Tanjung Aru Beach
Located at the end of Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman and about 6 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu City, this place is closest to the hearts of the locals, and just one visit to the beach will tell you why. Taking its name from the casuarinas or aru trees that fringe the fine sands, this is where one might get a ringside seat to the greatest sunset on earth every evening when the crimson sun dips slowly into the horizon, leaving the vast skies a brilliant red..
Foodstalls serving local food and drinks are open till late at night. Enjoy coconut and sugarcane juice, chicken or beef satay and steamed peanuts and corn, or indulge in a full-course dinner at the seafood restaurant located there.
The Tanjung Aru beach is also home to Shangri-la’s Tanjung Aru Resort, the Kinabalu Golf Club and the Kinabalu Yacht Club.
Gaya Street (Sunday Market)
Gaya Street located in the Kota Kinabalu Central Business District has been the centre of business for over a hundred years. Every Sunday morning, the length of Gaya Street is closed off to traffic to make way for the Fair. Shop for anything under shady trees and over-sized umbrellas, like batik sarongs, fruits and flowers, arts and craft, footwear, antiques and souvenirs, cakes, even pets and herbs!. This is the best place to experience the cross-section of the local population when entire families enjoy a Sunday outing.
The Gaya Street Fair is on every Sunday from 6.30 am to 1.00 pm
The clock tower being the oldest standing structure in the whole of Sabah that survived the destruction of Jesselton town during World War II. Till today, it still serves to keep the city’s time.
The Atkinson Clock Tower is managed by the Sabah Museum under its Antiquity and History section.
For those with an eye for ornate wooden carvings, you have come to the right place. The market has an endless variety of carved crafts, including exotic wooden masks, picture frames and even stunning wall panels. Not be missed are the assortment of rattan baskets in all shapes and sizes.
The best thing about the Handicraft Market is that you never know what piece of treasure you might unravel during your visit. Some have returned home with an authentic sompoton (a traditional wind instrument), a Murut headhunter’s blowpipe, a coconut-shaped handbag and a wooden-frog that ‘sings’ when you stroke its back with a wooden stick.
The most important tip when visiting the market is to bargain, bargain, bargain! Pick up some local lingo to improve your bargaining skills and you might even walk away a steal.
07.30am to 07.30pm daily.
Lok Kawi Wildlife
The Lok Kawi Wildlife Park was officially open to the public on the 17th February 2007. It is located along the Penampang-Papar old road and is fully developed by the Sabah Wildlife Department. The park consists of two components: zoological and botanical. The main objective of the park is to become a family-oriented park and the emphasis is put on the Children’s Zoo. Among the inhabitants of the zoo (zoological component) are the Borneo Pygmy elephants, Sumatran rhinoceros, Orang Utan, Proboscis monkey, Malayan tiger, as well as some different species of deer.
At the Village, visit the Tangkob or Grainery where the padi is housed.
Kotos Di Monsopiad or Monsopiad’s Main House is dedicated to the life and times of Monsopiad and his descendants. On display are ceramic jars, padi grinders, bamboo items as well as the costume of Bobohizan Inai Bianti, direct descendant of Monsopiad and very senior high priestess.
Other interesting exhibits include the massive monolith which invokes a dozen legends, the traditional restaurant and of course Siou Do Mohoing, or the House of Skulls, where all 42 ‘trophies’ of Monsopiad hang from the rafters.
Daily from 9.00am till 5.00pm
Daily from 8.00am till 5.00pm
Situated just two kilometers north-east of Kota Kinabalu City at Likas or ten minutes from the KK City Centre, the Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre (KKWC) formerly known as Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary (KKCBS) covers 24 hectares (60 acres) of mangrove forest . It is at once an educational and recreational centre.
Commonly sighted birds here include the migratory species from as far as Northern Asia, Siberia and Northern China like the sandpiper, Greenshank, Redshank, egrets and herons as well as canopy birds such as collared kingfisher and stork-billed kingfisher. To date almost 80 species of birds have been identified at the sanctuary. For serious bird watching, wear colours that blend into the environment. You may rent binoculars for RM5.00.
