Tanjung Aru Beach is the jewel of Kota Kinabalu City. Located just a few kilometers south of the city, this beach is the most famous hang out area for KK Lites. The First beach is nestled in between the Prince Philip Park and the Tanjung Aru Golf Club, along the 3km long and sandy Tanjung Aru Beach. People have been coming to Tanjung Aru 1st beach for decades, especially on public holidays and for night outings. Late afternoon is one of the best time to be here for a drink, and enjoy the cool sea breeze blowing, especially from December to March, and also be enchanted by the best show nature has to offer, the sunset at Tanjung Aru Beach.
With cafes, restaurants and numerous stores that sell plenty of local delicacies and lots of mouth watering tit bits, there are a lot of things to eat and drink at Tanjung Aru First Beach. The cafes and restaurants also cater to a wide range of customers from the budget conscious ones to the big spenders, which just about satisfy every one’s pockets. This is one of the best places in KK to have coconut drinks, and also not forgetting the delicious sweet corns and tasty steamed ground nuts. A coconut is priced at RM 3, and when one finishes the drink, do not forget to ask the coconut sellers to break open the coconut to savour the sweet coconut meat inside. The steamed sweet corn is RM 1 each, and the steamed ground nuts start from a minimun RM 1 per packet.
The First beach Cafe serves mainly western and local food, and for drinks there are coffee, juices, and beers. The First Beach Cafe also boasts a well stock bar that dishes out many interesting and popular cocktails. The First Beach Cafe outdoor wooden garden tables, that offer a scenic view of the South China Sea and Sabah Park Islands, are very well sort after, and there is a live band performing popular songs nightly.
At the middle of the Tanjung Aru First Beach is a well built Atap House that is more likely to be seen in an architecture magazine. The house was built with traditional palm leaves for its roof top, which helps to cool down the temperature inside and its walls which is surrounded with stunning glass panels. Noted: The interior of the Atap House is also fully air-condition. This house belongs to the Mediterranean Bar and Restaurant which serves western cuisines. With the sea and beach in front and a quiet and relaxing atmosphere, this is a perfect place for couples to have a romantic dinner. A beef steak at Mediterranean Bar and Restaurant has a price starting from RM 60.
Next to the Mediterranean Bar and Restaurant is a fully scale seafood restaurant called Tanjung Aru Seafood Restaurant, and it is only open for dinner. Live prawns, live fish and live crabs are the main selection, and the live lobster costs a whopping RM 180 per kg. Dinner goers can choose and pick their heart out on the many sea creatures that are kept fresh alive in the aquariums. Once ordered these sea creatures will be prepared and go under the wok, the freshness of the seafood is guarantee, and hence the extra delicious. Customers at Tanjung Aru Seafood Restaurant also have the privilege of being entertain by the traditional gongs band preforming nightly for the dinner partons.
At the far end of Tanjung Aru First Beach is a large open building that has many small stalls that are run by the local entrepreneurs. This is the place to shop for the hugely popular coconut drink, steamed sweet corn and steamed ground nuts. Hawker style restaurants that serve fried noodles and fried rices are a common sight. Cafes that serve drinks like coffee and juices are plenty. Local Malay delicacy beef and chicken satay is also very popular, and one also must try out the yummy BBQ honey chicken. Also check out the many mouth watering pickles (cucumber, guava, mango, papaya, etc), and local biscuits, that are offer by the many stalls.