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How to Spend 2 Days in Kota Kinabalu

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How to Spend 2 Days in Kota Kinabalu
With two days in Kota Kinabalu, it’s possible to explore both the city and the nearby marine park, and to venture further afield to Mt. Kinabalu National Park. Here are a few ways to make the most of two days.
 
Day 1: Mountains or Wildlife
Morning: In order to make the most of your time and skip the hassle of planning, opt for a day trip to either Kinabalu National Park—where you’ll explore via trails and a treetop canopy walk— or Sandakan Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, the largest orangutan conservation center in the world.
 
Afternoon: If you’re at Kinabalu National Park, enjoy a local lunch before heading to Poring Hot Springs for a therapeutic soak. Those in Sandakan can explore the town or head to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre or the Rainforest Discovery Centre.
 
Night: Back in Kota Kinabalu, enjoy dinner while watching a cultural show or dance performance—book a package that includes round-trip hotel transfers for the best value. Alternatively, enjoy fresh seafood at Kota Kinabalu Fish Market on the waterfront.  
 
Day 2: Islands, City, and Culture
Morning: Spend some time exploring the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, which comprises five islands; half-day trips typically cover one or two of the islands, and give you time to relax on the beach, swim, snorkel, or scuba dive. Upgrade to zip from one island to another on the Coral Flyer Zipline. 
 
Afternoon: Spend the afternoon exploring the highlights of Kota Kinabalu, such as the City Mosque, Sabah State Museum, and Signal Hill on a panoramic bus tour. Alternatively, head out of town to the Mari Mari Cultural Village to learn about the five main traditional groups of Sabah. Visit a longhouse, try local delicacies, or watch different cultural demonstrations.
 
Night: For your final evening, watch the sunset from Tanjung Aru Beach or charter a luxury yacht or catamaran and enjoy a sunset or dinner cruise, complete with live entertainment or a firefly show. Afterwards, go shopping and pick up souvenirs at one of the night markets. 
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Kota Kinabalu Tours & Activities (9)
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Private Full Day Sepilok Orang Utan, Bornean Sun Bear and Rainforest Discovery Center TourDay Trips

Private Full Day Sepilok Orang Utan, Bornean Sun Bear and Rainforest Discovery Center Tour

star-4.5
During this full day eco-tour, journey into the super-diverse Bornean rainforest near Sepilok, home to thousands of species of plants and animals. Visit three conservation centres in the area to learn how local people are fighting to preserve Borneo’s natural environment and return native fauna to their natural habitats. This private tour offers a chance to get up close with Borneo’s unique wildlife away from the crowds of a zoo or wildlife park.
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$102.57 
Price varies by group size
From  
$102.57 
Price varies by group size
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  • 7 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Half-Day Mari Mari Cultural Village from Kota KinabaluHalf-day Tours

Half-Day Mari Mari Cultural Village from Kota Kinabalu

star-4.5
Encounter Borneo’s traditional cultures at Mari Mari Cultural Village, where you get a glimpse into the daily routines and rituals of five major cultural groups. See each group’s distinctive houses, costumes, and practices, with a guide to help explain each thing you encounter, then see a performance that brings traditional Borneo to vivid life. After your time exploring Mari Mari Cultural Village, this tour includes a traditional meal in the village’s dining hall.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$35.83 
From  
$35.83 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Kota Kinabalu City Dinner Cruise by North Borneo CruisesDinner Cruises

Kota Kinabalu City Dinner Cruise by North Borneo Cruises

star-5
Dine and dance under the stars on a Kota Kinabalu cruise that includes live music and a buffet of international cuisine. The boat’s open upper deck gives panoramic views of the Kota Kinabalu skyline as the city lights up after dark, and since this dinner cruise features door-to-door transfers from hotels in Kota Kinabalu, you can enjoy an evening out without the hassle of finding late-night transport.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
From  
$55.52 
From  
$55.52 
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes

Kota Kinabalu by Night with DinnerDining Experiences

Kota Kinabalu by Night with Dinner

star-3.5
Soak up the electric atmosphere of Kota Kinabula by night on this 3-hour evening tour, including hotel pick-up. Browse the bustling night market, then enjoy a magnificent view over the illuminated city from the observation deck of Signal Hill. Finally, tuck into a sumptuous dinner of typical Malaysian dishes, accompanied by traditional Malay music and dance.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$60.04 
From  
$60.04 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

The Coral Flyer Zipline Adventure at Marine Park from Kota KinabaluZiplining

The Coral Flyer Zipline Adventure at Marine Park from Kota Kinabalu

star-4
Soar on a zipline that connects two picture-perfect tropical islands on a 6-hour adventure trip from Kota Kinabalu to Tunku Abdul Rahman Park. The Coral Flyer Zipline is the world’s longest island-to-island zipline, and gives you aerial views of clear water, white sand beaches, and coastal trees. This small group tour is limited to 7 participants for a personalized experience, and includes lunch, national park fees, boat transport, and hotel pickup and drop-off in Kota Kinabalu.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$136.42 
From  
$136.42 
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Poring Hot Springs Tour from Kota Kinabalu including Treetop Canopy WalkDay Trips

Poring Hot Springs Tour from Kota Kinabalu including Treetop Canopy Walk

Take a break from sightseeing and spend the day relaxing in the natural hot springs of Poring on a day trip from Kota Kinabalu. Ideal for active travelers looking to relieve aching muscles, this hassle-free excursion includes a scenic journey through Kinabalu National Park and a stop at a local fruit market. Plus, hassle-free hotel pickup and drop-off mean that you don't have to worry about finding a meeting point.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From  
$125.65 
Price varies by group size
From  
$125.65 
Price varies by group size
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures

Kota Kinabalu Sunset Cruise with Buffet DinnerDay Cruises

Kota Kinabalu Sunset Cruise with Buffet Dinner

Conclude your Kota Kinabalu adventure with a dazzling evening out at sea. Hop onto a spacious custom-built catamaran and get in touch with Sabah’s coastal charisma. Sail pass surrounding islands and into the famous Kota Kinabalu sunset. Includes guided narrations of historical & architectural landmarks that dot the coastline. - Evening cruise from Kota Kinabalu in the South China Sea - Chance to see Sabah's sunset & landmarks from the water - Laid-back & relaxed tour aboard a luxurious custom sailboat - Sights of Gaya Island in Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park - Postcard-perfect views of Likas Bay in the soft moonlight
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$122.00 
Price varies by group size
From  
$122.00 
Price varies by group size
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

D'Place Buffet and Cultural ShowHalf-day Tours

D'Place Buffet and Cultural Show

Opt for an evening with a difference at a D’Place cultural show in Kota Kinabalu. Ideal for food lovers and first-time visitors, this experience presents the difference cultures in Borneo through a buffet dinner and performance that includes singing, dancing, and colorful costumes. Plus, hassle-free hotel pickup and drop-off mean you don’t have to worry about making your own way there.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$30.00 
From  
$30.00 
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Kundasang Poring Hot Springs Day TourDay Trips

Kundasang Poring Hot Springs Day Tour

star-5
Enjoy a day trip through some of the most beautiful nature in Sabah. View mighty Mount Kinabalu from a watchtower, then explore deeper into the Kinabalu National Park, an immensely biodiverse area. Your guide will explain the region’s history, including the infamous death marches from Sandakan to Ranau during World War II, a poignant contrast to the natural beauty. End with a well-deserved soak in the natural sulfur Poring hot springs.
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  • 7 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
$75.00 
From  
$75.00 
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  • 7 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation