Kota Kinabalu is the stunning capital city of Sabah which is part of East Malaysia. With more people travelling to Peninsular Malaysia for the city attractions, people who prefer a bit more of a rural escape into nature tend to choose East Malaysia, and there is arguably no better destination for that than Kota Kinabalu.
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One of the most incredible sights and places to visit is Mount Kinabalu. It completes a picturesque backdrop of the city and given that its location is outside of the main part, the journey is just as beautiful as the destination as you take a scenic car or train journey to reach it. Another fun day out is a river cruise on the Klias River. Situated an hour and a half outside of Kota Kinabalu, these river cruises are very popular day-trips with people staying in the city as you get to see a wide range of animals native to the area. Some of these include monkeys and even fireflies that dance on the water in the evening light. One of the best family days out in the region can be found at The Green Connection Aquarium. There are a variety of interactive exhibits including touch tanks where you can get up close to some amazing wildlife including sharks.
The accommodation in Kota Kinabalu is varied and has something for everyone. There are quite a few hotels but certainly not as many as other parts of Malaysia, particularly the peninsula. Here you will find a larger focus on smaller B&Bs, hotels and generally more intimate accommodation which certainly matches the whole quiet, natural vibes of the region. When dining out you will get plenty of opportunities to sample some local and delicious Malaysian food. Most places do offer a selection of other cuisines too though.
The holiday season in Kota Kinabalu lasts from around November until March with the monsoon season taking over from about April/May and also in October. However, temperatures do remain warm all-year-round making this an attractive destination no matter what time of year that you do select. However, we would recommend avoiding the monsoon season as most attractions in Kota Kinabalu are outdoors. The airport in Kota Kinabalu is offering more routes and flights than ever before which is ideal for landing and heading straight to your resort or accommodation. However, you may have to get a connecting flight to reach it from the UK as there usually aren’t many direct flights.
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