Only two-and-a-half hours away by flight from Peninsula Malaysia, Kota Kinabalu is a summer’s destination full of adventure and wonder. Only 15 minutes away from the airport, Hilton Kota Kinabalu is the ideal starting point if you have your heart set on an experience – whether it be diving, wildlife-watching, or taking on the majestic Mount Kinabalu.
For first-timers visiting the friendly state, the dedicated team at Hilton KK’s (the city is affectionately known by its initials) is ever ready to help with your travel bookings for an unforgettable summer getaway.
Here are some of the places to visit in Kota Kinabalu:
- Go on a day excursion of island-hopping, snorkelling, and swimming at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park
Named after Malaysia’s first prime minister, the marine park consists of five islands: Manukan Island, Sapi Island, Gaya Island, Mamutik Island, and Sulug Island. Gaya Island, the largest of the five, is home to natural beauty and azure waters; Manukan Island, the most developed and popular of the islands; while Mamutik Island, the smallest of them all, is also the most sedate. For the adventurous, options such as snorkelling, scuba diving (PADI courses are offered), and jungle trekking are also available on the islands.
- Hop on a sunset cruise down Weston River and catch a glimpse of fireflies
From a scenic drive with views of paddy fields, kampung houses, and little towns; to spotting Proboscis monkeys (known for their large noses and round bellies) in the distance; followed by a beautiful sunset at the mangrove forest; and capped off with catching fireflies on a pitch dark night, this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for wildlife enthusiasts to get up close and personal with nature.
- Learn about the many indigenous tribes of Borneo at Mari Mari Cultural Village
With at least 30 ethnic groups in Sabah alone – each with its own unique culture, tradition, and dialect – The Mari Mari Cultural Village doubles as a museum preserving as well as educating visitors on Borneo’s ethnic culture. Mari Mari (meaning “come come”, a local lingo indicating a warm welcome) showcases the various traditional homes of the island’s indigenous communities (Bajau, Lundayeh, Murut, Rungus and Dusun) as well as their different ways of living, accompanied by nibbles and bites from each indigenous tribe. The tour ends with dance performances by the locals, which culminates to an interactive one where visitors are invited to join in, before heading back into town.
- Check out Gaya Street Sunday Market for a peek into the local culture
If your trip happens to be on a weekend, wake up early and stroll along Gaya Street, the city’s main road, for the Sunday Market. For one day a week, stalls sell all sorts of interesting knick-knacks such as handcrafted wares, clothes, antiques, and snacks. Bargaining is a must, as is the purchase of Kuih Cincin (literally translates to ‘ring cakes’, a sweet and crispy local biscuit, shaped like honeycomb cells).
Conveniently close to the airport and a mere 10 mins walk from the ever-popular Gaya Street Sunday Market, Hilton Kota Kinabalu’s prime location is easily one of its most attractive features. All of its guest rooms and suites are fitted with smart lighting and motion sensors, plus creature comforts such as a 48-inch TV, walk-in rain shower, and a comfortable chaise lounge, with views of the city, harbour, or the famous Mount Kinabalu from its rooms and suites.
The five-star hotel offers a motley of dining options from a Malaysian all-day dining restaurant with live cooking stations, to an alfresco poolside bar and grill spot (an easy-to-love spot for sunset-watching), a café for snacks and grab-and-go bites, and Club Bar, a stylish speakeasy bar with live jazz performances.
Room prices start from MYR530.00nett at Hilton Kota Kinabalu. For further enquiries or reservations, please call 088 356 000 or email KotaKinabalu_Info@hilton.com