Kota Kinabalu (KK), formerly known as Jesselton, is KK City the capital of the state. Destroyed almost totally during World War II, Kota Kinabalu has risen from the ashes to become a small but modern municipality. Kota Kinabalu, with a population of 200,000, is the gateway to East Malaysia with direct non-stop flights to and from Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei, Manila, Cebu, Brunei, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Kuching.
There are many new and impressive buildings in K.K., as it is affectionately known. The Sabah Foundation building houses the head offices of the Foundation, plus at present, the Chief Minister’s Office. The Sabah Museum is a fine example of locally designed architecture that reflects the ‘Spirit of Sabah’.
The Museum houses some of the treasures of Sabah. Galleries on Enthnography, Ceramics, Natural History, Archaeology, History, Limestone caves, and other exist. Also there is an art gallery with an exhibition on the oil and petroleum industry, the largest such exhibition in the world. Visit the Sabah State Museum to find out Sabah’s history and how Sabah being known as ‘the land below the wind’.
There are numerous international standard hotels and beach resort. At Tanjong Aru is one of the many beautiful West Coast beaches, and just off shore less than half an hour’s boat ride lie the five islands of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. Beautiful white sandy beaches, coral reefs and myraids of underwater creatures abound. Back in town every Sunday morning is the Gaya Street Fair, where local delicacies, handicrafts and antiques, as well as clothes, furniture and a whole host of other goods can be bought. But you should be there by 8.00 am. Sabah State Mosque Constructed with a resplendent dome, the Sabah State Mosque which is located on the way to the airport is a famous landmark.
For the sports enthusiasts there are of course the water sports – snorkeling, diving, sailing and wind-surfing. Golfers will be spoiled by choice – there are five golf courses in and around KK city, ranging from signature championship courses to pristine private establishments. Right in the heart of the city is Sutera Harbour Resort Golf & Country Club, where you can tee off day or night. To get away, head to the picturesque Dalit Bay Golf & Country Club at the Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort or the Karambunai Golf Club at Nexus Resort – an 18 hole, 72 par course designed by Ronald Fream. For an extraordinary experience literally up in the air, tee off at 6,000 ft. at the Mount Kinabalu Golf course. There is also the Kinabalu Yacht Club at Tanjung Aru and large sports complex at Likas, with full facilities. You could also try the night market in town which starts about 7.00 pm. Not only are clothes, souvenirs and handicrafts available, the eating stalls can also be good.