop location, 15 minutes drive from the airport.
  • Jesselton Hotel, www.jesseltonhotel.com 69, Gaya Street, 88000 Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Tel:(6088)223333.Fax:(6088)240401 Jesselton was the initial name for Kota Kinabalu during the British colony. And this boutique hotel should not be missed. Built in the early 1920s, it has been one of the longest remaining quality hotels in Kota Kinabalu. Set right in the middle of Gaya Street, a street thriving with local shops and cafes, and walking distance to the local cinemas - sets off the charms of the local atmosphere. The Pasar Malam ('night market') and Sundays on Gaya Streets are a must-see. Many hawkers will set up shops along Gaya Street to sell their wares - food, toys or pets. Lots of vibrant colors and scrumptious smells along the strip. This hotel is within the city center district. Hotel has their own limousine, which is a British cab imported from the UK. Email: jesshtl@po.jaring.my
  • Hyatt Regency Kinabalu, Jalan Datuk Salleh Sulong, 88991 (in the city centre), +60 8 822 1234 (), [57]. A 3 - 4 star International hotel but still has that exclusive feeling once you walk through the doors. Right in the heart of the city centre, a perfect choice for business men who just want to eat, sleep and work. This hotel has an impressive choice of restaurants, from their coffee shop serving Malaysian food, a Chinese restaurant with 'dimsum' or 'yum cha', a Japanese restaurant with Teppanyaki and a fresh bakery. Close to shopping centers, fast food outlets, and cafes.  edit
  • Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort - 5 star - excellent facility, beautifully located on beach. Quality 18 hole golf course, excellent kid's club and has an orang-utan sanctuary where guests can see young orang-utans up relatively close. An excellent family resort, great pools with small but good water slide equipment. Excellent service, but drinks did take a little while to arrive. Good watersports activities. Coast Restaurant ok but on beautiful beachside setting. A 90RM taxi ride from the airport - takes about 40 minutes by taxi.
  • Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort, tel. +60-88-225800, [58]. This is one of the oldest, grandest but possibly the most comfortable hotels in Kota Kinabalu. A 5 star hotel, the rooms in the old wing are confined inside the building and looks out to the pitch-and-put golf course. A tiny jungle is built in the middle of the corridor leading towards the hotel rooms of the old wing. Although as old as it may sound, the rooms are impressively larger than the new wing. The new wing, on the other hand, overlooks the sea or the swimming pool and is a bit more secluded for those who enjoy lazing out in the sun. A taxi ride from the Terminal 2 is about RM10, but to the city center is RM15. Shuttle from the airport to the hotel is available upon request.
  • Le Méridien Kota Kinabalu, Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens, tel. (60) 8832 2222. 306 rooms. Gym, seaview pool.
  • Nexus Resort Karambunai, 30 km northeast of Kota Kinabalu. 485 rooms, eight restaurants, golf course, spa.
  • Promenade Hotel, Sdn Bhd 88000, tel. 60-88-265 555, fax 60-88-246 666. Features 451 rooms, swimming pool, gym, beauty salon and health spa. Also features two restaurants (specializing in local and Asian cuisine), two cafes, a lobby lounge, promenade floor lounge and a karaoke bar. Close to shopping centers, fast food outlets, hawker stalls, nightlife and cafes.
  • Magellan Sutera Resort, tel. 60 88 318 888, [59]. The natural beauty that envelopes this 5-star resort is rivalled only by the luxury it offers.
  • Australian Consulate, Suite 10.1, Level 10, Wisma Great Eastern Life, 65 Jalan Gaya, Kota Kinabalu, +6088 267151, [60].  edit
  • Bruneian Consulate, Lot No. 8-4, 8th Floor, Menara MAA, Api-Api Centre, Kota Kinabalu, +6088 236113. nicexa  edit
  • Finnish Consulate, c/o Uli Motors SDN BHD, Jalan Miniyak, Off Mile 5.5, Jalan Tuaran, Kota Kinabalu, +6088 431336/431337.  edit
  • Consulate General of Indonesia, Lorong Kemajuan, Karamunsing, Kota Kinabalu, +6088 218600/218258/218518/219110.  edit
  • Consulate General of Japan, Wisma Perindustrian 18F, Jalan Istiadat, Likas, Kota Kinabalu, +6088 254169.  edit
  • Honorary Consulate of Sweden, Jalan Minyak off Jalan Tuaran, Mile 5 1/2, Inanam, Kota Kinabalu, +6088 431336.  edit
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Proper noun

