Three days in Kota Kinabalu means you can enjoy most of the highlights in the area, including the beaches and islands, wildlife, culture, and outdoor recreation. Here are a few ways to make the most of your 3-day journey.
Kinabalu National Park
Kinabalu National Park, Sabah
Even if you’re not keen to summit 13,435-foot (4,095-meter) Mt. Kinabalu, you’ll still find plenty to do in Kinabalu National Park. Tours commonly leave from Kota Kinabalu, and generally include access to the canopy walkway and the opportunity to soak in the thermal waters of Poring Hot Springs. Some give you free time to explore the park’s well-marked trails, and most include lunch and hotel pickup and drop-off.
The trip was amazing. Joe took me by his land cruiser car and showed me Mt Kinabalu. We had great lunch and enjoyed poring hot spring. This place is quite similat w/ hot sprinf in Melbourne. I love it. Absolutely recommend it to everyone to take it.
Loan_D, Nov 2021
Things to Know Before You Go
The altitude of the park means you can expect showers any time of year, so take a waterproof jacket.
Take water and snacks with you as well, as there aren’t many shops inside the park.
Due to uneven terrain, Kinabalu National Park is a difficult place for wheelchairs and strollers to access.
The villages on either side of the park have several basic accommodation options—it’s a good idea to book in advance.
How to Get There
From Kota Kinabalu, it takes around two hours to reach Kinabalu National Park by road. Rent a car, go as part of a guided day trip (most of which include round-trip transfers), or take a minibus from the Kota Kinabalu bus terminal. Buses usually wait till they’re full to depart.
When to Get There
Borneo’s dry season stretches from March to September, making it the ideal time for outdoor exploration. The park is open daily—if you’re visiting from Kota Kinabalu, arrive as early as possible to make the most of your day.
Climbing Mt. Kinabalu
If you’re up to the challenge, climbing Mt. Kinabalu is one of the best outdoor experiences Borneo has to offer. Ascending Malaysia’s highest mountain takes two days, and requires a 2am start to reach the summit before sunrise. You must also climb with a guide and a permit. Most climbing tours include accommodation and hearty meals midway up the mountain.
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- Mt. Kinabalu (Gunung Kinabalu)
- Kota Belud
- Poring Hot Spring & Nature Reserve (Poring Hot Springs)
- Mari Mari Cultural Village
- Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre
- Signal Hill Observatory Platform
- Kota Kinabalu City Mosque (Masjid Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu)
- Sabah State Mosque (Masjid Negeri Sabah)
- Sabah Museum (Sabah State Museum)
- North Borneo Railway
- Gaya Island (Pulau Gaya)
- Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park (TARP)
- Monsopiad Cultural Village
- Sapi Island (Pulau Sapi)
- Manukan Island (Pulau Manukan)