Kota Kinabalu, inside The largest city on the Malaysian side. As in the rest of Malaysia, this is a place where people from different cultures and even different races live happily together. The population is predominantly Chinese, Malays of Brunei origin, and natives of Borneo. This diversity both adds fun to the city and makes Kota Kinabalu a center of flavor.
The best part of Kota Kinabalu is that it is a big city with business centers and there are enjoyable diving spots just 10 minutes away from the city center. So much so that it is possible to come to Kota Kinabalu by plane in the morning and catch the noon dive. Diving is mainly done in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, named after Malaysia’s first prime minister. This is both an underwater national park and a place where non-divers can enjoy the tropical island. It consists of 5 islands. The locals’ favorite is Manukan Island. Those who want to trek in the forest prefer Gaya Island. Kota Kinabalu is also a bus ride away from Sipadan, the undisputed best diving spot in the world.
The city takes its name from Mount Kinabalu, which is 4,095 meters high. This mountain is the main reason why tourists flock to Kota Kinabalu. Although it is quite high, it can be climbed easily. Hundreds of people see the summit every day with tours that generally last 2 days and 1 night. On the first day, the teams go a certain distance and camp, they continue to climb again around 2-3 at night and meet the sun at the summit. The mountain has an incredible biodiversity. People who do not want to climb to the top go to Kinabalu Park at the foot of the mountain and do trekking here. The lucky ones can also see the world’s largest flower, rafflesia. Because Rafflesia is a parasitic plant, it is difficult to predict where it will bloom. Its giant flowers only stay alive for a few days and smell like dead humans.
Beauties at Nature and City of Kota Kinabalu
Kota Kinabalu’s natural beauties are endless. It is possible to see big-nosed proboscis monkeys and hornbill birds, one of the symbols of Malaysia, by taking daily tours through the tropical forest in the Klias River. The night tours are accompanied by dozens of fireflies dancing among the trees.
In the city, you can visit the night market on Gaya Street on Sundays and try different flavors. You can also visit Sabah Mosque and Kota Kinabalu City Mosque. Sabah Mosque stands out with its golden dome, while the City Mosque stands out with its peaceful atmosphere by the sea. I also suggest you go to the Signal Hill Observation Platform. It is a place where you can see the city from the top and even watch the sunset with a view of the island. Another beautiful spot to watch the sunset is the symbol of the city, the Marlin, or swordfish statue.
When it comes to food, Kota Kinabalu is heaven. You can eat Indian delicacies such as roti and tandoori in the shops of Muslim Indians called Mamak. Duck and seafood are the prominent flavors in the menu of Chinese restaurants. The biggest seafood restaurant I’ve ever seen in my life was here. Moreover, the prices are quite affordable, there is plenty of variety. You can choose your fresh seafood from the aquariums, boil, steam, fry etc. and add the sauces you want. It is impossible not to turn one’s eyes.
Malaysia is a country that has absorbed its mixed cultural structure so well that the people are very peaceful among themselves and very friendly towards tourists. Moreover, the official language is English, as the country is multilingual, and most people you will meet in Kota Kinabalu will be fluent in English.