Kota Kinabalu

  1. State capital of Sabah (Malaysia), formerly known as Jesselton.

Simple English

Kota Kinabalu
亚庇市
Nickname(s): "Nature Resort City"
Country  Malaysia
State Sabah
Settled by BNBC 1882
Declared capital of North Borneo 1946
Granted city status February 2, 2000
Government
 - Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim
Area
 - City 351 km2 (136 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 - City 579 3041
 Density 1,650/km2 (4,260/sq mi)
 Urban 500,000
 Metro 700,000
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
Postcode 88xxx; 89xxx
Area code(s) 088
Website http://www.dbkk.sabah.gov.my
1 World Gazetteer

Kota Kinabalu (pronounced [ˈkɔtɑ kɪnɑbɑlʊ]), formerly Jesselton, is the capital of Sabah state in Malaysia. It is also the capital of the West Coast Division of Sabah. The city is located on the northwest coast of Borneo facing the South China Sea. The Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park lies on one side and Mount Kinabalu, which gave the city its name, is nearby. Kota Kinabalu proper 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.[1]

Kota Kinabalu is often known as K.K. within Malaysia and internationally. It is a major tourist destination and a popular gateway for travellers visiting Sabah and Borneo.[2] Kinabalu National Park is located about 90 kilometres from the city and there are many tourist attractions in and around the city. Kota Kinabalu is also one of the major industrial and commercial centres of East Malaysia. These two factors combine to make Kota Kinabalu one of the fastest growing cities in Malaysia.[3]

Contents

History

In the late 1800s, the British North Borneo Company (BNBC) began to establish colonies throughout North Borneo (now Sabah). In 1882, the Company founded a small settlement on Gaya Island (Pulau Gaya), which was already inhabited by the Bajau people. In 1897, this first settlement was burned and destroyed by Bajau rebels led by Mat Salleh.[4]

After the rebellion, the Company decided to relocate the settlement to the more easily defended mainland opposite Pulau Gaya. A nearby fishing village named Api-Api (see Original names below), was the next settlement of the Company. This new location was then designated as the main harbour and port, as well as the terminus for the North Borneo Railway. It was expanded and renamed Jesselton, named after Sir Charles Jessel, the then Vice Chairman of the Company.

Eventually, Jesselton became a major trading post of North Borneo, dealing in rubber, rattan, honey, and wax. The new railway was used to transport goods to Jesselton harbour. Bajau uprisings during these times were not uncommon, and the Company worked to quell the long-standing threat of piracy in the region.

Jesselton was razed by the retreating British early in World War II to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Japanese. After the Japanese takeover of Borneo, it was again renamed Api. Rebellions against the Japanese military administration have taken place in Api. One major rebellion occurred in 1943 by the group called Kinabalu Guerrillas, consisting of local inhabitants. The rebellion was however quelled by the Japanese forces, after their leader, Albert Kwok, was arrested and executed in 1944.[5] At the later stages of the war, what remained of the town was destroyed again by Allied bombings as part of the Borneo Campaign in 1945, leaving only three buildings standing. The war in North Borneo ended with the official surrender of the Japanese 37th Army by Lieutenant General Baba Masao in Labuan on September 10, 1945.

After the war, the British North Borneo Company returned to administer Jesselton but was unable to finance the huge costs of reconstruction. They gave control of North Borneo to the British Crown in 1946. The new colonial government elected to rebuild Jesselton as the capital of North Borneo instead of Sandakan, which had also been destroyed by the war.[6]

When North Borneo together with Sarawak, Singapore & Federation of Malaya formed the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, the state became known as Sabah and Jesselton remained its capital. Jesselton was renamed Kota Kinabalu on September 30, 1968 and received official city status from the Malaysian government on February 2, 2000.

