We finally reached Kota Kinabalu after two days of travel and two bumpy boat rides! We caught a bus to Brunei due to there being no buses for one week going to Kota Kinabalu, from Brunei we took a boat to Labuan Island where we got stuck for the night and then jumped on another boat from Labuan Island to Kota Kinabalu the next morning. We checked into ‘Space Cap Hotel’ where we got a double capsule for 88RM, you can also get single capsules for 35RM! It’s a lovely hostel/hotel, with free tea and toast whenever you want it! We stayed in Kota Kinabalu for two nights and spend a day exploring the national park where the mountain is, be warned the mountain is a two-hour journey away so we would recommend staying there for a night or two as well as Kota Kinabalu itself.
Top 5 places to eat in Kota Kinabalu
- Nook Cafe – Hidden away but easy to find, and the food is amazing serving breakfast right through to dinner.
- El Centro – Great Mexican food, really good steak fajitas.
- Sunset Bar at Shangri-La – Lovely cocktails here but quiet expensive, great to see the sunset though.
- October Coffee House – Great coffee and cakes.
- Mad Ben Cafe – Great for a western fix.
Top 5 things to do in Kota Kinabalu
- Kota Kinabalu National Park – We recommend to stay here a couple of days as it’s a two-hour drive from the town itself, you can either walk along the treks or be brave a book a guide to take you on a two-day hike to the summit.
- Kota Kinabalu City Mosque – It speaks for itself when you see it, the building is stunning!
- Weston Wetland Park – A lovely walk and you may even get to see some proboscis monkeys along the way.
- Gaya Street Sunday Market – Unfortunately only once a week but if your here you have to go! It’s a morning market but its huge and has anything and everything you can imagine.
- Manukan Island – we didn’t have enough time to visit this island but it looks beautiful, you can book a day trip from Kota Kinabalu.
Our tips for Kota Kinabalu
- Get a shared taxi for the national park – A bus will charge around 40 RM PP and a grab is 150 MR per car, a shared taxi is only 25 MR PP, you can find them at the taxi station near Jalan Padang.
- Stay at the national park – If you have time stay there as there are a lot of walks to do and if you brave enough you can hike the mountain.
- Spend a few nights here – Theres a lot to see and do here and most things take a day out of time.
- Enjoy the food – this is about the only place in Sabah we found to have really good food!