Puh Toh Tze Temple
Sabah is proud of its multiculturalism and this is often reflected in its diverse architecture. The Puh Toh Tze temple is a Buddhist temple located off Tuaran Road.
Built in 1980, the temple stands out with its traditional Chinese roofing and structure. Ten large statues of deities adorn the temple with the Goddess of Mercy, Kwan Yin, standing tall at the main entrance of the temple.
Water World Theme Park
What better way to cool down under the brilliant Sabah sun than to enjoy a day at the Water World Theme Park! Situated at Taman Tun Fuad Stephens, Bukit Padang, the park is a great place to bring the family for a splashing good time. Thrill-seekers will love the Torpedo Speed Slide and Double Loop Slide. There are several swimming pools to cater to adults as well as children.
Enjoy a round of Water Basketball or have a go at the Water Cannons. Other facilities include a cafeteria, an air-conditioned lounge with equipped with Astro, lazy chairs and a souvenir shop. The Park can also help organize special events, such as children’s birthday parties, making it a memorable event for your little one. Contact the Park for their Special Package
Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
The marine park is a cluster of islands comprising Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug, all only 10 – 20 minute speedboat ride from the city of Kota Kinabalu. The five islands of the Marine Park are characterized by shallow waters, sumptuous coral gardens and all boast splendid white sandy beaches.
The reefs lie in shallow waters with little current making it an ideal location for novice divers, however, the diverse and sometimes rare marine creatures also make it an interesting dive location for experienced divers and underwater photographers.
To dive in the marine park you must contact one of the local dive centers based in Kota Kinabalu who also offer a full variety of PADI courses ranging from Discover Scuba to Instructor.
Among the sandy seabed a good variety of marine life can be found such as Scorpion fish, Blue-spotted rays, cuttlefish, mantis shrimps and the occasional green or hawksbill turtle. At some locations, rare creatures such as the harlequin ghost pipefish and mandarin fish can be found especially with the help from local dive guides.
During the cooler months from November to February, plankton blooms attract krill which in turn attract whale sharks, the world’s largest fish. At times, the density of the krill can be so thick in these murky conditions underwater encounters with these colossal animals can be exciting as they suddenly appear out of the gloom.
Non-diving visitors can still have as much fun in the islands with other optional activities such as snorkeling in Pulau Sapi and Manukan and seawalking in Pulau Sapi. Adventure lovers will also enjoy an overnight camping trip at Pulau Sapi and Mamutik. If water sport is your cup of tea, you may contact any local tour companies for more information regarding the water sport activities that are available.
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is open daily from 8.30am to 5pm.
Kinabalu Park, in the State of Sabah on the northern end of the island of Borneo, is dominated by Mount Kinabalu (4,095 m), the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea. It has a very wide range of habitats, from rich tropical lowland and hill rainforest to tropical mountain forest, sub-alpine forest and scrub on the higher elevations. It has been designated as a Centre of Plant Diversity for Southeast Asia and is exceptionally rich in species with examples of flora from the Himalayas, China, Australia, Malaysia, as well as pan-tropical flora.
Poring Hot Spring (PHS)
A visit to Kinabalu Park will never be perfect without swinging by Poring Hot Springs. Situated 40 kilometers (25 miles) slightly northeast from the Parks HQ, Poring is located in the lowlands—a contrast to the Parks HQ. De-stress and soak away the sores and aches of your muscles in the spring’s hot sulphuric minerals, deemed to have healing properties and very popular among the locals.
Other than the natural hot spring main attraction at Poring Hot Springs, there are also other interesting areas in the park to be visited such as the butterfly farm, the Poring Orchid Conservation Centre, the tropical garden, the Poring canopy walkway, and the Rafflesia flower site.
Poring canopy walkway
This canopy walkway is a must visit for anyone who ever sets foot in Poring Hot Springs. Take a stroll amidst the lush canopy of the Menggaris tree—king of the forest—the walkway is 157.8 meters long and 41 meters high.
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