KOTA KINABALU – A FLASH PACKERS GUIDE
Get the most informative guide to the city of Kota Kinabalu, get tips on what to see and where to go. The bustling city of Kota Kinabalu is a popular gateway to Borneo, visit the mountain, see pitcher plants and orchids or try and glimpse an orangutan.
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Kota Kinabalu or K.K. as it is known locally is the gateway to Borneo.
Sabah Tourism building is one of the oldest surviving buildings from the war, situated on Gaya Street.
Snorkel or scuba dive in TARP Marine Park, twenty minutes by boat from Kota Kinabalu.
Visit Kudat the tip of Borneo. The North Borneo Chartered company first declared this as there capital, until they ran short of fresh water and moved to Sandakan. A more traditional area as it was only accessible by sea, it is home to the Baju people and Rungus people. Local handicrafts can be purchased and traditional dress and longhouses can be seen. Gongs are also made in this area, from souvenir gongs up to 3 metres across.
Mount Kinabalu an awesome site on a clear day – best time to view it is early in the morning, with sunrise around 6am daily this is when it is at its most visible. The city was renamed after the mountain in 1964, it is Malaysia’s first world heritage site. Kinabalu Park has 4 different climate zones and one of the richest fauna collections in the world. The botancial gardens and paths around the park make it interesting even for those who are not going to climb the mountain. See pitcher plants, orchids and over 300 species of birds.
Mount Kinabalu National Park has over 4000 plant species including pitcher plants – also known as monkey cups. Visit the Orchid Conservation Centre with over 1,200 species, the Butterfly Farm or see mouse deer in the tropical gardens. Also within the park is Poring Hot Springs and the canopy walk way, 41 metres high! Sabah has the largest concentration of the Rafflesia, the worlds biggest flower, taking 15 months to bud it will only last 7 days and stinks!
Snorkeling and diving in the T.A.R.P. allows you to see the wonders of the deep blue sea, and spot some of these lovely fish. The T.A.R.P. is made up of a cluster of Islands; Pulau Gaya, Pulau Sapi, Pulau Manukan, Pulau Mamutik and Pulau Sulug. There are plenty of other Islands to discover further off the coast, to snorkel and dive around, including Pulau Tiga or better known as survivor Island and Mantanani.
This beautiful mollusc swimming was filmed, while scuba diving in the warm ocean waters of the T.A.R.P.; just off Kota Kinabalu. Find out what else there is to down get you Flash Packers Guide, available in download or in paperback from Amazon. http://www.aflashpackersguide.wordpress.com
Visit the art gallery or museum to find out the history of Sabah.
At the museum step into the longhouses of the Rungus people, or the houses on stilts of the Baju.
Visit the MERC – Marine Ecology Research Centre on Gaya Island and see their important work to preserve the Giant Clams, learn about marine life and why they face extinction, sponsor a piece of coral and get regular updates, get up close and get to touch and hold a starfish in the touch tank!!
Here is the Giant Fluted Clam
Ride on the 1955 Vulcan Steam engine to the old town of Papar, visit the chinese temple and feel what it was like during the colonial times. The steam engine has a turntable to turn it around before it heads back – one of the few remaining steam engine turntables outside of Europe.
Take a trip to the upside down house or Chanteek Gallery and learn about the traditional dress.
Visit the Orangutans or Borneo Sun Bears at Sepilok in Sandakan, a short flight (or 6 hour drive) from the city of K.K. Sandakan was an important port is now a gateway to Turtle Island, Sepilok and the cave of Gomantong, and the Kinabatangan rivers.
Visit the ruins of a building that stood in Kota Kinabalu over 100 years ago, across from the entrance to Suria Sabah shopping centre.
More pictures from the beautiful waters around the marine Park, just twenty minutes by boat from Jesselton Ferry Point in the city.
K.K. is a great stop off for those wanting to explore the states of Sabah and Sarawak further, take a trip to; Mulu, Miri, Sandakan or Kuching!