Five Days in Kota Kinabalu

mt. kinabalu

Kota Kinabalu is one of the most modern cities in the Borneo Island, and Kota Kinabalu is also the gateway to the rest of Sabah. Sabah is the No. 1 tourist destination in Malaysia. Wildlife, adventure, nature, islands, and great seafood await those who choose Sabah as their holiday destination. Here are a five days travel itinerary that will help you to explore the West Coast of Sabah.
Day 1 Kota Kinabalu / Kinabalu Park / Kundasang
Arrived at Kota Kinabalu International Airport before 11am. Depart from Kota Kinabalu and travel two hours along the ridges of the Crocker Range to Kinabalu Park Headquarters. Enjoy the superb mountain views as you travel to the Park at 1524 metres. Drive through the scenic Kinabalu National Park and have lunch at one of the leading hotels in Kundasang.

After lunch proceed by road for an hour to Poring Hot Springs at the Southern end of Kinabalu Park. Lowland dipterocarp forest makes up of the vegetation at Poring, and it is an excellent place to view lowland birds and some mammals. A short trek into the forest and take a swing at the Canopy Walkway for a bird’s eye view of the tropical rainforest. The Canopy Walkway is suspended between trees at the height of 40 metres and it offers an excellent opportunity to observe wildlife in the canopy. Return for an overnight to one of the many accommodations at Kundasang. Our hot choice is either Kinabalu Pine Resorts or Mt. Kinabalu Heritage Resort and Spa, both have super view of Mt. Kinabalu and the Kundasang town.

Day 2 Kundasang / Kota Kinabalu / Garama River
Wake up early to see the magnificent Mount Kinabalu, before the clouds rise to the mountain top. After breakfast visit the Kundansang War Memorial. This memorial tells an old story called Sandakan Death March, where many POWs were killed during the Second World War. The gardens at Kundasang War Memorial have beautiful roses, and local plants including some very rare orchids. Next head back to Kota Kinabalu which normally takes 2 hours.

After lunch in Kota Kinabalu, prepare to take another 1:30 hour journey to Garama River, near Beaufort. The Garama river cruise takes 2 hours passing many of the small tributaries in search of the rare and unique Probosic Monkeys. One must bring a set of binocular for a clear view. The probocsic Monkeys are wild animals, and they try to stay as far away from human as possible. After Dinner and some entertainment by the local fireflies, one can go for another hour of Night Boat ride on the Garama river to spot animals that prey in the dark. Return to an overnight stay at Garama Lodge.

Day 3 Garama River / Padas River / Kota Kinabalu
From Garama River take a 3 hour journey passing through the dense forest of Crocker Range before reaching the Tenom train station. Ride the oldest and only train in Borneo to the starting point at the Tenom hydron power plant. Welcome to Padas River, and take an adrenaline bumping ride for the next hour where guests would need to maneuver pass rapids after rapids. Exciting experience! Stop for lunch, and continue the journey back to KK by coach. After a hard day fighting the rapids muscles get tired, this is a good time to enjoy the Spa. KK offers great price for Spa services, and with so many Spa centres competing for clients, good bargain is sure to be found. Stay overnight at one of Kota Kinabalu hotels. Our pick Tanjung Aru Beach Hotel.

Day 4 Kota Kinabalu / Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park / Kota Kinabalu
A visit to the marine park off KK, Sun, sea, sand and fish are the main subjects for the day. Ferry to the islands can be arranged at Jesselton Point, or the jetties at Tanjung Aru Beach Hotel or at the Pacific Sutera harbour.Three islands to choose from, Manukan Island is the busiest and have buffet lunch catered by the island resort. Or head for the Sapi Island, less busy but with a stunning view of Kota Kinabalu City. Or one can also choose the small island, Mamutik island. Late afternoon boat ride back to KK. Tonight is a good time to savour the very popular seafood cuisine in KK. Butter prawns, Steamed fresh fish, and Deep fried soft shell crabs are just some of the delicious dishes waiting for you. Stay at one of Kota Kinablu hotels. Our pick Tanjung Aru Beach Hotel.

An optional choice is to visit the less visited Mantanani Island off Kota Belud, this whole day journey is well worth the trip, where clear water, plenty of marine lifes, sandy beaches, tropical island, everything here is so picturesque, at times you forget you are in the real world. On the way back to Kota Kinabalu one can stop by at Gayang Seafood Restaurant or Salut Seafood Restaurant to have some really delicious seafood. Stay at one of Kota Kinabalu Hotels.

Day 5 City Walk / Kota Kinabalu international Airport
Free and leisure for the last day, or take a stroll along Kota Kinabalu old city, the shops around at Gaya Street and Beach street. While here have a taste of local delight the very popular laksa of Yee Fung Kopitiam. Visit Sabah Handicraft markets (Filipino Market) to shop for some much needed souvenirs, t-shirts, handicrafts, and etc, before heading off to the airport. If one likes branded products than one should visit 1Borneo Hypermall instead.

sabah handicraft market

For more information contact Sabah Tourism Board.
Sabah Tourism Board
51 Gaya Street,
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah Malaysia.

Tel: +6088 212121
Fax: +6088 212075

Readers might find these articles interesting too:
Ten Best Destinations in West Coast, Sabah
Three days in Kota Kinabalu
One week in Sabah
Self Drive Sabah

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *