Kota Kinabalu

15 Jun 2019 - 16 Jun 2019

2 guests - 1 room

The city of Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah, is most famous as the gateway to the mighty Mount Kinabalu. Known for being the mountain with the tallest peak in Malaysia, Mount Kinabalu is a climb not for the uninitiated - be warned that proper training and a certain level of fitness is required if you want to scale this 13,435-foot-high mountain without great physical misery.

But if you’re up for it, the long journey to the top offers much more than just an excellent workout for both the mind and body - you’ll also be rewarded with ethereal panoramic views at the summit.

To make the most of your Kinabalu vacation, though, staying in the right place is key. From the picturesque entrance to the mountain Mount Kinabalu Park, the climbers’ pit stop or base camp Panalaban (formerly known as Laban Rata) just a stone’s throw away from the summit, to the gorgeous nature of the nearest town of Kundasang, find your best accommodation fit with Skyscanner.

Where to stay

For the sightseers 

If you’re going up to Mount Kinabalu, you’ll have to enter the UNESCO World Heritage Site Mount Kinabalu Park first. This park is a mere 2 hours from Kota Kinabalu, and the commute to and fro can be done via bus, shuttle or car.

Once you’re at the Park, whether you choose to continue on to scale the mountain or just hang about enjoying the amazingly diverse flora, fauna and natural beauty around you is your choice. There’s plenty of accommodation options within the Park itself, ranging from luxurious hotels to budget hostels. 

For the hardcore climbers 

If you decide to continue your journey upwards, your next stop would be Panalaban base camp. A good 3,000 metres above sea level, Panalaban can only be reached with a hard 4-6 hour climb from Mount Kinabalu Park.

Here you’ll find more limited accommodation options that are mostly basic (as of February 2016), as most climbers stay here for only a brief period of time through the night. After a short break, you’ll be getting up at the crack of dawn to continue on to the summit. Expect a simple roof over your head, a meal and the possibility of a hot shower at the mountain lodgings here.  

For families and eco-tourists 

But those who’d prefer not to put their body through the physical strain of such a climb - or are travelling with young ones in tow - a possible alternative could be to stay at the town of Kundasang, the nearest one to Mount Kinabalu. Famed for its amazing natural beauty, idyllic vegetable farms and plantations, you’ll be able to enjoy eco-tourism at its best in Kundasang whilst gazing at the beauty of Mount Kinabalu looming just above. Numerous comfortable resorts and lodges are available in the town, as are homestay options.

Top rated hotels in Kota Kinabalu

from RM 142
from RM 265
from RM 530

What are travellers saying about Kota Kinabalu?

9.8
Foodies
9.8
Adventure Travellers
8.2
Outdoor Enthusiasts
8.1
Family Travellers
7.8
Backpackers
Member reviews (78)
Leow Cheng Lam
Leow Cheng LamKlang
07/06/2018

Kota Kinabalu is situated in East Malaysia. Sabah' capital perfectly positioned on a bay protected by islands, and backed by forested ranges. Beautiful islands and white sands baeaches.

Juno Kim
Juno KimAnchorage
22/06/2017

Waterfront of Kota Kinabalu is beautiful. Don't forget to stay near the water front near the time of sunset. Borneo offers one of the best sunsets in the world. Kota Kinabalu is the center of tourism in Borneo island. Easy place to catch local flights to other parts of the island as well. If you are looking for some day trips near the town, there are multiple choices to the nearby islands. Excellent places to snorkel and enjoy the sun.

Tony V
Tony VSeattle
23/11/2016

You can walk the full length of the downtown area in about 30 minutes, but the city and Sabah have a lot to offer. From boardwalk bars overlooking the water/fisherman's boats, to local fish markets with tons of grilled seafood, to shopping malls, to tourist sites such as signal hill...there's a lot to experience in the city. However we stayed for three days and felt that we were able to experience a lot of what the city had to offer. Highly recommend for a unique experience, but not sure if I'd go back a second time

Nomadic by Nature
Nomadic by NatureNairobi
04/01/2015

A tropical coastal city, developing at the pace of a East Asian city. It has some wonderful seafood, great Asian spices, and tropical fruit flavors. To find great places to eat definitely check out this foodie blog: http://www.sabaheats.com/ There is a hip district on the waterfront next to the new Oceanus Mall to get drinks at night, or head to Tanjung Aru Beach for sundowners and a dip in the ocean. The Jalan Gaya street has a concentration of backpacker hotels and is centrally located. It also has a great mix of new trendy restaurants, and cheap local eats. Pretty much everything is walkable in KK if you can bear the hear, and/or the rain. Unfortunately the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park consisting of four main islands just off-shore is not much of a marine reserve at all. Think of it more as a marine Disneyland for people who have never done much of anything "marine" before. There are speed boats crossing it constantly, you cannot swim anywhere outside of some restrictive floating buoys, three of the islands, offer all you can eat stale buffets, and most visitors fail around in the water in life jackets because they cannot swim. Watch out for glass on the beach, and jellyfish in the water. Most of the coral is also dead out here. Anyways, if you know what to expect, the beach at Manukan Island is nice. Just do not expect a national park, or the serenity of the pictures used to book it.

FAQs

The least expensive month is July, with an average of RM 158 per night. The most expensive month to stay in Kota Kinabalu is January, with an average price of RM 200 per night.
The average price of a hotel in June last year was RM 168 per night. This is 4% less than the average nightly price of RM 176 seen over the previous 12 months.
In Kota Kinabalu, the expected average temperature in June is 28.3°C/82.9°F. The warmest month is typically April, which averages 32.0°C/89.6°F. The coolest month is October, with temperatures averaging 24.5°C/76.1°F.
The nearest airport to Kota Kinabalu is Kota Kinabalu (BKI) (8.28km).

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