File:Tanjung
View of Likas Bay at dawn. On the far right is Mount Kinabalu

Etymology

Kota Kinabalu is named after Mount Kinabalu, situated about 90 kilometres east-northeast of the city. The meaning and origin of the name Kinabalu is uncertain. One theory suggests it means "Chinese widow", where Kina meaning "Chinese" (person) in Kadazandusun language, and balu meaning "widow" in Malay language. This theory derives from a folk tale about a Chinese prince who came to the mountain in search of a giant pearl which was guarded by a dragon at the top of the mountain. While he was here, he married a local woman but later returned to China and left the woman heartbroken.[7] Alternatively, it is also argued that Kinabalu or Akinabalu is the name of the dragon which guards the giant pearl itself.[8][9] Another theory suggests that the term is derived from the name Aki Nabalu meaning the "revered place of the dead", in which, Aki means "ancestors" or "grandfather", and Nabalu being a name for the mountain in the Dusun language.[10] Finally there is also a source claiming that the term originated from Ki Nabalu, where Ki meaning "have" or "exist", and Nabalu meaning "spirit of the dead".[7]

Kota is a Malay word for a "fort", "town", or a "city". It is also used formally in a few other Malaysian towns and cities, for example, Kota Bahru, Kota Tinggi, and Kota Kemuning. It could also be used informally to refer to any towns or cities. Henceforth, a direct translation of the name Kota Kinabalu into English would be "City of Kinabalu" or "Kinabalu City".

Original names

Besides Jesselton, there has been a number of other claims as to the original name for Kota Kinabalu. The most popular, as mentioned above, is Api-Api, or sometimes simply Api, which is a Malay word meaning 'Fire'. It was apparently named as such by the mainly Bajau locals to denote the blazing of the British administrative office in Pulau Gaya instigated by Mat Salleh,[11] as well as other blazing incidents normally perpetrated by pirates. There were claims however that it was actually named after a nearby river called Sungai Api-Api. Another theory states that "Api-Api" is the local name of the common Avicennia tree found in abundance around the area.[12] Transliterated into the formal Chinese name of Ya Bi (亚庇 yà bì), the Hakkas here too adopted this name (亚庇,"ah-bi" which pronounced in Hakka, Chinese dialects) and some still use this name to this day.[13] Besides Api-Api, another suggested historical name was Deasoka, which roughly means "below the coconut tree" in the Bajau language.[12] The Bajau locals purportedly used this name to refer to a village on the southern part of the city which was filled with coconut trees. Another name was Singgah Mata which literally mean "transit eye", but can be loosely translated as meaning "pleasing to the eye". It is a name purportedly given by fishermen from Pulau Gaya referring to the strip of land of what is today Kota Kinabalu city center.[14] Today, all these names have been immortalised into names of streets or buildings around the city. Some examples are: Lintasan Deasoka, Api-Api Centre, Jalan Singgah Mata, and Jesselton Point.

Capital city

[[File:|right|thumb|250px|Location of Kota Kinabalu district and the city within the West Coast Division of Sabah.]] [[File:|right|thumb|250px|A rough map of Kota Kinabalu city and urban area. Blue lines indicate main roads, grey lines indicate railway lines, and pink dotted lines indicate district boundaries.]] Being the capital city of Sabah, Kota Kinabalu plays an important role in the political and economic welfare of the population in the entire state. It is the seat of the state government where almost all of their ministries and agencies are based. Most of the Malaysian federal government agencies and departments are also located in Kota Kinabalu. The Sabah State Legislative Assembly is located at nearby Likas Bay. There are four Members of Parliament (MPs) representing four parliamentary constituencies in the city: Sepanggar (P.171), Kota Kinabalu (P.172), Putatan (P.173), and Penampang (P.174). The city also elects 9 representatives to the state legislature from the state assembly districts of Karambunai, Inanam, Likas, Api-Api, Luyang, Tanjung Aru, Petagas, Kepayan, and Moyog.[15]

