How to Plan Your Trip to the Tropical Paradise Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia!

Sorry for ditching the regular post! I was gone on a flash trip to Kota Kinabalu (KK in short), Malaysia and have limited internet access and after that, I got sick :/ I writing this now and can’t wait to share this amazing getaway with you guys!

My family organized a flash trip from Hong Kong to KK so I decided to join them since it’s just a few hours flight from Singapore. Once again, the tropical nature in South East Asia never disappoint. Kota Kinabalu is a coastal city surrounded by forests in Sabah, Malaysia, located next to Philippine. Here’s are few tips for planning your next visit there (or most of the tropical island in Malaysia).

How to get there

KK is a developed tourism city so their international airport is well connected to everywhere. Take just 15-20 min drive to the city center. The terminal is filled with food stores and souvuniur shop where you can get your last minutes gift there.

Don’t panic if you can’t find any post office or stamps in the city, coz there’s one right inside the Arrival Hall. Head there to finish off your postcard!


Since Malaysia is located next to the equator, there basically only has summer. Make sure you bring a powerful sunblock and stay hydrated throughout the day. Don’t forget to bring raincoat as well as the heavy rain comes and goes in a sec!

Currency and Spending

Malaysia Ringgit is used in KK. And basically, EVERYTHING in Malaysia is cheap!!! Easily get a meal for just 3 USD or spend 10 USD, you could eat/shop like a king! The price there for food or shops are usually 1/3 cheaper than in Singapore or in Hong Kong.

Activities & Tours

KK offers a wide range of nature-related activities such as fireflies watching, diving, hiking to hot spring, day tour to multiple days tour.

I would very much recommend joining the local tour since most of the activities are far from city center (min. 1 hour drive). You could pre-book the tour online or check with your accommodations since most of them partnered with those agencies that you can book your tour on spot.

Our group have 13 people in total so we pre-booked the local tour from Sabah You: ,offering day tour from range 130 RM – 250 RM.

Get Around

The city center of KK is quite small. However, public transport is not the popular option for traveling around (the no trains nor regular buses). Majority of the traveler take taxi or Grab is rather popular there, and the fee is even cheap than an average bus fare. I.e. Up to 15 min drive just cost 4 RM (1.03 USD)!!!!


Since Malaysia is a mixed race country, you could find all different kind of cuisine. It was less spicy than I expected. But nothing is better than trying out local food and snacks at the food market or street stores. The fresh local produces are very flavourful so make sure your try their veggie and fruit and not missing their chicken! (KFC fried chicken tasted better there, really!)

Since it’s a coastal area so seafood is a must, fresh and CHEAP.

Noted Malaysia is a religious country so that pork is not easily accessible since most of the food is Halal there.

Hope these give you more ideas of the paradise city! Till next time I’m gonna go into the trip details and spam you guys with loads of amazing photos!!


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