Kota Kinabalu City Tour – Sabah Attractions

Kota Kinabalu is the state capital of Sabah, and without a doubt, it is also one of the most lively cities on Borneo Island. In term of passengers arrival in Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu International Airport has the second highest load. For many visitors, Kota Kinabalu is the main entry point for their exploration of this beautiful place called Land Below The Wind. For a good orientation on Kota Kinabalu, visitors can take the 3 hours Kota Kinabalu City Tour. Price starts from RM 80 and minimum two persons.
Below are the list of interesting places that are covered by most of the tour companies:

  • Kota Kinabalu City
  • Atkinson Clock Tower
  • Observatory Tower (Signal Hill)
  • Tun Mustapha Building
  • University Malaysia Sabah
  • City Mosque
  • Poh Toh Tze Temple
  • State Museum
  • Handicraft Market

Kota Kinabalu City
Kota Kinabalu, dub the Rainforest City, is undoubtably the most alive and active city in the whole of Borneo island. Everything is packed within 10km of the city radius. Hotels, Resorts, Malls, shopping centres are just a stone throw away from each others, and the Airport is only about 6km from the City. Nightlife in KK is definitely the finest in Borneo, Pubs, disco, cafe, restaurants lot of places for the party animals to last until the wee hours in the morning. A wide variety of foods from different cultures can be found here too, Chinese, Western, Japanese and local are a plenty. Seafood restaurants are hot venue here, night after night I see tons of Local and tourist alike willing to pack up this places and they left with a happy price tag too.

Kota Kinabalu City View

Despite all the traveling advise from some other governments, KK is a safe place to visit anytime of the year. Weather wise we are blessed. We get great Sunshine through out the year, plus blue sky almost an everyday occurrence. Even during the monsoon season, we are likely to experience a strong down pour during the late afternoon from about 4 to 6 pm. Just right to cold off a hot tropical city and get ready for the evening parties. Sabah is name Land Below The Wind for a good reason, every year when the typhoon season hits Philippine and Hong Kong, we are only slapped with a few rain storm. No serious flooding and time spend in Hotels, splendid.

Kota Kinabalu City View

To chill up or to escape the cold winter, KK really has a lot to offer. The warm climate here, the relax pace of life here, and most of all the friendly people in KK. With budget airline Air Asia pulling the string, 10 Daily flights to and from Kuala Lumpur, Daily flight to Macau, Shenzen, and Manila (Clark) and low price has been an important factor too. Flights from KK to Singapore will be commencing soon. Five stars Resorts, and Hotels are at a reasonable rate, plus great services too. For the past 2 years a lot of Back Packer Hostels had mushroom up in KK, one will sure get a good value with so many competitors around. Starbucks and others cafes also have good Wifi access to keep up with family and friends.

Gaya Street Kota Kinabalu

Note on Gaya Street, formerly known as Bond Street, is one of the oldest streets in Kota Kinabalu, if not the oldest. Bond Street has been existed since way back in 1890, when Sabah was under the administration of British North Borneo Company. Today Gaya Street has become a kind of novelty, it is well known for its Gaya Street Fair. Every Sunday morning from 6:30am to 1pm, traders will set up stalls on the whole length and breadth of the street. Crafts, produces, foods, animals, flowers, clothes, all are on parade here, and surprised at what one can find here.

Atkinson Clock Tower
Atkinson Clock Tower - Kota Kinabalu Atkinson Clock Tower - Kota Kinabalu
This building structure is the oldest in Kota Kinabalu, and it was built in 1905. The Atkinson Clock Tower was built for the remembrance of Francis George Atkinson who passed away because of malaria.
The Atkinson Clock Tower is one of the few remaining historical building in Kota Kinabalu. This 15.7m-high wooden structure is located at the hill slopes just nearby the Gaya Street area. It was first built in 1905 in memory of Francis George Atkinson, the first District officer of Jesselton during the time of the British North Borneo Chartered Company.
Today, the Atkinson Clock Tower is managed and well preserved by the Sabah Museum and it still serves to keep the Kota Kinabalu city time till today.

Observatory Tower (Signal Hill)

Observatory Tower - Kota Kinabalu

Observatory Tower - Kota Kinabalu

Take a bird’s eye view of Kota Kinabalu City from the Observatory Tower up at Signal Hill. Check out the Tunku Adbul Rahman Park which consists of five islands, all of them are visible from here.
A natural area where you can enjoy the beautiful skyline of the city with a view that extends to the islands. Sad to say that most part of the coastal line has been blocked by tall structures. However, you still can see some blue sea at far end. Not a good vantage point to view the beach but to have a bird’s eye view of the city.
Walk cut across Gaya Street then you will see a small mountain. Cross a street & you will see a football field. Take that road & walk up the slope. I think it will take about 15 to 20 minutes. No admission fee is required.

Tun Mustapha Building

Tun Mustapha Building (Yayasan Sabah) - Kota Kinabalu

The Yayasan Sabah Tower (officially known as Menara Tun Mustapha) was built in 1977, is the third tallest building in Borneo after The Ministry of Financial Building in Bandar Seri Begawan,Brunei Darussalam. This 30-storey circular glass sculpture that reaches 122 meters high is located in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. It is named after Tun Datu Mustapha, a former Chief Minister of Sabah. The building used to be known as Sabah Foundation Building (Bangunan Yayasan Sabah). It is home to the ‘atmosphere’ restaurant at the 18 floor, which slowly spins to provide a complete view of Likas Harbour. It makes one rotation per hour.

