All Need To Know Before Going to Kota Kinabalu From Kualalampur – Best Guide 2024

Kota Kinabalu (KK),

the vibrant capital of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo, entices travelers with its cultural tapestry, breathtaking natural beauty, and exciting adventures. But before you pack your bags for this tropical paradise, here are some essential things to know:

Is Kota Kinabalu worth visiting?

Aside from its beautiful city, mountain and islands, Kota Kinabalu is a perfect city to gain insight on Sabah’s heritage in the form of cultural villages. Some popular and unique cultural villages are Mari Mari Cultural Village, KDCA Cultural Village and Walai Tobilung.

Which month is best for Kinabalu?

March to September is the best period to climb Mount Kinabalu because of the dry season.

Climate and Clothing:

Tropical Paradise: Prepare for hot and humid weather year-round. Pack light, breathable clothing like cotton t-shirts, shorts, and sundresses.

Rain Showers: Brief downpours are common, so a light raincoat or an umbrella is handy.
Mountain Adventures: If you plan to climb Mount Kinabalu or explore cooler highlands, pack layers and warmer clothing.

Currency and ATMs:

Do you need cash in Kota Kinabalu?

It is best to always carry some amount of cash, as not all local shops and markets accept credit card payments. Very few places in Kota Kinabalu accept travellers’ cheques. you should be ready with other payment options.

Malaysian Ringgit (MYR): The official currency is MYR. ATMs are widely available in KK, but carrying some cash is recommended for smaller shops and remote areas.

Modes of Transportation:

Is Grab common in Kota Kinabalu?

While taxis and Grab are common options for getting around Kota Kinabalu city, booking our half day full day, or multi-day charter services can save you costs and time.

Getting Around: Grabbing a ride with Grab, a popular ride-hailing app, is convenient and affordable. Taxis are also available, but negotiate fares beforehand.

Exploring Beyond: Public buses connect major towns within Sabah, but renting a car offers more flexibility for exploring hidden gems.

Local Customs and Dress Code:

Respectful Attire: While Kota Kinabalu is a modern city, dressing modestly is appreciated, especially in religious sites. Opt for clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.

Cultural Tapestry: Embrace the diverse ethnic groups in Sabah. You’ll witness a blend of Malay, Chinese, and indigenous influences.

Embrace the Outdoors:

Is it safe to walk around Kota Kinabalu?

Petty crimes:Low. Kota Kinabalu is generally considered a safe city, even for solo female travelers. Petty crime rates such as pickpocketing or bag snatching are lower compared to other global cities.

However, caution should always be exercised especially in crowded areas and when walking alone at night.

Adventure Awaits: Kota Kinabalu is a gateway to some of Borneo’s most stunning natural wonders. Hike the majestic Mount Kinabalu, explore the pristine Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park, or spot orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre.

A Foodie Paradise:

Culinary Delights: Savor the unique flavors of Sabah. Sample fresh seafood dishes like “Hinava” (raw fish salad) or indulge in local favorites like “Satay” (skewered grilled meats).

Be Wildlife-Wise:

Natural Encounters: Respect the diverse wildlife in Sabah. Maintain a safe distance from wild animals and follow park regulations.

Mosquitoes: Mosquitoes can be a nuisance, so pack insect repellent, especially if venturing into rainforests or mangroves.


Bahasa Malaysia: The official language is Bahasa Malaysia, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas. Learning a few basic Malay phrases will enhance your cultural experience.

Embrace Responsible Tourism:

Minimize Plastic Use: Sabah’s pristine environment is a treasure. Reduce your plastic footprint by carrying a reusable water bottle and shopping bag.

Support Local Communities: Opt for locally-owned businesses and homestays to contribute directly to the community.

By keeping these factors in mind, you’re well on your way to experiencing the magic of Kota Kinabalu. Embrace the vibrant culture, delve into the stunning natural beauty, and create unforgettable memories in this captivating corner of Borneo.

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