Sister cities

Kota Kinabalu currently has seven sister cities.[16]

Transportation

Land

The internal roads linking different parts of the city are generally state roads constructed and maintained by the state Public Works Department. Most major internal roads are dual-carriageways. One of the major road here is Jalan Lintas-Jalan Tuaran Bypass, which together serves almost as a ring road, circling the city and connecting the districts and suburbs surrounding the city, namely, Putatan, Penampang, Luyang, Likas, Inanam, Menggatal, Sepanggar, and Tuaran. There is currently no freeway in the city nor in any part of Sabah. The city is linked by highways to distant towns around Sabah and these are mainly federal roads maintained by the national Public Works Department. Highway routes from Kota Kinabalu include:

  • Kota Kinabalu - Tamparuli - Kudat
  • Kota Kinabalu - Tamparuli - Ranau - Sandakan - Tawau - Serudong (part of the Pan Borneo Highway)
  • Kota Kinabalu - Keningau - Lawas - Brunei - Miri - Kuching - Sematan (part of the Pan Borneo Highway)
  • Kota Kinabalu - Keningau - Kalabakan - Tawau

Public transportation:

Regular bus services operate around the city. Minibuses or vans are also used besides buses as an alternative public transportation. There are two main bus terminals in the central business area. The terminal along Jalan Tun Razak provides internal bus services towards different part of the city and its outskirts. Another terminal near Bandaran Berjaya provides intercity services towards destinations south of the city (Papar, Tenom, Beaufort, and others). The Kota Kinabalu (North) Bus Terminal in Inanam provides intercity buses heading towards destinations north and north-east of the city (Tuaran, Kudat, Ranau, Sandakan, Tawau, Semporna, and others). Taxicabs too can be found around the city.

A railway system formerly known as the North Borneo Railway was established in 1896 by the British North Borneo Company. It was built for the main purpose of transporting commodities from the interior to the port in Kota Kinabalu during the British occupation. The railway line connects Kota Kinabalu with Tenom and several other towns in between, and it is the only railway system operating in East Malaysia. Today the railway is known as Sabah State Railway, and it provides daily services for commuters, travellers, as well as for cargo transportation. A separate company operates the leisure tour also called the North Borneo Railway, which caters mainly for tourists.[17] The train station and terminus is located in Tanjung Aru.

Air

Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) provides flights linking the city with other domestic and international destinations. It is a secondary hub for Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia and it consists of two terminals. It is the second busiest airport in Malaysia after Kuala Lumpur International Airport and it is a major gateway into Sabah and East Malaysia.[18] It serves international flights to Bandar Seri Begawan, Shenzhen, Seoul, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macau, Manila, Cebu, Singapore, Taibei, Gaoxiong, and other domestic cities. It is also a secondary hub for MASWings, which serves flights to smaller towns and rural areas in East Malaysia.

Sea

[[File:|right|thumb|Kota Kinabalu Ferry Terminal provides daily services to Pulau Manukan, as well as other islands, throughout the day. On the right is a typical boat used to ferry passengers around]]

Kota Kinabalu has two ports: Kota Kinabalu Port and Sepanggar Bay Container Port (SBCP). Kota Kinabalu Port mainly loose/bulk cargo, while SBCP operates as a naval base for the Royal Malaysian Navy, oil depot and all containerised cargo.[19] In 2004, Kota Kinabalu Port handled about 3.6 million tonnes of freight cargo, the third highest in the state after Sandakan Port, and Tawau Port.[20] It however handles the most number of containers in the state, with Template:TEU of containers handled in 2006. Sepanggar Bay Port will have the capacity to handle Template:TEU annually when its container terminal is completed.[21] All ports in Sabah are managed and operated by Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd.[22]

Kota Kinabalu Ferry Terminal is a passenger ferry terminal located at Jesselton Point near the K.K. port. It provides ferry and motorboat services to the nearby islands for tourists as well as for commuters living on the islands. There are also regular scheduled ferry services to Labuan.