In 1997, urban climber Alain Robert successfully scaled the building together with government approval for a fundraiser.

Other Information

  • Location : Sabah Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
  • Status : Complete
  • Also known as : Yayasan Sabah Tower, Menara Tun Mustapha, Sabah Foundation Building , Bangunan Yayasan Sabah
  • Opening : 1977
  • Use : Office, restaurant, Museum
  • Elevator count : 18
  • Cost : (US$20 million)
  • Developer : Mori Building Co.

Amosphere @ Tun Mustapha Building (Yayasan Sabah) - Kota Kinabalu

From its revolving vantage point at the 18th floor of the Menara Tun Mustapha building, Atmosphere offers sweeping views of Kota Kinabalu city, the Crocker Range and the South China Sea.The menu offers luscious Pacific-Rim inspirations such as Tuaran Oyster Bisque with a small number of Asian favourites such as the turmeric-marinated grilled sea bass. Locals say the Chocolate Volcano dessert is to-die-for.

Atmosphere Revolving Restaurant & Bar
18th floor, Menara Tun Mustapha (formerly Yayasan Sabah)
Likas Bay
Tel:+6088 425 100


University Malaysia Sabah

University Malaysia Sabah - Kota Kinabalu

Surely this is the most beautiful University in Malaysia, this university complex is located on a small hill and is sandwiched between the South China Sea, with a few islands on sight, and the majestic Mt. Kinabalu. University Malaysia Sabah has roughly about 10,000 to 13,000 students from all over Malaysia and some foreigners.

City Mosque Kota Kinabalu

City Mosque Kota Kinabalu

Built on a 2.47 acres site at the Likas bay, the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is exemplary of the Islamic contemporary architecture. Situated near the sea, this majestic white mosque boasts similar features to the Nabawi Mosque in Medina. This floating mosque has a prayer hall which houses three madrasahs and accommodates from 9, 000 to 12, 000 people at a time.
By far the largest mosque in Kota Kinabalu, the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is even possibly the most beautiful one in Malaysia – the man-made lagoon which surrounds it gives a serenely gorgeous and dramatic look to the mosque on a full moon night.

Kota Kinabalu City Mosque

The Kota Kinabalu City Mosque is open for public visits daily except Fridays from 8am to 5pm. There are no fees charged on visitors

Poh Toh Tze Temple

Poh Toh Tze Temple - Kota Kinabalu

One of the sight seeing spot for Kota kinabalu city tour is Puh Toh Tze, a Buddhist temple, located off the Tuaran road just 20 minutes from the city. This temple was built in 1980 with the traditional Chinese roofing and structure.

Poh Toh Tze Temple - Kota Kinabalu

There are ten large statues of deities adorn the temple with the Goddess of Mercy, Kwan Yin, standing tall at the main entrance to greet visitors.
The Poh Toh Tze opens daily from 08:00 to 17:00. Visitors can tour this temple on their own. Taxi from the city centre is approximately RM15 – 20 per way.

State Museum
Built in 1985, the Museum complex is sited where then British North Borneo Governor’s Istana was once located. The Museum consists of the Main Building, Science and Education Centre, Heritage Village, Sabah Art Gallery and Museum of Islamic Civilization.

Sabah State Museum - Kota Kinabalu

Inside are various Galleries housing Natural History, Ceramics, Ethnography and Archaeology exhibits, among others …

Ceramics, traditional weapons and costumes reflect the diversity of the State’s culture and traces Sabah’s early trade links with the neighbouring countries of Southeast Asia and China. The museum also houses musical instruments, tools and ritual paraphernalia.

Sabah State Museum - Kota Kinabalu  Long House

Sabah State Museum - Kota Kinabalu  Long House

There is a Heritage Village on the Museum grounds where you can enter and experience different types of traditional houses of the various indigenous groups of Sabah. Cultural activities are held here from time to time.

Sabah State Museum - Kota Kinabalu  Long House

Sabah State Museum - Kota Kinabalu  Long House

The Sabah State Museum is located on Jalan Bukit Istana Lama, Kota Kinabalu, 4 km or about 15 minutes from the KK (Kota Kinabalu) City Centre.

Getting There
By bus, take the No.13 (towards Penampang) from either bus stations in front of City Hall or Wawasan Plaza in KK and indicate your stop to the driver. You will have to walk up to the main building. Bus fare is RM1.00.
By taxi, the fare is approximately RM12 to 15.00 for up to 4 persons.

Opening hours
Daily from 9.00am till 5.00pm

Admission fees
My-Kad – RM2.00
Others – RM15.00

Picture-taking is only allowed outside the buildings.

Tel : 6 088-253199/263551
Fax : 6 088 240230
Website : http://www.museum.sabah.gov.my
Email : muzium.sabah@sabah.gov.my

Handicraft Market (filipino market)

Handicraft Market (Filipino Market) - Kota Kinabalu

Handicraft Market (Filipino Market) - Kota Kinabalu

Handicraft Market (Filipino Market) - Kota Kinabalu

Many tour companies will end this tour at the Handicraft Market, formerly known as Filipino Market. Located near the KK Central Market on Jalan Tun Fuad Stephen, the Handicraft Market is the place for souvenirs hunters. Tourists and even locals will come here to bargain and search for items like batik, t-shirt, key chain, post card, local handicraft, stones, and many other tourists’ takeaways. This market opens from 10am to 6pm.

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