References

  1. Urban area figure obtained after combining population Kota Kinabalu with Putatan and Donggongon; Helders, Stefan. "Malaysia: metropolitan areas". World Gazetteer. http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=1173152037&men=gcis&lng=en&des=gamelan&dat=32&geo=-152&srt=pnan&col=ohdq&va=x&pt=a. Retrieved 2007-03-06. 
  2. "Tourism hub set to lift Sabah real estate". TheStar. June 11, 2007. http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/6/11/business/17978745&sec=business. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  3. With a 233% increase in population from 1991 to 2007; Helders, Stefan. "Malaysia: largest cities and towns and statistics of their population". World Gazetteer. http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=1171083875&men=gcis&lng=en&des=gamelan&dat=32&geo=-152&srt=pnan&col=ohdq&va=&pt=c. Retrieved 2007-04-06. 
  4. "Mat Salleh Fort". History of Malaysia. Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia (National Library of Malaysia). http://sejarahmalaysia.pnm.my/portalBI/detail.php?section=sm04&spesifik_id=312&ttl_id=49. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  5. Fujio, Hara. "The 1943 Kinabalu Uprising in Sabah". Anti-Japanese Movements in Southeast Asia During World War II. Association for Asian Studies, Inc. USA. http://www.aasianst.org/absts/1996abst/inter/i181.htm. Retrieved 2007-03-04. 
  6. "Sabah's Heritage: A Brief Introduction to Sabah's History". Muzium Sabah, Kota Kinabalu. 1992. http://www.sabah.org.my/bi/know_sabah/history.asp. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Sorudim, Lesaya (May 2, 2005). "KINABALU: Kina Balu , Aki Nabalu, or Ki Nabalu?". KDCA Publications. http://www.kdca.org.my/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=101&Itemid=112. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  8. "Dragons of Fame: China". The Circle of Dragon. http://www.blackdrago.com/famous_chinese.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  9. "Kinabalu Dragon". The Dragon Stone. http://www.polenth.com/myth/asia/kinabalu.html. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  10. "Mount Kinabalu". Virtual Malaysia. http://www.virtualmalaysia.com/destination/mount%20kinabalu%2Fkinabalu%20park.html. Retrieved 2007-04-02. 
  11. "History of Sabah". Sabah Travel Guide. http://www.sabahtravelguide.com/features/. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Original name still a poser". TheStar. February 2, 2000. http://161.139.39.251/akhbar/history/2000/st00202.htm. 
  13. Chung, Yoon-Ngan. "The Hakkas in Kota Kinabalu (Api)". Federated Hakka Associations of Malaysia. http://www.asiawind.com/forums/read.php?f=1&i=11004&t=11004. Retrieved 2007-03-04. 
  14. Sawatan, Jackson. "Adakah Gaya Sekadar 'Singgah mata' Untuk Pembangkang?". BERNAMA. http://www.mykmu.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=2698. Retrieved 2007-03-08. 
  15. "Parliament and State Legislative Assemblies". Election Commission of Malaysia. http://www.spr.gov.my/index/parnstlass.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  16. "Misi 3K asas kejayaan DBKK" (in Malay). Berita Harian. http://www.bharian.com.my/m/BHarian/Thursday/EdisiSabahSarawak/20070201090853/Article/. Retrieved 2007-02-03. 
  17. The tour, North Borneo Railway. Accessed April 9, 2007.
  18. "KKIA to become key air hub". The Star. February 15, 2007. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/2/15/nation/16889464&sec=nation. 
  19. "Sepanggar Container Port Terminal ready". Daily Express. August 8, 2006. http://dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=43646. 
  20. [Expression error: Unexpected < operator Monthly Statistical Bulletin: Sabah], Department of Statistics Malaysia, Sabah, January 2007 
  21. "SPSB raih pendapatan RM157.9j" (in Malay). Berita Harian. http://www.bharian.com.my/m/BHarian/Friday/Ekonomi/20070302061825/Article/. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  22. "Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd". Suria Group. http://www.suriagroup.com.my/sabahports/spsb_main2.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 


bjn:Kota Kinabalu


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